Inside the Governors Ball 2024 Oscars party

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Inside the Governors Ball 2024 Oscars party
Eugene Lee Yang, who voiced one of the characters in “Nimona,” a best animated feature Oscar nominee, at the Governors Ball after-party at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, March 10, 2024. Emma Stone and Christopher Nolan were among the winners celebrating at the official after-party of the 96th Academy Awards. (Sinna Nasseri/The New York Times)

by Kyle Buchanan and Nicole Sperling

NEW YORK, NY.- At the Governors Ball after the Oscars on Sunday evening, writer-director Christopher Nolan and producer Emma Thomas stepped off a raised dais after having their Oscars engraved and were greeted by the party’s chef, Wolfgang Puck. In honor of the night’s biggest prizewinners — Nolan for directing “Oppenheimer,” and Nolan and Thomas for producing it — Puck was serving a selection of British food: Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and fish and chips were presented to the couple, who were both delighted by a taste of home.

Onstage at the ceremony, Thomas said she had dreamed her whole life about winning an Oscar. When Nolan was asked at the party if he had held the same dream, he exclaimed, “Absolutely.”

Nolan, who is normally reserved, said he had felt emotional up on that stage, even though he maintained his composure. “The people that know me know when I get emotional,” he said. “Just ask Emma.”

True to form, Thomas added, “If he didn’t leave right when he did, he would have started ugly crying.”

“And we will leave it there,” said Nolan, before he was whisked away to greet more well-wishers.

Actress America Ferrera, one of the stars of “Barbie,” was still vibrating from the performances of two of that film’s songs, both Oscar nominees: Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” and “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell. (Eilish and O’Connell won the award.) Both performances “were just simply stunning,” Ferrera said. “I think Ryan is so brilliant and really created something so unique and special with his performance.”

Actor Simu Liu, who took part in the number, said: “It was an incredible, surreal moment to be onstage. And also, this came together extremely quickly.” When he got the call from the interlude’s choreographer, Mandy Moore, he said, he and his fellow performers Ncuti Gatwa, Scott Evans and Kingsley Ben-Adir hit the group chats, “and were like: ‘Oh my God, are you doing this? We have to do this.’ ”

About the night, Liu added: “We were so nervous. Doing any sort of live TV is nerve-wracking, and then to do it in that room? There’s not many rooms that are more intimidating.”

“There was such a moment of elation when we were done,” Liu said. “I think we pulled it off.”

Anita Hill, for one, won’t forget the movie that inspired the song anytime soon. Hill stopped Greta Gerwig on Gerwig’s way to find her husband, Noah Baumbach, to tell her how important “Barbie” was to her. Gerwig, who directed “Barbie” and wrote it with Baumbach (they received a nomination for best adapted screenplay), was embarrassed by the attention. She said with a smile, “We are just making movies over here.”

Yet Hill had more to say on the subject. “Clearly she has done an outstanding job, and I hope that’ll be an indication to the industry to open up more opportunity to women and people of color,” she said, also mentioning Cord Jefferson’s best adapted screenplay award for “American Fiction.” “There’s still not enough,” she said, “but I think this is an important time.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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