Red carpet goes green: Hollywood's elite party at Oscar Wilde bash
Hollywood’s Irish elite came out in force to sample the Guinness and Baileys flowing at the ninth annual Oscar Wilde: Honouring the Irish in Film bash in Los Angeles last night.
Snow Patrol, Sarah Bolger (22), Irish football captain Robbie Keane and his glamorous wife Claudine were among the well-known faces on hand to toast this year’s honourees, comedian Conan O’Brien and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley.
Described as “one of the most influential minds in modern society,” the US chat show host (50), who began his career as a writer for Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons before moving on to have his own Emmy-winning show, was thrilled to be presented with an accolade from the US-Ireland Alliance.
He joked: “Leave it to the Irish to give a film award to someone who has never been in a film.”
Speaking on stage, the red-haired funnyman couldn’t resist mocking the Irish accent and insisting he was really 100 per cent Irish because he “can’t go out in the sun.”
But he added: “On a serious note, I do come from an Irish family and the greatest thing my mother could imagine is me winning this award tonight.”
Meanwhile, Chad Hurley (36), who is counter-suing Kim Kardashian and Kanye West after he leaked video footage of the rapper proposing to the reality TV star at AT&T Park in San Francisco in October, admitted he was shocked and a “little nervous” when he first heard he was going to receive the honour, previously bestowed to Colin Farrell, Michelle Williams and many others.
He said: “It’s a little weird. I asked them why. What did I do? Obviously it’s because of what I was able to accomplish with YouTube and I have an Irish last name, so I guess they wanted to give me an award. I feel honoured it’s great.”
The surprisingly shy billionaire told guests, “there’s nothing like socially awkward acceptance speeches” while accepting his award.
Actor Jason O’Mara, who attends the event annually, admitted that like, Liam Neeson, he still feels very connected to Ireland despite becoming an American citizen in 2009.
He said: “It’s strange because the longer I’m here, the more connected I feel to Ireland.”
Claudine Keane, who showed off her toned figure in a black crop top and monochrome skirt, and her LA Galaxy star husband left their son Robert (4) with a babysitter to attend the event, but the blonde beauty claimed she has become accustomed to early nights because nightclubs close early in LA.
She also revealed the couple are thinking about having another baby soon, as Robert is starting kindergarten in a few months.
She said: “Yeah, I definitely will. It’s just all about timing; I don’t think there is ever a right time. Everyone always says don’t focus on ‘Is this the perfect time?’ because it never will be, but yeah of course, I definitely want more kids.”
Despite looking very comfortable on the red carpet, Love/Hate alumni Jason Barry, who has lived in Tinseltown for five years, also insisted it was a rare night out from him.
He said: “You get invited to a lot of stuff. I wouldn’t say I’m the best at the party thing but it is a big party week for those who want to do it.”
The actor, who recently wrapped filming a new movie, F2014, about the history of FIFA in Rio de Janeiro and is hoping to return for the World Cup next year, won a trip to Ireland in a raffle, announced by Once Upon a Time star Sarah Bolger.
The 22-year-old actress was thrilled to be surrounded by Irish people even though she now feels at home in the city.
She said: “I moved here randomly because I had Once Upon a Time and I needed a place in LA to go back and forth to Vancouver, so it was not an easy decision because I love going home. I love getting on that Aer Lingus flight and landing back in Dublin, but it’s been easier for me to work and less hassle than living in hotels.”
Despite rumours, there was no sign of Best Supporting Actor nominee Michael Fassbender or U2, whose hit Ordinary Love is up for Best Original Song, at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
But their fellow 2014 nominees Mark Gill and Baldwin Li, whose film The Voorman Problem is up for Best Live Action Short, Nebraska producer Ron Yerxa and Flemish director Felix van Groeningen, who is vying for the Best Foreign Film gong for his movie The Broken Circle Breakdown, embraced the chance to let their hair down before the prestigious 86th annual ceremony.
Other well known guests included director Kristen Sheridan, Gerard McCarthy, Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns, Former Desperate Housewives star Dana Delaney, Glee star Mike O’Malley, New Kids On The Block singer Joey McIntyre and The Strypes, who provided the entertainment for the night.