Wednesday 17 January 2018

'My Oscars week: Starstruck and waiting for the goodies'

Ed Guiney, the producer of nominated movie Room describes the surreal whirlwind of Oscars week, endless networking and parties ahead of tonight's glitzy awards ceremony

Lenny Abrahamson, screenwriter Emma Donoghue and producer Ed Guiney at the 88th Annual Academy Awards nominee lunch Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage
Lenny Abrahamson, screenwriter Emma Donoghue and producer Ed Guiney at the 88th Annual Academy Awards nominee lunch Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

Monday: We got into LA very early this morning on an Ethiopian Airlines flight - straight off the flight and into meetings. I knew it was going to be hectic, an endless round of face-to-face meetings each day and every night there's parties and receptions and the same people circulating. I drove up near the Oscars venue and I saw them preparing for the big night with all the security around. They had all these huge Oscar statues in a vacant slot beside it, presumably waiting to line the red carpet - it just looked like sheep in a field. It was surreal and exciting.

Tuesday: Today we are conducting meetings with studios and the agencies because for us it was brilliant to celebrate the films of course, but it's also a great opportunity in terms of promoting other things that we are doing and getting the next movie made. We have been making connections and talking about more projects for the future. Particularly here in Hollywood there's nothing better than a film that everyone has seen and that has been nominated for the Oscars. But I am not naive about it either. As soon as it is all over they will start talking about next year's Oscars and your moment in the sun is passed so you need to take advantage of it while everyone is still talking about it.

Wednesday: We are staying in the Four Seasons hotel. It is ground zero. Everyone from all the other films is staying here too. It's very central to Beverly Hills and as busy as Grand Central Station with people coming and going to events. I saw Morgan Freeman in the lift yesterday. He seemed like a very nice man. Then I met Paul McCartney in the gym the other morning on a treadmill too. I did have to look twice. I didn't try to outpace him. But he looked great I thought, extremely well. I am not the type of person who would talk to celebrities on the spot, unless I had a connection or mutual friend. It's not my thing. But McCartney is a real legend. I will perhaps wish I had plucked up the courage to have a word.

Tonight we had the Irish Film Board event with the IDA. Chris O'Dowd turned up and Colin Farrell and quite a few famous Irish faces.

The Oscar Wilde party was great and they honoured Lenny (Abrahamson), Snow Patrol and Sarah Greene and that was very impressive. It's really cool to have such a high-profile Irish event here in Hollywood. We also went to another party on Sunset Terrace which went on way too late. I've been trying to keep the drinking moderate. At my age if you're out three or four nights in a row it really hurts so I don't want to be a wreck on Sunday. I want to be in good form to enjoy it.

Thursday: Stars are so familiar to you anyway in this business because you see them all the time but sometimes you can't help but become really starstruck. Jacob Tremblay, the young actor who plays Jack in "Room" is not a bit shy at approaching people so he would meet everyone at all these events. He has been hanging out with Johnny Depp, he'll go up to Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett and they all know him of course because they have all seen the movie. But the best one was at this lunch two weeks ago. Jake met Sylvester Stallone which was quite a moment and there was a great picture of him boxing Sylvester which was hilarious. He is a legendary figure and he was the guy who really struck me when I saw him. More than most other people.

Jacob is a sweet kid. He has been one of the hits of the award season and makes these great speeches that bring the house down.

Friday: I was asking about the goodie bags today and if we get one so I think we do on the night. Oh my God it sounds great. Overwhelming. €200,000 of free stuff from walking tours in Japan to personalised M&M's. I definitely won't be using the plastic surgery though.

Saturday: I haven't prepared a speech for tomorrow night. Mainly because I don't expect to make one. The miracle for us is just to be here with four nominations. That's the real achievement and if we come away with something that would be wonderful.

But it is very unlikely that if we come away with anything other than Brie [Larson - Best Actress]. If she wins that it will be amazing.

Sunday: All our wives are here so tonight there will be lots of make up and hair activity. But I am not doing much. I'll just put on my penguin suit and my shoes and brush my teeth and walk out the door. Great thing about being a man. Now all that's left is to really enjoy it.

Sunday Independent

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