Oscar rehearsals beckon a parade of dressed-down stars

LOS ANGELES -- Jared Leto presented an Oscar to Margot Robbie. Patricia Arquette gave one to Morgan Freeman. Chris Evans tried to claim a golden guy for himself.

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Kevin Hart, meanwhile, took a quick call while standing on the Oscar stage.

Saturday is rehearsal day for the superstar presenters appearing on Sunday's Academy Awards, and a parade of celebrities came through the Dolby Theatre to practice reading their lines and hitting their marks.

The ever-confident Hart -- who told the person on the other end of the phone line, "I'm doing this and I'm out" -- said he expected his rehearsal to be a "piece of ca-za-ke."

"Where am I sitting?" he asked no one in particular. "I was about to say all the black people should be in the first row."

The comedian arrived wearing jeans and sneakers, which worked out well as he had to move quickly when a large stage element came crashing down after he finished his lines.

"That's what rehearsals are for," he said as a dozen stagehands worked to upright the fallen piece. "All right, guys. My part was great, though!"

Arquette improvised as she read the nominees in the category she's presenting, describing one as "very foxy" and awarding the prop Oscar to Freeman.

"It's a total upset victory!" she said with a giggle.

When Whoopi Goldberg returned to the Oscar stage, she addressed the audience of rehearsal actors.

"You guys are sitting (here) all day? Good God," said Goldberg, who has hosted the show four times. "But it's kind of neat, right? I like it, too."

Leto and Robbie laughed through their rehearsal. First, Leto read the actress' name when he opened the winners' envelope, then he intentionally fumbled the prop Oscar (in this case, a plain plastic water bottle) and dropped it on the floor.

Cate Blanchett was the most scrupulous in her rehearsal, running through her presentation several times.

"Is it here? Did I stop in my spot? Ish?" she asked the stage manager, adding, "You can always re-cast."

Other stars rehearsing Saturday included Emily Blunt, Chadwick Boseman, Jason Segel, Olivia Munn, J.J. Abrams, Dev Patel and Daisy Ridley.


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