Hollywood Confidential

updated 03/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/15/2004 AT 01:00 AM EST


From power dinners to dancing at dawn, here's Oscar weekend from the celeb's eye view

Table hopping: Among the A-list diners at Beverly Hills eatery Mr. Chow on Friday night: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson with designer Tom Ford; Elton John; and designers Vera Wang and Richard Tyler.

The doughnut diet: Las Vegas star Molly Sims indulged in the self-serve Krispy Kreme bar at Jeffrey Katzenberg's annual Night Before charity bash on Saturday: "It was like sundaes," she says. "You could do M&Ms and fudge."

Thanks, Mom: At the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica on Saturday, Whale Rider's Keisha Castle-Hughes, 13, made plans to stave off hunger during the Oscar telecast: "I would like to take a burger, but my mom said I am not allowed. She said I have to take some nuts and raisins." (Faye Dunaway had no such restrictions: During the Oscar ceremony, she strode through the theater lobby munching from a box of Chinese chicken salad.)

Child's play: Presenter Jamie Lee Curtis started Oscar day at 5 a.m. with 8-year-old son Tommy. "We watched [the Cartoon Network's] Ed, Edd n Eddy, then we played Nintendo," she says.

Family time: Makeup artist Pati Dubroff arrived at Best Actress nominee Naomi Watts's L.A. home Sunday morning. With music by African singer Femi Kuti playing, "it was madness, chaos, eating, drinking, family," said Watts, who also spent the morning with boyfriend Heath Ledger. "That's kind of how I grew up."

Girl's best friend: Before getting dressed for the Oscars, Charlize Theron tended to her pooches. "I have two sick dogs right now," she said. "I have a dog that just had surgery a couple of weeks ago and one that wasn't feeling too well."

Coffee break: Pierce Brosnan hopped out of his limo on the way to the Oscar ceremony and dashed into a Starbucks to use the bathroom. He returned a few seconds later with wife Keely Brosnan and ordered a couple of drinks to go. "Thanks, this will keep us up," said Keely.

Paging Mr. Sandman: Jennifer Garner—who hit the local farmer's market with mom Pat at 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning—elicited her publicist's help on the red carpet to make sure she wiped away dirt from her eye. Later she and Alias costar Michael Vartan showed up at the Vanity Fair bash.

Phew! Five minutes before the ceremony, a frantic security guard couldn't locate Best Song nominee Sting. "He isn't in his seat," he said. "He still isn't here!" Meanwhile Clint Eastwood (security code name: Albino Red) slipped in the side orchestra entrance with three minutes to spare.

Thanks, Cuz: Sofia Coppola found her seat in the Kodak Theatre and kissed her dad before settling into her seat. Sitting nearby, her first cousin Nicolas Cage declared, "You look great—really, really beautiful!"

Dancing queen: Scarlett Johansson vowed that if Lost in Translation takes home any trophies, she and the film's cast "will probably dance the Macarena."

Daughter knows best: An expectant Marcia Gay Harden shared the advice she got from her 5-year-old daughter Eulala: "She said, 'Mom, you probably won't win, but you might,' " said the actress. "I said, 'Thank you, sweetheart—that's how Mama feels, too.' " Asked how her twins, due in two months, were responding to all the ruckus, she replied, "They're kicking!"

Girl talk: An hour into the ceremony, the line for one restroom is 11 women deep. Sofia Coppola made small talk to kill time: "I loved the Billy Crystal intro—that was so funny!" she said, and then complimented another woman's jade-and-diamond necklace.

Party central: Johnny Depp and girlfriend Vanessa Paradis held court on the Kodak Theatre's third-floor outdoor smoking patio, first gabbing with Tobey Maguire and his girlfriend, Jennifer Meyer, and later with Sean Penn.

Mom curfew: Clutching a glass of wine and making her way toward the theater exit at 7:45 p.m., Angelina Jolie said, "I'm going home to see my son. I want to squeeze him."

On second thought: A yawning Uma Thurman slinked out the front door of the Kodak Theatre at 8:40 p.m. "Aren't you going to the [Governors] Ball?" asked an acquaintance. "No, I think I'm going to go to bed," she replied—only to turn up at the Vanity Fair bash an hour later.

American idol: At the Governors Ball a guest escorted her teenage daughter to Johnny Depp's table; he graciously stopped eating his filet mignon and gave her a big hug. She looked as if she might faint.

Love that show:
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas headed for the underground limo entrance at 8:57 p.m.—but not before Zeta-Jones became engrossed in a commercial for ABC's Extreme Makeover.

Lost in Hollywood: Will Smith held the elevator for Holly Hunter, who asked him, "Is this really the way to the Governors Ball?" "It sure is," replied Smith, not realizing it wasn't—the elevator will only get them partway there.

Exit laughing: Bill Murray departed the ceremony to a round of applause yelling, "Yes on 56!" An onlooker wondered aloud, "What does that mean?" only to be told, "I don't know, but it was Bill Murray, so it was probably funny."

Penn pal: Nicole Kidman was among the last to leave the ceremony. The best part of her evening? "Being able to give the award to Sean [Penn], and then being able to show up to work with him on Tuesday," said Kidman, who's shooting the thriller The Interpreter with the Best Actor winner.

The lollipop guild: Dylan McDermott got his licks in at Diane Lane—her face is featured on suckers imprinted with Vanity Fair cover beauties. "Pretty good," he said.

Sorry, we're out: Peter Jackson and other Lord of the Rings cast and crew finally arrived at the New Line party at 1:15 a.m. But by then the crowded bash had run out of gift bags.

Oops! A partygoer departed the New Line fete at 2:20 a.m. while saying calmly into a cell phone, "Don't worry—I have it in my hand." He was carrying an Oscar that had been left behind at the party.

The morning after: Following a long night of revelry, Allison Janney must head back to work: "I have a 6 a.m. call for The West Wing." Guess the fun had to end sometime.

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