The fast-and-loose Golden Globe Awards are tailor-made for spontaneous moments — which, naturally, sometimes lead to moments of cringe-worthy awkwardness.
In preparation for this weekend’s festivities, TheWrap presents 10 instances of grand inelegance at the Golden Globes.
1. Jodie Foster comes out … kind of
One of the standout moments from the 2013 Golden Globes was when Jodie Foster, receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, proclaimed that she’s gay. We think. While Foster offered a rambling speech that referenced how nervous she was, the actress played coy, announcing, “I am — single!” She also copped to “coming out about a thousand years ago, back in the Stone Age.” But overall, Foster’s ramshackle semi-revelation felt like she was keeping one foot in the closet while the audience was left to connect the dots.
2. Ricky Gervais calls out Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie for “The Tourist”
The awkward moments that Ricky Gervais generated during his run as Golden Globes host could fill their own post, but his opening monologue during the 2011 ceremony was one of the cringe-iest. After a couple predictable digs at Hollywood wild-child Charlie Sheen, Gervais went full bore on the Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie disappointment “The Tourist.” “I’d like to quash this ridiculous rumor going ’round that the only reason “The Tourist” was nominated was so the Hollywood Foreign Press could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. That is rubbish. That is not the only reason. They also accepted bribes.” Ouch.
3. The Hollywood Foreign Press nominates “The Tourist” for three Golden Globes
Sure, it was awkward when Gervais blatantly mocked the movie and its stars during the ceremony, but the HFPA practically dared him to when it nominated the universally-panned thriller for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie were both nominated in the Comedy or Musical category for their performances.
4. Christine Lahti hits the head … as she’s winning an award
Christine Lahti’s 1998 acceptance speech for her work on “Chicago Hope” was delayed to excruciating effect, when the actress decided to relieve herself, apparently unaware that she was about to be honored with a trophy. Michael J. Fox did his best to buy time, and Robin Williams valiantly attempted to fill the increasingly awkward dead air. Lahti eventually made her way to the stage, admitting that she had been in the bathroom. It could only have been more awkward if Lahti had emerged with a trail of toilet paper clinging to her shoe.
5. Elizabeth Taylor gets a little confused
Elizabeth Taylor was apparently pretty excited to name the winner of the Best Motion Picture — Drama award in 2001. Taylor was in such a hurry to rattle off the winner that she tore into the envelope before rattling off the nominees. Dick Clark nobly took to the stage to help Ms. Taylor through her duties. (Spoiler alert: “Gladiator” won.)
6. Kate Winslet acknowledges (almost) all of her competition
Sure, being onstage in front of the world can be a flustering experience, so maybe Kate Winslet should be forgiven for her oversight while acknowledging her fellow nominees in the Best Actress — Drama category. But seriously, forgetting Angelina Jolie? It’s not like Jolie was an up-and-coming greenhorn in 2009, when the below incident occurred. It only got more awkward from there, as Winslet passed up a merciful suggestion to wrap things up so that she could continue her rambling, awkward speech.
7. Robert De Niro bashes the HFPA during his acceptance speech for honorary Golden Globe, the Cecil B. DeMille Award
Ricky Gervais has gone down in Hollywood history as one of the nastiest stars to ever speak into a microphone at the Golden Globes, but it was De Niro who belittled HFPA members in 2011 while accepting one of the organization’s highest honors. “Thank you for this extraordinary honor. I was very, very moved and gratified when you made the announcement two months ago, well before you had a chance to review ‘Little Fockers,'” De Niro joked. “Yeah, I saw those. It’s okay. We all have our jobs to do.” When he switched gears and thanked the journalists for their “tireless work” to promote the entertainment industry, the audience didn’t know if he was sincere or was about to deliver another jab, so De Niro had to shuffle the trophy in his hands to start a round of applause himself. After the applause broke the awkward silence, he took another shot at the organization honoring him by basically implying all they do is mooch off of Hollywood’s hard work, and suggested many had been deported.
8. Paul Rudd and Salma Hayek find themselves at a loss for words (because they didn’t have script to read them from)
Rudd may be able to hang with frequent on-set improv artist Will Ferrell in the “Anchorman” movies or ad-lib for Judd Apatow, but he couldn’t wing it when a teleprompter failed while he was presenting the Golden Globe for best dramatic television series with Hayek in 2013. “Hello,” Rudd said after seven seconds of standing silently. “How’s everyone doing? Good? Alright, great!” Hayek looked like she was about to say something any second, but couldn’t quite come up with anything until whispering to Rudd: “It’s something about the best, uh…”
9. Natalie Portman confirms that sex does, in fact, lead to a baby, and lets loose a laugh that should have stayed in the bedroom
A pregnant Portman took the stage to accept a Golden Globe for her “Black Swan” performance and pointed out that while her baby’s daddy, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, said he wouldn’t sleep with her in the Darren Aronofsky drama, he did in real life, and completed the circle of life in the process. But the awkward moment came out when she belted out a laugh so, uh, unique that CollegeHumor could cut together this:
(To be fair, here’s the unedited speech for comparison)
10. Andrew Garfield struggles to sound out a four-syllable word in the middle of presenting
English is hard, especially when it’s not your native language. But “Spider-Man” star has no excuse, because he actually is English, yet he still struggled to pronounce “in-spir-ing-ly” while introducing a clip from “The Social Network” at the 68th annual Golden Globe ceremony in 2011. Hey, it’s okay, we all make mistakes — it’s just easier to laugh when someone else does. And at least Garfield was able to laugh off the screw up, effectively making that awkward moment considerably less awkward.