Adriene Hill: L.A. is gearing up for the Oscars this weekend, and there’s a bit of a controversy brewing. The Academy is reportedly asking Sacha Baron Cohen not to walk the red carpet dressed as the dictator from his upcoming movie.
We thought the news called for a lesson in red carpet decorum, so we called up composer Marc Shaiman, who’s walked down a lot of red carpets himself. Good morning.
Marc Shaiman: Hi, good morning.
Hill: You’ve walked down a lot of red carpets. How are the Oscars and Grammys different?
Shaiman: Well, I mean, obviously the Grammys are much more youth-oriented, so there’s much more anarchy; people are trying to be outrageous, and that’s kind of what you expect. And the Oscars are just the opposite. I mean, with Sacha Baron Cohen being banned —
Hill: Or nearly banned —
Shaiman: You know, they take it very seriously. And I think that’s cool. I mean, they don’t want it to seem less than what it is. For the people who win the Oscars, or who are nominated, it’s a great honor. And I guess they feel to play around too much kind of lessens that. Whereas the Grammy awards, you’re almost disappointed if people don’t show up wearing meat for dress.
Hill: Now let me ask you one other question — do you have any advice for all those aspiring red carpet walkers in this town? If they get their chance, any advice for them?
Shaiman: I say, go for it. It is a chance to be noticed, that’s for sure. And you know, it can be a once in a lifetime experience — if you’re lucky, maybe twice in a lifetime or three times. But you know, certainly have fun.
Hill: Composer Marc Shaiman, thanks so much.
Shaiman: Thank you.