This year, I watched the Golden Globes from the comfort of my living room. The soggy red carpet in Los Angeles really put a damper on the night. However, it brought back memories of the two years that I covered the Golden Globes for FLARE in 2005 and 2006. The latter year was, without a doubt, one of the best nights of my life.
On television, it looks pretty simple. Stars walk down the red carpet, do a handful of interviews, and then the show starts. The reality is chaotic. Reporters have to be in their red carpet spot – determined by the Hollywood Foreign Press before the big day – about four hours before the show begins. Journalists and camera crews are packed in shoulder-to-shoulder – and fights break out if anyone infringes on another’s place. Wearing comfortable evening wear – no jeans and tees allowed – is critical. I wore a stretch sequin gown by Toronto’s Thien Le with my most comfortable pair of black heels.
Up-and-coming stars arrive early – about two hours before show time – in order to pack in as many interviews as possible. About an hour later, George Clooney is often the first big name to arrive. He always greets fans and happily signs autographs. I was literally tongue-tied when I met him – he stopped to chat for about five minutes. (And yes, he’s as gorgeous and charming as one would hope.)
The hour before the show is a steady parade of A-listers. They’ll pick and choose whom they want to speak to and no amount of calling / begging will help. I was lucky that they all stopped in front of FLARE’s spot. Executive Editor, Elio Iannacci, and I spoke to stars including Johnny Depp, Scarlett Johansson, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Keifer Sutherland, and Nicole Kidman. (Prince, the last one down the red carpet, stopped to talk to no one.) I was breathless with exhilaration in the last 15 minutes as one major name after the other came over in quick succession for a chat.
Our strategy to get a good quote? Pick one simple question and stick to it. We asked everyone – “what’s the key to great style?” Answers ranged from blank stares (Scarlett) to self-deprecating quips “I don’t have style but she does,” (Johnny Depp gesturing to Vanessa Paradis).
Once the show started, we skipped dinner seats in the theatre for space backstage in the media room. This is where the winners go immediately after they’ve picked up their trophy on stage. As I looked around – Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley was sitting next to me while Leonard di Caprio was on stage talking – I knew that this was a night I’d cherish forever.
I’ll be back again next week. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/lisatant