A look at the surprising doings and sayings backstage at the 69th Annual Golden Globes:
Clooney Is Never Wrong, er, Right? Some insta-critics might have disagreed, but Gervais got good notices from several of the winners, including Kate Winslet and Clooney. "I thought he was fun," the latter said. "I think people were expecting a lot of trash talk. He did what he does. He makes me laugh. He's funny."
Actually, No, He's Never Wrong: The Descendants star nailed one of the highlights of the night: "Jane Fonda in that dress. My God."
Um, Eat Pad Thai? When asked about the whereabouts of his Ides of March charge Ryan Gosling, Clooney cracked, "He's in Thailand or something, and you know what you do in Thailand…"
Never Follow a Kid Act—or a Pet Act: No offense to Mr. Clooney, but once you've seen Uggie the dog in person, the gray-haired one, who took the press-conference stage in the wake of The Artist's cast, didn't seem quite as cute anymore.
Well, He Does Have That Over Uggie: Unlike the cinematic canine, who was silent, vaguely skittish, not to mention, way shorter in person, Clooney carried on credible discourse on Darfur, the power of film, the significance of Sidney Poitier and, appropriately enough, rescue dogs.
Hey, That's Just What George Clooney Would Have Said! The Artist's dapper Jean Dujardin was asked about being the so-called "George Clooney of France." He smiled a dazzling smile, then smartly demurred. "It's a joke," he said with the help of a translator. "…It's very nice, but it's very hard for [me] to hear such things."
Hey, That's Just What George Clooney Would Have Done! During The Artist's press conference, Dujardin scooped up the overwhelmed-looking Uggie, and gave the pooch a scratch on the head.
Lost in the Non-Translation: So, we asked Dujardin whether people tell the silent-film star that he's louder in person. Our first-class wit (and probably poorly worded English) eluded him. Stammered the actor, "What? Maybe. I don't know!"
A Likely Story: "I can't believe I said sh-t on TV," Streep said. "I never do anything like that."
Another Likely Story: As viewers of the Globes telecast know, Streep cussed because she forgot her glasses, and couldn't read her speech. Or so she said. She claimed to have the speech on her backstage, but when reporters asked her to read it, The Iron Lady winner said, "It's too long."
And Yet Another Likely Story: Clooney explained he didn't want to bring Streep's glasses up to the stage (so she could read her phantom speech) because he didn't want to interrupt her. He said he handed the specs to David Fincher, figuring the director would know how to take charge, but he, Fincher, "chickened out." The glasses ended up back with Streep's husband. Or so Clooney said.
Most Stunned-Looking (and Most Slight, Too): Michelle Williams.
So, Yeah, She Was Totally Robbed: Williams won for My Week With Marilyn; Marilyn Monroe wasn't even nominated for the movie's source material, The Prince and the Showgirl. Did the Globes snub Monroe, we ask Williams? "I have tremendous fondness for that performance," the actress said. "She's luminous."
Somebody's Been Doing Her IMDb Homework: Unprompted, Williams correctly pointed out that Monroe was honored on other occasions by the Hollywood Foreign Press, including once with the now-defunct World Film Favorite honor.
And the Golden Globe for Best Golden Globes Performance Goes to...: The Help's Octavia Spencer. She was funny, she was serious, and she was always personable. "I'm sorry, y'all," she confesses, "but I have to keep these shoes off." And so she took 'em off.
A Memo to Shoe Designer Christian LouBoutin from Ms. Spencer: "When you have this much weight, you gotta give us more platform."
Most Awkward Moment: Matt LeBlanc humored a reporter who, in embarrassing fashion, asked him to do Joey's "How you doin'?" After all those Globe losses for Friends, and after all the trouble with Joey, the actor deserved better on his night of victory for Episodes.
Most Comfortable With the Backstage Press, Not Counting Clooney Who Doesn't Count Because He'd Always Win: Steven Spielberg, Clare Danes and the cast of Modern Family. Sofía Vergara even waved rabbit-ear fingers over Jesse Tyler Ferguson's head while he fielded a question.
And He Wasn't Talking About Camille, Either: "There's a lot on my plate."—Boss winner Kelsey Grammer on his life, his series (about to start shooting season two)—and his baby-to-be. Make that, babies-to-be. Grammer let it slip he and his wife are expecting twins.
Albert Nobbs 2: The Sequel Has a Star!" I would like to one day play a man," Mildred Pierce winner Winlset confessed when asked about her as-yet unrealized ambitions.
Er, Um…Sorry? Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage followed Williams to the press-conference stage, and he noticed the room was different. As in, quieter. "You had so many questions for Michelle," he said.
Whatever Happened to the Biggest Party of the Year?! So, how did Madonna immediately plan to mark her victory? "I'm going to go back to my seat," she said.
"Capt. von Trapp" Would've Worked, Too: Reporters, to a writer, respectfully addressed 82-year-old Christopher Plummer not as "Chris," or "Christopher," but as "Mr. Plummer."
So, Yes, He Is Overall Familiar With How the Internet Operates: We informed Mr. Plummer (natch) that the Twitterverse, its Joan Rivers wing included, had nothing but nice things to say about the Beginners winner. Did he appreciate how rare that is? "Usually," he told us, "they have no nice things to say about me at all."
A Couple of Teases: Idris Elba, a winner for Luther, handled a question on whether he'll be the next James Bond by saying he'd be "honored to play the part," while Jessica Lange handled a question on whether she'll be back for season two of American Horror Story by saying "nothing is definite yet."
Me. Ow: Homeland's Morena Baccarin got a question on her dress, the one that was quite striking, and, um, well-ventilated, and she didn't seem happy. "Well, I'm glad I get to talk about the real stuff," she noted.
Geez, Let's Hope He Doesn't Think Everybody Always Dresses So Fancy: "This is my first time in California," said The Artist composer Ludovic Bource.
(Originally published Jan. 15, 2012, at 6:39 p.m. PT )