Laurence Mark, producer of Dreamgirls, carried his Golden Globe in one hand as he made the congratulatory rounds at the Paramount party following the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles on Monday night. He managed to hug well-wishers with one hand while holding the statue in the other. “Someone said to me, ‘It’s the same amount of weight that Beyoncé had to lose for this,’” he joked (20 pounds, so the story goes). He hugged another passerby. “What can I say?” he beamed. “It’s certainly a lot better than if it had gone the other way.”
And so another Golden Globes has come and gone, an award event favored by TV viewers who know that, unlike the gravitas-laden Oscars, there’s a high probability of seeing their favorite star get sloshed on white wine and slur his way through presenting (cough … cough … Harrison Ford). Plus it’s the only awards show that mixes television and movie stars in one uncomfortable caste-system night.
Mainly, the Golden Globes are about the partying, the dressing-up and celebrity mixing at the Beverly Hilton, where—within one cavernous compound—the studios all host after-parties with security checkpoints that would put J.F.K. airport to shame. The anxiety was palpable: “Where are you going? Did you get into this one? I just came from In Style—it sucked; try HBO’s …. ” And so on.
Los Angeles is one of those places where all the clichés turn out to be true. The traffic really is a disaster, people actually do drive around with the top down yapping into cellular headsets, each cocktail waitress is thinner, prettier and blonder than the next, movie stars really are shorter in person, and the sky is—somewhat disturbingly—a constant, sparkling spick-and-span blue.
But judging from last weekend’s freakish cold snap—record-breaking lows in the 30’s—one thing that Angelenos don’t know how to handle is real weather. Many establishments, lacking adequate heating, were forced to rely on tall outdoor heaters. And apparently no one in L.A. has ever heard of a coat check. This led to some awkward valet situations, as celebrities were forced to huddle and shiver in plain sight while waiting for their cars (favorite group huddle: a grinning Alec Baldwin, a teensy Bill Maher and Arianna Huffington outside of the L.A. Confidential magazine party).
But for the Golden Globes themselves, the temperatures were nothing short of a disaster. Women with couture gowns certainly didn’t want to cover up. And most of the post-award parties had some sort of outdoor element, creating a new category of celebrity sightings: look who’s hanging out under the heat lamp.
Paramount Pictures was a big winner—Dreamgirls for best picture in the musical or comedy category, with Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson winning best supporting awards, with Babel (under the Paramount Vantage label) winning as best picture in the drama category. Many Paramount partygoers at the Beverly Hilton attended in the hopes that they’d lay eyes on the holy grail of celebrity gawking: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. No such luck. Though their names were constantly invoked as the night went on, the couple was nowhere to be found at any of the parties (according to one report, they hopped on a plane directly after the show).
According to a group of friendly paparazzi perched in front of the Paramount party entrance, Jay-Z and Beyoncé were among the first to arrive, sweeping through the room in grand style but leaving moments after Jennifer Hudson arrived—meouch!—certainly not dispelling any of the rumors of a rivalry between Beyoncé and Ms. Hudson. Steven Spielberg arrived with his step-daughter, the actress Jessica Capshaw, while Patrick Dempsey (a.k.a. “McDreamy”) caused a group of older women to literally swoon as he made it through the door. Sacha Baron Cohen, another winner for best actor (and thankfully not in his unwashed Borat suit), helpfully told a foreign press reporter that his fiancée, the teenily beautiful Australian actress Isla Fisher, was in Wedding Crashers. Later, he was seen feeding her pizza in a secluded corner. (As Borat might say: Niiiiiiiice!)
Nearby, at the HBO party, the Entourage guys stuck together. They joked about having to walk the carpet in front of Brad and Angelina. “In-sane,” said Kevin Connolly, ruefully shaking his head. Jeremy Piven seemed to be carbo-loading, with food piled high on his plate, as Mark Wahlberg, the show’s executive producer and muse, held court like the Godfather at a table, rising only to a half-standing position to greet well-wishers like Brian Grazer. The Big Love cast was one of the only groups to stay put—probably wisely—in one venue. “Where’s my posse at?” yelled Chloë Sevigny, one of the few celebrities who is actually taller in real life, as she entered the room, to be directed to the back.
The hotel lobby between the parties ended up being the place to see and be seen. Hugh Grant stood awkwardly trying to make a phone call as a clump of Grey’s Anatomy cast was ambushed—thwomp!—by fans. The by-now-well-fed Mr. Piven, who had arrived at the awards ceremony with his mom, looked pretty cozy with America’s Next Top Model’s whiny loser, Melrose. The brain bleeds!
But despite the pleasure of being almost stomped on by Rebecca Gayheart, one Golden Globe party veteran claimed that the turnout was weak. “No one is out,” she complained. “No Leo, no Brad and Angelina, no Penélope—I swear the cold is keeping everyone away.” (More importantly, where the heck were they keeping Peter O’Toole?)
The weather, which had been dominating the local news for several days, apparently flummoxed, fashion-wise, some fragile celebrities. Last Saturday, at HBO’s pre–Golden Globes party at the Chateau Marmont, the Olsen twins shivered like lapdogs as they climbed the steps to make their entrance. “Oh. My. God. I so can’t handle this,” said Mary-Kate Olsen, in a floor-length green dress and fur stole. The girls, with their matching platinum hair, scrawny, malnourished bodies and china-doll pouts, even shivered identically.
Inside the Chateau, it was wall-to-wall celebs. New couple Ginnifer (Big Love) Goodwin and one-time Katie Holmes paramour Chris Klein nuzzled at the bar, while Sacha Baron Cohen compared notes with Chris Rock, Jeremy Irons classed things up with Helen Mirren, and Michael Keaton chatted with Bill Paxton. Cuba Gooding Jr. (remember him?) pursued a waitress with puff pastries—show him the yummy!
“The Oscars are like the wife, and the Golden Globes the mistress,” said party host and HBO Films president Colin Callender. Indeed, the mood seemed awfully louche, and with no V.I.P. area, velvet rope or bouncer in sight, leading to all sorts of unfettered celebrity interactions, such as Vincent Gallo chasing down Ivanka Trump for a hug and kiss. The mind reels! And by the way, why is sweet Oscar winner Marisa Tomei engulfed in a big fur coat? And how come Matthew Perry won’t take off his coat?
(Another thing that makes an L.A. party different from a New York bash: all the shoving. It’s hard to imagine thrown elbows and the stomping of Manolos being accepted at, say, the Mercer Hotel. But maybe this is why New York never understood last year’s sappy big winner, Crash: Maybe people in L.A. really do need a little bit of human contact outside of their cars.)
“People are going to hurt their necks if they keep craning them about like this,” said a New York City publicist. But though the Golden Globes were just 48 hours away, no one seemed to be talking about movies. Instead, said E! senior editor Marc Malkin, “people can’t stop talking about Britney’s vagina.” Mr. Malkin, a recent Manhattan émigré, looked around and sighed. “Or else everyone is just talking about the cold weather. It sucks—I moved from New York for this?”