John Travolta and Bradley Cooper attend the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s… (Kevin Winter / Getty Images…)
Perhaps Ricky Gervais penned the script to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s installation luncheon Thursday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton because everyone seemed to be one-upping each other with quips and witty asides.
Besides introducing the board of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the organization behind the Golden Globe Awards, the main purpose of the gathering was for the HFPA to award $1.2 million in grants to 40 arts organizations. That money comes from the license fee the group receives from the NBC telecast of the Golden Globe Awards every January.
"I'm here to get nominated," Dustin Hoffman joked to the crowd as he accepted grants for such organizations as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Los Angeles Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats series.
"I just turned 75. I'm as old as the HFPA," Hoffman continued before spilling the beans that HFPA President Aida Takla O'Reilly is 81.
"I whispered my age to Dustin Hoffman and what does he do?" the diminutive organization chief said with a sigh.
Accepting grants for the Ensemble Studio Theater and the Gingold Theatrical Group/Shaw Festival, Kelsey Grammer, who earned a Golden Globe in January for his dramatic series "Boss," said, "Dustin is 75 and he looks great. I'm 57 and I look like hell."
Don Johnson, sporting a small pony tail and facial hair from his "Django Unchained" role, looked around the crowd and said, "I used to get drunk with some of you."
Steven Spielberg joked about his problems with the TelePrompTer but got serious about the necessity for film preservation and accepted a $250,000 grant for the Film Foundation, which Martin Scorsese, Spielberg and George Lucas among other filmmakers founded 22 years ago to preserve films.
Spielberg pointed out that the HFPA has donated $3.6 million over the years, which helped to fund the restoration of about 80 classic films. This money, he said, would go to restore Federico Fellini's 1954 masterpiece "La Strada."
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, John Travolta, Jack Black, Kerry Washington, Christina Hendricks, Carla Gugino, Jordana Brewster, Josh Henderson, Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick were also in attendance to accept grants for such organizations as the American Film Institute, Outfest, UC Berkeley Pacific Film Archive, Cal Arts, the American Cinematheque, the Levantine Cultural Center, the Lollipop Theater Network and FilmAid Intl.
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