Notes and reactions from behind the scenes
The “Slumdog Millionaire” winners — and more — came backstage en masse: stars Anil Kapoor, Freida Pinto and Dev Patel, original score winner A. R. Rahman, winning scripter Simon Beaufoy, helmer Danny Boyle and producer Christian Colson.
Boyle said, “They have this extraordinary expression in Hindi, Dil Se, do it from the heart. The film was made from the heart.” He added that he hopes the awards will give the film a boost everywhere it’s released, including India.
The young thesps were mainly floored to be in the same room with so many stars and to see their film collect four statuettes. “Oh my god, I thought is this really happening to me,” said Pinto. Patel said “Right now I’m really shellshocked.”
Boyle said he looks forward to Hollywood and Bollywood coming together again and credited the film’s energy to Mumbai itself. “Mumbai for a filmmaker is a gift beyond what you could imagine. With all its imperfections it’s heading towards happiness. No wonder it holds Bollywood.”
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“Wall-E” helmer Andrew Stanton admitted to being of two minds about having a separate award category for animated films.
“It’s bittersweet, it’s nice that the category exists, because there’s an assumption that there are going to be quality films every year, so in that sense, we must be doing our jobs right,” he said. “On the other hand … we’re looking at it just as a film, not through the lens of the media.”
Stanton added that if given a Golden Globe, his robot hero “would turn it upside down or use it as a doorstop, or who knows. He would never use it for what it’s made for, and that’s what’s so charming about him.”
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Tom Hanks was cutting up backstage with producing partner Gary Goetzman after taking the Globe for “John Adams.” “If not for John Adams leading a revolution against Great Britain… This would be the BAFTAs,” he said.
Asked how producing compares to acting, Hanks said, “It’s different disciplines. I love being an actor, it’s the greatest job in the world. The greatest job 2.0 is finding great material and working with Gary, and working on it for, I swear, about six years.”
Hanks couldn’t avoid political questions, though he tried. Asked about Monday’s SAG meeting, he said he wanted “a good fair contract negotiated in good faith, and perhaps over time,” but avoided taking sides. As for California’s Proposition 8, he said “I hope it will be reversed. … (but) Fear not. This is America. We’re going to be OK and it’s going to be OK. I wish you could get married to anyone you want.”
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“Happy-Go-Lucky” star Sally Hawkins said that as she made her way to the stage, fellow nominee Meryl Streep whispered in her ear: “Are you happy now?”
“Yes, Meryl, I’m happy,” she told reporters backstage.
Hawkins added that her chirpy alter ego, Poppy, would most likely celebrate a Golden Globe win by flamenco dancing down at the disco and imbibing lots of champagne. “I think she’d be very proud.”
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Israeli helmer Ari Folman commented on the recent headlines that have thrust his animated war memoir, “Waltz With Bashir,” into the spotlight.
“Unfortunately, the film is always relevant. There’s only one major statement, which is an antiwar statement, and it is relevant now and unfortunately it was relevant two years ago, when we were working on it.”
Nevertheless, Folman said he remained “very optimistic, otherwise I wouldn’t have done this film.”
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Anna Paquin talked backstage about how hard she fought to win the role of Sookie Stackhouse in “True Blood.”
“I was the pale brunette from New Zealand, and I’m playing the Southern tanned blonde, essentially a Hooters waitress. It wasn’t the most obvious casting choice, but I just really wanted it and I didn’t stop until they said yes.”
How did winning a Globe compare to her Oscar win for “The Piano” at the age of 11?
“I don’t even remember that, it was very blurry and crazy,” she said. “This is quite blurry and crazy, too, but at least I’m old enough to drink and stay out past 10 p.m.”
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Tom Wilkinson said he was “terribly flustered” as he took the stage to accept his Globe for “John Adams.”
“I had a speech worked out, which really worked very well in the bathroom this morning,” he said. “It’s much more unsettling than you think it’s going to be, particularly when you see Clint Eastwood there and Bruce Springsteen there … you think, ‘My God, if I make a mistake, they’ll come and beat me up!’ ”
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Kate Winslet was fairly glowing in her black Yves St. Laurent gown as she swept through the interview room. “It’s a huge thing for me,” she said. Of her winning role as a Nazi war criminal in “The Reader,” she said, “The thing about playing Hannah that was so hard for me was I had absolutely nothing to draw on from my own life at all. I just initially didn’t understand her and couldn’t relate to anything about this woman. I just had to be very brave.”
Oft-nominated for Oscar but not yet a winner, Winslet reiterated, “I don’t usually win things. I feel like the kid who came in first in the running race at school, which I also never won. I’ve just had an incredible two years playing these two characters.”
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Laura Dern, a supporting actress winner in television, was asked about SAG and the threat of a strike. “As a child of actor parents, I have witnessed the ebb and flow of careers. I am just hopeful that the actors, like writers and directors, are honored and I am very hopeful that can be done in a way without strikes and great difficulty for many. So I remain hopeful.”
She confessed to a pang of nostalgia remembering her time as a Miss Golden Globe 27 years ago. “I actually experienced it most in the car. I’ve been here before and have won a GG but for some reason I remembered my grandma dropping me off. I was 13 or 14 and terribly nervous.”
“It’s much easier now.”
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Laura Linney was elated to be part of HBO’s “John Adams” sweep.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to come to the Golden Globes before, and I’ve never been at the winning table. I’ve always been next to the winning table,” she said. “So to be able to jump up and down and scream and yell, it’s been a lot of fun.”
Linney, who won for her role as Abigail Adams, had kind words for another first lady, Hillary Clinton — whom she said would make a “terrific” secretary of state.
