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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Hollywood's Biggest Night; Live from the Red Carpet of the 88th Academy Awards. Aired 6-7:30p ET

Aired February 28, 2016 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:00:20] ANNOUNCER: Tonight, the stars, the movies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need you here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time, Robbie. It's time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whisper a movie you've written in secret. Maybe I've even heard of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe you have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The surprises.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm still alive. Surprise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The controversy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talk about diversity across all boards, industry, everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The black acting nominees of the Oscars it's not right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: The unforgettable moments, it's Hollywood's biggest night. And it all starts now. Here are Michaela Pereira and Don Lemon.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to a Hollywood's biggest night. Hollywood has never looked so good. We're counting down to the start of the 88th Annual Academy Awards. I'm Michaela Pereira high above the red carpet in sunny and warm Hollywood. What a night it's going to be. We're covering it all for you, the styles, the surprises, the moments that everyone will be talking about come Monday morning. All happening right here with our special Oscar pre-show.

My man, Don Lemon, down in the thick of it on the red carpet. In the mix talking to celebrities that are arriving. I can hear the cheers. There's a lot of energy coming from that carpet, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know if you can see me, but I have gone full Hollywood with the sunglasses and everything.

PEREIRA: Yes, you're pretty Hollywood, baby.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: It's really exciting. Listen, there's a reason for these sunglasses. You remember last year when we were here and it was raining.

PEREIRA: Do I remember?

LEMON: Holding the tent up with broom sticks, oh my goodness! Well, this year the weather couldn't be more beautiful. It's actually, you know, the temperature is perfect. People are all excited. They're here. The stars are starting to arrive. In just a little bit, they haven't really officially opened the red carpet yet just like a second ago when we went on the air. But I got to -- you look fabulous.

PEREIRA: Thank you.

LEMON: Who are you wearing?

PEREIRA: Thanks for asking. I'm styled by my stylist Pilar Steinborn. She is watching at home. Hey, Pi. You look fabulous too, baby, who are you wearing?

LEMON: Well, I think I'm wearing a lovely, let me tell you this, Armani.

PEREIRA: Very nice.

LEMON: Armani and with a little help from Tom Ford with a big bowtie. But I have a question for you.

PEREIRA: Yes.

LEMON: Also I have this Thomas pink which has a self-tie, smaller bowtie. Which one do you think?

PEREIRA: Ah! You're trying to decide? Go big or go home my thoughts.

LEMON: You helped me last year. All right. Good. Then I'm good. Because I don't have to re-tie this.

PEREIRA: You go home.

LEMON: We're all good.

PEREIRA: OK. We're trying to have Don not --

LEMON: We'll bring them here.

PEREIRA: We're trying to not have Don change on the red carpet. He's already done that once this afternoon. So, try to keep the clothes on, Don Lemon. We will be back to you in a moment, baby. We know the eyes of the world are focused squarely on Hollywood tonight. An academy award win is the ultimate endorsement every actor wants. Eight films are up for the best picture. Generally right now being seen as a three-horse race between "The Revenant," "The Spotlight" and, "The Big Short." It also is the year of the controversy, the controversy that can't be ignored, the Oscars so white debate.

You know you can expect Chris Rock is going to address head on, but the big question is, how is Hollywood going to react. Another questions on a lot of people's minds, is this finally going to be Leonardo DiCaprio's year? It's his fifth acting nomination. He's also scored in all of the big prizes leading up to Oscar in the pre- season. A lot of folks, maybe even I think it's safe to say a lot of those people in the industry are rooting for him. But the question is, will the academy follow popular opinion?

Tonight is about you. You get to sound off. We know you talk to the television already. But you can do it, talk to us, keep the conversation going. Keep your eye on the bottom of the screen. We're going to pop up questions that we want you to answer. In fact, here's one right now. What film is going to win best picture? Just head to CNN.com/AwardsVote. Any time tonight tell us what you think and watch the results pop up in real-time. It's going to be cool. We'll do it all evening. But I'm not alone on the bridge, I know. I have a few friends. I have a friend all the way from Canberra, Australia.

She is Fandango correspondent and international film critic Alicia Malone. And I have to just share this. You dreamed as a little girl of being on the red carpet and you thought it was just a pipe dream.

ALICIA MALONE, FANDANGO CORRESPONDENT: I'm kicking out right now. Because since I was 15 I write down on my goals to go to the red carpet at the Oscars and I have no idea what's going to happen. And now what? I'm here. I'm right here.

PEREIRA: So, this is a big year. We talked about the controversy, we know that there are a lot of questions about how Chris Rock is going to do.

MALONE: Yes

PEREIRA: But we know Oscar is about the films. What are you expecting film wise?

[18:05:02] MALONE: Well, this is a really interesting year especially if you're a film nerd like I am --

PEREIRA: Me too.

MALONE: -- because it's pretty unpredictable.

PEREIRA: Yes.

MALONE: I mean, apart from a couple categories that are a lock, it really could go anyway, particularly for best picture.

[18:05:13] PEREIRA: Well, let's talk about. Let's bring up all the nominees in fact as we know that there are a lot of really great films and it's interesting many of them are based on real stories.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: These are true stories. A lot of them adapted, four of them in fact inspired by true events. So, we got the big short, bridge of spies, Brooklyn, "Mad Max: Fury Road," as we know as a cult following.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: "The Martian," "The Revenant," room, spotlight, all great films in their own rights.

MALONE: Yes. And usually you look at the Guild Awards, to predict it's going to take on best picture. But the screen actors Guild, the directors Guild, and the producers Guild all gave the top prizes to three different movies, "Spotlight," "The Revenant" and the big short.

PEREIRA: So, you don't really have a clear indicator.

MALONE: No. And many expected saying "The Revenant" because it is that kind of big bold movie --

PEREIRA: Yes.

MALONE: -- that the academy loves, but I'm going to go against the experts.

PEREIRA: Really?

MALONE: It's only at nine percent right now. I'm going to go with "The Big Short" for the best picture win out because it won the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards.

PEREIRA: You don't give it to "Spotlight"?

MALONE: No. I don't give it to "Spotlight," that could sneak in but I think because of the crossover between the Producers Guild and the Academy and the way that they vote for their top prize exactly the same way as they vote for best picture with this preferential voting system. I know it's many but I love it --

PEREIRA: But you know, I love nerdy, I love it too. The fact is we've been seeing how much momentum "The Revenant" has been getting. It has won some 16 awards including three Golden Globes and five BAFTAs. Leonardo DiCaprio has won some six awards already leading up to the Oscars.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: You're voting against "The Revenant."

MALONE: And I could be wrong.

PEREIRA: You could be wrong?

MALONE: I could be wrong. PEREIRA: People have been wrong in Oscars.

MALONE: But because of this preferential voting system when they vote from one to eight and then you get a number of points per numbering --

PEREIRA: Yes.

MALONE: "The Revenant" is a really divisive film, so I think that a lot of people either love it and we'll give it a lot of points or don't like it and won't give it as much whereas "The Big Short" is very well liked.

PEREIRA: It's interesting to talk about the personality if you can. We'll talk about the makeup of the Academy a little more when we have the conversation about Oscars so white. But in terms of the voting patterns of the Academy --

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: -- is there a way to sort of read into how they tend to think about films that are big pictures about big American stories? There are several American stories within the best picture or field.

MALONE: Yes, usually it does go to a true story and a true American story. And there are some several stats that you can look at history wise. I mean, "The Revenant," if it wins tonight, Alejandro Inarritu will be the first director to ever win back-to-back best picture Oscars.

PEREIRA: Incredible. Unprecedented. Right.

MALONE: And it's really hard for a film to win best picture without also getting a screen play nomination.

PEREIRA: Right.

MALONE: "The Revenant" doesn't have that. I would love to see "Mad Max: Fury Road" take it personally.

