Oh, the things we learned backstage at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards:
6 p.m. PT: Go figure. It's Sofia Vergara's voice that precedes her and the Modern Family cast. Well before before the show's press-conference begins, the actress can be heard laughing and chatting on the other side of the press-room curtain.
• Good Wife winner Julianna Margulies is taking advantage of a feature that 'til now we'd never noticed at the SAG Awards: a statue-holder! (Now, express yourself to the press with two free hands, while the statue-holder does the rest!)
• Melissa Leo's a cool customer this awards season. She's also a fantastic movie critic. When asked for the secret to The Fighter's success, Leo lays it on us: "It's a great f--kin' movie!"
• We were right about the statue-holder: It is a must-have! The Modern Family folks are fighting over it! ("Hey, why you put yours there?" Vergara asks Eric Stonestreet. "'Cause it's heavy," he shoots back.)
• For the record, the statue-holder can only hold one statue at a time; Vergara and Stonestreet were bantering, not fighting; and, in any case, Stonestreet manned up, and ended up holding his own award just like everybody else.
• When Vergara reveals she employs a stylist because "sometimes it's not so easy to dress my [something-something we can't quite hear]," Stonestreet seems to sense reporters didn't quite get the last part. So, he
translates repeats, "her Golden Globes."
• If the end of the telecast felt rushed, it's because it was. We could hear the PA announcer repeatedly remind attendees that the show was running long, and longer, and, finally, that it "was in trouble."
6:45 p.m.: You know what awards-show fatigue is? The extremely press-accommodating (and repeatedly honored) Claire Danes enters the room, and you think, "Again?"
• The telecast wasn't the only thing that was rushed. Here's how the "press conference" began for Ernest Borgnine, he of the 94 years of living experience, the 60 years of acting experience and the SAG's Lifetime Achievement Award, began: It began with a flack telling the room-full of reporters, "Two questions."
• Encouraged to not ask much of anything, nobody asks much of anything. Borgnine, who seems up for far more than two questions, looks out over the (quiet) room: "Are you sure we're not making too much noise?"
• The Golden Globes must serve better
drinks spirit. Christian Bale, for instance, is in a fine mood (he even thanks The Fighter's editor for "picking all the good takes"), but he's nowhere near as slap-happy as he was two weeks ago.
• Maybe Bale's partied out, as in birthday-partied out? It just so happens he turned 37 today. "This is gravy," he says of his latest awards-season acquisition.
• So, Batman to Superman, what is Bale's reaction to Henry Cavill's casting in the Christopher Nolan-produced Man of Steel movie? None. He stares kinda blankly at a reporter for a beat or two, clearly having never, ever heard of Cavill. Finally, he summons a blurb you can be assured will not appear on a DVD box anytime soon, "Well done for whoever you mentioned."
• Being an Oscar frontrunner agrees with Colin Firth, who is looking quite tan by pre-Jersey Shore standards.
• Firth's back here for his big win, and his movie's big win. The King's Speech cast is, as you might imagine, rocking the house. (In their understated British way, of course.)
• Why is The King's Speech such a rockin' movie? Because, Firth explains, it's got a lot of rockin' reaction shots in it: "It's his face looking at her face, looking at his face...It's watching other people watch other people."
• Is it wrong to admit you liked Leo's review of The Fighter better?