Altman remains modest; Connelly surprised over win

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After their win for HBO mini “Band of Brothers” exec producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks appeared backstage with many of the thesps who played the men of Easy Company. “There was not a single point,” said Spielberg of the massive budgeted epic, “when we thought it would come together as it did. But after ‘(Saving) Private Ryan,’ we just wanted to get back into combat.”

Hanks, joining him at centerstage then took over: “(Band of Brothers) was the biggest thing of its kind at the time. When one reporter compared it in scope to New Line Cinema’s current hit “The Lord of the Rings” Hanks only waved dismissively, and shouted “A puny nine hours! We’ve got 10 hours! And it’s coming out on DVD soon!”

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When Cecil B. DeMille award honoree Harrison Ford, asked if he had one more “Indiana Jones” movie in him, responded in his characteristically subdued but intense manner, saying, “There’s one left in me. The question is whether George (Lucas) and Steven (Spielberg) do. I’m ready and looking forward to it.”

When Ford was told by one reporter that he hadn’t aged, he said, “Well, at least I’ve got you fooled.” Then he added: “This is a great business to grow older in. It’s not like the rodeo where at a point they just beat you up so bad you can’t go on anymore.”

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Robert Altman, who won for best director, was modest in taking credit for his film’s success. He began by saying that the casting of the 40 actors was most of the work, but added, “a film needs someone to turn the lights on in the morning and off at night. It let me be a benevolent monarch, and I was in the right country.”

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Of course the first question Brian Grazer and Ron Howard were asked after “A Beautiful Mind” won best drama was the award’s effect on winning an Oscar. “We’re too conservative to get to that head space,” said Grazer. “It’s not a genre picture, it’s not any easy movie to characterize, but it’s a film of quality,” said Howard.

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Best actress Sissy Spacek was at a loss as to why audiences so identified with the character she played in Todd Field’s “In the Bedroom” — an indie about two parents’ devastating loss of their son in a murder. “I don’t know,” she said, “I truly don’t. I think it has something to do with the grief we’ve all suffered as a nation.”

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Best actor Russell Crowe took the opportunity onstage to shed some light on the private life of William Morris Agency topper Jim Wiatt, whom he accused of going to bed at 10 p.m. every night. Invited to Wiatt’s home to celebrate the success of “A Beautiful Mind,” Crowe said he agreed but was clear on the ground rules: “I told his wife, Elizabeth, ‘One, there’s got to be more than one bottle of Jack Daniels in the house,” he said, adding, “and two, Jimmy’s got to have a nap in the afternoon.'”Jennifer Connelly, who seemed genuinely surprised to be holding the supporting actress trophy in her hand, professed that “I am not used to this at all.” Indeed, she’d only starred in smaller, artier pics like “Pollock” and “Requiem for a Dream.” She called “Mind” “a beautiful love story” and said that while she regretted that “certain things were omitted for creative reasons” from New York Times journo Sylvia Nasar’s book of the same name, “the Nashes are happy with it,” and that satisfied her.

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Baz Luhrmann, who shared the stage with an ebullient best actress winner Nicole Kidman, commented that his “Moulin Rouge” “wasn’t really a throwback” but something that he thought “looked back to the Hollywood theatrical as its cinematic language” — a movie that “looked back to the past to find the future of the musical, in a way that would be relevant today.”

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Asked what his father, Martin Sheen, taught him about comedy, “Spin City” thesp and TV comedy actor winner Charlie Sheen paused and pondered a moment. He then responded: “He taught me never to get caught (acting) — to keep it very simple. He did teach me a lot about comedy, but not as an actor. He did teach me a lot about it as a person, because he’s one of the funniest people I know.”

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Pop star Sting was a reluctant attendee, even as a winner: It was his daughter Mickey’s 18th birthday, and his wife was at home in England “in the right place,” he said. “I had to win this” said Sting, smiling “Or else this was a waste of time.” Sting won original song for his “Until … ” in Miramax’s “Kate & Leopold,” a prize he said he’d be presenting to Mickey, who’d been the first to hear the ditty when he played it on a guitar back home.

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When Kiefer Sutherland was asked why his career had taken such a leap with “24,” the winner of the TV drama actor award said: “If I had any insight into why audiences like one thing and not another, I would have done a lot of different things over the years.”

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When James Franco, who won actor in a miniseries or TV movie for his role in “James Dean,” said he spent a lot of time with Dean’s friends “isolated myself for three or four months and acted like I was James Dean. And became this genius wacko.” He added that coming to the Globes was a lot easier: “I had breakfast with my mother, they covered a few pimples and I came here.”

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Alan Ball, whose “Six Feet Under” won for TV drama, said he’s had “the experience most film writers dream of, now I’ve had what most TV writers dream of — I’m waiting for the anvil to fall on my head.”

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Rachel Griffiths of “Six Feet Under, who won TV supporting actress, was asked to comment on what one Australian reporter called the “Aussie Invasion” of actors from Oz at the Globes. “Australia’s a hot bed of talent,” said the actress. “It’s a great and beautiful country — and I’m happy to pretend being an American.”

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Akiva Goldsman, who won best screenplay for “A Beautiful Mind,” said he was surprised by the film’s success because “it was a profoundly enjoyable experience making the film — which usually doesn’t go with people liking it. They don’t usually go together.”

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Sarah Jessica Parker, who three-peated her win for actress in a TV comedy, was wrapped in Karl Lagerfeld’s flowing ebony tresses, but cautioned: “None of it belongs to me, though I assume they’ll let me wear it until I get home. Especially after THIS,” she said, holding her prize up. Asked by another reporter about shooting in New York after the national tragedy of Sept. 11, Parker remarked more seriously, “You can feel conflicted about attending. Even the fun things, like picking out the dress, are a lot less important.”

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Judy Davis, who won actress in a miniseries/TV movie for “Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,” was asked to comment on why there were so many Australian nominees and said she thought it was “because the industry has become more international. When I started, people thought I was from Austria.”

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Jennifer Garner of “Alias,” who won for actress in a TV drama, said she decided on her red floor-length Vera Wang gown because it was “simple, not too froufrou and not asymmetrical — I didn’t think I could pull that off.” The only problem was the dress’s 3-foot train, which her husband “is so over now” and which was stepped on by Ewan McGregor and P. Diddy. “They really made a mess of it,” said Garner.

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