The luncheon serves as a time for the nominees to get together, eat, mingle and take a class picture as a memento of the Feb. 28 ceremony

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated February 08, 2016 04:15 PM
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Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

In the middle of Oscar-season madness, this year’s award hopefuls stepped out for the annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon on Monday.

Nominees including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Sylvester Stallone, Brie Larson, Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Rooney Mara, and more attended the afternoon event at the Beverly Hilton hotel.

Larson was among the first to arrive, with her Room costar Jacob Tremblay by her side.

“I’m a better person for knowing him and working with him,” Larson said at the luncheon of working with the young actor.

And of course, it didn’t take Tremblay long to grab a Shirley Temple and mingle with the best of them.

Two of Hollywood’s top heavy-hitters, DiCaprio and Stallone, met up inside and posed for a few pictures, while The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzélez Inérritu chatted it up with Steven Spielberg.

While talking to press, Stallone joked that his award-season comeback has given his three daughters a new perspective on his career.

“My daughters actually look at me as an actor now and not just a bad golfer,” he joked.

He also touched on the backlash surrounding this year’s ceremony due to lack of diversity, revealing that the offered to skip the award show in support of Creed director Ryan Coogler.

“I said, ‘If you don’t want me to go, I won’t.’ He said, ‘I want you to go.’ That’s the kind of guy he is,” Stallone said. “He wanted me to stand up for the film.”

In line with the controversy, around a dozen protestors gathered outside the luncheon holding signs that depicted a white Oscar statue on black paper.

The luncheon serves as a time for the nominees to get together, eat, mingle and take a class picture as a memento of the Feb. 28 ceremony.

Watch the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28 at 7 ET/4 PT on ABC, and stay tuned to PEOPLE for full Oscars coverage.