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Afterparties Kick Out Crashers Bringing Fake Oscar Statuettes – TechVerdant

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Oscar Parties Are Full of Phonies (But They’re Getting Kicked Out)

Winning an Academy Award opens a lot of doors, especially at Oscar-night afterparties. One of Hollywood’s sacred red carpet rules is that merely holding an Oscar can be a golden ticket to just about every swell soiree in town. But in recent years, some gate-crashers have been exploiting that loophole by turning up with ersatz trophies or, as happened this year, an actual Oscar that didn’t belong to them. Rambling has learned that one non-invitee who arrived at Vanity Fair’s ultra-exclusive fete hauling a vintage 1986 Oscar quickly found himself kicked to the curb. The person was not the award winner, a rep for the magazine confirms to THR, adding that the trophy was confiscated. “Our head of security is working on tracking down its rightful owner.” It’s unclear how the crasher got his hands on the golden boy, nor has his identity been released. But sources confirm that this sort of ruse has become increasingly common on Hollywood’s big night, although perpetrators usually arrive with fake Oscars, not real ones. Obviously, many of the true winners are all too recognizable — nobody is showing up pretending to be Emma Stone — but there are scores of below-the-line recipients pouring into these parties who are much easier to impersonate, despite El Al-like security at the doors. “It’s awkward to ask to check the nameplate and make sure [an award is legit],” one source notes. Fortunately, some guards have become so practiced at sorting out phonies, they can tell a real Oscar just by holding it in their hands. Note to forgers: The genuine article weighs 8.5 pounds. — Chris Gardner

Just What Hollywood Needs — a 10-Year-Old Screenwriter

Other 10-year-old boys trade Pokémon cards on the playground during recess. This kid trades script notes with an Oscar-winning screenwriter over French fries at a diner in Studio City. For several months now, fifth grader Connor Esterson has been meeting with 64-year-old Green Book scribe Nick Vallelonga and 68-year-old Bad Boys writer George Gallo to develop Little Wiseguy, Esterson’s screenplay about a boy who befriends an aging mobster living next door. “Home Alone meets The Godfather” is how Esterson describes his high-concept comedy (though he admits he’s never seen The Godfather). The preteen multi­hyphenate — he’s also an actor, with a starring turn in 2023’s Spy Kids: Armageddon — whipped up a six-page treatment on his own, which he showed to family friend Joe Isgro, a veteran producer, who in turn took it to Gallo, who then shared it with Vallelonga. All agreed Esterson’s idea had legs, so Vallelonga and Gallo began working with the boy to hammer out a script, which they’re about to pitch around town. Esterson, incidentally, isn’t the youngest screenwriter in Hollywood history — his Spy Kids director Robert Rodriguez once gave his 8-year-old son Max a screen credit — but he’s already planning his next (entirely predictable) career move. “One of my main goals is to become a director,” he says. 

Come for the Dumplings, Stay for the Movie

One of the oldest, most famous movie theaters in Hollywood is about to become its newest dim sum joint. In a move designed to lure pork-bun-loving filmgoers back to the big screen, the TCL Chinese Theatre will start offering, well, Chinese food, selling dumplings and other Asian appetizers alongside the more traditional concession stand staples like popcorn and Goobers. All the Asian dishes served at the 97-year-old pagoda-shaped venue will be overseen by Tony He, founder of the Rosemead dim sum institution Sea Harbour Restaurant. “Going to the movies and eating popcorn has been an American tradition for many years,” says Joaquin Lim, who is overseeing the dim sum project. “We thought it would be cool for moviegoers to enjoy China’s cuisine while they watch a film.” 

More Expensive Than a Locomotive

Most 85-year-olds wished they looked as good as this 1938 copy of Action Comics No. 1 — or that they were worth as much money. The comic book — in which Superman makes his very first appearance — is now drawing sky high online bids at Heritage Auctions, which will host one final day of live bidding at their Dallas headquarters on April 4. “It’s going to be the most expensive comic book ever sold,” predicts Heritage curator Xavier Chavez, who notes that with two weeks still to go, the current $5 million offer is just a smidge below the record $5.3 million set in 2022 for Superman No. 1 (the Man of Steel’s first solo comic). What makes this book so valuable, aside from the fact that it’s ground zero for the superhero genre and that there are fewer than 100 left in existence, is that this particular copy is in superb condition, graded at 8.5 out of 10. That could send its ultimate selling price soaring up, up and away, making Clark Kent the new six (or maybe seven or eight) million-dollar man. — Andy Lewis

This story first appeared in the March 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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