The Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2013: What Happened After the Ceremony
Valentino attends the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
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For all of the magnetic bodies that swirl around the Vanity Fair Oscar party—award winners, mega-producers, billionaires—there is one focal point of power in the room. It’s not the person toting the statuette for Best Picture (although Ben Affleck did cause a stir wherever he, wife Jennifer Garner, and Oscar turned up that night). And it’s not even Graydon Carter, the host of the weekend’s most exclusive event and Vanity Fair’s fearless leader. No—the locus of energy is a place, a specific spot exactly twenty paces from the front entrance of the Sunset Tower Hotel, just past the photo booth. It’s just far enough away from the pleading photographers and screaming fans outside, but not too far into the party that a person standing there could miss anyone important as he or she entered the room. It is, in short, where everyone wants to look.
Last year, it was on this very spot that David and Victoria Beckham held court for much of the night, with the then-happily married Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes—the latter on one of their last-ever joint public appearances.
This year, the spot was occupied by a rotating cast of heavy hitters. In the early evening, Sandra Bullock and her agent Kevin Huvane did a little choo choo train dance across it to get to the bar. It was where Jane Fonda ran into Valentino and—despite the remarkable tightness of her form-fitting dress—performed an elaborate bow to the designer. Graydon Carter stood right there to pose with the only three guest editors to ever have borrowed the reins of Vanity Fair from him (Tom Ford, Judd Apatow, and Bono). And even though Jennifer Aniston slipped in through a distant side door with her beau Justin Theroux, she still managed to assume the prime position shortly after her arrival and greet all comers—including Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Amy Poehler occupied the spot for a brief moment early on to catch up with Bradley Cooper, who was nominated for Silver Linings Playbook. (His co-star Jennifer Lawrence would swing by the party later, trophy in tow.) Poehler spent much of the evening, including the dinner hour, playing wingman to her Parks and Recreation co-star Rashida Jones.
“I remember coming [to the Vanity Fair party] with my dad when I was young and just thinking it was the coolest place in the world where all of the prettiest, most talented people came,” Jones reminisced. “And now I’m here.”
“And now you know you were wrong,” observed Poehler.
“Yeah, I was wrong.”
Zooey Deschanel, another party vet who knew to stay near the power spot, tried to sum up the evening simply: “It’s just a bunch of really amazing people all in one room, and very elegantly thrown.”
Though much of the action took place in the first room by the entrance, every corner of the ground floor of the Sunset Tower saw some starry action. In one, Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly loomed quietly, hanging out with longtime Vanity Fair contributing editor Bruce Feirstein, with whom O’Reilly worked at the Boston University student paper when they were both undergrads.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin prowled the rooms wearing prototypes of the new, much-talked about Google glasses. Larry David gave a toast to Sacha Baron Cohen and his wife, Isla Fisher, on a banquette. Channing Tatum boasted about his six-months pregnant wife, Jenna Dewan. Jennifer Aniston insisted that Chelsea Handler yank Aniston’s whole dress back into a secure position in the middle of the lobby. And George Hamilton stripped off his bow tie in order to show a small group how to re-tie it without a mirror.
Oscar winners seemed to be everywhere, toting their “surprisingly” heavy trophies with glee. Affleck, Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, Anne Hathaway made the rounds around the midnight hour. (“I love it, it’s my favorite thing,” Hathaway said, when asked about her prize.) And late arrival Ang Lee, with his director’s trophy for Life of Pi, was one of the last revelers to head back out onto Sunset Boulevard. As he and the last stragglers downed In-N-Out burgers from a dedicated truck parked right outside, the deejay began playing dance tunes by the Scissor Sisters and Earth, Wind & Fire. Joseph Gordon-Levitt lingered, saying hello to perfect strangers, while Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple and John Krokidas led the charge to find an after-after party.
By 2:30 a.m. the crowd had cleared out entirely, leaving a handful of scattered strips from the two photo booths on the bars, the haze of cigarette smoke in the air, and a multitude of red velvet cupcakes smashed into the plush carpeting. One Zippo lighter—a goodie from the dinner portion of the evening—remained on a side table, bearing an engraved quote. The line is attributed to Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th president and the unlikely hero of the 2013 awards season. It reads:
“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
by Chris Rovzar
Photo: Getty Images/VF