Perhaps the best expression of Hollywood’s complex feelings toward the Golden Globes came from “Cold Mountain” producer Albert Berger.
“I’ve deluded myself into thinking this is no pressure, all fun,” he said.
The Globes have become Hollywood’s second most important night, even for the TV biz, for which the telecast traditionally plays a less important role than for film.
“The Globes are to the Emmys what your mistress is to your wife,” said HBO Films topper Colin Callender. “More fun, but not as serious.”
Another topic of discussion during the arrivals process was how the abbreviated Oscar voting season would affect the voting.
Saturday, at the BAFTA tea party, Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein said he thought “the shortened season means a lower percentage of Oscar voters sent in their nomination ballots. I think in the past, Academy members saw the Globes and thought, I better send in my ballot.”
For the record, the Academy said last week that the number of returned ballots was comparable to previous years.
As he waited to enter the Beverly Hilton’s ballroom, “Big Fish” producer Dan Jinks said, “The ballots were due so early, I think it took a lot of Oscar voters by surprise. I just hope they saw our movie first.”
Warner’s Alan Horn said he thought the compressed award season might break up the “herd mentality” that can result from one industry group’s voting following another.
“I think it’s good that these shows don’t influence each other,” said Horn, also noting that the Oscar nom ballots are already in.
Though the level of security at the Hilton made entering the World Economic Forum in Davos look like traipsing into a beachfront restaurant in Venice, there was a wide spectrum of colorful characters roaming the hotel’s lobby.
A security loophole is that any guest with a room key must have access to the lobby. It would appear lots of fans rented rooms. At times, it seemed as if just about anyone was able to wander from the bathroom to the bar to the elevators. But the security guards wouldn’t let them idle in the glamour zone, and they had to keep moving. (“Sir, you can’t stand here, sir” was repeated mantra-like.)
Pity the poor star who entered the Hilton and decided to use the women’s room near the bar. The screams of “Alicia!” as Silverstone exited the loo made the security guards jump.
Also pity the guest who forgot to bring government-issued ID.
Dominic Monaghan, who was sipping from one of the tiny champagne bottles handed out to guests on the red carpet, said he’s forgotten his passport and was waiting for someone from New Line to straighten out the problem.
“We went out last night,” said Monaghan, who — certainly more than most of the suits — seemed ready to embrace the fun side of the night.
Gossip before this year’s Globes centered on what happened to the agents’ tickets.
Last year, the HFPA gave six all-access “walk-around” passes to each talent agency for tenpercenteries who were not seated with clients. This allowed them to enter the ballroom. A roughly similar number of passes was promised for this year during conference calls.
On Friday, the agencies were told by the HFPA they’d get four passes allowing them onto the red carpet and into the green room only. No agent without a table seat would be allowed inside the ballroom. This news did not bring joy to Beverly Hills, especially since the agents-not-seated-with-clients tended to be agency toppers.
“They screwed us,” said one agent, who was wearing — less than proudly — a badge he’d somehow wrangled that said “publicist.” “It’s unbelievable.”
The “walk-around” cutback also applied to some press outlets, studios and publicists, but the agents were the most incensed. However, between Friday and just hours before showtime Sunday, an accommodation was reached, with some agents getting passes.
“We should go on eBay and see what we can get for our tickets,” one producer drolly commented to another as they discussed the agent debacle.