Happy Golden Globes weekend!
Variety reporters and editors have been dispatched throughout Los Angeles to let you know what’s been happening before the HFPA hands out its trophies on Sunday.
Keep checking back today and tomorrow to find out who was doing what where and with whom.
Saturday, Jan. 4
Cecconi’s, West Hollywood
To say the streamer’s pre-party was crowded is an understatement. It was a full house and more within minutes of the Ted Sarandos-hosted party’s start time at 5 p.m.
Joey King was one of the first to arrive. “I’m starving,” she said, as she popped a piece of asparagus from a plate of food into her mouth.
Fresh from a family vacation in Mexico, Ben Platt chatted with friends at the main bar. “You have the voice of an angel,” one woman said to Platt.
“The Politician” star answered, “Thank you for watching!”
Also giving thanks was Sacha Baron Cohen, who greeted two HFPA members with, “Thank you for my nomination.”
“Uncut Gems” directors Josh and Benny Safdie were squashed into a doorway talking to Jon Lovitz as Michael Nouri tried to squeeze by.
A buffet offering risotto, eggplant lasagna, chicken, various salads, Brussels sprouts and bread sticks was a popular destination as the line for food never seemed to die down. A bar at the entrance of the restaurant offered wine and champagne.
At one point, someone sounded like they were toasting Netflix, by shouting into a mic the names of the streamer’s films and TV series that are nominated for Globes. Platt and and his “The Politician” co-star Zoey Deutch cheered when they heard the shoutout for their series.
The Safdie brothers had to leave the party to head to Sherman Oaks for a screening and Q&A of their film. “It took Ray Romano about 20 minutes to get his car so it should take us about an hour,” Josh cracked.
Also spotted in the crowd were Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Noah Baumbach, Laura Dern, Anthony McCarten, Craig Robinson, Isla Fisher, “The Irishman” and “Joker” producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff and composer Nicholas Braun. —Marc Malkin
Showtime Golden Globe Nominee Party
David Nevins, CBS chief creative officer and Showtime Networks chairman, was the loudest voice in the room on Saturday as Showtime toasted its Golden Globe nominees.
Nevins told Variety he was most gratified by the spotlight that Globes voters put on Kirsten Dunst in nominating her for lead actress in a comedy for her work on the offbeat “On Becoming a God in Central Florida.”
Showtime’s Roger Ailes-Fox News miniseries “The Loudest Voice” will also be in the Globes hunt on Sunday. The recognition for star Russell Crowe and the series itself is well deserved, but the nom for Dunst could help bring viewers to the show.
“I’ve always appreciated about the Globes is that they do recognize things sometimes a hair early rather than a hair late,” Nevins told Variety. “It’s a meaningful nomination.”
The gathering at the Sunset Tower was more subdued than in the past, given the weight of the geopolitical situation involving Iran, the raging wildfires in Australia and the strife closer to home between writers and top talent agencies and the looming potential for labor action this spring.
The awards gauntlet was more fun “back in the good old days when we had clients,” quipped one longtime literary agent, referring to the impasse between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the rules governing how agents can rep guild members.
The party reflected the new realities of Hollywood in other ways — namely by examples of Nevins’ enlarged portfolio. The PopTV cable channel was represented by “One Day at a Time” star Justina Machado and co-showrunner Mike Royce — not to mention channel chief Bradley Schwartz.
“Loudest Voice” star Naomi Watts, who played former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, made the rounds. Others spotted included Harvey Keitel, Wesley Snipes, Melanie Lynskey and Jason Ritter, Fortune Femister, “Loudest Voice” author Gabe Sherman. Blumhouse TV’s Marci Wiseman and Jeremy Gold were also on hand. — Cynthia Littleton
BAFTA Tea Party
Four Seasons, Beverly Hills
Longtime best friends Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt entered the BAFTA Tea Party at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills together on Saturday afternoon. He was wearing a lime green suit. She was decked out in a red gown. “Did you see Saoirse?” Platt asked. A few minutes later, Feldstein had found her “Lady Bird” co-star — and the Hollywood’s only actress with that name, Saoirse Ronan — as they formed a circle with “Little Women” director Greta Gerwig.
The annual BAFTA Tea party is an essential stop for actors from TV and film on the crowded weekend of the Golden Globes. But this year’s afternoon soiree seemed particularly packed, with A-listers ranging from Leonardo DiCaprio to Elton John. Billy Porter looked elegant in an emerald dress with a blazer and cowboy-styled hat. Although the event has a strictly “no-selfie” rule, Quentin Tarantino didn’t seem to mind when fans approached him for photos, and he happily obliged.
