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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Hollywood's Gold Rush

Aired February 22, 2009 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: The cast is assembling. The stage is set. Live from the Oscars, this is HOLLYWOOD'S GOLD RUSH.

All aboard the Slumdog express, Oscar books a passage to India. Brad Pitt is cute as a button but he's pitted against heavyweight contenders. And Red Carpet rivals beware. Ann Hathaway has a way with Oscar style.

MIKKI TAYLOR, ESSENCE MAGAZINE: Yes, it's Anne Hathaway and she is just working it.

ANDERSON: The ballots are counted. The stars are dropping by.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have a visitor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is it?

ANDERSON: It is a visitor.

So get ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's Oscar time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm nervous, I'm excited. I want to scream.

ANDERSON: Live from the Academy Awards, this is Hollywood's "GOLD RUSH."

Hi there, everybody and welcome to the most exciting night in entertainment, the Academy Awards. I'm Brooke Anderson, in our Sky Lounge outside the Kodak Theater.

Now stars from Hollywood to Bollywood are gathering here for the 81st annual edition of the Oscars. On the right-hand side of your screen you can see that the stars are arriving in droves right now. We are about an hour away from the actual telecast.

Mickey Rooney, we've got some stars from "Slumdog Millionaire." We've seen Freida Pinto, Anthony Hopkins, also Virginia Madsen. It is going to be one spectacular evening.

And right now I want to go down to the Red Carpet and A.J. Hammer, host of "Showbiz Tonight," who snared a very special performer -- A.J.

A.J. HAMMER, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" HOST: Yes, an important performer tonight. Because he is stepping into the big shoes I might add of Peter Gabrielle. John Legend, good to see you, your first time ever at the Academy Awards. Could you ever have imagined when you were a kid here you would be standing and you're going to be on that stage tonight?

JOHN LEGEND, SINGER: This is cool. I just thought I was going to be on the Grammys when I was growing up. But I've never thought I would be at the Oscars too. So it's pretty cool to be here.

HAMMER: And you're going to be performing a part of the Peter Gabrielle song from "Wall-E" can you tell us a little bit more about what we will see because the Oscars this year is shrouded in secrecy.

I don't know why they're keeping it from us.

LEGEND: Well, I don't if they want me to tell. But it's part of a medley of the best original songs.

HAMMER: Well, you seem very cool and very mellow. And you look terrific. And you actually stepped into what was a little controversial earlier, this week, there was a cartoon that ran in "The New York Post" that a lot of people were rightfully I believe offended by.

And you have asked people from the entertainment industry to boycott "The New York Post" because of that. Are you happy you made the decision to be so vocal?

LEGEND: Yes, I am happy because we often hear about these things from a kind of more the traditional civil rights organizations. And I wanted people to know that it wasn't just kind of the old guard of the civil rights movement that was upset about this. Other people were upset as well.

And I wanted to mobilize people in my community and the entertainment community and people, you know in my generation, to pay attention to this as well.

And I thought, really, that it was irresponsible of "The New York Post" to publish it. And I thought it was infecting the debate about what, there should be a real debate about economic stimulus and about all these government programs that -- maybe proposed in the coming months. But I think that debate needs to be had without injecting racism and really dividing people that way.

Rather let's divide people ideologically --

HAMMER: Exactly.

LEGEND: -- and have a real conversation about the real merits of the issue and not put racism in it.

HAMMER: Well, a lot of people have told me they think you did a tremendous thing by stepping in. Congratulations and good luck tonight and have a great time.

LEGEND: Thank you very much. HAMMER: John Legend. Brooke, we're going to send it back up to you.

ANDERSON: Wow, he's a great talent. A.J. thank you. And take a look at the right-hand side of your screen. We are seeing more and more stars arrive. We just saw nominees Amy Adams, and also Taraji P. Hanson, Freida Pinto from "Slumdog Millionaire" as well as Dev Patel looking lovely. And there is Amy Adams again, looking elegant in red, matches that Red Carpet.

And we want to know what you've got to say about the stars and what they're wearing. Who is sizzling and who's fizzling? What do you think? Weigh in on our blog at CNN.com/marquee. Throughout the show we will be running your comments at the bottom of the screen.

All right. Well, what will win Best Picture? That is the big question tonight? But before we get to that, I want to go back to the Red Carpet with A.J. Hammer.

A.J. who do you have?

HAMMER: Come on over here. Of course, "Slumdog millionaire" one of the great Cinderella stories of the Academy Awards this year. And what's happened that is so incredible, is so many of the young actors, who played the older actors, but as children in the movie were flown to the United States for the Academy Awards.

Now these kids have never been on a plane, let alone a lot of them out of India. How are you guys doing? And how exciting is this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are super excited, it's unbelievable. It's a dream.

HAMMER: And I have to ask all of you, who is going to come back here to the Academy Awards one day as Best Actor nominee?

CHILDREN: All of us.

CHILDREN: All of us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All, all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all different. We will take our own.

