The guest list at Graydon Carter’s famous Vanity Fair Oscar party was as long on A-list celebrities as the telecast itself was short on laughs.
The winners in every major category, including Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Christoph Waltz and Ang Lee, stopped by West Hollywood’s ritzy Sunset Tower on Sunday night, most toting their gold statuettes and posing for a blinding wave of flash photos before entering the party.
Lead actress winner Jennifer Lawrence arrived visibly uncomfortable. She had changed out of the long dress that she took a spill in during the show. Now she was in a tight shimmery silver dress, but she was still having trouble moving.
“I need to change, I can’t walk,” she whispered to a handler, looking slightly traumatized.
PHOTOS: Vanity Fair Oscar party
“We have an escape plan in case we need to get out early,” the handler said. Moments later Lawrence looked to be using that option as she headed toward the door — a woman behind her trying to hold up the hem of her dress.
The award for most unusual pairing went to Fox News talking head Bill O’Reilly and talk show host Conan O’Brien, who could be seen in discussion for quite some time amid the hectic passing of In 'N Out burgers and tiny cupcakes.
“You’re a talented comedian — you do more good making people laugh than I do" angering them, O’Reilly said to O’Brien. “I have to have security with me wherever I go. They’re protecting people from me.”
Similar vignettes, both expected and not, played out across three packed rooms filled with music, open bars and cigarette smoke while the lights of the city glimmered below.
John Legend hugged Jennifer Hudson, telling her how amazing her performance was; Reese Witherspoon, looking exhausted and a bit dejected, was escorted out early; and Hillary Swank wore a bright red dress so long and puffy that she had trouble fitting into a bathroom stall. “It’s ridiculous, right?” she joked to the women waiting in line with her.
FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2013 | Winners
Dresses were getting stepped on everywhere inside the party, including the now-dirty purple train on Melissa McCarthy’s selection.
Nibbling on a burger and drinking a Stella Artois, McCarthy gamely pulled the fabric from underneath foot after foot.
“I don’t even care anymore,” she said as Andy Samberg walked by grinning in a pair of big glasses and Marisa Tomei got grilled at the bar about her thoughts on the show over a glass of Champagne.
Meanwhile, Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl chatted outside the restrooms with a friend about the best schools to send kids to in L.A. while Natalie Portman stood nearby laughing at a joke, and Robert DeNiro, looking like he just got out of bed in a rumpled suit with tousled hair, had a serious conversation beside Clive Davis.
Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman sat in a dark corner in another room across from Elton John, who posed for pictures in cheery red glasses.
Oscars 2013: Backstage | Quotes | Best & Worst moments
Jamie Foxx arrived with an entourage around midnight and swung into the back room where they breezed past a dapper Jason Schwartzman and an energetic Laura Dern.
“He’s intense! Intense!” said a lithe member of the entourage about Foxx’s mood that night.
Hugh Jackman arrived shortly before his “Les Miserables” costar Anne Hathaway, and did his fair share of hugging and posing for pictures.
But the night’s best unscripted moment occurred when a very serious Tommy Lee Jones pushed past a server offering him mini-cupcakes, several of which had the words “Tommy Lee Jones” written on them in red frosting.
Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs and on Facebook facebook.com/ministryofgossip.
PHOTOS AND MORE:
PHOTOS: Celebrity portraits by The Times
PHOTOS: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
The Envelope: Celebs on the red carpet