PEREIRA: So, you know, it's interesting, I think Mad Max is probably one of the more divisive films because you hear from people they either loved it or they just don't get it. And some people are surprised that it made it into that category.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: You weren't surprised.

MALONE: I wasn't surprised. I think this is a film they should teach at film school because of the way it has action, telling story and character, rather than having someone just come in and tell you everything and then walk away.

PEREIRA: Right.

MALONE: But a lot of people say it's just one long car chase, but I love Charlize's character. I thought she was brilliant.

PEREIRA: There's some incredible girl power in that film in her role.

MALONE: Yes. Yes.

PEREIRA: I have to tell you "Brooklyn" is a film that I think is really interesting to see in this category as well. Sort of a smaller film.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: It's a quiet film as well.

MALONE: Very quit film.

PEREIRA: It's all about story.

MALONE: Yes. Very quiet film. Beautiful love story. I think anyone who moves away from home can relate to it.

PEREIRA: We both have.

MALONE: Both have. She's so brilliant in that role. I mean, she's heartbreaking. But I watched the movie again with some friends and they were like this is boring. I was like, no, come on, it's beautiful.

PEREIRA: No, it's a lovely film. If you haven't seen it at home, I strongly encourage you to see that. You look gorgeous.

MALONE: Thank you.

PEREIRA: By the way, she says she's a geek, but this geek is fine. Just saying.

All right. Our party is just getting started on the red carpet. Stay with us for all of the stars, all of the fashion, bowties and all, and maybe even a few surprises. You're watching Hollywood's biggest night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:13:24] PEREIRA: Welcome back to CNN's live coverage of the 88th Academy Awards. The stars are beginning to arrive on the red carpet. You want to know what it's like to wind your way through the streets of busy Los Angeles on the way to the Academy Awards.

Somebody got the gig, Stephanie Elam living the dream. She's riding along with best original screenplay nominee for "Straight Outta Compton," one of my favorite films Leigh Savidge and his beautiful wife Vida. Stephanie, you try to get to the Dolby Theater in L.A. traffic. Girl, you going to make it on time?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are going to make it on time. We left on time. Everything is looking good, Michaela. We are right now at a traffic light. All is well. We're obeying all the laws. We are not rushing to get there. But we are making our way there in the limo. We're calling it the CNN Oscar, get it? Ha-ha-ha-ha! I came over that myself -- it's fine, I did that.

PEREIRA: So cleaver.

ELAM: But we are here in the limo riding along with Leigh Savidge as you said and his lovely wife Vida, he is nominated for Best Original Screenplay. All right. So, here's the feeling, I want to know, nerves, are you thinking about it yet? What's in your mind right now, Lee?

LEIGH SAVIDGE, BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY NOMINEE: It's all good. I'm getting my -- and Mark's tux that got fed Fed-Exed from Chicago and Vida's got her dress from Beverly Hills, so.

ELAM: Yes. Vida is looking great, she's got her diamonds on, you're ready to go. Everything is there, but you don't have any jitters at all? Relax?

SAVIDGE: I don't know, we'll see as we get closer.

ELAM: You're the only one from the movie that's nominated, you and the other writers.

SAVIDGE: The other four writers --

ELAM: The other four writers.

SAVIDGE: I think three writers. Sorry.

ELAM: The other three writers, counting yourself. Were you surprised to find out that you were the only one from the movie that was nominated, the writers?

SAVIDGE: You know, I don't think you have any expectation of, you know, being nominated. It just sort of happens. So, I mean obviously I'm thrilled. But was I thinking that that was going to happen? Not necessarily. So it's super exciting what it does. Yes.

ELAM: You've spent a lot of your career looking at places in the marketplace that haven't been filled. And a lot of that being around black media, black cinema.

SAVIDGE: Yes.

ELAM: This is not something that's new for you. You worked on like 20 some drafts to get to where you are.

SAVIDGE: Right.

ELAM: Do you find it surprising that we're still having this conversation in 2016?

SAVIDGE: You know, all I can say is that it's very clear that, you know, you can monetize, you know, that there's money in this. And there's opportunity in this. And the success of Compton shows that. And, you know, it's something we've been -- I've been saying for, you know, almost three decades. You know. That there is, you know, I saw how the hip hop music movement directly affected opportunities for Black entertainers, you know, back into the '90s. And, yes, are we still having this conversation? We shouldn't be, really.

ELAM: But we are.

SAVIDGE: Yes. We are.

ELAM: So tell me this, how hard is it to work on a film about people, many of whom are still very much alive and a part of the project?

SAVIDGE: Well, you know, it's a process. Like my role was to, you know, write that as the blank page writer to write, you know, many drafts and I pulled in my friend Alan Wilkinson and we worked together for many years, probably, you know, four years before we convinced Tomica Woods Wright who is the widow of Eazy E to -- write with the script. And that's really, that's the package that New Line bought, and that's what legitimize this project and the Hollywood Ecosystem. So Toby Emmerich at New Line was critical.

ELAM: That's key because you couldn't do this movie without the music.

SAVIDGE: Couldn't, yes.

ELAM: So we're going to keep riding along with Lee and Vida. I'm going to send it back to you on the red carpet. But we'll still keep making our way towards you at the Dolby Theater.

LEMON: Yes. Thank you. Be safe and we'll see you as soon as you get here. We're here with Adam McKay, five times -- movie is nominated five times, best director, best Screenplay. Christian Bale is also nominated for best supporting actor. So, first of all, how do you feel?

ADAM MCKAY, BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEE, "THE BIG SHORT": I feel a little overwhelmed. But mostly happy that people connected with this movie.

LEMON: Yes.

MCKAY: I mean, that's why we made the movie.

LEMON: It's interesting the movie's about the financial crisis back 2007, 2008, and there's a lot of people in the country were affected by it but we're still reeling from the ramifications of the financial crisis with housing, with the economy and we're still talking about it in politics today with the presidential race.

MCKAY: Yes. It isn't over. I mean, that's what I loved about this story was even though it was 2007, 2008, the effects of it are being felt across the board. I mean, you look at the majority of the wealth lost was all in the middle, lower classes, the wealth that's been recovered has been the upper one percent, and income inequality is one of the big subjects that everyone is talking about. LEMON: Bernie Sanders endorsed the movie which is not surprising considering what he's talking about on the campaign trail with wealth inequality and so on and so forth. And listen, you will talk about politics. Politics is huge right now and this movie plays right into it.

MCKAY: You know, I got to be honest, I don't think politics is politics. I think politics is about policy decisions, about how we lead our country. A lot of people treat it like a separate subject but there's been a lot of Republicans who have like this movie as well because we all recognized these banks behaved irresponsibly. And I've been really happy with the bipartisan response this movie that has gotten.

LEMON: Yes. Because listen, when you're talking about the economy, I think everyone is involved. We know you from "Anchorman," "Anchorman 2," also from "Step Brothers," what's it like working with the caliber of actors you work with especial someone like Christian Bale?

MCKAY: It's incredible. I mean, Christian Bale is amazing. Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, they're all guys who were able to support their egos to play these real people, these outsiders. And they were excited at the chance, you know, they didn't care about how they looked and scenes and I needed that level of actor to pull this off. So, it was amazing.

LEMON: Before I let you go, I just have to ask you one more thing. You know, I don't know if you saw the movie Madoff, it's surprising that one person or, you know, relatively obscure person can, you know, uncover -- and that's what happened in your movie. When you have all of these, you know, experts and no one uncovers what's going on.

MCKAY: Well, that was one of the inspirations for this movie was the story of the guy who caught Madoff that no one would listen to because he was socially awkward. And I think it's a question of like who are we listening to for our authority? And no offense to you, but who are we listening to in the media?

LEMON: Right.

MCKAY: Who are we listening to for our truth? And that's what I loved about these movies. These were guys that don't make eye contact, these are guys that were awkward socially but they knew the truth. And the truth a lot of times is just mathematical and we need to retrain ourselves to look for that.

