Anna Lisa Raya, Diane Haithman and Anthony D’Alessandro are contributing to Deadline’s Golden Globes coverage.
Is 12 Years A Slave’s Golden Globe for best drama the precursor to an Oscar win? Backstage, director Steve McQueen tersely deflected the question. “I’m just overjoyed with this right now, thank you very much,” McQueen said. McQueen did acknowledge that he is happy that the public has embraced the film and is showing an interest in “that particular time in history.” Added star Chewitel Ejiofor: “[The role] had a huge impact on me and on my life…my hope is that it has a wider impact on people going forward.”
David O. Russell wanted to clear up some misinterpretations about his work, that he’s a director anchored to drama and that he improvs excessively with his actors. “(Stanley) Kubrick would have something to say about (improvising too much),” said the director and co-writer, “You can’t make a complicated film like this without writing every scene and making sure it has a structure. It’s a collaborative process” One of the bits that was left on the cutting floor, which O. Russell hopes to put on the DVD is a scene where Christian Bale’s character Irving Rosenfeld attempts to raise legitimate financing out of guilt for Mayor Carmine Polito’s projects. “They are some really wonderful scenes, it’s an embarrasment of riches with actors like this,” said Russell who received a congratulatory peck on the cheek from fellow producers Charles Roven and Megan Ellison. Fielding a query about American Hustle initially being submitted for drama and then switched to comedy in its Globes campaign, Russell retorted, “My first movie (Spanking The Monkey) was an intense movie and it was always filed in the comedy section. I implicitly find humans both heartbreaking and funny, and I’m happy if my films are couched either way.” But what’s unforgettable in Russell’s filmography are those pungent, female personalities, from Ben Stiller’s mother in Flirting With Disaster (played by Lily Tomlin) to both dangerous dames Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams in American Hustle. Russell says it’s all due to mom. “My mother was a powerful person, an Italian-American, God rest her soul. I realized that The Fighter was based on my mother. Women make for very powerful movies.”
It was no surprise when Cate Blanchett was announced as the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Actress—Motion Picture, Drama. She’s been the favorite all awards season. Despite the expectations, Blanchett admitted to being caught a bit off guard. “I’ve had a few vodkas under my belt and here we are,” she said, also mentioning a visit to the Magic Castle, which she deemed “weird.” “This has been an extraordinary year,” she continued, “not only for cinema but women in particular.” In the press room, Blanchett said it was her experience working with the Sydney Theater Company that helped prepare her for her award-winning role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. “Sometimes a role just hits you at a time when you’re ready for it,” she says. Having spent 6 years at the Sydney Theater Company, doing theater, perhaps I was ready for it.” She was referring to Allen’s trademark filmmaking style, which involves lots of wide and medium shots. “You have to be aware of what your fellow actors are doing,” she said of the process. “In the end, Woody’s films live and die on the connection between the actors. You have to leave your homework behind and be alive to what he’s doing behind the camera and what your fellow actors are doing.” As for what it was like to portray the titular Jasmine and her downfall after her Madoff-like husband gets caught and she loses everything, Blanchett said simply, “It was a mind fuck. It was extraordinarily complex to explore the layers of what Jasmine was hiding. She’s such a combustible cocktail of all of those things.” Blanchett took a moment to share her thoughts on the film’s ending, and whether Jasmine goes off the deep end or recovers from her personal tragedy. “If anyone has suffered extreme mental stress and they have financial security then perhaps they can see their way through that,” she said. “Jasmine has suffered many of these mental collapses and has none of those things. It’s not good for her.”
Before tonight’s award,s ceremony, one of Matthew McConaughey’s sons told the actor: “I really hope you win, Papa, but you are going to lose.” Besides being able to have the last laugh, McConaughey said he feels particularly gratified to win for a film that took “20 years to get made. People asked me, do you want to win — well, it’s not why I’m here, but since I’m here, I would love to.” The actor said that the creative forces behind the movie were “told no 86 times” so it’s especially rewarding that the film is “living, very present.”
Explaining how she prepared for the role of sexy con artist Sydney Prosser in American Hustle, Best Actress Comedy/Musical winner Amy Adams said, “I hustle all the time — I have a three-year-old.” Though she has worked with auteurs with avant garde directorial techniques like Paul Thomas Anderson, Adams said, “It would be good if they gave actors a book on how to work with David O. Russell,” referring to his reputation for mining honest moments from his actors through improv. “He embraces female characters in such a three dimensional fashion, he wants to see both their sexual prowess and their vulnerability.” However, the secret to the great performances in Russell’s canon is “that he demands that you offer your soul” revealed Adams, “if you give less than that, David comes to claim your soul.”
