LOS ANGELES-What a day it was.
On the red carpet leading to the Beverly Hilton at Sunday’s Golden Globe awards, our first glimpse of a celebrity in the glorious sunshine was Joan Rivers, TV’s harshest fashion critic at awards events.
Mentally, we gave her a thumbs down for walking with neither grace nor poise in her gown.
Second major celebrity to arrive was last year’s Best Supporting Actress forerunner, Iranian actress Shohreh Agdashloo. Since she was not in the running this year, Agdashloo told Inquirer Entertainment at our plum spot (Washington Post and Vogue were many spaces behind us!) that she was there just to have fun. She said she was rooting for “Kinsey’s” Laura Linney, who eventually lost to Natalie Portman.
Andrew Lloyd Webber revealed to us that after the film adaptation of “Phantom of the Opera,” he plans to bring “Sunset Boulevard” to the big screen next. Webber was coy about hiring Glenn Close to reprise her acclaimed onstage portrayal of a delusional and fading movie queen.
Only in LA
While all these interviews and crazy paparazzi action were going on, guests strolled by with champagne bottles ready to be quaffed in the afternoon heat, thanks to a glamorized version of a straw conveniently attached to each bubbly bottle. Only in LA!
Next came tuxedoed Ernst & Young accountants with metal cases bearing the winners’ names. How long have they been handcuffed to the cases? “Too long!” chanted the two accountants. Indeed, only in LA can even number-crunchers get into the act.
We asked Brad Bird-voice of Edna, the snooty designer in the acclaimed Disney animated flick “The Incredibles,” which he also directed-what Edna would think of the red carpet scene. In his Edna voice mode, Bird cooed: “I love it, darling!”
When asked about reports that he was set to visit the Philippines, “Phantom” hunk Gerald Butler told us, “I don’t know about going to the Philippines but I am going to Bangkok.” Last time we met Butler, he called us “a lucky bastard” after learning that we came from the Philippines. Was it because of our beautiful women? We never got to ask.
In the meantime, a large vat of Evian bottles that was being wheeled on the red carpet overturned, spilling ice and water all over. That posed a challenge to “Troy” star Diane Kruger, who was a vision of Helen in her navel-baring get-up by London’s Marchesa, according to her.
The fashion scene turned bizarre when a starlet showed up in a dress displaying the Brillo wax brand. A tribute to Andy Warhol, she said.
Robin Williams added flash to the scene with his black and silver boots. His wife, Filipino-American Marsha Garces Williams hid in shades even as Williams introduced her to us. He also introduced his daughter Zelda, an aspiring actress, and sons Zachary and Cody. Later, Williams was moist-eyed, for a change, as clips highlighting his career were shown before he was called onstage to receive the Cecil B. DeMille award.
“Sideways” actress Sandra Oh virtually ran to us when she saw the “Philippine” part of Inquirer’s ID on the red carpet. Why? She has made many Filipino friends from appearing in Jessica Hagedorn’s “Dogeaters” play.
Raquel Welch, still va-va-voom after all these years, playfully caressed her breasts for the cameras. She said she hasn’t tired of awards shows one bit. She also gamely showed off her bling-blings.
Glenn Close was a rarity-with no entourage or battalion of publicists around her. Told of Webber’s movie plans for “Sunset Boulevard,” Close was not coy about definitely wanting to be in that project.
TV star Julianna Margulies got our vote for best-dressed star in her white top and beaded black skirt.
Surviving the mad rush to the International Ballroom where the rites were to be held, we wolfed down a feast: salad of young romaine heart with herb-marinated vegetables, three grilled jumbo shrimps filled with American caviar in ponzu tomato basil vinaigrette; prime beef tenderloin with wild mushroom reggiano duxelles paired with white miso yuzu-marinated fillet of opakapaka (a fish) with shiitake seaweed tempura in sherry wine ginger mirin sauce; cream of potato in pastry cup, artichoke bottom filled with fresh spinach, candy-striped beets and asparagus spears; and dessert of chocolate Golden Globe dusted in leaf gold, filled with brandied cherry chocolate sponge cake garnished with blackberries and raspberries plus mango sauce and raspberry sauce topped with chocolate-pink fan.
Too bad we had only something like three seconds to finish off that sumptuous dinner by executive chef Suki Sugiura. Before we knew it, it was time to pick up our notebook again as the show began on time at 5 p.m. This was a party, all right, with the chatter of the guests often drowning out the remarks of the winners and presenters onstage. But what a parade of party-goers-Mick Jagger, Johnny Depp, Diane Sawyer, and was that California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger?
And was that Charlize Theron in a dramatic brunette bob?
Meryl Streep still thrilled us. As a presenter, she pretended to be a sore loser after Natalie Portman’s win over her as Best Supporting Actress. Rolling her eyes, she used a droll voice to dryly congratulate Portman.
Speaking of losers, many nominees whose names were not called to receive Globe statuettes trekked to the open bar (booze was overflowing and free) even as the show was in progress. This was not called Hollywood’s party of the year for nothing.
Offstage, “Lord of the Rings” star Dominic Monaghan bear-hugged heartthrob Orlando Bloom when they passed each other by chance.
Leave it to Close to ride Streep’s mock sore loser stance. When she won as Best Actress for a TV, movie or miniseries, Close pretended to gloat and asked Streep: “Is it okay, Meryl? Are we still friends?”
A waitress at our table uncorked another huge (1.5 liter size) Moet & Chandon champagne bottle before our group could finish the first. Since we were working and had to rush home to write two stories for Inquirer, we merely sipped once. That was to celebrate old Mick Jagger’s win with Dave Stewart for Best Original Song, “Old Habits Die Hard,” from the “Alfie” soundtrack.
Jagger is Jagger but the audience went wildest when Prince came onstage-and it was just to present the clip of “Ray,” in the running for Best Picture, Comedy of Musical.
Best Actor, Drama winner Jamie Foxx was telling the truth when he said he was “two drinks away from messing up” his acceptance speech.
Then it was on to the parties. We were careful not to step on the gown of “Phantom” star Emmy Rossum at the InStyle and Warner Bros. Party. P. Diddy agreed to pose for a photo. Morgan Freeman and two ladies boogied on the dance floor to the music of a band. At the Fox party, a trio provided jazz music at the Stardust, the penthouse ballroom where we attend meetings as an HFPA member. The top floor has been jazzed up; it was almost unrecognizable.
NBC and Universal’s party place was rendered in velvet blue and white. It looked too funeral parlor-ish for us.
Fire marshals closed down the Miramax party due to overcrowding.
An HBO party in progress by the poolside was enticing, but we had a deadline to meet. So we exited but not before we picked up our goodie bags. The starlet in a Brillo dress was trying her best to claim that her goodie bag ticket got lost. Too bad, said the staff.
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