The Governors Ball started right when the show ended, but non-stop interviews delayed Meryl Streep’s arrival until 10:15 p.m. She was greeted at the door by Wolfgang Puck, who posed for photos then escorted her to a table; scurrying beside them was a press person yelling to the guests, “Cell phones away, please!”
Apparently, the customs of 21st century technology are new to that guy. When James Earl Jones introduced “the iconic” Tony Bennett, who sang a few songs, there was a sudden crush of guests as they rushed to capture the perf on their cell phones.
The no-assigned-seating approach meant non-stop roaming and schmoozing for guests, who became hunters and gatherers as servers circulated with trays of baked potatoes, chicken pot pies, and more, that was tasty but sometimes hard to eat while standing.
Soon after arriving, Streep went to the Engraving Room, where a team screwed metal nameplates onto the base of winners’ trophies. She sat with Octavia Spencer, Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo while people swarmed around them and dozens of photographers snapped away, until Streep finally smiled and said, “OK, that’s it, fellas.”
At the same time, Jean Dujardin was unnoticed by many partygoers as he sat in the company of three young women, the Oscar between his feet as he contentedly ate sushi.
Next stop on the after-party circuit was Vanity Fair’s fete, hosted by Graydon Carter. It drew bumper-to-bumper traffic to Sunset Blvd., forcing some guests to hoof it around cars to make it into the Sunset Tower. Inside, Catherine O’Hara exploded with delight at meeting Katy Perry. In honor of the football star in attendance, Jonah Hill attempted his best Tim Tebow pose. And Billy Crystal found himself drawn into Kenneth Branagh’s circle of friends.
Though the traditional In-N-Out burgers made the rounds, Liam Hemsworth opted for a chili aioli slider as a farewell snack. He offered one to date Miley Cyrus, but she declined, noting, “I’ve already had one too many.”
Elsewhere in WeHo, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar-viewing party made its new home in a tent in West Hollywood Park. Foster the People performed, and a silent auction drew Steven Tyler, Gwen Stefani, Quincy Jones, Whoopi Goldberg and Heidi Klum, who bid on such items as a tennis lesson with Rafael Nadal (it sold for $190,000, twice), an in-home cooking class with chef Cat Cora (sold for $100,000 to Steve Tisch) and a set visit to “Vampire Diaries,” which included a “bite” with stars Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, plus lunch with John and David Furnish ($80,000).
(Tim Gray and Kirstin Wilder contributed to this report.)