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SHOW BITS: Stars kick back after hard night's work

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The Associated Press | March 3, 2014 06:30 AM EST | AP

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Show Bits brings you the 86th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles through the eyes of Associated Press journalists. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.

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PARTY KEEPS OSCAR NIGHT GOING

After a hard night's work at the Oscars, stars are ready to party. In a parking lot converted temporarily by Vanity Fair magazine into a swank and invitation- only West Hollywood club, celebrities mostly skipped the In N Out burgers and booze to schmooze.

Ellen DeGeneres, looking as relaxed as she did hosting, chatted intently with Sacha Baron Cohen. Her wife, Portia Di Rossi, was by her side, talking to Ryan Seacrest. Spike Lee and Edward Norton attempted to catch up, shouting at each other over music that included the appropriate "Celebration."

In one corner, three veteran stars created a memorable photo op that had several partygoers pulling out their cameras. Nominee Bruce Dern ("Nebraska") was joined by Mickey Rooney on one side and 1995 Oscar winner Martin Landau ("Ed Wood") on the other.

Jared Leto, who passed his supporting actor Oscar among reporters earlier Sunday, was as generous at the party. The "Dallas Buyers Club" star invited two statuesque blondes to appreciate the trophy's heft, and they appeared duly impressed — with one inviting her boyfriend over to share the experience.

Pink's performance of "Over the Rainbow" during a 75th anniversary salute to "The Wizard of Oz" drew compliments. "It was an honor," she replied to one well-wisher.

In the crowd of some 1,000 partygoers, one nominee who didn't claim a trophy still looked like a winner: "American Hustle" star Jennifer Lawrence, who lost in the supporting actress category to Lupita Nyong'o of "Twelve Years a Slave."

Lawrence had changed from the elegant red Dior dress she wore for the ceremony into a sexy sheath that sparkled with what appeared to be tiny mirrors. She couldn't be overlooked, trophy or not.

— Lynn Elber — www.twitter.com/lynnelber .

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BLANCHETT: IT'S NOT EASY BEING FRONT-RUNNER

Winning acting honors at other major awards shows didn't make the Oscars ceremony any easier for Cate Blanchett.

The night figured to be a coronation for the actress, who'd won best actress honors at the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe Awards and other shows for her role in "Blue Jasmine." Instead, the prospect of waiting until nearly the end of Sunday's ceremony proved stressful for the two-time Oscar winner.

"It was an intense, unbearable pressure which I'm so glad is over," Blanchett said after her win. "It has been every year."

Blanchett, who has been nominated for acting Oscars five times, took a hiatus from films in recent years to focus on theater work. She won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2005 for "The Aviator."

"Every year I watch this thing remotely and every year there are five, six, 10, 12 or 20 performances by women that I'm gob smacked by and inspired by," she said. "And it gets whittled down to five. To be in conversation with those women by proxy ... that's the privilege and the rest is just chocolate."

— Anthony McCartney — http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP .

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NOT MISSING A MOMENT OF OSCAR GLORY

Jared Leto made sure he captured every aspect of his Oscar moment, going so far as to film the one-minute process it took to engrave his name on his best supporting actor trophy after the show.

Matthew McConaughey also dropped by the Oscar engraving station at the Governor's Ball to have his name placed on his best actor trophy. He commemorated the moment with pictures of himself and his wife, Camila Alves McConaughey

Spike Jonze arrived at the engraving table just moments ahead of fellow Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron.

"Hey, no cutting!" Jonze, the best original screenplay winner, joked before posing for photos with Cuaron, the best director winner.

The engraving station has been going for five years, and nearly every winner stops by.

— Sandy Cohen — http:// www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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QUICKQUOTE: CATE BLANCHETT

"My morning began with being pummeled like Kobe beef. And it's just gotten better and better." — Best actress winner Cate Blanchett on having the choice of three Armani dresses to choose from for the awards ceremony.

— Anthony McCartney — http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP .

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GETTING A SECOND CHANCE

The night was going so well for "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron that he didn't bother making a speech during his first trip to the Oscars stage on Sunday.

