Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Hudson were two of the most talked-about women at last night’s Oscars. Hathaway won the Supporting Actress statuette for her role in Les Mis, and Hudson reprised her Oscar-winning turn in Dreamgirls when she performed, “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.”

Before their Oscar makeovers, however, Annie and Jen were not always the dazzling centers of attention. Both stars had brief, forgettable cameos in the 2009 Valentino documentary, The Last Emperor. And it wasn’t pretty. For it being a fashion film, the women looked rather drab, shall I say even, basic? A far, desperate cry from the powerhouse Hollywood figures they are now, groomed to take the spotlight.

Anne Hathaway, the overeager theater girl that she is, certainly made the excuse to attend Valentino’s birthday bash in Rome to research her Devil Wears Prada character. Too bad Stanley Tucci was not at her side giving her fashion advice or reminding her not to act so generally self-aware.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Hudson accompanied the flamboyant Vogue editor André Leon Talley down the red carpet. But even though Jennifer had already won an Oscar and a Grammy at that point, the Italian press were pressed to ask, who is she? The visibly befuddled Jennifer most likely decided to decline future invitations as a fashion plus one.