LEMON: Thank you so much.

MCKAY: My pleasure.

LEMON: Best of luck to you tonight.

MCKAY: Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

LEMON: Thank you. Thank you. So, listen, this is what's happening now, Michaela. We're talking a lot about, you know, #Oscarsowhite, we're talking about the financial crisis, you heard Adam mention. You said, it's politics is not separate. You know, it's all tied in. So it's going to be a very fun Oscars. Everyone wants to know who you're wearing, and we're also going to be talking about some pretty newsy issues here which is why it's important that CNN be here at the Oscars this year.

PEREIRA: Absolutely. Look, we do love the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but we do want to talk about the things that are on the nation's mind. We know that comedy and race are going to collide at tonight's academy awards. The lack of diversity among nominees spark controversy. Only two African-Americans nominated. The show's host is one of America's most provocative comedians, Mr. Chris Rock. I think everybody is anxious to see how he's going to address the issue, because you know he's going to go there. Obviously this is a conversation we want to bring Alicia and Don into.

Don, we've been hearing that he's been doing some material around town working on his standup routine, but he hasn't done a whole lot of press. He's been pretty mum on the topic. But you know, I was thinking about it, this is an African-American comedian at a time when this nation is having this conversation. He's got to address it.

LEMON: Yes. You know what, and it's perfect. On the way here I was reading the Hollywood report, look at the Hollywood reporter, he's on the cover. On the cover of variety. All of the industry magazine is talking about this. It's about half of this issue discussing the issue of race and diversity not only among the academy but also in Hollywood. And Chris Rock whether it's by happenstance or whatever, is the perfect host. And as I have been going around Los Angeles and around Hollywood, people are discussing about him and his team of writers, Dave Chappelle on board. He wants to get it perfectly. And the academy is well aware that Chris Rock is going to hit them and I mean go head-on and talk about what's happening here Hollywood. I can't wait to see what he has to say.

PEREIRA: They know who they hired for the gig, right? That is no surprise. He did it back in 2005. Alicia, this is a very different time in our world, very different time as the nation. But you know, it's interesting, the Oscars so white there's been this idea that, oh, the boycott is a good idea, it's not a good idea.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: A lot of people are pointing out the fact that the academy isn't necessarily the problem. It's Hollywood in general. They have to diversify the projects that are getting green lit.

MALONE: Exactly. Yes, I mean I think this year there were definitely performances that should have been nominated like Idris Alba in "Base of No Nation" who is fantastic, but it does point to a wider problem in Hollywood that non-White actors just aren't getting the opportunities right from the start, right when the film is cost and green-lit. And as a film lover, I want to see all types of people included and all types of stories told. Makes it more interesting.

PEREIRA: Do you think that this conversation and the fact that this is happening now, do you think it's going to move the needle at all? Because there are people that said, look, we've had this problem in Hollywood for a long time.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: Do you think it's now time that maybe things are going to change?

MALONE: I think it can't be ignored. I mean, I remember having this conversation last year when we were in the same position.

PEREIRA: It's year two.

MALONE: And "Selma" I think should have definitely been nominated last year.

PEREIRA: Absolutely.

[18:23:05] MALONE: And now nothing's changed. But I feel a change in the air. I feel like this conversation has dominated award season. And it's been really important for us to all have this conversation. I think change will be really slow. But I'm hopeful. I'm optimistic.

PEREIRA: I think hope is always a good thing. All right. We want to hear from you at home. Our question for you right now, will Chris Rock skewer Hollywood over diversity? Right now it looks like about 75 percent of you say, yes, he's going to do it. You can go to CNN.com/Awardsvote to weigh in. We're going to take a short break, powder our noses. The excitement is building here outside the Dolby Theater. Do not miss a moment of the red carpet action here with us for Hollywood's biggest night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:28:53] LEMON: All right. What a beautiful, beautiful evening here in Los Angeles. It is the 88th Academy Awards. Welcome back to Hollywood's biggest night. I am here with Hollywood royalty. I think it's okay if I call you Mr. Louis Gossett, Jr. a living legend.

MR. LOUIS GOSSETT, JR., ACADEMY AWARD WINNER: Get down and give me 50.

LEMON: Your fans were yelling at you back there, hey, Lou! It's personal for them. I have to ask you in 1983, you won best supporting actor for "An Officer and a Gentleman".

GOSSETT: Yes, sir.

LEMON: That was an historic event and all these years later we're talking about diversity among the academy in Hollywood. What are your thoughts?

GOSSETT: Yogi Berra says it ain't over until it's over. (INAUDIBLE) My choice is staying with the family. So, we have to make some changes. Nothing is going to be OK until we all consider one another one family. LEMON: It's interesting that you say that because there's been sort of this divide. Should you boycott, should you not boycott. I personally feel your biggest voice is getting in front of the cameras around the world.

GOSSETT: I learned my stuff from Nelson Mandela.

LEMON: Right, you actually have a voice and a platform.

[18:30:]] GOSSETT: We have a voice, use it.

LEMON: Yes.

GOSSETT: Use it.

LEMON: Do you think the academy is addressing the situation properly? How do you feel about that?

GOSSETT: Well, the challenge about this industry is, whenever there's a mistake and they find out about it, they overcompensate and make it right.

LEMON: Right.

GOSSETT: So, it's like a backlash. But they're sensitive. They're sensitive. We're also a young culture, you know?

LEMON: Yes.

GOSSETT: So as we grow and improve, now is the time for us to be more diversified.

LEMON: Yes.

GOSSETT: More sensitive to one another. Now it's above the table and it's what we have to do on a daily basis.

LEMON: Do you have time this week -- you're here with your lovely friend. Do you have time this week just to relax and take in any of the fun?

GOSSETT: Oh, yes.

LEMON: Yes?

GOSSETT: I've been there, done that now. I got to go to work tomorrow for another movie. But it's --

LEMON: I saw you out last night at the Ebony party at 3:00 in the morning.

(LAUGHTER)

GOSSETT: As long as I don't fall asleep out there today.

LEMON: Yes. GOSSETT: Everything is good. Everything is good.

LEMON: Why does this mean so much to so many people? Because there are people who say, I don't need an award, I know I'm a great actor. Why are you so concerned about diversity in Hollywood? Who needs an award?

GOSSETT: Well, see, I think --

LEMON: The recognition.

GOSSETT: I think what you learn in school about the arts, we happen to be a couple of clicks ahead of society.

LEMON: Yes.

GOSSETT: And so far society's gotten a couple of clicks ahead of us.

LEMON: Yes.

GOSSETT: So they'll have voted for Will Smith and we haven't nominated him. We have to get back in the first place and teach and lead our public the proper way. That's our job.

LEMON: You discuss politics.

GOSSETT: Yes.

LEMON: Yes. What do you think of the election? I have to ask, I know that's a broad question. But what do you think about what's going on? Because it's so cantankerous now.

GOSSETT: Yes. I know. I don't know who I'm going to vote for, but she's going to win.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: You don't want to name any names?

GOSSETT: I don't name any --

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: And do you have -- you have your money on anybody tonight, so to speak? Anything is going to happen. They say it's the year for "The Revenant."

GOSSETT: Yes, well, yes, "Revenant," I think, you know, Leonardo and Sly Stalone.

LEMON: Yes.

GOSSETT: Long overdue.

LEMON: Yes. Well, thank you so much, Mr. Lou Gossett Jr. and your lovely date. We appreciate it. So, Michaela, Hollywood legend royalty. I've been watching that man

since I was a kid.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Hollywood royalty.

LEMON: I do have to say -- I'm going to give you a little sneak peek. Can you guys pan that way?

PEREIRA: OK.

LEMON: See that guy? That's Mr. Sam Smith. Nobody can sing like Sam Smith. And he's talking to the people next to us. And he's going to come over and talk to us in just a minute. So please don't take a break. Because I want to talk to Sam Smith. I want to see how he lost all that weight. I want to hear about his song in the movie "The Spectre." What's the name of the song again? "The Writing's on the Wall." "The Writing's on the Wall" in the movie "Spectre."

