HBO, BAFTA/LA pre-globes bashes draws stars

HOLLYWOOD — On the coldest of nights, HBO threw the hottest of parties Saturday, when it took over the Chateau Marmont for its annual pre-Globes gala. The affair had an FOCCC guest list: Friends of Chris (Albrecht), Colin (Callender) and Carolyn (Strauss).

The cabler absolutely packed the downstairs lawn area (one guest remarked, “I guess the fire marshal wasn’t invited”) with a starry crowd for the first massive pre-party of the awards season.

Chris Rock was in the crowd (and was heard telling Forest Whitaker, “You already won. Greatness always wins, and you’ve been great before”), but the comic said that this year, he’s hosting “Nothin’, nothin’. The only thing I’m hosting is play dates for my kids.”

Also circulating was L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who declared he’s proud of the work done in his city. “We entertain the world,” he said.

Though the fete’s billed as a tea party, few guests were actually drink-ing anything herbal at BAFTA/LA’s Sunday afternoon affair at the Four Seasons.

“There is no VIP room, it is very informal and that’s the way we like to keep it,” board chair Peter Morris said.

As would be expected, the affair drew a gaggle of Brit talent, including Kate Winslet, Peter Morgan, Paul Greengrass, Stephen Frears and Helen Mir-ren.

That evening Showtime took over the Tower Bar for a reception where topper Matt Blank said the Globes work well for him.

“The Globes are glossier than the Emmys,” said Blank. “And maybe it’s a better platform for the talent because film and TV are together.”

Across the Tower Hotel lobby, AMC was having its own party on the terrace, mostly centered around its “Broken Trail” noms. Those mentions had given the cabler a boost, said topper Charlie Collier. “What it says is: Our original movies are good enough to stand up with the best in Hollywood,” Collier observed.

(Shalini Dore contributed to this report.)

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