He let his co-winner for best film editing take the limelight, only thanking his family backstage after he was prompted to do so by a reporter.

Fortunately for family relations, he got a second chance when he won the best director Oscar. By that point, the film had also won for cinematography, score, sound editing and mixing, and visual effects.

In addition to thanking his family, Cuaron offered special praise to Sandra Bullock ("the soul and heart of the film").

He also made one of the best slips of the night when he thanked "the wise guys at Warner Brothers" for making the film before quickly correcting himself and calling them "the wise people."

The wise guys in the Twitterverse still weren't satisfied.

They complained that he never thanked Sir Isaac Newton.

— Hannah Dreier — Twitter: www.twitter.com/HannahDreier.

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McCONAUGHEY'S 'TRUE DETECTIVE:' MUM'S THE WORD

Sure he just won the Oscar for best actor for "Dallas Buyers Club," but when it came time to talk after the show, Matthew McConaughey was just as interested in what reporters thought about his new HBO series "True Detective."

The program has quickly become a hit, and McConaughey realized he was doing Oscar interviews about the same time a new episode was airing in some markets. He asked if anyone had seen it and what they thought.

Suddenly there were shouts of "No spoilers." Many in the press corps hadn't had time to tune in.

"I don't know what happens," McConaughey said, throwing up his arms.

"Aww, maybe I do and I'm not telling," he added with a knowing grin.

— Anthony McCartney — http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.

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QUICKQUOTE: SPIKE JONZE

"I think everything is going to happen. At this point in history, we're 13 billion years into this universe, and there are many more years after this." — Oscar winner Spike Jonze, asked whether he thinks an artificial intelligence computer girlfriend like the one depicted in "Her" will one day be reality.

— Hannah Dreier — Twitter www.twitter.com/HannahDreier

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McCONAUGHEY'S INSPIRATIONS: GOD, FAMILY, SELF

It turns out Matthew McConaughey's hero is himself, a few years down the line.

In accepting the Oscar for best actor, McConaughey said he needs three things in his life to survive: God, family and someone to look up to as a hero.

When he was 15, the actor said, he decided that hero would be himself in 10 years. Ten years later, he pushed the deadline back another decade. Then another decade.

"My hero's always 10 years away," the 44-year-old actor said in a gracious acceptance speech. "I'm never going to attain that. That keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing."

After thanking God, his wife and children, his mother and his late father, he offered up something else long-time fans have been waiting to hear this Oscar season: "All right, all right, all right."

The signature line, from the character McConaughey played in his first film, "Dazed and Confused," brought the house down.

— Anthony McCartney — http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP .

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KISSING AND TELLING

Seconds after their film "12 Years a Slave" captured the award for best picture, producer Brad Pitt and director Steve McQueen were toasting the victory from a silver flask by the side of the Oscar stage.

Then Pitt shocked the director by grabbing his face and kissing him on the lips.

"I think I just made every man and some women jealous," the flustered director said.

"Just so you know," Pitt told him, "you were my first."

— Sandy Cohen — http:// www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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WHAT'S SO FUNNY?

What interrupted Jennifer Lawrence's presentation of the best actor trophy?

That would be Ellen DeGeneres and the cast of "Dallas Buyers Club."

As the "American Hustle" actress waltzed on stage, DeGeneres cautiously exited, making sure last year's best actress winner didn't take another tumble before DeGeneres, who had earlier teased Lawrence about falling, got off stage.

While most of the crowd didn't catch the joke, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey and their cohorts laughed loudly, causing Lawrence to go off script.

McConaughey had the last laugh.

He won the best actor prize seconds later.

— Derrik J. Lang — Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang

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BATHROOM-LINE ADMIRATION

When Zac Efron found himself behind Daniel Day-Lewis in the backstage bathroom line, he used the opportunity to express his admiration.

"I'm such a huge fan. Your work inspires us all," Efron said, shaking the Oscar winner's hand. "It's great to have someone like you to watch and be inspired by."

