The British invaded in full force on Friday night to celebrate the slew of Oscar nominations earned by U.K. talent at a starry bash held at West Hollywood eatery Fig and Olive. Hosted by Academy Award winner (and repeat Best Actor nominee) Eddie Redmayne and British Consul General Chris O’Connor, the “Film is GREAT” soiree saw the likes of Patrick Stewart, Idris Elba and Joanne Froggatt mingling with Naomi Campbell, Cat Deeley and Tom Hooper.
Oscar nominees including Roger Deakins, Alicia Vikander and Finola Dwyer were also in attendance for the shindig, nibbling on a menu of light bites including prawn toast, courgette flower curd, and jam and cream-stuffed victoria sponge cake, designed by chef Gordon Ramsay. British singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum provided the musical entertainment, performing a jazzy set at a piano.
“The Late Late Show” host James Corden emceed the event, noting that the British film industry is “a film community that — unlike some — offers huge diversity; but the gender gap, the wage gap is still there.” Introducing Redmayne, Corden quipped, “The wage gap is so present that Eddie Redmayne had to take a pay cut halfway through ‘The Danish Girl.'”
Redmayne — who revealed that he and Corden have known each other since they were 10 years old, when they attended a weekend drama club together — highlighted the many accomplishments of British artists both in front of and behind the camera over the past year. “Out of the 24 categories of nominations at the Oscars, there are Brits in 21 of them,” he observed. “I think that’s really something worth celebrating, because it shows the depth and the breadth of skills and talent in our country.”
O’Connor emphasized the importance of the relationship between the U.K. and the U.S., which has resulted in countless successful films over the years. “We’re celebrating Britishness in Hollywood, but even more important than that, we’re celebrating the partnership between Britain and Hollywood, and the 36 nominations that we’re celebrating over this weekend. Sometimes they’re for Brits who’ve gone it alone, but more often than not, they’re for partnerships between teams of Brits and teams of Americans,” he pointed out, highlighting Best Picture nominee “The Martian,” directed by British helmer Ridley Scott with a mix of British and American stars, and J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which was predominantly filmed in the U.K. with many British cast and crew members.
“Film is an extraordinary thing because it’s where art and science collide,” Redmayne said, paying homage to the many talents that contribute to making a movie. “There’s something for everyone.”