The rest of the guest list included names such as Taron Egerton, Wesley Snipes, Patricia Arquette, Antonio Banderas, Adam Driver and Laura Dern, and directors Noah Baumbach, Bong Joon Ho, the Safdie Brothers, Pedro Almodóvar and Taika Waititi. Although actual tea is served along with British pastries, Sacha Baron Cohen was among the few spotted actually eating (or drinking), as he nibbled on an egg and cress salad sandwich.
“Jojo Rabbit” star Roman Griffin Davis chatted with fellow nominee, “The Act” star Joey King.
“The Farewell” star Zhao Shuzhen asked to get her photo taken with DiCaprio, a snap that her director Lulu Wang promptly posted on Twitter.
Diane Warren, a 10-time Oscar nominee for best song and in the running this year for “I’m Standing With You” from the film “Breakthrough,” described her annual ritual on the morning of the Academy Awards nominations. “I stay up all night,” she said. “I’m not one of those people that go, ‘I went to sleep and somebody called me.’ F— that! We have what we call a sleepless slumber party. I have my friends over.”
Toward the end of the afternoon, John arrived with his husband David Furnish. After embracing Egerton, the “Rocket Man” singer sat down with Variety to talk about what the reception of his film has meant to him. “I wanted to make a film about addiction and the pressures of fame and how that can start in childhood,” he said. “I’m elated ‘Rocketman’ has three nominations tomorrow night. It’s fantastic.”
But his night won’t end with the Globes. John will jump on a plane at the end of the show to head to Sydney, Australia for a concert. —Ramin Setoodeh
Independent Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch
BOA Steakhouse, West Hollywood
Female filmmakers were front and center at Film Independent’s annual brunch celebrating the 2020 class of nominees. As for why the group has been so consistent in recognizing underrepresented filmmakers when other groups have fallen short, “The Farewell” director Lulu Wang had a simple answer: “Because they’re smart.”
“Because they know it’s not only important, but that it’s actually good business,” Wang continued, speaking to Variety on the blue carpet outside of the event. “Look, I think that audiences are demanding new stories and Film Independent recognizes that and they are part of the change. And, you know, the establishment I think are the ones that are slower to catch on.”
“From the very beginning, at the heart of our mission was to make the film industry look more like the world that we live in. So we’ve always fought for diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Film Independent president Josh Welsh explained. “And as part of that, it’s been championing female writers, directors, and producers.”
Two of the five nominees for best director — “Hustlers” helmer Lorene Scafaria and “Honey Boy” director Alma Har’el — are women. “I think people may have thought of me as a writer in the past,” Scafaria said of her nomination. “So it’s really something to be recognized for that specific category and with this group of people who I really admire and loved all their work.”
“They’re really looking at the content,” “Booksmart” director and first feature nominee Olivia Wilde added. “I don’t think they do it for political reasons. I think they’ve always really given a chance to the lesser heard voices in filmmaking. They go out of their way to see movies that aren’t being pushed with the giant corporate marketing machines that a lot of the other films often directed by men are.”
During the lunchtime celebration, Wilde and Scafaria were spotted chatting with their films’ shared producer Jessica Elbaum. “Marriage Story” director Noah Baumbach and Netflix chief Ted Sarandos also made an appearance at the event, while “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho shared a quick conversation with “The Farewell” breakout star Zhao Shuzhen. “Clemency” director Chinonye Chuwku also toasted to the buzz around her film with star (and best female lead nominee) Alfre Woodard over a spread of breakfast foods, mimosas and cocktails from Bulleit Bourbon.
Woodard took the stage at the last minute to co-host the award ceremony portion of the brunch with “In the Heights” and “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu. The pair presented the organization’s Bonnie Award, a $50,000 unrestricted grant presented to a female filmmaker blazing a trail for those that follow. Pilot Bonnie Tiburzi Caputo (for whom the award, sponsored by American Airlines, is named) was on hand at the celebration to salute the winner — “First Cow” director Kelly Reichardt. Also accepting honors were “Premature” director Rashaad Ernest Green (the Someone to Watch Award presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey) Mollye Asher (the Producers Award) and “Jaddoland” director Nadia Shihab (the Truer than Fiction Award). — Angelique Jackson
The Seventh Annual Gold Meets Golden Brunch
The Virginia Robinson Gardens and Estate, Beverly Hills
Despite having the Australian wildfires on her mind, Golden Globe nominee and longtime Gold Meets Golden supporter Nicole Kidman put on a brave face at the seventh annual brunch honoring top Hollywood talent, athletes, Olympians and Paralympians.
