1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Paul McCartney, Nancy Shevell
Paul Buck  /  EPA
Sir Paul McCartney and lady friend Nancy Shevell were among the attendees at the BAFTA/LA Awards Season Tea Party in Los Angeles on Saturday.
By The Scoop
msnbc.com
updated 1/17/2010 5:11:38 PM ET 2010-01-17T22:11:38

Now that awards season starts around the same time stores stock Christmas decorations (like, summer), by the time the Golden Globe Awards rolls around it’s possible to have a serious case of statue fatigue.

But this year’s crop of new nominees are really breathing life into the festivities in Los Angeles.

Saturday’s BAFTA/LA Awards Season Tea Party at the Beverly Hills Hotel was a prime example. “Glee” star Kevin McHale, who plays wheelchair-bound Artie Abrams, readily admitted he never though he’d be standing in a room with the likes of Quentin Tarantino, and Sir Paul McCartney. (By the way, BAFTA is the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.)

“When the show started I never thought it would end up like this, I can’t believe it’s been so successful,” said McHale, a lifelong singer who had a brief stint in a boy band. “Yeah, I tried the boy band thing, it didn’t last too long. This is a much better job.”

  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

Ty Burrell, who plays the feckless, yet well-meaning dad Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family,” was in the same boat: “This is insane! I mean, I don’t even know how to do these events,” he said (and he’s right: for future reference, Burrell, it’s head down and don’t make eye contact with the reporters, at least until you’re through the doorway).

I asked Burrell how it is that “Modern Family” seems so much like a well-oiled machine in its pilot season, and he was quick to give credit.

Slideshow: Stars’ red-carpet tricks “It’s all the writers,” he said. “Without a doubt, the writers. They are just amazing, and our directors, Chris Lloyd and Steve Levitan (both “Wings” alums) know how to keep all the parts and all the storylines moving in one direction really seamlessly.”

The BAFTA event did have its fair share of film and television vets there, too. Tarantino worked the room quickly, collecting one compliment after another for “Inglorious Basterds” (as for what he’s working on now, he said simply, “this,” referring to the awards show circuit).

Several of the “Mad Men” were in attendance, too. Bryan Batt, whose character Salvatore Romano was fired last season, was there. As for whether Sal will come back next season, it’s anyone’s guess.

“They still haven’t told me if I’m coming back,” he said, before becoming starstruck by McCartney’s entrance into the room. (In all fairness, the writers haven’t even met to begin writing the next season of “Mad Men.”) Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) was also there.

The topics of conversation bandied about in the room were largely centered on the Globes and nominees, or Haiti (BAFTA was donating a portion of proceeds from a live auction there to earthquake relief) and that was fine with Sommer.

“I’m just glad that we’re not talking about Leno and Conan as much as a few days ago,” Sommer said. Is he taking sides? “Conan’s.”

Fly-by encounters
Parties for the Golden Globes are crowded and loud, and the celebs in attendance tend not to have much time for lengthy chats. Here’s the best of my fly-by encounters with some of them, thus far:

“Up in the Air” director Jason Reitman on what makes his film different from the other best pic nominees: “The other films in the category are fantastic. But when you watch my film now, or 10 years from now, you’ll know it was a film about what it was like to live in 2009. It captures 2009 and will always feel like 2009.”

Evan Handler, of “Californication” and “Sex and the City,” on the conversation he just had with three exceptionally tall, attractive women, who approached him: “They said they wished they had boyfriends like my character Harry in ‘Sex and the City.’ How many guys like me, a foot shorter and bald, do you think they’ve actually not rejected? Seriously.”

Richard Kind, of “A Serious Man,” on his mission at the Paramount party at Chateau Marmont: “Not to be too starf---ery, but have you seen George Clooney?”

(Answer, yes: he was mobbed, natch.)

And overheard
Reitman to “The Office” resident redhead Meredith, a.k.a. Kate Flannery: “When are they going to let you direct an episode of ‘The Office’? I don’t think that show has directors anymore — they let John Krasinski direct, Mindy Kaling…”

Creed Bratton of “The Office,” apparently unaware that Brian Batt’s hiatus might be more of the permanent variety, while waiting for their cars at The Beverly Hills Hotel: “Have you gone on any fun vacations while you’re on hiatus? I recommend Iceland.”

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop on msnbc.com. Follow her coverage of the Golden Globe Awards on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc

© 2013 msnbc.com Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

More on TODAY.com

  1. Joan Lunden: 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed with breast cancer

    From the moment you hear the words ‘You have breast cancer,’ it’s almost like you’re shot out of a cannon. Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I was diagnosed.

    10/1/2014 10:52:45 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:52:45
  2. Want to help? A guide to breast cancer charities

    In the United States an estimated 296,000 women and 2,240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and almost 40,000 women and 410 men will die of the disease. That's one death every 14 minutes, according to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

    10/1/2014 10:45:11 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T10:45:11
  3. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
Exclusive
  1. TODAY

    Derek Jeter dismisses 'most eligible bachelor' title: 'No, no, no'

    10/1/2014 11:43:39 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T11:43:39
  1. TODAY

    Al, Jay Leno kick off USO comedy tour in Afghanistan

    10/1/2014 11:00:13 AM +00:00 2014-10-01T11:00:13
  1. Why Joan Lunden agreed to pose bald for the cover of People

    Like many women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, Joan Lunden soon began losing her hair. It affected her more than she thought.

    10/1/2014 1:21:18 PM +00:00 2014-10-01T13:21:18