Related: Golden Globes: Wins By Film & Studio
In talking about what drew him to the role of Wall Street swindler Jordan Belfort, oddly it wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio’s previous relationship with convicted financial advisor Dana Giachetto. “It’s true, I ran into people like this in New York,” said DiCaprio, “but Dana wasn’t a direct influence in my tackling this project. It was spending time with Jordan and reading his novel vigilantly.” Wolf Of Wall Street is the second project that DiCaprio was determined to bring to the big screen after The Aviator. “I had an obsession with 2008 and the economic crisis, and the level of hedonism.” In fact, finding such riveting source material is the reason why the actor started a production company, to find scripts “outside of the studio system that has great significance.” For both director Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, capturing the spirit of these complex characters trumped plotline. “Marty encouraged all the actors to improvise and re-improvise, to push the boundaries. It’s amazing that Marty at 71 is still punk rock.” Since filming stopped, the actor says he’s been in an “adrenaline dump, these characters envelope you, but thank God the real attribute of Jordan didn’t rub off on me or else I wouldn’t be standing here.”
In the press room at the Golden Globes, Best Supporting Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence was nearly as hysterically candid as her sassy New Jersey wife Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle. “I need to catch up on my drinking,” exclaimed the actress on her celebration plans for the evening. “No, that’ s not a good answer. Hey, how do I hold this thing?,” referring to the Globe in her hand. Lawrence’s charm after all off-screen exudes from her impromptu, sincerity, i.e. in getting ready for the big night, she played a game of “Tickle Monster” with her stylist’s kid. One French-accented reporter exclaimed dramatically to Lawrence about her awards march this season, “Jennifer…it is happening,” to which the actress deadpanned, “What is happening?” The conversation turned serious, when Lawrence elaborated on teaming up with her directorial mentor David O. Russell in their second back-to-back feature American Hustle after last year’s Silver Linings Playbook. “There was so much growth in Rosalyn, she just kept evolving,” said Lawrence on creating the spouse to a New Jersey grifter, “David and I were on the phone constantly.”
Jared Leto, thinking he was the dark horse in his Best Supporting Actor—Motion Picture category, didn’t bother preparing an acceptance speech, which he ’fessed to in the press room after accepting the Globe for his role as a transgendered woman battling AIDS and addiction in Dallas Buyers Club. His speech started, “I’d like to use this opportunity to clear up a few things. I didn’t use a prosthetic in the making of this film. That Brazilian butt was all mine,” and went on to talk about full Brazilian waxes. It wasn’t the most bizarre moment of the night (thanks, Jacqueline Bissett!), but it was up there. He did get serious, finally, saying, “I didn’t make a film for almost 6 years, I was busy pursuing other dreams. It’s more than an honor to come back and have this love and support. To the Rayons of the world, thanks for the inspiration, I love you. Backstage in the press room, Leto continued his candor. “I’ve always been a bit of an outsider,” he said. “I don’t think that changes after tonight and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Rayon was an outsider. That’s not a bad place to be.” Asked about the difference between his life as an actor and a musician (he fronts the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars), Leto admitted that the rock star version of himself, “Doesn’t put on heels to go to work.” To prepare for Dallas Buyers Club, Leto says he “Just focused on not letting anyone down on this wonderful project. None of us ever thought about the (positive) response (the film has gotten).”
Part of Gravity‘s acclaim with both critics and audiences stems from how the film combines both abstract themes on life with bone-chilling sci-fi suspense. “I give the credit to my son Jonas (Cuaron) for this,” explained the film’s director Alfonso Cuaron about his co-screenwriter. “He told me ‘Your films are alright, but you tend to be too rhetorical. You can do something that has more appeal, that’s more fun,’ so that’s the departure.” Some have theorized that the film is an allegory to life in purgatory and heaven; that Sandra Bullock’s astronaut Ryan Stone dies in the end. “There’s an epiphany and an afterlife experience,’ acknowledged Cuaron, however, he says that there was an alternative ending for the film: “Sandra is on the ground, she gets up, there’s great music, she takes some steps and suddenly George Clooney falls on her,” jokes the director.
“I really didn’t expect to win. I know every actress says that but I really didn’t because I have never won,” said host-and-winner Amy Poehler backstage after the show was over. “So I don’t remember my speech. We were 4 minutes over so I tried to keep it short.” Before the show, she said: “I told my son I might win an award and he said: ‘How big is it?” What were the highlights of the show for Poehler? “Kissing Bono, and winning. A lot of my old friends being there and winning— so it was really cool.”
