Taking risks that pay off in cinema: That’s what The Revenant was all about for best actor Leonardo DiCaprio who was joined in the pressroom with best director and producer Alejandro Inarritu. At top of his Q&A session, DiCaprio reflected on the time he passed over a more lucrative offer for 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. It was a hard decision when he was 17, but for DiCaprio, he chose wisely in hindsight.
“I waited and I’m pretty proud that I did. I was passionate about something and that paid off for me because I also got to work with unbelievable people,” said DiCaprio.
DiCaprio gave props to New Regency chief Arnon Milchan for stepping up to the plate, and backing The Revenant. “There should be more guys like him,” said the actor, “I think film is the director’s medium, where the director is king.” A film such as Revenant “harks back to the 1970s way of filmmaking.”
“I remember Jack Nicholson telling me about working with Stanley Kubrick. He told me ‘All I needed to do was concentrate on my job. He focused on everything else. That’s how I felt with Alejandro.”
DiCaprio called out Inarritu and D.P. Emmanuel Lubezki, “Whenever I got 5 or 10 minutes, they would be off shooting droplets of water or an army of ants gathering. They were like independent filmmakers. The two had a love for making movies and that enthusiasm spread to all of us.”
In regards to the bear attack scene, DiCaprio waved off any questions,
“That’s for him to talk about. What he creates in that sequence is something of a virtual reality. It awakens the senses. I think people talk about it for good reason. The scene will go down as one of the greatest in the history of cinema,” answered the actor.
Inarritu chimed in “Leo went through some hard physical demands,” saying that he combined the scene with “the most sophisticated CGI to have the audience impacted.”
When asked whether he and Inarritu read Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone El Chapo interview — the hot button trendy question of the night backstage — he responded, “No, because that issue isn’t out yet.” When pressed about Penn’s decision to meet with the drug lord, DiCaprio insisted, “I don’t talk about things I haven’t read.”
Another first-time Golden Globe winner, Brie Larson earned the trophy for Best Performance by an actress in a motion picture, drama for Room. She stepped backstage to divulge on her experience as a newcomer to this awards season. “It’s all new to me; I’m not used to be in this cycle of talking about the same movie for as long as I have” she speaks on the critical success of Room. “But the beautiful part about it is that in talking about it, I discover the movie over and over again in different ways.” Larson adds, “as someone who loves to be an introvert, being out in the world and seeing how a piece of art like this can connect with so many people, although the fame part is a little scary, it’s almost like warm and welcoming.” On what attracted her to the award-winning role, Larson attributes the decision to her experience as a film-watcher. “The idea of someone sitting in a theater in very sacred to me. When I was growing up that’s how I learned about the world. As I got older and learned more I realized movie making can trick people into believing anything we want. So I feel a great sense of responsibility to tell things as honestly as I can. She expands, “All these movies that I’m doing are actually very old stories, they’re much older than I even have a time frame for and they’re stories of our lives.”
Jennifer Lawrence, best actress, motion picture comedy winner for Joy, was all jokes backstage. When told by a Golden Globes rep there was a question on social media, Lawrence blurted out “I would choose Peta.” Here in the press room, there’s always shouting in the side galleys that overpowers the stars’ Q&A. “Why is everyone shouting?” asked Lawrence. Said a reporter, “It’s Lady Gaga.” “Whoa!,” responded Lawrence holding her hand up. Teasing a reporter who was trying to shoot her with her cellphone, Lawrence said, “You can’t hide behind your phone. You have to live in the here and now. If you put your phone away, you’ll realize you’re at the Golden Globes.”
The Australians in the room were asking the most ridiculous questions: “If you had an extra body part, what would it be.” Lawrence was total game: “I have to think about this one. An extra arm would come in handy, but then I’m left handed. I can’t write with this.”
