This just in:
Bryce Dallas Howard Bought a Size 6 Dress Off the Rack for Golden Globes 2016
Thus ran the headline on tonight’s US Magazine online. Apparently it is a serious faux pas to buy something off the rack, not to mention being a bovine size 6.
How exactly do actors prepare for the each awards show? In this special report, I interview an actor who has survived with plenty of finesse many awards seasons–and won several herself.
She agreed to an interview only on the condition that she remain anonymous. Here is an excerpt of that interview:
Barbara: How many outfits do you usually put together for an awards season?
Barbara: Do you plan your outfits all at once or one at a time?
X: I do it both ways. Sometimes it’s easier to do it one at a time–that way you know that you are either following a trend or making one. Of course for me it’s usually the latter.
Barbara: Where do you get your dresses?
X: [Laughs.] I don’t know!
My PA [Personal Assistant] contracts with a stylist to choose an array of dresses. They lay them out, usually on my bed, and together we choose the ones that look best on me.
The stylist also hires the other professionals I need for each show: people who do my hair and makeup.
Barbara: What about the designers who make dresses for you?
Barbara: Does that mean that you have dresses designed for you?
Barbara: When does this happen?
X: At first it was when I was up for an award. After I won an Oscar and then the Golden Globe, it is every awards season. Designers ask to design dresses for me. It’s kind of a zoo, but my PA handles it for me.
X: She puts out an RFP [Request for proposals] to designers. This has been very stressful in the past. I have had to fire many PAs because they neglected to get me a bid from the newest, hottest designers.
I mean, honestly, I can’t afford to miss an opportunity to lead a trend. One year Angie Jolie wore the first dress designed by a hot new designer who has been hot ever since. I don’t know how that happened. That PA was fired right after the Globes last year, believe me. When I got home from the after parties, I called her right up and fired her.
Barbara: That same night?
X: Of course. It was so stressful.
Barbara: Do you purchase your dresses?
X: I don’t know. [There’ slight irritation in her tone.] Ask my PA.
Barbara: What about those dresses that are made for you? Do you buy them?
X: There’s no reason for me to, but to be sure you should ask my PA. It is really a benefit for the designers. I’ve become a real model for them. And I do what they want.
They are so hungry for the right marketing that I can’t help but call them rodents.
They give me a speech, tell me how to touch and handle the dress’ material when I’m interviewed on the red carpet.
Barbara: The designer writes a speech for you?
X: Yes, of course!
They write a description of the dress for me to recite, when to say it, where to place my hands when I say it, how to hold up the dress or point to it in a way that highlights what they want to be highlighted.
They’re really difficult. They don’t trust me to rehearse or act the way they want, move the way they want…they rehearse with me for hours.
I work hard for the money. Know what I mean?
Barbara: How long do they make you rehearse?
X: I told you already. Hours.
[a deep sigh]
It’s part of the deal. Who cares?
Barbara: My readers might care.
X: Next question.
[She looks around.]
Marie! Marie! MARIE? Where is she?
[still looking around]
Don’t tell me I’m going to have to fire another PA.
So what’s the next question? Marie is taking me to my next appointment.
Barbara: Do you rehearse an acceptance speech before each award show you are nominated for?
X: Yes I do. I’m a method actor!
Seriously though. I rehearse for every scenario–I rehearse my thrilled expression if I win, plan who I hug, who I kiss when it’s announced, and the opposite–if I lose, I practice my “good-natured” look. I keep telling myself that it is an honor to be nominated alongside the great actors in the group. And that I should be happy no matter what.
Barbara: Are you?
X: Am I what?
Barbara: Happy no matter what; even if you lose?
X: What do you think?
We all rehearse, Barbara. Ad lib lines; thank you speeches; smiles as they go to and come back from commercial breaks; anything. everything.
Marie!! Marie, where are you?
Seriously, it’s getting late. What else do you want to ask?
Barbara: You’re single this year. Do you know whom you’re going to each awards show with?
X: I’m trying to figure it out. I need someone to turn to and kiss. For the Globes, I’m going with my niece. Always gets good press to bring the family. Little kids are pure gold.
For the Oscars this year, I want to take another woman. It’s really hot right now. If I’m part of a lesbian couple, the press will be all over it! Marie is trying to find someone right now. She has hired an agent scout to help.
Barbara: Agent scout? What is an agent scout?
X: People who will hire the right partner for you. It’s a whole profession that no one knows about. That’s because they have to keep it secret. You really can’t be sure who is truly a boyfriend or girlfriend, spouse or not…or who is hired to be one.
No one knows. No one in the biz, the press, not even family members.
There is one clue, though. Usually when an actor is much better looking than their partner, a talent agent has found that partner.
Barbara: One last question: do you ever wear your dresses more than once?
X: You’re kidding, right?
[Marie hands X a folder. Grabbing it, X turns to me and says goodbye.]