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.”
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.”
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.
Maane Khatchatourian is a deputy editor for Entertainment and Arts. Before joining The Times in 2022, she spent almost 10 years at Variety as a news editor. Her writing has also appeared in Entertainment Weekly, KCET.org and the Glendale News-Press. Born in Armenia and raised in Glendale, she studied communication, art history and sociocultural linguistics at UC Santa Barbara and journalism at Columbia University.
Robert Gauthier has been with the Los Angeles Times since 1994. He was the photographer for a project detailing the failings of an L.A. public hospital that won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for public service. Before The Times, Gauthier worked at the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Escondido Times-Advocate and the Bernardo News in San Diego County, his hometown.