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What its like to interview the stars on the Oscars red carpet

George Pennachio Oscars
Posted at 12:10 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 14:10:16-05

LOS ANGELES — Oprah. Justin Timberlake. Scarlett Johansson. You know their names and George Pennacchio, the "entertainment guru" at KABC's Channel 7 in Los Angeles, has interviewed them.

"This is going to be my 28th year maneuvering that red carpet, which by the way, has only gotten bigger," he said.

Bigger is right! George said every detail has become more over the top, especially when it comes to what the stars wear.

"The Oscars have changed with the times," Pennacchio said. "It's always been elegant, but there was a time where actresses would tell me they went out and found a dress and bought it and that's what they'd wear."

And how about those after-parties? He says that is where you really want to be.

"We cover all the parties. I'm always stationed outside the official Oscars party, that's the Governor's Ball. I always know what the stars will be walking into and what they'll be eating. And trust me, they are all hungry," he said.

But, there is another party people do not want to miss.

"Something really impressive is the Elton John party. Elton and his partner walk the carpet and they talk to every reporter on it. No whisking by. They raise money for their foundation and make the time to appreciate the press they get," said Pennacchio.

Some of his favorite Oscars moments over the years include working alongside legendary movie critic, Roger Ebert.

"I'd say, Roger, you have one minute with Martin Scorsese, and I'll kick your foot when you have ten seconds left. Stuff like that is what we did."

There was also the time when an A-list director helped him get the scoop after another reporter cut him off.

"Steven Spielberg saw it. He was watching. He saw what happened and he walked up to me to help me out. It was the kindest gesture," said Pennacchio.

Our Oscars Red Carpet coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9 on ABC15. The 92nd Academy Awards begin at 6 p.m.