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James Cameron, who won as director and producer (with Jon Landau) of the best motion picture drama, was asked whether he felt vindicated by the success of “Titanic” following negative reports about its budget. “It’s good to be gracious in victory,” he replied. “Those people hadn’t seen a foot of film before writing about it.”

Cameron, who last summer gave up his profit participation in the film, said that even though the film “will make money,” he has not re-negotiated his deal. “It’s not something I can initiate.” Cameron also said he definitely would not be directing “Planet of the Apes” for Fox. He added that he wasn’t sure what he would direct next, noting that “Terminator 3” was probably out of the question, but “Spiderman” “was a possibility.” Cameron attended the Golden Globes with his wife, actress Linda Hamilton.

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Musical or comedy actor winner Jack Nicholson — who won previously as best actor for “Chinatown,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Prizzi’s Honor” and supporting actor for “Terms of Endearment” (also a James L. Brooks film) — said he didn’t have another project lined up. Asked whether he would direct “Julip” for MGM, he said “I don’t know. You need a director?”

Nicholson commented that the night’s show seemed like old times: “People get awards while they’re in the toilet. I was waiting for the drunks.”

Christine Lahti said she’s had much more embarrassing nights, but said she was worried. “I hope I didn’t have toilet paper hanging from my shoe.”

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Peter Fonda said he was inspired for his role in “Ulee’s Gold” by his father, Henry Fonda. The son displayed a gold watch on his wrist, which he said was his father’s, and said he kept it running throughout the filming. Fonda followed Nicholson, his co-star in the 1969 pic “Easy Rider,” which he said has had residual effects on his career.

Fonda said that when he was interviewing for the role in “Ulee’s Gold,” the producers “expected me to ride a motorcycle and smoke pot.” But the hijinks between Fonda and Nicholson haven’t tapered off. Fonda said he was standing near Jodie Foster, and when Nicholson walked by, he grabbed his “bum.” “He (Nicholson) thought it was Jodie.”

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Hookers are hot with award shows. In 1995, Mira Sorvino won a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her role as a call girl in “Mighty Aphrodite” and a year later Elisabeth Shue garnered critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nom for her role in “Leaving Las Vegas.”

And the 1997 Golden Globe for best supporting actress went to Kim Basinger for her portrayal of a high-priced prostitute who looks like Veronica Lake in Curtis Hanson’s “L.A. Confidential.” “I had an opportunity I rarely get,” she said of the role.

Asked how she would feel if her husband, Alec Baldwin, put his political ambitions in motion and ran for office, Basinger said, “I told him that if you run, I run — the other way.”

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Answering a question about whether his role in “Boogie Nights,” for which he won the supporting actor nod, qualifies as a comeback, Burt Reynolds said, “I didn’t go away, they did.” Of the pic, Reynolds said, “This movie was such a daring film, I knew it would either be a disaster or it would go through the roof.”

While this is the first Golden Globe Reynolds has won, his 1974 football pic “The Longest Yard” won a Golden Globe for best motion picture, musical/comedy. Reynolds next takes on hockey as a coach in David E. Kelley’s “Mystery Alaska” for Hollywood Pictures.

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Alfre Woodard, winner for best actress in a TV movie or miniseries, said she had to rush back to L.A. from Park City, Utah, where she is a judge at the Sundance Film Festival, going “from a mountain spirit to glitzy,” replete with seaweed wrap, manicurist, assistant and friends. She mentioned that she is awaiting word that her latest picture, the Maya Angelou-helmed “Down in the Delta,” has been acquired for distribution, but she had no idea who was acquiring Angelou’s debut directing stint.

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Upstaged by Ving Rhames and Jack Lemmon, boys of the moment Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who won the screenplay award for “Good Will Hunting,” said they “feel like the Milli Vanilli of screenwriters.” Damon added that since Miramax took a chance on their script and produced the movie, “we’ll be working for Harvey (Weinstein) for the next 30 or 40 years.” Affleck added, “The contract said we must sign away our first three kids.”

Damon is currently filming the Miramax project “Rounders.”

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The winning TV shows were showered with questions about their future. “The X-Files” group was non-committal on whether it would move to L.A. from Vancouver next year.

Helen Hunt said she hopes to talk to co-star Paul Reiser this week about the future of their hit NBC series “Mad About You.” Hunt took home her second Golden Globe in as many years, this time as a film actress, for “As Good As It Gets,” after last year’s actress-in-a-comedy-series nod. Hunt said she directed her first episode of her sitcom last week, when Sydney Pollack made a guest appearance.

— Chris Petrikin