“I’m sorry, I’m distracted right now with what’s going on in Australia,” Kidman said before cutting interviews short on the red carpet. Inside, the “Bombshell” star smiled while greeting other celebrity guests, including Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Lucas and gamely posing for photos with fans.
Matt Bomer hit the stage to celebrate the upcoming 60th birthday of legendary Olympic diver Greg Louganis, leading the assembled crowd in a chorus of “Happy Birthday.” Golden Globe nominee Taron Egerton, who played Olympic ski-jumper Michael Edwards in the 2016 biopic, “Eddie The Eagle,” presented the 2014 U.S. Olympic bobsled team with Sochi Olympics silver medals. Though Team USA had previously placed bronze, their medals were upgraded following the doping scandal that subsequently disqualified first-place Russia.
“Today we rectify that and let justice be served,” the “Rocketman” star declared as he was joined by Sylvester Stallone’s daughter and actress Sistine Stallone in the medals presentation.
Tony Award-winning Broadway star and Golden Globe nominee Cynthia Erivo led the afternoon’s performances with a soaring rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” before a rapt audience that included Chris Evans, Rami Malek, Ben Platt, Zoey Deutsch and fellow nominee Kaitlyn Dever.
After her updo was fixed by her sister Hunter, Joey King beamed as she posed with Olympic figure-skating champion Kristi Yamuguchi. King gushed that Yamaguchi had been one of her idols growing up.
Presented by Coca-Cola, Beverly Hills BMW and FASHWIRE, the brunch benefitted Angel City Sports, an organization that supports young athletes with disabilities. Guests mingled on the expansive lawn, while sipping signature cocktails by Tequila Herradura and munching on unique hors d’oeuvres including uni risotto and cotton-candy covered foie gras lollypops.
Ahead of the ceremony and coming off a breakthrough year, Golden Globe nominee Beanie Feldstein told reporters that her success hasn’t quite sunk in yet. “It feels really surreal, but I just can’t believe the women that I am in the category with, it’s really surreal,” Feldstein said. “I got to work with Emma [Thompson] last summer, she’s in ‘How to Build A Girl’ with me, and so just to be considered in a category with her is like actually insane for my brain. But I don’t know if you ever really feel it. I just feel very grateful to get to do what I love.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump supporter Jon Voight was reserved on the Trump Administration’s recent airstrike in Iraq, which killed Iranian general Qasam Soleimani. “I don’t want to say at this time,” the “Ray Donovan” star told reporters. “I have a lot of thoughts about it, obviously. And I’m up on all of it. I’m up on all of that stuff.”
Voight, whose acting was recently praised by the president on Twitter, went on, “I am very grateful for him, that’s one thing that I can easily be grateful for, that those people that are in charge of our country are all people that I’ve come to appreciate, deeply appreciate.” —Ashley Hume
Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood
The ensemble cast of “Knives Out” — including Chris Evans, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig (with wife, Golden Globe winner Rachel Weisz) and writer-director Rian Johnson — reunited at the famed hotel for a night celebrating their hit film. After the success of the whodunnit film, Johnson teased that he definitely could see a sequel to the film.
Asked about the possibility for a second film, de Armas quipped as she left the bash, “I hope he puts me in it.”
The party also honored “Bombshell” lead actress nominee Charlize Theron, who attended with the film’s director Jay Roach. Taika Waititi also joined the party, happily posing for photos with attendees who stoped him for a selfie.
Guests enjoyed passed plates of risotto balls, tuna tartare cones and sliders. —Jazz Tangcay and Angelique Jackson
Friday, Jan. 3
Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood
The fashion magazine held its annual Best Performances issue party, but this time it was hosted by its new editor-in-chief Sara Moonves as well as the monthly’s longtime editor-at-large Lynn Hirschberg.
But unlike previous years, the party was a lot more manageable. In other words, there was room to breathe and space to walk around. In the past, the party usually evolved into elbow-to-elbow mingling in the penthouse suite, which could become unbearably hot. Outside on the terrace, cigarette smoke would usually clog the air as people knocked into each other, often spilling drinks.
But one thing stayed the same — the party attracted an A-list roster of talent.
Quentin Tarantino was one of the first to arrive as spent time on the terrace talking with Joaquin Phoenix. Chris Evans smoked a cigarette nearby as “Waves” star Taylor Russell arrived just before China Chow. Other early guests included Awkwafina, Ben Platt, Margaret Qualley and Joey King, who chatted with Charlie Hunnam.
