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How Does a Nominee Get Ready for Oscar Night?

Sandra Bullock Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Oh, Answer B!tch, give us a window into the day of the Oscars for a nominee. I imagine it's equal parts decadent and insane, right?
—T.M., via the Answer B!tch inbox

Eh. Not really.

For years, Oscar nominees have "shared" what they've done on their "big day"—the phrase preferred by two out of three simpering celebrity outlets. And I will recount those activities here for you to sigh and marvel over, to imagine what Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are up to this exact moment.

But the actual routine may surprise you, not so much for what does happen as what doesn't:

Much of what a nominee does on Oscar day depends on the format of the telecast itself. If the broadcast includes live song and dance numbers à la the year Chicago was big, then the involved nominees usually rehearse on Oscar morning. (Queen Latifah did that with Catherine Zeta-Jones, for example.) Presenters who are also nominees may also go over to the Kodak early to rehearse their patter.

There may also be the obligatory interview, but other than that, believe it or not, it's largely all about lollygagging and beauty treatments for most of Oscar morning.

Most haircuts, Botox appointments and hair coloring happens about a week before the Oscars, so that's usually all taken care of by Academy Sunday.

Some actors are infamous for waiting until the last minute to choose a gown—Julianne Moore once switched outfits three hours before the ceremony—but fittings for potential dresses will have taken place days ago. Manicures sometimes take place the day of the event, but getting the nails done a day or two in advance is also common.

On Oscar morning, a facialist may swing by a nominee's hotel room or house, or the nominee may indulge in a swim in the pool or a massage instead. Some Academy darlings even go to church; on the day he won his Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore attended morning Mass with his wife.

If there are no rehearsals, interviews or the like scheduled, a nominee can wake up as late as 11 a.m. or so and still be in fine shape for the ceremony.

"It usually takes about two, two and a half hours" for a female nominee to go through pre-Oscar hair and makeup, says Tresemme celebrity stylist Mara Roszak, who is doing Avatar star Zoe Saldana's hair on Sunday.

It's the very last thing most nominees do, Roszak tells me, and there usually isn't a much else going on at that time.

"It's really, at that point, about not doing too many other things," Roszak explains. "The client usually sees that time to sort of relax; it's the calm before the storm."

The star must usually be in the limo and on the way to the Kodak by around 3:30 p.m., though, the bigger the star, the later they can arrive, of course.

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