While most of the action on Oscar night takes place on the Dolby Theatre’s stage, and is broadcast on television screens in more than 200 countries around the world, the small backstage area, where only a few few photographers selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are allowed access each year, it can be just as lively.
Times photographer Robert Gauthier is capturing all the commotion behind the scenes as winners make their way backstage and presenters wait in the wings. The stars mingle, reading their cue cards and watching offstage monitors.
Gauthier captured Jamie Lee Curtis breaking down in tears after accepting the best supporting actress Oscar and celebrating with her “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-star Ke Huy Quan, who won supporting actor. Meanwhile, Rihanna and ASAP Rocky hugged, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek Pinault shared a laugh, Andrew Garfield and Florence Pugh looked on in amazement, and an imposter donkey posed as Jenny from “The Banshees of Inisherin.”
Gauthier also shot last year’s ceremony, documenting “CODA” director Siân Heder hugging Elliot Page, Ariana DeBose’s victory walk, Jessica Chastain celebrating her lead actress win, Jane Campion showing off her trophy,and Venus and Serena Williams holding hands and talking. It also captured Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Francis Ford Coppola, who reunited for the 50th anniversary of “The Godfather” at the 2022 Oscars, looking at the monitors as Will Smith stormed onto the stage and slapped Chris. Rock. The backstage mood changed, to say the least.
Before retiring from The Times in 2021, photojournalist Al Seib captured the Academy Awards red carpet and backstage scenes for 16 years (and shot the Oscars for 37 years in total).