PEREIRA: "Writing's on the Wall."

LEMON: And -- yes, I know. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful song.

PEREIRA: OK.

LEMON: So he's there.

PEREIRA: Here's what we'll do.

LEMON: So chat a little bit but I may have to get -- I may have to cut you off.

PEREIRA: That's fine.

LEMON: Come back.

PEREIRA: That's fine. My knees went a little weak when you said Sam Smith. We'll get back to you when you get him. We're going to talk fashion right now because I'm going to let you in on a little secret, people, nobody just woke up and grabbed something out of their closet this morning. They have been planning their look, their hair, their clothes, their makeup, their jewelry for weeks.

Keeping me honest up here on the bridge on fashion tonight is George Kotsiopoulos, style expert and glamour, author of the "Glamorous by George: The Key to Creating Movie Star Style." And it is about creating a look.

GEORGE KOTSIOPOULOS, STYLE EXPERT: Yes. Absolutely.

PEREIRA: And it is about creating a look throughout awards season, correct?

KOTSIOPOULOS: 100 percent. I mean, these people have been doing this since January.

PEREIRA: Yes. KOTSIOPOULOS: So at this point they've tried on hundreds and hundreds

of gowns. And, you know, they've pretty much narrowed things down. I think they kind of know in January the good ones.

PEREIRA: The good ones.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Know what they're going to wear to the Oscars because you kind of always save the best for the last.

PEREIRA: Well, and it's interesting because you talk about the fact that you establish kind of a look.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes.

PEREIRA: And you know, when you're a young starlet, that's a hard thing to know.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Super important.

PEREIRA: You don't necessarily know yourself but it's so important that you really sort of put your foot down fashionably.

KOTSIOPOULOS: It's really important. Yes. I think that we've seen it occur with people like Jennifer Lawrence.

PEREIRA: Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: And you know, Frida Pinto who I did years ago. You know, they come out from the gate looking like movie stars.

PEREIRA: Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Because it is important to establish --

PEREIRA: You got to play the role.

KOTSIOPOULOS: -- the fact that you're not just this little, you know.

PEREIRA: Right.

KOTSIOPOULOS: You know, starlet.

PEREIRA: Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: You're a movie star.

PEREIRA: Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: And the same thing is occurring with Alicia Vikander right now.

PEREIRA: Can we just talk about -- she is sort of the fashion it girl for the award season, right?

KOTSIOPOULOS: She is the fashion it girl. Completely. She is the fashion girl. PEREIRA: Have we seen how she looks tonight?

KOTSIOPOULOS: I haven't seen her yet. No.

PEREIRA: I've heard she is stunning in canary yellow. There she is. She's on --

KOTSIOPOULOS: Was she here? Is she here right now?

PEREIRA: She just walked by.

KOTSIOPOULOS: My god, that's fabulous. That's so exciting.

PEREIRA: George, while you swoon over her, I'm going to swoon over Sam Smith who is with our Don Lemon on the red carpet, you lucky fella.

LEMON: I know you're jelly. I know you're jealous.

Hello, Mr. Sam Smith.

SAM SMITH, OSCAR NOMINEE, ORIGINAL SONG: Hello, sir.

LEMON: We're here with Sam Smith. Sam Smith's song is nominated from the "Spectre," "Writing's on the Wall," you're going to perform it tonight. Right?

SMITH: Me and Jimmy.

LEMON: Jimmy Napes is your writing partner. Yes .

SMITH: Yes. Jimmy wrote the song with me. Yes. We're excited to be here and perform.

LEMON: Yes. You are? I love the tux. I almost wore green and someone talked me out of it.

SMITH: You should have done it.

LEMON: Yes. Before -- but before we get to that, what are you doing?

SMITH: What do you mean?

LEMON: You've lost so much weight. That's all anyone is talking about.

SMITH: I've just stopped eating like a horse. And --

LEMON: A horse. OK. Horse.

SMITH: A horse or a hippo. Any large animal. I just stopped eating as much basically and just like being sensible. We've been working out all week.

[18:35:05] LEMON: Yes.

JIMMY NAPES, OSCAR NOMINEE, BEST SONG: Sam's pretty serious. He's Sergeant Slaughter in the gym. You know?

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: We passed In and Out on the way here. And do you ever just drive in and out?

SMITH: I'm planning to go to tomorrow, and munch like seven burgers.

LEMON: Yes. Are you a little bit nervous about tonight performing such a huge --

SMITH: Right now I'm not.

LEMON: You're not?

SMITH: I think I will be later, but hopefully they're good nerves. You know, I think being nervous is important.

LEMON: Yes. Sam, it's been such an inedible couple of years for you. What do you -- like what goes through your head when you have such incredible success? I know you're not an overnight sensation. People think that you've worked long and hard but then when success comes it comes with this level, you know, and just that amount of time, what is that like for you?

SMITH: I just try to keep everything in perspective. And have the people I love around me, you know, Jimmy, my family, they're all here with us. And just try not to get carried away.

LEMON: Yes?

SMITH: Thankfully.

LEMON: Yes.

SMITH: That's what I try to do.

LEMON: I think I know the answer, but I'm going to ask you again because I asked him on the break and he gave me the answer. Can you hum something?

SMITH: No. Absolutely not. Not going to happen.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: I knew you were going to do that. Listen, you look great.

SMITH: Thank you.

LEMON: Congratulations. I can't wait to see. I'll be inside and I'm going to be watching and listening. Thank you, Jimmy Napes. Good to see you. Good to see you, Sam.

Michaela, I mean, what can I say? He looks amazing. He's going to sound amazing. And -- look how nice he is. He is the nicest guy.

PEREIRA: He's lovely.

LEMON: So there you go. Yes, very nice. Very nice.

PEREIRA: He's lovely.

LEMON: All right. Michaela, so I'm going to powder my nose, too.

PEREIRA: Yes. Your turn.

LEMON: And I know you got to powder your nose last break. So it's my turn. And then we'll probably check in to see where Michaela is.

PEREIRA: OK.

LEMON: And let's see who else is coming on the red carpet. I keep looking that way because that's where they're coming in the red carpet.

So Hollywood's biggest night with Michaela Pereira and Don Lemon continues right after this break, the 88th Academy Awards.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:41:23] LEMON: Back now, Hollywood's biggest night here on CNN. The 88th Academy Award. I'm with another legend who happens to be a friend, can I call you a dear friend?

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACADEMY AWARD WINNER: Yes.

LEMON: OK. This is Whoopi Goldberg, you may not know her name. Maybe you do. I'm kidding. You've what? Nominated how many times?

GOLDBERG: Twice.

LEMON: And won?

GOLDBERG: Once.

LEMON: I'd say you're about in a thousand. Go ahead and take a sip with that because I know you --

GOLDBERG: I'm dry like the Sahara right now. I mean, you know, I'm squeezed in. I have on 14,000 corsets, and I'm dry. Hold on, I'll be right with you.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: She said dry. You said dry, not drunk, right?

GOLDBERG: Oh, I don't drink.

LEMON: I know.

GOLDBERG: And I'm dry. How dry I am.

LEMON: Whoopi, you're always outspoken. And it's good to talk to you about this. I mean, you and I have spoken about diversity in Hollywood. What do you think of this year and the nominations? Because I've heard you talk about it on "The View."

GOLDBERG: Look, this is year, the last two years it didn't happen. Two years before that, you know, we were everywhere. The folks who should really be screaming and shouting about this are the Asian actors who are way underrepresented. And I think that will change because people are now starting to pay attention. Now we'll see how long it lasts. We'll see if people really mean to make the change.

