Backstage At The Independent Spirit Awards

Sure, there are those pesky Academy Awards this weekend.

But everyone knows the most fun Oscar weekend takes place Sunday on the beach in Santa Monica at the Independent Spirit Awards, where the dress code is casual and the mood is California chill.

Access Hollywood is exclusive backstage at the On3 Productions celebrity gift lounge, were we’re watching celebs to be the first to try out the sexy Palm Pre — excuse us while our inner geek emerges.

After 4 PM -- Dominic Monaghan tried to give away all his stuff to the cute girl (a handler) who was carrying all of it around for him.

Melissa Leo said that she has two dresses for the Oscars Sunday. One is already at her house and the other she prays will make it to her house tomorrow morning. She doesn’t expect to win but has “a little something” prepared just in case.

Richard Jenkins said that he’s positive Mickey Rourke will win tomorrow for lead actor, the same as he did tonight but he “has some thoughts” in case his name does get called.

Teri Hatcher popped in simply for the charity donation aspect. She didn’t pick anything up. She absolutely loved Mickey Rourke’s acceptance speech because she gave a similar one at the Golden Globes the first year she won for “Desperate Housewives.”

Eric Roberts popped into the lounge just minutes after Mickey Rourke’s speech where he asked the industry to start paying more attention to him. He said that he and Mickey are old pals and he was slightly embarrassed by it, but loves Mickey. The Dish asked him if it helped and he said his wife / manager / agent has six scripts in her hands right now!

3:30 PM — It’s pretty quiet in here now, but there should be a huge rush after the show. This is it for the real time updates for us, but we’ll post a post-show update a bit later on this afternoon!

3:15 PM — Mickey Rourke just breezed in. Didn’t take a single free thing. Just signed the poster. And he signed it… “Loki.”

3 PM -- Teri Hatcher is singing something crazy on stage right now. Sandra Oh is zipping through the lounge, in bright fuschia.

2:55 PM -- The Dish just scored a great interview with Alec. He’s in a great mood today. He grabs a random woman who’s standing nearby to use her as a measure to get the right sizes of jeans for his daughter, Ireland. He whispers to the Blue Notch jeans people later, “My daughter’s that same height …. but she’s thinner!” Zing!

2:47 PM -- Alec Baldwin is roaming back here now. Right after Jessica leaves the Koolaburra station, Alec walks up and says, “Wait! Do you have anything for guys?!” (Yes, they do Alec!)

2:41 PM — Jessica Alba is back here now, checking out the Pre! Now Jessica’s moved on to the Glowelle Beauty Drink station. The folks there complement her on her flawless skin. She just picked out a pair of Koolaburra boots. At the AMC station, which is giving away passes for 1-year of free movies, Jessica says, “Oh my god! This is the best gift ever!”

2:39 PM — Mariah’s floating around somewhere nearby too!

2:15 PM -- James Franco wins the first award of the day, followed by Dustin Lance Black. Just passed Cameron Diaz, who was headin’ into the media tent to get food with our people. Very cool.

1:48 PM — Celebs are hustling to their seats. The show starts at 2 PM, so we’ve got a bit of downtime for the next 20 minutes or so!

1:40 PM -- The Dish is interviewing Rachel Lefevre from “Twilight.” This is the first awards show that she’s ever been to, so she’s super excited. She says that she just started training for the wire work stunts in “New Moon”! She says that the cast doesn’t learn anything about “the rumors,” but that she heard Vanessa Hudgens was, “in… then out… and now maybe back in again.” She also tells us that she is doing a special new workout training program, only in Hollywood, called “GST.”

1:12 PM — More sightings: Rosie Perez (old school!), Andie McDowell, Bryan Cranston, Michelle Monaghan, Kerry Washington and Dana Delaney.

1:02 PM — Bradley Cooper arrives with his girlfriend. The Dish has drool coming out of both sides of her mouth now.

CLICK HERE for your free chance to win the same swag as the stars from the Independent Spirit Awards — including the new Palm Pre.

12:55 PM -- Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeld are here — she was so good in “Grey’s Anatomy” the past few weeks. We admit it … we both cried.

The Dish is drooling. He’s hanging back, while his lovely wife checks everything out.

12:50 PM — Now it’s heating up back here. Taraji P. Henson is here. Queenie herself!

12:25 PM — John Waters is here, looking dapper, as always! He is holding up a pink polka dotted bra — I’d expect nothing less!

Noon — The red carpet has just opened and Shaun Robinson is out there for us. The Dish of Salt is backstage. The first to arrive back here is Michael Bolton and he’s quick to check out the Palm Pre station. We need to get over there soon ourselves to see it!

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