The Commercial Appeal

Oscars greenroom pays tribute to great Hollywood designer

- By Sandy Cohen

LOS ANGELES — When Oscar nominees such as Steven Spielberg, Hugh Jackman and Helen Hunt want to take a break backstage during the Academy Awards show, they’ll step back in time.

Their off-camera Oscars hangout, the Architectu­ral Digest Greenroom, was inspired by art director Cedric Gibbons, who won 11 Academy Awards and was nominated another 28 times for his work on classic films including “The Wizard of Oz,” “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” He even designed the Oscar statuette.

“He really created, almost single-handedly, the look of the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s,” said Madeline Stuart, designer of this year’s Oscar greenroom. “His body of work is so impressive, and as a designer who prides herself on being able to work in so many different architectu­ral styles, he’s my idol because he, in order to create the sets and the environmen­ts and the worlds of these different films, had to be conversant in all these different (aesthetic) languages.”

Stuart’s greenroom will boast a sunny palette, spare décor, black lacquer floors and the upholstere­d banquettes Gibbons favored.

“This is not a room for flip-flops,” Stuart said. “This is a room that conveys the high style and sophistica­ted glamour of the 1930s and ’40s, and how fabulous that the people who are spending time in the room that night will have dressed the part.”

Stuart typically decorates and remodels the high- end homes of entertaine­rs and business leaders. The Oscar backstage retreat is her most transient project yet: The entire room is being built off-site and will be moved into the backstage area of the Dolby Theatre a few days before the Academy Awards. And it’ll be gone just as quickly.

“This is like a military maneuver, and everything is plotted and planned to within an inch of its life,” Stuart said, adding that the greenroom closes after the Oscar show, and two days later, “they come and my little world is broken down and carted away.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States