CULVER CITY, California — Who does Jamie Foxx want to engage in a few rounds of “tongue boxing” with? How many guardian angels does Jim Carrey have? What would smack talk between superheroes sound like?
On Saturday night the 2006 MTV Movie Awards took over the Sony Pictures Studios lot, asking those and too many other bizarre questions to count. On Thursday night at 8:30 p.m., the world will learn the answers. As for those who were inside Soundstage 15 to experience it firsthand — well, let’s just say they won’t be forgetting anytime soon. (Click here for photos of the show’s highlights. )
“This doesn’t suck,” Hayden Christensen grinned, a baseball cap pulled down low over his eyes as he surveyed the scene. “This is very cool.”
Strolling down a red carpet that was actually blue, monitored from above by an overhead tram containing an enormous camera, and approached by celebrity interviewers like Rihanna and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz, attendees ranging from Owen Wilson to Keanu Reeves must have felt like they had wandered into a parallel universe. (Click here for photos from the blue carpet. )
“I’m not gonna lie to you,” admitted Will Ferrell, hesitantly looking to the sky. “It scares the sh– outta me, that giant camera.”
The star sightings were far-ranging, from Justin Timberlake to Hulk Hogan’s pop-singer daughter, Brooke. In one corner, you may have seen Steve Carell bumping into Brandon Routh, and in another, you might catch Amanda Bynes tiptoeing around a shirtless Steve-O.
“The best part about being on the carpet is just soaking up the all of the love,” advised a crown-sporting Flavor Flav, with a trademark clock around his neck and a glass of champagne in his hand. “I’m pulling for everybody. The reason why everybody be pulling for Flavor Flav is ’cause Flavor Flav is pulling for everybody.”
At the carpet’s halfway point (after SuChin Pak had pulled them aside for an interview, but before they reached MTV News guest reporter Rihanna), stars had to pass under a bridge overflowing with screaming fans. Surveying the scene, Sandra Bullock looked up at them and playfully teased: “Are you looking down people’s shirts?”
“These fans, they provide so much energy,” observed Eva Mendes, soaking in those up above as well as the armies of ear-piercing shriekers who surrounded her. “It’s so nice to have them here, because you can feel the love and support.”
Racing from interview to interview, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly remained in character as NASCAR drivers from the August comedy “Talladega Nights.” Other stars, however, were themselves long enough to handicap a few nominees.
“The other categories show parts of movies that were great, but the Best Movie category shows what had the best overall everything,” actor and “Just a Friend” singer Mario said, before finally fessing up to who he’d be rooting for. “I’m pulling for ‘Wedding Crashers,’ that’s one of my favorites.”
Pondering his acceptance speech if he should win for Best Villain, Christensen promised “nothing too villainous. Hopefully everything will go smoothly, but there won’t be nothing too villainous. Being nominated is pretty cool, and these are good [awards], because the people vote for it.”
When the subject of conversation wasn’t the stars themselves or the acceptance speeches they had prepared, many offered words of encouragement to first-time host Jessica Alba just moments before she officially kicked off the festivities.
“Don’t suck,” warned Justin Timberlake, laughing. “I’m watching you. I’m a vet, and I’ll be watching you, Jessica.”
“She doesn’t need any advice,” Jessica Simpson grinned. “All she has to do is strut her stuff.”
“I’m excited and nervous,” Alba revealed, adding that she’d been through several rehearsals but never went so far as to practice her lines in front of the mirror. “That,” she laughed, “would be weird.”
As for “Wedding Crashers” co-star (and nominee for Breakthrough Performance) Isla Fisher, there was something extra-special that had her excited. “I’m looking forward to seeing Borat; he’s performing tonight, and he’s very funny.”
Fisher is actually engaged to Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedic chameleon behind the Movie Awards performer. “He’s very good-looking,” she said of Borat, “and I just want to make out with him.”
Fisher wasn’t disappointed once inside, thanks to Borat’s borderline NC-17 introduction of performers Gnarls Barkley. The quirky group proved itself equally as memorable, with a beautifully bizarre rendition of “Crazy.” Earlier in the evening, AFI busted out their latest single, “Miss Murder,” for its first TV performance, and Christina Aguilera did the same for “Ain’t No Other Man.”
“Amazing — she blew me away,” marveled Fisher, stunned by Aguilera’s performance. “I’ve never seen her live before. She’s so tiny, yet her pipes are sensational.”
“She’s got quite the voice,” Christensen concurred.
Meanwhile, “Dukes of Hazzard” co-star Jessica Simpson, sporting a skirt as short as her marriage to Nick Lachey, drove “Miami Vice” star Foxx so crazy that he seemed to forget the beatbox noises he was laying down for co-presenter Colin Farrell’s stroll across the stage.
For a few more days, many questions will linger: How did Jessica do as host? Who was it that screamed “Kelly Clarkson!” during an acceptance speech? And why, oh why, was Andy Dick whipping himself?
Like any feature film worth waiting for, the 2006 MTV Movie Awards will reveal all its highs and lows — and some very happy endings — this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. Popcorn is optional.