Only In Hollywood

More notes from the Golden Globe red carpet… and who made a beeline for the bar

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NICOLE Kidman with Keith Urban (behind her, partly hidden) on the red carpet. photo by ruben nepales

LOS ANGELES—Our instruction at the red carpet entrance in last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards was to ask arriving guests for their IDs only if they didn’t look familiar. Well, an assistant helping us asked Rupert Murdoch for his ID. Before we could say, “Not necessary,” the media tycoon had whisked it out.

The VIPs were patient and cooperative as they fished for tickets and IDs in their pockets or expensive designer purses. No one showed attitude. Some just asked if they needed to keep their IDs out.

Among the men, a popular accessory was the money clip. Many of these accomplished guys had IDs, dollar bills and credit cards on clips!

Thrill ride

The women all preened and turned effortlessly before the photographers who kept screaming their names. But before they hit that area, stylists did last-minute checks and tweaks on their clients’ looks. Rooney Mara, best actress-drama nominee (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”), stood still as her stylist did just that.

You know what came to mind as these gorgeously dressed folks whizzed by to go through the metal detectors and then to the mad scene where the red carpet photographers, reporters and platform hosts were? It looked like they were about to go on a thrill ride in an amusement park. Everybody, including Uggie, the scene-stealing dog in “The Artist,” walked on a single pathway, just like at Disneyland or Magic Mountain. Okay, the thrill and the nerves were probably more heightened, especially with the excitement added by the screams of the fans in the bleachers and for many of these bold-faced names, the prospect of winning one of those Golden Globes.

Who sits where

The seating plan inside the ballroom and the logistics to get to that glamorous evening had taken weeks to iron out. Work on who sits where started right after the nominations

LEO DiCaprio is interviewed on the red carpet. photo by ruben nepales

announcement last Dec. 15 through the holidays and post-holidays.

Angelina Jolie’s devotion and gratitude to the actors in her directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” was so strong that she brought Goran Kostic, Zana Marjanovic, Rade Serbedzija and Vanessa Glodjo to the glittering event. The thespians, who turned in nuanced performances under their neophyte but talented filmmaker, were among the guests who packed the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom.

Natalie Portman, last year’s best actress-drama winner for “Black Swan,” did not sit at her prime table in the pit the whole time because she was taking care of her 7-month-old son in a room upstairs. When Natalie, a presenter, did sit down, she was with her fiancé, Benjamin Millepied, former New Yorker, now founder of the LA Dance Project.

First big night

Sunday night marked the first time that Jodie Foster brought her two sons, Charlie, 13, and Kit, 10, out into the limelight. The usually private actress had specifically asked to bring the kids. She made it a point to have the boys close to her when the camera zoomed in on her as one of the best actress-drama nominees for Roman Polanski’s “Carnage.” The three often smiled, with the boys seemingly enjoying their first big night in public.

BRAD Pitt approaches press area for a brief interview. photo by ruben nepales

One actress asked to come with a bodyguard. But in a ballroom full of even more prominent names, that request was a head-scratcher.

As usual, some of Hollywood’s denizens wanted to know who would be sitting with them, where so-and-so would be seated and how good their tables were in the pecking order.

Rocknroll

Kate Winslet came with her boyfriend, Ned Rocknroll—yes, the nephew of business mogul Richard Branson had legally changed his last name to Rocknroll! Coincidentally, there was a guest named Macarena. We were hoping to make the introduction, “Macarena, meet Rocknroll.”

Once more, we were impressed with how almost everyone, from Charlize Theron to Tilda Swinton, stood up to schmooze far away from their tables and yet, when the commercial breaks ended, they were all back in their seats. Like nothing happened.

Guests seated in the back of the ballroom actually saw just as many stars, since the famous ones made a trek to the open bar during the breaks or, for some nominees, when they lost in their categories. At many tables with nominees, they toasted, win or lose, with Moet & Chandon champagne (huge bottles on each table, replenished immediately when emptied) after their categories were done. That meant they could breathe more freely and relax a bit more. For the record, there were also bottles of white and red wine on each table.

At the Sony Pictures party in the hotel’s penthouse floor, Stardust—one of several bashes held simultaneously right after the show within the Beverly Hilton complex—several guests

ELTON John (right) and partner David Furnish (center) with NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. Note onlookers in the gallery, top right. photo by ruben nepales

took turns posing with the Golden Globe won by Iran’s “A Separation.” The director, Asghar Farhadi, and lead actor, Peyman Moadi, cheerfully allowed the guests, including Fil-Am designer Alan del Rosario to hold the trophy, which was surprisingly heavy.

As we wrote Tuesday, Alan and Oliver Tolentino, finalists in the first and second Oscars Designer Challenge, respectively, met for the first time on the red carpet last Sunday. Alan designed the gown worn by someone close to this columnist’s heart.

Oliver’s gowns on red carpet reporter Stuart Brazell and former Miss Universe turned journalist Margaret Gardiner turned heads. And, if you may indulge this proud father, my daughters Nikki and Ella took my breath away when I first saw them in their Oliver Tolentino gowns that perfectly reflected their distinct personalities.

Even in her tight and revealing Marchesa gown, “Glee’s” Lea Michele somehow managed to get on one of the golf carts taking guests to the Fox party. The sight of the golf cart reminded me of tricycles back home in my province, Pangasinan. With my body, especially my feet, exhausted, I wished I were on a tricycle, heading back to Gabon in Calasiao, Pangasinan.

(E-mail the columnist at rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)

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