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Clooney, Pitt among attendees at Oscars lunch

February 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
An estimated 150 Academy Award-nominated actors, directors and producers gathered for a lunch of Asian-inspired hors d'oeuvres and Atlantic salmon at the Beverly Hilton on Monday.

Check out Oscar.com and make your picks on who you think will win at this year's Academy Awards

Nearly all of the actors and actresses nominated for best performances in lead and supporting roles, including Hollywood A-listers like George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Glenn Close, were in attendance.

Before the lunch and photo session, they fielded questions from reporters. The questions ranged from how they prepared for their roles to their progress picking out dresses to wear to the 84th Academy Awards on Feb. 26.

Clooney says the best thing about Academy Awards nominations is not necessarily the prizes. It's hanging with old and new friends.

"A lot of people at home think we all hang out together. I think they think we're always at the Hilton drinking champagne. The truth is I hadn't seen Brad in about a year" until they crossed paths around the time of January's Golden Globes, Clooney told reporters before sitting down to lunch. "So it's fun to catch up, and it's fun to see people I like and haven't seen in a long time."

Both are up for the best-actor Oscar - Clooney for "The Descendants" and Pitt for "Moneyball."

Pitt joked that like Clooney, awards season has allowed him to make a lot of new acquaintances.

"I met this guy named George," Pitt said, stumbling over the pronunciation of the name, "G-g-george, Jorge Clooney. Very nice guy. Very personable and very nice guy."

Others nominees at the luncheon included "The Help" co-stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer; "Albert Nobbs" co-stars Glenn Close and Janet McTeer; "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" star Rooney Mara; "My Week with Marilyn" co-stars Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh; "The Artist" co-star Berenice Bejo; and "Hugo" director Martin Scorsese.

The awards ceremony will air live on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 on ABC7. Coverage begins at noon PT.

Check out moments in Oscar history on the interactive timeline available on the official Oscar.com website.

Oscar.com also hosts the official Oscar blog, which will feature red carpet fashion trends and tips from chef and lifestyle experts for hosting the best Oscar party.

Leading up to the ceremony, "On The Red Carpet" co-host Rachel Smith will be doing interviews with hair and fashion stylists and makeup artists for the "Best Dressed" video series featured on Oscar.com, beginning on Feb. 11. Smith will also be covering live events and offering post-show analysis of Oscar night fashions for the site.

The site also has a social media page, Oscar Buzz, which tracks comments from fans using #Oscars and #OscarBuzz.

It was announced in November, that Billy Crystal would return to host the 84th annual Academy Awards.

OnTheRedCarpet.com will have complete coverage of the Oscar season, including an exclusive interactive live stream show LIVE from the red carpet. Follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Twitter and "Like" On The Red Carpet on Facebook, and download our FREE entertainment news app for the iPhone and iPad.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.