Best actress in a supporting Oscars role
She had an Oscar in hand and appeared on stage more times than the Coen brothers on Hollywood's biggest night, but you probably never noticed...
Seattle Times columnist
She had an Oscar in hand and appeared on stage more times than the Coen brothers on Hollywood's biggest night, but you probably never noticed Christina Ulloa.
The Bainbridge Island native and UW grad was one of three women handing out gold statuettes at last Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. She wore black and about $150,000 of borrowed jewelry. (Security followed them everywhere, even to the bathroom.)
Ulloa, 25, is a working actress — she'll next appear on an episode of "Bones" on Fox — and booked the Oscars job through her agent. After spending a long day brushing shoulders with the biggest stars in Hollywood, Ulloa graciously agreed to share some backstage dish:
• Katherine Heigl wasn't faking her anxiety. "I was presenting with her, and she was really nervous, so I got a little nervous. The first time I went out on stage, even my mom said I looked really nervous."
• Renée Zellweger really is just a nice girl from small-town Texas: "I was really impressed with how friendly Renée Zellweger was. She was nice to everyone. She's really beautiful in person."
• The floor behind the podium was slippery because of a cleaner used on scuff marks. "Everyone kept slipping, and they were panicking backstage. There were celebrities on stage who were pregnant, and everyone was freaking out. They fixed it during a commercial break."
• Yes, Oscar is heavy. "We had rehearsed all week with fake wooden trophies. Then actually picking the first one up was kind of like, 'Oh my gosh, I should have lifted some dumbbells this week.' "
• Jack will always be Jack. "The other trophy girls and I were standing backstage together, and Jack Nicholson was beelining toward us. The security had to kind of drag him away. People had to say to him, 'Jack, they're working.' "
After handling so many gold trophies, Ulloa says it would be "awesome" to win an Oscar someday. But first, she just wants to be invited to the ceremony: "I was visualizing sitting in the audience." ...
IN HOLLYWOOD, THEY SAY NEVER work with kids or animals. Mariners shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt did both while shooting scenes for his upcoming TV spot, one of seven 30-second commercials in the Mariners' annual TV campaign. Yuni's co-stars include doves and a rabbit, but that's nothing compared to the circus that broke out while filming a spot starring a fire-breather, stilt-walker, belly dancer and some clowns. The clowns are not to be confused with J.J. Putz, Kenji Johjima, Miguel Batista, Brandon Morrow and Eric O'Flaherty, who also appear in the ad. New pitchers Erik Bedard and Carlos Silva joined in the fun. The humorous ads, with the tagline "Mojo Risin' " (no relation to the Doors song), are set to debut March 13. ...
WE LIKE TO SAY VALENTINE'S DAY is a made-up holiday, but it turns out you can actually make up holidays. The first National Grammar Day is Tuesday, courtesy of Seattleite and grammar goddess Martha Brockenbrough, founder of The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (www.spogg.org). Sure, it's completely nerdy, but let's not try to pretend Seattle doesn't love geeks. (Microsoft lives here.) Besides, the holiday comes with its own cocktail. Brockenbrough's suggestions to celebrate the day: Enjoy turkey chili, which is good for the colon, and quaff Grammartinis, which are good for everything else. ...
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS ROUNDUP: Sir Mix-A-Lot speaking at the African American Business Achievement dinner at the UW Foster School of Business ... Jazz great Steve Tyrell at "Make the Evening Matter" benefit for colon-cancer research at Triple Door ... Maya Angelou checking in to the Alexis Hotel, where a bottle of her favorite scotch was waiting for her. Who knew?
Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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