LEMON: Yes. You know, as I am, you know, going around town for the limited amount of time that I get to be here, you get to see the amount of wealth that is built generations of people from Hollywood. And you're working with -- Alex Martin is her beautiful daughter, she's here. She has a reality show. And part of that -- part of that inclusion is having the opportunity to build wealth with your family and with anyone you choose to do it with.

GOLDBERG: Well, I think you just have to remind people that we're actors.

LEMON: Yes.

GOLDBERG: And so we can do anything. And the best example to use is look at "Hamilton."

LEMON: Right.

GOLDBERG: "Hamilton" is the best example of how this can work. Now it will happen. We've got to re-train casting directors and people who make movies and producers and say, hey, listen, we're all out here. Make the pool so we can all swim. That's all.

LEMON: Whoopi.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

LEMON: Have you seen anything like this when it comes to our election process? I see you sometimes want to pull your hair out onset.

GOLDBERG: You know what, the great thing about America is this can happen here. You know what I mean? This is how it is. This is what happens when you have freedom of speech and you have all of these things that we live for, you know. And so if people are smart, and I believe that they are, they'll make the right choice. And if they don't, we'll have to deal with it.

LEMON: Yes. Before I let you go, what do you think this election is going to ride on, women, minorities and young people? What do you say to the young folks?

GOLDBERG: Young people don't need me to say jack to them. They know what they're doing. They know how they feel. You know?

LEMON: Yes.

GOLDBERG: Listen, it's a great process.

LEMON: Yes.

GOLDBERG: No other country does it like we do. So we'll see what happens.

LEMON: Thank you, Whoopi.

GOLDBERG: Bye, baby.

LEMON: Good luck to you.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

LEMON: I'll see you soon.

GOLDBERG: And thank you for my water.

LEMON: You're welcome. See you, Alex. There you go.

We call her -- we like to call her Whoop. The legendary Whoopi. Someone is standing on Whoopi's train. How dare they?

Anyway, Michaela, it's always an honor to get to speak with Whoopi. I got to be very personal, as a friend, Whoopi has given me some incredible advice and insight on the business and on just living. She said --

PEREIRA: She's a good lady.

LEMON: Young people don't need her -- yes. Young people don't need her to tell them what to do. They're very aware. And we're seeing that showing up in the Black Lives Matter movement. And even beyond.

PEREIRA: Yes. We certainly are. All right. Thanks so much, Don. Let us know who else you can find down there on the red carpet. We'll come back to you in a moment.

I want to bring back George Kotsiopoulos again to talk about the fashion.

First of all, you know, I did not ask you, who are you wearing?

[18:45:01] KOTSIOPOULOS: How rude.

PEREIRA: I know. Very rude.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Thank you so much. It is Brooks Brothers tuxedo, clothing. Everything is Brooks Brothers.

PEREIRA: You look beautiful.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Thank you very much. And I have this gorgeous Piaget watch. I was on Rodeo Drive and I was supposed to select, you know, one to borrow.

PEREIRA: Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: And I decided that the one I owned already --

PEREIRA: Was better?

KOTSIOPOULOS: Was the best. Not that it was the best but I just love this watch.

PEREIRA: That's hilarious.

KOTSIOPOULOS: I'm wearing my own.

PEREIRA: I'm just noticing that you're not wearing a traditional black suit.

KOTSIOPOULOS: No. Midnight. Midnight.

PEREIRA: Are you going to do -- expect to see that on the carpet. We've seen a lot of black suits from the men.

KOTSIOPOULOS: We've seen a lot of navy suits at other events. I think for the Oscars it's best to go as classic as possible.

PEREIRA: OK.

KOTSIOPOULOS: This is the most formal of all of the awards shows.

PEREIRA: Right.

KOTSIOPOULOS: So I don't expect anyone to sway too far.

PEREIRA: We haven't seen anything really radical for the men.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes.

PEREIRA: As for the ladies we have seen some really beautiful looks already. In fact why do we start with some of your favorite that we've seen.

KOTSIOPOULOS: OK. Wait a minute.

PEREIRA: Wait. There's one last thing. I'm so sorry.

KOTSIOPOULOS: I had this made for today.

PEREIRA: You did?

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes. It's a custom Forever Mark Diamonds tie collar pin.

PEREIRA: It's beautiful.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Thank you very much.

PEREIRA: I love that.

KOTSIOPOULOS: How many carats are in there but --

PEREIRA: There's a few carats.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Not as many as Sophia Vergara's wearing. But --

PEREIRA: There's enough for a whole barn. Not as many. All right. So who are some of the looks that you're loving today?

KOTSIOPOULOS: OK, so who do we just see, Priyanka.

PEREIRA: We saw Priyanka. She looks so beautiful.

KOTSIOPOULOS: So gorgeous.

PEREIRA: Elegant.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Gorgeous. A lot of neutral colors have been happening this whole awards season.

PEREIRA: Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: So we're seeing like not as many bright -- we're seeing a lot of red, a lot of black.

PEREIRA: Yes. Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: And a lot of, like, nudes, tans, whites, et cetera.

PEREIRA: Olivia Wilde looks spectacular.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Spectacular.

PEREIRA: I think we have some video of her, she looked just out of sight. That's Priyanka there.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes. I mean, how beautiful is she? So Olivia is going super bold.

PEREIRA: They're both wearing white.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes. White tends to be the new trend, you know, and they did it in a way where you don't look like a bride because it's tough.

PEREIRA: That's a tough thing to do. They both achieved that.

KOTSIOPOULOS: They've totally achieved that. Olivia is actually wearing Valentino Haute Couture.

PEREIRA: OK.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Valentino is the hottest designer, you know, now. And Vintage Neil Lane jewelry. But the plunge is really what's taking it.

PEREIRA: It's excellent. She can plunge, baby.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Taking out of bridal.

PEREIRA: OK. Last look I want to look at before I go to break. Saoirse Ronan. She -- terrific actress. How did she do, actually we --

(CROSSTALK)

KOTSIOPOULOS: Alicia Vikander.

PEREIRA: Alicia, we love her.

KOTSIOPOULOS: She's wearing Louis Vuitton.

PEREIRA: Perfect for spring.

KOTSIOPOULOS: I love this because it's fun, it's youthful. She's been going so edgy this whole entire awards season.

PEREIRA: Yes. It's playful.

KOTSIOPOULOS: And this says, I'm a movie star.

PEREIRA: Yes.

KOTSIOPOULOS: And this will be timeless and it's beautiful. I love, you know, the high-low cut. The mullet dress.

PEREIRA: No. Don't ever say that it's a mullet dress.

KOTSIOPOULOS: It's a mullet dress.

PEREIRA: It's not a mullet dress.

KOTSIOPOULOS: But I love the balloon fact at the hem.

PEREIRA: Oh, George, you and your mullet.

(LAUGHTER)

PEREIRA: Listen, we want folks to follow along with us on Twitter. You can join us on Facebook, Instagram. Use the #CNNOscars.

We're going to take a break, looks some more beautiful looks. We'll be right back from Hollywood.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:51:59] LEMON: This is Hollywood's biggest night. And you're watching CNN, we're here on the red carpet. Listen, I want to talk to someone who is a major director here. Major director. He's trying to steal you. This is George Miller from "Mad Max: Fury Road."

Listen, as I was talking to you on the break -- first of all, thanks for joining us here. This is your five and six -- fifth and sixth nomination. Right? You won once for "Happy Feet" in 2007. But action films don't get nominated a lot. And this one is nominated. Was it a big surprise to you?

GEORGE MILLER, OSCAR NOMINEE, BEST PICTURE: Yes. I never expected, never expected, I mean, the film came out halfway during last year. And we somehow stayed in the conversation. And as you said, it's not your typical Oscar movie.

LEMON: Yes.

MILLER: And the fact that we got 10 nominations now is really, really gratifying. Because we worked hard, you know, on these movies and we're invited to the party.

LEMON: Not to mention two incredibly hot stars, male and female.

MILLER: Yes. Yes.

