Photo Courtesy: Architectural Digest
By: Bryan Alexander
LOS ANGELES - There's one room in Hollywood that truly only the elite can visit - the VIP green room to the side of the Oscar stage.
The 750-square-foot Architectural Digest Greenroom at the 85th Academy Awards will feature some of the biggest names in Hollywood who will be invited in the room before they head to the stage.
"It's a bit of solace from the madness of backstage," says interior designer Madeline Stuart, who was chosen to design the room. "And it's a very tough room to get into."
It's so tough that even Stuart will not be in the room she designed on Oscar night.
"I will be in comfortable clothes with a glass of wine in my hands watching from home," Stuart says. "This place is off limits even to me."
But Oscar presenters Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart - to name a few - will have their moment here before going onstage.
The room, which has three upholstered banquettes and an Art Deco bar, will hold only 18 people comfortably, Stuart says. But that's an adequate number because the producers are eager to keep the numbers down in the green room.
"The producers want everyone back in their seats for the show," Stuart says.
Hollywood runs deep with Stuart, whose father Mel Stuart directed 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Stuart and her brother, Peter, even have cameo roles in the movie.
Stuart chose an Old Hollywood feel based on debonair production designer Cedric Gibbons, who received 11 Academy Awards for art direction and who is credited with designing the Oscar statuette.
The green room also features a smoking-lounge garden area attached to the back, complete with hedges thatch hide the fact that it's in a theater loading dock. The lounge has long been the refuge of Oscar show legend Jack Nicholson. Stuart says she doubts Nicholson will get the call to go back to his seat in the auditorium.
"Jack generally takes up residency in the smoking lounge," Stuart says. "I don't think anyone tells Jack what to do."