By Chris Lee
8:42 PM EST, January 13, 2014
If the Golden Globes can be understood as a fizzy, feel-good alternative to the sober valediction of March’s Academy Awards — where, unlike the Oscars, champagne flows and stars aggressively schmooze between speeches — the Globes after-parties provide an important ancillary function.
They are where Hollywood’s A-list heads immediately following the congratulatory scrum to loosen black ties and kick up heels.
Held at venues throughout the sprawling Beverly Hilton Hotel complex Sunday night, just a short stroll from the Globes’ ceremonial ballroom, these exclusive events offered a high-volume pileup of boldfaced names and celebrities that spanned the cultural spectrum, encompassing moviedom, television and pop music, often in bizarre combinations.
With unlimited gratis cocktails and tables decked with high-end nibbles — gold leaf-flecked s’mores! spicy tuna hand-rolls! — all contained within the Hilton’s pop-up environment, where erstwhile parking lots and sleepy restaurants transformed into mega-wattage star chambers, you had the kind of air-kissy spectacle that defines Hollywood glamour for so much of the world.
Even so, a kind of FOMO — Fear of Missing Out — hung over guests, compelling many to hop between the five competing parties, herding up elevators and shuttling along corridors like so many ants in an extremely glitzy terrarium.
Less than half an hour after the Globes telecast wrapped, “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul was literally fighting his way past well-wishers at HBO’s poolside party to grab a drink at the bar. A buddy in a tuxedo had to step in to take his order.
“Anything! I’ll take anything!” Paul shouted. He looked relieved to be quickly handed a glass of bubbly.
Pushing through a restive crowd dense with famous faces, “Inside Llewyn Davis” co-director/writer Joel Coen and wife Frances McDormand could be seen in conversation with a group of industry suits while, nearby, “Girls’” series regular Allison Williams was spotted laughing with her TV mom, Rita Wilson. Chris “Mr. Big” Noth compared cellphone photos with “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss, winner of the Globe for actress in a miniseries or made-for-TV movie for her performance in “Top of the Lake.” “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” star Chris Pine huddled under a heat lamp surrounded by a band of bros in tuxes, and Mike Tyson laughingly palled around with Helen Mirren.
When talk-show host Bill Maher entered the HBO fray, he was set upon by Zsa Zsa Gabor’s publicity-hungry husband, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, who requested a grab-shot photo with him — and was summarily shot down by the caustic comedian.
“I’m sorry man, I can’t,” Maher was heard to say.
Over-capacity became an abiding concern Sunday, with some celebs effectively edged out of the parties honoring them. Exhibit A: “Fruitvale Station” actors Melonie Diaz and Ahna O’Reilly became downright wild-eyed when a fire marshal temporarily barred them (and their entourage) from entering the mobbed after-party thrown jointly by the Weinstein Co. and Netflix. “We have talent coming through!” a publicity person exclaimed to no avail.
Pounding dance music is a staple of Globes after-parties. But try telling that to “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, who took issue with the Weinstein bash’s playlist, which included hits by Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson and Pharrell Williams.
“I don’t know why they play the music so loud,” Fellowes said as he departed the giant plastic tent erected in the parking lot of the hotel’s lounge, Trader Vic’s. “This is music for 16-year-olds and everyone here is over 40.”
Well, almost everyone. When she wasn’t boogeying alongside model-turned-actress Jamie King and 17-year-old “True Grit” star Hailee Steinfeld, or posing for photos with her brother, Austin, Taylor Swift, 24, could be spotted in an upstairs booth hanging around with Bono and the Edge from U2.
U2 won the original song Globe for “Ordinary Love,” featured in Weinstein Co.’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” And while Bono said he enjoyed working with studio boss Harvey Weinstein because of his penchant for socially relevant films, the rock frontman and the famously combative movie mogul share other cultural convergences too.
“What people forget is that Harvey started as a rock promoter,” Bono said over the din. Indeed, Weinstein and his brother, Bob, parlayed the money they made promoting concerts in the 1970s to crack into the movie biz.
French “Before Midnight” writer-star Julie Delpy wandered the party barefoot in a voluminous, fire-engine red gown, a pair of spike-heeled stilettos dangling from her fingers. Uma Thurman made a dramatic entrance in a black ball gown with a floor-length train — just as Interscope Records Chairman Jimmy Iovine left hand-in-hand with supermodel girlfriend Liberty Ross.
At NBC/Universal/Focus Features/Chrysler’s after-party inside a vast tented enclosure atop a hotel parking garage, “Modern Family” costar Sofia Vergara caused spit-takes in an eye-popping metallic gown with a neckline that plunged past her decolletage to just above the Colombian actress’ belly button.
Lady Gaga and her boyfriend, Taylor Kinney, a Globes presenter Sunday night who stars on NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” were seen smooching amid startled onlookers. And “Rush” star Chris Hemsworth took in the scene with his pregnant wife, Elsa Pataky (of “Fast and the Furious 6” fame).
By 11:30, chauffeured golf carts were still ferrying guests to a bash held by Fox and FX adjacent to the Hilton in a parking lot for the long-shuttered Robinsons-May department store. The premium vodka continued to flow and hors d’oeuvres trays continued to issue forth from kitchens. But the crowds were noticeably thinner, any air of FOMO-driven urgency to the festivities having dissipated.
And the star power was gone. VIP guests including director Steve McQueen — whose “12 Years a Slave” won best motion picture drama — actors Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as the cast of best TV series comedy winner “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” had all left hours earlier. The red carpet was dark.
There were, of course, after-after-parties to get to.
Times staff writers Amy Kaufman, Jessica Gelt and John Corrigan contributed to this report.
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