Oscars host Chris Rock is not the only one who’s been working on his material before the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28. On the day before the Oscars, more than 40 Hollywood A-listers were at the Dolby Theatre in L.A., rehearsing for their roles as presenters.
While the crew set up for the big show and refined their camera work, dressed-down stars including Emily Blunt, Kerry Washington, Ryan Gosling, Sofia Vergara, Common, John Legend and Eddie Redmayne took to the stage on Saturday, February 27, and rehearsed their lines using the teleprompter.
Using a plastic water bottle as a stand-in for the little gold man, Jared Leto and fellow presenter and Suicide Squad costar Margot Robbie laughed as they rehearsed, according to the Associated Press. The Oscar winner read Robbie’s name when he opened the winner’s envelope and then dropped the “Oscar” on the floor. And when Leto’s joke fell flat, he looked at the audience of stand-ins and asked for “Just a giggle, please,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Meanwhile Tina Fey, who is presenting with Steve Carell, scanned the huge seating cards and wanted to know why fellow Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis “got a good seat.” (His fiancée Olivia Wilde is a presenter.)
Kevin Hart walked in and asked where he was sitting. Touching on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy he added, “I was about to say all the black people should be in the first row.”
As he was practicing his lines, a large piece of the set came crashing down. “That’s what rehearsals are for,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “All right guys, my part was great, though. Piece of ci-za-ke!”
The show’s youngest presenter, Room‘s Jacob Tremblay, 9, who was teamed with Abraham Attah, the teenage star of Beasts of No Nation, seemed undaunted. He simply nodded when a stage manager asked if he could step up on a large stack of boxes held together with electrical tape.
Tackling a height challenge of another kind were some of the actresses, who took Saturday’s rehearsal as an opportunity to try out the towering heels they’ll be pairing with their designer gowns on Sunday. Jennifer Garner and Cate Blanchett were casually dressed but walked across the stage in black and silver stilettos, respectively. Garner was later spotted backstage playfully giving Benicio Del Toro a kiss on the cheek.
The 88th Academy Awards air on ABC on Sunday, February 28, with the red carpet coverage kicking off at 7 p.m. EST followed by the awards show itself at 8:30 p.m.
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