The Best Unseen Moments from the 2024 Oscars


The Oscars 2024 returned to the Dolby Theatre on Sunday for Hollywood’s biggest night of the year. The awards ceremony began with an emotional win for Da’Vine Joy Randolph and ended with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer taking home the top prize, as well as six other awards. But there was plenty going on off-camera as well. From Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence hugging backstage to how John Cena went from practically naked to donning a toga, here are some of the things the cameras missed during the 96th annual Academy Awards.

Snack Boxes for All

As per usual, Jimmy Kimmel brought his A-game to his Oscar-hosting gig — and some snacks. This year, the late night host provided snack boxes that included Shappy Pretzel and mustard, Mike & Ike’s, water and a note from the host that, “to keep the karma flowing,” they would be providing a donation to St. Joseph Center. This year marks the second time Adam Shapiro’s Shappy Pretzels were included in the Oscars snack boxes, as Kimmel is said to be a longtime fan of the soft pretzels that became a phenomenon in Hollywood following the brand’s launch in 2020.

Protest Leads to Late Attendees, Arriving on Foot

Ahead of the 2024 Oscars telecast, a protest calling for a ceasefire in Gaza began at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles and made its way toward the Dolby Theatre. The protest — organized by Writers Against the War on Gaza LA (WAWOG), Film Workers for Palestine, SAG-AFTRA Members for Ceasefire and more groups — came to a halt at the intersection of Sunset and Highland, where cars were stuck in standstill traffic for more than 30 minutes. As a result, people began leaving their cars at the intersection, knowing they’d likely get towed, and walking toward the event.

The LAPD, which noted it knew the protest would be happening and was prepared for it, attempted to disperse the blockage, but the cars were still stuck ahead of the awards ceremony, which delayed the broadcast six minutes. As attendees got out of their cars to head to the venue, some demonstrators started yelling at them.

Politics Was on People’s Minds

Inside the Oscars 2024, talk of the Israel-Hamas war was more subdued, but celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Ava DuVernay, Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell and more wore red Artists4Ceasfire pins on the carpet. The red pins, featuring an outstretched hand with a heart on them, show the artists’ support for an end of fighting and humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. “We’re calling for the safety of everyone involved, and we really want lasting justice and peace for the Palestinian people,” Youseff told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet. “We really wanna say, let’s just stop killing children.”

Another war was on the mind of the 20 Days in Mariupol filmmakers, who won best documentary feature for their film about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Director Mstyslav Chernov explained that he was honored for the award but is probably the first director to wish he never made their film. “I wish to be able to exchange this for Russia never attacking Ukraine and never occupying our cities,” he said. “I would give up all the recognition for Russia not killing tens of thousands of my fellow Ukrainians. I wish for them to release all the hostages, all of the soldiers who are protecting their lands, all of the civilians who are now in their jails. But I can’t change history; I cannot change the past.”

Actors Supporting Actors

All throughout the Dolby, actors were celebrating each other. When Da’Vine Joy Randolph won the first award of the night for best supporting actress for her role in The Holdovers, her fellow actors and nominees approached her to congratulate her. This was the norm throughout the night. Cillian Murphy, who won best actor for Oppenheimer, rushed his co-star Robert Downey Jr. after he received his award for best supporting actor. Jennifer Lawrence, who was one of the five actresses presenting the best actress trophy at the Oscars 2024, celebrated with her friend and the night’s winner in the category, Emma Stone.

John Cena’s Semi-Nude Transformation

During one of his bits, Kimmel made a callback to the 1974 Oscars when a naked man streaked across the Academy Awards stage, but this time, it was planned, and with none other than John Cena. The former wrestling champion appeared onstage, hidden behind a wall, as he told the host he was having second thoughts about the bit. Kimmel pushed the actor to present the award for costume design, like they planned, and reminded him, “You wrestle naked. Why not?” Cena responded, “I don’t wrestle naked. I wrestle in jorts!” To which the host responded, “Jorts are worse than naked.”

While it looked like Cena was completely naked onscreen, eyes from inside the Dolby Theatre revealed that he was, in fact, wearing a flesh-colored sling. He was later given toga-like outfit to drape over himself while Poor Things costume designer Holly Waddington accepted her award.

John Cena

Frank Micelotta/Disney via Getty Images

Standing Ovations for Everyone

The standing ovations were ongoing over the course of the night. Whether it was for Downey’s win, Killers of the Flower Moon‘s best original song performance, Anatomy of a Fall‘s best original screenplay award or Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” performance, the audience inside the theater was on its feet.

Martin Scorsese Consoles Lily Gladstone

Killers of the Flower Moon director Martin Scorsese was seen comforting his star Lily Gladstone after Stone won the Academy Award for best actress for her role in Poor Things. The actresses were neck and neck, but Gladstone seemed to be the likely winner for the award this year, so it was a bit of a surprise the trophy went to Stone. Both of the actresses received multiple awards for their performances in their respective films this awards season, but Gladstone was the one many pundits believed would win, especially following her SAG Award for the role. After the awards show ended, Scorsese was seen hugging and consoling Gladstone, perhaps discussing the Oscar going to Stone.

One-Stop Engraving Shop

As is tradition every year after the Academy Awards, celebrities attend the official post-Oscars party, the Governors Ball, where many winners will often get their trophies engraved with their names. This year, Stone, Downey, Nolan and his wife and producing partner, Emma Thomas, were just a few of the winners to make things even more permanent with their trophies.

See the star-studded Oscars red carpet 2024 arrivals.

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