The gowns! The grins! The glam! And even, this time around, a busted teleprompter.
Yes, all that is part of the Golden Globes. But let’s get real. There’s plenty you don’t see when Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Viola Davis, and more hit the Beverly Hilton Hotel, sit down at their tables, and toast one another. We were there, behind the scenes, and here’s what we can tell you.
Let’s start with the last bit — the toasting. There’s a reason stars are way more relaxed at the Globes than the upcoming Oscars which — surprise, surprise — has a cash bar.
There’s booze. A lot of booze. Make that a whole lot of booze, while the food goes away by the time the stars sit down. “You’re actually drinking while you’re watching the show. They leave the champagne and drinks. And it’s long. That is the great news. People are very drunk by the end. That brings interesting subjects to the table,” says Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Diego Luna.
Speaking of grub, there are tons of desserts. Just not much of anything else. Which makes for interesting goodie bags. “I don’t know if you know this, but they put the food down on the table before really the cameras roll. And then, once the cameras roll, they whisk it away very quickly so that no actor or director or writer has their mouth full. So you are left with actually a wonderful combination of champagne and chocolates at the table. And here’s something else. They have boxes of chocolate, and at the end of the night, you can go to different tables and collect them. I’ve often gone home with about 10 boxes of chocolate,” says Felicity Huffman.
Getting to the show is all about hurry up and wait. “There are all these people here. They had to come in cars. That car line goes for half an hour, 45 minutes. If you’re ever in it, bring a newspaper. Me and the driver, we had a chat. He’s a good dude. Called a couple of friends and family back in Australia,” says Hacksaw Ridge co-star Luke Bracey.
Stars, no matter how big, get nervous. They just hide it well. And insist it’s just an honor to be nominated. Which, of course, it is, but hey, winning is better. “I think the terror that a lot of people have may be hiding inside under their beautiful tuxedos and gowns. Everyone wants to have a good time. There’s so much opportunity for that. I think people start to scatter, their brains start to scatter. But hopefully they can pull it back and focus and everyone will enjoy themselves,” says This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia.
No one is immune from selfie requests. Even in this rarefied crowd. Hugh Grant declined to take one, saying he had to get backstage. And Sting took a very unenthusiastic one while talking to his wife, Trudie Styler.
People show their sunnier sides at this show, leaving the cattiness at the door. “It’s fun. There’s a kind of generosity here. Everyone is nice. Everyone tells you a lot of nice things,” says French actress and Golden Globe winner Isabelle Huppert.
For attendees and nominees, the fashion is way more fun than at other, more buttoned-down awards shows. You can take risks. Get your glitz on. And too much is not enough. Rachel Bloom, for one, loves “the unabashed glamour, the unironic glamour. It’s so glamorous, it seems a little bit (like) we’re in The Hunger Games.”
Potty breaks take on a whole new meaning. When nature calls, stars and regular folks share the same facilities, because the Globes take place in a hotel. So you never know who’s in the stall next you. Yup, that’s Issa Rae we spotted waiting in a line that was 20 women deep. And yes, that’s Chris Hemsworth spotted texting outside the men’s room.
Looks can be deceiving. The ballroom appears to be massive and spacious. But, says Outlander star Caitriona Balfe, “The TV section is very crowded.” All that aside, “It feels like a big celebration.”
Speaking of looks, the trend this time around was dewy and fresh-faced. Or so you’d think, given that so many attendees seemed to wear minimal blush and foundation. Leave it to Lola Kirke to call B.S. on all that. “I’m still wearing a lot of makeup. The natural look is not so natural,” says the Mozart in the Jungle star.