If the Golden Globes play on TV like the drunk uncle of awards shows, that’s because the 1,100 guests inside the Beverly Hilton ballroom are actually allowed to party. Unlike other Hollywood galas — think the Oscars or Emmys — the VIPs are encouraged to loosen their black ties, and some of the best moments take place off camera. When the speeches run long, the stars head over to the smoking patio and bar, where they mingle with other members of the Hollywood elite and snap selfies. And this year’s Globes had the added spectacle of Ricky Gervais, clocking his fourth time as host, delivering one-liners that were too raunchy for TV. Here are Variety’s eight biggest secrets from inside the ballroom.
1. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill kick off the open bar.
A time-honored tradition at the Globes is for stars to pack the adjacent bar during commercials or for categories that don’t pertain to them. After delivering the first prize of the night to Kate Winslet, Tatum and Hill immediately bailed for a drink. They hunkered down in a corner, with a discarded bear mask on the ground (from the skit where Hill pretended to be the antagonist of “The Revenant”), as they traded stories. Chris Evans made a beeline for a cocktail soon after. Alan Cumming sipped on several martinis. Sylvester Stallone ordered two glasses of scotch, which he downed before he went onstage to accept his award for best supporting actor in “Creed,” and Michael B. Jordan and Michael Fassbender chatted about working out together sometime. By the show’s mid-way point, Jon Hamm was posing for pictures with fans on the balcony, with his new trophy in hand.
2. The R-rated Globes.
Hill also launched the night’s profanity, dropping the f-word twice during his bear skit. That seemed to give everybody license to curse onstage, even though the Globes ceremony is a family event that airs on NBC. Amy Schumer was bleeped for using the c-word, during her back-and-forth monologue with Jennifer Lawrence. Gervais, who cursed freely as host and during the commercials, got most riled up as he duked it out with Mel Gibson: “What the f— does sugar tits even mean?” Gervais barked, referencing a classic line for Gibson’s 2006 DUI arrest. Also not heard on TV: “Revenant” director Alejandro G. Inarritu thanking DiCaprio in his speech by telling him: “You made this f—ing film.”
3. Stallone leaps back onstage.
Stallone received one of two standing ovations in the ballroom (the other went to DiCaprio) for winning supporting actor in “Creed.” As he took the podium, he tried not to get emotional, offering his thanks to his family, Warner Bros. executives and Rocky himself — “the best friend I ever had.” But Stallone forgot to mention 29-year-old director Ryan Coogler, who rebooted the franchise for a seventh installment with “Creed.” Stallone hadn’t fully left the stage when he lunged back to the mic to tell Coogler — as well as stars Michael B. Jordan and Tessa Thompson — how much he appreciated them. The second part of his acceptance speech never made the broadcast, because the show had already cut to a commercial.
4. The lengthy bathroom breaks.
The Globes are the rare venue where celebrities must get in line to use the bathroom just like everyone else. At the first commercial, Will Smith (accompanied by his bodyguard), ducked into the men’s room, where he was mobbed by groupies wishing him luck. Outside the ladies’ room, Saoirse Ronan and Taraji P. Henson traded fulsome compliments (“I love you so much”), as they patiently waited in line before their categories.
5. How did Kate Winslet win?
There were audible gasps in the ballroom as this year’s winners were announced. But the show’s lineup, which opened with supporting actress, may have been a hint that the first category would not go to favorite Alicia Vikander for “Ex Machina.” The Hollywood Foreign Press has been known to start the Globes with a splashy celebrity victory (see Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle”), to draw viewers into the telecast. Then again, this has been a strange awards season, and the Globes continued that trend. The movies that were expected to do well — like “Spotlight,” “Carol” and “The Big Short” — were completely shut out, while “The Revenant” and “The Martian” rebounded with best picture wins after losing out key nominations for the SAG Awards. On the TV side, the Globes continued to recognize freshman series and performances including Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” and a certain pop star known for wearing a meat dress.
6. Gaga’s frazzled exit.
Lady Gaga was another unexpected winner for lead actress in a TV drama for “American Horror Story: Hotel,” and she treated her Globe victory like a serious acting prize, calling it one of the greatest moments of her life. After she wrapped her speech, she kept rubbing her face in shock. Then she dropped something — it may have been her award — and had to kneel down and pick it up at the edge of the stage.
7. And what about Sean Penn?
Though he didn’t attend the Golden Globes, the news about Penn’s secret interview with Mexican drug lord El Chapo was a favorite conversation starter. “It’s the most unbelievable thing to happen in American history,” Hill said at the bar. Brett Ratner chimed in that he didn’t believe the actor’s life was ever in danger. “El Chapo wouldn’t do anything to Sean Penn,” he said. At an after-party, CBS anchor Julie Chen said the interview speaks to Hollywood’s power to open doors around the world. “It kind of makes sense, because he’s a real bad boy,” Chen said of Penn. But one person who didn’t have anything to add was Quentin Tarantino, who admitted he hadn’t been following the story.
8. Hurry up, please.
As this year’s ceremony was running over its three-hour limit, an announcer told the ballroom crowd at a commercial break to keep the last speeches brief. But DiCaprio (accepting lead actor in a drama for “The Revenant”) took his time, which caused the announcer to get back on and tell the best picture drama team — whichever it may be — to deliver a quick speech, because the show was out of time. “The Revenant” won the last award, and film’s producers took the stage with a 56-second speech, delivered mostly by Inarritu. As the credits rolled, DiCaprio tried to take the mic again, but there wasn’t any show left. Oh well — there’s always the Oscars.