A holiday Monday means smooth sailing
For the Globes, Monday is the new Sunday.
Last year, “Desperate Housewives” was the ratings juggernaut that crushed the Globes. This year, NBC decided to get out of the way.
The Peacock’s Sunday-to-Monday move made a few slight changes to the arrivals vibe. For one, the Martin Luther King holiday lightened traffic (though still not to Sunday levels).
And there were fans of both days.
“I’d rather have it on Sunday to have Monday off,” said Lionsgate prexy Michael Paseornek.
Showtime topper Matt Blank said, “Now we have a day to relax after all the Saturday night parties.”
Either way, how the traffic was handled was a major change.
Guests in limos first went to a schoolyard across from the BevHilton, where vehicles and IDs were checked. When they left the yard, the cars immediately crossed Wilshire to the hotel’s driveway where the red carpet began. In case of a bottleneck, a half-dozen chauffeured golf carts were standing by to rush guests to the ballroom.
“It seems better organized,” said Frank Marshall, who accompanied his producer wife Kathleen Kennedy (“Munich”). “Smoother,” U’s Stacey Snider concurred.
And security, still in the rigorous post-9/11 mode, has become more refined.
There were at least 300 professionals guarding the event. They included the FBI, the Beverly Hills Police, the Sheriffs Dept., a tactical response team, and members of the Elite Agency, which did the overall planning.
There were also bomb sniffing dogs, rooftop guards (“high point men and observers,” as they’re known in the trade); and each of the 6,000 guests, staff and media entering the BevHilton went through a “digital walk-through screening”-type metal detector. The hotel had been closed to the public since midnight Sunday.
Elite Agency director Lou Palumbo shrugged off any suggestion that security was too high. “I don’t want people to be happy with me,” he said. “I want them to be safe.”
Stars coming up the red carpet were greeted by a couple hundred fans in bleachers who had paid to be there. The hotel sold 110 packages, priced between $1,299 and $2,399, for a two-night stay on Globe weekend.
The HFPA has its own deal with Moet & Chandon champagne where the company is allowed to hand out mini-bottles with attached drinking spouts on the red carpet. The Globes might be the world’s only black-tie event where guests are encouraged to chug from wine bottles as they arrive.
“Match Point” thesp Emily Mortimer said “it seems all wrong” as she tentatively took a sip from the bottle.
“No! No! It’s all right!” said the champagne’s publicist who was trying to get stars photographed drinking his product.
The champagne was just one of the distractions of the red carpet.
One publicist said he was exhausted by having to accompany his client “up and down all the damn platforms” that E!, “Access Hollywood” and “Entertainment Tonight” had set up. (Like the champagne, these shows pay for the special perches.)
“You’ve got all these actresses tripping over each over going up and down stairs in gowns,” he said.
Though it should be noted the women move remarkably well in black-tie. Sarah Jessica Parker, as an example, can practically sprint in a tight, floor-length gown and heels.
There was the normal chaos on the red carpet, which screenwriter Paul Haggis described as “a swirling maelstrom where I get tossed here and there willingly on this endless round of self promotion.”
New Line topper Bob Shaye was watching the scene and said: “I finally realized why they have so many categories. It’s so they’ll have a big enough show to be on NBC.”
For additional photos of red carpet arrivals, click here.