Legendary photographer Maripol, using a Polaroid instant camera, captured shots of Antonio Banderas and his “Pain and Glory” director Pedro Almodóvar. A few feet away were “Us” star Winston Duke and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” costume designer Arianna Phillips.
Zoey Deutch embraced Keegan-Michael Key, whose wife Elisa walked with the assistance of a cane and a boot on her foot because of an injured toe. The Keys also caught up with Cynthia Erivo as she arrived and they were waiting for the elevator to leave. Also in the hallway at the same time were “Succession” stars Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong.
“Queen and Slim” star Jodie Turner-Smith — who recently announced that she and Joshua Jackson are not only married but they also revealed she’s pregnant with their first child — carried a chic Gucci fan and was introduced to Ellen Pompeo.
“1917” co-stars hung out together while manager Jason Weinberg made the rounds with his client, “Mickey and the Bear” star Camila Morrone. Her boyfriend, Leonardo DiCaprio, arrived about 30 minutes later wearing his signature baseball cap pulled down low on his forehead.
A DJ spun tunes from a table filled with colorful flowers. On the menu were pass-around mini beef sliders and bite-size pieces of grilled cheese. The two bars offered Ferrari TrentoDoc wine as well as several cocktails featuring Tequila Casa Dragones, Absolut Elyx and Tanqueray Gin. Other sponsors for the evening included Acqua di Parma, Cadillac, Vero Water, WhistlePig Rye Whiskey and 1849 Wine Company and Duck Hunter Wines of New Zealand.
Glamour celebrities, including makeup guru Charlotte Tilbury and Jennifer Lopez’s hairstylist Chris Appleton, also attended the festivities as did Proenza Schouler designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. Keeping things in check — and throwing out several party-crashers — were staffers from The Lede Company and Special Projects.
“Marriage Story” director and writer Noah Baumbach arrived on the later side with Laura Dern, who joked that she just “saw him.”
“I see him at basketball games and at Chateau Marmont,” she said as she was whisked away into the main room.
Here’s hoping he shows up at the Globes, too. —Marc Malkin
Australian Academy 9th Annual AACTA International Awards
Skybar at Mondrian, West Hollywood
“I’m going to grab a drink,” “Sex and the City” star Jason Lewis said as he headed into the cocktail reception for the ninth annual AACTA International Awards.
Guests nearby grabbed glasses of champagne and toasted by the pool to the start of Golden Globes weekend. There wasn’t much mixing and mingling for nominees Saoirse Ronan, Adam Driver and Quentin Tarantinto, who arrived close to the beginning of the ceremony, but Ronan and Driver both made sure to approach and embrace “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho and star Song Kang Ho, whom everyone in the room seemed to want to meet.
“It’s so nice to meet you,” Ronan said to Bong, flashing a megawatt smile. Driver got up from his front row seat and gave them both a firm handshake, and then host Jason Dundas kicked off the evening, “Our awards are intended to add a unique Australian voice to the awards circuit, and they’ve grown substantially over the nine years, so thanks for your support,” he said.
As awards were announced, Ronan took home best lead actress for “Little Women.” “[This trophy] is actually very similar to the IFTA, which is the Irish Film and Television Awards,” she said as she took the stage. “So, it feels very nice to know that I can take this home. I’ve worked with so many Australians since I was about 10…like Cate Blanchett…so I kind of feel like I’ve grown up with Aussies just sort of showing me the way.”
Driver nabbed lead actor for “Marriage Story,” saying as he accepted the award, “This means nothing without the benefactor of the effort of other people.” He continued, “I don’t look at acting as an internal quest to find myself. I look at it as an exercise in understanding others, not just the characters that you’re supposed to be playing, but the creative team that’s inseparable from, the character of the movie. And acting feels as most to life to me when you’re problem solving as a group.”
Meanwhile, Tarantino hit the stage twice — once to accept Brad Pitt’s supporting actor award for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and again to accept his own award for best direction for the film. “Brad did an excellent job on this,” Tarantino said, before dishing on how his and Pitt’s creative process to bring Cliff to life began with Pitt’s enthusiastic home screening of “Billy Jack” after he decided to sign on to the film. “The idea wasn’t that Cliff was Billy Jack. If I was doing this movie in 1969, it would be a really good choice to play Cliff. So, it was a really good jump off.”
Margot Robbie wasn’t on hand to accept her award for best supporting actress for “Bombshell,” but sent in a video message, saying, “I’m always so proud to represent the Aussies in this industry.” “Parasite” also won big, taking home best film. “I think it’s the true power of cinema that this subtitled film reached all of you,” Song said to close the night. —Brandi Fowler