03/11/2003 at 01:00 AM EST
Daniel Day-Lewis isn't sure if the show should go on, but he's willing to give it a try.
"If we do choose to celebrate this thing, we've got to think about how we can do that in a way that is respective of what's going on," Day-Lewis, 45, said at Monday's luncheon for Oscar nominees, speaking about the prospect of pre-empting March 23's Academy Awards should America go to war against Iraq.
"It would seem kind of obscene if we were there trouncing up the red carpet grinning and waving and people were dying somewhere in the world," said the "Gangs of New York" Best Actor nominee.
And although the Beverly Hills luncheon provided a wonderful opportunity for star-gazing and gossip collecting -- nominee Nicole Kidman reportedly said that she'd be attending the Oscars with her parents -- the No. 1 topic of conversation seemed to be: What will we do if we are at war?
The Oscar show's producer, Gil Cates, 68, told nominees that the show will go on if there is a war with Iraq -- even if it would require interrupting the ceremony with periodic updates or running a news crawl at the bottom of the screen.
"If they run things under the screen indicating what's going on in the world, that's fine," said Cates, as quoted by the Associated Press. "If something happens and they have to go away, they'll go away and come back."
Yet the producer, who's overseen 10 Oscar shows, said he would be angry with celebrity presenters who alter their script to include political remarks. Winners, however, are free to express themselves however they choose, he said.
For the record, the Oscars were postponed 24 hours in 1981 when President Ronald Reagan was shot earlier on the day that the ceremony was due to take place. A two-day delay occurred after the 1968 assassination of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
There also was a delay for a full week in 1938 due to flooding in Los Angeles. The Oscars continued as scheduled throughout World War II, though the ceremonies themselves were dressed-down.