Here's How Bodyguards Protected Stars At The Oscars

A security expert gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how bodyguards prepare for major events.

Everyone who's invited to the Oscars has a different way of preparing for the event. Some have their dresses hemmed, others get their nails manicured, and some might ... memorize emergency escape routes and have exit transportation at the ready?

From monitoring crowds to assessing risk and even carrying extra hair ties, bodyguards to the stars also have a lot of planning to do as the biggest day in film approaches. 

Expert in personal security Miguel Martinez gave a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how bodyguards with Pinkerton, a private security agency since 1850, prepare for an event.

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Meet With Cops To Discuss The Event's Floor Plan

A few weeks before any major event, Pinkerton agents meet with local law enforcement to discuss the layout of the event in what is called an "advance."

First, they might memorize the perimeters, noting any key safe zones along the way. 

They also make sure to discuss a designated safe area with each celebrity, so bodyguards know where to meet them in case anything happens.

Know Who The Stalkers Are

"We need to understand what could be a threat for each celebrity, [including] stalkers, lone wolves, or people who might target the celebrity," Martinez said.

To do that, the team scans any media coverage of the celebrity, and notes anything being said about them on social media. They might even look into the celebrity's inner circle.

"Entourages that share information to the public can provide a potential threat to the celebrity," Martinez included.

By the end of the process, Martinez said that the team will usually have a list, including pictures, of all the known stalkers so they'll know who to watch out for.

Set Up Signals With The Stars To Help Them Escape Uncomfortable Situations

Martinez told that before the event, the celebrity agrees on a subtle signal to alert the bodyguard to pull him or her from an uncomfortable situation.

"A lot of the time, we want to make it the simplest [gesture] possible because [celebrities] are under a lot of pressure," Martinez said. Possible signals in the past have included a hair touch, or an eye twitch.

But, the signal can't be too obvious.

"Celebrities are out there as a public relations effort," Martinez said, so a signal that fans won't recognize is key. To make sure the bodyguard doesn't miss a single thing, he or she might focus on a celebrity's eyes, so the duo are in constant communication.

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Stock The Car With An Extra Makeup Kit

"Our job is to provide security, but to also look after our personel," Martinez said.

From hair ties to extra cell phones and a sewing kit, these brawny bodyguards carry it all.

Plan To Keep Them Out Of Trouble

"More of a priority is to protect the image of our celebrity," Martinez said, "Some celebrities might do things that cause a P.R. nightmare, so our job is to get them out of those situations."

If a celebrity has a little too much to drink, the bodyguard must be prepared to lead them out public exposure. The most difficult instsance, Martinez said, is when the celebrity won an award, and resolved to celebrate for the next 48 hours.

Bodyguards need to be experts at avoiding situations where a celebrity might get out of hand, but when things do go wrong...

Come Up With A List Of Alternative Parties

"Maybe a celebrity that's not an A-list might have a more difficult time getting into an A-list party, so sometimes we have to de-escalate by taking them to another event," Martinez said, also mentioning that this sort of situation occurs pretty frequently.

Even if a celebrity is on the list, their friends might not be.

"We also have to be the middle man to work out strategies to keep everybody calm," Martinez said, adding: "Let's not draw too much attention to our people." 

Read: Red Carpet Is Rolled Out for the Oscars As Final Preparations Get Underway

And Finally: Try Not To Act Too Starstruck

These professionals know that constant vigilance and the safety of their clients come first, but that doesn't mean they're not excited to meet their favorite celebrity.

"It's always exciting, especially when you have a new client that's up and coming, or an A-list you've always admired," Martinez said.

And working so closely with the stars gives them some pretty good stories, he said. Pinkerton was once hired to provide security at a major sporting event - and when their team won, they got the chance to carry the trophy.

"Every event, there's something that's very neat," he said.

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