The stars descended on the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills in L.A. on Saturday for a chance to catch up — British-style — with awards contenders, industry executives, members of BAFTA Los Angeles and other VIPs at the annual British Tea Party.
The traditional high tea, complete with mini-sandwiches, scones and various other pastries, celebrated all the nominees in the current awards season. In addition, the affair served to raise awareness of BAFTA L.A.’s scholarship, education and community programs to nurture talented individuals and smooth their pathway into the entertainment industry. (BAFTA is short for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.)
“I know this is one of the busiest weekends of the year,” said Kieran Breen, the organization’s chairman. “So I’m delighted that so many of you are here with us doing what Brits do best in weeks of stress and anxiety. We stop. We have a cup of tea, and then everything is so much better.”
Breen hadn’t been exaggerating. The “So many of you” included Jessica Chastain, Michelle Williams, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell, Mary J. Blige, Rachel Brosnahan, Timothée Chalamet, David Harbour, Brooklynn Prince, Issa Rae, Emma Watson, Emilia Clarke, Daniel Kaluuya, Jordan Peele, Gillian Anderson, Diane Kruger, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily Gordon, Freddie Highmore, Allison Janney, Justin Hartley, Nick Jonas, Armie Hammer, Richard Jenkins, director Aaron Sorkin, songwriter Diane Warren, composer Carter Burwell and more.
The awards may have been the main topic of conversation, but when asked, most weighed in on this year’s Golden Globes dress code: black.
Hammer said he supported the black dress code “as long as that’s not all you’re doing,” before adding, “It’s nice that everyone is showing their solidarity and showing that we are all accessories toward a change that we want. But at the end of the day wearing black isn’t going to be enough. … We need to address the larger issue of violence perpetrated on women.”
The “Call Me by Your Name” actor, up for a supporting actor award at the Golden Globes, said he considered himself lucky to have played a part in the best picture (drama) nominee. “This is a film that has had a really impactful and long-lasting aftertaste. I carry it with me, and it feels like it’s a part of me.”
Said Sorkin, director of “Molly’s Game” and a nominee in the screenplay category, “I had the time of my life making the film, and it really was a triumph of collaboration. I was just surrounded by very talented, very dedicated people beginning with Jessica [Chastain].”
And regarding his sartorial plans, he said, “I have to confess, I would be wearing black anyway,” but added, “I’ll be wearing a Time’s Up band.”
“Who knows?” Brosnahan of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” said of her chances of winning a Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy TV series. “The most exciting thing about [the nomination] is that this category is so amazing. It’s filled with women who I am — and have been — completely in awe of, and some for a really long time. Honestly, I’m just excited to have my name in the same sentence with them and to sit next to them and maybe touch butts with them.”
As for wearing black, she said, “I’m so happy we’re having this conversation. I’m so grateful to the leaders of our industry who came together and said, ‘Let’s do more,’ and turned it into action. … We’re now standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers all over the world against sexual harassment and against abuse of power.”
We’re now standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers all over the world against sexual harassment and against abuse of power.
Rachel Brosnahan of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Jenkins said he’s thrilled at the audience response to “The Shape of Water,” nominated for best picture (drama), although, “until we saw it with an audience, we didn’t know.” A nominee for best supporting actor, he said he loved his role. “I felt like I was in a 1940s Hollywood classic, a Frank Capra genre movie with [director] Guillermo del Toro’s touch. It was so cool. I felt like Spencer Tracy would come around the corner.”
Will he wear black? “I have a black ribbon, and if I can find a black shirt, I’ll wear it,” Jenkins said.
As a best actor nominee for “Call Me by Your Name,” Chalamet said, “This is what you dream about when you’re a young actor. It’s the first dream to be economically sustainable. The second is to have a part in something that feels fresh — or is well-received — or important or moves the conversation forward.” And yes, like the others polled at the tea party, he too will wear black.
As will Helen Mirren, a best actress nominee for “The Leisure Seeker.” “It’s the right thing to do,” she said.
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