86th Academy Awards: Special moments on Oscar night in L.A.
LOS ANGELES -- Show Bits brings you the 86th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists.
After a hard night's work at the Oscars, stars are ready to party. In a parking lot converted temporarily by Vanity Fair magazine into a swank and invitation-only West Hollywood club, celebrities mostly skipped the In N Out burgers and booze to schmooze.
Ellen DeGeneres, looking as relaxed as she did hosting, chatted intently with Sacha Baron Cohen. Her wife, Portia Di Rossi, was by her side, talking to Ryan Seacrest. Spike Lee and Edward Norton attempted to catch up, shouting at each other over music that included the appropriate "Celebration."
In one corner, three veteran stars created a memorable photo op that had several partygoers pulling out their cameras. Nominee Bruce Dern ("Nebraska") was joined by Mickey Rooney on one side and 1995 Oscar winner Martin Landau ("Ed Wood") on the other.
In the crowd of some 1,000 partygoers, one nominee who didn't claim a trophy still looked like a winner: "American Hustle" star Jennifer Lawrence, who lost in the supporting actress category to Lupita Nyong'o of "Twelve Years a Slave."
Lawrence had changed from the elegant red Dior dress she wore for the ceremony into a sexy sheath that sparkled with what appeared to be tiny mirrors. She couldn't be overlooked, trophy or not.
Winning acting honors at other major awards shows
didn't make the Oscars ceremony any easier for Cate Blanchett.
The night figured to be a coronation for the actress, who'd won best actress honors at the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe Awards and other shows for her role in "Blue Jasmine." Instead, the prospect of waiting until nearly the end of Sunday's ceremony proved stressful for the two-time Oscar winner.
"It was an intense, unbearable pressure which I'm so glad is over," Blanchett said after her win. "It has been every year."
Blanchett has been nominated for acting Oscars five times. She won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2005 for "The Aviator."
The night was going so well for "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron that he didn't bother making a speech during his first trip to the Oscars stage on Sunday.
He let his co-winner for best film editing take the limelight, thanking his family backstage only after he was prompted to do so by a reporter.
Fortunately for family relations, he got a second chance when he won the best director Oscar. By that point, the film had also won for cinematography, score, sound editing and mixing, and visual effects.
Seconds after their film "12 Years a Slave" captured the award for best picture, producer Brad Pitt and director Steve McQueen were toasting the victory from a silver flask by the side of the Oscar stage.
Then Pitt shocked the director by grabbing his face and kissing him on the lips.
"I think I just made every man and some women jealous," the flustered director said.
"Just so you know," Pitt told him, "you were my first."
What interrupted Jennifer Lawrence's presentation of the best actor trophy?
That would be Ellen DeGeneres and the cast of "Dallas Buyers Club."
As the "American Hustle" actress waltzed on stage, DeGeneres cautiously exited, making sure last year's best actress winner didn't take another tumble before DeGeneres, who had earlier teased Lawrence about falling, got off stage.
While most of the crowd didn't catch the joke, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey and their cohorts laughed loudly, causing Lawrence to go off script.
That was a real pizza delivery guy, not an actor, who helped Ellen DeGeneres pass out those pies to the Oscar audience.
The show host met him in a backstage hallway to check out "Is it hot?" she asked him. He assured her it was.
"What kind we got here?" she asked. Cheese and veggie with no cheese, he told her.
"OK. Let's go!" She said, leading the delivery guy onto the Oscar stage.
Lupita Nyong'o's best supporting actress win wasn't just a major moment for the newcomer -- it touched everyone in the Dolby Theatre -- both in the audience and backstage.
Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, who'd presented the previous award, stayed backstage to watch the category on a monitor. When Nyong'o's name was called, the stars cheered, as did the other backstage workers.
When a teary-eyed Nyong'o walked off stage and into the theater hallway, Ellen DeGeneres was waiting to greet her.
"Yay, yay, yay!" DeGeneres said. "You won an Oscar! And it was such a beautiful speech. Such composure!"
One of Oscar night's best-received musical performances was wholly unexpected.
Darlene Love belted out that "I sing because I'm happy" when appearing onstage with the winners of the best documentary feature, "20 Feet From Stardom."
Love, best known for her work with producer Phil Spector in the 1960s, was one of the featured artists in the film about some of the music industry's best backup singers.
Best supporting actor winner Jared Leto was a hit backstage with reporters, especially after he shared his moment -- and his award -- with everyone.
"The first person to give their Oscar away for an orgy in the pressroom," a smiling Leto said as he passed the trophy around to everyone who wanted to have a moment with it.
By the halfway point of Pharrell Williams' colorful performance of his Oscar-nominated song "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2," all the celebs were on their feet dancing and clapping.
All except for one lone holdout: Leonardo DiCaprio.
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