SAG Awards red carpet: Champagne, a few ‘Mad Men,’ some ‘Glee,’ a little ‘Hurt’ and of course a ‘Hangover’

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What a difference a week makes. And a tent, just in case.

The red carpet at Saturday’s SAG Awards was a brilliant change from the Golden Globes downpour last weekend; across the street from USC, limos and Town Cars crept by in the chilly sunlight as celebs posed for pics and then streamed -- some of them directly (Mariah Carey, Penelope Cruz, Woody Harrelson) --- into the Shrine Auditorium.

What was happening over on the red carpet, as students and other looky-loos pressed up against temporary barriers in the chilly sun, many perching up on tip-toe for a glimpse of the stars?

The festivities began with a Taittinger champagne toast on the red carpet -- but Edie Falco wasn’t planning to join the tippling crowd. ‘That is so not me. I’m so not that person.’

‘Maybe once upon a time, but those days are long gone.’ Edie was among the actors kicking off the broadcast -- so now you know she was stone cold sober when she announced she was the leader of the free world. ‘Oh wait, that’s not me.’

Kiernan Shipka, 12, who plays the daughter of Jon Hamm‘s Don Draper on ‘Mad Men,’ hit the red carpet in a deep blue dress she bought on trendy Robertson Boulevard. To prepare for the big day, Kiernan Googled celebrity pics online to see how to pose on the red carpet.


Speaking with poise beyond her years, the young actress called Hamm ‘phenomenal.’ But her age showed in one way: ‘I can’t wait to see the cast of ‘Glee!’ I hope I run into them soon.’

If you know the Ministry, you know we’d also be hard pressed to choose between Jon Hamm and the cast of ‘Glee.’ But we were crushing on Jon when he was in Park City, Utah, yesterday, so today we’ll go with ‘Glee.’

Though it’s been nearly a week since the cast of ‘The Hangover’ won a Golden Globe, actor Ed Helms said he’s still surprised by the honor.

‘To be clear: Our movie is a stupid thing about guys running around in Vegas,’ Helms said with a laugh.

So what are its chances of a best picture slot at the Oscars? ‘If the film won a Nobel Peace Prize, I wouldn’t be surprised at this point.’

Jeremy Renner and Brian Geraghty, two of the stars of ‘The Hurt Locker,’ arrived on the red carpet still a bit dazed by the triumphs of the small but incendiary drama.

‘People ask if we will win tonight,’ Geraghty said of the film’s nomination for best ensemble, ‘but to me we won months ago. When we were out in the sand making the movie, we didn’t know if anyone was even going to see it. We opened on four screens. We won a long time ago.’

Renner said he’s always bewildered by the carpet scene. ‘You feel like you know everybody, but of course you only know two people. And one of them is you. Every carpet is surreal. But I’m having a good time.’

The cast of ‘Mad Men,’ now well acquainted with the award-season rigmarole, appeared laid back on the carpet.

‘After three years, you take it less seriously. I was like, ‘Should I bother to get my hair cut?’' joked Michael Gladis, who plays Paul Kinsey. But many of the cast members made it clear they were ready to party.

One of their favorite hot spots? Seven Grand, a bar downtown near where the show shoots. ‘We don’t drink in our trailers until shooting is over,’ said Bryan Batt, who plays Salvadore Romano.

Carey Mulligan, this season’s ‘it’ girl after her starring turn in ‘An Education,’ said she was slowly getting used to the awards show circuit -- which only a few months ago, she was dreading.

‘It’s more fun than I thought it would be actually -- more relaxed.’ Despite receiving a slew of best actress nominations this season, she said all of the nods were equally moving. ‘It’s just fun to be able to go up to people you admire and have them be so warm and nice.’ So who will she be approaching tonight? ‘Christoph Waltz. I mean, he’s amazing.’

Christina Applegate, who was presenting an award and also nominated for one, said she felt a sense of vindication in getting a nod for her role in the now-canceled ‘Samantha Who.’

‘It’s crazy -- I didn’t even know I was eligible. It’s certainly bizarre.’ But she won’t rub any potential prizes in the face of the ABC execs who pulled the plug on her show. ‘I’m vindictive, but I’m not for cruel vindication.’

Holly Hunter, nominated for her title role in ‘Saving Grace,’ said the nominations of other leading ladies like Kyra Sedgwick and Glenn Close represent the power of cable television.

‘It’s fantastic that TNT has sponsored these shows,’ she said. ‘It signifies the strength of cable.

‘When I found out the show was going to be on cable [over broadcast], that was a major attraction.’

-- Amy Kaufman and Geoff Boucher, with Christie D’Zurilla

Photos, from top: Jeremy Renner, Kiernan Shipka and Holly Hunter. Credits, from top: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times; Paul Buck / EPA; Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.

Click here for the Ministry’s Golden Globes coverage, including our live-on-Twitter transcript from the whole day. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter (we’re @LATcelebs). And if you want to become a fan on Facebook, find us at We have live tweets coming this weekend from the Sundance Film Festival too.