Backstage at the MTV Movie Awards. Paris on kissing Carmen, Tarantino on golden popcorn vs. little gold men, and more

By Liane Bonin
Updated June 14, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT
Paris Hilton and Carmen Electra: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

And you thought YOU were surprised by the smooch between Carmen Electra and Paris Hilton at this year’s MTV Movie Awards. Recovering backstage during Saturday night’s taping at L.A.’s Sony Studios was none other than Hilton herself.

”I love Carmen, but it was weird,” admitted presenter Hilton after Electra — accepting the Best Kiss award for her three-way make-out with Owen Wilson and Amy Smart in ”Starsky & Hutch” — planted a big wet one on her. ”Whatever. What was I supposed to do, say no?”

Predictably, Electra’s and Hilton’s significant others weren’t too upset. ”It’s all good,” shrugged Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, who’s been dating ”Simple Life” star Hilton for the past six months. ”She’s had to kiss some dudes in films, so I ain’t tripping.” Electra’s husband, former Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, was more enthusiastic: ”That was hot. My God,” he gushed. ”I’ll be happy to report to you that I have this show on TiVo, and I plan to rewind that and watch it over and over and over again. For 15 or 20 minutes.”

The kiss was just one of the ceremony’s wilder moments (cut by MTV censors for the June 10 broadcast: Eminem dropping trou during his performance with D12, and presenter Ice Cube screaming out a certain crass word describing the female anatomy). Between shocks, though, ”White Chicks” stars Shawn and Marlon Wayans, on hand to present the Best Comedic Performance Award with Brittany Murphy, were happy just to gab about the other stars in attendance. ”I want to hang out with everybody,” Marlon said. ”Like Jim Carrey. I never met him. Wait, I worked with him on ‘In Living Color’…. [Then] I want to see Chris Rock, because he owes me five dollars, and I want to punch him in the face. [And] I want to see Britney Spears. She isn’t here? Then I want to see her butt. Not her, just her butt. At least the butt can come.”

Older brother Shawn debated whether or not to torment Murphy while on stage. ”I don’t want [Murphy’s ex] Ashton [Kutcher] doing some ‘Punk’d’ thing on me,” he worried. ”But she’s single now, right? Awww, she’s in trouble!” Surprisingly, Murphy emerged from her copresenting duties unscathed.

Seann William Scott, meanwhile, was flushed with boogie fever after winning Best Dance Sequence for his goofy disco dance-off in ”American Wedding.” ”You know, winning this really means everything to me,” he joked. ”I can retire now. Actually, I have to push the boundary. I have to show people moves they’ve never seen before. I’m thinking of a movie that’s part ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ part ‘Fame,’ and part ‘Gone With the Wind.”’

We can only hope he grabbed the chance to pitch the idea to epic auteur Quentin Tarantino, whose ”Kill Bill — Vol. 1” was the evening’s big winner, with three golden popcorn awards (Best Female Performance for Uma Thurman, Best Villain for Lucy Liu, and Best Fight for the showdown between Thurman’s Bride and Chiaki Kuriyama’s Go-Go). The MTV honors offered Tarantino some comfort from being shut out of last year’s Academy Awards. ”When you do your four-hour kung fu opus, you’re not expecting a lot of little gold men,” he said. ”But if [the Academy] had [a category for] best fight scene, I think I would stand a chance.”

Tarantino may not have any Oscars, but at least he had ”Holes” star Shia LaBeouf at hello. Well…not exactly: ”The coolest part of the evening is that I saw Quentin Tarantino — but I don’t want to meet him. That would ruin the dream,” explained LaBeouf, a nominee for Best Breakthrough Male. ”If I go over to him and he’s an a–hole, I’m gonna cry, because in my mind he’s the coolest guy ever.” Also scoring points with LaBeouf was the show itself: ”You’re surrounded by enthusiastic people. You don’t get people at the Oscars screaming ‘Touch me, please!”’

Just as giddy all night was Karen O, lead singer of New York punk trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs. ”It’s going to be magic!” O promised before taking the stage with her bandmates to play ”Maps,” the melancholy hit single from their 2003 album ”Fever to Tell.” ”This is the first big production we’ll be doing, and there will be a little bit of contrast with the rest of the show.”

So, besides the obvious difference in musical style — the other performers were hip-hop groups D12 and the Beastie Boys — what exactly did that contrast entail? Apparently, pounds of red confetti dumped on O’s head as she sang. ”I would have liked even more stuff [falling down on me],” enthused Karen O afterward, gleefully bouncing up and down. ”I love for stuff to be dumped on me, I love it! Jump with me! Jump!”

Uh, okay. To paraphrase Paris Hilton, at an event like the MTV Movie Awards, what are you gonna do, say no?