Golden Globe secrets from an insider

2011-01-13 14:42
Can you buy your way into the Globes? What is Angelina Jolie really like? If there's one woman who knows, it's Margaret Gardiner, member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), custodians of the annual Golden Globe Awards.

Margaret gives us an inside view of what exactly goes down at the Golden Globes.

Hi Margaret, you've been to several Golden Globe Awards ceremonies over the past few years. What is the thing that keeps surprising you the most about the Golden Globes and that ordinary viewers would never know?
How excited the stars are to meet each other. Often they never work together and are such fans.

As an HFPA member you get an almost all-access pass to the stars. You're almost in a position to form stronger relationships – even friendships. Who are the really, really nice celebs?
That statement is inaccurate. We have the same press conferences that the rest of the international media has. There is a huge misperception about what we actually do. In a professional capacity there are some standouts. Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie are both super nice and Angelina may be one of the smartest, most fascinating women I’ve ever met.  This idea about her that the media has created is so totally wrong. She is a sweetheart. As far as the guys go the Brits really stand out as super funny and not taking themselves too seriously: Colin Farrell and Gerard Butler are sincerely nice! Someone to watch is Olivia Wilde. She's about to take off and is that combination of real beauty (which is not seen too often in Hollywood), smarts and niceness.

The seating around tables, the liquor... Why exactly is the Golden Globe Awards ceremony deemed the most fun of them all?
Well it's not held in a theatre. It's in a ballroom.  There are three elevations and the first one is jam-packed with A-listers who social hop during the commercials. It's just super relaxed and fun. Plus there's an area at the back where they all gather and schmooze – often missing their cues.

Splashy or demure, out-there or inhibited? What is the vibe and feeling in Tinseltown this year towards the Golden Globe Awards in terms of the atmosphere, what people are thinking of wearing and the level to which they want to celebrate and kick off the awards season this year?
Well America is in a financial crisis and there has just been a huge shooting.  But at the same time this is the first celebration of a tough year, so people are ready!

Everybody as in everybody, wants to go to the Globes but even agents and managers of the top agencies are often turned away. Have you ever had people asking you if you can get them in?
Sure, all the time! The thing is there is an etiquette to the seating, depending on who is nominated, that dictates who gets access. People like to talk and in the absence of information, make up stupid rumours.  You can't buy your way into the Golden Globes and with limited space, nominees and presenters get first access.  We also try to make sure that all studios regardless of nominations get a chance to be seated in some capacity as a code of honour type of thing.

Can you maybe share one or two backstage secrets in terms of how the Golden Globe Awards operates or what happens behind the scenes while the ceremony is on?
This is a lot of hard work.  Not only do we do over 400 interviews a year that include movies and television that we view, interview and then write up, but we also put the Golden Globe Awards show together with the production company.

I've been working since 28 December with an experienced group of long term members and the president, Phil Berk.  I'll also be working the red carpet and then doing interviews throughout the night and covering all the parties.  I'll be wearing 5-inch heels.  I'll start with a walk-through of the ballroom to make sure all the seats are where they are supposed to be and finish by writing several stories in the wee hours of the morning. It's work, baby!

The 68th Golden Globe Awards takes place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday and is broadcast on M-Net on Monday, 17 January 2011 at 21:30 in a three hour special.

Margaret Gardiner was Miss Universe in 1978 and lives in Los Angeles where she is a print and television journalist and a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

An exclusive interview with Margaret Gardiner about the ins and outs of The Golden Globes.
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