Backstage Report: Tina Fey Doesn't Understand, Just Like Sarah Palin

Tina Fey, Mickey Rourke, Kate Winslet, Steven Spielberg, more dish backstage at the 2009 Golden Globes

By Joal Ryan Jan 12, 2009 4:51 AMTags
Tina FeyAP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Tina Fey discusses Sarah Palin. And not. Mickey Rourke loves his dogs. A lot. Alec Baldwin sweats. Even more than Rourke loves his dogs. Maybe the blotty Kate Winslet can help him out?

A rundown of the night's backstage doings—and sayings:

Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

"They were blotting papers," Winslet tells me. "It wasn't a second speech. No further expectations."

• Blotting papers are papers used to, yes, blot. If you must know the nitty-gritty details, they're used to blot residue from your face. If your oily face has never heard of them, you've got company. "Somebody told me about them tonight," blotting-paper convert Winslet reports.

The low-key Tom Wilkinson is back here now because the supercharged Jeremy Piven isn't. (Wilkinson beat Piven et al in the supporting TV actor category.) I'd ask Wilkinson the question I had ready for Piven, but I doubt Wilkinson knows if Piven is still radioactive.

Who knew Wilkinson was a regular Winslet, minus the blotting papers? "I got terribly flustered [on stage]. It's much more unsettling than you think it's going to be, especially when you see Clint Eastwood and Bruce Springsteen," he says. "If I make a mistake they'll come beat me up."

 Aren't reporters great? They dredge up stuff like how you were a Miss Golden Globe in 1982, and then ask you about it on your big night for Recount. Good sport Laura Dern doesn't mind the flashback. She even had one herself on the drive to the Beverly Hilton. "I remembered my grandma dropping me off to rehearse for the Golden Globes," she says.

 Aren't reporters great? They hunt around for a picture of your Miss Golden Globes past, and then post the link so everybody can enjoy your modestly feathered bangs.

5:39 p.m.: “I’m old enough to drink and stay up past 10.” Anna Paquin on the difference between winning an Oscar (for The Piano) at the age of 11 and a Golden Globe (for True Blood) at age 26.

• Sally Hawkins gets the prize for putting a graphic new spin on the winner's old this-is-so-amazing soundbite: "It exploded my head."

 Hawkins was pulled aside by Meryl Streep as the British actress made her way to the stage to accept for Happy-Go-Lucky. What did Streep, who was up for Mamma Mia! in Hawkins' category, tell her vanquisher? Reports Hawkins: "Are you happy now?"

For the record, Streep, Hawkins says yes, she is happy now.

• Tom Hanks, back here for the Globe-dominating John Adams miniseries, seems full of whatever it is they're serving in the International Ballroom. He's big and bouncy and funny and mock-quibbles with a reporter over a question about the potential actors' strike. No doubt it's the asparagus talking. 

Sarah Palin doesn't understand why Tina Fey, a winner again for 30 Rock, was hailed as 2008's entertainer of the year. So does Fey understand why Palin doesn't understand?

"I don't understand it, either," Fey tells me. "There are a lot of things that she and I don't understand."

 I try to get Fey to comment on Palin's criticism of the Bristol Palin-inspired Saturday Night Live crack about teenage marriage, but Fey, who's always seemed uncomfortable with the Palin subject and spotlight, isn't about to further provoke Wasilla's "Mama Grizzly." "No reaction," she says.

Paul Drinkwater /NBC

Globe winner Alec Baldwin, back here with his 30 Rock costars, is gushing more sweat than Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. He otherwise seems fine. Just wait till he gets the bill from the dry cleaners, though.

 "Good luck, Leno…Good luck with that lead-in," says Fey when the 9:30 p.m.-airing 30 Rockers are asked about Jay Leno taking over NBC's 10 p.m. weeknight time slot.

