By LINDSEY BAHR
AP Film Writer
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe Award s likes to think of itself as the party of the year, but instead of a debauched, champagne-fueled romp, it can sometimes feel more like a strange high school reunion for the extremely famous.
Some are catching up with old friends and co-stars, some are kissing their dates in plain sight and some fawn over the cool kids they haven’t yet met. Sometimes it happens on camera, as with “Poor Things” director Yorgos Lanthimos swooning over his proximity to a personal idol, Bruce Springsteen, but most of the time those interactions are saved for when the cameras are off – though Timothée Chalamet and Kylie Jenner clearly didn’t get the memo that there were still live cameras even during the commercial breaks.
You’d never know that the Golden Globes were coming back from several scandal-plagued years inside the same ballroom where they’ve been held for years. The chatter was about how fun it felt to be back, whether or not Travis Kelce would show with Taylor Swift (he didn’t) and who was going to get the Oscar boost out of it. Some grumbled about the last minute seating assignments for high-profile attendees who weren’t told who their tablemates would be until late Saturday afternoon.
THE RUSH BEFORE SHOWTIME
It’s always a flurry of excitement in the moments before the show begins, as the biggest stars rush in from the red carpet to make the opening monologue. Jennifer Lawrence, noted appreciator of “lukewarm chardonnay,” walked in with minutes to go, martini in hand and purpose in her eyes. Right behind her was Oprah Winfrey, seemingly the only A-lister in the room with a full security detail clearing the way for her and Gayle King.
Many of the most famous faces were seated on the stage level where Harrison Ford took his seat early, at a table with Selena Gomez who was excited about the Nobu sushi being served. Attendees were largely thrilled with the upgraded food choice after years of chicken and fish and root vegetables that were usually long gone by the time everyone took their seats.
Soon Martin Short joined Gomez, in a place clearly marked “Meryl Streep.” Short quickly got up to speak with Ford who gestured to him to stay seated. Short ignored, and both were soon in stitches laughing. Later Ford made his way over to his “Indiana Jones” director Steven Spielberg and old co-star Kate Capshaw to catch up.
As they talked Ben Affleck made a beeline to studio exec Tom Rothman, who chatted and laughed before Affleck left to take his seat next to his pal Matt Damon. Kristen Wiig also made sure to stop Paul Giamatti to congratulate him for his performance in “The Holdovers.”
In a different part of the room, Gary Oldman gave his “Oppenheimer” director Christopher Nolan a kiss on the cheek as they passed one another and the voice over the loudspeaker urged everyone to get to their seats as soon as possible.
Elsewhere “ Priscilla” star Cailee Spaeny looked starry eyed along her way to her seat, while a waiter gushed to Quinta Brunson how gorgeous she looked.
CHOICE SEATS, SNAPS AND CONVERSATIONS
Unlike in years past the TV tables were just as big as an attraction as the movie ones, with “The Bear” cast seated in a high traffic area that only got more crowded with their subsequent wins. Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White stayed close most of the night, while Edebiri snapped photos of her co-star Matty Matheson with a digital camera she brought.
“Beau is Afraid” star Joaquin Phoenix stayed close to his director Ari Aster as well, while behind them Emily Blunt and John Krasinski greeted Martin Scorsese with a hug and Katharine McPhee took a shot of the room with her phone.
Jo Koy’s awkward monologue sent many in search of another drink early in the show. The Globes smartly tucked the bar, the dessert table and some sushi extras in a separate room in the back of the ballroom which over the course of the night filled up with the likes of Florence Pugh, Helen Mirren, Shameik Moore, Barry Keoghan and Christina Ricci.
Back in the room, Ali Wong had a meaningful chat with “All of Us Strangers” star Andrew Scott about his heartbreaking film.
“I didn’t know what it was about” before seeing it, Wong said. “It broke me.”
Scott also had an animated chat with Pedro Pascal, while Allison Williams took a picture with her old “Girls” boyfriend and current cast member of “The Bear” Ebon Moss-Bachrach.
“The Bear” cast was seated right next to “The Crown” table, Elizabeth Debicki was one of many who’d make her way over to talk and laugh with White and Edebiri. Robert Downey Jr. opted for the shouting across the room method. “What’s up BEAR,” he shouted, blowing kisses at them.
His “Oppenheimer” co-star Florence Pugh, who stayed close to pal Zoe Lister-Jones all night, also made her way to congratulate Ebediri but was quickly pulled away by Gillian Anderson who promptly took a selfie with her friend.
Pugh and Lister-Jones were on their way to the bar for some sushi and a drink. “I’m hungry!” Pugh exclaimed. Everywhere you looked there were fun conversations happening, like Riley Keough laughing with Colman Domingo or Charles Melton talking to Barry Keoghan (hopefully about prosthetics).
NEAR THE END
The night started getting long about two hours in, where many took a break in the restroom. It was there that Natasha Lyonne spotted Elizabeth Olsen and gushed about her dress, and where a few other Marvel stars laughed to find themselves both at the sink at the same time.
“I want to change,” Pom Klementieff said to her “Guardians of the Galaxy” co-star Karen Gillan.
Gillan agreed and Klementieff sighed, “Let’s go back, back to hell.”
After the show in the lobby, a shoeless Brie Larson hopped over to Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach in the lobby outside shouting “Gret-A, Gret-A!” before jumping up to hug the “Barbie” director.
They were just some of the many A-listers walking through the lobby on to various studio and agency parties happening around Los Angeles, where many will be analyzing what the night’s results mean for the Oscars. Is “Oppenheimer” now the solid frontrunner? Can “Maestro” and “May December” make a comeback? Why did “Barbie” win ONLY two awards?
Or perhaps it’ll stay light and fun. Because at those parties, the cameras really are off.
This story has been updated to correct Kristen Wiig and Matty Matheson’s names.