Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A (lowly intern's) Cinderella Story

I walked into the US Weekly office the Friday of Oscar weekend beyond excited. My boss had emailed me a couple of days earlier asking if I was free to help cover an Oscar gifting suite, and of course I immediately responded with an emphatic YES as I mentally dug through the swag bag I was sure I would be receiving at the end of the night. But instead of holding a swag bag in my hands at the night’s end, I left clutching a rain-drenched silver tape recorder that held interviews with celebs ranging from the Kardashians to the Trumps. Interviews that I had conducted. Alone. On the red carpet, in the press line, thrusting the built in microphone on my tape recorder into the faces of Oscar nominees and A-list celebs as the official reporter for Us Magazine (if only for one precious night).

My interview with these two turned into a fun get-to-know-you chat! A pic from the red carpet with my new BFFs Kiptyn + Tenley, my favorite Bachelor couple of all time…with the exception of Ali and Roberto, of course.

Basically when I went into work Friday morning I thought I would be shadowing a reporter. Turns out, there were so many Oscar-related events to cover over the weekend that someone had to get bumped up to fill in the reporting gaps, and I happened to be the intern asked to do it. I was so thankful that they trusted me to go solo and am happy to finally be able to share the official report I compiled now that the Oscar issue has circulated for over a week. That’s the funny thing about this internship - I come away from work with these incredible stories, but I can’t share them until after US has already used everything for publication that they need! So hopefully, this won’t be too irrelevant by now.


5:41 p.m. Sara Rue arrives on the red carpet wearing a blue-ish gray short dress accented by both pockets and rivets on the shoulders. She looks healthy and very fit, is posing and smiling and showing off a tattoo on her left ankle with her studded gray suede pumps.


US: Whose dress are you most looking forward to seeing at the Oscars this year?

Sara Rue: “I think I’m looking forward to seeing Scarlett Johansson this year, I don’t know why I just think she has such an interesting take always on the red carpet, like it’s never super traditional, it’s never like what you would expect. I always love her, I just think she’s beautiful.”

Secondhand: Sara on selling her QVC jewelry collection. “I almost wanted to make runway to reality pieces, pieces that pricewise were affordable but fun.”

5:42 p.m. Celebrity stylist Ken Paves (Jessica Simpson’s stylist) posing and chatting on the red carpet with two models with red carpet hair looks


US: What hair styling trends are you expecting to see on the red carpet this year?

Ken: “Effortlessly chic hair, undone hair, or hair that doesn’t look too polished or too finished, hair that’s just kind of swept back, what have you. Ponytails are going to be great, very loose chignons are going to be great, but hair that’s tangible. I think it’s a throwback to the 60s when hair had texture and…hair that looked real. Now it’s about real hair. The beauty of a woman—not about her hair.”

Secondhand: Mentioned that he thinks Cate Blanchett is one of the great actresses of our time, and is excited to see what Natalie Portman wears/how she is styled at the Oscars

5:44 p.m. Donald Trump and wife Melania arrive. He seemed proud of her and her QVC line, and lets her take the spotlight on answering questions despite a few Apprentice questions from journalists. Donald wore a suit with a purple silk tie, Melania truly stunning in black strapless beaded gown with pointy toe patent black pumps, hair in soft waves, wearing her own earrings from the QVC line she has coming out in April.


US: When do you find your wife most beautiful?

Donald: “I would say at night without makeup (she laughs). And even in the morning without makeup. She’s actually more beautiful without makeup.”

US: Tell me a little about your line—what are you most excited for and where do you see it going?

Melania: “Well it’s exciting because it’s only a year since I started and it’s a big huge success and I have a fourth collection coming out in April and it’s really exciting, I love to design, I love to sketch, and to work with QVC they’re very professional so something I look forward to for many, many times.”

Secondhand: Donald is rooting for Michael Douglas to win at the Oscars

Melania loves Black Swan and King’s Speech

5:51 p.m. Jeannie Mai, host of show “How Do I Look” mentions that she loves to see what Helena Bonham Carter wears to the Oscars. Also mentions that anytime Anne Hathaway steps into a room “everyone falls in love with her” because she’s so charismatic.

