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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

OSCARS WEEK 2012: Rubbing Elbows

Okay, so where am I?

I wandered the plastic-covered red carpet at the Kodak Theatre on Wednesday looking for the story of the day. All of the good stuff was happening in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal New York. There, Oscar® fans were the first to see the actual Oscar statuettes that will be presented to the Best Actor and Best Actress winners at this Sunday. The 1987 Best Actor Oscar awarded to Michael Douglas for his Wall Street performance was there as well.

Last year's Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo cut the ceremonial ribbon as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Meet the Oscars, Grand Central” exhibition.

Melissa Leo opened "Meet the Oscars / credit: Peter Dressel / ©A.M.P.A.S.
A few of my colleagues were there and they said it was a fabulous morning. I could wax poetic all day about New York, Grand Central and walking everywhere you go as I debate here, but then a little birdy dressed in a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department uniform said these magic words:

"Jennifer Aniston is getting her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in forty-five minutes."

Her handler wouldn't let her stop to talk to the Media Guy.
Faster than you can say "Free Starbucks" I was hoofing it to Hollywood and Vine, which at the time seemed like a good idea. However, with the wrong Ferragamos on my feet and thirty pounds of camera equipment in tow, the ten blocks seemed more like a trek through the unpaved roads of Sicily.

When I arrived to the ceremony which was directly across from the Pantages Theater and inform of the W Hotel, it was, needless to say, packed. At least 1,000 people, maybe more. I didn't have a press pass and there was no place to camp out for the best shot.

Call it divine intervention.  Call it The Media Guy Timing. Call it whatever you like, but I lucked out standing in front of the Metro station entrance. This stumbled upon nook-and-cranny-of-space that the security guards left unfettered, would wind up being the catwalk area that hosted the celebs walking from the hotel to the microphones.

I was in the perfect spot to see everyone -- Adam Sandler, Wanderlust co-star Malin Ackerman, John Aniston, Justin Theroux and the star of the day -- walk in.
"Wait a minute...let me get my bearings...where's Michael?" (...a boy can dream)

On this 75-degree, clear Los Angeles day, Aniston became the first of her "Friends" to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her brief 2:10 speech was packed with humbleness and enthusiasm as she mused exclaiming that one of her "wildest dreams" had come true. "I was born in Sherman Oaks, CA. I am a California girl through and through. And I'm sure this has always sort of been in the back of my mind," she said.

As she received the 2,462nd star Walk of Fame, she concluded with, "I am utterly humbled and grateful to all of the fans who have come out today and supported me throughout my career. … I love you!"

Oscar® Notes

credit: TODD WAWRYCHUK / ©A.M.P.A.S.
The four Oscar®-winning actors from the 83rd Academy Awards – Christian Bale (left), Colin Firth (right), Melissa Leo (right center) and Natalie Portman – will present at the 84th Academy Awards, telecast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer announced today.

Meryl Streep, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis will also present at the awards, while Tony Bennett will perform at the Governors Ball on Oscar® Sunday.

More Walk of Fame Photos

"I'm going to get on all fours, so this could get interesting..." - Jennifer Aniston 
Malin Ackerman was the first celebrity on the scene.
Adam Sandler remarked that he "wore my best shirt for you today..."
"I was born in Sherman was always on my mind to get a star."