PHOTOS: Stars at Oscars get candid on the carpet

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The parade of Hollywood royalty on the red carpet — champagne colored at these 95th Academy Awards — is nearly as important as the show itself. Stars pose in their dazzling outfits for dozens of clattering cameras, the fashion getting its moment in the spotlight, too. It’s a staged ritual, well choreographed and timed to ensure everyone gets their moment.

But just beyond the frame, once the bold-faced names step out of the spotlight and into the chaos of the crowded walkway, there are flashes of brevity and friendship and mutual admiration between the industry’s biggest stars.

And Associated Press photographer John Locher roamed the carpet, capturing many of these unrehearsed moments Sunday night.

It seemed the fan bleachers couldn’t get more excited than for a bare chested Lenny Kravitz — that is until best actor nominee Austin Butler stepped out moments later. “Austin Butler! Austin Butler!” The chanting continued for Florence Pugh, who stopped to shake hands before chatting with “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” actor Harvey Guillén, who was excited to meet the star. “I’ll see you in a bit,” he said. Pugh also stayed and waited patiently as Stephanie Hsu had her moment with the fans, to talk and wish luck to the supporting actress nominee.

Steven Spielberg, Ariana DeBose and David Bradley each took selfies with fans. Troy Kotsur (2022 winner with “CODA”) and Marlee Matlin signed greetings. James Hong got a kiss on the cheek from “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-star Jamie Lee and then vamped for the camera.

Jessica Chastain and Nicole Kidman shared an intimate moment, with both stars in glittery sequins. Chastain blew Kidman as a kiss as they separated. Behind them best actress nominee Michelle Yeoh was whisked down the carpet, with both a publicist and security clearing the way for her. The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” crew was among the later arrivals to the show, that they’re widely expected to sweep.

Supporting actor nominee Ke Huy Quan followed moments later, waving excitedly to cameras and fans.


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