Following the 90th Academy Awards ceremony — which also happened to be mishap-free — Oscar winners reveled in their victories with celebrity friends and studio execs.
Hollywood stars tuned in to watch the telecast from Byron Allen’s viewing party, which later featured rousing performances from Katy Perry and Jamie Foxx, as well as Elton John’s annual music-filled bash. Mercedes-Benz also hosted guests for the program, which had talent cheering for Frances McDormand’s female-empowering moment and Jordan Peele’s historic win for best original screenplay.
Variety‘s staff was plugged in the entire way. Read along for an insider’s look inside Oscar night’s most exclusive star-studded soirées.
3:36 p.m. Elton John recalls one of the last times that Elizabeth Taylor showed up at his benefit — in a wheelchair. “That was a fun evening. There were so many funny things happening that night,” he recalled.
4 p.m. “Riverdale” actor Skeet Ulrich and his daughter, Naiia, are the first to arrive at the Mercedes-Benz USA Awards Viewing Party at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.
4:20 p.m. An upbeat and dapper Jon Hamm arrives onto the press line at Mercedes-Benz. Dressed in a black textured tuxedo, he poses for photos and gladly speaks to reporters. “I’m rooting mostly for my friends tonight,” he said. “I got a couple of friends in ‘Three Billboards.’ I’m good buds with Sam Rockwell and Jordan [Peele] is a friend of mine. I love Greta [Gerwig], I’ve known her for years so I’m excited for anyone. I think it’s a particularly strong year for film.”
4:25 p.m. Caitlyn Jenner, rocking a figure-hugging red dress, brushes past the press line while veteran guest Jane Seymour is busy working the Elton John party carpet.
4:30 p.m. Mercedes-Benz partygoer Jane Lynch tells Variety she hopes “Call Me by Your Name” wins best picture. “Timothee Chalamet is an amazing actor,” she said. “What he did in the movie, I did not expect it. They told a really beautiful and honest story about two gay characters that I haven’t seen before and I was blown away.”
4:39 p.m. Lea Michele attempts to avoid a potential nip slip in a La Perla dress as a comparatively covered-up Joan Collins glides by behind her on the carpet ahead of the EJAF viewing party.
5 p.m. An energetic Jamie Foxx arrived onto the carpet at the Mercedes-Benz party. The “Ray” Oscar-winner played around with the photographers by doing silly poses. “Oprah Winfrey took me to see Sidney Poitier and Quincy Jones and all of the actors that came before me,” Foxx recalled. “They didn’t get an opportunity and they should have gotten the (Academy) Award, but it’s a humbling experience to walk up to Sidney Poitier and he said, ‘I saw you. Your performance made me grow two inches!'”
5:12 p.m. Sandra Lee serves up a preview of Elton John’s dinner: “We start off with an amazing consumme that looks like a micro green salad on the top of it with not only greens but also edible flowers, melt-in-your mouth scallops that have been stuffed with truffles,” she said. “[Joan Roca] is a three-star Michelin chef. We took it up a notch this year.”
5:15 p.m. Jamie Foxx beelines inside the Four Season’s ballroom to the bar and grabs a drink. Then he finds a reserved couch next to a TV before being joined by Bozoma Saint John, who is the chief brand officer at Uber. The two take photos together and share some laughs.
5:17 p.m. Lionel Richie sings John’s praises. “Well, I’ve been a fan for life with Elton,” he says. “And now that we’re friends, I love him to death.”
5:20 p.m. Actors Glen Powell and Chord Overstreet enjoy cocktails and watch the show. Singer Cody Simpson soon joins the guys for a lively conversation.
|Glen Powell, Chord Overstreet, and Cody Simpson at the Mercedes-Benz USA Viewing Party Katie Jones/Variety/REX/Shutterstock|
5:30 p.m. “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson arrives and greets Foxx with a warm embrace at the Mercedes-Benz party. Foxx later stops socializing and texting on his phone to watch Mary J. Blige perform “Mighty River.” He’s fixated on the screen.
5:55 p.m. Party host Byron Allen holds court in the triple-bar area during commercial breaks while guests watch the awards live-stream on 10 large screens in the Beverly Wilshire’s ballroom.
6:02 p.m. Anthony Anderson is enjoying a plate of pita chips, hummus, and baba ganoush at the Mercedes-Benz bash. A waiter leaves a whole plate of mini chicken and waffle bowls in front of him, and Anderson then pretends to be a server by offering the hors d’oeuvres to his surrounding guests.
|Anthony Anderson and wife Alvina Stewart with Jane Lynch at the Mercedes-Benz annual Viewing Party Katie Jones/Variety/REX/Shutterstock|
6:13 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder” actor Jack Falahee watches the TV screen at the Mercedes-Benz party as Gael García Bernal sings “Remember Me.” He said the animated film was one of his favorite movies of the year. “I was so glad that ‘Coco’ won,” Falahee said. “I’ve seen it twice and cried both times.”
