Those of us who saw Sunday night’s bizarre Oscars conclusion know how weird it appeared to us in our own living room, but imagine how weird it was on set. Now, imagine no longer, as Oscar newbie and New Yorker writer Michael Schulman reports the strangeness of watching those particular events unfold in “Scenes From The Oscar-Night Implosion.” Schulman was backstage in the press corps, where Emma Stone’s enthusiasm was a bit more effusive than previously reported. “Asked about the Best Picture snafu, she smiled brightly and said, ‘I fucking love Moonlight.” One reporter was spotted trying to keep it together in the face of the biggest Oscar gaffe in history: “A reporter across the table from me banged his fists into his head and whispered to himself, ‘Ask about the two envelopes. That’s all anyone cares about.’” Some were even more shell-shocked, like Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs:
I found her sitting on a white sofa staring at her phone, and asked what had gone through her mind.
“Horror,” she said. “I just thought, What? What? I looked out and I saw a member of Pricewaterhouse coming on the stage, and I was, like, Oh, no, what—what’s happening? What what WHAT? What could possibly . . . ? And then I just thought, Oh, my God, how does this happen? How. Does. This. Happen.”
The theories on that slip-up, we now know, abound. Still, many awards-show attendees then squared their shoulders and headed out to the Vanity Fair party, like the true heroes they are. There, Schulman reports:
Inside, there were more famous people than not-famous people: Justin Timberlake, Sarah Paulson, Jon Hamm, Martin Short. Adrien Brody and Rufus Wainwright were on the dance floor. People from In-N-Out were handing out burgers. Faye Dunaway—either the Jackie Kennedy or the Lee Harvey Oswald of the situation, depending on your interpretation—had been by the bar, where one reporter had overheard her saying, “I really fucked that up.”
You can find out even more details at The New Yorker. It’ll be just like being there, without all of the gasping and wailing and fancy cocktails.