LEMON: Yes.

MILLER: We're prepared to go at it which is really great.

LEMON: Listen, I was talking to a friend who -- just today and he said, you know, I was watching the movie, and it was so intense that I had to take a break. How does that make you feel? He had to, like, stop it and then go back to it.

MILLER: Oh really?

LEMON: Yes.

MILLER: That's -- when I go to the movies that's what I would have done. Sit back and be sucked up in the screen and go for that ride. So when people say that to me, that's really, really right.

LEMON: I've got a question from our audience, it says what year did George Miller's original "Mad Max" film release? What year did it release?

MILLER: Am I answering? The initial one, 1979. And 1980, around some places around the world. 1979.

LEMON: '79-'80, around there.

MILLER: Yes. Yes.

LEMON: But what's interesting to me is that you started this film like talking about this film, development, you said it was development how since 1997 for "Mad Max: Furry Road?"

MILLER: That's when the idea first came. We started to write things down and started it. Lots of things kept getting in the way. And we made "Happy Feet" movies and they take a long time. But somehow you couldn't kill this movie with a stick. It just kept on getting up there. And here we are.

LEMON: Yes. Best Director. Best Picture. Do you have speech ready? MILLER: No. You know, I go into these things with really, I keep the

expectations low. Because you know, and the other thing is, you know, we also keep our fingers crossed, but don't hold your breath.

LEMON: Not even a note card in your pocket? You don't have it tucked inside?

MILLER: No, I could never read a speech. Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Well, good luck and congratulations to you, and I'll be watching.

MILLER: I appreciate it.

LEMON: Thank you.

MILLER: OK.

LEMON: Mr. George Miller, everyone. Mr. George Miller. Again he's a Best Director and Best Picture. I don't know if you saw "Mad Max: Furry Road," as I was talking to my friend today, I felt the same way that he did, Michaela. It's so intense, it's relentless, like a nonstop movie. And again action films rarely, rarely get nominated.

PEREIRA: Yes.

LEMON: And so this is a big honor for him and a big surprise.

PEREIRA: I know. It's interesting. Alicia was saying to me that she -- you know, she was talking about the girl power aspect of it and I think Charlize Theron just did a brilliant job in it.

LEMON: Yes.

[18:55:02] PEREIRA: It's such an interesting cult film, too, like so many people that love it have loved that franchise for years. It is surprising, I think, that it was nominated considering the field that it's in.

LEMON: Yes. Well, exactly. And so you know, for so many -- sorry, I've got so many people talking to me, apparently we have someone very important waiting to talk to us. So go ahead, Michaela.

PEREIRA: You know what? OK. You figure out who we need to talk to down there. I'm going to tell folks to stick around. Get a snack. Go to the rest room, do whatever you got to do but we need you back here after a short break. We'll be back with Hollywood's biggest night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DON LEMON: Welcome back, everyone, to Hollywood's biggest night. We are counting down to the start of the 88th Annual Academy Awards. You know, it is the Super Bowl, it's the World Series, it's the Bachelor, it's the finale. It's all rolled into one.

So, I'm going to get to my colleague Michaela Pereira in just a moment, but I want to get to a man who was nominated for one of my favorite movies this season. He got best director for "Room." I've rewatched it actually again today. It is amazing; and, for me to watch it twice, as someone with claustrophobia.

I don't know if you guys know the story, this mom and son are trapped in this shed...

LENNY ABRAHAMSON: Yeah, that's...

LEMON: It was a very small shed for, yeah...

ABRAHAMSON: ...for half of the movie.

LEMON: ...She's seven years, he's five years, they've been trapped in there.

ABRAHAMSON: That's right. That's right. So, yeah, it does take place in a small environment, but I suppose the thing is the mother has managed to make it into a real, a complete world for this kid. She tells him stories, created myths and patterns during the day, so for him it doesn't feel like such a confined space. For him, it's the whole world.

LEMON: Yeah. Ed Guiney is here. Ed Guiney is a producer of the movie, and it's also based on novel, a 2010 novel of the same name, "Room." Right? It's not "The Room", it's just "Room." What is like being involved in a project like this?

ED GUINEY: Well, I mean, we spotted the book when it first came out in 2010 and completely fell in love with it, and it took us a while to get our hands on it, but when we got it in 2013, Emma Donoghue, who wrote this book, she also wrote the script and she's been a great collaborator all along and a gracious part of the team.

LEMON: It was surprising to me, it's like, how do you build an entire film around being in a room?

ABRAHAMSON: Right.

GUINEY: I mean, the first thing it is that' it's no spoiler because it's revealed in all the materials they get out halfway through. But you know what, it isn't just a room. It's a school room, it's a gym, it's a house, it's a garden, it's all things to him and we sort of experience it through him.

LEMON: You're nominated for four Oscars tonight, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Brie Larson. Her performance is incredible, along with, what is it, Jacob Tremblay...

GUINEY: Jacob Tremblay.

LEMON: ...who plays Jack.

GUINEY: That's right, and Brie and Jake are the very heart and soul of the movie. I mean, if you don't believe their relationship, there's nothing there. So Yeah, Jake is this incredible kid. He's a sort of prodigy. I mean, I think if people see is performance, it's hard to believe that a kid that young is capable of that. And then Brie is magnificent, and so proud that this is the movie that is bringing her to the attention of a bigger audience.

LEMON: So, Lenny Abrahamson and Ed Guiney, Producer and Director, best of luck to you tonight. Do you have your speech ready?

GUINEY: I don't because I'm sort of thinking I won't need it, but I'll make sure I have something in my head.

LEMON: All right, thank you guys. Thank you, guys. Hey, listen, I've got to show you guys, look who is standing right next to me. Thank you very much.

RYAN LEMON: Look who is standing right next to me. So, I've got two people. I've got Eddie Redmayne. Eddie Redmayne is standing right next to me, but Michaela, we're going to see...hang on one second. We're going to see if we can get them. You take it away and I'm going to try to grab them, all right?

MICHAELA PEREIRA: That sounds great. I love that. We'll have a conversation up here on the bridge and talk about Leonard DiCaprio. A lot of people have been wondering if this is finally his year. I heard somebody joke that, "Wait, is he becoming the Susan Lucci of the Academy Awards?" I don't believe that. It may be his year to finally take home Oscar (INAUDIBLE).

Alicia Malone is here with me. And you have said to me you think it is Leo's year.

ALICIA MALONE: It's Leo's year, absolutely. If I had a house, I would be it.

PEREIRA: No.

MALONE: I don't have a house, so I won't. But if I did, I would, because it is definitely Leo's year. He'll win, not only for his brilliant performance in "The Revenant," but also for his entire body of work.

PEREIRA: No, but again, they're not voting on his entire body of work. MALONE: The kind of do.

PEREIRA: Unofficially, unofficially.

MALONE: Yeah, and actually they do. We saw the same with Martin Scorsese winning Best Director for "Departed." Not necessarily his best film, but his whole career.

PEREIRA: A friend of mine said, "Wait, he hardly spoke in "The Revenant." I said, "It's not about the amount of dialogue that you put into a film."

MALONE: He slept inside an animal carcass.

PEREIRA: I'm just saying. I tip my hat to him for that alone.

MALONE: (INAUDIBLE)

PEREIRA: He's in a tough category. Bryan Cranston for "Trumbo", Matt Damon in "The Martian", Leo, of course, in "The Revenant," Michael Fassbender for "Steve Jobs," and Eddie Redmayne for "The Danish Girl." He won last year for "The Theory of Everything," and it's an extraordinary role for him. If there was a dark horse in that category, who would you say it was?

MALONE: Maybe Eddie Redmayne. There is not a dark horse, that's the thing. It's all Leo, and even Eddie Redmayne, himself, said that it's Leo's year. But Eddie was so brilliant in the way he transformed in the "Danish Girl" a few years ago.

PEREIRA: He really was. It's an incredible thing.

