BEVERLY HILLS, California — “It’s the most fun I’ve had in the last 20 years,” said Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody at Vanity Fair’s annual Oscar party on Sunday. “I had real conversations about politics, life and art.”
Real talk was inevitable for a change at this annual meeting of industry intellectuals. The primary cause was the train accident in which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage.
“I can’t talk about that moment,” said Amy Schumer, who hosted the Oscars with Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall, after chatting with Larry David just outside the tented dance floor. “This was such a big deal and I’m still processing and I have to be very careful,” she added, before turning to a group of friends for a lifeline. “Someone stop talking to me.”
It’s been nearly 40 years since former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown designed a party that would steal the thunder from Swifty Lazar’s Oscar wings. As Mrs. Brown observed in her published diaries, Mr. Lazar not only knew how to rope the stars. He also tamed a ‘menagerie’ that joined on its own terms or did not participate at all.
When a respected celebrity from Mr. Smith makes his mark in public, it’s more than just a source of editorials and viral memes. A threat to the piggy bank of show business. This year’s Vanity Fair party, at the time, had the air of a celeb campfire circle. Other Oscar parties, such as those given by Madonna and Guy Oseary, may be more intimate and private, but nothing surpasses the sheer volume of Vanity Fair.
And so, late at night in a series of tents, gardens, and open-air halls at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, the most famous people on the planet mingled, danced, drank and smoked (mostly weed), and what a huge leveler proved that celebrity can be. It’s a universally accepted fact in Hollywood that at a certain level of fame, everyone is your best friend.
To reach the sanctuary, invited guests had to pass through a series of security checkpoints (negative PCR test results were required) and a blue carpet lined with shouting photographers. Some luminous worms, including Billie Eilish, Pedro Almodóvar, and Jessica Chastain (wearing an emerald green Gucci dress reminiscent of Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”) were immediately directed to a private studio where Mark Seliger took official portraits.
Others were processed directly to the real side, where camera phones and other recording devices are strictly prohibited. Surprisingly, she broke phone-free rules to capture theatrical moments like Kathy Hilton dancing with Marjorie Gubelmann, aka DJ Mad Marj, or Bill Murray wearing a flashy beanie or dancing alone.
Had they stayed after midnight, they would have caught Will Smith still untouched by the controversy he stirred up, with his wife and children and shivering to “Jiggy Wit It.”
It also featured Serena Williams towering above the crowd in a silver mini dress, and Zendaya standing by a potted palm tree, and locked in conversation with Timothée Chalamet, both surrounded by a cloud of marijuana smoke inhaled by an acquaintance.
They could see Jason Bateman hugging a brother with Kevin Bacon; For a moment Jon Hamm was alone by the men’s room, like an overweight puppy; Kristen Stewart, walking around in a floor-length black lace dress; and Zoë Kravitz smokes chain Marlboros.
“Dog! Dog! Dog!” as Sarah Paulson passes by Kate Hudson and Chris Pine to caress a stranger’s fluffy white dog.
At Before Times, it was customary for the most celebrities to work responsibly on the red carpet and take a lap of satisfaction or two before slipping into another party that was probably better.
Midnight was the traditional witch’s hour. The mood this time was more festive, and for obvious reasons. Two years of separation took its toll on the famous herd.
“People are really happy to see each other again,” said fashion designer Georgina Chapman, as it’s easy for partygoers to forget such a thing as social distancing when heading to one of their tequila bars. there was.
“Of course,” Ms. Chapman added, “we’re all going to be infected with Covid next week.”