Talk about clichés.
When television host Mario Lopez saw me, he hollered, “Pacquiao will rise again!” Actress Glenn Close said she wanted to learn the “tinikling.”
But it was ‘Bourne Legacy’s’ Rachel Weisz who had nice words for Filipinos as she passed by me fumbling with my tape recorder on the Golden Globes red carpet. The Philippines has so much to be proud of, she said, admiring how Filipinos were such great hosts to the actors and crew of ‘Bourne Legacy,’ where she plays a scientist on the run.
“You guys are incredibly kind, welcoming and loving people,” Weisz, wearing a Louis Vuitton gown, told me. “I’ve never seen anything like it!”
It’s the Golden Globe Awards, the annual gathering of Hollywood royalty. It is the undercard to the Oscars, the rowdier party because, it’s been said, libation flowed freely. The Golden Globes is a production of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, where Filipino journalist and PDI columnist Ruben Nepales is chairman of the board.
Congratulations are in order. And should I say big thanks to Ruben because if he were not up there on stage at The Beverly Hilton I wouldn’t be down here by the red carpet covering the stars and their gowns.
Ruben and wife Janet are longtime members of the HFPA, the only Filipinos in the association. Many in the Filipino American community are hats off to the couple for what they have achieved in America’s entertainment industry.
“Ruben and Janet are important members of the HFPA and what’s good about them is that they are still ‘kababayan,’” said filmmaker and former fashion model Bessie Badilla who flew in from New York to attend the Globes.
The irrepressible Bessie met “Les Miserables’” Hugh Jackman. “He said I’m gorgeous! I almost died.” And with that Bessie rooted for Les Miz all the way.
R & B singer Patti Austin said she is grateful to Ruben and his friendship. “I’m gonna sing for you for free for a long time,” she told him.
Patti also announced an upcoming concert in Manila this year “hopefully with James Ingram.” Before parting, she praised her Filipino makeup artist, Maxi Tone, for making her look beautiful every time she walks the red carpet.
Designer Oliver Tolentino is no stranger to the red carpet. This year he dressed up Janet, Bessie and former Miss Universe Margaret Gardner.
“It’s my third year and each time I get so inspired by the gowns all these celebrities are wearing,” he said. “The person wearing the gown is my inspiration.”
Janet wore a pina jusi turquoise gown embellished with Swarovski crystals, and Bessie, a chiffon gown in emerald green which he called “color of the year.” Margaret sported a black body shaper of a gown.
Les Miz director Tom Hooper and I managed to connect amid the chaotic red carpet hoopla. I asked how he felt about not getting an Oscar nomination.
“It’s a bi-product of the fact that it’s a year of wonderful movies and that it’s important to remember that,” he said. “All in all it’s pretty exciting.” Did he just snub my question? Moving on…
Actress Jodie Foster is getting the Cecil B. DeMille Award – the Globes’ Lifetime Achievement Award — for her enduring and remarkable career in cinema. She said the award meant so much to her.
“It’s my whole childhood, my entire life on screen. Forty-seven years of film business,” she said. “It’s kind of emotional.”
ABC reporter Anthony Cabrera — a fellow Pinoy — was another newbie, covering the event for the first time.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling, you meet people from all over the world coming for the Golden Globes, that feels great and to think I’m Filipino–it’s great. As you can see there’s not many of us here,” he said.
And finally, a fleeting moment with Les Miz composer and Broadway behemoth Claude-Michel Schönberg. He disclosed that “Miss Saigon” may soon be going to the big screen.
“I’ve been seeing Lea Salonga quite often these days and no I’m not going to talk about Miss Saigon,” he said. “There are some kind of discussions of ‘Miss Saigon’ going to the big screen.” He said auditions in Manila went well and that “I’ve never been disappointed in any of them.”
“I must tell you, Filipino performers are so close to vocal perfection–that’s difficult to ask for more.” More words of praise for Filipino artistry from the great Schönberg.
What a night. Draining and also energizing how in this big Hollywood party, we Filipinos made such remarkable impressions on Hollywood’s film legends.