At the 88th Academy Awards, two subjects dominated the conversation: the industry’s diversity problem, which prompted many jokes from host Chris Rock, and the long wait for Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar, which he finally won on Sunday night.
Of course, the party is hardly over once the ceremony ends. The after-parties raged on, from the Academy’s Governor’s Ball to the famous Vanity Fair party. Variety’s staff was on hand at both the viewing parties during the show and the shindigs after to record all the action.
4:15 p.m. Heidi Klum arrives in a 2017 Audi Q7 at Elton John’s 24th annual Oscar viewing party.
5:15 p.m. Anthony Anderson arrives at Mercedes-Benz and African American Film Critics Association viewing party and discusses his perspective on the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees and what changes need to be made: “It’s all about the opportunity. It’s not about (the Oscars), it’s about the opportunity — and the lack of opportunity for minorities in this industry across the board in film and television.”
5:35 p.m. Wesley Snipes makes his way onto the red carpet at the Mercedes-Benz party and offers his take on diversity at the Oscars: “I’m less interested in recognition and I’m more interested in re-condition. If there’s quality out there, then they’ll come to us.”
5:41 p.m. Caitlyn Jenner, in a bright red dress, endures an endless parade of photos with party guests at Elton John’s bash. She rises to her feet often and socializes with the tables beside her.
5:45 p.m. Jamie Foxx strikes a pose on the red carpet with AAFCA president Gil Robertson at the Mercedes-Benz party and then dashes over to a nearby TV monitor when he hears Chris Rock mention him during his opening monologue. “I was worried that when the whole thing went down — the controversy — I was like, ‘Don’t blame Chris Rock, still support Rock’ because he didn’t deserve all of that,” Foxx said of the initial backlash toward Rock’s hosting gig.
5:54 p.m. Elton John and David Furnish take the stage at John’s Oscar viewing party during the first commercial break to urge guests to text donations. “We’ve titled this party ‘Wonderful Crazy Night’ after my album that just came out and desperately needs exposure,” John says. They hope to best the $5.8 million raised in 2015.
6:14 p.m. Matthew Morrison takes the stage at Elton John’s party, noting that he’s doing well in the Oscar pool (the winners of which will score Bulgari his and her watches). Morrison chants: “This is the best damn Oscars party in town!” He also notes that anyone who pledges $5,000 or more to the Elton John AIDS Foundation will win a portrait of Meryl Streep.
6:50 p.m. Tracee Ellis Ross arrives at the Mercedes-Benz party clad in a gold gown and catches up with Jamie Foxx near the bar.
7:01 p.m. Hilary Swank, in a sequined silver attention-getting Michael Kors dress, snaps a self of herself with a group of male admirers at Elton John’s party. Lana Del Rey stands and chats nearby.
7:32 p.m. Guests at the Mercedez-Benz party chant “Stallone” as the supporting actor nominees are introduced, and then express their audible surprise over Mark Rylance’s win.
7:58 p.m. Mariah Carey causes a ruckus when she exits the dining room and tries to leave Elton John’s party. She snaps a final photo with Brittny Gastineau, before noting that she has to get home to her kids.
7:59 p.m. David Bowie gets the biggest round of applause at Elton John’s party during the in memoriam segment.
8:17 p.m. Elton John sits mesmerized and undisturbed at his party during Lady Gaga’s performance.
8:22 p.m. The Weinstein Company viewing party erupts when Ennio Morricone wins the Oscar for original score. Harvey Weinstein and Quentin Tarantino don’t need to be exiled in Italy.
8:55 p.m. Elton John’s party erupts in applause as Leonardo DiCaprio wins best actor. Hilary Swank claps furiously. They clap again for Leo’s climate change sentiment.
8:56 p.m. After Leonardo DiCaprio wins best actor, the Weinstein Company crowd silently hangs on every word, loudly cheering when he begins to talk about the realities of global warming.
9:17 p.m. At Elton John’s party, Steven Tyler auctions off five days at his Hawaiian retreat.. “I think that what they have done is just over the top,” begins Tyler, who, for the past three years, has donated a stay in his house. “All you will want to do is make love and f–k … Like a Bonobo monkey!” encourages Tyler. The package goes for $80,000.
9:20 p.m. Adam McKay and his wife Shira enter the Governors’ Ball. McKay says he’s happy with the evening, and the fact that awards were spread among many films. “And Chris Rock’s monologue was perfect. He had to thread the needle, to recognize the work that evening and also to address diversity. He really pulled it off.”
9:39 p.m. Lady Gaga’s mismatched shoes from her Super Bowl performance fetch $55,000 at an auction at Elton John’s party.
9:45 p.m. Wesley Snipes tears it up on the dance floor at the Mercedes-Benz party while the DJ spins tunes including Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.”
10:05 p.m. At Governors’ Ball, Laszlo Nemes (“Son of Saul”) is asked how he feels. “I don’t know. Dizzy.”
