Anna Kendrick’s Oscar Weekend Diary
Here, Vogue.com’s onetime special correspondent Anna Kendrick documents her Oscar-weekend adventures, reporting on everything from why it’s not supposed to rain in L.A. to eating In-N-Out Burger in a corset and, of course, presenting an Academy Award.
The rain forecast this weekend is setting everyone on edge. You can barely maintain this level of smoke-and-mirrors glamour in a hermetically sealed lab, let alone out in the world when it’s pissing rain. I thought we put up with the traffic and plastic surgery in L.A. in exchange for good weather. What gives? My makeup artist, Sara Glick, arrives a half hour early and catches me eating peanut butter straight out of the jar. I don’t even stop. This is still my time.
Aubrey Plaza is my date for the evening. Our first stop is the Giorgio Armani party, and she’s on her way to pick me up. The thing about these events is that most of them just serve booze and slivers of vegetables on rice crackers, so you basically need to be unceremoniously stuffing your face with calories every chance you get, unless you want to pass out on top of screen legend Bruce Dern. Aubrey hasn’t figured this out yet, so I bring two Luna bars out to our Uber. The glamour never stops.
The Giorgio Armani party is in the store on Rodeo Drive, and I can’t shut off the perverse part of my brain that wonders if I could get away with stuffing a bunch of merchandise in my bag. The look of guilt for even imagining it never leaves my face.
We run back to my house so I can change for the Art Of Elysium event, and since I own enough hoodies, sweatpants, and slippers to clothe a small army, we take advantage of our 20-minute window and throw all of these things on under and over our dresses. It’s a magical moment of relief.
On to Art Of Elysium (a wonderful charity that brings the arts to hospitalized children), where my “hosting” duties really just extend to showing up. I suppose if I had any quantifiable skills, they’d be put to use, but, you know, actors . . . we’re kind of useless.
After the event Aubrey, Adam Devine, and Kelley Jakle (of Pitch Perfect) all come back to my house and, once again, sweats and slippers are distributed. There’s a business idea in there somewhere; a soft and fuzzy post-event lounge of some kind. But I’ll think about it in the morning.
I pick up my date for the Independent Spirit Awards, Zoe Lister Jones, and we are a pathetic sigh trying to waddle down her steps to the car underneath one tiny umbrella. At this moment, I realize the reason men are so often called upon to be “chivalrous” is because they aren’t in heels.
I get to present the award for Best Supporting Male Actor, which goes to Jared Leto. When he gets up on stage, the list in his hand is so long I wonder why I let myself be talked into the more painful shoes. However, his speech quickly transitions from a list of agents and lawyers to Pink Floyd, Wayne Gretzky, and all the women he’s ever slept with. His speech is funny and his hair smells like a damn meadow. What a dream.
Sitting at my table is the world’s most charming man, Michael Sheen. I seem to look over at him every single time he’s trying to discreetly stuff a bit of chicken or bread in his mouth. He looks very sheepish. I guess his friend didn’t bring him a Luna bar.
Afterwards, Zoe and I run to my Oscar-presentation rehearsal. This is the most surreal thing about awards shows: In order to nail down the camera moves and the timing, not only do the presenters rehearse, but actors have been hired to “play” each of the nominees. A winner is chosen at random for rehearsals, and one of these actors gets up and makes a fake speech AS that person. Our rehearsal winner talked about the challenges of making the film and his gratitude for his director’s collaborative spirit. It’s enough to bring a confused, creepy tear to your eye.
Back to my house with Zoe: Sweats, slippers, you know the drill.
The Night Before Party—yes, it’s actually called that—seems to hold every single person with an IMDB page in one room using some kind of Mary Poppins-bag physics. I wave at Angie Harmon like I know her, and she waves back like I’m not a crazy person, which is more than I deserve. Sarah Paulson, whose fast-paced snark is humbling, to say the least, is the first to take off her heels, prompting a veritable movement among the women at the party. “Never again,” we cry, all the while knowing that our gowns for the next day require the additional height.
It’s a full house at my place Oscar morning. Having six friends over while you’re getting ready for an awards show maybe isn’t the wisest decision one can make. My date for the day is my dad, and the boys help him with his tux; he hasn’t worn one since he took me to the Tony Awards when I was twelve.
I decide to just leave my Invisalign at home today instead of popping it in and out of its case, because I’m classy (and also because even though my clutch is kick-ass, it could really only fit a stick of gum).
My dad is sitting next to Bill Murray, who is gracious enough chat with him for a while after I ran into him backstage and mentioned that my dad is excited to meet him. We spy on Sidney Poitier having a casual chat with Liza Minnelli and wish we’d brought those long-distance hearing aids from SkyMall. However, even in this room, Dad is most excited about meeting Michael Strahan.
Football still comes first.
The moment when John Travolta calls Idina Menzel “Adele Dazeem” is odd, because without the aid of a DVR for immediate playback, I honestly think each person in the audience assumes they’ve had a tiny neurological episode, since there’s NO POSSIBLE WAY THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. It’s not until I look at Twitter in the car home that I believe I didn’t imagine it. I’m backstage for Bette Midler’s performance and have to watch her on the hallway monitor. At first I’m bummed, but then I realize it’s probably for the best since I can’t seem to control my intermittent exclamations of “Sing girl!” and “Spread those wings!”
I run home to switch dresses for the Vanity Fair party because I’m the luckiest chick alive (I mean, except for Jennifer Lawrence, with whom every man, woman, and child would trade places in a heartbeat. That hair! Those boobs! The Christian Dior contract! #workbitch). The corset on the new dress is amazing, but making me regret every carb I’ve had since age ten. And yet, this happened.
The dress is so heavy it feels like a suit of armor, so obviously I attempt to pick fights. For some reason, Jason Statham does not take the bait.
I head home, and this year the throbbing in my feet is so painful it keeps me awake for an additional half-hour. Dancing through the pain was decidedly NOT the best strategy.
My feet are still on fire, but I’m already excited for morning carbs. I guess they only seem like the enemy when you’re in a corset, so, until next year, bring on the pancakes and sweatpants.