Hollywood Foreign Press voters didn't go for Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt this year, saving their lead actor surprises for men who headlined smaller, more intimate films.
In the comedy-musical category, lead honors went to Jack Black for the dark indie character study "Bernie," Ewan McGregor's turn as a fisheries expert in the little-seen "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" and Bill Murray's portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the small-budget biopic "Hyde Park on Hudson." More high-profile performances by Bradley Cooper ("Silver Linings Playbook") and Hugh Jackman ("Les Miserables") rounded out the category.
"I woke up for this because I knew my buddy Ed Helms was going to be there," Cooper told us over the phone, referring to his "Hangover" series co-star who announced the Golden Globes nominees Thursday morning. "I was the nerd who actually watched some of these announcements growing up. So to see Ed announce our film and say, 'That's my boy' ... well, that was really cool."
The HFPA's choices on the drama side hewed closer to established awards-season patterns, including Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln"), Denzel Washington ("Flight"), John Hawkes ("The Sessions") and Joaquin Phoenix ("The Master"). Richard Gere rounded out the field for his role as a sleazy investment titan in "Arbitrage," a performance that has earned the veteran actor strong reviews and stirred hopes that he might receive his first Oscar nomination.