"There's a difference between an actor and a star," fashion designer and director Tom Ford said Monday night in Beverly Hills, on hand as a presenter at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala.
In the grand ballroom of the Beverly Hilton, however, presenters and honorees were one in the same -- nearly all notable actors, and major movie stars.
"I'm lucky enough to make a living as a working actor, but to be with the people in this room," Cooper said, looking out over a crowd that included Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Harvey Weinstein, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Melissa Leo and Quentin Tarantino.
"I've gotten really good at presenting awards, but frankly I'm out of practice in accepting awards myself," De Niro admitted, glancing at his best supporting actor prize (also for Russell's "Silver Linings").
From a seasoned favorite like De Niro to a very small actress with a big fan following, 6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" collected a breakout trophy for her spirited performance in the indie hit -- and was a massive hit at the fete, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.
Ben Affleck brought some leading man handsomeness as the cast of his "Argo" scooped a trophy for best ensemble, though in remarks Affleck mostly praised the real-life CIA vet Tony Mendez -- the agent who coordinated the rescue of six Americans from Iran in 1979.
Tarantino's latest leading lady, Kerry Washington, attended to hand out spotlight awards to promising young adult performers, including Bella Heathcote from David Chase's upcoming "Not Fade Away" and Ezra Miller from "The Perks of Being A Wallflower."
"Entertainment Tonight" host Nancy O'Dell returned as emcee for the evening, looking gorgeous but targeted nonetheless by Judd Apatow, who nabbed the ceremony's comedy prize.
Apatow kept rolling notes about how he'd improve the show in real time, up until he hit the podium for his own award.
He even mused on the evening's male breakout winner, John Hawkes of "The Sessions."
"John Hawkes looks like he'd kick his character's ass from 'The Sessions,'" he joked. But he certainly didn't spare himself.
"Ben Affleck is aging better than me," Apatow concluded.