UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Christian Bale nearly cried. Johnny Depp wailed alongside the Black Keys. Jennifer Lawrence got shot through the head with an arrow.
Everyone saw these moments take place at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night at the Gibson Amphitheatre. But back behind the stage, in the wings and on the patio behind the theater, there was an entirely different event going on. And I was lucky enough to have access to it all, thanks to my so-called "God pass," the highest-level badge allowing me to come, go and gawk as I pleased.
I was there when "Magic Mike" star Joe Manganiello, shirtless and clad in a fireman's outfit, deposited Elizabeth Banks backstage after carrying her off after her Best On-Screen Transformation lap-dance of an acceptance speech. She was four-alarm-fire excited for the help and announced, "I needed Channing Tatum shirtless for my bit to work. But then this guy saved the day!"
It was just that kind of party. Check out six other things you didn't see at the Movie Awards.
Emma Watson Was Bummed
The 22-year-old actress may have moved on from the "Harry Potter" franchise that made her a star (and a zillionaire), but the gal never forgets her roots. After handing over the Golden Popcorn for Best Male Performance to "Hunger Games" star Josh Hutcherson — who beat out "Potter" boy wizard Daniel Radcliffe for the win — Watson nearly crumbled into a handler's arms backstage. Was she feeling like she'd betrayed the hero of Hogwarts? Was it just kind of awkward? Before I could inquire, her "Perks of Being a Wallflower" co-stars swooped in, bringing a smile to her face, and off they all went to the back patio.
Kristen Stewart Was Worried
KStew didn't have any interest in winning Best Kiss for a fourth time in a row, especially considering that co-star Robert Pattinson was off promoting a new film rather than kicking it at the Gibson. But win she did, and once onstage, with no lips to smooch in the grand tradition of Best Kiss winners, Stewart implored co-stars like Charlize Theron and Taylor Lautner to join her and do the deed. Shockingly, no one took her up on the offer. She ended up just pretending to make out with herself. The crowd loved it, but Kristen wasn't sure. Once backstage, Stewart leaned toward a rep and, with a nervous smile, asked, "How was it? Was it OK?"
Russell Brand Likes Little Kids
The night's emcee had a long-standing plan with "Rock of Ages" stars Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta to interrupt a commercial break and promote their upcoming rock musical. But Hough — whose boyfriend, Ryan Seacrest, couldn't make it to the show — instead brought her elementary-school-aged nephew, leading Brand to come up with a wacky bit of improv. To the folks watching at home, it seemed like it was preplanned for Brand to be kneeling down and asking the little boy to take over his hosting duties, but it all came together in a matter of minutes, thanks to Brand.
Wiz Khalifa Feels No Pain
Wiz barely made it to the show. Just hours before he was set to perform, the rapper was stuck in Dallas. Show producers were trying their best not to freak out. Not Wiz. He hopped aboard "my own little cloud that I float" on, as he told me on the red carpet, and made it to the show. After the performance, the guy was on a serious high, perhaps partly owing to the pungent cloud surrounding his entourage, but mostly because he rocked the hell out of the crowd. He hopped into the backstage area, a huge smile on his face, and shouted to anyone who wanted to hear, "It felt great! It felt great!"
Johnny Depp Wants a Band
Backstage, while Depp was shredding with the Black Keys, "Prometheus" stars Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender were boogying their butts off. The cast of "Teen Wolf" was saying that they had to be backstage, and in full view of the musical madness, rather than in their seats. And Depp, he was probably wishing he could do this full-time. As he said after the performance, when multiple people suggested he ditch acting and fully embrace music, he said, "I need a band! I don't have a band!" Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler didn't seem to care, telling Depp and the Keys, "You the bomb!"
Dark Knight Gets Emotional
In perhaps the night's most unexpected moment, Christian Bale appeared to be on the verge of tears after a montage of "Batman" footage, including shots of Heath Ledger, played during the show. Afterwards, Bale, director Christopher Nolan and co-stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman all embraced one another again and again. This was a special moment, clearly, for them all. Nolan (whose teleprompter, alone among presenters on Sunday, read simply, "Ad lib") was the focus of all the "Dark Knight Rises" well-wishing. "Thank you," Bale told him. "Thank you," Gordon-Levitt echoed. "Thank you."
Jaw-dropping, heart-pounding, gut-busting moments galore. See what just happened at the 21st annual MTV Movie Awards!