Resplendent in a shoulder-baring golden gown, Robin Wright looked a little like a female Oscar statuette backstage at the Globes. When asked whether these days it matters whether a series is on network, cable or Netflix when it comes to quality, she said of House Of Cards: “Apparently not . . . we’re not even TV. We’re live-streaming.” As an actor, Wright called herself a late bloomer and said that at age 48 “I feel like I’m 30.” Asked about her youthful appearance, Wright said she had joined her fiance Ben Foster on a strict 800-calorie-a-day diet. ”I want to go to In-N-Out Burger right now,” she confessed.
Does freshman comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s series win increase its chances of staying on the air? “It would by a pretty ballsy move for [Fox chairman] Kevin Reilly to cancel us today,” cracked series co-creator Mike Schur backstage. Added co-creator Daniel J. Goor: “For the record, he is extremely handsome.” But seriously, the producers called themselves “excited and in shock.” They said their diverse cast represents an attempt to reflect real-life Brooklyn but is also a mix of “the funniest people we could find.” The producers added that upcoming guest stars will include Matt Walsh, Fred Armisen and the return of Dean Winters.
Breaking Bad had two big wins at the Globes to round out its farewell tour, for Best TV Series--Drama and Best Actor—TV Series, Drama for Bryan Cranston. Creator Vince Gilligan and the show’s stars, including Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn must’ve done a fair amount of celebrating on the way to the press room because they were late to arrive for questions. “It’s still hard to process,” Cranston said about the show’s end. “The fans have lifted (the show) to a level none of us could have expected. Even though Walter White is dead, he seems to stay alive somehow.” Cranston admitted to being as nerve-wracked as everyone at the Globes today, saying, “This cast, we love to work. Our most joyous time is when we’re on the set working, so this is a little nerve wracking. We get to hide behind characters and that’s a safety net. But we’re fortunate that we won this (Globe). What a way to go out.” As for what Cranston is doing now that the show has ended, he said he’s been in New York working on a play. The show’s creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan is busy plugging away on his next project, Battle Creek, with David Shore (creator of House), figuring out a way to get Shore’s Rolodex of cameos in the show. Asked how he’s coping with the end of Breaking Bad, Gilligan is content. “We had a long lead time between when show finished and winning the Emmy. As much as I miss these wonderful folks and Albuquerque, where we filmed the show, I really feel at peace that we ended it when we did. Better go out with people wanting more.”
When asked backstage what she plans to do with her award (Best Actress in a Miniseries or Made-for TV movie), Elisabeth Moss joked: “I’m going to sleep with it probably.” As she did onstage, she lauded her mother for her support: “She drove me to ballet class and took me to every audition . She would be proud of me.” When asked what kept her calm on awards day, Moss said she listened to music (Katie Perry and Rihanna) and joked “there’s a couple of things I can’t tell you about.” Clearly excited and pleased with her award, she still playfully called the honor ”a snooze” in response to the obligatory question about how excited she was. And when a press member asked her to hold up her award for a picture, Moss crowed: “You mean, this one?” before hoisting her statuette.
Michael Douglas put his well-shod foot in his mouth ever so slightly — maybe just a toe — backstage at the Globes. Describing how Steven Soderbergh had approached him about portraying Liberace way back in 1999 on the film Traffic, Douglas said he wondered if Soderbergh had thought of him because“maybe I am mincing a little bit in the way I walk in the [Traffic] role.” But the actor redeemed himself by going on to call Liberace “the best part I’ve ever had” and said he could never have done it without co-star Matt Damon. Douglas got emotional describing how the role had come to him in the midst of his bout with cancer. “This was probably the biggest gift I’ve ever gotten in my professional career. I was not sure I would ever work again,” he said.
Jacqueline Bisset’s bizarrely rambling onstage speech included a favorite quote from her mother (“Go to hell and don’t come back”) and the first profanity of the evening (in a quote about thanking “people who give me joy” and ignoring those “who give me shit.”). It also began with an uncomfortable long pause that recurred throughout the discourse. Backstage, Bisset was equally unfocused. First she asked for her glasses. Then she handed them back, asking for someone to clean them. She segued into a discourse about how as an actor “my skin is alive with emotion” so she tries to keep her real feelings under wraps. Bisset said she had been told that her category would be awarded second to last, so she was completely unprepared for her early-evening win. And she surprised a questioner who wanted to know where she would keep her Golden Globe award (Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Made-for-TV movie) with this response: “Probably in London.”
