Oscar winner Tami Lane comes home

Tami Lane walked through the door of her parents’ Dunlap townhouse Friday, lugging a backpack weighed down by clothes, magazines and an eight-and-a-half pound, gold-plated statue.

Minutes later, the Oscar was glinting under the living room lights, in the hands of her father, Roger Lane. He passed it gently to her mother, Linda, and her sister, Tracy, 34, all of them smiling and, like so many Oscar winners, marveling at how heavy it was.

Lane, 31, a Woodruff High School and Bradley University grad, took a seat on the couch and obliged her curious public with the details of last Sunday, the day she won best makeup for “The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” at the Academy Awards.

It began at 10 a.m. Lane and her friend Penny Mackie, part of Narnia’s costume team, arrived at co-nominee Howard Berger’s house, where a team of makeup and hair specialists awaited them.

They arrived at the Kodak theater just before 3 p.m. “It was kind of a bummer” to get to the theater before the swarm of celebrities and popping flashbulbs, she said, but there was plenty of that to come.

Just before the award for best makeup was announced, pages ushered Lane, Berger and the other nominees backstage. Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman and Judi Dench greeted them. (If you’re wondering about those shots of Lane in her seat, waiting for presenters Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell to open the envelope, those are special seats in front set up just for the cameras, she said.)

“All I heard was ‘How-‘” said Lane, “and I was whipped up on stage.” She stared out into a crowd she described as “like your own 3-D People magazine,” with Jack Nicholson and George Clooney looking up at her.

Berger, as Lane’s loyal supporters have pointed out repeatedly since the Oscars, got to do all the talking. But Lane’s not bitter. “We had that worked out” in advance, she said. “I’m not upset at all by it.”

And in fact she did say a few words, after the mike cut out: “Thank you for making dreams come true.”

Then ushers marched her and Berger past Morgan Freeman – the first to congratulate them on their win – to have photos taken. They ate dinner at the Governor’s Ball and zipped past Elton John’s party (much too crowded) to the Vanity Fair party. “Madonna was there, but I didn’t see her,” said Lane, sounding a tad disappointed.

By 1:30 a.m., the party slowed down. “It went way too fast,” she said.

Lane isn’t sure yet what the effect of her win will be. “I’ve been told that my rate will go up and I’m more in demand,” she said. She’ll begin work soon on “Prince Caspian,” the sequel to Narnia.

And for the next few days she’ll be home in Peoria. “I love this town,” she said. “There’s so many people I want to see.”

She’s having a party tonight from 8 to 11 at Agatucci’s restaurant in Peoria – a chance for friends to catch up.

She might bring the Oscar, she said, even though it’s already a little worse for the wear. The sapphire rings she wore left tiny marks around the statue’s legs. “I don’t know,” she said, surveying the scratches. “I kind of like them there.”

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