MALONE: Michael Fassbender, great in "Steve Jobs," as well.

PEREIRA: Yeah.

MALONE: But I think, definitely, Leo. He has the flashiest performance.

PEREIRA: All right, so let's also, while we have you, let's talk about the Best Supporting Actor.

MALONE: Mm-hmm.

PEREIRA: This is an interesting category too. Another nominee from "The Revenant," Tom Hardy.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: Christian Bale for the "Big Short," Mark Ruffalo for "Spotlight"; terrific film. Mark Rylance in "Bridge of Spies."

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: I kind of feel that he might be the one, but the guess. But there's a sentimental favorite in this category, Sylvester Stallone. MALONE: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: The first time he was nominated, 39 years ago...

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: ...go for a role that he's reprising now in "Creed."

MALONE: I know. It's amazing. It's an incredible story. And that's another thing the Academy loves.

PEREIRA: They love a little bit of emotion, right?

MALONE: It's a good story. Yeah.

PEREIRA: They love a little bit of sentiment.

MALONE: Yeah. So, 39 years later, to come back and to win; I think he will. He was also really emotional in "Creed."

PEREIRA: Yeah.

MALONE: I was really surprised at the performance that he brought. The other one, as you mentioned, is Mark Rylance for "Bridge of Spies," Solo performance.

PEREIRA: Can we just talk about that. That was such an intriguing file to begin with.

MALONE: Yes.

PEREIRA: And is role, he had you on pins and needles. He was so likeable, but at the same time, you're thinking "This guy is a Russian spy."

MALONE: I know; he has to keep a lot undercover.

PEREIRA: Yes, he does.

MALONE: So, it's a very subtle performance. But he hasn't been campaigning for any Oscars.

PEREIRA: Right.

MALONE: So, that could hurt him. In this case, I think it will go to Sylvester Stallone, and I think he'll have the best speech of the night too.

PEREIRA: You think so?

MALONE: Yeah, I think it'll be nice.

PEREIRA: You know who I was kind of hoping that we'd see on the red carpet, the smallest tuxedo of them all, Jacob Tremblay for "Room."

MALONE: So cute. PEREIRA: He won our hearts in some of the past awards show when he's been up on stage.

MALONE: Absolutely.

PEREIRA: I haven't seen him there. I don't know if he's going to be here tonight. But that film, I think he stole that film.

MALONE: I think he deserves a nomination.

PEREIRA: I do, too.

MALONE: Because I don't understand how a kid that young can access those emotional and understand the type of character that he was playing, and he's just so damn likable. I've loved watching him at ever awards show. He's so sweet and excited.

PEREIRA: I think we might have more time. Can we run through the Best Actress nominees, right now, while I have you? This is a fascinating category, as well. Again, from "Room," we have Brie Larson; Cate Blanchett, in that terrific film "Carol," and "Brooklyn," Saoirse Ronan. As I've mentioned before, I think it's fantastic. Another, Jennifer Lawrence in "Joy," and Charlotte Rampling.

We'll discuss that a little bit. But I think that Don Lemon has a guest with him. Let's go back down to the Red Carpet. Who do you have Don?

DON LEMON: Well, we had Eddie Redmayne who is standing here, is live, but you guys were talking, so I don't know if we're going to get ...Eddie, how are you feeling tonight?

EDDIE REDMAYNE: Oh, man, I'm thrilled to be here.

LEMON: You're thrilled.

REDMAYNE: Sweating a bit because I've decided to wear a totally inappropriate item of clothing. It is really hot and sweaty in velvet,

LEMON: Have you got your speech ready?

REDMAYNE: Absolutely not, no. I think it's not my evening.

LEMON: Good luck to you. Thank you very much. So anyway, he stood here for a minute, but there he is, Eddie Redmayne, of course, for "The Danish Girl," where he plays a transwoman, or a transman, transitioning into a woman. But anyway, interesting role for him. Last year, he was nominated, as well. What was it? "The Theory of Everything." He actually won playing Stephen Hawking last year.

PEREIRA: "The Theory of Everything," yeah.

LEMON: And by the way, I've got a great selfie with him, but I'll show it to you later when we go inside.

PEREIRA: You do? I cannot wait to look through...

LEMON: Yeah, I did.

PEREIRA: ...your social media. I think it's going to be fascinating. You know, it's interesting, Eddie Redmayne...

LEMON: I've got to clean it up a little bit.

PEREIRA: Well, a lot. I saw you a little earlier today. You know what, can we put up the question for our viewers at home. We've been doing this, asking you questions so you can stay engaged with us. And I want to go back to the Best Actress category. I'm curious who you think is going to win. The question is, for our viewers at home: Who do you think should win Best Actress? You can vote, going to CNN.com, and you can cast your vote there for now.

So, shall I go back to Alicia, and we can talk about the best supporting actress? I think we've got a little time for that. Interesting supporting cast. We've got Kate Winslet for "Steve Jobs;" Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl;" Rachel McAdams for "Spotlight;" in "Carol," Rooney Mara; and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Jennifer Jason Leigh, in "The Hateful 8," had to go through, heck, two or three times over. Can we just talk about that?

MALONE: Absolutely. A full character.

PEREIRA: I know.

MALONE: Her full character was mistreated throughout the whole thing.

PEREIRA: Abused.

MALONE: But she was incredible; fantastic.

PEREIRA: Yes. Who do you think is going to win in that category?

MALONE: I think it will be Alicia Vikander, but I wouldn't be surprised if Kate Winslet gets it. She's been getting a lot of awards in the lead up to this. But Alicia Vikander, she will win for "The Danish Girl." She was brilliant. And also, kind of a little bit, unofficially, (INAUDIBLE).

PEREIRA: All right. All right. We appreciate that. All right, back down onto the Red Carpet and Don.

LEMON: Yeah, but how about Saorise Ronan? How about Saoirse Ronan, right, who was nominated for Best Actress (INAUDIBLE)? I can get Saorise, right? I kept saying, you know, watching the movie and I'm like (INAUDIBLE), but it looks like (INAUDIBLE).

SAOIRSE RONAN: But I have to teach him to do it we came on air. Can't get it. He got it though. He nailed it.

LEMON: I haven't asked this question one time all night?

RONAN: What? LEMON: Who are you wearing?

RONAN: Oh, it's the Calvin Klein Collection.

LEMON: The Calvin Klein Collection.

RONAN: The Calvin Klein Collection, Calvin Klein.

LEMON: Well, you wear it well.

MALONE: Thank you.

LEMON: So, in the movie, you're torn between a lover in the United States, someone you love, and then someone in Ireland, as well.

RONAN: Yeah, yeah.

LEMON: And have you...

RONAN: We've all been there, right?

LEMON: Have you been there before? That's my question.

RONAN: I think - in some - I don't know. I mean, professionally, maybe, yeah, and I don't know. I don't know. I don't know how to answer that.

LEMON: I thought...

RONAN: Well you asked me the name. (INAUDIBLE)

LEMON: I thought the name would (INAUDIBLE).

RONAN: It's always been so easy. Love is like the easiest thing in the world, right?

LEMON: Yes.

RONAN: isn't that what they say?

LEMON: Yes. This is your first nomination?

RONAN: It's my second.

LEMON: Your second nomination. And so, then, do you have a speech prepared...

RONAN: No.

LEMON: ...or do you get up there and do you just wing it?

RONAN: I haven't thought about that at all, actually. It's weird. I've got me mum and my Aunt Margaret and (INAUDIBLE) John(ph) with me and I think we're going to have a bit of a laugh tonight. So, it'll be, you know, it's wonderful to be here. It's great to be here with the group of women that I've been put in a category with. And, I'm not really thinking beyond that.

LEMON: Yeah, well let's look at it. I mean, you're...

RONAN: I like your little character.

LEMON: Yeah, I got...

RONAN: It's got (INAUDIBLE)...

