The event: The Hollywood Reporter feted this year’s Academy Award contenders at the magazine’s third annual Nominees Night, presented by Cadillac, at Spago in Beverly Hills on Monday.
The scene: Star power radiated from inside master chef Wolfgang Puck’s iconic restaurant as actors and others on the Oscar track socialized over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, moving from the bar to the patio to the restaurant’s various rooms, as they caught up with old friends and congratulated new ones on this year’s accolades.
The crowd: Actors Bradley Cooper of “American Sniper,” Michael Keaton of “Birdman,” Robert Duvall of “The Judge,” Marion Cotillard of “Two Days, One Night,” Patricia Arquette of “Boyhood,” Laura Dern of “Wild” and America Ferrera and Craig Ferguson of “How to Train Your Dragon 2” mixed with studio executives Jim Gianopulos, Fox chair and CEO; Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks; Peter Schlessel, CEO of Focus Features; directors Damien Chazelle of “Whiplash,” Ava DuVernay of “Selma” and Rory Kennedy of “Last Days in Vietnam”; screenwriters Armando Bo and Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., of “Birdman,” Graham Moore of “The Imitation Game” and Anthony McCarten of "The Theory of Everything”; British journalist Piers Morgan and fashion stylist Rachel Zoe.
Relaxing at the bar, "Whiplash” writer-director Damien Chazelle answered questions about his film, which is nominated for five Oscars, saying he felt fine portraying his tyrannical music instructor in that manner. “He’s dead now,” Chazelle said. J.K Simmons, who played the part, has already racked up numerous awards for the portrayal and is considered an Oscar front-runner for supporting actor.
Quote of note: Alison Brower, deputy editorial director for the Hollywood Reporter, said the publication chose Monday to celebrate the nominees, because the day -- which also included the official Oscar nominees luncheon -- signals the formal start to the Academy Awards festivities.
“We take very seriously our role in the Hollywood community,” Brower said. “We are part of this community and we wish to celebrate the nominees.”
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