Although gracious, Day-Lewis didn't want to spend too much time collecting accolades.

"I'm just going to sneak in there before someone else does," he said as he made a beeline for the bathroom.

— Sandy Cohen — www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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QUICKQUOTE: PENELOPE CRUZ

"I have to remember to breathe" — Penelope Cruz to Robert DeNiro before taking the Oscar stage to present the screenplay awards.

— Sandy Cohen — www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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TAKING PINK TO THE LAND OF OZ

Hey TV watchers: Bet you wondered how they pulled off that "Wizard of Oz" tribute that showed Pink in Kansas and later in the Land of Oz as she sang "Over the Rainbow" during the Oscar telecast.

It took more than five projectors beaming images onto a translucent screen masking the singer to pull it off.

While the effect may have appeared magical on television, those in the Dolby Theatre audience couldn't really make out Pink for most of the song.

Still, they were impressed.

Jamie Foxx was the first on his feet after she finished.

It was Matthew McConaughey who was the loudest, shouting "WOO HOO!" multiple times.

He's her neighbor, after all.

— Derrik J. Lang — Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang

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QUICKQUOTE: LUPITA NYONG'O

"I think it belongs to me." — Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, who was born in Mexico and grew up in Kenya, when asked how much of her supporting actress award belongs to Mexico.

— Hannah Dreier — Twitter www.twitter.com/HannahDreier

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THOSE OSCAR PIZZAS WEREN'T PROPS

That was a real pizza delivery guy, not an actor, who helped Ellen DeGeneres pass out those pies to the Oscar audience.

The show host met him in a backstage hallway to check out the goods.

"Is it hot?" she asked him. He assured her it was.

"What kind we got here?" she asked. Cheese and veggie with no cheese, he told her.

"OK. Let's go!" She said, leading the delivery guy onto the Oscar stage.

— Sandy Cohen — www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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AN OSCAR MOMENT TO REMEMBER

Lupita Nyong'o's best supporting actress win wasn't just a major moment for the newcomer — it touched everyone in the Dolby Theatre — both in the audience and backstage.

Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth, who'd presented the previous award, stayed backstage to watch the category on a monitor. When the clip of Nyong'o's performance was shown, Hemsworth clapped and Theron said, "So good."

When Nyong'o's name was called, the stars cheered, as did the other backstage workers.

When a teary-eyed Nyong'o walked off stage and into the theater hallway, Ellen DeGeneres was waiting to greet her.

"Yay, yay, yay!" DeGeneres said. "You won an Oscar! And it was such a beautiful speech. Such composure!"

She made the actress smile by adding: "And we crashed Twitter with that photo!"

— Sandy Cohen — www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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QUICKQUOTE: LUPITA NYONG'O

"Thank your to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else's." — Best supporting actress winner Lupita Nyong'o, referring to Patsy, the tortured slave she played in "12 Years a Slave."

— Anthony McCartney — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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SOME OSCAR LOVE FOR DARLENE LOVE

One of Oscar night's best-received musical performances was wholly unexpected.

Darlene Love belted out that "I sing because I'm happy" when appearing onstage with the winners of the best documentary feature, "20 Feet From Stardom."

Love, best known for her work with producer Phil Spector in the 1960s, was one of the featured artists in the film about some of the music industry's best backup singers.

From the audience, Pharrell Williams smiled as she finished her song. Bill Murray pumped his fist and rose, and other spectators joined him in a standing ovation.

When it was time for U2 to perform their Oscar-nominated song, "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," Bono ended it with a shoutout: "Darlene Love!"

— David Bauder — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/@dbauder

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JARED LETO, MEDIA DARLING

Best supporting actor winner Jared Leto was a hit backstage with reporters, especially after he shared his moment — and his award — with everyone.

"The first person to give their Oscar away for an orgy in the pressroom," a smiling Leto said as he passed the trophy around to everyone who wanted to have a moment with it.

"Who's your favorite Oscar winner tonight?" he asked.

