MIDTOWN — Actress Olivia Wilde dazzled fans in Midtown Wednesday when she unveiled the 25,000 crystal Swarovski star that will sit atop the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree this holiday season.
The 2011 Swarovski star, outfitted with 720 LED bulbs, was hoisted to the top of the Rockefeller Center's 74-foot Norway Spruce after a brief introduction by Wilde, who starred in the movies "Cowboys and Aliens" and "Tron: Legacy."
"I was a New York kid, and the tree at Rockefeller Center is such an emotional thing for me," " Wilde, 27, said. " I'm so honored to be able to unveil the beautiful star that will go on top."
According to a bio on IMDB, Wilde was born in New York City and raised in Washington, D.C.
Wearing a silver dress and Swarovski jewelry from the company's 2011 fall/winter collection, Wilde also glittered as she stood next to the star. Her bedazzled accessories included a dramatic Phenix Indicolite necklace and prism earrings, but they were mere baubles next to the the behemoth 550-pound tree decoration.
The star's heavy rays are outfitted with bulbs on 3,000 feet of wire to make it twinkle on top of the tree. This year, the 12-point star is 9 1/2 feet in diameter and 1 1/2 feet deep, with over 300 pounds of crystal panels.
"I'm not going to put it up there myself, although I would," Wilde joked. "I could just ride on top."
As the massive tree decoration was hoisted into the air, an awestruck crowd oohed and aahed.
"It's so big, and it's so beautiful," Nancy Rivera, a retired teacher who lives in Puerto Rico, said.
Rivera, 61, had come to see the star up close because she won't able to visit New York while the tree is lit, but still wanted to take part in the tradition.
Jacob Grunfeld, a part-time Brooklyn resident and photographer, agreed.
"There's nothing like Manhattan in Christmas time, and Rockefeller Center is really the center of the universe during Christmas," Grunfeld, 55, said. "There's nothing else like this in the whole world. It's magical."
The towering fir will be lit in all its glory Nov. 30. at the tree-lighting service, scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., during a ceremony where Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are expected to attend.
People can view the tree each day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and for all 24 hours of Christmas Day. On New Year's Eve, it will be lit from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The last day to see the lighted tree will be Jan. 7, 2012.