Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet
Just hours before Hollywood went live with the biggest night of the year, Oprah's best friend Gayle King went backstage to the rehearsals!

Kate Winslet, who was nominated for her role in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, said her thoughts before the Oscars® focused on her parents, who accompanied her to the ceremony.

"I've actually been very preoccupied with making sure my mother knows what she's wearing and she's okay and she's got the bag and the whole thing…Making sure that my dad's shirt does up properly," she says. "I'm just preoccupied with everyone else, which I think is good!"
Halle Berry

Halle Berry
Halle Berry, who won an Oscar® in 2001 for her role in Monster's Ball, wasn't feeling too much pressure as a presenter this year.

"I'm up for nothing, so I have no worries," Halle says. "Let's hope I don't trip down the steps or something—I'd be the first one to trip down the steps."
Gwyneth Paltrow and Gayle King

Gwyneth Paltrow
Every inch of the red carpet is twinkling with stars, and Gayle King can't wait for someone to come by to talk to her! And when an elegant Gwyneth Paltrow walks by, Gayle's there to get the scoop!

Gayle: Mommyhood seems to agree with you!

Gwyneth: I'm having the best time. I'm completely in love and enchanted with her, and she's just amazing!

Gayle: I've read that you will never bring your husband [Chris Martin of the band Coldplay] on the red carpet. Is that still true?

Gwyneth: That's very true, yes. You see people sort of get together and break up and it always seems like the people who are the most public with it sort of suffer the most publicly if it doesn't work out or if it does work out. It just seems like it invites the whole world in and I just prefer not to do it that way.

Gayle: But things are okay in the Paltrow-Martin household?

Gwyneth: We're a happy household!
Drew Barrymore and Gayle King

Drew Barrymore
How did Drew Barrymore decide on her black satin and sequin Versace gown?

"At the last minute I tried a couple dresses on for all my friends and they were like, 'Definitely that one!'" she says. "And I loved this one so much too, so it all just sort of came together!"
Leonardo DiCaprio and Gayle King

Leonardo DiCaprio
The very sweet Leonardo DiCaprio, who was nominated for his role in The Aviator, brought his favorite ladies to the Oscars®—his girlfriend Gisele Bundchen and both of their mothers!

"Gisele looks beautiful! Congratulations," Gayle says.
Penelope Cruz and Gayle King

Penelope Cruz
The stars had some interesting ways to keep loose before the big evening. To calm her nerves about having to present an award, Penelope Cruz ordered a double-double from In-and-Out Burger.

"It really made me happy," she says. "I came here really relaxed."
Orlando Bloom and Gayle King

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom told Gayle he took his "best friend" out for the day in a dog park to calm his nerves before walking down the red carpet.
Renee Zellweger

Renée Zellweger
No one could take their eyes off Renée Zellweger's striking red dress and brunette hair.

Gayle: You look beauteous. Do you intend to be brunette from now on?

Renée: I have no idea. I hadn't thought it through yet, you know? I'm just seeing what happens.
Beyonce and Gayle King

Beyoncé Knowles, who performed three of the five songs nominated for Best Song, says she was trying for a classic look with her black velvet strapless Versace.

"I wanted to look timeless," she says. "I wanted to be proud of this picture 30 years from now."
Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith and Gayle King

Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
Jaws dropped for Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas's revealing walk down the red carpet.

Gayle: How did you all decide what you're going to wear this evening?

Melanie: He picked my dress, see, because [of the very low-cut back.]

Gayle: Whoa, nice job. What do you like about that dress on your wife?

Antonio: It's sexy. I like her to look sexy.
Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek
Gayle ran in to Salma Hayek, another beautiful Hollywood starlet who says she took her dress cues from The Oprah Winfrey Show !

Gayle: You always look fantastic. You could wear a paper sack and look fantastic.

Salma: Oh, no. I watched [ Look 10 Pounds Thinner-Instantly! ] where they tell you what's right for you—if you're short, if you're this or that. See, I have my Oprah training for my Oscar® dress!
Gayle King and John Travolta

John Travolta
Gayle found John Travolta backstage, where no other reporters were allowed.

Gayle: What are you presenting?

John: Best original score. The pronunciations are a little unusual. Like Jan A. P. Kaczmarek.

Gayle: You did that well!
Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler
The nominees aren't the only ones who feel stressed, Gayle explains. "The presenters say it's pretty nerve-racking for them, too."

"It's pathetic," Adam Sandler says. "I'm a stand-up comedian. I should be happy by now about going in front of people. But I get sick."
Sean Puffy Combs

Sean "Puffy" Combs
"Can you give us a commentary of your bling?" Gayle asks Sean "Puffy" Combs. "This watch is worth two-point-something million," he says. "It's not mine. I can't really afford this. Just like the ladies, they let me borrow things."
Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts
"Make room for Julia…and her boobs!" Gayle jokes to the new mother of twins. Does being at the Academy Awards® make Julia Roberts want to get back to acting?

"I'm completely happy at home hanging out with the kids," she answers. [Being here] is just kind of reminding people, 'I didn't die—I just gave birth.'"