Tonight, the world will once again feast its eyes on the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards. In 2010 I wrote my first book and set it against the backdrop of all the crazy antics that happen behind the scenes in the lead-up to the ceremony. Once the nominees are announced it’s like a starter’s gun goes off amongst film publicists, marketing departments and awards show campaign strategists. Triumphing at that podium is worth billions to studios but their PR budgets run a close second…
I knew a few stories already (I worked in the industry for years), but some of research I dug up had me howling with laughter. The lengths that some people will go to get their grubby little mitts on a golden statue is eye-opening to say the least.
They’ll be a lot of talk about female solidarity on the red carpet tonight, more so this year than any other (and quite right too #metoo). But there wasn’t a lot of that last week when the same actress was chucking her diet coke at her assistant’s head for booking the wrong limousine. Don’t be fooled by the gleaming Hollywood smiles and crocodile tears, those scales are nicely hidden beneath their Gucci gowns… Having said that, Ryan Gosling in a tux makes up for all of it.
10 Oscar facts:
- Big up the Bigelow! Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in history to win the Best Director award for her film The Hurt Locker (2009).
- Meryl Streep has been nominated 18 times, winning two Best Actress Oscars for Sophie’s Choice (1983) and The Iron Lady (2012) and one Best Supporting actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1980). Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Trump.
- The 2014 ceremony (the one with Pharrell) was watched by 43 million people in the US. That’s a lot of hats. And I STILL can’t get that song out of my head.
- Oscar winners can’t officially flog their statue without first offering it back to the Academy. Pah, like they need the dosh.
- Heath Ledger and Peter Finch are the only actors to be awarded an Academy Award posthumously, for The Dark Knight (2008) and Network (1976) respectively. Can’t say anything witty here. I’m still in mourning.
- The length of the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre is 500 feet. That’s a lot of carpet to walk in six-inch heels. Bonus fact: many actresses get their feet botoxed for the event.
- Daniel Day-Lewis is the only actor to have won three Best Actor Oscars. That man is like a fine wine…
- The first Academy Awards, which took place at a private dinner for about 270 people, were presented in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in LA. Matt and I stayed here eight years ago. The rooms are TINY but very cool.
- The statues are made of solid bronze and are plated in 24-karat gold… You don’t want to drop that on your foot then.
- Most wins by an individual: Walt Disney (22). I wonder if Mickey ever accepted one on his behalf…?
* UK viewers will be able to watch live red carpet coverage on Sky Cinema Oscars Channel from midnight.
PS…. I wrote my latest romance book during my cancer treatment – all proceeds to Bowel Cancer UK. Sex, glamour, and a bit of insider Hollywood gossip from an ex-crewmember. Names & places changed to protect the not so innocent :-). Only £1.99. Download from Kindle Amazon HERE.