Danville women headed to Oscars
DANVILLE — Last year, Mimi Myers and Suzy Smalley cooked homemade ravioli, drank wine and wore pajamas while watching the Oscars on television.
This year, the silver screen fans get the red carpet treatment.
The best friends' seats won't be in front of a TV at home in Danville but in the bleachers along the red carpet Sunday afternoon as all the celebrities pose their way into Hollywood's Dolby Theater for the 86th Academy Awards in California.
"I will be living on this dream for a very, very long time," Myers said.
Myers won the seats in the Ultimate Red Carpet Fan Experience contest, co-sponsored by People magazine. She entered late last summer, and in October, got an e-mail announcing she was one of about 50 grand-prize winners.
"I was confused at first. I'm always entering something," she said.
A classic movie fan, Myers has watched the Oscars for as long as she can remember, and whether by herself or with others, always cooks a big homemade meal and makes the ceremony a special event. Two years ago, she and Smalley steamed lobsters and wore formal dresses to watch the Oscars on TV.
The official instructions she received from the Academy recommend dressing casual on Sunday, and the weather report calls for rain, but Myers said there's no way she's going casual.
"It's the freaking Academy Awards, there's no way I'm wearing jeans. But I'm not wearing a ball gown or anything either," said Myers, who plans to wear her favorite sundress — white with red flowers. She said it's a retro-glam '50s style with a big full skirt, and she's topping it off with a scarf, red cardigan, flats and accessories. (She's also packing a rain poncho).
Smalley was also thinking red, but settled on a summer dress with her "signature colors," hot pink and black.
They report to the red carpet area around 8 a.m. Sunday — no earlier, no later, according to their instructions. They're provided breakfast and lunch in the bleacher area, and once the celebrities are inside, Myers, Smalley and the rest of the bleacher fans are ushered across the street to the El Capitan Theatre, where they're treated to dinner and a private viewing of the Academy Awards on the big screen.
Myers doesn't know where they'll be sitting in the bleachers but they're holding out for the front row. Regardless where they sit, they have a strategy: no bathroom breaks together.
"What if Sandra (Bullock) walks in while we're both in the bathroom?" Myers said. "So, no food or drink or potty breaks together — and when we're both sitting in the bleachers, we will take turns spotting (celebrities) and shooting (the camera)."
They fly out to California today and are due back in Danville on Monday. While Smalley spent much of this week making sure everything is in place for their flight and the rest of the trip, Myers just grew more and more excited.
"I'm beside myself," she said. "I can't stand it."
Besides the red carpet, Smalley is most looking forward to LAX — Los Angeles International Airport — where they plan to spend some extra time people watching.
"I love airports," Smalley said. But we also think stars will be coming in, and they'll be incognito."
Mimi and Suzy go to the Oscars
Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave"
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Best Director: Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"
Who do you most want to see on the red carpet?
Mimi: "George Clooney, for the drool factor, but he's not supposed to be there, so Meryl Streep. Is there anybody who doesn't think she's just awesome?"
Suzy: "Brad Pitt. And Barbara Streisand, if she were going to be there."
Favorite Oscar host?
Mimi: "Ellen DeGeneres. She's funny without being too mean. And Billy Crystal, too, but as a classic movie fan, got to mention Bob Hope."
Suzy: "Ellen DeGeneres. I'm loving Ellen. She's good. I don't think there's anyone better."
Favorite Oscar moment?
Mimi: "In 1985, when Sally Field won for best actress and delivered the often misquoted line, 'And I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!' And, when Sacheen Littlefeather refused to accept the Best Actor Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando for his performance in 'The Godfather' in protest of the treatment of Native Americans."
Suzy: "Wearing formal dresses to watch the Oscars on television at Mimi's house two years ago."