(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) — Several of Hollywood’s top names assembled under one roof Monday for the annual Oscar nominee luncheon in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Of the 188 nominees, 150 of them made appearances at the Beverly Hilton event, including George Clooney, Viola Davis, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Brad Pitt and Octavia Spencer.
Clooney, nominated in the best-actor category for The Descendants, said the luncheon was fun for him because he doesn’t often fraternize with his acting peers.
“I think a lot of… people at home think we all just hang out together,” he said. “I think they think we’re always at the Hilton drinking champagne. And the truth is I hadn’t seen Brad in about a year. It’s fun to catch up.”
Pitt reflected on how he’s been able to use his success to pursue charitable endeavors.
The best-actor nominee for Moneyball said, “I feel very fortunate that I’m in a position where I can pass on some of that good fortune or a helping hand. I think it’s been one of the nicest things about where I get to stand today.”
Pitt’s Moneyball co-star, Jonah Hill, said he could relate to his character in the film — the right-hand man to a baseball general manager.
He said, “I just saw it as being undervalued and being overlooked for not being the obvious choice for something, and that’s exactly a good metaphor for what I’m doing standing here right now, you know?”
Along the same lines, Bridesmaids actress Melissa McCarthy, who won an Emmy in September and is a contender for best supporting actress, said the past year for her has been “amazing” and “surreal.”
The Help star Octavia Spencer, nominated in the best supporting actress category, hinted that she was a little star-struck at the luncheon.
“It’s just a bunch of really normal people who happen to be named Glenn Close and George Clooney and Brad Pitt and sometimes you just find yourself ogling them,” she said. “I think I kind of mauled everyone.”
Spencer’s Help co-star Viola Davis, who’s up for best actress, claimed she’s much more glamorous at big events than she is around the house.
She quipped, “My biggest fear is that paparazzi with some like lens is going to come into my backyard and see me getting into my pool. That would be very unfortunate.”
Joining Davis in the best-actress race is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara. She clarified to the media that she had only one nipple pierced for her role in the film. Mara said she plans to keep all of her piercings because, “I don’t want to have to re-pierce that should we do the other two films.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jim Bennett, Deseret News
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Media Relations