“Great people are great people, regardless of what position they’re put in, and I think we’re all very fortunate not only to have President-elect Obama, but also Hillary in there to work with him and for us.”
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Sarah Palin was a recurring topic backstage, and Tina Fey said of the Alaska pol, “I would like her to be well and happy and do whatever she wants,” declining further suggestions. Asked about Palin’s remark that she didn’t understand why Fey had won Entertainer of the Year, Fey said “I don’t understand either, I share that. There are a lot of things that we both don’t understand.”
Alec Baldwin said that with eight more episodes to go in this season of “30 Rock” and some 50-plus already shot, “We haven’t run out of ideas. We have the greatest writers in the half-hour format on TV.” He noted that with NBC’s upcoming Leno-laden lineup, “We’re now Leno’s lead-in on Thursday. Think how he must feel,” while Fey chimed in “Good luck, Leno.”
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Presenter Sigourney Weaver dropped into the backstage interview room. Asked about whether there should be yet another return for the “Alien” franchise with herself as Ripley, she said, “I think enough already,” and said she preferred her more recent work on James Cameron’s “Avatar,” which she called “very exciting.”
“I have to say I play a very dynamic character in Avatar so it was fun to go back into space. I think it’s more satisfying to create something new.”
Weaver also spoke out against any possible SAG strike. “These entities (such as the Internet), we’ll know much more about them in three years. Let’s table the strike and come back in three years when the world economy is a little healthier and talk.”
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Watching the clip reel that played during his Cecil B. DeMille Award presentation, Steven Spielberg was reminded less of the movies themselves than of his family.
“When they flash the film package, the first thing I think about is, did I have kids then? How old were they? What grade were they in? All these movies are kind of like measurements on the road, having to do with my entire life.”
The helmer graciously deferred his comments backstage until after Danny Boyle had finished his acceptance speech, even asking that the volume be turned up so reporters could listen.
After insisting the fire in his belly “hasn’t gone out, the fire’s actually intensified,” Spielberg concluded his remarks with a note of support for “The Dark Knight.”
“I was very happy to see the Heath (Ledger) win tonight, and am looking forward to some more ‘Dark Knight’ momentum, because I think it balances everything out wonderfully. It was a wonderful movie. It was a good year for movies.”
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“It’s nice to hear people say ‘well done,’ ” Colin Farrell said of his award for “In Bruges.” “You know that from your early days as a child, it’s nicer to hear ‘well done’ than to get a smack on the head.”
Asked about his current projects, the Irish thesp answered, “Keeping my shit together” before mentioning his upcoming project with Peter Weir, “The Way Back,” which is set to begin shooting in Bulgaria.
After briefly mentioning his well-documented stint in rehab, Farrell said he was likely to celebrate that evening by … going home. “I’ve had a great couple o’ nights leading up to this. I’ll go out somewhere, whatever, slam a couple o’ Diet Cokes,” he said, adding in a tone of comic desperation, “What are you gonna do?”
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“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” producer Letty Aronson was accompanied backstage by fellow producers Stephen Tenenbaum and Gareth Wiley — but not director Woody Allen.
“Woody is at home in New York, probably sleeping,” Aronson said.
The Woodman’s advice for what to say if they won?
“His advice was that nobody’s really interested, and to go quickly, they’ll get bored, just thank everybody, be polite and move on.”
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“Mad Men’ creator Matthew Weiner was thrilled to get the full Golden Globes treatment with this second win. “Last year in secrecy, and it was really amazing. I was thrilled to have won it, we had a great party but three days later I went into my closet and saw my tuxedo and thought ‘oh my God, we missed the whole thing.’ ”
He said even last year’s stealth award was “very meaningful to us finding an audience. As an artist that’s what you hope an organization like this does. It really made a huge difference to the success of our show.”
When one reporter asked him about being on such an instant and huge hit, he said, “My fantasy press conference from my childhood was you asking me that question,” leading Jon Hamm to joke “I can’t believe you had a fantasy press conference as a child. I wanted to play centerfield for the Cardinals.”
Weiner said his status for Season 3 of the skein is “unknowable,” adding “I have every intention of coming back to the show but there’s been little movement.” But Christina Hendricks said flatly “There is no show without Matthew.”
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Mickey Rourke, sporting sunglasses and a breezy attitude, dismissed the bleeps during his speech with a flat “I’m not perfect, sweetheart.”
Of his win, he said, “It’s strange. I was out of the game for so many years. I appreciated the second chance to work again and that was about people trusting me after me raising hell for about 15 years. I appreciate it a lot. It’s a profession where if you work hard enough and enough years go by, you can get a second chance.”
He credited director Darren Aronofsky, saying “I don’t think this movie would be the success that it is with another director,” and said that thanks to Aronofsky’s efforts, “I gave all of myself. It was the first time in a long time I gave all of myself. It was the first time I felt that since I was an acting student.”
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Kate Winslet seemed even more shocked the second time backstage, lofting her twin trophies for “Revolutionary Road” and “The Reader.”
“I really do feel this is a dream, honestly. Has this happened before? This is unbelievable. It’s not supposed to happen.
“I thought Anne Hathaway was going to win, hands down. No question, no question,” she said, though she looked bewildered when asked if she had heard about the alleged leak of Hathaway’s name as the winner on the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s website.
Winslet said while she and her husband, director Sam Mendes, were aware of the potential challenges of working together, the experience “absolutely brought us closer together, without question. I got to see a side of him I hadn’t seen before … To have had access to a whole other side of him is such a gift, and really, honestly, it’s just been an amazing time.”