The Hollywood ReporterThe annual nominees’ night celebration returned Monday after three years, with a star-studded party taking over the outdoor pavilion at Spago Beverly Hills.
The event drew Oscar nominees Kristen Stewart (spencer), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Denis Villeneuve (Dunes), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The power of the dog), Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Summer of Soul), Sian Heder (CODA), Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Mitchells vs. the Machines) and Diane Warren (four good days), among others. (Check out more photos here.)
the THR coincides with the Academy’s annual Oscar nominees luncheon, which took place earlier on Monday and brought together some of the winners for the first time during this year’s condensed awards season.
Stewart said THR on the red carpet that she had spent most of lunch “basically being his agent”, pointing the finger spencer director Pablo Larrain. “I’m going to connect Pablo and Guillermo del Toro, he really wanted to talk to him,” she joked. “I was like, ‘He’d like to hear that, let me put you in touch.’ My head was spinning today.”
Questlove also recounted a memorable day: “My mom is going to be so jealous of me that I had this whole time with Denzel,” he said of his conversations with fellow nominee Denzel Washington. “He let me in on his hip-hop pedigree, which was awesome.” It looks like Washington had a busy lunch, as DeBose also shared a special moment with the star.
“He really came up to me and hugged me and I said, ‘No. 1, do you understand who I am?’ “said DeBose. “It feels clumsy and retrograde. And he hugged me, kissed my forehead and said, “I remember when I was the only black person in this room and today I’m not alone.” It was really special. Once inside, DeBose hugged THR editorial director Nekesa Mumbi Moody.
Once on the mat, Stewart quickly lost her heels and slipped into sneakers, heading to a table with Larraín and their team, as well as her fiancé, Dylan Meyer. the spencer The table also mingled with Taika Waititi, who donned a backwards hat and a drink in hand one night after winning the Independent Spirit Awards.
Elsewhere inside the party, frequent candidate Warren chatted with Smit-McPhee (who said his power of the dog run “was the gift that keeps on giving”), and Villeneuve and Heder were among those mingling at the bar. DeBose caught up Tick, tick… Boom! producer Julie Oh, Questlove posed for photos with Heidi Klum, and drive my car producer Teruhisa Yamamoto gushed (via his translator) on Miller and Lord for their past work on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Executives in attendance included CAA’s Bryan Lourd, Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Michael Barker, Cinedigm Corp. Chairman and CEO. Chris McGurk, Neon CEO Tom Quinn, Sony Pictures Animation President Kristine Belson, Encanto producer and president of Disney Animation Clark Spencer, CODA Patrick Wachsberger, producer and head of Picture Perfect, and THR co-editors Victoria Gold and Beth Rabishaw.
The evening’s menu – curated by Wolfgang Puck’s team, while the celebrity chef also made an appearance – included a variety of appetizers and Spago’s signature pizzas, tuna tartare in cones of miso, sliders and hand bites. Dove Cameron, Chloe Bailey, Heidi Klum, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rita Ora and Wilmer Valderrama were among the additional guests.
The night marked less than three weeks until the big night on March 27, with Stewart saying she got a taste of the awards shows leading up to the Oscars.
“These rooms are full of people I want to be with and hang out with,” she said on the mat. “I have no expectations, I just know it’s going to be really nice to sit next to [Larraín] and watch it all fall apart.
DeBose added, “It’s really an honor to be there, to understand that and to be able to look people in the face and have that recognition. I’ve said a lot throughout the last month, it’s truly an honor to be seen. … I’m honored to be seen by this delegation, to be seen by this group of peers. It’s weird to think I’m their peer, but I get to witness the art we’re doing right now and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
This event, presented by IHG Hotels & Resorts and sponsored by Heineken and Amazon Ads, was held in compliance with local health and safety guidelines.