WEST HOLLYWOOD, California — Oscars schmoscars, the real fun Sunday was down the street at the annual Vanity Fair party.
From 4 p.m. until well past midnight, more celebrities than are in Paris Hilton's Sidekick, including some of the biggest stars in movies (Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Adam Sandler), music (Usher, Christina Aguilera, Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri) and ... real estate (Donald Trump), trotted into Morton's to show face at what is widely considered to be the elite party of the year.
Heck, even Paris herself (along with sister Nicky) made it, although she probably wasn't quite as popular as in years past (see "Paris Hilton Apologizes For Crank Calls, Fergie Wants Revenge").
One celebrity who did have a line of greeters, though, was Chris Rock, who showed up late after hosting that other event earlier in the evening (see "Jamie Foxx, 'Million Dollar Baby,' 'Aviator' Win Big At Oscars"). The comedian dodged the media, but his name came up often throughout the night.
"Chris Rock was awesome," Jessica Simpson said as she walked (and smooched) with husband Nick Lachey down the red carpet.
"I thought he did a great job of bridging the gap, not taking it as far as we've seen him at the VMAs, but bringing a fresh face," Lachey added.
"With Chris, you forget that it's smart," Mike Myers said after signing autographs for some of the screaming fans lined up across the street. "He's got a great comedy mind. He knocked it out of the park and I'm glad to know him."
The other big talk of the party was leading actor Oscar winner Jamie Foxx — quite a feather in his cap, considering he never even made it to the bash.
"I was so happy to see Jamie Foxx win," Mary J. Blige said, revealing that she's collaborating with the actor on his upcoming album. "I was the loudest person to scream in the room."
"I'm so proud of Jamie," his "Breakin' All the Rules" co-star Gabrielle Union added. "He turned in work that can't be denied."
Who's who in Hollywood:
Leo, Gisele, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Scarlett, Usher on the Oscar red Carpet
Damon Dash also expressed happiness for Foxx, although he was upset Kevin Bacon wasn't nominated for "The Woodsman," which the entertainment mogul produced. Regardless, he had more on his mind than movies.
"I wanna get my picture taken, show off my wife," the newlywed said as he strutted toward the paparazzi.
Dash's friend and former business partner, Jay-Z, had the opposite idea. When his date, Beyoncé, was pulled from him for an interview, he stood uncomfortably behind her pretending to ignore the reporters screaming interview requests. "I'm on vacation," he finally answered before convincing another Destiny's Child singer, Kelly Rowland, to walk inside with him.
Clearly not on vacation was P. Diddy, who worked the carpet promoting his Sean John clothing line.
"I designed Chris Rock's suit, I'm very proud of that," the man formerly known as Puffy said with a grin. "My friend Jamie Foxx won, I was proud of that. And Morgan Freeman won, one of my heroes. It can't get any better than that."
Maybe not for Diddy, but for Donald Trump it can. He met Usher at the bash. "He's a real talent," Trump said.
For Vivica A. Fox, however, there was something getting under her skin. "Who was that who got more yells than me?" the actress jokingly complained as she looked toward a red-carpet traffic jam with Ethan Hawke, Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman.
Although there were a few singles (Gwyneth Paltrow was without husband Chris Martin, for instance), the party was a showcase of significant others.
Within the first hour, Heidi Klum and Seal, Bridget Moynahan and Tom Brady, Sheryl Crow and Lance Armstrong, and Cameron Crowe and Nancy Wilson walked through the doors. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale also arrived early together, although it didn't last long. "Where's my husband?" Stefani wondered as she looked for Rossdale to rescue her from press row.
Couples who came later included the newly engaged Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman and Nicole Richie and DJ AM; as well as Rosario Dawson and Jason Lewis (of "Sex and the City" fame), Beck and Marissa Ribisi, and double daters Jake Gyllenhaal and Zooey Deschanel and Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard.
And then there were the couples for promotional sake: "The Dukes of Hazzard" movie co-stars Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville, "Desperate Housewives" Marcia Cross and Eva Longoria, and Mischa Barton and her little sister Hania, a budding actress.
"There's only four real stars, and the rest are just popular people," Rock said during the Oscars. And the popular people came out to play.
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