Academy Awards Race Kicks Off at Star-Studded Oscar Nominees Luncheon

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ET was there as the Oscar countdown officially began at the annual nominees luncheon on Monday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

This year's nominees gathered together for their class photo and the atmosphere wasn't unlike that of a high school picture day, as the veteran upperclassmen rubbed shoulders with the freshmen. The major difference here: Everyone was voted most likely to succeed and did!

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Sylvester Stallone was the first to be called to the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo and couldn't have been more appreciative for his Best Supporting Actor nod for Creed.

"I couldn't be more thrilled by the fact that my daughters actually look at me now as an actor and not a bad golfer," Stallone joked with reporters.

This marked Sly's second time as an honoree at the event. The first was in 1977 for Rocky, which earned him nominations for Best Actor and Best Screenplay.

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Oscar first-timers this year include Brie Larson for Room, Rachel McAdams for Spotlight and Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl.

"I'm still trying to get used to it," Vikander said. "I don't think I've ever done much interviews at all up until this year."

Last year's lead actor winner, Eddie Redmayne, plans to just take it all in this time around.

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"[I'm going to] try and relax and enjoy it," Redmayne said. "Last year I was a frenzy of nerves."

The 88th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, will air live Sunday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT on ABC.