Irish stars let their hair down at Oscar Wilde pre-Oscars party

It was the place to be seen if you’re Irish and in the movie business: Hollywood royalty, many with family ties to Ireland, partied hard at the now legendary Oscar Wilde pre-Oscar party.

Undeniably, the award winner of the night was Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga. 

The Limerick/London native was honoured alongside Saturday Night Live actor Martin Short; former Oscar winner, singer-songwriter Glen Hansard; and Outlanders actress Caitriona Balfe. 

They all received Oscar Wilde Awards, which recognise the contributions of Irish people in film, television and music.

The US-Ireland Alliance party took place at Star Wars producer, JJ Abram’s Bad Robot production company headquarters and Abrams himself picked up the mic to MC the outdoor event.

J.J. Abrams and Ruth Negga

Best actress nominee, Negga, admits she still has difficulties “processing” that she really is up for an Oscar. 

She described winning an Academy award as something that was in her “dream orbit… not [my] thought orbit”.

Negga was honoured with an Oscar Wilde and is nominated for an Oscar for her role in Loving, which recounts the story of real-life interracial couple, Mildred and Richard Loving who were behind the groundbreaking 1967 civil rights case Loving v Virginia.

The former Love/Hate star said she fell in love with Mildred and Richard when she watched a documentary on the couple: “They were such an unknown couple and such an unsung couple that I wanted to make sure that my portrayal didn’t get in the way of that,” she said to RTÉ News.

“I feel quite emotional really because I think people have seen this movie and it’s resonated with them and you know, that’s very moving as that’s the whole point of performing isn’t it?”

Zachary Quinto of Heroes and Star Trek fame, who also picked up a gong, used the opportunity to lash out at President Donald Trump’s move against transgender rights.

Quinto, who is half Irish, said as “an openly gay man in Hollywood” he has been inspired by Wilde’s “inability to back down”.

“I feel like as far as we’ve come in the last 120 years, there are protests going on tonight about the reversal of protections for transgender children in this country.

“I believe it is all of our responsibilities to stand up and be authentic and be visible and fight for people who are striving to find their way in this world, even if it is not reflected back.”

The actor guest list included Amy Huberman, Chris Pine, Diane Keaton, EL James, Jon Hamm of Mad Men fame, John Cho of Star Trek Into Darkness, Paula Malcolmson from Ray Donovan, Kyle McLachlan from Twin Peaks and Christopher Naoki Lee of Hawaii Five-O.

Irish fashion designer, Don O’Neill was also spotted in the crowd.

The stars of the screen and movie industry dined out on beer battered fish and chips, mini mugs of Irish stew, fresh salmon with sweet honey and mustard, spiced root vegetable croquettes, mini Irish Whiskey coffee shots, Teelings whiskey, Barry’s Tea, and Guinness.

But there was no way that the ‘Wildes’ would take place without mention of former honouree, actress, Carrie Fisher.

“As Stephen Fry said here two years ago when we honoured Carrie, she had a genius for life and friendship.

“I can attest to that fact and we’ll miss her dearly,” JJ Abrams said.

Poet du jour, Stephen James Smith, who penned the ‘My Ireland’ poem for this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin also did a reading while Hansard took to the stage for a rousing rendition of ‘This Land is Your Land’.

Irish hopefuls

There are three Irish nominations at tomorrow night’s Oscars with darling

of the moment, Ruth Negga, up for best actress, Consolata Boyle up for her best costume, and Element Pictures up for the best original screenplay.

It’s been some year for the Irish/Ethiopian star, Negga, who was nominated for best actress at the Golden Globes and at the Critics Choice Movie Awards for her role in the movie Loving.

Irish production company Element Pictures is nominated for The Lobster which they co-produced, while Consolata Boyle is nominated for Best Costume for her work on Florence Foster Jenkins.

Movie of the year, La La Land, is expected to clean up with its 14 nominations. But if Oscars 2016 was dominated by the lack of diversity at the awards, people who never normally tune into the Oscars will be sitting down with the popcorn tomorrow night as the 89th Academy Awards is expected to be hotly political.

Jimmy Kimmel, who will host the ceremony, said he would go light on politics during the three-hour broadcast but defended the right of award winners to speak out. “You hear people say, ‘I’m sick and tired of people talking politics at awards shows,’” he told the Los Angeles Times.

“Well, I’m sick and tired of people talking about how sick and tired they are of people talking about politics at awards shows.”

But even if the Irish gang walk away without a statue, they can console themselves with a €189,000 goodie bag.

The fabled bag includes a three-night stay at the gilded Lost Coast Ranch in north California, worth €21,000, a 10-year supply of oxygenating makeup products (€45,000) and 10 sessions with celebrity trainer Alexis Seletzky (€1,417).

They are also gifted a six-day holiday in a luxury Hawaiian villa and three days at the €945-a-night Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Italy’s Lake Como.



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