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City of Angles

January 22, 2002|Gina Piccalo and Louise Roug

Andie MacDowell banged on a drum. Benjamin Bratt was locked out, and men in Armani suits were collapsing into one another's arms all over the place. In other words, on Sunday night, Hollywood was back to normal.

At the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Golden Globes guests had a choice of half a dozen after-parties, held everywhere from the basement to the roof. Guests and gawkers cheered and shot photos of the celebrities as they traveled between the parties inside the hotel. The destination of the evening? The Tiki party hosted by the winningest folks: DreamWorks Pictures, USA Films and Universal Studios.

As we entered the giant candlelit tent attached to Trader Vic's restaurant, director Ron Howard, Jeffrey Katzenberg and producer Brian Grazer, whose film "A Beautiful Mind" won four Globes, were wrapped in a group hug.

Nearby, director Robert Altman, who won a best director Globe for "Gosford Park," toasted his win with two of the film's co-stars, Maggie Smith and Emily Watson. The director told us he was caught off guard. "I had nothing prepared," he said. "What strikes a nerve with the public, you never know. You just have to go with your instincts."

In May, the director is scheduled to start shooting his next film, but he didn't want to give away the plot. "If I could tell you what it was about, I wouldn't have to make the film."

Watson told us, "We were all saying, 'It doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.' But, in the end, it really did matter." Working with Altman, Watson said, was "very liberating. He just chucks you in there and makes things up as you go along."

Around the corner, Keith Richards, whose presence was a mystery, danced the night away. And at the back of the room, Globe best actor, drama, winner Russell Crowe was surrounded by bodyguards. A blond in a strappy black dress was cuddled up next to him as he chatted with his co-star, Globe winner Jennifer Connelly.

Nearby, the party's other rock star, Bryan Adams, did have a reason to be there--he's writing music for an upcoming DreamWorks film. Adams had a great view and snapped pictures of well-wishers congratulating Crowe, including the lone Rolling Stone, as well as Hugh Hefner, who had brought his seven girlfriends. Adams joked about how he met his girlfriend of 10 years, a Danish model. "I put an add in B.T. [a Danish tabloid], saying, 'Rock star seeks beautiful model.'"

Downstairs, at the Miramax party, Kevin Spacey sat on the edge of a pale blue couch and paid more attention to his cell phone than to his date. When reporters approached him, Spacey made a beeline for the door, saying over his shoulder, "I'm not doing that tonight."

Sting, who won a best song Globe for "Until ... " from "Kate & Leopold," was more accommodating. The British singer and sometime actor assured us his days on the silver screen are over. "Nah," he shook his head. "I'm a singer--that's my vocation."

When Harvey Weinstein entered, Sting ran over and threw his arms around the Miramax boss. "Well done," Weinstein boomed, returning the singer's affection. "After 9-11, we're just here to celebrate," Weinstein told us. "And everyone was in a good frame of mind."

We didn't want to spoil the mood and left the subjects of Talk, Tina and synergy alone.

In a corner, Michael Caine proved that even on an awards night, actors can talk about something besides themselves: "As we're here celebrating, Osama is in a cave somewhere, trying to find enough power to run his dialysis machine," the British actor observed with some satisfaction.

At the safari-themed HBO party upstairs, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson held court. Hanks couldn't stop smiling, happily showing off his award for "Band of Brothers." "We worked so ... hard," Hanks said. "It's nice to get a little present at the end of it." He wasn't off the clock, yet: A stream of women asked to have their picture taken with him, and, like a gentleman, the actor obliged.

Later, back at the DreamWorks party, three handlers with headsets were sharing a cigarette when word came through that Bratt was stuck outside. Since he didn't have a ticket, doormen weren't letting him in. One of the security people had to fetch Bratt and escort him through the door. She did, and Bratt showed up, moments later, with a beautiful brunette woman on his arm. He just missed our favorite moment of the evening: MacDowell's impromptu drum performance. "I played music in high school," she told us later. "I love the bongos."

City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday. E-mail: angles@la times.com.

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