You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Film Awards: Robert De Niro, Natalie Portman Support Hillary Clinton on Eve of Election

With the presidential election less than two days away, several celebrities used Sunday’s Hollywood Film Awards to stump for Hillary Clinton.

The event — which host James Corden jokingly called “the last awards show before the apocalypse” — honored some of the biggest names in film, including Matthew McConaughey, Natalie Portman, Tom Hanks, Mel GibsonLeonardo DiCaprio, and Robert De Niro.

Despite the looming election, the mood inside the Beverly Hilton ballroom was light, not tense.

Host James Corden cracked jokes all night, including while introducing his “Trolls” costar and Hollywood song award winner Justin Timberlake. (Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)

Corden opened the show with a few political jokes. “This year they brought back ‘Star Wars’ with a female lead. They rebooted ‘Ghostbusters’ with a female lead. And I pray to God they reboot the Clinton presidency with a female lead,” he quipped during the monologue.

“Bernie Sanders is here tonight,” Corden announced. “I’m joking, I’m joking. I just wanted to see the look of terror on Clint Eastwood’s face.”

Throughout the night, the A-list attendees stressed the importance of voting.

DiCaprio, who shared the Hollywood documentary award with Fisher Stevens for their eco-film “Before the Flood,” called the lack of discussion about climate change by both Clinton and Donald Trump “completely unacceptable.”

“It is an issue that has been willfully ignored and disputed for corporate profits, political capital, and short term personal gains,” the actor explained. “Even in our own presidential and vice presidential debates — our most widely viewed stages for the issues that define our future — not one question on climate change was asked. That is completely unacceptable.”

“All of us need to act … let’s all use our power as citizens and do the right thing. Please vote this Tuesday,” he added. “Vote for people who believe in the science of climate change.”

Stevens made an even clearer endorsement. “On Tuesday, let’s dump Trump,” he said to the cheering audience.

De Niro, winner of the Hollywood comedy award, started his acceptance speech with humor, but quickly got serious.

“It’s two days to a frightening election. And the shadow of politics is hanging over us whether we like it or not. And it’s hard for me to think of anything else. So let me just lay it out right here. We have the opportunity to prevent a comedy from turning into a tragedy,” the veteran actor warned. “Vote for Hillary Tuesday.”

Stars from the other end of the political spectrum stuck to their scripts.

Eastwood (who spoke at the Republican National Convention back in 2012) introduced Hollywood actor award winner Hanks without making a political statement.

Hollywood director award winner Gibson, a noted conservative, praised his “Hacksaw Ridge” cast and crew in a short speech, and avoided talking about the election.

Susan Sarandon embraces an expecting Natalie Portman, winner of the Hollywood actress award. (Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)

Even Susan Sarandon, who openly endorsed Green Party candidate Jill Stein over the weekend, kept her introduction of the Hollywood actress award winner solely about its recipient, Portman.

Portman’s subtly supported Clinton in her acceptance speech. “We have obviously heard so many crazy things that have been said about women this year politically. And to women. I feel so lucky to be part of this film that is about a woman who was known first for being a wife, but then really became someone who could be recognized on their own merits,” the actress said about Jackie Kennedy, who she portrays in “Jackie.”

The awards show ended on an upbeat note, with Eddie Murphy taking home the career achievement award. The night’s other big winners were Nicole Kidman (Hollywood supporting actress award for “Lion”), Hugh Grant (Hollywood supporting actor award for “Florence Foster Jenkins”), Naomie Harris (Hollywood breakout award), and Lily Collins (new Hollywood award).

Attendees enjoyed desserts throughout the night, and sipped wine and Virginia Black whiskey, the night’s sponsor.

More Scene

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

  • Dolly Parton attends the world premiere

    Dolly Parton Hopes to Perform 'Dumplin'' Song at the Golden Globes

    It’s not easy to upstage Jennifer Aniston. But everyone at Thursday night’s premiere of her new Netflix flick, “Dumplin’,” seemed to be singing the praises of Dolly Parton, who earlier in the day received a Golden Globe nomination for “Girl in the Movies,” one of half a dozen new songs she wrote for the film. [...]

  • Lena WaitheVariety's Power of Women, Arrivals,

    Who Lena Waithe Thinks Should Replace Kevin Hart as Oscar Host

    Lena Waithe thinks Kevin Hart could have handled his Oscar debacle in a much better way. “I kind of wish that he would have taken a moment to let it be a teachable moment and to say, ‘Hey, what I said wasn’t right and I want to make that right,’ not just to keep the [...]

  • Christie Brinkley32nd Annual Footwear News Achievement

    Christie Brinkley at 64: 'Women My Age Cannot Allow the Numbers to Define Them'

    Christie Brinkley may be turning 65 next year, but don’t you dare try to tell her what she should — or shouldn’t — wear. “I think women my age cannot allow the numbers to define them. We need to constantly redefine the number,” Brinkley told Variety on Tuesday at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New [...]

  • Gerard Butler, Haim Saban and Cheryl

    Why Haim and Cheryl Saban's $50 Million Donation to Academy Museum Almost Didn't Happen

    Haim and Cheryl Saban’s $50 million donation has landed them their name on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures building on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, but the billionaire philanthropists’ contribution to the project almost didn’t happen. During Tuesday’s unveiling of the restored exterior of the new Saban Building (formerly the historic May Company department [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content