Hollywood’s A-list had lunch with Oscar in Beverly Hills Monday, as more than 150 Academy Award contenders gathered at the Beverly Hilton for the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon.
For Best Actor nominee George Clooney, it was a chance to catch up with old friends.
“A lot of people at home just think we hang out together,” Clooney said. “I think they think we’re always at the Hilton drinking champagne.”
While Clooney is a veteran of such gatherings, others were attending for the first time.
“I’m an Oscar nominee. I love saying that,” a beaming Octavia Spencer told the star-studded crowd.
With the champagne flowing, the nominees got a chance to mingle without the pressure that comes with winning and losing. Glenn Close, who earned her sixth nomination this year, offered this advice to her colleagues.
“You’re one of five,” said Close. “How could you possibly think of yourself as a loser?”
Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, who both received nods for their work in “Moneyball,” also got a chance to catch up. To Hill, his co-star is nothing more than a trouble maker.
“I call him the Bobby Fischer of pranks,” Hill joked. “Because you try to prank him and he is immediately three moves ahead of you.”
“It’s the pre-emptive strike,” Pitt explained.
After taking a class photo, the group dined on chopped vegetable salad, Atlantic salmon and sorbet with mango sauce and berries for dessert.
The Academy Awards will be handed out on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.