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Vulture’s Behind-the-Scenes Oscar Weekend Party Timeline

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Lupita Nyong'o and Quincy Jones attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF14/WireImage)
Lupita Nyong’o and Quincy Jones. Photo: Kevin Mazur/VF14/Getty

At long last, we’re winding down from the Oscars. We’ve obsessed over the speechescelebrated Lupita Nyong’o, Hollywood’s new BFF; listened to John Travolta say “Adele Dazeem” over and over and over again; and even found what has to be the best post-Oscars party pic of the night. Now, in keeping with Vulture tradition, we offer you our exhaustive party timeline, including the best of what our L.A. reporters overheard and observed while out and about with the stars this weekend.

Friday, February 28: Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party

5:23 p.m. Lupita arrives at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood wearing a Michael Kors tweed dress and matching jacket. She does a few video interviews, then skips the rest of the press line. Good on you, Lupita.

5:40 p.m. The host of the evening, Helen Mirren, declines interviews as well — at least at first. “I have to sit down, I’m feeling faint,” she tells a group of reporters, clasping her chest. As she reaches the end of the carpet, she is handed a martini glass by her assistant, which brings her back to us reporters in no time.

5:55 p.m. Nyong’o joins June Squibb, Mirren, and president of Women in Film, Cathy Schulman, on the red carpet. “Doesn’t Lupita look lovely?” gushes Mirren, who is enjoying a campaign-less Oscar weekend. “This is the industry end of term,” she tells us. “It’s when everyone lets their hair down and enjoys themselves before knuckling down for the next year’s work.”

6:23 p.m. Nyong’o is sitting with her mother, Dolores, nibbling truffle risotto and drinking water, while nearby Mirren is going over her speech with a cocktail and Crostini.

6:38 p.m. Mirren reminds us, again, why she is so awesome: “What I love the most about being old-errr is that lovely ‘I don’t give a fuckness’ kind of thing,” she says, addressing the crowd, after shushing them. “You know, you young things, don’t be afraid of getting old, because it’s fucking great!”

6:42 p.m. “Where’s the group picture?” asks a frazzled Julie Delpy as she runs inside the venue, just as Mirren finishes her speech. When she realizes the picture of all the female nominees has already been taken, she throws her hands up. “They made me wait outside!”

Saturday, March 1: Independent Spirit Awards Gift Lounge

11:46 a.m. Indie Awards staple John Waters models a rhinestone-studded bra from Fashion Forms over his plaid suit. Now it’s a party.

11:55 a.m. How cute is GirlsAlex Karpovsky? He poses with a shoe from New Balance but appears genuinely surprised to hear that he actually gets to keep it — and its pair. “I’m not used to this,” he says almost shyly to the representatives. Still?

1:10 p.m. June Squibb has been all smiles as she makes the rounds inside the gift lounge, but now she is getting squashed in the crowded tent and doesn’t look thrilled to be there.

2:39 p.m. Greta Gerwig enters and exits the gift lounge in less than a minute. It would appear the Frances Ha actress doesn’t have grabby hands or an appetite for gelato.

2:46 p.m. Fellow Marvel comic book superheroes Zoe Kravitz and Miles Teller arrive at the same time, but don’t acknowledge each other, because the X Men (Kravitz) probably don’t hang with the Fantastic Four (Teller). “Everyone’s here because they want to be here, just like everyone’s on an independent film set because they want to be there,” says Kravitz inside the Balenciaga booth. “It’s good energy, man.”

2:51 p.m. Andrew Dice Clay waits as his date, Valerie Vasquez, listens to the Fashion Forms bra pitch. “I’ll watch the demonstration at home,” he tells us, and laughs from deep within his belly.

3:36 p.m. The storm that’s ravaging the rest of L.A. has now reached Santa Monica, and a kimono-clad Sally Hawkins almost gets swept away as she exits the gift lounge.

3:49 p.m. The entire tent comes alive when Michael Fassbender arrives. “What’s the charity?” he asks, sticking his hand inside the Breyer’s freezer for a quick photo op. He smiles and bolts back into the rain.

3:56 p.m. Fred Armisen is making a phone call.

3:58 p.m. Now he’s texting. “I don’t like taking things,” he tells us. “And I don’t eat ice cream. I wish I could eat ice cream. I have too much vanity.”

Sunday, March 2: Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Viewing  Party and Vanity Fair’s After-Party 

5:30 p.m. At Elton John’s annual Oscar party fund-raiser, Lady Gaga arrives to screams from both the fans outside and the press inside. She blithely ignores them all, including a reporter who attempts to bribe her for an interview with popcorn.

6:15 p.m. Inside, Donatella Versace and Lady Gaga are deep in conversation at their table. They are surrounded by security guards, perhaps to keep guests from overhearing Donatella’s plans to design a gown for Gaga using only sequins and a pig’s head. (Note: We made that up, but it’s within the realm of possibility.)