10:07 p.m. Sound editors Mark Mangini and David White get their Oscars engraved at the Governors’ Ball. Mangini says, “Hollywood is always accused of ageism. George Miller is 70 and he’s proof that experience matters. And his team, like John Seale — seasoned veterans who did such amazing work.”
10:15 p.m. Leonardo DiCaprio gets his Oscar engraved at the Governors’ Ball. “Do you do this every year?” he asks the engraver with a deadpan. “I wouldn’t know.”
10:20 p.m. Cheryl Boone Isaacs tells Variety at the Governors’ Ball, “The evening was terrific, with high energy. Chris rocked. And Reggie (Hudlin) and David (Hill) produced the show that I knew they could do. Great work.”
10:26 p.m. Harvey Weinstein departs his company’s party. “That’s it. Party’s over.”
10:30 p.m. Naomi Campbell arrives at the Fox after-party.
10:32 p.m. Leonardo DiCaprio exits the Governors’ Ball, followed by 30 people — a few bodyguards and photographers, and a stream of onlookers.
10:53 p.m. Oscarcast producers David Hill and Reggie Hudlin continue to accept a long stream of congratulations for the show. “You’re responsible for this whole evening!” Hill tells Variety: a Variety column last March advised the Academy to hire Hill, since Oscar needed a producer with live-TV experience.
11:00 p.m. “The Lord of the Rings” and “Planet of the Apes” star Andy Serkis mingles with guests at the Fox party and takes selfies with anyone who asks.
11:02 p.m. “Spotlight” writer-director Tom McCarthy says into his cell phone, “No, we only won two awards, two. But one of them was the big one!”
11:12 p.m. A very pregnant Anne Hathaway is in deep conversation with “Les Misérables” costar Eddie Redmayne at the Vanity Fair after-party.
11:14 p.m. Producer Steve Golin arrives, Oscar in hand, at the Open Road, Participant Media and First Look Media party and the entire Palihouse in West Hollywood breaks out in cheers.
11:23 p.m. Actors Brian d’Arcy James and Jamey Sheridan greet each other at the Open Road/Participant Media/First Look Media fest with a big hug.
11:25 p.m. Jake Gyllenhaal and Larry David have their arms crossed as they chat away at the Vanity Fair fest.
11:28 p.m. Over at Vanity Fair, Bryan Cranston is talking to Tom Hooper.
11:30 p.m. 20th Century Fox co-chair Stacey Snider makes her rounds at the studio’s party while guests line up for the photo booth in the back room.
11:31 p.m. The Open Road/Participant Media/First Look Media crowd greets producer Michael Sugar with huge cheers. “I’m so happy and excited. I’ve never felt better,” Sugar says.
11:38 p.m. “Spotlight” writer-director Tom McCarthy arrives and tries to shout thank you, but it’s drowned out by cheers. He’s followed shortly by producers Blye Faust and Nicole Rocklin, who admits, “This thing is heavy!”
11:40 p.m. Chris Rock walks over to DiCaprio, gives him a hug and congratulates him on winning the Oscar. The statue is at a nearby table at the Vanity Fair party, where guests are sneaking a touch.
11:50 p.m. Charlie Sheen is having a ball posing for photos with fans and reporters at Elton John’s party, flashing a proud smile and flaunting a T-shirt which reads, “Stay Positive, No Negativity.”
11:51 p.m. The Open Road/Participant Media/First Look Media bash is still lively with winners toting in Oscars and being greeted with cheers and flashbulbs as they enter. Tom Ortenberg says he thinks “Spotlight” pulled it out because it was the relatable film.
11:56 p.m. Jennifer Garner is having a mini “Alias” reunion with Victor Garber and J.J. Abrams at Vanity Fair.
12 a.m. McCarthy is being photographed by everyone at Palihouse. He says two of the highlights of the awards seasons were meeting Joe Biden at the ceremony and Steven Spielberg at the Governors Ball.
12:01 a.m. With “Revenant” the big winner for the studio, Forrest Goodluck, who plays Leonardo DiCaprio’s son in the film, was quite popular with several guests approaching him throughout the night as he awaited his cast and crew.
12:05 a.m. James Corden kisses Paul Dano‘s hand at the Vanity Fair bash.
12:33 a.m. Garner turns heads at the big Vanity Fair party when she stands next to her ex-husband Ben Affleck.
12:33 a.m. Sheryl Sandberg is wandering alone, saying that she’s looking for her group at Vanity Fair.
1 a.m. Lady Gaga poses for a photograph with “Tangerine” star Mya Taylor at the Vanity Fair party.
|PHOTOS: Inside the Glamorous Oscar After-Parties|
Kirstin Wilder, Jasmin Rosemberg, Andrea Seikaly, Tim Gray, Justin Kroll, Dave McNary, Kris Tapley, Jenelle Riley and Ramin Setoodeh contributed to this report.