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Sir Elton John’s 17th annual AIDS Foundation Oscar viewing party pulled a splashy group of celebs to the Pacific Design Center Sunday night, including Kate Beckinsale, Victoria Beckham, Sharon Stone, Quincy Jones, Claire Danes, Taye Diggs and Russell Simmons. They all kept their energy up as they watched the four-hour ceremony by making good use of the party’s chocolate and candy bars.

“I love it; it’s so exciting, to be around this energy,” said Elle Macpherson, digging into some white chocolate.

But sugar couldn’t cure everything. Concern about a potential actors’ strike was on the minds of some at the event, where security was so tight that some journalists approved to cover the event were escorted out to have their credentials re-checked.

“A strike would not be good, not in this economy – I might have to drop another album,” said R&B artist Tyrese Gibson. “I’m over my cell minutes, I’ve got to pay that bill.”

Tyler Perry said he spent the evening hours before the fete at home in his pajamas, and said any looming strike wouldn’t affect his upcoming production plans. “I’m not worried, I already have a deal, but that’s not the same for everyone,” he said.

Guests like Sir Ben Kingsley, who came over after appearing on stage at the Kodak Theatre, also acknowledged the dire economic circumstances. “We’re lucky to be here. I’m so happy to see such a talented group, but that doesn’t mean we don’t see the larger picture,” he said.

Others reveled in more lighthearted fun. “Check out those lats, you see those?” said actor Chris O’Donnell of football star Terrell Owens’ muscles, while massaging the football star’s shoulders.


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