NPR’s Sam Sanders and Mandalit del Barco were backstage at the Oscars on Sunday, covering the awards show. They sat in the press room, where winners go for interviews during and after the show. Here’s a roundup of what they saw that you didn’t see, in senior superlative form.
Most Likely To Stand By Her Man Until The End Of All Natural Time: Jennifer Garner
Most of the people actually in the theater for the big show really don’t want to spend that much time in the press room. Yes, questions must be answered (and if you make it here, it means you’ve actually won!) but none of the VIPs were coming backstage just to sit for a while. Except for Garner.
In what might have been the night’s sweetest moment, she sneaked into a chair right next to the radio table in the press room after the show — right behind us — to watch husband Ben Affleck answer questions after Argo won Best Picture. As he spoke, she smiled up at him, and snapped pictures on her iPhone. She also mingled nicely with us lowly media folk.
Most Likely To Drink With You Under The Bleachers Just Before She Wins Homecoming Queen: Jennifer Lawrence
J-Law confessed to us backstage that she’d had a shot before coming up for questions. She also said getting ready for the Oscars was chaotic: “The process today was so stressful. I felt like Steve Martin in Father of the Bride, watching my house just be torn apart, and my whole family was getting ready. I mean, my friends stopped by. It was kind of fun, but it was mostly chaotic.”
She said that when she tripped going up the stairs to get her Oscar, the one thing she was thinking was “a bad word, that I can’t say, that starts with F.” And she was totally OK with Seth McFarlane’s boob song, in case you were wondering.
Least Likely To Graduate: David Arquette
David Arquette is apparently moonlighting as a journalist. In a truly Oscar-worthy performance, he showed up in the press room as the Sirius radio representative. He had media credentials, a place card and a chair and a computer.
And he asked questions like this one to Best Supporting Actor winner Christoph Waltz: “Are you excited about the possibility of a black pope?” To Paperman director John Kahrs, he said: “What are you most excited about in your Oscar gift basket? There were condoms in there. If you don’t use them, I could use them, bro?” As the night wore on, Arquette was effectively blacklisted. The keeper of the microphones refused to let him ask questions. The look in Arquette’s eyes as he pleaded with Affleck and George Clooney to throw him a bone was truly something to see. And then the poor guy just disappeared.
Most Likely To Use An Awful Accent In Theater Class But Still Be The Best Drama Kid: Quentin Tarantino
The Best Original Screenplay winner trotted out his much-maligned Australian accent yet again during his Q&A. In Django Unchained, Tarantino makes a cameo appearance as an Australian indentured servant. He re-enacted a deleted scene, one in which his character discloses that after having worked three years in America, he still hadn’t paid off the cost of his overseas voyage. Tarantino went into his best Django voice to give the punchline: “At least they didn’t charge us for the boat ride!” (Feel free to cringe.) And in response to a question about who exactly he makes his movies for, he replied: “I make movies for Planet Earth.”
Well, yes you do, Mr. Tarantino. Yes. You. Do.
Most Likely To Be Censored: Mychael Danna
The man who did the score for Life of Pi had this to say when asked how it feels to hold an Oscar: “Well, I’m still learning how to hold it properly. You gotta put your thumb on the little butt here. And then you know you have it the right way. … So, now I know you gotta feel the little butt cheeks. So, that’s really what I’ve learned tonight.”
Maybe Seth “I saw her boobs” MacFarlane taught him that one. [Copyright 2013 NPR]