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Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin prep for Oscar night

Oscar hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin seemed relaxed as they stepped out together on the stage of L.A.'s Kodak Theatre Thursday to run through their lines for the show.

The two looked out into a sea of placards showing where the stars will sit tomorrow night. They laughed with each other and goofed around with show workers. At one point, Baldwin appeared to give a piggyback ride to Oscar producer Adam Shankman.

The two hosts chatted with the stand-ins and dancers and enthusiastically approached their rehearsal when suddenly Baldwin looked troubled after seeing himself on a big-screen monitor at the back of the room.

"We look so pale," he said to Martin.

"We're not in makeup," Martin said. "This is the way we actually look."

"Well who wants to see that?" Baldwin quipped.


WOMEN IN FILM

From actresses and producers to sound engineers and film editors, female Oscar nominees celebrated their achievements Thursday at Women in Film's third annual pre-Oscar party.

Held at a home in tony Bel Air, Calif., the intimate cocktail party honored women's contributions to the film industry and urged women on both sides of the camera to inspire the next generation of female filmmakers. Oscar-winning producer and host Cathy Schulman toasted the year's nominated women, but said "the fight remains a big fight for women in film." Only 7 percent of the year's 250 top films were directed by women, she said.

Still, the mood Thursday was festive. Nominated "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe chatted with actress Tracee Ellis Ross. Also celebrating were Nia Vardalos, nominated costume designer Monique Prudhomme, Angie Harmon, Viola Davis and Michelle Rodriguez.


AN OSCAR EDUCATION

And speaking of female nominees, Carey Mulligan already knows what it's like to stand on the Kodak Theatre stage. The 25-year-old star of "An Education" came to the theater Thursday to practice presenting on the big show. Wearing a blond pixie haircut, a black blazer and slacks, Mulligan was surrounded by stand-ins posing as presenters and winners. She ran through her lines, passed out prop Oscars, then disappeared through one of the theater's back doors.

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