Pehaps the highest profile Brit of the weekend, Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais, was not at Saturday afternoon’s BAFTA Awards Season Tea Party at the Four Seasons. However, the specter of falling in the crosshairs of his frank humor loomed over the three-hour soiree.
“It’s a double edged sword, isn’t it? “ Sir Ben Kingsley told TheWrap. “One would be a little disappointed if one’s not picked out, but if one is picked out, one would cringe. I’ll have it both ways.”
Well wishers crowded Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron, both of whom had barely made it past the doorway thirty minutes after arriving.
Over by the mini quail scotch eggs and split scones, Harvey Weinstein brokered an introduction between Streep and motion-capture maven Andy Serkis (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), who hit it off.
Leonardo DiCaprio (much taller in person) hung out near the rear of the room and attempted to stay incognito, before moving to the front and creating a huge crush of looky-loos as he chatted with Streep.
Perusing the well stocked silent auction, DiCaprio scribbled in a bid for a dinner at Hollywood’s Lexington Social House using the fake name “Jay” , as in the title character he portrays in this year’s “The Great Gatsby”.
Of the non-stop event circuit of awards season, “The Help” writer/director Tate Taylor sees the champagne glass as half full. “I am trying to write and I can’t get in my creative space right now, but this is a high class problem. Are you kidding me?” he told TheWrap.
Nominee Damian Lewis was back at the Four Seasons for a second day in a row. In this crowd, the Londoner was free to speak in his native tongue and not the American accent he uses portraying American P.O.W. Sergeant Brody on “Homeland”.
It’s “J. Edgar” writer Dustin Lance Black’s second cycle after winning the Oscar for “Milk” in 2009.
“Diablo Cody was great when it all started to heat up for ‘Milk’. She gave me some pointers on how to survive it.,” Black said. “You’ve already done your work, the pressure’s off, so enjoy the love.”
As a rookie, Shailene Woodley openly admitted that she’s been ignorant of the high caliber credits of her fellow partygoers.
Although she has not added any new friends to her IPhone yet, she says she’s “obsessing over Jessica Chastain. If I was a magazine and had to pick anyone to write about, I would write about her because I would want to know everything she does in her life.”
Benedict Cumberbatch (starring in both “War Horse” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” this season) is enjoying the ride. “During last year’s Golden Globes, I was probably crawling across a stage in London naked in front of 1,100 people in Danny Boyle’s stage production of Frankenstein,” he said.
Of having multiple films in contention, producer Nigel Sinclair offered advice for producers, editors, and other talent with split loyalties: “If one film wins against the other, you go to the car park and burn yourself alive.”
Amidst the endless event circuit last year, “The King’s Speech” winning writer David Seidler lamented the difficulty in downshifting from campaign mode to creative mode from the Telluride Film Festival in early September until March. Prolific composer Howard Shore (“Hugo”, “A Dangerous Method”, “The Hobbit”) can turn on a dime. “I’ve trained myself. I was working this morning,” Shore said as he arrived with wife and fellow composer Elizabeth Cotnoir.
Most, but not all, of the post-globes awards forecasting chat centered on the BAFTAs on February 12. However, BAFTA director Katy Haber, a producer-turned-philanthropist (Compton’s Cricket Club), heads to England for a different purpose. “I’m going to get an M.B.E. from the Queen at Windsor Castle in March,” she said.