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Moving from C-list to A-list

January 17, 2007|Richard Rushfield | Times Staff Writer

As typical for the early hours before the A-list celebrities arrived for the Golden Globes on Monday, the red carpet was lined with mostly C-list stars cruising at dangerously slow speeds past the press, all too obviously crying out to be interviewed.

"Project Runway's" Tim Gunn, working as a reporter for the "Today" show, puzzled over these alleged starlets he failed to recognize.

"They are all cast to types," he opined, "not as individuals, so they are completely interchangeable."

A collective sigh of relief warmed Monday's frigid air as the first genuines -- the cast of "Heroes" -- hit the shag.

The cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere) neared Gunn's station in a Grecian goddess get-up. "She's gorgeous. Perfect," Gunn remarked.

Her costar Ali Larter held a conversation nearby, revealing that she started working out with her trainer at 7 a.m. but that he "keeps it really positive."

Sitters never win

With three minutes to go before the show began sharply at 5 p.m., the ballroom was in pandemonium, celebs flooding in. A parade of unlikely juxtapositions collided into each other as the announcer begged those in the room to be seated.

The "Grey's Anatomy" table toasted itself while a couple of tables away, the "Studio 60" crew looked somber and glum. Clint Eastwood strode in, unhurried looking, a man not to be trifled with. Publicists rushed their charges to their tables. One told Jamie Foxx that there was a rumor that Prince was throwing a party in Foxx's suite.

Foxx laughed.

Sharon Stone stumbled past with date Dominick Dunne.

A poignant moment amid the mayhem: Jim (John Krasinski) from "The Office" walked in and stood at the top of some stairs, looking around for his table. Pam (Jenna Fischer) from "The Office" saw him enter, flew over and beckoned him from the bottom of the stairs. As he started toward her, however, he was distracted by a woman in a silver evening gown and was pulled off in another direction, leaving Pam standing awkwardly alone.

Life imitating art all too faithfully.

Early schmoozing

After a valiant attempt lasting all of 10 to 15 minutes to sit up straight and pay attention to the show, a good part of the audience decided it was time to party and adjourned to the bar just off the back of the ballroom.

"24" star Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays Chloe, the prickly computer savant, shared her disgruntlement with costar Kim Raver: Contrary to her expectations of spending a night with her colleagues (collectively nominated for best dramatic series), Rajskub found herself seated in a distant wing, far from the official show table, with a group of strangers. She confessed to being in a "dark place" about it.

When the show's mega-producer Brian Grazer entered and said hello, she did not hesitate to accuse him of stealing her seat. Grazer good-humoredly denied all, telling her that Jason Lee ("My Name Is Earl"), who was mysteriously placed at the "24" table, was the real culprit and seat thief.

Who were they?

We know the super-glamorous from the tabloids. And the stiff-looking types in power suits are self-evident Hollywood characters.

But what about the man -- flanked by two beautiful women -- in a white tux with giant, sequin-adorned glasses?

Or the woman in the poodle dress (black with circles of white fur)? She seemed like another fringe hanger-oner but then got an amazingly warm greeting from Zach Braff ("Scrubs").

State of disorder

The party continued in the back of the room, brought to a halt not at all by Warren Beatty's honorary award but entirely by Sacha Baron Cohen's speech.

Actress Paget Brewster, walking past, exclaimed, "I'm no drunker than everyone else here."

It was abundantly clear that the TV people in the second and third rings from the center are a million times more fun than the staid movie people in the center.

Soon the show lurched toward a close.

"Babel" and "Dreamgirls" won the big prizes, sparking little more than mild whadyaknows from the crowd. And then, after cashing in ticket stubs for gift bags, it was on to the parties.

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