Stars Rub Elbows At The Golden Globes

Tom Cruise arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Tom Cruise must have gotten comfortable in that fat suit.

Cruise, nominated for a supporting actor Golden Globe for his nearly unrecognizable performance as fat, balding, foul-mouthed movie executive Les Grossman in the Ben Stiller comedy "Tropic Thunder," said he and Stiller are considering bringing the character back in some other format.

"More is Les? I don't know. We'll see. We keep talking about maybe doing something for the Internet," Cruise said on the red carpet before Sunday's Golden Globes.

"We really haven't had a moment to talk about it thoroughly but it would be fun," Cruise added. "It's a fun character to play."

Recalling co-star Heath Ledger's tragic death still chokes up Maggie Gyllenhaal, even during the excitement of the Golden Globes.

"It's so hard to really feel how sad it is with the lights and the television and everybody screaming, but you know it's also very sad," Gyllenhaal, her voice choking, said on the red carpet before the Golden Globes.

Ledger, who died last January of an accidental drug overdose, won posthumous rave reviews for his performance as Batman's nemesis The Joker.

"Our movie I think is great, actually. But I think he elevated it to a completely different place," she said of Ledger's performance. "It's hard to be that good in a movie that big."

The role earned Ledger a Golden Globe nomination as best supporting actor.

"I hope that he wins. I think it's all right if he doesn't," Gyllenhaal said wistfully.

At the Golden Globes, it's not just about who wins but who gets to say hello.

The event is noted for being more a far more laid back affair than its big brother, the Oscars, and Sunday's 66th annual edition was no exception. So many people stopped Steven Spielberg to say hello that the director barely made it to his seat before the televised awards show's director started the cameras rolling.

With two minutes to show time, numerous nominees and awards presenters continued to mingle, ignoring the voice that came over the loudspeaker urging them to take their seats. Beyonce was escorted through the crowd to her seat by her publicist, Alan Nierob. Clint Eastwood stopped to shake hands with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and Brad Pitt took Angelina Jolie by the hand and escorted her to their table.

Less than a month after abruptly leaving a hit Broadway show over health problems, Jeremy Piven showed up on the red carpet outside the Golden Globes alongside Mark Wahlberg.

Piven, who also plays Ari Gold on the HBO show "Entourage," left the critically acclaimed production of "Speed the Plow" last month. The show business trade paper Variety reported the 43-year-old actor had been suffering from high levels of mercury, which caused fatigue and other problems.

Piven spoke briefly with former football player Tiki Barber, who worked as a reporter during NBC's red carpet preview.

Piven likened his abrupt departure from the show to a team doctor telling Barber that he had to leave a game.

Barber joked that he often ignored such orders.

Wahlberg ran interference, saying a healthy Piven was needed for HBO's "Entourage," which Wahlberg executive produces.

Mingling, meandering, drinking and no seat-fillers: The Golden Globes atmosphere is more dinner party than awards show. AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen reports from a stage-right table near the back of the Beverly Hilton ballroom (and everywhere she roams). Here are some of the little details Cohen picked up on:

  • Angelina Jolie sat with Clint Eastwood, Tom cruise had his arm around Steven Spielberg and Emma Thompson crouched at the table beside Sandra Bullock while Beyonce and Jay Z shared a laugh with a show worker.
  • Heath Ledger's supporting-actor win brought the room to it's feet - the first standing ovation of the night.
  • TV's it girls - America Ferrera, Christina Applegate and Kyra Sedgwick - sat side by side, then Sally Field sidled over for a chat. Renee Zellweger was led to her seat by her publicist as Laura Dern checked her Blackberry at the table.
  • In line for the ladies' room, Anne Hathaway told a fellow partygoer, "My mom's having a great time, thanks."
  • Mickey Rourke held court on the smoking patio, collecting accolades for his performance in "The Wrestler" as he posed for photos with fans and puffed on a Marlboro red.
  • Laura Dern's husband Ben Harper shed tears as his wife won for TV supporting actress.
  • Clint Eastwood's wife, Dina, was filming with a handheld camera.
  • The Jolie-Pitts were fashionably on-time: Brad Pitt led Angelina Jolie in by the hand with less than two minutes before showtime.
  • Prior to showtime, the tables were decorated with white lilies and roses and oversized bottles of champagne.
    By Sandy Cohen