For 364 days a year, Washington, D.C., jokingly bears the nickname "Hollywood for ugly people." But on April 28, the beautiful West Coast crowd will flock to the powerful East Coast city for a night of presidential roasting and political toasting at the 98th annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
The journalists and media organizations that report on every minutia of the White House will roll out the red carpet for the president and first lady along with some big-hitter politicians. But it's the Hollywood A-listers who often steal the show and put the pizzazz in this scholarship-funding party.
Here's a look at some of the big names in show business who will share a table with the country's top political reporters, media moguls and politicians at this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
People Magazine has scored a star from the blockbuster hit "Hunger Games." Josh Hutcherson, who plays Katniss' fellow District 12 tribute-turned love interest, will be one of the magazine's guests, The Hill reports.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger, who recently wrote a book about body image pressures on teens, will attend along with actress Diane Keaton and "Dancing with the Stars"' William Levy.
White House chef Sam Kass has a seat at People's table, as does Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who recently shook up the Senate with her decision not to run for re-election in 2012 because of the divisiveness in Congress.
If the media's guest lists were themed, the Huffington Post's table corners the market on controversial congressional witnesses. The online news site has invited Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, whose testimony in favor of the government mandating that birth control be covered under insurance plans became a national sensation after conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh went on a tirade against the 30-year-old student.
Joining Fluke at the Huffington Post table will be Attorney General Eric Holder, whose congressional testimony over the botched gun-running operation "Fast and Furious" was nearly as controversial as Fluke's.
Actress Dakota Fanning and actor Daniel Day Lewis are on the guest list, along with "True Blood" stars Anna Paquin and Steven Moyer, Darren Criss of "Glee" and "Saturday Night Live" star Nasim Pedrad. Sen. Rand Paul, the son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, R-Ky., and White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer are set to attend as well, the Hill's In the Know blog reported.
The Huffington Post can have their controversial commentators, The Washington Post will dine with secret agents.
Pierce Brosnan, the actor who played James Bond in six movies, is set to attend with his wife Keely Brosnan. A real-life James Bond will also be at the Washington Post table. Admiral William H. McRaven, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, who organized and executed the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is also Washington Post guest, a spokesman for the paper confirmed.
Time Magazine snagged the ultimate Hollywood A-lister for its correspondents' dinner table: George Clooney. The actor has become a frequent flier between Los Angeles and Washington, having spent time in the capital city last month advocating for U.S. aid in Sudan.
Clooney, along with girlfriend-of-the-moment Stacy Keibler, will join director Stephen Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, at Time's table, The Hill reported. This year will be the third in a row that Spielberg has attended the dinner as Time's guest.
The only political guest confirmed at the Time table so far is Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The stars of some of ABC's biggest hit shows will bridge the divide between the network's entertainment side and news division by filling the tables of the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. "Modern Family" actors Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Julie Bowen, and Eric Stonestreet will attend the 2012 gala. This will be the second such dinner in a row that Ferguson and Stonestreet have attended.
"The Hunger Games" supporting actress Elizabeth Banks, who played the escort for District 12's tributes Effie Trinket, and comedy actor Paul Rudd, who most recently starred in "Wanderlust," will sit at the ABC table for the second year in a row. Christa Miller and Bill Lawrence of "Cougar Town" will round out the celebrity circle.
ABC has invited New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is on the short list of prospective GOP vice presidential nominees. President Obama adviser David Axelrod, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno are confirmed guests.
|"The Artist" Dog Uggie|
The four-legged star of this year's Best Picture-winning film "The Artist" will sport his bowtie again, having been invited as a guest of the Washington Times. The Jack Russell terrier Uggie is set to be the only furry friend at this year's dinner.
"Our message to Uggie: If it is within our power to offer a dog his ultimate Washington wish, the Times will take the ball and run with it," the paper's Inside the Beltway reporter Jennifer Harper wrote.
But while the superstar dog and trainer Omar van Mullen are confirmed guests, Washington Times editor Ed Kelley told Politico there will be no pets allowed at the dinner table.
"For those who worry that a canine guest will displace a journalist at this well-attended event, we want to assure them that Uggie will not sit at a dinner table or be in the ballroom," Kelley said.
Actress Reese Witherspoon will show off her baby bump as a guest of Newsweek and the Daily Beast. The actress is reportedly pregnant with her third child.
Viola Davis, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in "The Help," will share a table with Witherspoon along with J.R. Martinez from "Dancing with the Stars." Political guests include: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., California Gov. Jerry Brown, CIA Director David Petraeus, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer, the Hill reported.
While President Obama does not get much of a say in the guest list, he's likely to be thrilled about the stars set to sit at the CBS table. The star of one of the president's favorite television shows, "Homeland," Claire Danes, is set to attend the dinner. Obama requested four DVD sets of the hit drama's first season, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Danes will be the second "Homeland" star to break bread with the president this year. Her co-star, Damian Lewis, shared a table with the president at the state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron last month.
Other CBS guests include: Christine Baranski from "The Good Wife," Daniel Dae from "Hawaii Five-O," Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger III, the US Airways pilot who landed a 155-passenger in the Hudson River in 2009, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice , Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Army Lt. Gen. George Flynn, New York City Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., and Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
|'Sex and the City' Creator Darren Star|
While the four fabulous ladies of "Sex and the City" won't be lighting up the Washington Hilton's red carpet, the man who made them famous will. "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star will attend the dinner as a guest of the Atlantic and the National Journal.
Actress Rosario Dawson from "Sin City" is also on the two publications' guest list along with celebrity chef José Andrés and Dreamworks Studio co-chairman and CEO Stacey Snider.
The only name on Fortune Magazine's guest list so far is actress Rashida Jones. The Harvard grad recently starred in "The Muppets" and NBC's comedy show "Parks and Recreation."