Who was behind Michelle Obama's Oscar appearance?

The first lady had been attending the White House governors dinner and stepped out to announce "Argo" as the best picture. But only a handful of people knew about her cameo before its airing.

Michelle Obama once again set the Twitterverse ablaze when she presented the Best Picture award to "Argo" at the Oscars last night.

Some criticized that the first lady has been doing way too many cameos while others applauded the surprise appearance.

Most simply wanted to find out who had put her up to it.

It turns out that movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his teenage daughter Lily came up with the plan to have Obama present the Best Picture winner from the White House, Academy president Hawk Koch told the Hollywood Reporter.

Koch and Oscar show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Moron loved the idea and so, apparently, did Obama.

"Yes, I think it's a great idea … We watch movies all the time at the White House. Let's do it," was how the first lady responded when she first heard about the plan, Zadan told the Hollywood Reporter.

Koch and the producers borrowed Disney's jet two weeks ago to fly to D.C., where they met up with Weinstein and his daughter.

However, the visit was top secret.

"The planning of it was like 'Argo' – it was a CIA mission, it was so complicated," Zadan told the Hollywood Reporter. "We didn't even want anyone to know where we were going."

They group met with the first lady's staff members, who showed them around the White House so that they could pick a room for the broadcast. The producers also proposed having members of the military join in the presentation.

Zadan and Meron then approached actor Jack Nicholson, who immediately agreed to co-host the award presentation with Obama.

The Hollywood Reporter said that the first lady's involvement was "treated like a state secret, known to only a few of those working on the show."

The Academy issued a statement the Friday before the Oscars saying that Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman would be presenting the Best Picture award.

Nicholson, who introduced the first lady at the ceremony Sunday, was holding a second envelope, in case of technical difficulties, Koch said.

The person who was seen in the video handing the envelope to the first lady was Robert Moritz, chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company that has overseen the accuracy of the Oscar balloting process for the last 79 years.

Iran hostage crisis drama "Argo" director Ben Affleck himself didn't know about the appearance, telling reporters, "I was sort of hallucinating when that was happening. Over the course of a hallucination, it doesn’t seem that odd. Oh, a purple elephant. Oh, Michelle Obama. I was just asking these two guys outside, ‘Was that Michelle Obama?' In retrospect, anyway it was very cool.”

Others were more critical.

"#NextMichelleObamaAppearance She'll be in every movie theater preview telling you to shut your cellphone off & put away the popcorn," tweeted conservative blogger Michelle Malkin.

"Of course they have to ruin the Oscars with Michelle Obama..." tweeted RepublicanGirlProbs.

But perhaps the most critical response came from none other than Iran's state news agency, which reportedly Photoshopped her sleeveless silver Naeem Khan dress to show sleeves and a higher-collared dress.

 

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