By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
In a tag-team phone chat, Joan, 69, and Melissa, 35, dish which stars they'd love to snag on the shag this year--and who they'd rather see kicked under it.
Is that why the carpet is red outside the Oscars? So it doesn't show blood?
Joan: It's a war, I'm telling you.
Melissa: You protect your turf with your life.
Joan: I've punched people. Get out of here, Australia TV! You're over my line, bitch! Oh, I've still got it in me. At the Oscars, they put down little box hedges between the press and the red carpet. Last year I brought giant scissors and cut mine lower. Go to hell! I need to talk to people!
Joan: Darling, in five years, nobody's going to want them to stop. I've been around so long I've seen it go from "Oh, get so-and-so!" to "Who wants to talk to them?" It's a short cycle.
Melissa: Some stars have rules about not stopping. It might be what's going on in their life. Or if they're incredibly dumb, their publicists don't feel it's safe for them to talk. There are a few of those.
Who works the carpet best?
Joan: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. So charming, so darling. It's 20 minutes out of their life. No big deal. Gwyneth Paltrow gets there two hours early and does every interview. I remember the first year Matt Damon and Ben Affleck came down (for Good Will Hunting). They talked to everyone. Nia Vardalos (writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding) is at that stage now. And I always look forward to Cher. To her, life is one big costume party.
If you want to learn how to walk a red carpet...
Melissa: Study tapes of Sharon Stone...
Joan: Watch the way she turns her whole body (toward the cameras). She's old-time movie glamorous.
Best way to get noticed on Oscar night?
Joan: Look like an ass. Who do we remember? Bjork in the swan dress. The wilder you look, the more press you'll get. The Oscars are a worldwide photo op. I don't understand why more of them don't get that. Too many get stylists and play it safe.
If you were giving Best Picture...
Joan: The Pianist. Cannot get it out of my mind.
Melissa:Chicago. Loved it.
Joan: That and Jackass! --Elaine Liner