HAMMER: Now, what has been the most exciting part of traveling and getting on the plane and coming over from India?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really like, the journey was really long, it was 26 hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Especially the free champagne, and that was amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But -- we saw a lot of movies on the flight. And then when we come in we were jetlagged. Then we went, like, we've been having a blast in the hotel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People coming and asking for autographs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're from "Slumdog Millionaire" can we have a picture with you?

HAMMER: Well, you guys and I want you to have a terrific time. Remember this moment. It's one of the best of your life. Congratulations.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you.

HAMMER: We look forward to see you on stage if you guys win tonight.

All right, Kareen, did you see how sharp they are dressed, Kareen is hanging out with the style.

KAREEN WYNTER, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Hi there A.J., they are too cute for words. Absolutely adorable and I hear that all the young stars in "Slumdog millionaire" have actually been dressed by none other than Brookes Brothers tonight. They're looking smashing.

speaking of "Slumdog Millionaire" so many people are saying the chances tonight to take home the gold it's a great one. Let's take a look at this film.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANNY BOYLE, DIRECTOR OF "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE: When you start a film there's always what I call the bathroom moment. Where you stand in you're bathroom alone from there and you think this is the one. This is the one. But it never is of course, normally.

WYNTER: This time even director Danny Boyle can't deny this is the one. "Slumdog Millionaire" the British filmmaker's tale of a poor Indian boy who seeks wealth, fame and love against all odds has earned top honors from nearly every award show this season.

STEVE POND, AUTHOR, "THE BIG SHOW": I don't think anything else out there can beat it. You have somebody who is -- you know, a fresh filmmaker, telling an old story in a way that feels different. And also setting it in the setting you really haven't seen much on screen before.

He takes a lot of stuff from Bollywood, from Indian movies and then puts his spin on it.

WYNTER: Oscar expert, Steve Pond, adds Best Picture winners often reflect global sentiment. And right now people want to smile.

POND: It is a story that makes you feel good. I mean somehow he pulls off the trick of having a movie that wallows in squalor and yet leaves you exhilarated.

WYNTER: The road to gold has not been without its bumps. Just last month Boyle countered charges that he underpaid the film's youngest stars and has also had to defend the movie's title which some protestors in India call derogatory. BOYLE: It's a hybrid of that word, on the dog and where he comes from the slum. So it's not meant in an insulting way at all, absolutely not. And I'm very sad that that has upset people.

WYNTER: Ponds says this kind of backlash is expected.

POND: It was inevitable there were going to be controversies. When you become a front-runner in the Oscar race, you automatically become a target.

WYNTER: Still heavily favored to win, it would appear "Slumdog's" journey from underdog to top dog remains on track.

BOYLE: I know it is only entertainment. But it feels kind of a historic night really to me. It feels like -- you know the world has got a bit smaller suddenly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went on the show because I thought she would be watching. She's my destiny.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WYNTER: Definitely one of the big favorites tonight. "Slumdog" up for ten academy awards second only to "Benjamin Button" with 13.

All right, we're going to toss it back out to A.J. Hammer on the Red Carpet. A.J., I'm hearing you have a special nominee, a special guest?

HAMMER: A Best Actress nominee. The lovely Melissa Leo, your first Oscar nomination for "Frozen River." What does it mean to be here tonight? Because this is just really the pinnacle of it all isn't it?

MELISSA LEO, BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE: It is absolutely the pinnacle of it all. And "Frozen River" has given me an extraordinary year, around the world, best actress from Spain, best actress in Marakesh. But to be here tonight the response from family, friends, people I haven't heard from in ages. Is just delighted to be hearing from every -- it is so humungous.

HAMMER: Isn't it unbelievable? And Melissa, you've been doing some fine work for a long time. But this obviously gives you perhaps an extra level of notoriety that perhaps you haven't had before?

LEO: Perhaps.

HAMMER: What are you seeing that do to your career are you noticing a change in the scripts lining on you're desk?

LEO: In the real world things happen at a slower pace than we imagine. And then we hear about it later, but still yes indeed this is making all the difference in the world.

HAMMER: Are you well prepared with a speech Melissa because you never know?

LEO: I would say I am prepared, well prepared, perhaps not.

HAMMER: Can you tell us what you are wearing, how did you decide to wear this particular outfit tonight?

LEO: This is Badgley-Mischka and my stylist Christina Erlich (ph) had brought me to them. It was a designer that I did know only this past 12 months or so as I began to look at clothing in a different way than I ever had before.

And it is, connected to their line this year. But we altered it some, so it would fit my body more becomingly and worked together in fact with Badgley-Mischka, myself and the designer and altogether we are all here tonight.

HAMMER: How cool is your overall Oscar experience that you get to date? You look fantastic. Congratulations on the nomination. Best of luck tonight, Melissa Leo.

All right, Brooke, they're coming down the Red Carpet one by one. And we will be here talking to them.

ANDERSON: Yes, they are, A.J. and thank you for that.

And our friends at home, thousands of you have been casting your vote for Best Picture on CNN.com. So without further ado, the envelope, please. 49 percent of you say the Oscars should go to "Slumdog Millionaire." Now, that is way ahead of the second place film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." That got 27 percent of your vote.

