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Backstage at the 2021 Academy Awards: Stars let their hair down offstage

Backstage at the 2021 Academy Awards: Stars let their hair down offstage

While audiences watched a host of stars collect their  coveted prizes and put on memorable performances at the 93rd Academy Awards, there was also plenty of action going on away from the glare of TV cameras.

Backstage at the show, which this year was held at Downtown Los Angeles‘ Union Station amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a host of celebrities were seen letting their hair down in candid fashion as they stepped offstage.

Reese Witherspoon was seen beaming broadly as she posed for a series of selfies before a large cabinet of shiny golden Oscar statuettes, after presenting one of the awards on the night.

Snap decision: Reese Witherspoon posed for a series of candid selfies backstage at the Academy Awards, held at Downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station on Sunday evening

While she wasn’t up for an award on the night (she’s had a Best Actress Oscar since 2005, darling!), the star got into the spirit of things as she celebrated the winners and nominees. 

Meanwhile, The Crown star Emerald Fennell appeared to be recovering from the shock of her Best Original Screenplay win for Promising Young Woman as she stood backstage clutching her statuette.

Looking resplendent in a patterned green gown, the 35-year-old actress smiled as she stared off into the distance with her Oscar in hand, moments after delighting the audience with her off-the-cuff speech.

Fellow British screen star Daniel Kaluuya – fresh from leaving his mother in visible shock as he praised his parents for having ‘had sex’ – showed off the Oscar envelope which showed him as a winner.

Winners: Daniel Kaluuya was seen showing off his prize-winning envelope

Statuette: Meanwhile, Emerald Fennell clutched her statuette

Winners: (L-R) Daniel Kaluuya was seen showing off his prize-winning envelope, while Emerald Fennell clutched her statuette

Snapshot: Fresh of his win, British actor Daniel was seen posing up a storm with (L-R) Yuh-Jung Youn and Frances McDormand

Snapshot: Fresh of his win, British actor Daniel was seen posing up a storm with (L-R) Yuh-Jung Youn and Frances McDormand

Celebratory: The trio of Oscar winners were clearly in a celebratory mood as they chatted and Frances and Daniel hugged

Celebratory: The trio of Oscar winners were clearly in a celebratory mood as they chatted and Frances and Daniel hugged

Dressed to impress: Frances was resplendent in a black gown while Yuh-Jung wowed in a flattering midnight blue number

Dressed to impress: Frances was resplendent in a black gown while Yuh-Jung wowed in a flattering midnight blue number

The 32-year-old actor, who scooped the Best Actor in a Supporting Role prize for his widely lauded efforts in Judas and the Black Messiah, donned a black double-breasted suit as he held the envelope aloft.

Elsewhere, Angela Bassett was seen laughing raucously during a catch-up with friends, while Yuh-Jung Youn embraced Steven Yeun backstage after winning the Oscar for Actress in a Supporting Role for Minari.

All of the activity backstage stood in stark contrast to the broadcast, which showed the celebrities in attendance (mostly) on their best behaviour as they vied for top prizes on a notably unusual night. 

Nomadland triumphed as the drama earned Best Picture in addition to a historic win for Frances McDormand as Best Actress at perhaps the most bizarre Oscars ever, which was virtually mask free amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chat: (L-R) Vanessa Kirby and Amanda Seyfried were seen deep in conversation as they crossed paths during the ceremony

Chat: (L-R) Vanessa Kirby and Amanda Seyfried were seen deep in conversation as they crossed paths during the ceremony

Legendary: Daniel was congratulated by legendary screen star Rita Moreno, who holds the distinction of holding EGOT status, having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award

Legendary: Daniel was congratulated by legendary screen star Rita Moreno, who holds the distinction of holding EGOT status, having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award

Big moment: After posing with his Oscar for photographers, Daniel watched keenly as his coveted statuette was engraved

Process: He appeared to be fascinated with the process:

Big moment: After posing with his Oscar for photographers, Daniel  watched keenly as his coveted statuette was engraved

Esteemed: The words of encouragement came rolling in, with esteemed actress Angela Bassett also greeting the Londoner

Esteemed: The words of encouragement came rolling in, with esteemed actress Angela Bassett also greeting the Londoner

Social butterfly: Doing the social rounds as she attended the prestigious event, Angela also chatted with actress Viola Davis

Social butterfly: Doing the social rounds as she attended the prestigious event, Angela also chatted with actress Viola Davis

McDormand, 63, howled as the Chloe Zhao directed film won Best Picture and before she won the top honour for an actress for the third time, at the event held at the iconic Union Station.

The cry – which mimicked a wolf – was meaningful as it was a tribute to Michael Wolf Snyder who was the sound mixer for Nomadland and tragically died by suicide at the age or 35 last month. 

Earlier in the night, Emerald Fennell took home the first Oscar of the night in the Best Original Screenplay category.

The 35-year-old actress, writer, and director was honoured for her work in Promising Young Woman as she was also nominated for Best Director.

Fennell faced stiff competition including: Judas and the Black Messiah’s Shaka King and Will Berson, Minari’s Lee Isaac Chung, Sound of Metal’s Darius Marder and Abraham Marder, and The Trial of the Chicago 7’s Aaron Sorkin. 

