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MTV Movie Awards sizzle despite fire at studio

A couple of hundred yards downhill, the final remnants of a disastrous fire that ripped through Universal Studios was extinguished as the ceremony got under way.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The “Transformers” have another chunk of metal to add to their collection.

The blockbuster about robots in disguise took home the golden popcorn trophy for best film at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night, and Johnny Depp won two buckets for best comedic performance and best villain at the awards show.

A couple of hundred yards downhill, the final remnants of a disastrous fire that ripped through Universal Studios was extinguished as the ceremony got under way.

While there was no mention of the fire, there was definitely smoke during the over-the-top ceremony: Presenters Seth Rogan and James Franco, stars of the upcoming stoner comedy “Pineapple Express,” pretended to smoke marijuana before handing out the popcorn trophy for new category of best summer movie so far.

“Kids, don’t really smoke fake weed like this,” Rogan sarcastically told the crowd at the Gibson Amphitheatre.

As they pulled out the “contraband,” the cameras pulled away to a wide angle, staying that way until Rogan and Franco left the stage. The awkward moment made some in the audience laugh, but left Robert Downey Jr. — who accepted the award on behalf of “Iron Man” — with a puzzled look.

“Thanks fellas,” he said, “for that intoxicating introduction.”

Franco later said MTV put them up to the joke, from the script to the bag of fake contraband, but that someone from the network decided at the last minute that they couldn’t go through with it — but it was too late.

‘A whole lot of chaos’The nearby studio fire broke out 4:30 a.m. on a soundstage featuring a New York brownstone facades at the 400-acre property. It was contained to the lot but burned for more than 12 hours before the final flames were extinguished.

“I actually came here early because I wanted to see it,” Chris Brown told The Associated Press on the event’s gold carpet before the show. What did he expect to see? “A whole lot of chaos.”

Winners were threatened to keep their speeches short by a man resembling Javier Bardem’s character from “No Country for Old Men” — complete with the bob hairdo and pneumatic cattle gun. Best female performance winner Ellen Paige from “Juno” escaped unscathed, but best fight winners Sean Faris and Cam Gigandet were ushered off stage by the menacing lookalike.

Host Mike Myers and Dana Carvey resurrected their “Saturday Night Live” characters Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, the cable access hosts of “Wayne’s World.” They acknowledged it’s been awhile since they’ve been together (”1994. That’s a while,” said Wayne) and presented a risque top ten list of adult film titles (No. 8: “I Am Legend ... In Bed”).

Depp showed up to accept his trophies for best comedic performance for “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and best villain for “Sweeny Todd.” While the crowd was visibly excited — including a nearly swooning Diablo Cody — “Superbad” actors Jonah Hill and Rogan shot shook their fists at Depp and give him the thumbs down. Depp kept his first acceptance speech short.

“You can ask anybody,” he said. “I’m not a very funny person. I’m not even remotely funny.”

Tom Cruise presented Adam Sandler with the Generation Award, the MTV Movie Awards’ highest honor, for his various comedic and “stupid” performances over the years. Sandler sang a live version of “Nobody Does It Better” alongside a bevy of backup dancers clad in skintight gold outfits. Among them: Rob Schneider.

“It’s the most arrogant thing I’ve ever done,” Sandler said.

Coldplay performed “Viva la Vida” amid a flurry of confetti, which at one point found its way in lead singer Chris Martin’s mouth. Later, the Pussycat Dolls danced in front of a giant lit-up sign broadcasting the group’s name alongside “America’s Best Dance Crew” winners Jabbawockeez to “When I Grow Up.”

Other winners included Will Smith for best male performance for “I Am Legend”; Zac Efron for best breakthrough performance for “Hairspray”; and Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman for best kiss in “Step Up 2: The Streets.”

The mood backstage was calm as stars schmoozed during the show. Cruise posed for photos with his arm around Ben Stiller while wife Katie Holmes stood a few steps away from them. She wasn’t by herself for long. Sarah Jessica Parker chatted Holmes up. Sandler and Smith both had their children with them behind the scenes.