02/22/2015 07:24 EST | Updated 04/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Oscars 2015: Stars arrive for the 87th Academy Awards

The media mayhem has begun in the run-up to the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood. Host, screen and stage star Neil Patrick Harris was among the first to arrive on the red carpet Sunday night outside the Dolby Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif. where the awards gala gets underway at 8:30 p.m. ET.

- PHOTOS | Oscars 2015: rolling out the red carpet

A sudden downpour earlier in the afternoon saw a team of bucket and broomstick-carrying crew members rush out to save the red carpet. A lingering drizzle continues to threaten the well-heeled crowds as the first stars arrive for the throngs of international reporters.

J.K. Simmons, who is nominated for best supporting actor for his role in Whiplash, came prepared, wearing a black fedora as protection from the elements. "People who are from foul weather climates know how to dress for the weather," Simmons, who grew up in the Midwest and West, told the Associated Press.

"This is entirely my fault. … Sorry," best-actor nominee Eddie Redmayne joked of bringing the rainy weather from his native England.

Clear plastic tents shielded fans and the carpet itself from alternating moments of stormy weather and bright sun. Pink towels were handed out to wet arrivals.

Red carpet 'imposters'

Calgary's Tegan and Sara were among the first Canadians spotted outside the Dolby Theater. The sibling singing sensations are set to perform their Oscar-nominated song Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie during the broadcast. The humble duo admitted to CBC's Kim Brunhuber that they feel like 'imposters" among Hollywood's A-listers but they hope they'll do Canada proud.

"It's like losing your virginity, you gotta goof it," The Lego Movie's Andy Samberg told the Associated Press, who is also expected to take the stage for the performance.

American country singer Tim McGraw, art pop princess Lady Gaga and British pop star Rita Ora are among the other musical acts slated to perform.

Hollywood veteran Melanie Griffith walked the red carpet with her daughter, Fifty Shades of Grey star Dokota Johnson.

Griffith, who shot to fame in the 1980s with sexy roles in such films as Working Girl and Body Double, admitted she's not ready to see her 25-year-old daughter's racy new movie.

"She's such a good actress, I don't need to see it," Griffith told CTV, as Johnson appeared annoyed with her mother's modesty.

The big races

If history repeats itself, the first Oscar of the evening will be awarded to the best actor in a supporting role. The nominees for that category, as well as other leading awards, are as follows:

- Robert Duvall in The Judge.

- Ethan Hawke in Boyhood.

- Edward Norton in Birdman.

- Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher.

- J.K. Simmons in Whiplash.

Best picture

- American Sniper .

- Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

- Boyhood.

- The Grand Budapest Hotel.

- The Imitation Game.

- Selma.

- The Theory of Everything.

- Whiplash.

Actress in a leading role

- Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night.

- Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything.

- Julianne Moore in Still Alice.

- Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl.

- Reese Witherspoon in Wild.

Actress in a supporting role

- Patricia Arquette in Boyhood.

- Laura Dern in Wild.

- Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game.

- Emma Stone in Birdman.

- Meryl Streep in Into the Woods.

Actor in a leading role

- Steve Carell in Foxcatcher.

- Bradley Cooper in American Sniper.

- Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game.

- Michael Keaton in Birdman.

- Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything.

CBC's Kim Brunhuber is tweeting live from the red carpet, producer Laura Thompson is tweeting from the press room and the fashionable Jelena Adzic and our resident film critic Eli Glasner are following all the action and reaction from our digital viewing party from Toronto.

Follow the conversation right here for all the memorable moments from Tinseltown's biggest night. And don't forget to check out our awards season scorecard, which lays out the competition tonight, and make your picks known with our Oscars ballot.

And don't forget to rehash everything that happened at the 2015 Academy Awards during our morning-after live chat with Eli Glasner on Monday at noon ET.

On mobile? Follow the live blog here.