5:53 p.m. Helena Bonham Carter arrives on the red carpet wearing a corset top dress topped by a vintage-looking jacket, a huge black bow tucked into her messy curled updo, and black suede pumps. Heard saying she’s looking forward to seeing Javier Bardem at the Oscars as well as Amy Adams, who she “adores.”


US: If you were not an actress, what do you think you would be doing?

Helena: “I don’t know I often think of that and because I can never come up with anything I end up acting, you know. But I’ve often thought, oh I must be able to do something! At the end of every job I feel like I’ve got to give up, I’ve got to give up, and then I can’t think of something else to do. So, probably invent things which would be absolutely useless.”

US: What keeps you coming back to acting?

Helen: “I like pretending to be other people and I love dressing up.”

Secondhand: “I don’t know…I might just go very straight and normal and grown up (to the Oscars). The thing is, I basically just do what I like. I’ll continue doing what I like because that’s the only thing I can do.”

5:55 p.m. Camila Alves (Matthew McConaughey’s girlfriend) arrives on the red carpet wearing a sparkling black one-shoulder dress with strappy, sparkly silver pumps and hair parted down the middle in her signature beachy style. She speaks to several news stations but walked past all print interviews.

6:06 p.m. Gossip girl’s Kelly Rutherford arrives on the red carpet wearing a long, navy, backless gown with in sparkling earrings. Very excited and eager to talk about her handbag line for QVC (she’s carrying on of her bags, which is embossed leather made to look like crocodile skin).


US: You said you designed your handbags based on your personal style. What kind of woman do you see carrying your bags?

Kelly: “I went to pick up my son at school the other day and I had like three of the girls that looked like they were about seniors come up and ask me where I got my satchel bag, my tote satchel. And I was so excited. I was like, I did this!  I designed it! So to me, I’m in my 40s, so I designed something that I thought was very classic, that wasn’t really about age—it was more about what looks chic, what goes with a lot of things, what was missing in the market in terms of what I look for.”

6:08 p.m. George Blodwell (celebrity stylist and one time Editor-at-Large for Italian Harper’s Bazarre) arrives on red carpet.

Celebs he’s styled: He most recently styled Jane Lynch who presented to Lady Gaga at the 2010 Video Music Awards, Naya Rivera and Eva La Rue for the 2010, Forest Whitaker and Quinton Aaron for the 2010 Oscars, Anil Kapoor, Bill Maher, Katie Price and Peter Andre at 2009 Oscars, and Helen Mirren at 2008 Oscars.

Said he would love to see a design by Gareth Pugh at the Oscars because  he’s “avante-garde, futuristic, interesting, and intelligent.”

Trends he’s expecting at the Oscars: “I said orange for the golden globes, not as much. “A lot of nude colors, some white, I’ve got a feeling orange and blue. Even green. Who knows?”

6:20 p.m. Karina Smirnoff arrives on the red carpet red in a tight, short red dress with a plunging neckline and tan YSL shoes. She’s busy promoting her shoe line, make-up line, DVD and new studio. She’s also overheard joking about how she’s a sucker for advertising products on infomercials, and claims to be the owner of both a Magic Bullet and the Shake Weights (she flexes as she says this, jokingly saying that’s how she got so fit).


US: You have so many business endeavors going on right now! Have you always been a natural born business woman?

Karina: “No, but I think I’ve grown into it because since I was a little girl there’s always been some sort of project.” Gave examples: started teaching ice-skating to other children at age four. “I think now more than ever, it’s like I have certain dreams and I’ve been working on them” Also mentioned how she assembled a reception desk in her new studio without tools (very hands on with this project, lots of excitement), and claims that she balances everything because she has A.D.D. and a great team who helps her out and offers support.

Also overheard discussing wedding plans: should be a small wedding (75-100 guests) in the Caribbean—a destination wedding. Just waiting to finalize.

6:22 p.m. ex-Bachelor contestant Vienna Giardi breezes down red carpet in a flash, not stopping for any interviews

6:23 p.m. ex-Bachelorette contestant Kasey Khan walks onto red carpet VERY shortly after Vienna, only stops to talk to US, and seems very confident on opinion of Emily winning Brad’s season of the Bachelor. 


US: Can you tell me a little about your philanthropy work and why you’re so passionate about it?

