Not a lot of news breaks backstage at the Golden Globes — as the new winners filter in to speak with the press, the emphasis is on celebrating these triumphs.
It’s a loose, fun atmosphere, albeit one that allows creative people to speak about their passions, and some amazing moments tend to ensue along the way.
“Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins’ mother has still not seen her son’s film. “Mom wants to see it on the small screen, which as a filmmaker makes me cringe,” he said. However, he acknowledged her desire to experience the film on her own terms and “make her peace with it.”
And while she hasn’t seen the film, she has been following its journey through awards season. “Every interview you give,” he said to Best Supporting Actor nominee Mahershala Ali, “she watches.”
In case you were worried, never fear: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Aaron Taylor-Johnson was in fact wearing a Tom Ford suit, appropriate given that he was winning for Ford’s film “Nocturnal Animals.”
It was a pretty nice suit.
When Viola Davis came backstage, she had plenty to say about having won Best Supporting Actress for her work in “Fences,” noting that the concept of bringing the Tony-winning play to the screen “felt very natural and fluid.” Of the play, she noted that “I like the stories of the smaller people — I think that it’s universal and inclusive.”
How would she be celebrating that night? “I’m not going to get in my jacuzzi because it’ll be too late,” she said. “So I’ll take a shower and have another glass of prosecco with my husband [producer Julius Tennon].”
When it comes to her awards, she says that she now hands them off to Tennon, because “after tonight I got to put this away and get back to work.” Tennon puts them in their office, on a shelf.
Davis and Tennon have been married since 2003 — Davis, on what makes her marriage work: “It’s wanting the best for him as much as he wants the best for me. That’s the truest foundation of love.”
Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series winner Hugh Laurie, who is not a short gentleman, had some issues with the height of the microphone. But that didn’t stop him from proving that he’s one of the wittiest actors working today.
With regard to Susanne Bier, the director behind “The Night Manager,” he said that he’d follow her to “the ends of the earth,” so impressed was he by her “intellect and her passion and energy and taste.
Then, he paused. “‘The Ends of the Earth’ is probably a cable drama now, so I’d have to read the script first.” (That does sound like something a cable drama would be called.)
Laurie also revealed that while he was researching the role of “The Night Manager’s” Richard Roper, there was no way for him to speak with the sort of dangerous arms dealer he was depicting. “I was legally prevented from researching those characters. Under no circumstances could I talk to them,” he said. The reason was that to do so would potentially expose them and their activities, and make him vulnerable to a lawsuit or worse.
“Suing would be the best I could hope for,” he said. “They might send ‘the boys’ around.”
“La La Land” composer Justin Hurwitz double-fisted his wins for Best Original Score and Best Original Song while rattling off a list of his inspirations for the modern-day musical. Among them? Bernard Hermann and Charlie Chaplin “as a composer.”
“All sorts of inspriations from all kinds of eras,” he summed up.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross was giddy over her win for Best Actress in a TV Comedy, though while she hoped to celebrate as much as possible that night, she had limits. “I have a very full week at work.”
Like many of the winners, she was pushed on the perennial topic of “Trump’s America” — initially, she tried to defer the question, saying that “I think I will let this moment be about my Golden Globe,” but eventually added that “continuing to tell our own stories and stand up for individuals is very important.”
As Meryl Streep was accepting her lifetime achievement award (and brought the house down) Tom Hiddleston was asked about photos taken of him, Carrie Fisher and Gary the dog on the red carpet for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last year. He noted that over the course of the evening, while Carrie was looking after Gary, his job was taking care of Gary’s chew toy — a Princess Leia rubber ducky.
If we should take any lessons from Fisher’s life, he said, “it’s to live as fully as we can, to embrace our weaknesses and create strengths out of them.”
As for his own career, he noted that he always wanted to move between genres and characters “and never repeat myself. Though,” he added wryly, “I have played Loki four times.”
Another great Hiddleston moment — as captured on Twitter below, the “Night Manager” winner was confronted by Variety’s Jenelle Riley when he came to the microphone, as she’d bet him $20 the night before that he would win the prize.
— Preston Northrop (@Dinglebrero) January 9, 2017
“The Crown” Best Actress in a Drama winner Claire Foy was asked what she might like to say to Queen Elizabeth II, should she ever meet her. “I’d just like to hear her talk for two hours,” she said. “That’d be nice.”
“Human joy is super important,” two-time winner Donald Glover said about what might help this world from feeling less divisive. “It doesn’t come from computers. It just comes from belief.”
The creator and star of “Atlanta” was also asked why he brought up the band Migos and their song “Bad And Boujee” in his acceptance speech, to which he had a great answer: “I think they’re the Beatles of this generation, and they don’t get a lot of respect outside of Atlanta. There’s a generation of kids that’s growing up on something that’s completely separate.
“And also that song’s just fly,” he added. “There’s no better song to have sex to.”
“Elle” director Paul Verhoeven, having just won the prize for Best Foreign Film, didn’t seem to bristle at the mention of the controversy surrounding the film. “I wanted to make a movie representing life instead of representing a genre,” he said about the unconventional structure of the drama, which deviates from what he deemed would be the American model of a revenge story.
However he did say that he wished people would focus not on the subject matter, but the character crafted by Best Actress in a Drama winner Isabelle Huppert. “It’s hard for people if they’re only focusing on the rape and not focusing on the character.”
A beautiful rephrasing of a classic acting expression, from “Moonlight’s” Mahershala Ali: “We never acted against each other. We acted with each other.”
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling
In discussing “La La Land,” Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were asked to address why the film has been so successful. The two stars smiled at each other and then shuffled up to the microphone together — totally in sync, waddling like a pair of goofy silent film stars.
Co-star John Legend gestured at the pair. “There’s your answer.”