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Backstage at the 2023 Oscars: Exclusive photos from behind the scenes

Photos of behind-the-scenes moments at the Oscars dissolve one into the next.
Behind-the-scenes moments at the Oscars.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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While the bulk of the action on Oscars night takes place on the Dolby Theatre stage — and airs on TV screens in more than 200 countries worldwide — the small backstage area, where only a few photographers selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are allowed access each year, can be just as lively.

Times photographer Robert Gauthier is capturing all the commotion behind the scenes as winners make their way backstage and presenters wait in the wings. The stars mingle, read their cue cards and watch the monitors offstage.

The 2023 Oscar winners include “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Brendan Fraser, Michelle Yeoh and “All Quiet on the Western Front.”

March 12, 2023

Gauthier captured Jamie Lee Curtis breaking down in tears after accepting the Oscar for supporting actress and celebrating with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-star Ke Huy Quan, who won as supporting actor. Meanwhile, Rihanna and ASAP Rocky embraced, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek Pinault shared a laugh, Andrew Garfield and Florence Pugh looked stunned, and an impostor donkey masqueraded as Jenny from “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

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Gauthier photographed last year’s ceremony as well, documenting “CODA” director Siân Heder hugging Elliot Page, Ariana DeBose’s victory walk, Jessica Chastain celebrating her lead actress win, Jane Campion showing off her trophy, and Venus and Serena Williams holding hands and talking. He also captured Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Francis Ford Coppola — who reunited for the 50th anniversary of “The Godfather” at the 2022 Oscars — watching the monitors the moment Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock. The mood backstage shifted, to say the least.

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Before retiring from The Times in 2021, photojournalist Al Seib had captured the Academy Awards red carpet and backstage scene for 16 years (and photographed the Oscars for 37 years total).

Here’s everything you missed backstage:

A woman in a champagne colored dress holds an Oscar and cries backstage.
Jamie Lee Curtis is overcome as she makes her way backstage after accepting the Oscar for supporting actress.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A woman comforts a tearful woman backstage at the Oscars.
Ariana DeBose, left, comforts a tearful Jamie Lee Curtis.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A woman in a champagne-colored dress and man in a tux both hold up Oscars backstage.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan share a special moment backstage with their matching hardware.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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Two women in evening gowns flank a man in a tux  backstage at the Oscars.
Halle Berry, left, and Jessica Chastain chat with Harrison Ford before taking the stage to present the lead acting awards.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A man cuddles a pregnant woman backstage at the Academy Awards.
ASAP Rocky and Rihanna share a tender moment backstage.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A man and a woman embrace amid a crowd backstage at the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.
Director Daniel Roher and Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, embrace after “Navalny” wins the Oscar for documentary feature.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A man in a bear costume reveals his own head.
The man behind “Cocaine Bear.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A woman in a white dress holds up an Oscar backstage at the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.
That’s Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh to you!
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A man in a tuxedo holding an Oscar backstage at the 95th Academy Awards.
Lead actor winner Brendan Fraser is visibly verklempt backstage.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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A smiling woman in a gown and a man in a tux backstage at the Oscars.
Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant have a “Four Weddings and a Funeral” reunion before taking the Academy Awards stage.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Men in tuxedos, one holding an Oscar, backstage at the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” producer Jonathan Wang, left, shows off his Oscar statue.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A man in a red suit shows off his white shirt backstage at the Oscars.
Daniel Kwan takes a victory lap backstage.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A man in a red suit opens his jacket wide as a man in black points backstage at the Academy Awards.
Daniel Kwan, left, and Daniel Scheinert head backstage. Who needs a jacket when you have six Oscars between the two of you?
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A woman in a black dress chats with a man in a tux backstage at the Oscars.
Margot Robbie and Morgan Freeman chat backstage before taking the stage together.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Four men in tuxes, with two holding Oscars.
Ross White, Tom Berkeley, James Martin and Seamus O’Hara celebrate their win for the live-action short film “An Irish Goodbye.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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A woman in a flowy white dress and a man in a white suit smile and make their way through the backstage crowd.
Stephanie Hsu and David Byrne make their way to the Dolby Theatre stage to perform their song “This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A smiling woman in a yellow dress holds an Oscar.
Ruth E. Carter, winner of the costume design award, looks joyous backstage after making history as the first Black woman to win two Oscars.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A man in a tux stands under an Oscars sign backstage.
Host Jimmy Kimmel stands in the wings between delivering jokes.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A woman in red and a man in a tux share a laugh backstage at the Oscars.
Friends and “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” co-stars Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek Pinault laugh backstage before presenting an award together.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Oscar statues, backstage at the 95th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.
Oscar statuettes shimmer in the light.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times )
A smiling man in a tux and a surprised-looking woman in a champagne-colored dress backstage at the Oscars.
Andrew Garfield and a stunned Florence Pugh wait their turn to take the stage.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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A woman is the center of attention backstage at the Oscars.
Rihanna prepares to sing her ballad “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A donkey is moved through a crowd of people in suits, with two hands on the donkey's rear end.
An impostor donkey masquerading as Jenny from “The Banshees of Inisherin.”
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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