OFF DUTY: While her Hollywood brethren jammed into the Kodak Theatre, Rachel Weisz had Oscar night off. The actress and her husband, Darren Aronofsky, joined a low-key crowd at The Box in Manhattan for an Academy Awards viewing party to benefit the charity Only Make Believe.

It’s the first time in two years the actress has watched the Oscars from the outside. In 2006, an expectant Weisz won the best supporting actress award for her work in “The Constant Gardener.” And last year she presented Alan Arkin the best supporting actor statue for his work in “Little Miss Sunshine.” On those occasions, Weisz hit the red carpet in a black Narciso Rodriguez number and a champagne Vera Wang confection, respectively.

This story first appeared in the February 26, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

This year, though, she let her hair down in a way she couldn’t previously: The actress arrived fashionably late (she missed Tilda Swinton’s best supporting actress win, but did catch her own 2006 Oscar moment replayed during the “80 Years of Oscar” montages) and wore a gray knee-length dress, with very little makeup or jewelry.

The thespian, who currently stars opposite Ryan Reynolds in “Definitely, Maybe,” seemed to enjoy the change of pace: Weisz and her hubby stayed for the live 20-minute performance that took place immediately after the awards ceremony — during which

Raven O performed an uncharacteristically tame Oscars-themed song and dance number.

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