Kasey: “I love kids…I wanted to do something on the show that was portrayed kind of negatively (getting his tattoo), I wanted to flip that around and make something positive, so what I did was actually take it and make it into a non-profit, called it Guard and Protect Hearts. So I want to guard and protect the hearts of our youth one heart at a time.”

US: Any predictions on the bachelor? Any favorites?

Kasey: “Keep a close eye on Emily. Mark my words, keep a close eye on Emily. You might hear differently, but keep an eye on Emily. Mark my words.”

6:43 p.m. Maria Barrera (mostly Disney roles) arrives on the red carpet and is excited to talk about her new role alongside Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks—mentions that she loves Julia and that Julia seems like a fantastic mom!


Us: You’ve done a lot with Disney’s teen queens, and now you’ve moved on to a film with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. What was that like?

Maria: “It was amazing. It was like a master class because it takes place in the classroom. We get to watch Tom Hanks direct and act in scenes with Julia Roberts. It was a wonderful experience.”

US: Did Julia bring the kids to set?

Maria: “Yes she did, oh she did and they’re so cute! Three of them, oh it was darling! It was wonderful. I’m a mom of two and I know how wonderful it is and how exhausting it is, so we chatted about that. We shot during Mother’s Day so we talked about that. She was a sweetheart.”

6:45 p.m. Rebecca Gayheart breezes down the red carpet in black tights, black pumps, and a striped dress…and doesn’t do a single interview

Huge lull in the red carpet as everyone was waiting for the Kardashians to arrive

7:13 p.m. Brenda Song stops for a brief comment on her current fashion obsessions: “I like glunge, what I’m calling glamour glunge, it’s like my favorite thing right now. It’s like I do care, but I don’t care.”

7:16 p.m. Jessalyn Gilsig arrives on the red carpet, but does not do any interviews

7:19 p.m. Melissa Leo (“The Fighter” Oscar nominee) arrives on the red carpet in a puff sleeved Mark Bauer gown that showcases a tattoo on left breast that’s sticking out. Her dress is a little outrageous and be-dazzled in sequins and lace.

Secondhand, on exercise routine: “I don’t have a lot of experience with it. I drink a lot of water. I don’t really have time for exercise…throughout awards season a lot of air travel, eats an apple a day.”

“Throughout the awards season you will see me in Mark Bauer.”

Mentions she’s looking forward to seeing what Amy Adams has on (kismet between her and Amy Adams, good friends, show up often at award shows in not matching but complementary outfits)—both Oscar nominees

7:21 Sloan and girlfriend Gretchen Rossi (in short white gown) from Real Housewives of Orange County arrive on red carpet as if hoping for an interview, but no one bites. They kiss and are overly physically affectionate at the party afterward though, so it seems like they don’t care.

7:22 p.m. Jennifer Laurence (Oscar nom “Winter’s Bone”) arrives wearing a cream-ish dress that looks semi like lingerie (Mischa Schuab is the designer). As she walks down the carpet, she talks on her iPhone for a long period of time and seems to avoid interviews for awhile. By the time she gets to print interviews, she’s being rushed along by her publicist and is not allowed to stop for questions as walking on red carpet.

7:26 p.m. Melora Hardin (Jan from The Office) arrives on the red carpet and chats about what The Office will be like now that Steve is leaving.


US: With Steve Carrell leaving, how will you top your role as his love interest and what will the show be like without him?

“I love Jan, she’s just a great character, and I’m supposed to keep popping back on the show here and there, so I totally will miss Steve. I think he’s great, I love doing scenes with him, I have a fun time and we’re funny together. I think the characters are funny together, I love Jan and Michael together, they’re just so wrong and so right. I definitely think that’s a unique relationship that will be missed by the fans and by me.”

As for Steve… “We’ll miss him but it’s a great show and it’s got a lot of great characters.”

7:28 p.m. Tenley and Kiptyn from The Bachelor Pad arrive and are extremely into each other, holding hands, posing together, smiling, laughing, and leaning toward each other. He rubs her back protectively as they answer questions as a couple. After interviews they enjoy the party with glasses of wine and sampling the caramel cup hors d’oerves.


US: Tell me about how the bachelor throughout the seasons seems to become an inter-dating society.

Tenley: “There’s a lot more reunions stuff put together that it makes sense. For us, I’ve been thinking…if I was dating someone else, would they understand the whole bachelor process? Would I understand it? I think it’s a neutral ground and something we both experienced. I think there’s something you have in common that’s such a unique experience that just brings all these couples together from within.”

Kiptyn: “We’ve all been through this unique thing but I think people kind of share that, and they bond over that, and that’s the group you’re hanging out with, and you start dating.”

US: When is Tenley most beautiful to you?

Kiptyn: “Is always a time?” (she laughs) “Morning. First thing in the morning…sweatpants, chillin’ with no makeup on…I stole that from Drake, but I like it.” (both laugh)

7:33 p.m. Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars arrives on the red carpet in a sparkly one shoulder dress and nude pumps

7:49 p.m. (50 minutes past when the carpet was supposed to close) Kim Kardashian arrives on the red carpet, giving her signature stare to the flashing cameras, lips parted. She’s wearing trendy coral lip color and sporting a casual but glam look—a 3-quarter length gold sequin blazer from her KDASH line, pants, and a white shirt underneath with stacked tan and gold heels and funky, dangly earrings.

7:50 p.m. Kourtney joins Kim on the red carpet in a sparkly sequined skirt from their KDASH line accented by black tights, black strappy/chunky heels, and a flowy black shirt that ties in loose bow at throat

Both of the sisters took their sweet time in the press line, posing together to take pictures and answering at least one question for everyone (though questions were limited to only their QVC line by their publicist)

Overheard: QVC is “well-established” so they were excited to get involved, Kim has music coming out soon, a single called “Jam” that will drop in about 2 weeks, airing Ryan Seacrest, proceeds to cancer organization for fun and good cause

“It’s all about the glitz and the glam this season on Kdash.”


US: Why is it important to make clothes that are affordable, is it for your fans?

Kim: “It’s really unrealistic to be able to afford really expensive things all the time I mean we’ve always loved to mix and match and wear lower price point clothes and mix them with some high price point clothes and accessories, and we have stores ourselves so we know what our fans and friends can afford and can’t afford.”

Kourtney: “I’m all about that. I think that just is style, knowing how to take something and make it your own and mix it with other stuff. I think that’s rally important.”

Overheard—Kim: “We work well, me Kourtney and Khloe…we make it go really easily, I’m a little indecisive so it helps to have my sisters there.”

8:02 p.m. Katherine McPhee arrives very last on the red carpet in a long red  Marc Bauerdress with pockets accented by a simple circular diamond pendant on a chain necklace. Press had started packing up then a few came back when they realized it was her, but many went ahead and left.

(secondhand) QVC’s was the only event she’s going to, she “loves the Kardashian girls,”  (and their QVC line)


US: how do you stay true to yourself in Hollywood environment?

Katherine: “I check in with the people who love you the most. For me, I feel like I check myself and keep my own self in balance, checking in with how I could have done better in certain situations or treated someone better, just like anyone else.”

US: Whose career do you want to model yours after?

Katherine: “I love Lauren Linney, Naomi Watts. It’s cool when they have really strong careers but aren’t at every event, and stay out of craziness of everything.”

8:35 p.m. Nicole Richie seen walking through lobby in short black dress with arm casually draped through a friend’s arm, people buzzing around her asking “where’s her publicist?” She skipped the red carpet, stopped to take one picture with a fan then disappeared, headed toward bathroom.

8:36 p.m. Lisa Rinna wanders into lobby in long sparkly gown, posing for pictures with friends dressed equally as gaudy, but changes soon after and stands outside waiting for her car to valet (for almost an hour) in a camel trench and white dress, taking pictures with foreign fans.

8:47 p.m. Kourtney Kardashian seen running through the rain in her heels, ditching the valet line to get picked up by a driver in a black SUV (with no Kim in sight)

9:32 p.m. Sara Rue exits hotel and greets Lisa on her way out…who is still waiting on her car to pull around

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I was so excited to see a quote they pulled from my interview with the Kardashians posted online the other day. Check it out!


Karley with a K. Todos los derechos reservados. © Maira Gall.