Offstage at SAG: Betty White’s thing for Robert Redford and a giddy ‘Glee’
After watching the Golden Globes red carpet turn into a soggy glamour scramble, the organizers of the Screen Actors Guild Awards pitched a tent over their scarlet rug. The rain never came Saturday evening at the Shrine Auditorium, but the covering still felt right -- every celebrity circus needs a big top. The Times’ Geoff Boucher and Amy Kaufman share some moments from the center ring, inside and outside the show.
The show ended with a director singing the praises of another director. Eli Roth, a filmmaker best know for the gruesome “Hostel” torture films, was one of Quentin Tarantino’s many bold casting choices for “Inglourious Basterds,” his alternate history of WWII, which won the ensemble award. The most famous face in the movie wasn’t on hand ( Brad Pitt was off “scalping people,” said co-star Omar Doom), but supporting actor winner Christoph Waltz, who stole the film as Nazi Col. Hans Landa, was -- and Roth went on to say the win wouldn’t have happened without him. “Let’s all thank Christoph for getting us here,” a giddy Roth said to his costars, and they all slapped Waltz on the back. Waltz was overjoyed “to be an overnight sensation after so many years, it’s exhilarating.” And he had an unexpected moment backstage when Sandra Bullock embraced him and chatted him up in impeccable German.
Hey, Jeff Bridges, how does it feel to finally win? “Just to be acknowledged by fellow actors, the guys who do what you do, who know what it’s all about, is quite an acknowledgment and it feels just wonderful. I felt my mom and dad. We lost my mom last year, and I felt their spirits rushing into the room applauding and loving this.”
So who is Betty White star-struck by? “I’ve never met him, but Robert Redford is my standard answer. Very close to the top of that one is Sandra Bullock. She’s the epitome of what a movie star should be. She’s not only gorgeous and talented, but she’s the most down-to-earth human being. I just can’t say enough about her.”
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 ensemble nomination, “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.”
Although the cast members of “The Hangover” won their Golden Globe nearly a week ago, Ed Helms said he was still surprised by the honor. “To be clear, our movie is a stupid thing about guys running around in Vegas,” he laughed. So, does he think the film could make it to the best picture slot at the Oscars? “If the film won a Nobel Peace Prize, I wouldn’t be surprised at this point.”
Carey Mulligan, this season’s “It” girl after her starring turn in “An Education,” said she was slowly getting used to the award show circuit, which only a few months ago, she was dreading. “It’s more fun than I thought it would be actually -- more relaxed.” After garnering a slew of lead 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.”
Once more, with “Glee”: The cast members of “Glee” were pretty excited to be first-time visitors to the SAG Awards -- and first-time winners, in the comedy ensemble category -- and hammed it up on the 25-foot backstage runway, where winners pose for shouting photographers from all over the world. Then they came back for a second run. And then, for some of them, a third time. They also got excited about a kiosk where T-Mobile was loaning out phones to winners so they could call and tell their families the news. The group was as giddy as, well, a glee club. Taking it all in was Ashley Hamilton, who was working the awards gala for “Extra.” “Give them five years,” the son of George Hamilton said with a wink. “Let’s see if they’re still that excited.”