Taraji P. Henson accepted the award for Best Actress in a drama TV series and in a category with heavyweights like Viola Davis and Robin Wright, which the Empire actress wasn’t expecting. “I just did not expect for them to call my name. I just never put that much on it. I just come to these events and I’m just like I’m going to have fun, because you never know how it’s going to come out.” Upon hearing her name Henson proceeded to pass out cookies to various attendees. While some might interpret it as a symbolic message, Henson states it was simply a spontaneous move. “When they called my name, it was like visceral, I was like ‘well the cookies are here, I guess I should hand them out.’” As expected, Henson was probed about her experience as an African American in the industry. “I never really was the actress that said there’s no work, look at my resume, I really can’t complain.“ She expounds, ‘I’m just an extreme optimist… I just never thought about how bad it was, I was thinking about how can I make a difference, how can I make a change and that’s what I focused on.” She goes on to conclude “I think there’s work for all of us and I think that’s what people are witnessing” When asked about the qualities she’d hope to share with her award- winning character, Henson reveals, “I wish I was bold enough to live in the now, I wish I could speak my mind. I think that’s why cookie is a lot of people’s spirit animal…. She lives in the now.”
The Martian director Ridley Scott, was asked if he found it odd The Martian won for a comedy, Scott said, “Bear in mind, I’m carrying this [award] right now. I’ve got nothing else to say on the grounds it may incriminate me.”
“I have this recurring neck problem and booked a massage for 9 PM,” said Kate Winslet about her post Globes plans, “Now, I think I have to cancel it.” The actress now counts her fourth Globe; her first pair was won in the same show in 2009 when she landed best supporting actress for The Reader and best actress for Revolutionary Road. However, her turn as Steve Jobs’ consigliere Joanna Hoffman is a special one.”I couldn’t imagine how it would be possible to play something of this size. The script was 187 pages long. It was an incredible undertaking for us. This was a woman I knew nothing about, who was nothing like me,” said Winslet about the Polish-Russian-Polish immigrant. “And that’s where acting is challenge. Playing a part that you never anticipated.” Hoffman is a fan of the film, but what really blew her socks off was Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs. “She was pleased to see that Steve Jobs’ real warmth came through in Fassbender’s portrayal.”
Snagging her first Golden Globe Award (supporting actress for The Affair), Maura Tierney talked about how excited she was about the evolution of her character and the direction the writers were taking. “It did feel powerful. The writers found a sweet spot for me as an actress and for the character” Tierney expressed, adding that the collaboration “ended up really fruitful.” When probed about the direction of the show for next season, all she could offer was that “the narrative will change again.”
Rachel Bloom, who snagged a Best Actress Golden Globe for Best Actress TV Musical or Comedy talked about her inclusion on a Filipino family on TV and another first for The CW. “It was the first Filipino family Thanksgiving dinner on American television,” she said. I learned so much about Filipino culture. No one else had made the effort to show a Filipino family on an American comedy. It taught me really about how important diversity is if you want to tell a new story. I think anything else I do from now on I would want to make it about people who are diverse. we’re showing what America really is.” And on another first for The CW and how she hopes it changes the perception of the network; “We look forward to getting notes. Great notes. They support us creatively. we have not gotten stifled at all by CW. CW lets creators create and gives you freedom. They are FanFuckingTastic!”
Amazon’s Mozart In The Jungle took home the award for Best TV Series, Comedy. Although the world of classical music is not a mainstream art, the cast shared that the experience of bringing awareness of this world is not only a learning experience for the audience but for them as well. “Though music is something that we’ve been close to” comments Jason Schwartzman whose grandfather is musician Carmine Coppola. People ask us if we are experts on classical music and we’re not experts on classical music, that’s why I think we all love what we do because we get to learn and explore things while we’re doing it” he continues adding “we are the audience.” “This is the world that interested us so we love to learn about it” … and through that share with other people” Roman Coppola added.
Jon Hamm was taken aback by his win for best actor in a TV series for Mad Men. “I was not expecting to win ever”. He also said he did not expect the impact that Mad Men had and how it has influenced TV. “We were incredibly lucky to be sort of at the beginning of what is now ‘peak TV’. We’re sort of in a post-ratings world, where you don’t hang your accolades by a certain ratings number.” He went on, “I look forward to being on the consumer end now [that Mad Men is over]. I love TV.” Will we see him in something again soon? “I’m reading things,” he said on whether or not he’s up for another series. “If you look on TV, there’s great shows like Fargo, AHS, so yeah it could be tomorrow….”
