After hosting an awards show, the only thing Jimmy Kimmel ever wants to do is collapse. “The relief of it being over makes me fall asleep,” he told Variety, a few weeks prior to the Oscars. But not even Kimmel, fresh off an exhausting four hours as the master of ceremonies of the Academy Awards, could resist the allure of the Hollywood’s glitziest shindig.
At 1 a.m. on Monday morning, Kimmel held court at the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party in Beverly Hills, where he made up with his pretend frenemy Matt Damon. A photographer ran over to shoot them — Kimmel put his hands on his hips in mock outrage. But truth be told, both guys were smiling and chatting like pals. As Damon quickly downed several glasses of champagne, they posed together for a series of selfies with wobbly fans in shimmering ballgowns.
The Vanity Fair VIP gathering is always the moment where the nominees and winners (and their publicists), after long months on the campaign trail, can finally let loose. And there was plenty of that this year — Amy Adams tore up the dance floor to Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez’s greatest hits. Casey Affleck was beaming, still, holding his best-actor statue at 2 a.m.
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But there was also the daze of the most bizarre moment in Oscars history hanging over the party. Producers and agents couldn’t stop gossiping about what had just happened — “La La Land” was named best picture, and after three minutes of thank yous, presenter Warren Beatty rushed onstage to admit the wrong envelope had been read. “Moonlight” was the winner after all.
“I really f–––ed that up,” Faye Dunaway, who co-presented the final award, was overheard telling a friend.
On the outside patio, where the celebrities lounged with booze, cigarettes and burgers from In-N-Out, Seth Rogen cracked a joke to Nick Kroll. The punch line was… “Before they take it away from us.”
Only at Vanity Fair, held at the sprawling Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, would you see such an eclectic group of stars mingling under the same roof. A bearded Zachary Quinto quizzed “Manchester by the Sea” nominee Lucas Hedges on what he was wearing. (“Dior,” the young actor replied.) Andrew Garfield found himself in the proximity of late-night comedian Chris Hardwick. Miles Teller jaunted over to greet Elton John, who was resting on a comfy sofa. Although the attire was strictly black-tie, Jared Leto was decked out in what looked like a red robe with a beanie over his head. Salman Rushdie was in the house, too, along with two of the Jonas brothers (Nick and Joe).
There was no shortage of sightings appropriate for the hour. Back at the bar, nursing a beer, Chris Evans sidled up to a row of brunettes. “Oh oh oh!” he greeted them. “The most f–––ing beautiful women in the entire place.” James Marsden was spotted a few feet away, trying on another man’s watch. Josh Harnett waved to a waiter to bring over a platter of cream pie tarts for his date. Lin Manuel-Miranda looked incredibly happy to take a bite of his cheeseburger.
The Oscars weren’t the only topic of conversation. Michael Shannon waxed on about politics. “The people that hate Trump, hate him,” he declared to a small group near the front of the party. “The people that love Trump, love him.”
Because the show ended late, the party raged on on past 2:30 a.m., when it normally winds down. “I was so nervous…” Scarlett Johansson told a male companion, as she left just after midnight, presumably referring to her role as a presenter.
As Mark Consuelos hovered by the exit, he couldn’t find his wife, Kelly Ripa. He finally located her snapping photos with two adoring fans. “Your show is amazing! I’m addicted to it,” one of the women said, describing “Live With Kelly” as if it were “The People v O.J. Simpson.”
“Thank you!” Ripa responded, before heading out.