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Backstage Report: Sandra Bullock Says "Shhh!" to Oscar Talk

Sandra Bullock Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Sandra Bullock pimped for Meryl Streep. The Inglourious Basterds bunch interpreted for Brad Pitt. The cast of Glee voted for Jane Lynch. And Tina Fey promoted peace and harmony at NBC.

Yeah, it was that kind of night. Weird.

Here's what went down backstage at the 16th Screen Actors Guild Awards:

6:15 p.m.: Dexter's Michael C. Hall's looking loose. Not that he was looking tense at the Globes, but he's just, well, he's getting used to the drill. "I've been feeling very well," Hall tells us.

Hall said he hadn't intended to talk publicly about his cancer, but awards season necessitated a statement. Not that going public's been a bad thing. "It's been a nice surprise," he says. "I've had people reach out to me who otherwise old wouldn't—teachers, friends from college."  

A reporter takes a look at the actors assembled before us, and asks me, "Which show is this?" You'll have to forgive his sincere confusion. We're looking at a Mad Men cast minus Jon Hamm, John Slattery and quite a few more men—and women. "Slattery is in the elevator to go to the restroom," the bespectacled and actually present Rich Sommer explains. "Jon's presenting an award. He's got an excuse."

"I am not going to be fit to live with for years," Life Achievement recipient Betty White announces, just letting the word "years" hang there, expectedly, optimistically and, hey, why not?  

White's 88, you know that. She's a pistol, you know that. And when a reporter asks her about the slit in her gown, you know what she's going to do: Play dumb for a second, then hike it up. Says White, "You gotta use everything you possibly can."

Kevin Bacon, a winner for the TV-movie Taking Chance, forgives you if you rolled your eyes at his made-Kyra Sedgwick-cry speech: "You see it so many times, and you say, please."

If you did roll your eyes at Bacon's speech, then you should feel bad because Bacon was completely sincere. And completely into his wife. "When I see her out there," he says, "sometimes it's overwhelming."

Bacon is asked how he's made his 21-year (and counting) marriage work. Shoots back Bacon, "Never look to an actor for the secret to longevity."

OK, so you're, like, being totally immature wishing that somebody more exciting than Jeff Bridges would start beating Jeff Bridges. One, Jeff Bridges is totally nice. Two, he's totally full of factoids! "It's 14 pounds," the Crazy Heart star informs us of the SAG Awards Actor statue.

Bridges may be the front-runner for the Best Actor Oscar, but he didn't get special treatment from George Clooney's Haiti telethon. "The phones were jammed, we couldn't get through, finally we did," he says.  

Did I mention Jeff Bridges is totally nice? When he's asked a question about raising his daughters, he calls his wife to the stage: "Ladies and gentlemen, Sue!"

Sandra Bullock is not entertaining Oscar talk. "Shhh!" she says to a reporter who mentions the "O" word. She follows up that comment with "Shhh!" And then for good measure, "Shhh!"

I ask Bullock about facing and beating Meryl Streep. For a change, she does not shush. "It's a fluke," she insists. "I feel it's wrong. My money was on Meryl."

In case you're an Oscar voter deciding between Bullock and Streep, Bullock would like to direct you to the scene in Julie & Julia where Streep's Julia Child, who's struggled with fertility, learns her sister is pregnant. "That is what I aspire to," Bullock says.  

Did you love Speed 2? You're in luck! "I'm gonna mess up again," Bullock says. "I'm going to choose something, and you guys will roll your eyes, and say there she goes again back to crap."

When you think Inglourious Basterds, you think B.J. Novak. Um, right? "Well, this is not what you were hoping for," The Office moonlighter—and first member of the movie cast to make it backstage—tells us. "It was really an honor to have a couple of lines at the end."

When reporters think Inglourious Basterds, they think Brad Pitt, and they wonder if his costars texted the awards-season MIA with news of their movie's big win. Yes, they did, they say. And Pitt's response? "LOL!" Novak claims.

Precious star Mo'nique, you've just won a SAG, what are you going to do now? "My husband's going to play some Madden," she says, "and I'm going to watch some television."

Alec Baldwin, Edie Falco and Drew Barrymore—all SAG winners, and all pressroom no-shows—are either all playing Madden, or all suffering from awards-season burnout. Fortunately, next weekend's an off-weekend. Unless you're up for a Grammy.

5:51 p.m.: It seems like only six days ago I saw Christoph Waltz accessorize a tuxedo with a statuette. Oh, wait...

How familiar is the press, at least, getting with the heretofore unknown Inglourious Basterds baddie? Begins a reporter brightly: "Hi, Chris!"

Yes, Waltz is about as happy-go-lucky as he is in the Quentin Tarantino film (although far, far, far nicer). "I have no lucky charm," he informs us. "I am 100 percent superstition-free. And I've taken nothing for granted."

At the all-wet Golden Globes, Tina Fey joked it wasn't raining, it was God crying for NBC's late-night woes. So, one night after Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show farewell, how should we interpret today's blue, sunny skies, I ask the 30 Rock denizen? "Hopefully everything's settled. I hope so," Fey says, decidedly not going for the joke. "I've got lot of friends who work over at Conan, and I'm just glad that everything's resolved."

And no, Team CoCo, in case you're keeping a friends' list, Fey did not say she had pals over at Leno.

Fey gets asked what's on her bucket list: "Why, do you think I'm going to die soon?" she asks, sounding just a touch alarmed.

If you must know, since Fey has shaken hands with Meryl Streep and worked at Saturday Night Live, her bucket list is down to: doing a hike at Acadia National Park, which she's already done—she'd just like to do it again.

If you must know, yes, NBC's pending sale to Comcast will be fodder for 30 Rock—and Alec Baldwin. "It will be an arc for Jack," Fey says.

Fey's not complaining, but she tells us she only slept two hours last night—she had a late-night shoot in New York with Michael Sheen. But again, she's not complaining. "I would so much rather do that than have a real job," she says.

The unwieldy cast of Glee is so unwieldy, I ask them how they settled on Jane Lynch as their speech-making spokeswoman. "It was an arm wrestle," Cory Monteith fesses. Lynch, though, has a different story: "I'm the oldest."

It's Glee's second awards show win in as many weekends, and ostensive leads Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele still haven't sought starring roles at the press conferences. Maybe Monteith wasn't kidding about the arm wrestling. Lynch, after all, does look fit—and ready to throw down.


Gawk and stare at our 2010 SAG Awards: Winners gallery!