Designer dresses. Glam squads. Limousines. Free champagne.
At the outsets, the Academy Awards is a very glamorous event. The classiest, really. It's full of A-listers, doing A-list things, wearing A-list clothes. Or is it? You see, there's also a dark side to the Oscars. A side that no one really talks about, fully of dirty little secrets and totally un-glamorous, un-classy, un-A-list things.
But we're here to put it all out on the line. E! News' venerable reporters have been attending award shows for years, and they've staked out everywhere from the parking lot to the bathroom to bring you all those behind-the-scenes moments that don't belong on the red carpet.
Now of course, this is the Academy Awards we're talking about. The non-glamorous side of this show is still far fancier than the best moments of, say, a regular person's wedding. But it's still fun to think about all the ho-hum details that the biggest celebrities have to put up with on what is arguably Hollywood's biggest night. Just think: The next time you're fighting the post-bar time crush for Uber drivers, you can rest easy in the knowledge that Emma Stone has once done that, too. (Just replace UberX with 'Incredibly Expensive SUV'.)
Celebs, they're just like us!
The weather almost never cooperates. This is Los Angeles, home of perfect temperatures, right in the middle of sunny California. Right? Wrong. Thanks to the weather gods, it's usually quite...tricky on the big night. If it's hot that day, the red carpet is a sauna—the lights, combined with a few hundred bodies more than there is capacity for, guarantee that any person becomes drenched in sweat immediately. If it's rainy that day, then you can be rest assured that something will flood, and that show employees will have to hold up tarps to protect equipment (and celebrities) at some point during the evening.
Everyone is starving. It's not an accident that those viral moments, in which the host "surprises" the audience with pizza or girl scout cookies or homemade sandwiches, started getting more and more popular. It's because all the actors and actresses are nearly faint with hunger. They've spent all day getting primped and primed, then they have to go immediately onto the red carpet and be photographed and interviewed until the last possible moment, before they rush inside to take their seats for the start of the show. That doesn't leave much time for nourishment, so they often have to rely on helpful publicists keeping trail mix or granola bars in their bags. Either that, or cross their fingers that the host is going to keep up the snack tradition...you listening, Kimmel?
Commercial breaks are never long enough. Imagine you're at a movie, and you've had a huge bottle of water and a glass of champagne beforehand: Nature is going to call, it's inevitable. Now, imagine that there was a TV pointed on the seats in the theater, and it's broadcasting on national television. Suddenly, your trip to the bathroom just got a whole lot more stressful. Award show producers are notoriously heavy-handed with restricting when people can go back to their seats, and it's not remotely unusual for huge stars to have to wait outside the closed doors until the next commercial break before they take their seats. It can even happen to latecomers, causing them to miss the opening monologue. (But don't worry, show producers pipe the audio into the entrance and all the bathrooms.)
High heels are a real pain. This isn't a juicy secret, but somehow we imagine Hollywood's most famous as immune to the whole foot pain thing. But they are not! Walking in uncomfortable shoes gets to them just like it does commoners. Sometimes a stars' team can wrangle a golf cart to help shuttle them across the grounds or to their waiting car, but sometimes they just need to suffer through it—or bite the bullet and go barefoot.
Losing sucks. The reactions you see on TV when a star loses their category isn't always the whole story: They're people too. People who don't like to lose no matter how gracious they are. Anyone who has spent time backstage or in the bathroom of an award show has probably seen a celeb being consoled.
You can never find your car. Having hundreds of actors gather in one place also means having hundreds of black cars picking them up in one place. Oh, and they're doing it in the most highly-secured and toughest traffic jam possible. The result is a lot of bold-faced names sitting around the exit of the theater wondering where their ride is.
The statues are really heavy. Winning an Oscar is amazing, but carrying around an Oscar for the rest of the evening is decidedly less so. We don't want to point fingers, so we'll just say that any actor who has put their award down and then forgotten about it at an after-party is certainly not alone.
After-parties can be awkward. The concept of being fashionably late exists for a reason: To never have to be the first one at a party. Unfortunately, someone has to do it, and at the Oscars that means those someones are stars. They've suffered through that painful time as they silently pray to the party gods for everyone to hurry up. The lucky ones at least have publicists to keep them company, but others simply have to hang out in a booth and pretend to be reading a very important email. We know what that's like.
Hangovers are made all the worse by travel. Quite a few A-listers don't get the luxury of sleeping in the day after the Oscars and nursing their hangovers with coffee and breakfast sandwiches, because award season also falls smack in the middle of the busy season for filming. Most stars have projects in the works, and have only a few days to take off to jet to Los Angeles to attend and possibly claim their gold statue. That can mean pulling an all-nighter to hop on an early morning flight, or even going straight from the after-party to the airport to catch a redeye. Last year, Priyanka Chopra even dished that she would be changing out of her Oscars dress and into her plane clothes in the airport bathroom.