If only every moviegoing experience turned into such a star-studded affair.
During Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, host Jimmy Kimmel enlisted a few celebrities in the audience to go next door to surprise a group of people at a showing of A Wrinkle in Time at the TCL Chinese Theatre — and it turns out, it was just as fun as it looked on TV.
“It was a baller-a– time,” audience member Ibba Armancas told Slate of the experience.
Once the celebrities entered the theater, Armancas said it took a minute for the reality of being surrounded by some of Hollywood’s elite to settle in.
“Part of me was like, okay, cool, Jimmy Kimmel’s here, Gal Gadot’s here, this is kind of neat—they’re not really part of this movie, so I wouldn’t have expected them, but if they want to stop in, cool we’ll all hang,” she said. “And then I look around and I’m like, that man is a beautiful usher, and then I’m like, no that man is Armie Hammer.”
She continued: “But then I’m like, oh behind me that’s Mark Hamill that just bumped me and at this point I’m starting to ramp up in my reaction but then I see Lin-Manuel Miranda and I lose my s— because I’m a huge fan.”
The celebrities were given baskets of candy, trays of sandwiches and — most impressively — hot dog-shaped hot dog cannons, which Hammer gleefully shot into the crowd.
“Emily Blunt comes by and she has her little basket of snacks and she’s like, ‘You want a snack?’ And it’s Red Vines on top and I’m not a big fan of Red Vines, so I’m kind of digging through this basket before reality reasserts, and I’m like I’m wasting this woman’s time with my quest for a snack I want. And so I’m just like whatever, gummy bears are fine.”
But Armancas said the most aww-worthy moment came when she stood next to Miranda during a group photo.
“I kind of like get up next to Lin and I’m like, can I be here? And he’s like, ‘Yeah, totally you can be here, have some Sour Patch Kids?’ and I’m like, your taste in candy is immaculate, my friend,” she said.
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Looking back, Armancas still can’t believe she was part of such an “incredible” Oscars moment.
“It was just a frickin’ incredible, magical moment,” she said. “Then at the end, they’re all like cool, gotta get back to winning awards and being seen by millions of people.”
Kimmel has a history of bringing unsuspecting people into the Oscars broadcast. During the 2017 ceremony, he invited a tour bus group directly into the theater.
The 2018 Oscars were at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4 and telecast live on ABC.