The traffic circle outside the Beverly Hilton hotel was overrun with plastic and unfurled carpets Thursday morning, while the fountain at the center continued to gush uninterrupted.
Inside, the hotel's International Ballroom was transformed into a construction site, eight oversize gilded spheres adorning the far walls providing the only hint of what's to come on Sunday when the annual Golden Globe Awards take place here.
Workers in T-shirts and hoodies put finishing touches on the stage, credentials dangling from their necks as they bent to install lights on the stairs. Three bright orange ladders cluttered the stage, bold and out-of-place among the elegant black and silver lights. Overall, the ballroom looked more like a Home Depot than a place where hundreds of Hollywood's biggest stars will soon gather.
First-time Globes host Seth Meyers was on hand to witness the initial set-up as a murmur of voices and the erratic din of a drill filled the air behind him.
"I think this might be the best room for comedy," said Meyers, who has also hosted the Emmys, the ESPYs and the White House Correspondents’ Assn. Dinner. "There's, like, one too many chandeliers and hopefully they'll get rid of the ladders, but it's good, it's a smaller room. I think once people stop talking at the top of the show, which they do no matter who's hosting, you feel like you can actually connect with them,” he joked.
Meyers follows in the footsteps of fellow "Saturday Night Live" alums turned Globes hosts Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Jimmy Fallon.
"I talked to Tina and Amy a lot," he said. "I was lucky enough to be here when they hosted, so that was a real education. Just being near those guys is great, and Jimmy as well. We're in the same building and I see him a fair amount and he was very helpful when this came up as well."
Meyers was quick to dispel the notion of any rivalry between the late-night hosts, all of whom are regularly tapped to emcee major awards shows.
"It's a very nice era, from what I've heard about previous eras, to be a late-night host," Meyers said. "We all get along pretty well, and we all reach out when people do things that we're impressed with and that happens a lot."
The executive producers of the show also seemed confident in Meyers' ability to bring the same signature wit to this gig that he does to hosting "Late Night with Seth Meyers."
"Seth was a writer on the show through all the Tina and Amy hosting stints and he is really somebody who understands this room," said Barry Adelman, an executive producer of the show and executive vice president of television at Dick Clark Productions. "He understands the culture, he's topical, he's smart, he's clever, and I think he will take on whatever needs to be taken on in great style."
"He is so smart and politically aware," agreed Meher Tatna, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which bestows the Globes. "And he's funny. He makes me laugh every night."
Following the red carpet rollout, the HFPA hosted a media luncheon in the hotel's Stardust ballroom with newly named 2018 Golden Globe Ambassador Simone Garcia Johnson.
Garcia Johnson, the daughter of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, was part of a panel discussion with others including previous Miss Golden Globe Corinne Foxx (daughter of Jamie Foxx) and HFPA member Margaret Gardiner, about role models, women’s rights and the Time's Up movement, and growing up with a famous dad. Garcia Johnson is the show's first ambassador since it phased out the titles Mr. and Miss Golden Globe in 2017.
"I feel like this particular show is going to be really special with the #MeToo movement and all the women that are coming together," said Garcia Johnson. "I'm really interested to see where Hollywood goes after this and I think it's going to be a really great change."
Garcia Johnson and Gardiner said they planned to wear black to the ceremony in solidarity with other stars who will be protesting gender inequality and sexual harassment via fashion.
"I think this is a wonderful way to look at the red carpet," said Gardiner, a former Miss Universe. "If you see a sea of black, it’s going to make a statement. It’s going to say things have to change, that this is the death of everything that came before. We’re in a new era."
Meyers said that he, too, would wear black and hinted that he plans to address the recent spate of sexual harassment and assault allegations in his monologue but would not go into further detail.