LEMON: ...the Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett. I just want to make sure Charlotte Rampling...

RONAN: (INAUDIBLE)...

LEMON: ...Saorise Ronan, and then Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, these are all major actresses.

RONAN: Yeah. No, it's been fantastic just to get to know the girls. I mean, Charlotte and Cate, and Brie, and I've done quite a bit of press with them, and Cate Blanchett, in particular, has been incredibly support of our film.

LEMON: Well, you look amazing. Thank you Saoirse.

RONAN: Thank you, thank you.

LEMON: Okay, and good luck to you tonight. Good luck to you tonight. Common, Common! Common! What's up, man?

COMMON: All right.

LEMON: How are you?

COMMON How have you been, man?

LEMON: It's good to see you. Just one question - It's only going to be just one question.

COMMON: All right.

LEMON: So are you ready for tonight?

COMMON: Yeah, man, I'm excited, man. Chris Rock. We got some - I love Leonardo DiCaprio, so you know, I'm rooting for him, and I'm excited. I'm just glad to be at the Oscars.

LEMON: Yeah. Last year, you and John Legend brought it when you talked about you were so happy and this year there's been the big focus about diversity.

COMMON: Yes.

LEMON: Do you want to comment on that?

COMMON: I mean, well, we know it's obvious that it's a problem and now we want to work towards a solution and I want to be a part of that change. And I feel like, as - I'm an Academy member now, so I want to be able to say, "Hey, you all," and be a voice for some of black, brown, people, women, the people that usually get overlooked. And, I mean, it's not just an Oscar problem, it's a Hollywood issue of we're not seeing a lot of inclusion in the films that are being made and the people that make the decisions, and we also know it's an American issue. So, my thing is like...

LEMON: (INAUDIBLE)

COMMON: ...in all truth, I do put my - I know that we're going to make this change. I know we had to speak up, people had to speak up for this change to happen.

LEMON: Yes.

COMMON: But I'm also wanting this change to happen for the kids in Flint. I'm also wanting it to happen for the people in Chicago that are dealing with the violence right now.

LEMON: Yeah, we're going to be in Flint next week for a Democratic debate.

COMMON: I need to be there.

LEMON: Yeah, and thank you so much, Common. We appreciate it. Best of luck to you tonight.

COMMON: Thank you.

LEMON: All right, well so there you go. The stars are starting to arrive and you can see that right now. We're going to be back, very quick break. Hollywood's biggest night you're watching, right here, on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEREIRA: Welcome back to Hollywood's biggest night. The crowd is gathering here in Hollywood. Just heading into the Dolby Theater, a lot of crowd is gathering. The show, if you're watching at home, you're going to notice the show is a little tighter. They've shortened down the thank-you speeches. There's going to be a scroll along the bottom of the camera. Watch for it. People can give their 'thank-yous', their shout-outs, their 'hi moms' ahead of time and they'll scroll them along the bottom of the camera. It's kind of a nice thing that they're doing, trying to make the show a little tighter. Got to talk fashion again. We're being fan girl and fan boy up here because we've got the bird's-eye view of the Red Carpet. George has been taking all these Instagram pictures. What are you seeing down there? Who are you seeing?

KOTSIOPOULOS: I'm totally getting (INAUDIBLE). Okay, Margot Robbie is wearing this fabulous gold gown.

PEREIRA: She looks like the Oscar statue...

KOTSIOPOULOS: She looks like an Oscar statue. It's insane. PEREIRA: ...statuette.

KOTSIOPOULOS: But who did we see earlier that we loved? Saoirse.

PEREIRA: You loved Saoirse.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Saoirse Ronan was wearing this stunning Calvin Klein kind of slip dress with cut-outs.

PEREIRA: Incredible.

KOTSIOPOULOS: And I love it because, first of all, it was emerald green, it was beautiful, but she's been dressing a little old for me.

PEREIRA: Right.

KOTSIOPOULOS: A little matronly, a little conservative, and she's so young and beautiful and has such great energy, but I loved it.

PEREIRA: I know and she looked amazing.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Minimal make-up.

PEREIRA: No make-up, very simple.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Sexy hair.

PEREIRA: I know.

KOTSIOPOULOS: It was so fresh and modern and sexy. Look at how hot she is.

PEREIRA: She looks amazing. Don Lemon, you apparently have Jennifer Jason Leigh with you.

LEMON: Oh my gosh, I do have Jennifer Jason Leigh. How much I love this lady. You guys are talking fashion and she looks amazing. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Welcome. Who are you wearing?

LEIGH: Marchesa.

LEMON: You're wearing Marchesa. Gorgeous. And what about, this is not Marchesa?

FEMALE: No, Piaget. She's all decked out. I have to say what, your role, you are the only woman in a very male-dominated cast. By the way, she is nominated for best supporting actress in "The Hateful 8," right, a Quentin Tarantino film? But you were the only woman in that film and you held your own against the guys.

LEIGH: Yeah, but I had the best group of guys on the planet. So, they were just so lovely and embraced me in such a real and natural - we were just a group of actors, really. And I also felt a little bit protected and very, very much loved, and especially by Kurt who was punching me and slugging me, and pulling me all about the place, and I've never felt so taken care of in my life on a movie set by another actor.

LEMON: I was just going to say, that you know Quentin's films, right? He goes there.

LEIGH: I'm like crazy in love with Quentin. He just makes it - he goes there and everyone goes there for him because we're all so, so happy to be there. It can be freezing, you could have sticky blood all over you, and you can be working 15 hours a day and you just don't want the day to end because you're having the time of your life, really.

LEMON: You know when you're working on a Tarantino file that it becomes part of culture, right?

LEIGH: Yes.

LEMON: it becomes - and he's been very vocal. I know you probably don't want to go in-depth on that. But, when you work with - are you aware of that when you're working on a Tarantino file that it's...

LEIGH: I mean, you're so aware of that. You're aware of things that are in the script, but it's written so beautifully, and it's about something important, but you're just sort of thinking about your character. But, I love everything Quentin has to say, you know.

LEMON: Yes, you like his outspokenness.

LEIGH: I do.

LEMON: You do.

LEIGH: I do. I think that's part of what makes him such a great man and a great filmmaker.

LEMON: Jennifer Jason Leigh, good luck. Do you have your speech ready?

LEIGH: I have no speech.

LEMON: You haven't had a speech ready. Well, good luck. Everyone says it's bad luck to do that, but you probably should get it ready. Thank you so much. It's so good to see you. Good luck tonight.

The very talented Jennifer Jason Leigh, and she looks really great wearing Marchesa. As she said, they were up on the bridge, Michaela and those guys, talking fashion, so I thought I'd start with a little bit of fashion with that actress.

Listen, this is Hollywood's biggest night. You're watching CNN. Michaela Pereira and Don Lemon are here. We have got you covered throughout the evening. Don't go anywhere. The stars are arriving right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEREIRA: Welcome back to Hollywood's biggest night over the red carpet outside the Dolby Theater where the starts are heading into the theater to get ready for show time in a short amount of time.

George is here with me. We're looking just - we're being looky-loos. Let's be honest.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Totally looky-loos.

PEREIRA: We've seen some incredible looks. Kerrie Washington just walked by looking amazing.

KOTSIOPOULOS: I love it.

PEREIRA: Can we talk about Eddie Redmayne though? Because I thought he might show up in something a little more edgy.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Well he's been do- he usually wears really kind of wild clothes. He's a fashion guy, but he is wearing a beautiful, just standard classic Alexander McQueen tuxedo because tonight is not the night for the gentlemen to go crazy.

PEREIRA: Right, that's true.

KOTSIOPOULOS: You know, you do that at the Globes, you do that at other events. But tonight, keep it classy.

PEREIRA: Rooney Mara, what did you think?

KOTSIOPOULOS: Rooney Mara was stunning. She was wearing Givenchy...

PEREIRA: Gorgeous.