7:30 p.m. The Kardashian Klan arrives. Mayhem.

8:15 p.m. Ed Sheeran, who would later perform “Candle in the Wind” with Elton John, is overheard telling a friend that the role he’d most like to play in any of this year’s Oscar nominated movies is Rayon from Dallas Buyers Club.

9:17 p.m. During the auction, Neil Patrick Harris is outbid to have a famous artist paint a portrait of him, thus losing out on the chance to have a high-art selfie.

10:30 p.m. Tayler Swift skips the viewing party but discreetly shows up to rock out with Elton during Ed Sheeran’s performance. She dances the hardest to “Lego House.”

11:00 p.m. Whoopi Goldberg arrives with her daughter as Elton and David are leaving. She proudly shows off her flat sandals under her evening gown. Guess those red ruby slippers during the ceremony were just for show. Still unclear what explains the rest of her outfit.

11:16 p.m. And the first A-listers spotted on our way into the Vanity Fair party are … Adam Scott and Nick Offerman. They’re A-listers to us.

11:18 p.m. “People in power don’t know how to interact with each other,” says a beautiful brunette at the bar, clinking Champagne flutes with us while surveying the crowd. “Luckily, I’m powerless, so I still enjoy this.”

11:23 p.m. Marcia Gay Harden swans through the room, playing wingwoman to author E.L. James. “This is Erica,” says Harden to a group of tall men in tuxedoes. “She wrote 50 Shades of Grey.”

11:24 p.m. If you’re not too busy staring up at the tall Hemsworth brothers, you might notice that this duo is actually a trio: Chris and Liam have been joined by their shorter, genial brother Luke.

11:25 p.m. Rashida Jones is in deep conversation with Bono as Elton John looms behind her. She’s bookended by music royalty, but as the daughter of Quincy Jones, she’s no doubt used to it.

11:26 p.m. Penny Marshall and Fran Lebowitz are sprawled out on one of the few banquettes, smoking up a storm.

11:27 p.m. On the smoking patio, Seth Rogen is in deep conversation with last year’s big winner Ben Affleck. “These cracker-looking motherfuckers!” Rogen rants to a laughing Affleck about … well, we’ll let you guess. “These are the whitest people I’ve ever seen in my life. The crackerest motherfuckers of all time, like something out of a Paddy Chayefsky novel.” Affleck is roaring, doubling over in laughter.

11:28 p.m. A friend points out Jane Fonda, who’s flitting past Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J. “You missed it earlier,” says the friend. “Jane almost got busted for smoking a, uh, weird cigarette.”

11:32 p.m. Adam Levine gestures to his model girlfriend Behati Prinsloo and another gorgeous girl in a slinky dress, punctuating the anecdote he’s just finished with, “I wanted to kill myself!”

11:33 p.m. Captain Phillips nominee Barkhad Abdi is in deep convo with a delighted-seeming older woman who then asks him, “What’s your name?” “Barkhad,” he replies. She frowns, confused: “I’m sorry?”

11:35 p.m. Bill Murray leans down to say hello to Anna Kendrick, who then scoots over to Adam Scott.

11:36 p.m. If it seems like all the women in the room have made a run for the door, it’s because Michael Fassbender and Bradley Cooper just entered the party at the same time.

11:37 p.m. Of course, those women are missing out on another trio of handsome, tall men chatting on the patio: Will Arnett, Jon Hamm, and Conan O’Brien.

11:38 p.m. American Horror Story alum Danny Huston is doing that thing you do at parties where you don’t know anybody: Moving from place to place, just checking your phone like everything’s cool, nothing to see. Both Anjelica and Jack Huston are here … is Danny aware of that?

11:39 p.m. Speaking of American Horror Story: Sarah Paulson grabs Chris Messina on his way out of the photo booth, and they both start talking to Jeremy Renner. It isn’t long before Renner’s American Hustle wife Elisabeth Rohm has come over to crash the conversation.

11:40 p.m. Fast friends Andy Cohen, Sean Avery, and Mark Consuelos are mulling the next party. Should they leave? “I’ve been thinking about it, ” says Mark.

11:42 p.m. I’m caught in a sherbert gown as Allison Williams twirls past me with fiancé Ricky van Veen. In a fitting display of couples camaraderie in the internet age, they take two seats opposite each other and pull out their smartphones with silent, simultaneous precision (he goes to Twitter, while she’s perusing some highly filtered Instagram photos).

11:46 p.m. Her ex Will Arnett is just outside, but Amy Poehler has an arm slung around boyfriend Nick Kroll’s shoulders, and she looks deliriously happy.

11:48 p.m. On my way out, I pass by Jennifer Lawrence, who’s glittery in a metallic dress. She stops in her tracks, looks around, and exclaims loudly, “I smell pot!” At a party with Seth Rogen and Jane Fonda, perhaps that’s to be expected.

Vulture’s Oscar Weekend Party Timeline