Mirren, Mendes and Spacey Grace the Empire Awards

Frozen but fanatical fans buzzed around the gated-courtyard entrance of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on March 24. Their aim: to spy not one, not two, but a smorgasbord of movie talent.

The elite British entertainment forces were out en masse, plus honorary Londoner Kevin Spacey, for the 18th annual Empire Awards.

A month-on from hosting the BAFTA brigade, the hotel’s colossal Great Hall had been cleaned and fully prepped, ready to receive a Dan duo — Daniel Radcliffe and Danny Boyle — plus a few hundred other industry insiders.

Sam Mendes snagged a hat-trick of trophies, one of which being the Inspiration award presented by firm-friend Spacey. Mendes divulged, “I loved that Kevin says I know human beings very well — very serious,” nodding solemnly. “Truth is I just typecast. When I’m looking for an immoral, lecherous suburbanite, I go with Kevin Spacey. If I’m looking for a psychotic killer to play Richard III, it’s Kevin Spacey. You can do anything really, as long as you cast the right people!” To which Spacey, by his side, nodded and shrugged, in mock-factual acceptance.

Having escaped from the Shire, Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman were in attendance, the latter on hand to catch the best-actor nod for “The Hobbit.” Not convinced of his win, Freeman bashfully accepted, “I feel slightly awkward getting this, as it’s possible my performance wasn’t the best of the year.”

Pocketing the Legend kudo, Helen Mirren, her hair now lacking its BAFTA cotton-candy-tinge, took her award to a standing ovation, pleading, “Sit down, please, sit down. It’s nearly time for din-dins! I’m more of a leg-over than a leg-end, I have been generally all of my life.”

Catering clearly on her mind, Mirren concluded, “Thank you to everyone in my whole career. I have to say, especially Craft Services, because they have kept me going and kept my performances up. The energy — the cappuccinos that have come at the right moment. So thank you Craft Services, very, very much.”

To Mirren’s undoubted pleasure, dinner was soon served. Post-dining, the refreshments continued across town at Cafe de Paris, with guests committed to celebrating until sunrise, or until the whiskey ran dry, whichever came first.

More Scene

  • Lupus Research Alliance 'Breaking Through Lupus

    Selena Gomez Chokes Up While Describing 'Life or Death Struggle' With Lupus

    Frozen but fanatical fans buzzed around the gated-courtyard entrance of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on March 24. Their aim: to spy not one, not two, but a smorgasbord of movie talent. The elite British entertainment forces were out en masse, plus honorary Londoner Kevin Spacey, for the 18th annual Empire Awards. A month-on from hosting […]

  • AMAs Afterparty at Watt's with Niall

    Niall Horan, Chainsmokers, Rae Sremmurd Bring the AMAs After-Party to Beverly Hills

    Frozen but fanatical fans buzzed around the gated-courtyard entrance of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on March 24. Their aim: to spy not one, not two, but a smorgasbord of movie talent. The elite British entertainment forces were out en masse, plus honorary Londoner Kevin Spacey, for the 18th annual Empire Awards. A month-on from hosting […]

  • HBO Presents-Night of Too Many Stars

    Jon Stewart, Other A-List Comics Skip Over Louis C.K. at 'Night of Too Many Stars'

    Frozen but fanatical fans buzzed around the gated-courtyard entrance of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on March 24. Their aim: to spy not one, not two, but a smorgasbord of movie talent. The elite British entertainment forces were out en masse, plus honorary Londoner Kevin Spacey, for the 18th annual Empire Awards. A month-on from hosting […]

  • Variety Hitmakers Brunch

    Kendrick Lamar, DJ Khaled, Hailee Steinfeld Honored at Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Event

    Frozen but fanatical fans buzzed around the gated-courtyard entrance of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on March 24. Their aim: to spy not one, not two, but a smorgasbord of movie talent. The elite British entertainment forces were out en masse, plus honorary Londoner Kevin Spacey, for the 18th annual Empire Awards. A month-on from hosting […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content