Oscars 2022: Secrets from seat fillers – from selfie bans to baffled celebs


Oscars 2022

The Oscars is taking place on March 27 (Picture: Netflix/AP)

The Oscars 2022 is finally here, with a star-studded audience back in place to watch the biggest names in Hollywood be celebrated for their hard work on screen.

After a tough and very unprecedented few years, the celebs will be out in force on the glitziest night in the calendar, held on March 27, gathering at the Dolby Theatre in LA – with Will Smith, Beyonce, Kristen Stewart and Benedict Cumberbatch preparing their celebratory speeches or awkward gracious loser faces.

However, you’d be mistaken if you believe that it is just the presenters and backstage staff who are busy ensuring the ceremony runs smoothly for those involved, as there are unseen people on hand to fill their seats every time they need the loo, or want to have a chat with someone.

They are there to make sure there are no empty chairs, and are basically the undercover heroes of Hollywood.

Maya Tribbitt, who has taken on the role of a seat filler, has lifted the lid on exactly what goes down for the most unseen people in the industry.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk before the 2020 ceremony, she confessed that things are very ‘strict’ backstage, with organisers banning them from taking selfies or even dressing too bright.


Oscars statue

Who will be taking one of these coveted trophies home? (Picture: Getty)

Rules they all sneakily flouted, of course.

‘They were really strict about what to wear,’ the filler – who worked the 2018 Emmys – told us. ‘No sparkles, no short dresses, no bright colours or white. Basically don’t stand out.

‘We were there a few hours before the show started and we were told not to talk to anyone or take pictures.

‘But as soon as we got into the theatre everyone sneakily took pictures.’

Well, if you’re in a room with Denzel Washington, Nicole Kidman or Andrew Garfield, it would be rude not to…


Beyonce

Beyonce has landed her very first Oscar nomination and we’re ready to bow down (Picture: WireImage)

Maya got the gig by filling out an application form on seatfillersandmore.com – where said fillers are strongly instructed not to outshine whoever they happened to be sitting next to, don’t speak to anyone famous, and don’t even think about getting pictures.

She let slip that she did bump into some pretty big names while bumbling around the bash – but there were some who didn’t quite get why she was plonked next to them.

‘We saw Tiffany Haddish, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, and the cast of Stranger Things,’ she continued.

‘A ton of people asked us what was going on, when they saw us lined up about to go into the theatre.


Will Smith

Will Smith is tipped to take home the best actor gong (Picture: Rex)

‘A friend I made was able to snag a selfie with Connie Britton and one with Jeff Daniels.

‘When the show started and we were placed people kept asking us how this worked. During the commercials, there was a giant countdown clock and we had to run to find a new seat before the clock ran out.

‘Some people didn’t understand and told us not to sit next to them because their spouse was on their way back.’

Imagine telling Beyonce you’re just sitting in Jay Z’s seat while he’s in the loo? Not ideal.

Unfortunately for those of you planning on making hobnobbing with Brad Pitt and co a regular thing, you might want to think again – or have a lot of money saved up.

According to the Seat Fillers And More website, ‘there is no pay nor is any compensation provided for travel if you are coming from out of town. Being a seat filler is all voluntary and all cost are at your own discretion.’

However, they do take care of parking costs and provide a shuttle from ‘long-distance parking areas’, so there’s that.

Despite the long hours and not being paid, Maya would definitely give the experience another go.

‘It was a great experience and I’d recommend everyone try it because there’s really nothing like it,’ she added.

A game of musical chairs with some of the most famous people around? Count us in for next year.

The Oscars takes place on March 27, at the Dolby Theatre.

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