The evening of the Golden Globes is arguably the best night of the year for Hollywood parties. At the Beverly Hilton alone, there are six big events — parties hosted by HBO, the Weinstein Co./Netflix, NBCUniversal, Fox/Hulu, Amazon and Warner Bros./InStyle. Many onlookers just camp out in the hotel lobby to see stars as they bounce among bashes.
With so many options it's difficult to know where the action is taking place, so when the show lets out, a sea of people in tuxedos and gowns pours out of the Hilton ballroom looking perplexed: Where to go first? We decide on Fox, since it's been a big night for the studio with wins for "The Revenant" and "The Martian."
8:45 p.m.: Well, so much for that plan. Matt Damon — the star of "The Martian" — is already on his way out by the time we're on the way in. And it seems most of the other Globes guests used a similar strategy: The party is so crowded it's difficult to move. The chaos doesn't seem to bother a jovial Jim Gianopulos, chairman and chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment. "I don't know what the measure of happiness is, but I'm off the charts tonight," he tells us. "It's a wonderful night, so great to see our filmmakers get the recognition they so richly deserved."
9: A survey of the room suggests that Fox's other big winner, Leonardo DiCaprio, is nowhere to be found. Which is a shame, because we're hoping to catch him dancing with Jonah Hill and some models — something we've spotted him doing on Globes night in years past. Even though DiCaprio hasn't made his way to the bash yet, his posse has: Longtime friend Tobey Maguire is camped out at a table, drink in hand.
9:15: David O. Russell is holding court at a corner booth, looking cheerful even though he missed the director prize. Maybe he's high off the win for his "Joy" leading lady, Jennifer Lawrence, also nowhere to be found. Could she be off somewhere with ex Nicholas Hoult? We saw them chatting midshow.
9:30: An insider secret: Even though the ceremony includes a plated meal, no one eats. And that's not just because everyone is sucked into Spanx. Dinner is served at 4:30, during the heat of the red carpet, and then cleared promptly for TV, so by the time everyone makes it to their seats by 5 p.m., most guests have missed out on the surf and turf. So now everyone is ravenous (or perhaps just glad they don't have to worry about fitting into a fancy dress anymore). I spot a pizza oven and find the guys from the trendy new Fairfax restaurant Jon & Vinny's handing out thin-crust slices. We haven't even been able to get a reservation at this joint — which our own Jonathan Gold was super into — so we take a couple of slices and continue our star-sighting quest.
9:32: Finally, a big one: Lady Gaga! "I'm surprised, period," the pop superstar admits, then adds, as she had in her acceptance speech, "I always wanted to be an actress, even longer than I wanted to be a singer." Then she heads for the door, taking a major tumble on her way to the exit. Thankfully, two big bodyguards are there to pick her up, though she seems wobbly. Her Marilyn Monroe-esque wig, however, remains intact.
9:45: "Fargo" star Kirsten Dunst and her boyfriend, Garrett Hedlund, are sitting on the smoking patio, not smoking. Did you guys see what Dunst was wearing? Well, a lot of partygoers did, because they kept remarking on how much cleavage the actress was showing. Dunst, however, seemed unfazed by the chatter, nuzzling close to her dude. We're kind of wishing we had our own partners in crime here, as there are so many people packed into the room that it's starting to feel overwhelming.
So, time to move on. The Netflix/Weinstein bash is the most logical next step, since it's right next door.
10: Taylor Schilling of "Orange Is the New Black," in one of the night's more plunging gowns — can you say trend? — is mingling with Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox and other castmates and friends on one side of the room, while Rooney Mara sits perched on a sofa on the other, along with Cate Blanchett, cinematographer Edward Lachman, composer Carter Burwell and others from their film "Carol."
10:15: Oddly, the party is still relatively empty; maybe guests got caught on in the slow-shuttle kerfuffle? Word is that guests being driven in from a parking structure are waiting more than two hours to get to the Hilton. To kill time, we wander to the freebie room, where bartenders are mixing fancy drinks inspired by Lindt chocolates. For those who don't want a cocktail, there's a vending machine dispensing mini bottles of selfie-inspiring Moët Champagne. We swing by the Laura Mercier touch-up booth, where a few guests are getting their lips repainted. We grab a few tubes of complimentary lip gloss and some eye shadow and decide to head over to Amazon's party.
10:30: Held on the eighth floor of the Hilton, the Amazon bash is decorated with silver vases holding abundant orchid bouquets. A deejay presides over a proper dance floor, where guests are celebrating the "Transparent" nominees and the streaming service's wins for "Mozart in the Jungle." Gael García Bernal, who snagged the award for actor in a television series, musical or comedy, tells us the celebration is as much for Gustavo Dudamel, music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as for anyone in the room. The show wouldn't exist, he said, if it weren't for the example Dudamel set and for the classical music world's recognition of the many musicians from Spanish-speaking countries.
So many parties, so little time. They're Champagne problems, obviously, but still — time to jet over to the InStyle/Warner Bros. party.
10:40: This is the loudest room yet: The lights are dark, and the music is pounding. Could it have been too raucous even for Kylie Jenner? Towering over older sister Kourtney Kardashian, the pouty reality star was leaving as we settled in. Rami Malek, the "Mr. Robot" star we spotted earlier taking selfies with fellow nominees on the red carpet, is also making an early exit. "A year ago, I would have never expected this to happen," the 34-year-old says of his acting nomination and for the awards won by his show, in the dramatic TV series category and by castmate Christian Slater for supporting actor in a TV series. "I got to go up against Jon Hamm — someone I've respected for so long — and he hugged me and congratulated me," Malek said. "It's been a win all the way."
10:50: There's a booth here where guests can try out virtual reality headsets and experience a handful of different scenarios, including a race track scene and a photo shoot with the Kardashians. We opt for the Kardashian choice, obviously, but the video keeps malfunctioning. Maybe that's why the sisters made a dash for it?
We decide to make HBO the last stop of the night.
11:15: When we arrive everyone's already busy telling us who we missed. Harrison Ford! Rachel McAdams! Oscar Isaac! But a few stars are still mingling — Viola Davis, Vince Vaughn, Larry David. Reality star Lisa Rinna is here with husband Harry Hamlin. We grab a cookie and contemplate how amazing it would be if David were a "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" fan. Alas, he and Rinna never interact, and our feet are starting to hurt. While most of the A-listers are now headed off-campus to the ultra-elite CAA and WME agency parties, we're going to take our heels off and drive home barefoot.