Stars out on Oscars red carpet

Echo: Jessica Chastain brought her grandma to the Oscars Jessica Chastain brought her grandma to the Oscars

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood have paraded down the red carpet ahead of the 84th Academy Awards.

Stars including George Clooney and Jessica Chastain greeted fans, signed autographs and posed for photographers outside the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles ahead of the event.

The Help star and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, wearing a black and gold McQueen gown, took her grandma with her on her special night.

Jessica, who has featured in a wealth of films over the past 12 months, joked to E!'s Ryan Seacrest: "It's like I was really trying to get noticed this year, with my couple of movies. This year's been unbelievable."

George Clooney, nominated for his role in The Descendants, walked the red carpet with statuesque girlfriend Stacey Keibler.

He joked that Stacey was so tall she might get hit by low flying planes.

He said of his character in the film: "He's a fun guy to play because he really loses every argument and every fight. And I really enjoyed this guy's life, and the journey."

Best Actress nominee Rooney Mara wore a white Givenchy gown, a change from her usual black, and said she had only chosen it that morning. Asked if she was getting used to awards ceremonies, she said: "I don't know that you ever get used to it. I feel very honoured to be here and I'm excited."

Sacha Baron Cohen arrived as his latest film character The Dictator. He carried an urn which he claimed contained the ashes of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, which he proceeded to "spill" over Ryan Seacrest's tuxedo.

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