Christian Bale was a shiny, happy person. Glee's Chris Colfer was a happy, breathless person. And Natalie Portman was an eerily composed person...or was she?
Here's what's went down backstage at the 68th Golden Globe Awards:
5 p.m. PT: You know the Christian Bale who got freaked out on the Terminator: Salvation shoot? That guy is not here tonight.
- The guy here tonight is happy, charming and possibly George Clooney--he even complements a reporter on her dress.
- "This is such a wonderful night," Mr. Sunshine says.
- Even Bale's hair is carefree. When asked if his mane is for a role, he says, no, "The long hair is unemployment."
- When it comes to Robert De Niro, Bale is serious. "I told him he's the s--t," he says of their meeting in the ballroom.
- Presenter Bruce Willis is a surprise press-room visitor. It seems he wants to try out his sotto voce. It's quite good. We can barely hear a word he's saying.
- Asked if he could confirm that this is the happiest time of his life, Willis whispers something about how, yes, he's never been happier: "I'm just holding it down for you guys."
- Glee's Chris Colfer is on the verge of tears--or breathlessness. "I hate to say I'm a Cinderfella," he confesses, "but I feel like it tonight."
- Colfer is keeping it together--for his tux. Says the actor: "I have my big-boy pants on. I'm trying not to [cry]."
- Brave front or no, Colfer starts to lose it when asked about what his win may mean to gay and lesbian teens. "They just saw Kurt Hummel get an award for being him[self]," he says.
- If Kurt seems the sort of kid who'd watch the Globes, then so is Colfer. "I actually got a message via Facebook from a friend," he reports, "and he said, 'One of my elementary-school memories is you standing up in front of the class and telling everyone to watch the Golden Globes,' and now I am here."
- Colfer thought Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet was going to win, and if not for costar Ashley Fink, his date, he might not have made it up to the stage to accept his trophy. "She pulled me up," Colfer says.
5:50 p.m.: What's a Boardwalk Empire press conference without producer Mark Wahlberg (who, we're told, had to return to his seat)? The sort where the non-movie-star producer looks out over the sea of quiet reporters and asks, "How about those Jets?"
- You gotta love the power of fear! Says Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, "I didn't want to go down in history as the guy who made the cruddy Toy Story sequel."
- Sure, we're listening to Al Pacino field questions about his You Don't Know Jack win, but mostly we're trying to determine if we can see through the top of his hair to read the words on the wall behind him.
- As it turns out, no, Pacino's hair is not see-through.
- By the by, we're not the only ones who can't keep track of what Pacino's talking about. "Boy, I'm giving long answers," he admits. "I can almost put myself to sleep. I can feel myself drifting off."
- Here's a surprise: Pacino doesn't know where all his awards-show awards are. "It's like paintings--you've got them around, but you don't have a roomful of paintings," he says. "I guess they're in my house somewhere."
- Claire Danes is dating herself. "When I first won one of these, I was 15," she says. "I remember when I first arrived, I saw David Hasselhoff talking to Quentin Tarantino."
- The Temple Grandin star claims she "did pack on a few L-B's over the holidays"--we wanna see her try that line at a Weight Watchers meeting.
7:20 p.m.: Where'd funny Robert De Niro go? After that stand-up routine of an acceptance speech, the Cecil B. DeMille recipient is all low-key--and not coming within a million miles of another immigration joke.
- De Niro's hands are in his pockets, and that ought to tell you how amped he is (or isn't). In the star's defense, De Niro doesn't have his DeMille trophy to keep his paws otherwise engaged. "The top fell off," he says of the award. "They'll have to solder it back on."
- We inform The World's Greatest Living Actor that some folks out there in the Twitterverse loved his speech, and that some folks, um, didn't. How come you decided to go all Don Rickles, we ask? "There's so many ways to go with it," De Niro says. "And I thought it'd be more fun to do it this way."
- It's a good thing the "kids" from Glee aren't as giddy as they were last year when they won Best TV Comedy: There are so many people on stage that if they jumped for joy, they'd cause an earthquake. Says creator Ryan Murphy, "I think we have the largest cast in television."
- Everyone--and we mean everyone is back here--the bully (Dave Karofsky), the nerd with the afro (Josh Sussman), coach Dot Nelson, chewing gum like nobody's business...
- The Anne Hathaway-as-Kurt's-lesbian-aunt stint sounds like it's on. "She created her own role," Murphy says.
- Like the Glee folk, The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons must be getting used to winning. He seems way calmer than he did at the Emmys. His voice sounds lower, too.
- We ask Paul Giamatti what the deal with Halle Berry is tonight--what with all the gushing (his included), does she look like Super Halle Berry or something? "She could be wearing a Hefty zip sack and she'd look amazing," he says of the vision who presented him with his Barney's Version trophy. "It was a pleasure."
- The Kids Are All Right's Annette Bening is no slouch herself tonight in the styling department--pure class. And, for the record, she pulls of the Mark Ruffalo 'do way better than he does.
- Colin Firth is so happening (or not) that the Hollywood Foreign Press flack mistakenly introduces The King's Speech winner to the press as Colin Farrell.
- Is Natalie Portman, pregnant and a newly crowned Globes winner, ever not composed? Nope, not so far as we can tell.
- Don't expect Portman to explain The Black Swan; she was just acting in it. "I had no idea what [director Darren Aronofsky] was doing," she says.
- What does a Globe sound like when it accidentally clunks against a mic stand? Like a clunk--and like a sign that, just maybe, Portman isn't as utterly, totally composed as she looks.
- The Social Network people are all about making friends tonight. There are nothing but kind words for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and there are no words at all when we ask Aaron Sorkin for his take on Sarah Palin's "blood libel" statement on the Tucson shooting. Sorkin, who once took Palin to task for her cable show, notes his daughter is the same age as the girl who was killed at the Arizona political rally. "I can't get past the unspeakable grief her parents must be going through," he says. "I'm not really thinking about Miss Palin at all."
- Melissa Leo, now seemingly an Oscar favorite for her Fighter turn, is the last winner back here tonight, and she's all humble and real and talented--and then it hits us: the Hollywood Foreign Press didn't sell an award this year to anyone goofy. Bummer.