FROM THE ARCHIVES
The Golden Globes Finally Get Some Respect
A wide range of movie and TV stars fire up the 52nd annual event, which is often seen as a precursor to the Oscars.
Best actor winner Tom Hanks and best actress winner Holly Hunter greet each other backstage at the Golden Globes. (Larry Davis / LAT)
Suddenly, half a dozen or so valet parking attendants rushed forward to push the car down a ramp, as smoke billowed toward the front entrance and the celebrities dressed in their formal evening attire.
"It's Hollywood," quipped "Pulp Fiction's" Samuel Jackson. "You sure it's not special effects?"
A few years ago, a car fire in front of the Golden Globes might have invited smirks. After all, the awards show was then seen as something of a joke in Hollywood, not to be taken seriously. But, today, all that has changed. This year, big movie and TV stars made appearances at the show as did studio chiefs such as Sherry Lansing of Paramount Pictures, Bob Daly of Warner Bros., Mark Canton of Columbia Pictures/TriStar Pictures and Joe Roth of Walt Disney Studios.
Few events offer such a wide range of celebrities. This one attracted the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tim Allen, Brad Pitt, Heather Locklear, Dudley Moore, Sharon Stone, Rosie Perez, Joan Collins, Diana Ross, Joey Lawrence, David Hasselhoff and Sophia Loren--not to mention the cast of "E.R.," who walked en masse into the hotel's International Ballroom.
Arriving to shouts of "Forrest! Forrest!," Hanks said he knew exactly how the slow-witted Forrest Gump would respond if he had just arrived at the Golden Globes and seen the hundreds of photographers and fans screaming for his attention.
"He'd already be inside," Hanks said, motioning with his hand, as if to say Gump would have run as fast as he could, just like he did on that football field in the movie.
As it turned out, Hanks had a cold Saturday night and didn't feel like doing much running, even after he won the Golden Globe for best actor in a drama in "Forrest Gump." Hanks said people now follow him around asking him to do Forrest Gump impressions. "I ate so many chocolates," he said, his voice trailing off.
"Gump," in fact, went on to win its share of Golden Globes, a feather in the cap for Paramount Pictures, which released the movie and has seen it become a runaway hit. In addition to Hanks, the film itself won best drama and Robert Zemeckis took one home for best director.
The Golden Globes is often seen as a precursor to the Oscars, which are given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Hanks joked that he heard that the Oscars are actually now a precursor to the MTV Awards.
The Golden Globes, an annual event put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., is less formal than the Academy Awards. Perhaps for that reason, many of the winners and presenters were feeling loose backstage as they fielded questions from the press.
Quentin Tarantino, who wrote and directed the critically acclaimed "Pulp Fiction," won a Golden Globe for best screenplay. As he stepped to the podium, he looked more like a stand-up comic as he greeted everyone in his best Elvis impersonation: "Thank you. Thank you very much." Then he launched into one of the more lively press conferences of the evening.
Asked how it felt to win, he said: "When you go to an awards ceremony, it's awful darn nice to win." Then cackling, he went on: "It's like going to a dance and being asked to dance. It's like, 'Hey . . . cool.' "
What are some of your favorite scenes, people wanted to know. "Right now, my favorite thing in 'Pulp Fiction' is the way John Travolta says, 'OK, when are you gonna buy the intercom?' You know, like that never ceases to tickle me."
Asked to compare "Pulp Fiction" and "Forrest Gump," which many see as the favorites going into the Academy Awards, Tarantino replied:
"Everyone in the press is saying 'Forrest Gump' represents this. And, 'Pulp Fiction' represents the exact opposite end of the spectrum. And here they are battling it out. But my table (at the Golden Globes) was right next to the 'Forrest Gump' people, and I said, 'Look, is it just me, or is everybody completely misreading your movie?' It was a really funny movie and filled with more irony than any Hollywood movie I had ever seen in my life. . . . I don't really think they are that different, to tell you the truth."
Zemeckis, for his part, said his favorite line in "Gump" is: "Sometimes, there aren't enough rocks."
Jamie Lee Curtis was so exuberant after winning a Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for the movie "True Lies" that she bounded on the backstage podium. "This is the greatest part I ever had, and certainly the biggest movie," she said.