  Lifetime achievement recipient Steven Spielberg does not deny there might be a fifth Indiana Jones. "George [Lucas] and I have had a couple of conversations of what if we made another Indy film," he says. (Bottom line: Don't start lining up…yet.)  

7:24 p.m.: Did a reporter just ask a making-the-rounds Sigourney Weaver if she'd had a face lift? Probably not. What happened was a reporter told Weaver, “You look rested,” which I’ve always thought of as Hollywoodspeak for “You look like you had good work.”

For the record, Weaver credits her appearance to the “magic of hair and makeup.” And for the record, Weaver looks like Weaver, which I’ve always thought of as signifying no work or great work.

What’s Colin Farrell up to, besides winning for In Bruges? “Keeping my s--t together,” he reports.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Farrell, as you may have noticed, swears. I ask Farrell if he notices when he swears. “Certainly always after the fact,” he says. “Maybe midway through.”

During the NBC preshow, Farrell cheerfully told Eva Mendes to '"f--k off.” He confirms that that was basically just  the Colin Farrell way of saying "Hey."

TV drama series winner Mad Men’s coming back for a third season, but what about creator Matthew Weiner? “My status is unknowable,” he tells me of negotiations. “I have every intention of coming back…I’m hoping it works out. I really am…It’s my child."

I ask the cast how they envision Mad Men without Weiner. Flame-haired Christina Hendricks, Sterling Cooper’s office manager Joan Holloway, steps forward. “There is no show without Matthew,” she says. “I have complete confidence it’s going to be taken care of."

Elvis has entered the building. Mickey Rourke is rocking the press conference stage with his blue belt, his chains, his rings and his death grip on the mic stand. When a Hollywood Foreign Press flack motions for him to let go of the mic and mic stand, the King lays down the law: “I like holding it. Sit down. Cool it.”

Rourke, as you may have noticed, has trouble following rules. “I tried to beat the system,” the surprise winner for The Wrestler says, “and it beat the s--t out of me.”

Rourke is touched, deeply touched, that Bruce Springsteen penned the Globe-winning title track for his film. Gushes Rourke, “You can’t put a price on s--t like that.” 

Rourke, as you also may have noticed, does a killer Colin Farrell.

On stage, Rourke thanked his dogs. Backstage, a reporter asks Rourke about the pets’ names. Because he is Mickey Rourke, he does not say, “Fido and Spot.” No, because he is Mickey Rourke, he points to an Elvis-sized ring and reels off about a dozen dog names that he says are engraved on it (“Kid Chocolate…Romi…Le Negro…”) Then he says, “I gotta go.” And so Elvis leaves the building. 

 A moderately more composed Kate Winslet is back. This time her Globe for The Reader is being kept company by her Globe for Revolutionary Road. “I was shocked to win one. I can’t believe [I won two]. I absolutely cannot believe it. It’s honestly amazing,” she says, and like I said, she was only moderately more composed.  

Winslet meant it when she says she didn’t write two acceptance speeches. She especially meant it when it came to the lead drama actress category. “I thought Anne Hathaway was going to win. Hands down. Just no question,” she says.

Winslet’s certainty of a Hathaway win was not encouraged by the Hollywood Foreign Press’ own website, which last week mistakenly listed Hathaway as the winner. WIinslet says she wasn’t aware of the online gaffe.

I ask Winslet if she was able to make good use of her blotting papers. “Yes,” she reports. “I don’t think they’re very good, though.”

Angelina Jolie didn’t win, so the best we get backstage is an Angelina Jolie story as told by Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto. Pinto says Jolie approached her at the recent Critics’ Choice Awards just as she, the starstruck Pinto, was stuffing her mouth with a pastry. “Angelina comes up to me and says great film, and I’m like ‘Mm-mmm.’ Great timing.”

Bruce Springsteen did win, but he still didn’t come backstage. Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan, who accepted for Heath Ledger, likewise sidestepped a press conference—and the Heath Ledger questions. (At least until Oscar night.)