Whether its November’s Britannia Awards or their awards season “Tea Party” at the Four Seasons on the Saturday of Golden Globes weekend, BAFTA L.A. social events always bring out the local royalty.
With actual royalty registering a few notches higher than A-listers on the fame-o-meter, it’s no surprise that Saturday night’s black tie “Brits to Watch” gala downtown with BAFTA president Prince William and Kate had one of the densest cross-industry congregations of creative and executive talent of the year.
At a pre-dinner reception, HRH The Duke of Cambridge made a plea to the big names on behalf of the 42 up-and-comers being honored. “Please give them the opportunities you have always extended to some of the brightest and best that Britain has to offer. When American and British creative talent gets together, magic happens. Let’s continue the winning formula,” he told the crowd.
Inside the dinner, guests drank traditional British summer cocktail “Pimms No. 1” (a surprisingly drinkable gin mix), ate bite-size fish and chips, and chocolate BAFTA masks served by waitstaff in bowler hats. Top VIPs shuttled to and from the Belasco Theater in cars provided by long time BAFTA ally Audi. (They also sponsored the polo match near Santa Barbara earlier in the day.)
Seated at the royal table:
-- Anne Sweeney (Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney ABC Television Group)
-- Tom Rothman (CEO and Chairman, Fox Filmed Entertainment)
-- Donna Langley (Co-Chairman, Universal Pictures)
-- Rich Ross (Chairman, Walt Disney Studios)
-- Sir Howard Stringer (Chairman, CEO, and President, Sony Corp.)
-- Bruce Rosenblum (President, Warner Bros. Television Group)
-- Nigel Lythgoe (Chairman, BAFTA in Los Angeles, who called on his “So You Think You Can Dance” host Cat Deeley to introduce video clips of some of the unknown “Brits to Watch” featured in the night)
-- Duncan Kenworthy (BAFTA Vice President)
-- Tim Corrie (BAFTA Chairman)
-- Barbra Streisand
-- James Brolin
-- Nicole Kidman
Entertainment execs elsewhere in the room:
-- Leslie Moonves (CBS)
-- Paul Lee (ABC)
-- Peter Rice (Fox)
-- Jim Gianopulous (Fox)
-- Peter Chernin (Chernin Entertainment)
-- Sean Bailey (Walt Disney Studios)
-- Adam Fogelson (Universal Pictures)
-- Harvey Weinstein
-- Gary Barber (MGM)
-- Roger Birnbaum (MGM)
-- Kevin Beggs (Lionsgate)
-- Toby Emmerich (New Line)
-- Joe Drake (Lionsgate)
-- Richard Pepler (HBO)
-- Michael Lombardo (HBO)
-- Matthew Blank (Showtime)
-- Cecile Frot-Coutaz (FremantleMedia)
Talent ran the gamut from primetime TV hosts (Julie Chen, wife of CBS honcho Moonves; Gordon Ramsay; Jennifer Lopez; and U.S. “X Factor” host Steve Jones, who’s from Wales), to A-listers (Tom Hanks), funnymen (Jason Bateman, Jack Black, Ed Helms, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, and Judd Apatow), and the unexpected head-turners (Anna Kournikova, James Gandolfini and Berry Gordy – not all together).
Attending filmmakers included Jason Reitman, Catherine Hardwicke, Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo”, “WALL-E”), Michael Mann, Brett Ratner, Bill Condon, Rob Marshall and Quentin Tarantino. TV writer-producers such as Marc Cherry, Shonda Rhimes, Greg Berlanti, and Michael Patrick King were also on hand. Jennifer Garner, Zooey Deschanel, Dana Delaney, Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd, Blake Lively, Elizabeth Moss and Mary-Louise Parker provided additional starpower to the gathering.
Pool photos via Getty Images