What a night!
Everyone knows that the place to be on Oscar night is the Vanity Fair party. I attended once before when I worked at the White House as liaison. It was fun then but certainly better this time. So many stars, so many gowns, so many pictures. It was especially nice being able to accompany my husband, Paul, who is so beloved in Hollywood. Big stars came over throughout the night treating Paul like a king or legend.
Attending the party is an interesting process. You don’t just show up and walk in. First, we received an invitation in the mail with a car pass. The invitation was in a small plastic case that looked like a key or contraption that you’d use to get into Langley or Fort Knox (I would add the White House to that list but everyone knows these days you pretty much can walk right in).
Once we arrived, there were four checkpoints where we were required to roll down all the car windows. It was raining so they had umbrella people to come over and keep us dry as we left the car and went through the magnetometer. Winding down a hall, we were greeted by a giant Oscar made of leaves. It was very cool. Then there was the obligatory red carpet which wasn’t actually that color.
Paul sang a few songs to the press. Some asked me about my camouflage dress, and I was proud to tell them that I was wearing it in support of American Sniper. I’m glad I was able to explain myself because some members of the press may have just guessed that as a Republican I was trying to sneak in unnoticed. Actually, getting the dress was quite a production, but I’m glad I did it.
Prior to the party, I had a designer offer me a gown of my choice and several people tried to get me to wear a long gown like most of the other women there. While all their dresses were amazing, I’m honestly glad I didn’t follow that advice. A long fancy gown is not something I want to deal with all evening, especially a dress with a train. Having material hanging around my ankles is annoying and definitely not my thing.
So I went on a search a few days ago to find the perfect short dress that also made a statement. In my case, it was a bit of a political statement, but for me that’s perfect. Fortunately, I found a Michael Kors camo dress that was absolutely ideal. Not only did it scream my support for American Sniper, but it was from an American designer.
Making our way down the red carpet took about twenty minutes. Waiters greeted us at the end with champagne galore which was very nice.
The first person to greet us was Robert Duvall who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and should have won. He was kind enough to take ten minutes to discuss politics. I hope I don’t put a dent in his career by mentioning that he and I are on the same page. He is certainly a class act and a great American.
Next we saw Bill Maher. I’m sure I could boost his career by noting that we are definitely not on the same page, so I’m not going to do that. Naturally, I felt compelled to tell him that I’d be great on his show. I could tell he wasn’t impressed with my cocky attitude. The whole time he was looking at me clearly thinking, “Who is this woman?”
We also met Michael Strahan who is a really sweet guy as well as Jay Z and Beyonce. They are truly the epitome of stardom. Paul was very impressed that Jay Z was such a gentleman and stood up to shake my hand.
Paul chatted with Reese Witherspoon who was lovely. I pointed out Robert Pattinson who is a huge star and was supposed to be in a film with Paul and Robert de Niro in Canada. It didn’t happen because of production problems. I told Paul that Robert is like Elvis to teens and the twenty something crowd. Hey, I’m with them. I love all the Twilight movies and am definitely on Team Edward. Paul clearly had no idea what I was talking about.
Fortunately, I was rescued from that moment by John Travolta who came by and had a few words with Paul. They had a poignant exchange as Paul shared his condolences about John losing his son a few years ago.
We also met Seth McFarlane (who I still think was a great Oscar host) and Tim Allen who was very funny telling Paul that he should kick him in the balls to make a few headlines. He was joking, of course, because who would really be stupid enough to do that to Big Paulie?
In that crowd, being a conservative it would be very easy to feel alone. Thankfully, Kelsey Grammer was there, and he praised me for griping about the illegal alien message at the end of the show.
By the way, wasn’t that pathetic? I knew when Sean Penn walked on stage that American Sniper couldn’t possibly win. Face it. If he’d seen American Sniper on that card, security would have probably had to pry the statuette out of his hand before he’d dare give it to Clint Eastwood.
Penn still managed to make a fool of himself by making that inside “green card” joke. Really? The way they were all talking at the end of the show you’d think that it should be perfectly alright to work on a film as an illegal alien, but heaven forbid you try to work without a union card. Never in a million years would that happen.
Oprah is exactly like she is on camera—very nice. I’m not sure what was up with Heidi Klum, and Jennifer Lopez came across as earthy and friendly.
My favorite person to meet last night was Jimmy Kimmel. He is so smart and engaging. He and Paul absolutely hit it off with the Italian Brooklyn thing. As a fellow Hoosier, I’ve always loved Letterman, but these days Kimmel is our favorite late night guy.
Overall, I can report that the Hollywood types were very nice. Despite what they did on the Oscar telecast, there wasn’t a lot of political talk at the party. Instead, they were all talking about the show or a dress or what everyone was working on. I did manage to get a little political conversation going here and there, but otherwise I made my statement with my dress.
So hooray for Hollywood in every area except politics. That’s where the red states have Hollywood beat hands down and where American Sniper is the big winner. Not only is it clearly loved across the country, but it’s one of the few films that actually made a lot of money this year, so I’m sure Hollywood loves it at some level whether they would admit it or not.
In my book, Chris Kyle and all the men and women in uniform as well as the film that honors them, American Sniper, are still the biggest winners of Oscar night. Let’s certainly remember and celebrate them.