This year’s infamous Golden Globe after-parties were colored by two unfortunate events. First, changes to the drop-off system required all partygoers (who didn’t come directly from the show) to take shuttles to the Beverly Hilton out of Century City. Many guests and celebrities were forced to endure hour-long waits on the backed-up lines, and other, less determined, revelers abandoned course completely.
On a far graver note, the celebratory night took a much different turn when guests learned of the passing of legendary musician David Bowie. At around 11 p.m., partygoers fled frantically outside to check their phones for news, entertainment greats raised their glasses in commemorative toasts and DJs at shindigs from HBO to Weinstein honored the British legend by playing mashups of his tunes.
The Variety staff was on hand to share how it all went down.
8:22 p.m. Inside the already-packed Fox party, “American Horror Story” director Ryan Murphy chats with friends, and is in good spirits after Lady Gaga’s best actress win. “It was a great moment,” he says. “I was weepy. I love her.”
8:31 p.m. The eccentric Globe winner herself sits on the other side of the event, in the closed-off VIP area, where she actually does cry. Then, Gaga generously doles out hugs, to men including co-star Cheyenne Jackson, sitting beside her. She sinks into the booth and affectionately rests her head on Denis O’Hare’s shoulder.
8:33 p.m. One booth over, in Fox’s VIP section, nominee Kirsten Dunst points two fingers in the air and begins to gyrate beside Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. It’s time to get this party started.
8:34 p.m. The first wave of guests from the ceremony float into the scenic InStyle and Warner Bros. bash. “Orange is the New Black’s” Laverne Cox has changed into a white Mark Zunino gown, and Kate Hudson’s date is her manager, Jason Weinberg.
8:38 p.m. Last year’s Globe winner Gina Rodriguez’s InStyle party entourage includes her iPad-wielding father. The duo head to the party’s outer lounge — where they’ll remain for the bulk of the night.
8:45 p.m. Beneath the mammoth disco sculpture hanging in the InStyle tent’s center, newlyweds Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder drown out the crowd, and slow dance.
8:46 p.m. Han Solo (a.k.a. Harrison Ford) invades HBO’s black and gold-decorated bash right at the start. He chats up Golden Globe nominee Rob Lowe, in what becomes a major bonding sesh.
9:06 p.m. “Spotlight’s” Mark Ruffalo exits the Fox party and pauses, looking befuddled, as if pondering his next step. He crosses paths with a more resolute Alejandro G. Inarritu — who fans furiously snap photos of, before the Globe-winning director of “The Revenant” can make his way in.
9:09 p.m. Jamie Foxx is similarly accosted by photo-snapping onlookers, as he walks across the Hilton pathway en route to the Weinstein Company fete. Yielding to requests, he stops to strike a pretty pose with his daughter, Miss Golden Globe 2016, Corinne Foxx.
9:10 p.m. Over at the Century City shuttle station, “The Walking Dead’s” Andrew J. West stands restlessly in line with his wife, “The Carmichael Show” actress Amber Stevens West — who decides the situation would be much more tolerable barefoot. So off come her heels.
9:12 p.m. “Transparent’s” Jay Duplass rides the elevator up to the Amazon party in the hotel’s Stardust Ballroom. He does a lap past the buffet table, giving the four kinds of pizza a discerning glance, but resists the cheesy temptation. Instead, he catches up with producer Joan Scheckel. “She’s the glue of the show,” he says.
9:14 p.m. “You should feel real good about it,” a male partygoer reassures “Mozart in the Jungle’s” Jason Schwartzman, who’s clutching the Globe his group scored for best comedy/musical. Nearby, director Paul Weitz recalls the “out of body” moment of hearing the show’s name called.
9:16 p.m. Steps away, another “Mozart in the Jungle” victor is also holding his newly-bestowed prize. “Is it weird that you have other movies you should have gotten awards for?” a male guest asks best comedy show actor Gael Garcia Bernal. “No, it’s a difficult year for movies,” he says. Why does he think he got the honor? “I don’t know,” the Latin star — who lives in Mexico, and will now enjoy a little post-awards respite — tells Variety. “And I like not knowing.”
9:20 p.m. “Wolf Hall’s” Damian Lewis and a pal make an quick escape from InStyle. So many parties, so little time (and so few shuttles, is the verdict at NBC, where the crowd is unusually sparse).
9:22 p.m. Best actor winner Leonardo DiCaprio is in the house at Fox. There’s so much commotion around him that his personal publicist also has to double as bouncer. There’s a similar ruckus around “The Martian” star and Globe winner Matt Damon — who obligingly poses for selfies with fans. Meanwhile, the “Empire” crew — including best actress winner Taraji P. Henson — congregate at their private table, reunited after other quick party cameos.
9:27 p.m. Upstairs at Amazon, “Transparent’s” Gaby Hoffmann poses for a group shot with some female friends, then decides the time is ripe to dance, and starts to shake.
9:31 p.m. Hoffmann’s co-star and last year’s winner, Jeffrey Tambor, escorts his wife patiently through the crowd, their hands adorably intertwined.
