Oscar weekend is finally upon us. On Sunday, the biggest night in Hollywood will unfold in LA, with millions tuning in to watch impeccably dressed A-listers take to the Dolby Theatre’s stage to collect the most coveted gongs in film.
This year, many expect Steven Spielberg to win big for his film The Fabelmans, while The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All At Once are also tipped for victory.
But enough about the actual movies. What can nominees expect in their gift bags this year? Metro.co.uk caught up with Lash Fary, founder of marketing company Distinctive Assets and the most famous product placer in all of La La Land.
Lash has been curating gift bags for award shows for more than two decades and is particularly excited about the contents of this year’s Oscar bag.
But first thing’s first: ‘This is something that we do independently from the ceremony. The Academy’s in the business of promoting films, not products.’
Now that’s out of the way, who will be getting their hands on this year’s gift bag?
‘We only give bags to the top nominees: best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress and director,’ Lash explains.
‘While the best cinematographer and best short film are great and important to the industry, we only gift the top five categories.’
And what exactly is in this year’s gift bag, which Lash estimates is worth more than $120,000 (£101,300)? ‘A better question would be what’s not in it,’ he tells us with a grin.
‘There’s my favourite luxury skincare line Miage, but all kinds of beauty treatments too.
‘Recipients will get over $10,000 worth of aesthetic treatments from Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich on the Upper East Side of New York – that can be Botox, filler, or whatever they might need.
‘Then there’s Dr. Thomas Su who does liposuction, but he’s more like a sculptor. He’s giving recipients over $10,000 worth of body enhancements.’
Lash adds: ‘We also have Dr. Bauman who does hair restoration, so we’re not forgetting about the dudes. There are $8,000 worth of hair restoration treatments in there.’
Oh, but there’s more.
‘We have something called Pieces of Australia, which is basically the gift of a little plot of land in Australia and all the money raised goes to land conservation efforts there.’
Other highlights? ‘Trips have become a big focal point when it comes to the gift bags.
‘We try to discover things that celebrities might not find on their own, which is why people like Meryl Streep, Hugh Jackman, Helen Mirren and Viola Davis have all taken the trips that we’ve given,’ Lash explains.
‘This year we’ve got a voucher for a stay at The Lifestyle, which is an ultra-modern, luxury estate on 10 acres outside of Ottawa, Canada.
‘It’s sort of like modern escapism – you’re in the middle of nowhere with all the luxuries you could possibly think of. It’s a $40,000 getaway.’
As for what gift Lash is most excited about, that’d be something called Reflect.
‘It’s an orb that supports your mental health,’ he shares.
We were also keen to know exactly where this year’s Academy Award nominees will collect their coveted goodie bags.
‘A lot of people will just want their bags delivered to the hotel they’re staying at in the week leading up to the Oscars,’ Lash explains.
‘Or, if they live here in LA, we’ll take it to their house. We’ve delivered the bag to Viola Davis’ home for years.’
He goes on: ‘Steven’s [Spielberg] will go to his production company. But it all depends on their setup and whatever’s most convenient for them.
‘Last year Penelope Cruz and Javier [Bardem] wanted it shipped to where they were staying in Madrid. We don’t normally do shipping, but I’ll do it for Javier and Penelope.
‘The same goes for Olivia Colman, she wanted her bag to go to her residence outside London.’
Another burning question: do mega-rich celebrities really need six-figures worth of freebies? Allow Lash to explain.
‘I was just with Angela Bassett a couple of weeks ago and she genuinely embraces what this process is meant to be,’ he began.
‘Obviously, Angela can afford to buy everything [in the bag] a million times over, but she can’t go to Sephora like a normal person. It’s not about whether they can afford it, it’s about discovering.’
One thing’s for sure, we’d take a $40,000 getaway, tubs of luxury skincare and a slice of Australia over a golden statuette any day.
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