By Nuzhat Naoreen
When I asked what kind of behind-the-scenes info people wanted from the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, the one request I kept getting was for dish on where all the celebs (read: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart) will be sitting on Sunday night.
So, I went straight to the source. I joined MTV News’ Jim Cantiello and Joel Hanek for a shoot at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles and got a couple of minutes to talk to Talent Ticketing Seating Manager (long title!) Stephan Lenart, the man responsible for placing Kristen smack-dab in the middle of Taylor and Rob (how’s that for some dish?).
Stephan’s been telling celebs where to sit for the past five years, and he was kind of enough to give me some insight into how he makes those decisions.
“It’s like a puzzle,” said Stephan, who added that he reads up on a ton of entertainment blogs to determine which celebs are in the spotlight before deciding where to seat them.
The fact that Stephan does his homework was evident. From a quick glance at the theater, I spotted “Green Lantern” co-stars Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds (OK, more like I saw their pictures on a piece of cardboard, but same diff!) sitting next to each other and “Crazy Stupid Love” stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell hanging side-by-side (sadly, I didn’t see a cutout of Ryan Gosling, though). I also saw Nicki Minaj close to the stage and singer/actress Selena Gomez toward the side (and no, I didn’t spot Justin Bieber, although Sels did have a couple of unmarked seats next to her). As for this year’s Generation Award recipient, Reese Witherspoon, well, she was front and center.
Speaking of fans, Stephan said he totally considers what they want to see before making the arrangements (hear that, KStew and Rob ’shippers?).
“I definitely pay attention to it. You kind of have to for this group,” he said. Once he nails down the basics, Stefan said he shuts himself in a room, throws on his headphones and gets to work on the final order.
Of course, things don’t always go smoothly. From finding seats for stars who show up at the last minute to making sure feuding celebs don’t cross paths, Stephan’s had to deal with all kinds of unexpected seating drama. This year, though, he’s expecting everything to go smoothly.
“I think we’re good this year,” he said, although not before adding, “Famous last words.”
Anyway, we’re totally looking forward to seeing the actual celebs sitting in their seats on Sunday, and we’ll be especially curious to see if the order changes by then. For now, though, enjoy some pictures of me and some of my fellow MTV News co-workers as we hang with some of our favorite celebs (on the finest paper) at the MTV Movie Awards theater.
Will wizards, vampires or dream thieves steal the 2011 MTV Movie Awards? Find out June 5, when the 20th annual show airs live at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT that night for the “America’s Best Dance Crew” finale and Movie Awards pre-show, loaded with live action from the red carpet, exclusive movie clips and a special edition of “After Hours.” To get into the magical movie mood, it’s Sneak Peek Week — five days of exclusives and interviews with the casts of “Fright Night,” “Horrible Bosses” and more. Check out everything there is to know about Sneak Peek Week, the Movie Awards and the pre-show at MovieAwards.MTV.com!