Brad and Jen hit the same events on the pre-Oscar party circuit, but arrived and left on their own
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston confronted another potentially awkward situation following their January separation—the exclusive Oscar party scene. The once golden couple navigated through the same soirees over the Awards weekend, albeit arriving and leaving separately at two of the hotter bashes in town. On Feb. 25, Pitt and Aniston attended CAA partner Bryan Lourd's pre-Oscar invitation-only bash, held at his home, with stars such as Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Orlando Bloom, Vin Diesel and Vince Vaughn, among others, in attendance. Also there: one proud mama, Gwyneth Paltrow, who talked to Pitt, her former beau, and giddily showed pictures of her 9-month-old daughter Apple.
At the "Night Before" party, a fund-raiser for the Motion Picture & Television Fund held the following evening poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Pitt and Aniston hung near each other, though not so much with each other, chatting with pals like Courteney Cox Arquette and David Arquette and with chef Jamie Oliver, who whipped up risotto in a party-style kitchen under the tent. The star-studded affair, which raised more than $3.5 million for charity, prides itself on keeping the press out-side to make the celebs feel more comfortable. It seems to have worked with Pitt and Aniston. They just went about their own business, acting no differently than any other couple at any other big party, according to someone keeping an eye on the two.
And on Oscar night? Apparently Pitt and Aniston rested, as neither was seen at any of the evening's glittering, high-profile events.
CLINT AND BARBRA
For presenter Barbra Streisand, announcing Clint Eastwood's Best Film Oscar brought back fond memories. Streisand, who has known Eastwood for nearly 30 years, also presented his Best Director win for Unforgiven in 1993. "It's a very special privilege in her mind, " says her rep.
BERRY GETS A BERRY
She may not have taken home an Oscar this year, but a good-natured Halle Berry seemed happy to accept the Worst Actress statuette for her role in Catwoman at the Feb. 26 Golden Raspberry awards—honoring the industry's worst—in Hollywood. "Omigosh. Oh my God," Berry blurted out in mock excitement as she received her Razzie. "I never in my life thought that I would be here, winning a Razzie. It's not like I ever aspired to be here, but thank you." Clutching her 2002 Best Actress Oscar for Monsters Ball in one hand and her Razzie in the other, Berry—chosen by about 675 voters—became only the second actor to accept the award in person since Tom Green earned one for his role in 2001's Freddy Got Fingered. "When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there's no way you could be a good winner," Berry said, adding, "I hope to God I never see these people again!"
AND THE WINNER IS...
Hey—so what does the card inside the Oscar envelope actually look like? Scoop asked. Composer Jan Kaczmarek (right), who won an Oscar for his Finding Neverland score, answered-with a peek at his card. The envelopes are carefully guarded by accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, who pass them to the Oscar presenters, who hand them to the winners. (For safety, Pricewaterhouse keeps an extra copy on hand too.)
HILARY SWANK'S CHILHOOD HOME
"I'm just a girl from a trailer park," gushed Hilary Swank on accepting her Oscar. But don't be fooled: There was a lot to like. "It's a beautiful area. There are 100-ft. evergreens surrounding the park," says Doug Wight, who now owns the Lake Samish Terrace Park near Bellingham, Wash., where Swank grew up. "It's only about 225 feet from the shore of a four-mile-long pristine lake. It's a very popular place to raise kids." Wight admits that, in Hilary's day, there were "about 65 old-model mobile homes in various stages of disrepair. It was an eyesore." (That's s her renovated old home, above.) Hilary—who swam in the lake—hardly noticed. "She was very energetic, " says Wight.
SPARRING WITH BABY
She helped train Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby, but watching the Academy Awards KO'd Maureen Shea. "I fell asleep in the middle," says the 24-year-old Bronx boxer, who is usually in bed by 8:30 p.m. Luckily her family woke her in time to see Swank win Best Actress-and give Shea a shout-out. "She looked spectacular, " says Shea, a college student.
THE FEZ IS FAMILIAR
Spike Lee's Oscar-night headgear may look fashion forward, but might it be an homage to the 1933 Laurel & Hardy classic Sons of the Desert?
MILLION DOLLAR BABY vs. WHITE CHICKS: DISCUSS
Both have controversial plot twists. Both were helmed by actor-directors. And both have so far earned almost the same amount of money. Yes, the similarities between Million Dollar Baby and White Chicks, about two black FBI agents who pose as Caucasian socialites, are almost eerie. Some differences: Baby has won more Oscars—four—while Chicks, as a clip shown by host Chris Rock made clear, was by far the more popular film among fans at LA.'s Magic Johnson theater. "I thought it was hilarious what Chris did," says Chicks director Keenen Ivory Wayans. "I enjoyed having our movie represented on the Oscars, even in fun."
WHERE WAS MEL?
The Academy over-looked his more than $600 million-grossing Passion of the Christ for any major awards. So did Mel Gibson retaliate by snubbing the Oscars? No, says his rep. Though Passion was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Makeup and Best Original Score (it lost in all three categories), Gibson felt no immediate need to attend. He never goes unless he's presenting or is nominated, neither of which the case, says his rep.
After starving to squeeze into sleek designer gowns, the stars are suddenly free to eat. So what'll it be? "I just had a big piece of Oreo cheesecake," said Melissa Rivers minutes after the show. Others couldn't wait. "I ate three PowerBars during the ceremony," says Sideways actress Sandra Oh. For Oprah Winfrey, bird was the word: "Now that it's over and I can breathe a little, I'm going to have turkey chili!"