Richard Gere has revealed he's pretty bemused by his belated return to the Oscars stage, 20 years after he was banished by the Academy from taking part in the ceremony.

1993 saw the 'Pretty Woman' star banned from a presenting role during the show, after he used his time at the podium to denounce the Chinese government. Gere is one of the world's most high-profile activists for Tibet, and is permanently banned from entering China because of his work, and association with the Dalai Lama.

richard gere
Richard Gere is returning to the Oscars, two decades after he was banned by the Academy from taking part

But, it seems, unlike the Dalai Lama, he's served his time in exile. As Gere told HuffPost UK in London, "Apparently, I've been rehabilitated. It seems if you stay around long enough, they forget they've banned you."

So, he'll be jetting into LA at the weekend, to join his fellow 'Chicago' cast mates - Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta Jones and Queen Latifah - on stage for a musical reunion, ten years after the film won Best Picture.

Who else is performing? See below

Gere, whose first Hollywood hit 'Looking for Mr Goodbar' came in 1977 and has enjoyed a perch of pretty much steady stardom ever since, is looking forward to his return with predictable serenity...

"I know everyone at this point. It's like going to the Golden Globes, we all know each other, it's like going to a big wedding family party, that's really what it is."

And any downside? "They're just sooo long, so undoubtedly long."

Here are some of Oscars' more awkward speeches...

Awards ceremony producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are boasting an A-list roster on Hollywood's biggest night, with Barbra Streisand, Norah Jones and Adele all set to perform. There's even talk that they're running out of dressing room space... "Some of them are musical, some of them are dramatic and some of them are comedic," says Zadan.

At least the actor won't have to worry about perfecting his loser's smile on the night. He was Golden Globe-nominated for his role in upcoming thriller 'Arbitrage', but hasn't made the cut in the Oscars shortlist. Hot favourite for the Best Actor award on Sunday evening is 'Lincoln' star Daniel Day-Lewis, with 'Silver Linings Playbook's Bradley Cooper the rank outsider.

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  • Best Picture

    "Argo"

  • Best Picture

    "Lincoln"

  • Best Picture

    "Amour"

  • Best Picture

    "Zero Dark Thirty"

  • Best Picture

    "Silver Linings Playbook"

  • Best Picture

    "Les Miserables"

  • Best Picture

    "Life of Pi"

  • Best Picture

    "Django Unchained"

  • Best Picture

    "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

  • Best Actor

    Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"

  • Best Actor

    Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"

  • Best Actor

    Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"

  • Best Actor

    Denzel Washington, "Flight"

  • Best Actor

    Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"

  • Best Actress

    Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"

  • Best Actress

    Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"

  • Best Actress

    Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

  • Best Actress

    Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

  • Best Actress

    Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Notebook"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Alan Arkin, "Argo"

  • Best Supporting Actor

    Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Sally Field, "Lincoln"

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Amy Adams, "The Master"

  • Best Supporting Actress

    Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook"

  • Best Director

    Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"

  • Best Director

    David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"

  • Best Director

    Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"

  • Best Director

    Michael Haneke, "Amour"

  • Best Director

    Behn Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

  • Best Animated Feature Film

    "Brave"

  • Best Animated Feature Film

    "Frankenweenie"

  • Best Animated Feature Film

    "ParaNorman"

  • Best Animated Feature Film

    "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"

  • Best Animated Feature Film

    "Wreck-It Ralph"