First word on Barack Obama’s historic nomination acceptance speech from a bevy of celebrities in attendance was decidedly partisan: “It was excellent,” Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie said. “It was amazing.”
“Incredible,” said Jessica Alba simply, before joining Fergie, Rosario Dawson, Wilmer Valderrama and Kerry Washington at a private exit from Invesco Field. Alba was at the speech with husband Cash Warren.
Other celebrities in attendance included George Lucas with girlfriend Mellody Hardon and his daughter, Forest Whitaker with wife Keisha and Star Jones, and Daniel Dae Kim of “Lost,” who posed for pictures with the Hawaii delegation.
Next for Obama and his celebrity backers?
“What I hope happens is the country doesn’t forget the jubilation and excitement that’s been generated here,” Kim said. “And I hope it turns into something that changes the world.”
will.i.am performed his speech-song “Yes We Can” with John Legend during the run-up to Obama’s speech. Susan Sarandon and Anne Hathaway sang along in the stands as Sheryl Crow performed “Change is Gonna Come,” and crooner Michael McDonald prompted many a flag wave with his rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
Oprah Winfrey left Denver with the candidate she wanted, but reportedly without her eyelashes.
The talk-show host said she was moved to tears by Obama’s speech. And those must’ve been some serious tears.
“I cried my eyelashes off,” she said in the bowels of Invesco Field, moments after Obama accepted the nomination for president before an estimated 84,000 people.
“I think it’s the most powerful thing I have ever experienced,” she added, calling Obama’s words “transcendent.” On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s “I have a Dream Speech,” Winfrey compared Obama’s words to those of the civil-rights leader, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
“He’s not an African-American candidate,” she said. “He’s a candidate for Americans.”
Winfrey threw her support behind Obama early — even before the Democratic primaries got under way last year. She’s stayed active since, hosting rallies and fundraisers that even Obama has acknowledged have given him a boost.
Before singing the national anthem to a slowly filling stadium, Jennifer Hudson appeared lost in thought, wearing a casual gray
dress and listening to iPod earphones as her handlers asked for directions to the podium. While waiting, she typed on a Sidekick.
“Fired up!” said an excited Spike Lee on the field. “Bigger than the Super Bowl!”
The only major party planned for Thursday night was an elite event sponsored by Vanity Fair and Google.
Among the celebrities spotted in and around the convention on Wednesday was Steven Spielberg, who directed a short film on veterans that shown at the convention. Jennifer Lopez spoke at a reception honoring children’s rights activist Marian Wright Edelman. Ben Affleck read excerpts from a Howard Zinn book and made an appearance at the city’s food bank for America’s Second Harvest.
Affleck was joined by his wife, Jennifer Garner, at the book reading at the Starz Green Room across the street from the Pepsi Center. Also participating: Dawson, Washington, Taye Diggs, Hill Harper and Josh Brolin.
Also on Wednesday:
-- The Black Eyed Peas performed a concert at the Fillmore Auditorium for the Creative Coalition. Fergie praised Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Tuesday-night speech, saying Clinton “really spoke to me as a woman. And I think she spoke to a lot of people in that way.”
-- Politicians including former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner attended a ONE Campaign party featuring a Kanye West performance. Also in attendance: Whitaker, Kal Penn, Jamie Foxx and director Davis Guggenheim.
-- Muhammad Ali sat in the convention audience.
-- Fran Drescher, Ashley Judd and Joy Bryant joined Lopez at the reception honoring Edelman.
-- Hathaway and others gathered at a morning reception honoring Annette Bening for her work narrating the documentary “14 Women,” about women in the U.S. Senate.
-- Big Boi of Outkast was at the airport on his way out of town after hosting a Radio One show where he interviewed John Legend, among others.