Boston's angle on the Oscars

Ellie Fund's 15th Annual Oscar Night Gala at the Mandarin Oriental Boston was emceed by, from left, WCVB-TV 5's David Brown, Susan Wornick, Bianca de la Garza and JC Monahan. Ellie Fund's 15th Annual Oscar Night Gala at the Mandarin Oriental Boston was emceed by, from left, WCVB-TV 5's David Brown, Susan Wornick, Bianca de la Garza and JC Monahan. (Bill Brett for the Boston Globe)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
February 28, 2011

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Dicky Eklund knows fame is fleeting and that’s fine. The Lowell-bred pugilist, whose hard-luck life earned “The Fighter’’ actor Christian Bale an Academy Award nod, is just enjoying the ride. Arriving at Logan Airport Saturday for his early-morning flight to LA, Eklund was treated like a conquering hero by complete strangers.

“Go get ’em, Dicky,’’ bellowed a baggage handler.

“You da man, Dick!’’ hollered another guy, throwing an imaginary jab and spilling his Dunkin’ Donuts coffee on the floor.

Eklund and girlfriend Leslie Stephens, both wearing black warm-up jackets with “Team Dicky’’ emblazoned on the back, sat in first class while Micky Ward’s wife, Charlene, sat with Ward’s daughter Kasie in coach. (Charlene, who’s played in “The Fighter’’ by Amy Adams, calmed her nerves during the six-hour flight with a couple of beers.)

Eklund’s daughter Kerry Moore didn’t join her famous father at the Academy Awards. In a posting on her Facebook page yesterday, Moore wrote: “What planet are we on that my dad is at the Oscars because someone is nominated for playing his crazy [expletive]?!’’

Because Eklund was a little too honest in a recent profile in Men’s Journal — the onetime welterweight copped to being arrested 66 times, including charges of assaulting Stephens — Paramount put the clamps on the former champ in LA. The studio put him up at the Four Seasons and then locked the door to media until the red carpet was rolled up. Still, Charlene told us we might run into Micky, Dicky, and the rest of “The Fighter’’ gang at Vanity Fair’s post-Oscar party. Held at the Sunset Tower Hotel, the Vanity Fair party is one of many celeb-heavy affairs held on Hollywood’s big night. And security at all of them is intense. A series of “checkpoints’’ greeted guests at the VF party, and organizers warned us in an e-mail that notebooks, tape recorders, cameras, iPhones, tweeting, and Facebook postings were strictly prohibited. Our response? :)

For those not lucky enough to score a seat inside the Kodak Theatre last night, there was always Elton John’s lavish viewing party and dinner at the Pacific Design Center. Hosted by the Rocket Man and his partner, David Furnish, the party’s lengthy guest list included the likes of BC boy Chris O’Donnell, Maine native Anna Kendrick, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, “Mad Men’’ actress Christina Hendricks, rapper 50 Cent, actor Robert Downey Jr., and many, many more. And the parties don’t just magically happen. Scampo chef Lydia Shire, for example, is among a team of foodies, led by Wolfgang Puck, that handled the nibbles at the Governor’s Ball, everyone’s first stop after the Oscars. Friends with Puck for over 25 years, Shire told us she likes to watch the Academy Awards on TV at home, but duty called.

“I have 1,000 Dover soles to cut, de-bone, saute, and arrange,’’ she said. “And I’m going to make sure not one of them is overcooked.’’

Boston author Ben Mezrich, whose book “The Accidental Billionaires’’ was the basis for the Oscar-nominated movie “The Social Network,’’ was inside the Kodak last night, and at just about every A-list party before and after the ceremony. At one shindig in the Hollywood Hills, Mezrich and his wife, Tonya, ran into Sylvester Stallone, David Spade, and Vince Vaughn. But that wasn’t good enough.

“I didn’t see Stevie from ‘Eastbound & Down’ so it’s not perfect,’’ Mezrich told us afterward.

Oh well.

Back in Boston, the big party was at the Mandarin Oriental where the Ellie Fund hosted its annual black-tie Oscar Night Gala to raise money for families affected by breast cancer. Not surprisingly, “The Fighter’’ had a big presence at the benefit with a guest list that included Erica McDermott, who plays Cindy Eklund; Melissa McMeekin, who plays “Little Alice’’ Eklund; Kate O’Brien, who plays Phyllis Eklund; and Lowell Police Sergeant Mickey O’Keefe, who plays himself in the film. Another “Fighter’’ reveler at the party was hair stylist Liz Cecchini, who is responsible for some of the over-the-top ’80s ’dos that stole scenes in the film. Cecchini told us yesterday that a lot of thought goes into “doing bad hair good.’’ “It’s a lot of fun,’’ she said, adding that she and her fellow stylists studied pictures from the Ward/Eklund family to get it just right on screen. Cecchini, who also did hair for “Knight and Day,’’ “The Proposal,’’ “27 Dresses,’’ and “Good Will Hunting,’’ said she’s waiting to hear whether she’ll be working on the Boston movies that are filming this spring. As for McDermott, who had almost no acting experience before scoring her role in “The Fighter,’’ she has signed with Bresler Kelly & Associates in Los Angeles and has been auditioning for TV pilots. “It’s been a lot of fun. A lot of memorization,’’ she said. “All the characters I’ve been auditioning for are very different.’’ McDermott said the dress she was wearing last night was made especially for her by Sabella Couture on Tremont Street. Other names on the guest list for the festivities included Angela Peri of Boston Casting, Jodi Purdy-Quinlan of South Shore Casting, designers Michael DePaulo and Denise Hajjar, photographer Cheryl Richards, and former Revs player Taylor Twellman.