When Leto invited reporters to take selfies, he was cautioned by an Academy representative that no photography was allowed in that particular room.

"If you want to get media, let the media do what they do," he replied, drawing cheers and applause.

— Lynn Elber — Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lynnelber

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SO, WHO WON WHAT?

There were big screens aplenty at the Elton John AIDS Foundation viewing party.

But Neil Patrick Harris, Oscar-winner Tatum O'Neal, Sharon Osbourne and other attendees didn't see much of anything when the screens all went blank.

The picture came back on — for a bit. Then there was just sound. Then there was a blank screen again.

The crowd let out a big moan when it happened for a third time.

— Nekesa Mumbi Moody — http://www.com/nekesamumbi

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CELEBS CUT THE RUG — EVEN LEO

By the halfway point of Pharrell Williams' colorful performance of his Oscar-nominated song "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2," all the celebs were on their feet dancing and clapping.

All except for one lone holdout: Leonardo DiCaprio.

Eventually, "The Wolf of Wall Street" came around, joining front-row mates Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Meryl Streep.

Immediately afterward, Pharrell and his backup dancers froze in position until a stage manager gave them the all clear. Several of the dancers let out a yelp of excitement once they realized it was indeed over.

— Derrik J. Lang — Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang

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QUICKQUOTE: ELTON JOHN

"If Pharrell Williams doesn't win best song, then I'm (expletive) going home early." — Elton John at his Elton John Aids Foundation viewing party, after Pharrell's performance.

-- Nekesa Mumbi Moody — http://www.com/nekesamumbi

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QUICKQUOTE: JARED LETO

"To all the dreamers out there watching this tonight in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela: We are here and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we're thinking of you tonight." — Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Jared Leto, sending a message to two countries in turmoil, places where at least some broadcasts of the Academy Awards were blocked Sunday evening.

— Anthony McCartney — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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HOW OSCAR'S OTHER HALF WALKS

Of course status-obsessed Hollywood would have an exclusive red carpet, and then an even more exclusive red carpet.

A red velvet rope separated the A-list Oscar red carpet from the B-list one, which was parallel but closer to the fan bleachers. The social rules were as byzantine and strictly enforced as on any studio set. Or in any high school cafeteria.

— Taking cellphone pictures from the B-list red carpet of the megastars a few feet away: allowed.

— Shaking hands across the velvet rope and telling a star how much you admire them: allowed, but only as long as the tuxedoed security guards don't see.

— Walking down the lower-ranking red carpet at a leisurely pace: Not allowed, as evidenced by the guards continually muttering, "Please keep moving."

An A-lister masquerading as a B-lister to get down the carpet quickly: Allowed (and taken advantage of by "Hunger Games" actor Stanley Tucci).

— Hannah Dreier — Twitter: www.twitter.com/HannahDreier.

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PHARRELLL WILLIAMS IS ... HAPPY

Pharrell Williams came to the Oscars minus the tall leather hat that made such a splash at the Grammys and won him Twitter comparisons to the Arby's logo.

This time he made his mark below the waist. Williams, nominated for the song "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2," wore a formal black tux on top with formal black shorts, and no socks, on the bottom.

It allowed him to look normal in the black-tie crowd until nearby viewers caught a glimpse of his tattooed calves.

Asked how he was feeling, he paused a moment to consider the question.

"I'm ... happy!" he finally said.

He also told AP Live that he was thrilled at how his song — and the video — have become so popular.

"I know it's the people, man," he said. "It's just done so much for me."

— Jocelyn Noveck - Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAP

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RED SEA OF SELFIES

Cellphone-clutching celebrities are turning the Oscar red carpet into Selfie Central.

For the first time in memory, the photographers walking this year's red carpet were clearly outnumbered by Oscar nominees, presenters and other attendees stopping to snap photos of themselves with their phones.

So many selfie shooters crowded the carpet that Oscar organizers had to remind them to keep moving to avoid a traffic jam. Or, worse yet, having someone bump into them and ruin their photo.

— Andrew Dalton — Twitter http://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton