Stars, informal wear, tattoos abound at 81st Academy Awards - Metro US

Stars, informal wear, tattoos abound at 81st Academy Awards

LOS ANGELES – Gratitude was the emotion of the Oscar day for first-time supporting actress nominees Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis, who agreed it really was enough just to be nominated.

“The win is the beautiful, amazing people I’ve met along the way,” Henson, who raises Brad Pitt’s character in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” said on the red carpet before Sunday’s show.

A few minutes later Henson would lose to Penelope Cruz who played Javier Bardem’s high-strung ex-wife in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” But not before receiving good wishes from Denzel Washington, Rita Moreno and James Earl Jones.

Her only other Oscar appearance came in 2006 when she was one of the performers who sang the Oscar-winning song from “Hustle & Flow.”

“There are so many talented actors out there and not all of them walk this carpet, so I’m very honoured,” she said.

Davis’ appearance in “Doubt” lasted just minutes, but she stood out among co-stars Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, who also earned Oscar nominations.

“I said, ‘If I can just hold my own in this film, it will make my life,”‘ she said. “It’s like they say, the happily ever after comes after you do the work.”

LOS ANGELES – There was plenty of ink on the red carpet Sunday. Or rather on the bodies of the stars walking the carpet.

Angelina Jolie’s strapless black gown left plenty of space to see her now-familiar tattoos.

Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Mickey Rourke’s estranged daughter in “The Wrestler,” had the numeral 15 tattooed behind her left ear.

Wood’s strapless beige gown also provided the backdrop for the phrase “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream” tattooed across her back below her neck.

LOS ANGELES – At the Oscars what is fashionable formal wear is sometimes left to the eye of the beholder.

Mickey Rourke, for example, arrived on the red carpet for Sunday’s show in sunglasses and an ivory tuxedo over a black vest without a tie. Philip Seymour Hoffman came decked out in a classic black tuxedo complete with tie but with a knit cap on his head. Still another Oscar attendee was sporting a top hat.

Robert Downey Jr., nominated for best supporting actor, said he wasn’t sure what he or his wife, Susan, were wearing.

“I just know that she’s wearing red and I’m wearing black and she looks really cute,” Downey said.

LOS ANGELES – Those star-struck fans who cheer wildly as the stars arrive have to enter a lottery just to get a seat in the bleachers outside the Kodak Theatre.

Some enter every year for a decade or more before getting lucky enough to attend, so they must really be huge movie fans.

Or maybe not.

“Free food. That’s why they’re really here, I think,” said Seth Rogan as he gazed up from the red carpet Sunday at the fans heralding his arrival on the red carpet.

Besides seeing Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and scores of other stars up close, bleacher watchers do get free coffee, doughnuts, soda and sandwiches.

Associated Press Writer Raquel Maria Dillon contributed to this report.

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