The roster was impressive: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Ben Affleck, Kristen Stewart. Those were just some of the big stars to walk the red carpet at the Hollywood Film Awards, which had its national television debut Friday night.
But after posing for the requisite glamour shot in front of a pool of photographers, only a handful of the award show’s honorees actually talked to the press outside the Hollywood Palladium. Most of them made a beeline for the theater.
Eddie Redmayne, who is hard at work campaigning for an Oscar for his turn in “The Theory of Everything,” gamely made his way down the press line. And so did Jack O’Connell, the British newcomer trying to make himself known to Americans before the release next month of "Unbroken," the new film from Angelina Jolie.
A game O’Connell poked some gentle fun at the telecast’s newcomer status. Asked if he had been familiar with the Hollywood Film Awards before he was given this year’s New Hollywood Award, he replied cheekily: “Grew up to it. They set the standard all the way through my life.”
Benedict Cumberbatch, Amy Adams, Steve Carell and Channing Tatum were among the A-list attendees. They just didn't get very chatty.
Although who could blame them. Keira Knightley -- who took home the evening’s Hollywood Supporting Actress prize -- had an awkward interaction with one reporter backstage over a question she took issue with. When a female journalist asked how the actress balanced her personal life and her work commitments, Knightley quickly fired back.
“Are you going to ask all the men that tonight? You just do. You have your work that you love and you make sure you have time for your life."
There were more. Michael Keaton was asked about the best gift he’d ever given. (A horse.) Mike Myers was asked what he’ll make for Thanksgiving. (“Canadian or American?”) But it was Gerard Butler who perhaps had to field the most ridiculous inquiry: “Gerard, J.Lo gave you your award tonight. So I’m wondering what's your favorite word for ‘ass’?”
There were some nice, genuine moments though, as when Cumberbatch talked about how emotional he got after realizing what Alan Turing, the real mathematician he plays in his upcoming "The Imitation Game" went through as a closeted homosexual. And when O’Connell said “Unbroken” had matured him, that it turned him “into a man." And Janelle Monae had a surprising response to where she keeps some of her award trophies: “In the fish tank, because nobody wants to reach their hand in and steal them. Fish tanks stink.”
As it turns out, Monae’s new Hollywood Film Award may not even make it back to her house. O’Connell’s broke just minutes after he received it.
“Does anybody have any glue? I blame the designer. I barely picked it up.”
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