The annual Oscar nominees’ luncheon is usually a star-studded affair, but this year, a furry guest stole the spotlight. Ryan Gosling, nominated for Best Actor for his iconic portrayal of Ken in “Barbie,” turned heads in a lilac suit, but it was his interaction with Messi, the canine star of Best Picture nominee “Anatomy of a Fall,” that truly garnered attention.
Messi, a scruffy terrier mix, trotted down the red carpet alongside his trainer, confidently navigating the throngs of photographers and A-listers. He quickly found himself mobbed by celebrities, including Emma Stone, nominated for Best Supporting Actress in “Cruella 2.” Stone, a known dog lover, knelt down to pet Messi, showering him with praise and belly rubs. The internet promptly declared it the “cutest interaction of the year.”
Gosling, known for his comedic timing, playfully offered Messi a bite of his vegan burger, much to the amusement of onlookers. The canine star politely declined, sticking to his specially prepared dog treats. But the two seemed to hit it off, with Gosling later confessing to reporters, “Messi has better hair than I do!”
The heartwarming exchange wasn’t the only highlight of the event. Nominees from all walks of life, from seasoned veterans to first-timers, mingled and celebrated their achievements. The buzzing ballroom was filled with laughter, camaraderie, and the undeniable anticipation for the upcoming ceremony.
Janet Yang, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, aptly captured the spirit of the day: “There’s an electric energy in this room. Everyone here has poured their heart and soul into their work, and this luncheon is a chance to celebrate that magic before the big night.”
While the 96th Academy Awards are still weeks away, one thing is clear: this year’s nominees’ lunch won’t be forgotten soon. From the dazzling fashion to the unexpected canine charm, the event provided a glimpse into the vibrant world of Hollywood and the talented individuals who bring our favorite stories to life. And who knows, maybe Messi will even walk away with his own golden statue on Oscar night!