And we're still curious what you think so go to CNN.com/academyawards. Cast your ballot for Best Picture. And all the top awards. We really want to know what you think.

And hey, remember this key moment from "Slumdog Millionaire."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two of the musketeers are called Athos and Portos, what was the name of the third musketeer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would look to phone a friend.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That's Anil Kapoor as the host of the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." Tonight he's playing a different game, "Who Knows their Oscar Trivia? And he is ready to put you to the test. Take it away, Anil.

ANIL KAPOOR, "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE": Hello, everybody. Are you ready to play "Who Knows the Oscar Trivia?" Here is your first question. Frank Langela is the second actor nominated for portraying President Richard Nixon. Who was the first? Was it A - Jack Nicholson, B - Anthony Hopkins, C - Gene Hackman, or D - Michael Douglas? I'll be back in a moment with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAPOOR: Here is your Oscar trivia question again. Frank Langela is the second actor nominated for portraying Richard Nixon. Who was the first? Was it, A - Jack Nicholson, B - Anthony Hopkins, C - Gene Hackman, or D - Michael Douglas? Right answer. B - Anthony Hopkins. He played the title role in Oliver Stone's "Nixon."

Let's go back to your host of Hollywood's "GOLD RUSH."

KAREEN WYNTER: Thanks so much, Anil.

Now, throughout the show we'll be talking fashion, folks, with one of the world's leading experts, Kate Betts, she's editor of "Time, Style and Design." Kate, thank you so much for joining us. Tell us, who are you putting all your bets on tonight?

KATE BETTS, EDITOR, "TIME, STYLE AND DESIGN": Well, we're all waiting to see what Ms. Winslet wears. I think that's one of the most exciting people. But we are seeing great gowns out there.

WYNTER: Tell us about it, the trends already, my goodness.

BETTS: The trends for big romantic ball gowns. We are Miley Cyrus in this beautiful beaded, tiered, scalloped gown.

WYNTER: Looks very youthful; fitting for her.

BETTS: Very youthful as like a prom dress kind of. And she really knows, she is carrying it around on the red carpet. She is working it. She looks great.

WYNTER: And Vanessa Hudgens from "High School Musical."

BETTS: Vanessa Hudgens, a little more streamlined but still very romantic with that embroidery on the front, strapless.

WYNTER: Not a lot of jewelry, though.

BETTS: Not a lot of jewelry.

WYNTER: Keeping it simple.

BETTS: Keeping it streamlined. But we are seeing a lot of jewelry tonight. It's a big trend; big baubles.

WYNTER: What are some other trends that you are expecting?

The skinny bow tie you mentioned.

BETTS: The tiny little bow tie that we see here and we also saw on those cute adorable little "Slumdog Millionaire" actors. I think also we are seeing a lot of tuxedo variations I think. I hear that there are going to be some interesting things for --

WYNTER: Ok. All right and we will be talking fashion all evening long. So we'll be checking back in with you, Kate in a little bit. For now, the bases are loaded on this Red Carpet and it is a glam slam. Tonight's Oscar beauties recall icons of an earlier era.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNE HATHAWAY, ACTRESS: You make popcorn. Talk to the screen. And what everybody is wearing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Old Hollywood glamour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My eye to Hollywood is an old-fashioned eye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like the way the women dressed back there because it is so feminine.

AMY ADAMS, SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE: Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, the class, Audrey Hepburn.

MIKKI TAYLOR, ESSENCE MAGAZINE: Glamour is back in a big way; Gowns, jewels, and fragrance that I can smell through the screen.

And the stars you love to watch. And it is just, fascinating to compare them the stars of yesteryear.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt take me back to the Liz Taylor, Richard Burton years. Diamonds came out. And cleavage came out and color came out and gowns that took your breath away.

Anne Hathaway is like Audrey Hepburn in "Sabrina," if you will. "Is that Sabrina? Is that the neighbor's daughter?"

WYNTER: Yes, it is Anne Hathaway and she's just working it.

ADAMS: I don't even know what my style is.

TAYLOR: Without question, Amy Adams is our modern day Grace Kelly.

WYNTER: Penelope Cruz.

TAYLOR: Well, there's Sophia Loren just incarnated. Look at Sophia in "Two Women" it's the mussed hair, it is the sensuality.

(INAUDIBLE) the white halter gown that she wore, it made me think of Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch."

TAYLOR: The woman we miss is back in full force.

MERYL STREEP, BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE: Well, I didn't buy a dress!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WYNTER: It's just a guess but something tells me, Meryl will be wearing a dress tonight. We of course, like to thank Mikki Taylor of "Essence" Magazine for her insights into that piece.

For now we'll be back to talk more Oscar fashion in a bit. First, Brooke, we're going to send it to you in our Oscar sky lounge.

ANDERSON: Thank you so much, Kareen. We are seeing nominee Marissa Tomei arriving. She's nominated for her role in "The Wrestler." We also just saw some of the male nominees including Robert Downy Jr., nominated for his role in "Tropic Thunder" as well as Josh Brolin, nominated for his role in "Milk."

