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It's not fun if there's no showoff

We saw stars come up for air and reporters in black-tie and flip-flops. Was it a night of genuine goofiness, or were the participants simply trying too hard?

January 17, 2006|Maria Elena Fernandez and Richard Rushfield | Times Staff Writers

If the Golden Globes are Oscar's quirky, irreverent stepsister, the assembled multitudes of nominees, paparazzi and hangers-on did their best Monday to help the show live up to its reputation.

Mandy Moore and Zach Braff were locked at the lips before and during the telecast. Matthew Broderick and wife Sarah Jessica Parker were spotted taking a shortcut through a roped-off area to get to their seats quicker.

Reporters traipsed around in sneakers and flip-flops beneath their evening gowns and tuxes. And George Clooney joked about putting his shiny new Globe (best supporting actor,"Syriana") on the hood of his car.

"I think the secret to all of this is first of all to have a sense of humor with this," the actor-director told reporters.

Indeed, many who showed up at the Beverly Hilton for the 63rd annual Golden Globes seemed to go out of their way to break with conventional rules. The Globes, voted on by 84 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., may not have the cache of the Oscars, but anyone within shouting distance of the red carpet acted like they do.

Hours before the show began -- before any recognizable stars arrived -- a quartet of older women in floor-length gowns stopped to check over their outfits one last time before making their way slowly, savoring every moment.

Tyler James Williams, who stars in "Everybody Hates Chris," enjoyed his first Golden Globes red carpet walk and proclaimed it "Awesome!" Dressed in an Italian-cut pinstripe suit, Williams shrugged his shoulders in typical boy fashion and said he didn't know the name of the designer.

"Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry and the show's house husband, Doug Savant, walked in together and posed for photos arm-in-arm while Savant drank champagne.

There was plenty of couple-watching to go around: Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and "Las Vegas" star Josh Duhamel were there; so were "Rent's" Rosario Dawson and "Sex and the City's" Jason Lewis, and "Nip/Tuck's" Julian McMahon and a black-haired mystery woman.

Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan were playing it cool, not overt PDA, but they were often seen with their heads bowed toward each other.

The awards show organizers, armed with cellphones, headsets and a phalanx of suited security guards, tried to get attendees seated by 3:30 in the hopes of serving dinner in advance of the show's 5 p.m. West Coast start.

Yeah, right.

"This is all about exhibition," noted one of the waiters, who served dinner later than desired to accommodate all the red carpet stragglers. One exception: Actress Sandra Oh, who would later take home a trophy for best supporting actress for the television series "Grey's Anatomy," was seen tucking in her dinner long before the rest of the crowd showed up.

Other guests were seen snatching a few last pieces of fried shrimp and endives before dropping into their seats. It was, after all, a three-hour show.

The reporters, there to document all of it, were dressed to the nines in black-tie and evening gowns. But the mood during the 30-minute shuttle bus ride from Century City through traffic-clogged streets was akin to sullen children being punished by having to wear their Sunday best.

Hence, the small acts of defiance: tennis shoes, bare feet and Uggs.

During the show, the smoking room became something of a refuge and a hot spot for members of the media who wanted to rub elbows with celebs: Best supporting actress nominee Scarlett Johansson tried to cheer up DreamWorks execs after "Match Point" was passed over: "We'll win next year!" she joked.

Later, in keeping with the playful mood, Clooney demurred when asked if he had a favorite between his films, "Syriana" and "Good Night, and Good Luck."

"I'm proud of both of the films. Picking a favorite is like picking a kid, which I like to do. I like that one better."

Asked if he would ever take a part opposite Heath Ledger in "Brokeback Mountain," Clooney said of Ledger, "Well, he is awfully handsome."

But back to that Middle East thriller: "We think our little story about the CIA, the gay men in the CIA, is an important story to tell."

Times staff writers Robert W. Welkos and Rachel Abramowitz contributed to this report.

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