What really happened inside the exclusive Oscars after party

Carly Milne
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle
Tiffany Haddish, Zendaya, and Tom Holland attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)

As the Oscars ceremony winds down, the parties turn up — and for 1,500 award-show guests, the evening starts at the Governors Ball, the official post-Oscars shindig that takes place at the Ray Dolby Ballroom. And while the eco-friendly décor and the cinematic artifacts are certainly a visual treat, the real draw is the food courtesy of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

That’s what actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish was on the hunt for when she entered the ballroom. As she walked purposefully through the room, one of the event staffers approached her and asked, “Can I help you find something?” She exclaimed happily with a resounding “Yes!” and then said, “I’m looking for the food. Where they have it!?”

Haddish eventually made her way to the various buffet stations and walked away with a plateful of goodies. She then held court at her table of five to chow down, yet it’s unclear how much she was able to eat, as she was constantly besieged by well-wishers whenever she attempted to take a bite.

Lin-Manuel Miranda attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Multi-talented multi-hyphenate Lin Manuel-Miranda was also approached by an ardent fan in search of a selfie with the star in the middle of his meal, but he was so unperturbed by the request that he invited her to sit with him for a moment and talk. She was seemingly overwhelmed and once the photo was snapped, Manuel-Miranda thanked her for being such a gracious fan, turned back to his food, and the fan departed with a gleeful grin on her face.

Zendaya was similarly asked to take a snap, leaving the fan adorably overwhelmed (which Zendaya managed like a champ.) Otherwise, throughout the night, the actress spent most of her time with rumored paramour, actor Tom Holland. The are-they-or-aren’t-they couple insist they’re just friends, and indeed there was nothing to indicate the needle moving in either direction at the Ball. As they chatted with friends, they stood close to one another, but not too close.

Meanwhile, Rita Moreno strode through the ballroom like a boss with a glass of wine in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other, a black tunic over her Oscars gown to keep her warm from the chilly L.A. night air. Elsewhere, actor Andy Serkis was surrounded as he shared a story with friends, flanked by champagne glasses as tray-passed goodies sailed by in front of him.

Octavia Spencer arrives at the Oscars. (Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

While Best Supporting Actress nominee Octavia Spencer went outside to make a phone call, inside, The Last Jedi stars Laura Dern and Mark Hamill reconnected in the entryway, with Dern curling her arm around Hamill as they talked, and photographer flashbulbs popping everywhere. Director Paul Thomas Anderson downed a glass of champagne as his wife, actress Maya Rudolph, rubbed his arm affectionately, while actor and The Shape of Water star Doug Jones told a well-wisher, “A gig is a gig, you know?” as the band played the theme from The Godfather.

Fittingly, the band was playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” when Best Director winner Guillermo Del Toro entered the party, and was immediately swarmed by photographers – especially when he posed arm in arm with fellow Best Director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Best Supporting Actress Allison Janney and Best Supporting Actor Sam Rockwell were similarly mobbed when the two arrived at the Ball at the same time with their Oscars in hand. As they made their way to the engraving station, a mad dash of people followed, wanting to watch as their names were officially etched into their new statues.

It was hard to miss actress Mira Sorvino, whose billowing dress took up valuable real estate in the crowded aisles that flanked the dining areas — but nobody seemed to mind all that much, and took extra caution not to step on its lengthy train. When actress and activist Ashley Judd approached, the two commiserated, leaving a crowd of enraptured onlookers who respectfully kept their distance, but couldn’t help staring. Sorvino and Judd then took off together, linking up with Best Supporting Actor nominee Richard Jenkins.

Helen Mirren attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards. (Photo: Rick Rowell/Getty Images)

On the way out the door, Dame Helen Mirren was stopped in her path by a phone camera shoved in her face for a snap, which she deftly avoided and kept moving. And as last year’s Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali and his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim, attempted to make their way out of the Ball, they encountered La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz, who was the one that announced Moonlight as last year’s Best Picture winner during the infamous envelope snafu. “Are you just now making it out of here?” Horowitz asked, to which Ali gave a tired nod as he and his wife aimed for the exit.

For some, it was the end of the evening. For others, it was the first stop of a long night of celebrating. Either way, it was the perfect way to cap the 90th Academy Awards.

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