And yes, they did remarkable jobs but unfortunately they probably don't stand a chance against the late Heath Ledger. It's pretty inevitable -- the consensus is -- that he will be awarded an Oscar for his performance in "The Dark Knight."

Ok. Don't forget later tonight, watch a special edition of "Showbiz Tonight," live from right here outside the Kodak Theater. A.J. Hammer and I will be your hosts. That's at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.

And in a matter of hours we will find out if "Slumdog" becomes top dog at the Oscars. Twenty cast members are walking the Red Carpet tonight including Anil Kapoor, who plays the game show host.

In the meantime, he's putting your Oscar knowledge to the test.

KAPOOR: Here is your next question in "Who Knows Their Oscar Trivia." Everyone would look to raise the trophy. Well how much does the Oscar statuette weigh? Is it A - 8.5 pounds, B - 9 pounds, C - 7.5 pounds, or D - 6 pounds. I'll be back after this with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAPOOR: Here is your trivia question again. How much does the Oscar statuette weigh? Is it A - 8.5 pounds, B - 9 pounds, C - 7.5 pounds, D - 6 pounds. The right answer, 8.5 pounds. Lucky for those it may seem light as air.

Let's send you back to the Red Carpet and Hollywood's "GOLD RUSH."

HAMMER: Well, thank you very much, Anil Kapoor. That of course, Anil Kapoor, star, one of the stars of "Slumdog Millionaire" one of the great Cinderella stories of the academy awards.

Welcome back to Hollywood's "GOLD RUSH." I'm A.J. Hammer on the Red Carpet with a couple of Anil's major co-stars from the film. Freida Pinto, Dev Patel, it's so good to have you guys here. You have been running around making the rounds throughout this entire awards season. What's the deal with this though? Is this really the pinnacle?

FREIDA PINTO, "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE": Well I guess none of us are expecting any of this. But when we were making the film in 2007, everyone knew it was a special film. This has come as a major blessing and major gift to all of us in our lives. And I think, just being here with the kids is actually the most special moment.

HAMMER: It has to be completely gratifying having them here as a party.

PINTO: It would not feel complete. We do feel complete now, yes. HAMMER: Are you a little bit nervous about the night?

DEV PATEL, "SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE": I am. I mean, it's the biggest right. What's bigger than the Oscars and we are here. And it's very surreal right now. Yes.

HAMMER: I want to bring in Anil Kapoor who's nice enough to do the trivia for us for CNN and Hollywood's". We appreciate that? Let me slide you over this way a little bit. How does it feel to have earned your place in Oscar history? Here you are, man?

KAPOOR: Absolutely and it is wonderful to do the Oscar trivia. And we're here on the Red Carpet with Dev, Freida and the entire star cast, Danny's film. And the film's creating history all over the world. It is absolutely fantastic.

HAMMER: I have to point out, you, you both look terrific. Freida, you look absolutely remarkable. Can you tell us about what you are wearing and how you made the decision to wear it?

PINTO: I like the way you stacked it. I'm not trying to make you feel bad but the two of you look terrific. Coming to me, John Galliano, and the jewelry is Martin Katz, a 150-year-old ring that has been mined out of India and the clutch is (INAUDIBLE).

HAMMER: That is something else. I have a feeling you are going to wind up on a lot of Oscar best dressed lists when they start doing the reviews of who or what's in this awards' night.

PINTO: My stylist will be really happy then. Thank you.

HAMMER: Congratulations. Best of luck tonight. It's been a real pleasure. And an honor for you guys but a pleasure for all of us watching the success of this film.

PATEL: Thank you so much.

HAMMER: Thank you very much.

We are about to speak with Viola Davis, of course, who was nominated as best supporting actress for her incredible performance in the movie "Doubt." A lot of people said not a huge performance but in the supporting category you can be on screen five minutes. Some times you can be on screen a long, long time.

Viola is coming over here, as she meets the "Slumdog" people.

Come on over here, Viola. It's chaos, it's bedlam here on the Red Carpet.

Viola, it's a pleasure to see you. Congratulations on your nomination tonight.

How does it feel your first Oscar nomination to be a part of Oscar history? VIOLA DAVIS, BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE: You know my manager calls my story a Cinderella story and I think that its fitting, you know. From really humble beginnings in Central Falls to the Kodak Theater, you know?

HAMMER: So many people say the best supporting actress category is one of the most competitive this year. Nobody knows who is going to win it. By the way your first, your role in this, it was short, but, man, you knocked it out of the park which a lot of people have said that's what it takes to win this particular award. How is your confidence level?

DAVIS: From your mouth to God's ears. I don't feel that way. I don't feel that way. I think that's why I was so nervous. I think that I'm up against some titans.

HAMMER: You don't look nervous. You look spectacular. You guys enjoy the show and congratulations. Best of luck to you.

DAVIS: Thank you very much. Thank you.

HAMMER: All right, Brooke. We're going to send it back upstairs to you in the sky lounge.

