Awards season officially kicked off Sunday evening at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles — but not all the Golden Globes must-see moments are captured on the red carpet or by TV cameras. From Ricky Gervais’s jokes to Michelle Williams and Patricia Arquette getting political, here are 10 things you didn’t see inside the star-studded ballroom.
Ricky Gervais’s opening monologue shocks the crowd — but people are (mostly) into it
Gervais returned as Golden Globes host for the fifth time and made it clear out of the gate he wasn’t going to play it safe. Some jokes landed better than others. When he roasted Felicity Huffman about the college admissions scandal, there were audible groans from inside the theater, especially when her daughter was referenced. Gervais’s joke about Leonardo DiCaprio’s date being too old for him by the time Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ended landed — especially with the actor who genuinely appeared to laugh. Even the Jeffrey Epstein-Prince Andrew one-liners had most of the room laughing. But it was a line about Judi Dench that had the audience’s collective jaw on the floor. The comedian referenced how Dench said she “was born to play” her role in Cats. He paused and laughed before delivering the punchline because he knew it was going to be a lot: “She loves nothing better than plunking herself down on the carpet, lifting her leg and and licking her own minge.”
Reese Witherspoon loves Joker
Witherspoon made a point to talk to Joker director Todd Phillips on the way to her seat and say how “incredible” she thought the film was. “He was so good,” she said pointing over to former co-star Joaquin Phoenix, who was accompanied by real-life love Rooney Mara. “Seriously, it was incredible,” Witherspoon told Phillips. Speaking of Phoenix, Golden Globe winner Ramy Youssef went over to the Joker star before the show started to introduce himself and say he was a fan. Phoenix said he already knew who Youssef was and the two shared a nice bromance moment.
Quentin Tarantino seeks out Kathy Bates
Can you believe these two never met before tonight? It’s true. The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood director made a point to go up to Bates as he was walking in. Tarantino acknowledged how they never officially met and said he wanted “to rectify that.” They were both complimentary of the other’s work. Maybe there’s a future collaboration here?
Taylor Swift is a Cynthia Erivo fan; Kerry Washington and Cate Blanchett bond
Part of the fun in the ballroom is seeing which celebrities seek each other out. Swift spotted Erivo sitting down at her table and went over to say hello. The Cats star was super complimentary of Erivo, who has had breakout roles in Harriet and Widows. She will also be seen next in Nat Geo’s Genius: Aretha. Another power duo who caught up before the show started: Washington and Blanchett. Washington made a point to ask the Oscar winner if her family was safe back in Australia as the country is experiencing devastating wildfires.
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s reunion
On Tuesday, it will be 15 years since the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star, 56, and Aniston, 50, announced their separation — and the public’s fascination with the former couple hasn't waned. A lot of eyes were on Pitt and The Morning Show actress, both nominees, inside the show. Well, they actually are friends! Like Brad said. When her ex-husband’s name was called as the winner for Best Supporting Actor, Aniston looked genuinely happy, clapping and giving a standing ovation. Their friendly demeanor shouldn't come as a surprise as they have renewed their friendship since the actor's split with Angelina Jolie. He attended the Friends star's 50th birthday party and recent Christmas bash.
Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and Octavia Spencer are MIA
Wondering where some of the nominees and winners were tonight? Even stars take sick days. Bale, who was nominated for Ford v Ferrari, caught a bug on vacation over the holidays and had to skip the ceremony. Spencer shared with her Instagram followers that she, too, was unwell and had to stay home. Meanwhile, Crowe, who won for Showtime’s The Loudest Voice, chose to remain at home with his family in Australia. Jennifer Aniston read a prepared speech on behalf of Crowe, where he took the opportunity to bring awareness to the devastation happening in his home country. “Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-change based,” he said.
Elton John’s win is a happy surprise
Everyone thought Beyoncé was a lock to win Best Original Song, so when John and Bernie Taupin won for “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” in Rocketman, there were a lot of surprised reactions from the crowd. But no one was mad about it — the duo got a huge applause from the crowd and especially from fellow nominee Taylor Swift. The singer was one of the first on her feet when John’s name was called and she stood clapping and smiling for a solid minute.
Patricia Arquette splits the crowd while Joaquin Phoenix and Renée Zellweger puzzle with acceptance speeches
Arquette tends to get political when she’s onstage and Sunday night was no exception. The Act star, who won for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie, called out the president and his tweets and referenced the current situation with Iran. She said the U.S. is “a country on the brink of war” with “people not knowing if bombs are going to drop on their kids’ heads.” She also added “Australia is on fire” and begged for everyone to vote in 2020. The crowd seemed to tense up. A couple of people in the audience clapped, a couple of people booed and one person yelled, “Shut up!”
Meanwhile, two of the biggest winners of the night, Phoenix and Zellweger, were the only people who actually got played off by music during their speeches. When Phoenix won he was clearly a crowd favorite as everyone roared when his name was called. But the audience seemed to be scratching their heads a bit during his speech. “We all know there’s no f****** competition between us,” he told his fellow nominees. He thanked the HFPA for their plant-based menu and wanted to use his moment to address climate change. “We don’t have to take private jets to Palm Springs,” he told the star-studded audience. For the most part, the crowd was pretty quiet — as they were during Zellweger’s on-stage moment. While social media was quick to react to her speech, it was pretty quiet in the room, too. But don’t mistake that to mean people weren’t happy she won — everyone seemed pleased when her name was called. The speech just didn’t get a huge reaction.
Tom Hanks dazzles, as does Michelle Williams
On the other hand, Tom Hanks seemed to be the antidote. His feel-good, family-friendly speech brought the audience to their feet and had a few people wiping away tears, too. Michelle Williams’s speech also was a hit. She made a point about the importance of a woman’s right to choose, imploring women to vote. “Please vote in your own self-interest,” she told the crowd. “It’s what men have been doing for years.” She was met with lots of cheers and applause.
Ricky Gervais gives the crowd one final F-you
The comedian wasn’t going to go away quietly. During his last moment on stage before introducing Sandra Bullock, who was announcing Best Motion Picture – Drama, he referenced her movie Bird Box. “A movie where people survive by acting like they don’t see a thing. So like working for Harvey Weinstein,” Gervais quipped. The crowd had a big reaction, which prompted Gervais to respond (and get bleeped). “You did it, shut the f*** up!”
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