Backstage: Hollywood actress was seen watching some of the telecast backstage before stepping out before the audience

Backstage: Hollywood actress was seen watching some of the telecast backstage before stepping out before the audience

She began her acceptance speech by saying: ‘Oh, my gosh. Oh, they said write a speech.

‘And I didn’t, because I just didn’t think this would ever happen. I’m going to be in trouble with Steven Soderbergh. I’m so sorry. I don’t want him to be cross with me. Oh, my god, he’s so heavy and so cold.’  

The event marks the first time Tinseltown’s finest have assembled in over a year, for a three-hour show that co-producer Steven Soderbergh has described as being ‘like a movie.’ 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted the delayed ceremony at the historic Union Station in Los Angeles, California where socially distanced movie stars went mask-free while on-camera or seated in the main show room. 

Built in 1939, the national historic landmark and its main terminal is 161,000 square feet, creating plenty of room for theatrics on Hollywood’s biggest night.

During normal times, when COVID restrictions haven’t crimped travel, more than 100,000 people a day walk through its halls.

Comparatively the Dolby Theatre, where the glitzy event is usually held, can only seat around 3,300 people which would have created difficulties in putting on an award show amid the pandemic.

But in the spacious station, believed to be large enough to accommodate social distancing requirements with its soaring main hall featuring windows that are 40-feet high, stars have more room to mingle and manoeuvre

Sticking to a ‘No Zoom’ policy unlike other shows that have taken place this awards season, Academy organisers also hosted a ‘British hub’ for UK actors who are unable to make it in person. 

An official spokesperson had previously called this year’s event ‘an Oscars like none other, while prioritising the public health and safety of all those who will participate.’

93RD ACADEMY AWARDS WINNERS

Best Picture

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland – WINNER

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Golden: Frances McDormand, Chloe Zhao, Mollye Asher and Dan Janvey (seen left to right) as Nomadland won Best Picture

Golden: Frances McDormand, Chloe Zhao, Mollye Asher and Dan Janvey (seen left to right) as Nomadland won Best Picture

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day – The United States vs Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand – Nomadland – WINNER

Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman – The Father

Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Youn Yuh-jung – Minari – WINNER

Sweet: Youn Yuh-jung won Best Supporting Actress for Minari

Sweet: Youn Yuh-jung won Best Supporting Actress for Minari

Best Music (Original Score)

Da 5 Bloods

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Soul – WINNER

 

Best Animated Short Film

Burrow

Genius Loci

If Anything Happens I Love You – WINNER

Opera

Yes-People

 

Best Live Action Short Film

Feeling Through

The Letter Room

The Present

Two Distant Strangers – WINNER

White Eye

 

Best International Feature Film

Another Round – WINNER

Better Days

Collective

The Man Who Sold His Skin

Quo Vadis, Aida?

Talented: Thomas Vinterberg accepted Best International Film for Another Round

Talented: Thomas Vinterberg accepted Best International Film for Another Round

Best Sound

Greyhound

Mank

News of the World

Soul

Sound of Metal  – WINNER

 

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank – WINNER

News of the World

Nomadland

The Trial of the Chicago 7  

 

Best Music (Original Song)

H.E.R. – Fight for You – Judas and the Black Messiah – WINNER

Hear My Voice – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Husavik – Eurovision Song Contest

Io Si (Seen) – The Life Ahead

Speak Now – One Night in Miami…

H.E.R.  won Best Original Song for Judas and the Black Messiah's  Fight for You

 H.E.R.  won Best Original Song for Judas and the Black Messiah’s  Fight for You

 Best Director  

Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round

David Fincher – Mank

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland – WINNER

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

Trailblazer: Chloe Zhao is the first woman of color to win Best Director

Trailblazer: Chloe Zhao is the first woman of color to win Best Director 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal 

Anthony Hopkins – The Father – WINNER

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

Gary Oldman – Mank

Steven Yeun – Minari 

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah – WINNER

Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami…

Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

 

Best Animated Feature Film

See Also

Onward

Over the Moon

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Soul – WINNER

Wolfwalkers

Dynamic: Dana Murray (L) and Pete Docter won Best Animated Feature for Soul

Dynamic: Dana Murray (L) and Pete Docter won Best Animated Feature for Soul

Best Costume Design

Emma

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – WINNER

Mank

Mulan

Pinnochio

 

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Father – WINNER

Nomadland

One Night in Miami…

The White Tiger

 

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman – WINNER

Shaka King and Will Berson – Judas and the Black Messiah

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Darius Marder and Abraham Marder – Sound of Metal

 Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Blooming lovely: Emerald Fennell won Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman

Blooming lovely: Emerald Fennell won Best Original Screenplay for Promising Young Woman

Best Documentary Feature

Collective

Crip Camp

The Mole Agent

My Octopus Teacher – WINNER

Time

 

Best Documentary Short Subject

Colette – WINNER

A Concerto Is a Conversation

Do Not Split

Hunger Ward

A Love Song for Latasha

 

Best Film Editing

The Father

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal – WINNER

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Production Design

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank – WINNER

News of the World

Tenet

 

Best Visual Effects

Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Tenet – WINNER

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Emma

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – WINNER

Mank

Pinocchio

 

 


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