ANDERSON: Thank you so much, A.J. The co-star of one of tonight's best picture nominees whom A.J. just spoke with a few minutes ago has a question for you and it is multiple choice.

KAPOOR: I am Anil Kapoor of "Slumdog Millionaire." Are you ready to put your Oscar knowledge to the test? Here is the question -- that's my favorite question. What was the first color film to win best picture? Was it A - The Wizard of Oz, B - Cimarron, C - Grand Hotel or D - Gone with the Wind. The answer is coming up. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAPOOR: Here is your trivia question again. What was the first color film to win best picture? Was it A - The Wizard of Oz, B - Cimarron, C - Grand Hotel or D - Gone with the Wind. The right answer as God is my witness, it's D - Gone with the Wind.

The classic came out in 1939.

Now let's go back to the Red Carpet live for more of Hollywood's "GOLD RUSH."

HAMMER: Welcome back to Hollywood's "GOLD RUSH." I'm A.J. Hammer. We are live on the Red Carpet.

Speaking of best picture, a film that at least the people involved are hoping walks away with best picture award tonight, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button;" one of the most epic films. The most nominated film of all.

Taraji P. Henson, nominated in the best supporting actress category.

Now Taraji, your first name in Swahili means "hope."

TARAJI HENSON, NOMINEE: Yes.

HAMMER: So you're feeling a lot of hope tonight.

HENSON: I really am. I mean just this year has been full of hope, hasn't? And the change that we brought to the White House. This is incredible. I think my father knew what he was doing when he named me years ago.

HAMMER: And look at you. Cool as a cucumber. This is your first Oscar nomination. I'm guessing it's your first time here at the Academy Awards.

HENSON: Actually, it's my third time. The first time I was here we just filmed "Hustle and Flow." So Paramount invited myself, Tara Manning and Terrence Howard. The second year I sang. I mean this carpet I'm used to. I'm not used to walking the carpet as a nominee. That's new.

HAMMER: Have you seen your fellow nominees? Because you have the most nominations of any film?

HENSON: I saw Marisa Tomei. I saw Viola Davis so far in my category.

HAMMER: Well, you look spectacular. Best of luck tonight. Congratulations.

HENSON: Thank you so much. Thank you.

HAMMER: How great does she look, Brooke? Unbelievable. Beautiful Fred Leighton jewelry by the way.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Oh, she looks gorgeous, A.J.. And you know there are no more loyal Oscar fans than Sandi Stratton and Babe Churchill. They are two sisters from southern California, and they have been a regular presence in the Oscar bleachers for, four decades now, yes, 40 years. We are fortunate to have them as our special I-reporters today and Sandy joins me now by cell phone. Sandy, hi, can you hear me?

SANDI STRATTON, IHAMMER: I can, Brooke, how are you?

ANDERSON: I'm doing well. It sounds like there is a lot of activity around you. Hey, what keeps bringing you back year after year, Sandy, that is devotion?

STRATTON: Well, that's, watching all of this. And the excitement of all this is what brings us back here year after year.

ANDERSON: And what are you seeing right now? What have you seen so far? And what is going on?

STRATTON: Right now, Penelope Cruz is being interviewed by Tim Gund for ABC. We're watching her being interviewed right now. And we just saw, Beyonce, and Anthony Hopkins, and - I can't even - I can't even tell you who all we have seen.

ANDERSON: And your daughter, Deneil has actually provided us with some I-report photos. We're looking at those on the left-hand side of the screen. There's Amy Adams. Please, thank her for us. And, hey, Sandi, who do you hope to see on the carpet? And do you get autographs? Do you get photographs with these people? As they're walking into the Kodak Theater?

STRATTON: We don't really get to see - get their autographs very often. Unless they break rank and come right over to us. And that has happened a time or two. But we're hoping to see Brad Pitt, of course. And, I am anxious to see Jerry Lewis.

ANDERSON: All right. I hope you see everyone you want to see. Sandy Stratton, thank you so much. Good to see you enjoy yourself.

STRATTON: You're welcome.

ANDERSON: Good talking with you.

STRATTON: Thank you, Brooke!

ANDERSON: OK. If you have seen "Slumdog Millionaire" you know the famed Bollywood star, Anil Kapoor. He played a pivotal role in the film as the questionable game show host. And now Anil has a question for you in this round of "Who knows their Oscar trivia."

ANIL KAPOOR, ACTOR: We are playing "Who knows their Oscar trivia." And here is the question. The outstanding Meryl Streep earned the 15th Oscar nomination for a career this year, what was her real first name? Is it a, Mary Louise, b, Mary Lynn, c, Mildred, or d, Melissa? I'll be back in a moment with the right answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAPOOR: Back now with the answer to our latest Oscar conundrum. This is the question - is it a, Mary Louise, b, Mary Lynn, c, Mildred, d, Melissa. The right answer, a, Mary Louise. Her role in "Doubt" earned Mary Louis Streep a record, 15 acting nominations. No doubt there are more Oscar nominations in her future. Now, let's go back to the red carpet. Live with your host of Hollywood's "Gold Rush."