9:34 p.m. Showtime’s Matt Blank, followed by a spirited Bryan Cranston, join the Amazon festivities. “We’re the luckiest sons of b–s in the world!” shouts Cranston, enumerating his roster of awards season stops, from Palm Springs to the Globes. When praised, he reiterates the importance of his film “Trumbo,” noting how 10 people were put in prison for political beliefs. “And to think, we sanctioned it!” he exclaims.
9:40 p.m. “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway, in a pantsuit and chic short haircut, gets up on the stage and starts to hop around and dance, while nominee Judith Light, also wearing a pantsuit — plus glasses and a stern look — types on her phone, below. Soloway had no idea that Light would also be donning a menswear look. “I love it,” she says, adding that her shiny silver oxfords are Stella McCartney — and that no one else has yet asked her about them.
9:42 p.m. Ford and Calista Flockhart exit the HBO bash, Ford pausing at the top of the stairs before departing, so he can do a quick phone-check.
9:42 p.m. Inside the HBO party, “Veep” stars Tony Hale and Matt Walsh mingle by the doors, catching familiar faces as they filter in — which they continue to do on the later end, due to the shuttle mess. “There’s a line of 2,000 people waiting to come!,” incredulous guests murmur.
9:43 p.m. Judd Apatow has a comedic conversation in the corner of HBO with Jonah Hill and Kumail Nanjiani, while Andy Samberg holds court at an opposite corner, with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
9:44 p.m. The bubbly keeps flowing — and Sam Smith celebrates his win for best original song in “Spectre” by drinking straight from a champagne bottle. HBO’s “Silicon Valley” stars and “True Detective” alum Vince Vaughn are still going strong, and by the bar, Larry David poses for photos with starstruck admirers.
10:05 p.m. Peter Facinelli and fiance Jaimie Alexander get some air and a drink outside at HBO, while “Outlander’s” creator Ron Moore and star Caitriona Balfe are content chilling poolside.
10:15 p.m. Still waiting to depart at the shuttle stop, Dana Brunetti grows so frustrated with the line, he calls it quits. Terrell Owens isn’t happy about having to go through the metal detectors. “Jane the Virgin’s” Yael Grobglas chats about the show’s upcoming storylines, while Patrick Warburton stands in line, looking less complacent.
10:31 p.m. David Oyelowo and friends station themselves in the Hilton lobby, as a growing crowd gathers around to watch.
10:35 p.m. Katy Perry, partying inside the VIP area of the Weinstein Co. bash, reaches over and takes a puff of Orlando Bloom’s e-cigarette. The two start dancing and he whispers in her ear, as she turns away from the snap of photographers.
10:36 p.m. Maria Menounos, Olivia Culpo and “Dancing with the Stars'” Cheryl Burke and Derek Hough start an impromptu conga line at the notoriously late-lasting Weinstein fete, which is just heating up. Over at the Moet table, Rooney Mara chats with guests.
10:37 p.m. Globe winner Jon Hamm, walking the Hilton lobby, is besieged by well-wishers wanting to pay congrats.
10:38 p.m. Helen Mirren and Emmy Rossum have had enough at the HBO fete. What actor Sean Bean has, is an adorable pic with “Room’s” Jacob Tremblay — which he ducks down to snap.
10:40 p.m. Much of the “Game of Thrones” cast — including showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff — has cleared their table at HBO, where writer-producer Bryan Cogman and his pregnant wife first take a seat, talking about their ridiculous wait to get there. Cogman hints to guests that Season 6 of “GOT” will be huge. “Like, unbelievably big,” he says, also noting that he’s back in the writers room for Season 7.
10:42 p.m. Best TV comedy winner Rachel Bloom hugs her statue at HBO, while being swarmed by a sea of suits, as “GOT” star Nathalie Emmanuel is overwhelmed by the number of people who say ‘hello’ when she walks in. But then something more overwhelming happens.
10:50 p.m. Someone at Cogman’s “Game of Thrones” table — which also includes “True Blood” actress Adina Porter — shouts, “what?” She tells the table about a bulletin announcing Bowie’s death, and someone else sitting there tears up, repeating, “no, no, no, no.” The table members, who’d been sitting and leisurely enjoying dessert, all raise their glasses to Bowie and dedicate a heartfelt toast. The HBO DJ similarly pays tribute, by way of a Bowie music mashup, and the dance floor stays jam-packed.
11:23 p.m. Bowie music fills the room at the Weinstein party, where many young stars and industry types celebrate late into the night. “No photos!” calls out Harvey Weinstein, as he makes his rounds at the packed space.
11:25 p.m. Aziz Ansari occupies a booth with friends including Jonah Hill — a table away from Foxx, who’s sitting and taking it all in.
11:43 p.m. Cox, Uzo Aduba and some “Orange is the New Black” cohorts hang with friends in the Netflix area, while Jaime King mingles with a group of young ladies like Whitney Port, whose dress appears to be missing a bottom half.
12 a.m. Partygoers are emptying out of the Hilton in droves, contemplating their late-night agency party options: UTA’s restaurant bash in BevHills, CAA’s still-happening soiree at Sunset Tower or WME’s exclusive party at Chateau Marmont (where Brad Pitt retreated to escape the pandemonium much earlier). And fortunately, car pick-up directly in front of the hotel is now sanctioned.