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Inside the show and backstage at the SAG Awards

The Associated Press, Sunday, January 30, 2011, 7:32pm (PST)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Seen and heard Sunday at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

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THE FRIEND ZONE: Jesse Eisenberg still seemed in awe about meeting Facebook mastermind Mark Zuckerberg for the first time while hosting "Saturday Night Live." Eisenberg said that Zuckerberg was "wonderfully gracious" and "so sweet" to join him for his "SNL" opening monologue the night before.

"I hope to see him again," Eisenberg teased on the red carpet.

Eisenberg's "Social Network" co-star Armie Hammer said he was surprised about the cameo. He said he learned about it from an e-mail he got while attending Saturday's Directors Guild of America Awards.

"I was like, 'WHOA!'" said Hammer. "That's awesome."

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FASHION RISKS: The threat of rain didn't stop stars from dressing fearlessly for the SAG Awards. While most women showed up in gowns, Julie Bowen dared to attend the ceremony in pants.

"There's something lovely and classic about a pantsuit," the "Modern Family" co-star said on the red carpet about her bold and breezy fashion choice by Catherine Malandrino.

Angie Harmon also flew over the radar in a dramatic Monique Lhuillier pink ensemble accented with feathers and ruffles. The "Rizzoli and Isles" co-star said it was her favorite gown "outside of my wedding dress."

"It's just not me to go small or demure," she said. "I'm an actor."

Oscar Nunez was equally defiant but not as eloquent while mingling on the carpet with his co-stars from "The Office." His traditional bow tie wilted, and he made no effort to tighten it.

"The guy on YouTube said it wasn't supposed to be perfect," he deadpanned.

Nunez said he'd seek out "Office" mate Ed Helms to tie it for him if it came totally undone.

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JOKING AROUND: Several celebrities were full of zingers as they made their way inside the Shrine Auditorium. Helena Bonham Carter, who co-stars in "The King's Speech," joked that there should be a sequel to the Oscar front-runner called "The Queen's Speech," and "The Fighter" matriarch Melissa Leo joked that she chose her simple glittery gown because of her age.

"I'm 50 years old," she said. "I don't need to be pinching and pulling everything."

Bryan Cranston compared attending the SAG Awards to being a princess.

"It's like going to the ball," said the "Breaking Bad" star. "Like Cinderella, I have to be in bed by midnight or it gets ugly."

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BREAKING IN: A few winners reminisced backstage about the roles that originally earned them their SAG membership. "Modern Family" funny man Eric Stonestreet said he won his for an Illinois lottery commercial, and his young co-star Sarah Hyland earned her card from playing Howard Stern's daughter in "Private Parts."

"I'm one of the many actors who got their SAG cards from 'Law & Order,'" said Ty Burrell. "It's sad to see it gone."

Claire Danes said her card came from a TV pilot starring Dudley Moore that she called "a dud." Melissa Leo could only remember she scored hers for a role in a film produced by B-movie king Roger Corman, while Julianna Margulies laughed when she told reporters her SAG card came from playing a "hooker with a heart of gold" in the Steven Seagal flick "Out for Justice."

"I've come a long way," said "The Good Wife" star. "Now my husband sleeps with a hooker."

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AP Entertainment Writer Mike Cidoni contributed to this report.

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Online:

http://www.sagawards.com

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