“It’s actually a musical,” said Matt Damon about the Globes’ mis-categorization of The Martian in the comedy category, “That’s what the 18-year gap was for me — working on my singing.” The actor, who has had his ups and downs at the box office (mostly up), realizes that he’s “in a rarefied air” with the uber success of The Martian. “When people and critics respond in a perfect storm reaction, it’s not a normal thing…It’s great.” Asked if he read Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone interview with El Chapo, Damon said “it’s on my phone, I plan to read it on the plane tonight.” (He’s headed to Las Vegas to shoot the next Jason Bourne movie. He reminded the press corp here that Penn seeking out El Chapo is “nothing new. Serious filmmakers, actors, writers, take meetings (like this). It’s part of what we do. It makes our job. Sean figured out he had an audience with this person and is probably pursuing something creatively and thought this meeting would be valuable.” When asked the hackneyed question What will you do with this award, Damon quipped “Well, Ricky Gervais had some good ideas.”
Christian Slater took home his first Golden Globes tonight and before the questions started flowing, he took the time to thank his co-star. “I am phenomenally grateful to Rami Malek, its almost like he’s my wife, I was thinking so about making sure I don’t do that thing and not thank my wife, and I forgot to thank the greatest acting partner that I’ve ever had to work with in my life”, Slater praises Malek. When asked if he was a believer in the complex premise of the show, Slater answers “Certainly” saying the subject matter became more prevalent to real world events such as the Sony hack. “There were things that were happening in the media that were mirroring exactly what we were doing… on the one hand it was great for the show, on the other hand it was scary to be living in a world where those things were actually happening.” When asked about what the award meant to him, after a streak of short-lived TV shows, Slater responds that the award makes “all those experiences, each in their own way, personally successes, ” adding how grateful he is for the positive response to Mr. Robot.
Oscar Isaac, winner of the Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a limited series or motion picture made for television for Show Me A Hero, says he took on the role for personal reasons. “I had to take a minute to think about doing this project, but then my heart broke for those involved. I really tried to understand this incredibly difficult time. this idea of who gets the right to live where and why. I’m really proud to be a part of this. I tried to find the the truth in this.” He talked about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. “I wouldn’t say its not happening anymore. it’s still happening. Theres not a lot of us. It’s difficult for people who don’t look like the status quo in this country to get great roles. I’m humbled and honored to get the opportunity but hopefully it will happen for more people. People need to see past this limited idea of what ethnicity is.”
Aaron Sorkin on his win for best screenplay for Steve Jobs: “I”ll tell you the best reaction that I received about the movie. It was from (former Apple co-founder) Steve Wozniak who came out of the screening and said ‘That was unbelievable. None of it ever happened!'” said Sorkin. Tonight is total bliss though for both Sorkin and Winslet as Steve Jobs was battered in the media after its dismal box office performance after going wide. “The title of the movie changed to box office failure Steve Jobs,” said Sorkin about that moment. “It took some of the air out of the pride we were feeling. We knew it wasn’t for everyone, we knew it wasn’t The Martian. Danny Boyle and the cast did a tremendous job and we didn’t want that to be the epitaph of the movie.”
When asked if he believed it when his name was called, Mozart In The Jungle’s Gael Garcia Bernal, winner of best actor a TV series musical or comedy, said “You know with the show I’m really immersed in classical music. it loses me into a void where I don’t know about many things. When I was nominated I was incredibly excited. Happy. And now this! I’m so happy, delighted. I want to share it with all the people I love, and even those I still don’t love.”
Singer/songwriter Sam Smith was not expecting his Globes win for Spectre’s “Writings On The Wall”. “I promise you from my heart, I’m actually in complete shock. This is amazing. It’s so gold.” He continued, “The Bond theme was a dream come true full stop. I felt like I won when I got the chance to get into the studio. I love this song so much, and I’m so proud of it and I’m glad people do as well.” Is he thinking about the Oscar noms this Thursday? “I haven’t really thought about that if I’m honest. It would be pretty sick wouldn’t it?”
Backstage after Mr. Robot‘s win for best TV drama series, creator Sam Esmail was asked what’s the one thing that he’s learned about the computer world since working on the show? “Everyone has terrible passwords!” Originally when Esmail was breaking Mr. Robot’s story, it was as a feature film. But it wound up becoming a TV series. Having made one of the most revolutionary shows last year, would Esmail, who cut his teeth as an indie director, ever think of going back to a 120- minute format as a content creator? “Of course, whatever format is demanded whether it’s for a limited series or a two-hour film.” “When people ask if I’d ever make a movie out of Mr. Robot, I tell them I am making the film version of Mr. Robot.“