David Onda’s Oscars Diary: Day 8

Meryl Streep hugs her Oscar (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty)

It’s the morning after the Oscars and I have only slept three hours since 6 a.m. yesterday morning.

For the first time in the last 24 hours, I have a few minutes to reflect on the 84th annual Academy Awards and everything that happened before and after the event. So, here it goes …

The red carpet is not as big as it appears to be on TV. There are so many people standing on the red carpet that it’s really hard to differentiate between the stars and the security and the publicists. So, as a member of the press, you just sort of look in the direction of the screaming fans in the bleachers.

Before the red carpet started, I bumped into Al Roker waiting to use the port-o-potty. I introduced myself and he was very nice, asking me what I do and making small talk. Then he said, “Nice shoes.” It totally made my day, because I picked out the black and white wing tip shoes to set myself apart from everyone else in tuxedos.

I thought Michelle Williams, Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, Mila Jovovich, Ellie Kemper and Jane Seymour looked fantastic. Shailene Woodley and Emma Stone looked great as well, although I wasn’t crazy about their dresses. It’s unbelievable how flawless Portman is in person.

Seeing Sacha Baron Cohen on the red carpet as “The Dictator” blew my mind. Was it a planned publicity stunt on the part of the Academy? Who knows? I wasn’t able to see Cohen dump ashes on Ryan Seacrest, but I did see him pour ashes on the red carpet and watched as a security guard yanked the urn from his hands. Shortly after, a member of the crew came out and vacuumed up the mess.

The Academy Awards Press Room is an interesting experience. I would estimate there were about 250 journalists, security and staff in that room. I was between a couple radio station announcers who loudly prepared spots while I was trying to listen to the show and the winners. In general, the Press Room is an exercise in patience and paying attention. I was constantly listening and watching three or four different things at the same time. First, the live Oscars chat on Xfinity.com. Second, the Oscars broadcast, which I was listening to on headphones. Third, the winners as they visited the press room to give interviews.

At one point, Christopher Plummer (who is a class act, by the way) was giving his post-win interview and was telling a story about gaining strength through his mother. At that moment, Billy Crystal told a joke on the telecast, and the journalists who were listening to Billy, rather than listening to Christopher, all laughed. Plummer stopped and remarked that he was unsure why people found the story funny.

Meryl Streep was by far the biggest surprise of the night and the Press Room roared when she won. When Meryl came to the Press Room, she gave a really great interview. I was surprised, although I probably shouldn’t have been, by just how likable she is. Her line about the country suffering from “Streep fatigue” was one of my favorites of the night.

Photos: Click Here for the 12 Biggest Oscars Snubs & Surprises

After the show ended and the final stars came through the Press Room, I headed back to my hotel to change into my “L.A. Chic” garb for the MAXIM Oscars after-party.

My post-show night began as I climbed into a shuttle van on Sunset Blvd. to be taken to the party. But I wasn’t alone in the van. I was joined by several other party-goers, including rocker Sebastian Bach, who, for some reason, was waiting in line for a shuttle with the “commoners.”

My amusing ride, which was hysterically narrated by Bach and included a quip about whether Aerosmith would be playing the party, ended high above Los Angeles at a three-story mansion in Beverly Hills. Everything about the venue was impressive, from the Ford Mustangs in the driveway to the sparkling pool to the stunning view of Los Angeles. It was exactly like the houses you see celebrities live in, only this one had MAXIM magazine’s “Sexiest Things in America” issue on every table and Ludacris performing upstairs.

Outside of the MAXIM party mansion in Beverly Hills (Photo: David Onda)

As I awkwardly mingled about the beautiful people, munching fried chicken and breakfast burritos, I spotted an interesting mix of celebrities. I eyed Jeremy Piven twice, with his entourage nearby. I saw Natasha Henstridge, who was stopped by security because she didn’t have a bracelet on. (Silly security, haven’t you seen “Species”?) I almost literally bumped into Kourtney Kardashian’s husband Scott Disick as he reached across me to discard an empty bottle. I also briefly saw “Glee” star Chord Overstreet, “Garfield” star Breckin Meyer, Mario Lopez and Jamie Pressly, who gave me a really nice smile as she walked by.

Photos: Click Here to See the Celebrities at MAXIM’s After-party

At one point, I found myself sitting on a couch at the poolside deck when I heard a familiar voice right next to me. I looked up and saw Ronnie from “The Jersey Shore” hanging out with “Dancing with the Stars” alum Maksim Chmerkovsky. I think I saw a couple other stars, but after the long day, I couldn’t place a name with their faces.

After a couple hours of awkwardly mingling alone with the horde of aspiring actresses and models (and actual actresses and models), I grabbed one last piece of fried chicken and shuttled back to Sunset Blvd. and back to my hotel.

Thus concluded (and concludes) my Oscars adventure. In a few hours I’ll be back on a plane headed for sunny Philadelphia. Thanks to everyone who checked in on the Oscars Diary this week and joined the live Oscars chat last night. We’ll see you next year!


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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