I’m just back from an afternoon of checking out the busy pre-SAG Awards scene here in L.A. (That’s me on the right, with the place holder for the handsome star who graces my USA WEEKEND cover story this weekend, Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm.)
This is a town full of producers who know how to make magic and, believe me, that’s what they do to the Shrine Exposition Center — a former cow palace —
that is home to this award show. The stage is eco-friendly this year, with much of it recycled from last year, but
you won’t notice. Lighting and a few tweaks make it look fresh and new.
More than 16,000 square feet of tented red carpet awaits the landing of well-pedicured celebrity feet, and 86 tables set with crystal and china are ready for some 1,200 guests.
I always like to check out where and with whom the stars will sit so I walked around the house during run-throughs. The casts of nominees for best ensemble award, The Closer and Mad Men, will sit right next to each other, as will Desperate Housewives and Entourage. The Office cast is next to Weeds, and the 30 Rock table (is it still Tina Fey’s year?) is up front with some of the movie folks. Because they are all nominated for Doubt, Amy Adams, Meryl Streep and Viola Davis are all together and smack in the middle of the room, where the camera can easily find them, as are golden couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. (I snapped their place holders for you to see here. Click on it for a larger view.) Also up front: Sally Field, Anne Hathaway and Penelope Cruz (Mickey Rourke is at her table).