A.J. : Welcome back to Hollywood's "Gold Rush." And on the red carpet live with me now, Josh Brolin, nominated in the best supporting actor category for his outstanding performance in "Milk." We are on, Josh. You know, you are a guy who grew up in southern California from a show business family, how does it feel for you to have earned your place in Oscar history?

JOSH BROLIN, ACTOR: It sounder great. Do that again?

A.J. I can't. I can't possibly do that again. Your lovely wife Diane Lane will laugh at me some more.

BROLIN: Yes. No, it's good. It feels great. It feels great. I didn't grow up in southern California. But I was away and when I came down, finally decided to become an actor. And then look, we're here. It's amazing.

HAMMER: There was a point where you are going to bail on the whole thing and not pursue this road. So the fact that you are now up, for you know, the highest of the high awards.

BROLIN: All right. It's an amazing time. Amazing time.

HAMMER: Diane Lane, you have been down the Oscar carpet before. Did you give Josh any advice on how to handle the night here?

DIANE LANE, ACTRESS: I couldn't give him any advice. He stays strong for me. So we help each other out by being in each other's presence.

HAMMER: Congratulations on your well-deserved nomination. And best of luck tonight.

BROLIN: Thank you.

HAMMER: Thank you very much. Kareen Wynter is at our fashion station with the little curtsy. Kareen.

KAREEN WYNTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: looking great out there. Thank you so much. I'm back with our fashion experts. Kate Betts. Now you just saw A.J. interviewing the stunning, handsome, Josh Brolin. Lots of men in Burberry and Armani suits tonight? Why is that?

KATE BETTS, EDITOR "TIME STYLE & DESIGN": Yes, they are really going for the classic tux look. I like that black tie. He looks very nice. He looks really great.

WYNTER: And very simple. But we have also seen others hitting the red carpet in purple jackets. Fedoras, they're going all out tonight.

BETTS: They are. A lot of glamour even for the men. I love that.

WYNTER: And the beautiful Viola Davis in gold. Is that color working for her?

BETTS: Stunning. I think she looks great. I think she's very glamorous. Not too over the top for her. I love the Fred Leighton vintage brooch she has right here.

WYNTER: OK. I got to ask. Where is the necklace? Where are the jewels here?

BETTS: The jewels are the brooch and she has a pair of earrings on too, I believe. And I think you know with the gold lamee like that, you don't want to overdo it too much with the shine.

WYNTER: Heidi Klum in red.

BETTS: Here are some jewels for you. Look at those earrings. And the neckline on the dress is stunning. Beautiful.

WYNTER: All right. Just getting into it. We'll be checking back in with you in just a bit, Kate. We're going to send it back out to our Brooke Anderson. Brooke, what do you have?

ANDERSON: Thank you, Kareen. We just saw Penelope Cruz arrive. She is nominated for her role in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." We are also seeing Robert Downy Jr. speaking with Diane Lane. It is a very thrilling evening here. And right now the game show host from "Slumdog Millionaire" is here to play a different kind of game. Anil Kapoor now with the latest round of "Who knows their Oscar trivia?"

KAPOOR: Time now for another Oscar trivia question. Mickey Rourke is nominated for best actor this year for playing a professional wrestler, which of these actors won an Oscar for playing a former boxer. Was it a, Burt Lancaster, b, Kirk Douglas, c, Marlon Brando, or d, Sylvester Stallone? The right answer will be read in a moment. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAPOOR: Here is the Oscar trivia question again. Which of these actors won an Oscar for playing a former boxer, was it a, Burt Lancaster, b, Kirk Douglas, c, Marlon Brando, or d, Sylvester Stallone? It's c, Marlon Brando. You hit it on the nose.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARLON BRANDO, ACTOR: I could have been a contender.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAPOOR: He won an Oscar in 1955 for playing an ex-fighter in "On the Waterfront." Let's go from the waterfront to the red carpet and your hosts of Hollywood's "Gold Rush."

HAMMER: Welcome back to Hollywood's "Gold Rush." Nominated in the best supporting actress category, for a magnificent role in "The Wrestler" Marisa Tomei, back at the Academy Awards. What is it 16 years since you picked up your Oscar for "My Cousin Vinny?" How different is it this time around?

MARISA TOMEI, NOMINEE: Well, it is different. I was here a few years ago for "In the Bedroom." And each time it's been a little different. This is more like the first time I think. It's a little - the carpet is a little bit more subdued. And it's nice in a way. It has a hometown feeling. If you can barely say that about this occasion.

HAMMER: Here you are. Is the preparation part a big deal? Because I'm sure you are getting people bringing you dress after dress and giving you all sorts of ideas what to wear. Is there a lot of pressure to walk this red carpet or you don't feel that now that you are a vet?

TOMEI: Yes, you know, well, there is. But it is really - a celebration of everybody's work. The community. And that's the most important thing.

HAMMER: Have a great time. Enjoy the party. Good luck tonight. Marisa. Appreciate it. Brooke, I think she looks spectacular. And it's o nice seeing her on the red carpet year after year as well.

ANDERSON: Absolutely, A.J. And we're looking now at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who have just arrived here on the red carpet. They are both nominees. Brad in the best actor category for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." And Angelina, of course in the best actress category for "Changeling." And our friends at home your comments are pouring into our blog at cnn.com/marquee.

I'm getting them on my blackberry. Dan Robertson writes for best picture, I love "Slumdog" and "Benjamin Button" but the omission of "Batman" as best a picture nominee is perplexing. My only explanation is that the old Oscar guard or voters cannot grasp that a movie that is entertaining and mainstream shouldn't automatically be eliminated from Oscar contention.

Very good point, Dan. And Laurie writes - it is inevitable. But I do hope I do not hear about politics tonight during the acceptance speeches. OK. Keep your feedback coming. Just go to cnn.com/marquee. And we will post your opinions and check out the bottom of the screen to see what viewers like you are saying.

All right. Anil Kapoor of "Slumdog Millionaire" is back now with a suspenseful question in this round of "Who knows their Oscar trivia."

KAPOOR: The question in this round of "Who Knows the Oscar trivia?" What is the only Alfred Hitchcock film to win best picture, was it - a, the "39 Steps," b, "Rebecca," c, "Vertigo," or d, "Psycho." The suspense is building. I'll be back in a moment with the answer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KAPOOR: Back now with the answer to our Oscar trivia. What is the only Alfred Hitchcock film to win best picture, was it a, "the 39 steps," b, "Rebecca," c, "Vertigo," or d, "Psycho." The right answer, b, "Rebecca."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are you trying to tell me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rebecca has won.

KAPOOR: We leave "Rebecca" behind now for Kareen, Brooke, A.J., your hosts of Hollywood's "Gold Rush."

WYNTER: Oh, Anil, thank you so, very much. All right, all night we've been getting viewer comments, just people chiming in about what the stars are wearing. They have been blogging at cnn.com/marquee.

Joining me once again, our fashion guru, Kate Betts. All right. Here is what some are saying. Anna for example writes that Freida looks beautiful. Katherine wrote in, she is saying that Miley Cyrus' dress is absolutely divine. And that Zac Efron looks oh, so fine. Do you agree?

BETTS: I do agree. I think Freida Pinto looks good in anything. She is so beautiful and the color of that dress is electric. Not sure about the lace sleeves but I think the color is just divine. And I also think that Mylie looks great. It's kind of prom dress-ish, but it's really fun and glamorous.

And Angelina Jolie now working those beautiful dazzling green earrings that we are seeing. Angelina Jolie in black thought. I'm a little disappointed by the color. Sara Jessica Parker. Sarah Jessica Parker in Dior. Beautiful, fashion, working.

WYNTER: All right. Kate, is keep it real now, is she working it a little too much?

BETTS: Maybe a little too much, I was going to say. We're va-va- vavoom in that dress but you got to give her credit. She is going full fashion on this red carpet.

WYNTER: Oh, and the lovely Josh Brolin and his wife, Diane Lane. Josh, by the way is wearing a white knot on his lapel. It signifies marriage equality.

BETTS: You know what. I like that. It's a nice little political statement, a little discrete. It looks very chic. You notice it right away if you're not sure of what he's about but if you know what it is, it's a nice way of making a political statement on the red carpet. Good for him.

WYNTER: Good for him. Marisa Tomei who always sets the trend in fashion. Is she working it tonight?

BETTS: She is wearing Versace couture. And that is one heck of a gown. It's big and it's beautiful. We're seeing a lot of this creamy pink color. I like it.

WYNTER: All right. We'll be hearing a little bit more from you before the night is over. For now, we're going to toss it back out to Brooke. Brooke, take it away.

ANDERSON: That's right. Josh Brolin wearing that white knot for marriage equality. It's probably not the only one we will see on the red carpet tonight. Ron Howard has just arrived. We're also seeing Kate Winslet looking oh so elegant. Best actress nominee. Make sure to tune in to HLN later tonight for a special live edition of "Showbiz Tonight" from right here at the Academy Awards. A.J. Hammer will be your host. That's at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN, "Headline News."

OK. Are you an expert of all things Academy Awards? Well the man who played the game show host in "Slumdog Millionaire" is here with another round of "Who Knows their Oscar" trivia.

KAPOOR: I'm Anil Kapoor with the most challenging question for you. Who is the only person to win an Oscar for playing a rooster? Was it a, Mary Pickford, b, Charlie Chaplain, c, Robert Mitchum or d, John Wayne? You think you know, if you are right. When we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KAPOOR: It's a tough one. Who is the only person to win an Oscar for playing a rooster? Was it a, Mary Pickford, b, Charlie Chaplain, c, Robert Mitchum or d, John Wayne. The right answer, John Wayne. He won an Oscar for playing Rooster Cogburn in "True Grit." Now let's go back to the red carpet for more of "Hollywood's Gold Rush."

HAMMER: Nominated for best director, Ron Howard, of course, for the amazing film "Frost Nixon."

All right. Ron, we're live now. We can talk.

RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: I'm talking to Penelope Cruz. I'm sorry.

HAMMER: I don't blame you at all if you want to do that while I ask you a question. You know, "The Hollywood Reporter" said one thing that could tip the scales in your direction for winning the best director Oscar tonight is the fact that you're one of the most well- liked guys in Hollywood.

HOWARD: Well, I'm an Academy member. And I don't think we vote that way. I think it's really all about excellence. And you know, it's a great tradition. Obviously I'd love it to break our way. You know, in all the categories. But it's great to be here tonight.

HAMMER: But how did you talk this gentleman into coming and walking the red carpet with you?

HOWARD: He volunteered. As shocking as that might be.

DAVID FROST: We've spent a lot of time together recently and we've enjoyed it hugely, since what promoting the film and just having a good time.

HOWARD: (inaudible) a couple of weeks ago and so I'm so glad that he actually could be here. Because let's face it, this film wouldn't exist if he not had the courage and tenacity to create the interviews 37 years ago. That was a tremendous challenge.

HAMMER: And David, the idea that your basically story may be honored in such a big way in a couple of major categories tonight has to be an extraordinary pinnacle for you.

FROST: It's very exciting. In fact, it's so exciting the nominations that any actual awards will be a pure and glorious bonus. Do you know what I mean? It's great the film has been honored this far and the reviews have been so good. And it's been a tremendous experience, which I think everybody's enjoyed every stage of it.

HAMMER: It's been great fun as fans who watch, David. I've learned a lot from you as well. David Frost, Ron Howard. Best of luck. In all of the films that you have a hand in tonight, I saw your name in a lot of credits.

HOWARD: It's been a good year.

HAMMER: Your fashion is about to get critiqued. Kareen Wynter, we're going to send it over to you. I think Ron and David looked pretty good.

WYNTER: I think they look fantastic, magic, A.J.. We're going to check back in now with our Kate Betts, our fashion guru. Kate, you've seen so much on the red carpet tonight. Who stole the show? Who flopped?

BETTS: You know, I think that Amy Adams looked amazing. I think she took it away with that gorgeous Fred Leighton necklace which I heard has 630 karats worth -

WYNTER: And one of your favorites, you mentioned, Kate Winslet.

BETTS: And Kate Winslet who looks gorgeous. She looks like Grace Kelly. I mean, her face is just perfect and that hair pulled back. Angelina Jolie, a little disappointing in the black dress.

WYNTER: But the earrings, they really stood out. They popped.

BETTS: Major. Yes, I agree.

WYNTER: All right. Thanks so much, Kate. Thanks for being here all evening with us. It's been quite a treat. We're going to toss it back out to you, Brooke, in our Oscar Sky Lounge.

ANDERSON: Thank you so much, Kareen.

Now, we hate to rush but that is all the time we have for "Hollywood's Gold Rush. Stay tuned to CNN throughout the night for updates on the Oscars and watch CNN's AMERICAN MORNING tomorrow morning for reaction from the winners. That's at 6:00 a.m. Eastern on CNN.

And coming up later tonight on HLN, a special live edition of "Showbiz Tonight" from right here at the Academy Awards. Please join A.J. Hammer and me for that. That's at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on HLN.

OK. I think we want to go back down to A.J. Hammer really quickly on the red carpet. A.J.

HAMMER: Yes. I just wanted to chime in, Brooke, because before we have to watch inside, we of course have to watch the Academy Awards ourselves so we can catch up with everybody on "Showbiz Tonight" over at HLN at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. But there's been such a high level of excitement this year. A few people have told me during the break that it feels like this is exactly what America needs right now.

We're having some pretty tough times and maybe we want to take a look at all the glitz and the glamour and really sort of drink in the moment and maybe live vicariously through all the excitement here and some amazing films and performances that are being honored tonight.

ANDERSON: Oh, it's extraordinary, A.J. and the producers of this show, want some magical moments for the Oscars telecast. They're hoping to re-invent the show, after dismal ratings, declining ratings over the past few years. Last year being the lowest rated telecast ever. So we got song and dance man Hugh Jackman at the helm. I spoke to him a few days ago. He's really excited. And he told me, A.J., that you mow, he's going to start drinking early today.

So if nothing else, he's going to have a good time. But he's already cracking the jokes and hopefully he'll be relaxed. And I'm sure he'll do a great job.

HAMMER: Interesting to note that they are keeping a lot of things under wraps this year in terms of who's presenting. We didn't get anybody walking by on the red carpet perhaps with the exception of Marion Cotillard who we can say is probably going to be a presenter tonight. They haven't released the list.

ANDERSON: That's right.

HAMMER: They built a lot of intrigue on that.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Tilda Swinton is also expected to be here to present. Sara Jessica Parker we're hearing as well. And now before we go, I want to give a special shout out to Anil Kapoor of "Slumdog Millionaire" for hosting "Who knows their Oscars Trivia" tonight. For Kareen Wynter and A.J. Hammer, I'm Brooke Anderson reporting from the 81st annual Academy Awards. Stay tuned to CNN for "State of the Union" with John King. That start right now.

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