Behind The Candelabra executive producer Jerry Weintraub is a busy man, working on five TV shows and three movies, and juggling the accolades that have come for the Steven Soderberg-directed Candelabra. “This has been a great ride, a fantastic year,” he said upon accepting the Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series or TV Movie. Backstage in the press room, Weintraub credited his success to the fact that he’s willing to take risks in Hollywood. “If you look at my career and stuff I’ve made over the last 50 years, I do stuff nobody else does,” he said. “(Behind The Candelabra) was something no one wanted to do. I got Steven Soderberg and Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and I still couldn’t finance it, so I financed it foreign. Then Michael (Douglas) got ill, so we had to stop. And then we had to start all over again.” Weintraub said HBO committed to making less films in order to afford taking on Candelabra, which he says Liberace would have loved. While in Cannes for Candelabra’s debut at the film fest there, Weintraub imagined Liberace riding in on a piano-shaped yacht just for the occasion. “He would’ve loved every second of it.”
If your eyes were closed, you would think Johnny Depp walked in the room talking, but alas it was Golden Globe-winning composer Alex Ebert from All Is Lost; the two share an uncanny resemblance in their vocal cadence. In what was to be face off between two major-studio supported films Gravity and 12 Years A Slave in the score category, Ebert’s All Is Lost came galloping out of nowhere like a dark horse. “The composer category is filtered through less of a framework than other categories; it’s less of a popularity contest and it has a lot of integrity,” said Ebert who is a frontman and songwriter for such bands as Ima Robot and Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Ebert says taking on the task of writing the score about a man lost at sea was “a little harrowing since there wasn’t any dialogue in the movie” and he approached the music “like a method actor with an open canvas.”
Backstage fashion statement: Jon Voight answered the question of why he always wears a scarf to awards ceremonies (tonight’s was cream, with fringe). The actor said it all started early in his career on his way to the Academy Awards (“maybe for Midnight Cowboy”) and found that he could not button the collar of his shirt because it was too tight. Hoping it would ameloriate the situation, Voight asked his driver to stop at a haberdasher, grabbed a scarf and wore it. The next day the “fashion police” praised the outfit saying that only Voight could get away with an open collar shirt. Ever since, Voight has sported a scarf.
For U2, writing the song “Ordinary Love” for the Weinstein Co. biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom was about origins. While the band has worked with the freedom fighter since the ’70s, Bono reflected on the first time the band met him in prison on Robben Island in Capetown, South Africa. “His voice cracked when he spoke about his experience spending so much time on that island, he’s so stoic and so kind and dismissive of his pain. I remembered he lost use of a tear duct after cutting rocks of salt on the island. Throughout all of this historical drama, he was unable to cry,” reflected the lead singer on their first encounter. Bono also gave props to Harvey Weinstein whom he has known since he was a band promoter in his ’20s. “Success hasn’t tamed him. He’s gotten worse,” quipped Bono, adding sincerely “He fights for things he believes in. It’s his brute force, intelligence and taste in projects.”
Spike Jonze was brief, expounding on how he created a perfect atmosphere for Joaquin Phoenix’s cyber-romantic, loner in Her by putting him up in a downtown LA apartment where they shot the film for two weeks. What was ideal about the space was that it created an environment for “embarrassing intimate situations,” said the writer-director. Upon seeing Amy Adams waiting for her turn at the backstage mike, Spike gestured to her, “But Amy was our secret weapon,” at which time he called her to share the platform with him. While most critics have embraced the film and arthouse audiences, there’s one person who has a beef with Her. Says Jonze, “Siri isn’t happy. She’s jealous of Scarlett.”
Of course Andy Samberg cracked a few jokes backstage— it’s what comedians do. In answer to a serious question about what he has learned as an actor from doing a TV series, he replied: “ I guess . . .move my face less? I don’t know, it works for [co-star] Andre Braugher.” All kidding aside, the performer seemed genuinely dazzled by his win. “I couldn’t be more surprised — it’s a cliché, but I forgot to thank the HFPA and my parents, that’s how surprised I was.” He listed some of his favorite TV comedy (South Park, Curb Your Enthusiasm, SNL) and called 2014 “an exciting time for comedy. There are so many outlets for funny people now . . .it can be a little scary for my own job security.”
Frozen has another feather in its cap after winning the Best Animated Feature Film Golden Globe. Co-director Jennifer Lee thanked the “note-belting cast” upon accepting the award, while her cohort, Chris Buck, thanked the film’s fans, “who have taken Frozen into their hearts.” Backstage in the press room, Lee chalked the film’s universal appeal to the great characters. “If you make great characters, the people–female, male–will come,” she said. “We’ve been very lucky.” Buck joked that the appeal stems from the fact that, “She’s young (pointing to Lee) and I’m old. We have kids, we know what entertains them and we know what entertains us. We’re going for everyone, and it’s a challenge, but a great one.” Lee admitted they knew the film was on the right track after testing it in June, before it was even finished. “We had the most surprising response,” she said.
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