"It's so much nicer. No one's screaming," Goldie Hawn said as she arrived at a loading dock about 45 minutes before Sunday's Oscar show and slipped through a door that led directly to the Kodak Theatre's green room. Hawn, a best supporting actress winner in 1970, was accompanied by longtime beau Kurt Russell.
And while low-key, the back door provided an entrance not entirely without glamour. Although the loading dock was filled with construction equipment, there was also a small patch of red carpet where stars posed very briefly for a handful of photographers. The entrance was framed by a pair of Oscar statues.
Among those taking that route to the theater were Tina Fey, Christopher Walken, Shirley MacLaine, Adrien Brody, Steven Spielberg and Steve Martin. Brody brought his father, while Spielberg was accompanied by his daughter.
"I should find makeup," Martin said as he walked inside.
The Oscars aren't all about winning.
They're also about romance, as in Jennifer Aniston overheard backstage whispering into John Mayer's ear, "I really love you, every part of you."
The couple arrived at the backdoor entrance to the Kodak Theatre shortly before the show began, and Aniston confirmed she would be presenting an award. Perhaps indicating why they didn't arrive earlier, Mayer joked that it had taken Aniston three hours longer to get ready than him.
As the couple stood hand-in-hand, pre-show chaos unfolded all around them. At one point Ben Stiller sprinted by. A moment later, two crates filled with Oscars for the night's winners were carried toward the stage.
"Wow!" Aniston exclaimed. "Do we have to stand and salute?"
By Sandy Cohen