6:20 p.m. Jamie Foxx’s arrival causes a flurry of activity in the ballroom at Byron Allen’s party. He’s guided to the table of honor and gets an enthusiastic hug and a clap on the back from Matthew Modine.
6:38 p.m. Kobe Bryant wins an Oscar for Best Animated Short for “Dear Basketball” and the Mercedes-Benz guests start applauding and cheering. “Go Kobe! I can’t believe he’s an Oscar winner,” one partygoer said.
7:15 p.m. After Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph presented Documentary Short Subject and joked, “Are the Oscars too black now? Don’t worry. We were just backstage and there are still a bunch of white people still to come,” the Mercedes-Benz crowd erupted with laughter. People were giggling nonstop at the jokes made by Haddish and Rudolph, and a whole group agreed that the two would make excellent Oscar hosts.
8:19 p.m. Jamie Foxx starts hyping up the Byron Allen party. “I need the DJ to turn it up,” he told a slightly confused crowd at the Beverly Wilshire. As the live broadcasts starts in the background, Foxx soon realizes the awards aren’t quite finished. “I thought it was over, that’s my bad,” he said.
— Will Thorne (@WillHMThorne) March 5, 2018
8:35 p.m. When Frances McDormand won the Best Actress award and commanded all the other women nominees in the room to stand up in solidarity, guests cheered, whistled and applaud. Jane Lynch stood up while clapping and screaming, “Yes!”
9:05 p.m. Heidi Klum exits Elton John’s party soon followed by Ricky Martin and Lionel Richie — guess they won’t be bidding on the live auction — just as Quincy Jones arrives on the scene with a sizable entourage.
9:08 p.m. En route to Vanity Fair, Don Lemon counts the ways he adores Elton: “One: He’s a genius. Two: He’s such a charitable figure,” the CNN correspondent said.
9:10 p.m. Guests start trickling out of the ballroom at the Mercedes-Benz party, and grab bags of Sugarfina candy from the bar.
9:33 p.m. There is an unexpected “Glee” reunion on the carpet as Lea Michele insists on posing for photos with Darren Criss. (Their fellow co-star, Chris Colfer, is inside and sadly misses out on this sentimental photo-op.)
9:40 p.m. The Oscars may be over, but Jamie Foxx says “the party has only started,” as he boogies around the stage, kicking things off before Katy Perry’s performance.
|Jamie Foxx performing at Byron Allen’s Oscar Gala Viewing Party Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock|
9:45 p.m. A late part arrival comes from Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon at the Mercedes-Benz party. The two pose for photos with her ABC co-star, Jack Falahee. Davis then exists the building after about 10 minutes. Most of the guests start clearing out as well.
10 p.m. Fox chairman Stacy Snider arrives and makes her rounds at the Fox bash.
10:05 p.m. Elton John introduces Greta Van Fleet to the stage.
10:22 p.m. Elton John takes the stage to perform the first of two songs with the quartet. “I’ll tell you what. This is the youngest band I have ever played with in my life,” John says. “And I love them so much.” Singer Josh Kiszka adds, “Well, I can die in peace now.”
10:30 p.m. A sparkly Katy Perry takes to the stage, rocking the room with performances of fan favorites like “Chained To The Rhythm” and “Teenage Dream.” “It’s an oldie, but it’s a goodie,” Katy Perry said before launching into a performance of “Hot n Cold” and other hits.
— Will Thorne (@WillHMThorne) March 5, 2018
10:38 p.m. Right after Frances McDormand’s best actress speech, Jamie Foxx invites all the ladies at Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Gala to join him on the dance floor for a rendition of Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls).”
10:43 p.m. Fox Searchlight’s Nancy Utley arrives at the Fox party dancing to Whitney Houston.
10:55 p.m. Byron Allen’s Oscar Gala is rocking as Katy Perry collapses to the stage floor in a kind of trance while performing “Dark Horse.”
|Katy Perry on stage at Byron Allen’s Oscar Gala Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock|
11:31 p.m. Katy Perry closes out Byron Allen’s bash with a bang, performing “Firework” as the crowd jumps up and down.
11:33 p.m. Ricky Martin and Mark Consuelos are sharing a drink on the outside patio. Jon Hamm is nearby.
11:56 p.m. A woman runs up to Willem Dafoe. “Can I give you a hug?” she asks. He obliges.
12 a.m. “The Disaster Artist” subject Tommy Wiseau shows up at the Fox party. Variety spots him giving fist bumps to patrons at the bar.
12:13 a.m. Jordan Peele arrives at Vanity Fair with his Oscar in hand. He heads to the dance room, where guests are shimmying to Bruno Mars. Later, Greta Gerwig tears up the dance floor.
12:26 a.m. – Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro arrives to a huge swell of cheers, instantly becoming the life of the Fox party. The man of the hour only sticks around for 15 or 20 minutes before he calls it a night.
|“The Room” stars Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau flank “The Shape of Water” producer J. Miles Dale at the Fox party Michael Buckner/variety/rex/shutterstock|