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Oscar Wilde Awards wild night

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February 23, 2017.  On Thursday night, Hollywood’s Irish, and Irish-for-a-night, raised a pint in celebration of the 12th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards held at Bad Robot in Santa Monica, CA.  Emceed by J.J. Abrams, the evening feted honorees including Academy Award nominated Ruth Negga, Caitriona Balfe, Martin Short, Zachary Quinto, and Glen Hansard. Performances by Hansard as well as Irish duo Glenn & Ronan (Glenn Murphy and Ronan Scolard) set the backdrop for the casual outdoor event hosted by the non-profit US-Ireland Alliance.

Abrams opened the evening with kind memories of his late friend and former Oscar Wilde honoree, Carrie Fisher. Remarks from the honorees were lovingly strung together with cheeky quotes from the great Oscar Wilde and each honoree spoke from the heart about what their Irish ties meant to them in their personal and professional lives. While accepting his award, Glen Hansard led the crowd in an impromptu sing-along of “This Land is Your Land.”   He also had Irish poet Stephen James Smith join him for a recitation of Smith’s poem My Ireland.

U.S. Ireland Alliance founder Trina Vargo created the event to spark creative collaborations between the Irish and Americans. The Alliance has an impressive track record on that front, most notably by encouraging Abrams to film in Ireland (STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS). Vargo noted that former recipients of an Oscar Wilde Award were in attendance. In addition to “honorary Irishman” Abrams, former honorees present included Terry George (director, The Promise), Sarah Bolger (Into the Badlands), and CAA agent and US-Ireland Alliance Advisory Board member, Hylda Queally.

Guests at the popular party included presenters Chris Pine, Catherine O’Hara, and Cameron Crowe, as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) Jason O’Mara (Agents of Shield), Amy Shiels (Twin Peaks), Diane Keaton (Finding Dory), E.L. James (Author), John Pollono (Stronger), Jon Hamm (Marjorie Prime), John Cho (Star Trek Into Darkness), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness), Sarah Paulson (American Crime Story), Paula Malcomson (Ray Donovan), Nora-Jane Noone (The Descent), Ruth Bradley (Grabbers), Shannon Woodward (Westworld), Simon Quarterman (The Devil Inside), The Rua (Irish Band), Amy Huberman (Kill Ratio), Tim Dowling (writer, Office Christmas Party), Victor Burke (Fair City), Lesley Nichol and Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey), Keith Cullen (Singer), Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks), and Christopher Naoki Lee (Hawaii Five-O). 

A party that always draws an eclectic guest list, others seen in the room included departing Paramount Chairman & CEO Brad Grey; Franklin Leonard (Black List); Lorne Michaels (SNL and Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon); Kevin Walsh (Manchester by the Sea) and Roma Downey (Ben Hur); and several execs from Paramount, Disney, HBO, and STARZ.

The music at the event is always a highlight of the night and the music world was represented by Michael Giacchino (Composer), Wayne Jobson (Music Producer), George Drakoulias, (Music Producer), John & Patrick Houlihan (Music Supervisors), and Irish singer and composer Colin Devlin.  Fashion designer Don O’Neill was also spotted.

Kensington Caterers treated guests to Irish beer-battered fish n’ chips, mini mugs of lamb stew, fresh salmon with sweet honey and mustard, spiced root vegetable croquettes, mini Irish whiskey coffee shots, Barry’s Tea, Guinness, Teeling’s Whiskey, Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur, Pau Maui vodka, Keogh’s Crisps, Bean and Goose Chocolate. The recipients were presented with a stunning Hawke + Axel award -- a hand blow eternal flame with a green ribbon running through it.