The Golden Globes are the most reliably fizzy awards show of the year, typically fueled by a mix of the Champagne flowing at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and more irreverent hosting than the Oscars. On Sunday night, even as somber world events and a lack of air conditioning at the Hilton thickened the atmosphere, stars still found the spirit for tart jokes, mutual admiration and spoon-fed caviar. Here are a few moments from behind the scenes:
It's gauche to want an award too much in Hollywood, but Julianne Moore admitted backstage that events like the Golden Globes could be motivators.
After her win for actress in a drama for her portrayal in "Still Alice" of a woman diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's, Moore said: "The awards season is always great... As much as we like to say we don't care about it, we all like it.... I think all of us in our work are trying to be better."
Clooney came ready to laugh
Before George Clooney collected his Cecil B. DeMille Award, Globes hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey had cracked a joke implying that his new wife, Amal, a prominent attorney and activist, was more worthy of a lifetime achievement honor than he was. Backstage, Clooney, wearing his wedding tuxedo with a "Je Suis Charlie" button on it, took the ribbing in stride and praised the hosts, who had zinged him last year about his perennial bachelordom in a joke about "Gravity."
"I didn't even think that was a joke," Clooney said of their praise of Amal. "Tina and Amy kill me. I think that they're the best hosts of this show. Last year's 'Gravity' joke was the best. Tonight, I thought it was hysterical."
"Je Suis Charlie"
The show took on thorny contemporary events, with lines about the Sony cyber attack and Bill Cosby rape allegations and a serious-minded speech from Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. President Theo Kingma about freedom of expression.
"I love the Je Suis Charlie stuff — or, Nous Sommes Charlie," "Theory of Everything" actress Felicity Jones said. "It's so important that it be discussed."
Jones, who was seated next to her costar Eddie Redmayne and his new wife, smiled at their affection. "How cute are they?"
She stifled a yawn. Asked whether she'd be awake enough to make it to any parties, she said: "Oh, I'm gonna party my face off!"
Bring on the drinks!
While some celebrities engaged on political issues, others were content to glide through the evening unemcumbered.
"House of Cards" star Kate Mara said, "I'm too drunk to answer anything real. Of course, they are talking about that stuff. There's more going on than ever."
Overhearing the conversation, Kevin Spacey, who had been holding Mara's hand throughout the evening, quickly got up. "And that's my cue to leave!"
For many performers, the Golden Globes are a chance to bump into colleagues they admire.
Comedian Louis CK hugged Kevin Hart during a commercial break and called him "just fiercely talented and hilarious."
"I watch everything you do," Hart replied.
After their lovefest concluded, CK praised the hosts' Cosby joke.
"Pretty funny," he said with a smile. "Great jokes from very funny people."
Then he spotted Robert Downey Jr. and moved on for another hug.
"Baby!" Downey yelled.
Lorde and Lena
"You look sooo gorgeous," Dunham said, referring to the pop star by her real name, Ella. "Who are you sitting with? We'd really like to have you. Taylor [Swift] is going to meet us at the HBO party. I'll text you!"
Smoking on the balcony
In the final moments before the show started, attendees smoked on a balcony overlooking the hotel pool, where Heidi Klum and Jemima Kirke made an unlikely pair while taking drags and chatting and Liev Schreiber and Megan Ellison puffed away solo while texting on their phones.
Reese Witherspoon ran past them all to the bar while complaining to her agent husband, Jim Toth, that the bottom of her dress was wet.
Inside the VIP lounge, Salma Hayek was shocked by the offerings.
"Is that a caviar bar?" she asked, before a representative spooned three spoonfuls of Alverta President into her mouth from a $2,100 half-kilo tin.
"Weird but fun"
Patti Smith, whose song "Mercy Is" from "Noah" was nominated, slowly made her way down the red carpet, stopping to talk with pretty much anyone who asked.
"This is weird, but it's fun," Smith said, adding that she's a big film fan. "Yeah, there's a lot of screaming going on, but really, we look at this as energy."
Smith said she used to watch the Golden Globes every year on TV with her late mother.
"I remember when it was in black and white! My mom would love this. I'm here tonight for my mother."
Staff writers Yvonne Villarreal and Deborah Vankin contributed to this report