Nominees celebrate with glee and tea

Nominees 'thrilled' but hope to sell more pix tix

Marc Forster is nominated for Miramax’s “Finding Neverland,” only the fourth film he’s directed.

“I look at the other nominees, they’re all icons of world cinema. I’m so blown away to be in that company, it’s crazy! But I’m really pleased.”

Forster is in London, casting his next film, and received notice of his Globe nom on his cell phone as he was riding the bus. Did he whoop? “No,” he laughed. “I’m Swiss, so I’m very discreet.”

* * *

Liam Neeson (“Kinsey”) was up and at ’em by the time he learned of his actor nom. “I’d already had my bran muffin and a cup of tea, and safely delivered my children to school,” he told Daily Variety. “When you have kids, you get to know early very well.”

Neeson, previously nommed for “Schindler’s List” and “Michael Collins,” said he still doesn’t take the noms ritual in stride. “I feel the same little pang in my heart and gut, today, that I felt more than 10 years ago. “I just hope that all of this recognition will help to fill seats and sell movie tickets,” he added. “Keeping cinema alive, really, is what this is all about.”

* * *

Golden Globe nominations have come Leonardo DiCaprio’s way before (three times), but his acting and the best pic noms for “The Aviator” are especially rewarding.

“This was my dream project,” said DiCaprio, who both stars in and was a producer on the pic. “I am not a writer, therefore I can’t just imagine people and scenarios. I read a lot in search of complex characters, and it was nine years ago that I read a book about Howard Hughes’ life. I was intrigued. Who was this man who accomplished so much, all the while dealing with his neuroses? I wanted to explore the genesis of how he became who he was.”

* * *

Hilary Swank gained two nominations and 19 pounds of muscle this year. Thesp — double-nommed for her starring role as a boxer in Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby,” and HBO’s “Iron Jawed Angels” –recounted her “Million” regimen: “Four hours of exercise per day, six days per week for three months … (while consuming) egg whites, flax seed and protein shake after protein shake, even in the middle of the night.”

Swank said the whole “Million” experience has been a whirlwind.

“We just wrapped in July, the film has yet to be released, yet it’s getting all of this buzz. It’s fantastic. But, that’s Clint for ya. He is an anomaly. He knows exactly what he is doing, and when you work with him all you need to do is step in the ring and let him guide you.”

Swank won a Globe for 2000’s “Boys Don’t Cry.”

* * *

“I am holding on to one big plate of joy with a big cherry on top,” said Glenn Close, who was recognized for her work in “The Lion in Winter.” Close phoned from New Canaan, Conn., where she was doing interviews between running Christmas errands.

“This has been a really gratifying time in my life, and this project could not have come at a better time. To be singled out for this particular role means so much.”

* * *

“I’m thrilled to be asked to the party again. Can somebody please send me the directions?” said “Will & Grace’s” Sean Hayes, marking his sixth straight nomination in the supporting actor TV category.

* * *

Nicole Kidman stepped out of her Samantha Stephens shoes on the set of “Bewitched” on Monday to chat about “Birth.” Kidman dubbed the drama actress nomination the “non-hype” nom, referring to “Birth’s” sharp contrast to high-profile pics such as “Moulin Rouge” and “Cold Mountain.”

“For a small film to be noticed is incredible, because you know audiences found it on their own,” Kidman said. “What I can take away from this is the confidence to always stay true to the projects that I believe in.”

* * *

“The HFPA is becoming a second family to me,” said Walter Salles, who directed “The Motorcycle Diaries” all the way to a foreign-lingo nomination Monday morning.

Pic marks his third nomination in seven years. “Behind the Sun” nabbed a nom in the category in 2001, while “Central Station” took the 1998 foreign film Globe.

“This nomination does not belong to Brazil alone. It’s also for Peru, and for Chile, and for every part of Latin America that we explored,” Salles said Monday.

* * *

Jamie Foxx, celebrating his 37th birthday Monday in Victorville, Calif., lensing “Jarhead,” said in a statement: “What a great way to start the day with three birthday gifts from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. I am honored to be mentioned in the same categories with such tremendously talented actors.” Foxx was nominated in three categories.

* * *

Joel Schumacher, who helmed and co-wrote “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera,” said that when the pic was lensing a year ago, “We hoped to make an entertaining film, we had no idea that these kind of honors would be in the future. When a film receives nominations, it’s a compliment to the hundreds of people who made it. It takes a village to make a film and, on behalf of the village, I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press.”

* * *

Michael Barker, co-topper of Sony Pictures Classics, exulted over the Globes noms for Annette Bening (“Being Julia”) and Zhang Yimou’s “House of Flying Daggers,” as well as the critics kudos for Pedro Almodovar’s “Bad Education” on Monday.

He said the company often has one film to focus on during awards season, but this year it has a wealth of opportunities — which in some ways typifies the season. “There are a lot of good movies this year. Many of the contenders are smaller films, but I think this season you’re also going to see the studios well represented.”

* * *

For “Nip/Tuck’s” Julian McMahon, a contender in the TV drama acting category, winning a role on the show was his initial goal. “I never made it this far in my fantasy,” said McMahon, who is lensing in “Fantastic Four.”

“When I read the script I knew I had to be a part of this show. When I met Ryan Murphy, I told him I would play anything, even the gardener.”

While the thesp is pleased with how it all turned out for him, he said the nomination is bittersweet in the fact that co-star Dylan Walsh was overlooked. “This is for the both of us,” he added. “We are nothing without the people around us that push us to our best level.”

* * *

“Desperate Housewife” Teri Hatcher likened her nomination for to a “great high in the ups and downs of life.”

“Lots of things change, and lots don’t. I have a fantastic job now, but I am still me; same ethics, same standards,” she said. Hatcher was happy to hear her the names of co-stars as well. “This show really is team effort. Every day we throw the ball back and forth, and passing it around makes everyone a better player.”

* * *

Emmy Rossum, nommed as actress in a musical or comedy for “The Phantom of the Opera,” took a break from the film’s junket in Gotham to chat. “For six months ‘Phantom’ was my blood, sweat and tears,” said the 18-year-old, who confessed that she has never seen the staged version of the musical. “The shoot was an emotionally difficult ride, because sometimes I could not separate myself from the character I played. A tough ride, indeed, but what a rush!”

* * *

“Jack & Bobby’s” Christine Lahti, who was in the makeup chair when the nominations were announced, scored one for her cast and crew with her nom. “This is great for the show because we are struggling in the ratings, and maybe now more grown-ups will find us. I think that because we are a WB show, adults don’t realize what they are missing out on.”

Lahti, of course, was famously in the ladies’ room when her name was announced during the 1998 Golden Globes Awards.

* * *

“I hope that recognition like this for ‘Sideways’ helps other filmmakers and film financiers make more human films,” said Alexander Payne, who was on a flight from London, in a statement.

* * *

“I have a big smile on my face and it’s not even Christmas yet,” said Kevin Spacey, who was nommed for his portrayal of Bobby Darin in Lions Gate’s “Beyond the Sea.”

Thesp, who also helmed and co-scripted the pic, said he hopes the nomination will help put the film on the map.

Spacey watched the noms presentation from a Boston hotel room; his concert tour Darin had a show in Beantown on Sunday night.

“I had a blast making the movie, and an even better time with the concert tour,” Spacey said. “It’s so much fun it’s almost criminal.”

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