The glitz and glamour of Hollywood took center stage once again as stars, creatives, and executives gathered en masse for the first award show of 2024. The Golden Globes, often hailed as the “party of the year,” witnessed a bustling red carpet, signaling a return to a semblance of normalcy in Tinseltown. However, amidst the celebration, a pertinent question lingered – where were the afterparties? The answer, it seemed, was more nuanced than anticipated.
In the backdrop of a rapidly changing Hollywood landscape, the scene outside Chateau Marmont on a Friday evening mirrored the pre-pandemic days. Fans thronged the narrow sidewalk above Sunset Boulevard, capturing moments of celebrities like Margot Robbie, Greta Gerwig, Nic Cage, and Emma Stone making their way to W Magazine’s annual best performances party in the hotel’s penthouse adorned with disco balls.
Anya Varda, the chic gatekeeper of Chateau, was overheard expressing, “they hate me,” a sentiment that could be directed at the paparazzi or the fervent fans.
Outside penthouse 64, party crashers attempted to gain entry by dropping names, hoping to be part of the exclusive gathering. Inside, black-tie-clad servers presented trays laden with caviar blinis and mini burgers, complemented by a bar serving free-flowing Casamigos margaritas.
A-listers mingled, with notable moments such as Alex Wolff whispering to German movie star Franz Rogowski and Derek Blasberg making a statement in a red suede jacket. Post-party, stars like Willem Dafoe, Keri Russell, and Matthew Rhys descended to the hotel’s courtyard for a casual bite.
Despite the festive atmosphere, the industry seemed to be cautiously emerging from a challenging period marked by consecutive strikes, widespread cutbacks, layoffs, and criticism directed at studio executives and streaming platforms.
While champagne flowed, the number of parties during Golden Globes weekend appeared to be on the decline, with existing invitations leaning towards exclusivity.
An insider at the party commented, “The vibe is… we don’t know yet. Everyone is happy to be together, but we are still stepping back after the strike. There are a lot of questions. Should we have a party or not? Who should we invite? Where should we have the party?”
The aftermath of back-to-back strikes disrupted the awards season schedule, leading to a jam-packed calendar before the upcoming Oscars in March.
Events like the Academy’s Governors Awards, SAG Award nominations, National Board of Review awards gala, AFI Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and the Primetime Emmy Awards are tightly scheduled, contributing to a hectic atmosphere. Additionally, a dress shortage looms due to empty showrooms.
The year 2024 brings its own set of complexities. Major issues, including the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and an upcoming election, add to the challenges. Mark Ruffalo highlighted the importance of acknowledging global suffering while enjoying the respite that awards season provides.
Veterans of the industry note the considerable changes over the past years. Eva Longoria, with 25 years in the business, appreciates the shift towards a focus on the work itself, with a more serious and substantive approach to campaigning.
The intimate gatherings now allow for meaningful discussions about filmmaking and the TV production process.
Another industry insider observed, “It is a weird year. There are too many variables to consider that weren’t present in years past, like a recent strike, budget cuts, hiring freezes, the upcoming Emmys, and all the regular awards season events happening at once.”
Top talent agencies, affected by dual strikes, opted for smaller, more intimate celebrations. CAA hosted a private gathering at Chateau Marmont, while UTA took over La Dolce Vita.
The awards ceremony, aired on CBS and Paramount+, marked a departure from the norm. Paramount did not host its post-show bash, leading executives like Brian Robbins to join the festivities at La Dolce Vita. Netflix and Universal celebrated with private parties, acknowledging the industry’s changed landscape.
In this evolving Hollywood, certain traditions endure. Following his press room appearance, Paul Giamatti, winner in the best actor category for “The Holdovers,” chose to head to Westwood for a classic meal at In-N-Out, underlining that amidst the transformations, some things remain constant.
The entertainment industry’s resilience was palpable as Hollywood navigated the challenges of a post-pandemic era and the aftermath of strikes that reverberated through the studio system. While the red carpet exuded a sense of glamour and celebration, insiders hinted at an industry that was still finding its footing, cautiously stepping into a new year that posed more questions than answers.
As conversations flowed at the parties, a common theme emerged – the industry was grappling with a level of uncertainty not witnessed in years.
The champagne may have been flowing, but there was a perceptible difference in the atmosphere. The exclusivity of invitations and the subdued tone indicated a collective pause, a moment of reflection after the tumultuous events that shaped the preceding years.
The impact of the strikes was evident in the tightly packed awards season schedule. The usual cadence of events leading up to the Oscars seemed intensified, leaving insiders stressed and stretched thin.
The phrase “I have to get to a Q&A” became a polite and efficient way to end party conversations, highlighting the industry’s relentless pace and the need for a delicate balance between celebration and obligation.
The veteran partygoers, with years of Hollywood experience, noted how much had changed. The landscape was no longer the same as it was during the days of gift bags galore. Eva Longoria reminisced about the shift from extravagant gift-centric events to a focus on the work itself, appreciating the newfound seriousness and gravitas in the industry.
The dynamics of campaigning had evolved, moving away from a mere popularity vote to a more substantive engagement with the art of filmmaking.
However, the industry’s evolution was not without its challenges. A seasoned insider mentioned how each January in recent years had presented major issues – from #MeToo to the pandemic and Donald Trump’s presidency.
In 2024, the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the looming election added layers of complexity. The industry was acutely aware of the global turmoil, with figures like Mark Ruffalo emphasizing the importance of acknowledging the real-world suffering amidst the glitz of awards season.
Despite the changes and uncertainties, Hollywood remained a busy hive of activity. The most prevalent topic of conversation at the parties was the stress and strain that insiders were currently experiencing.
The strike had disrupted the industry’s rhythm, and events were now squeezed into an already hectic corridor leading up to the Oscars in March. The traditional awards season events were crammed into a single week, leaving little room to breathe.
The scarcity of parties during Golden Globes weekend was noted, with insiders speculating on the reasons behind this shift. The exclusivity of the invites was not only a response to the strike-induced uncertainties but also a reflection of the industry’s cautious approach to resuming social gatherings.
The question of whether to host a party, who to invite, and where to have it lingered in the air, indicative of an industry still navigating uncharted waters.
The traditional post-show parties at the Beverly Hilton, which had hosted thousands in years past, saw a noticeable reduction. Major studios and entertainment giants like Amazon, Netflix, NBC Universal, Disney, HBO, Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and InStyle, along with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (now just the Golden Globes), had been known for hosting extravagant events at the Hilton.
However, the prolonged strike and the subsequent scrutiny on studio finances made it less opportune to throw lavish parties.
Executives were mindful of optics, considering the recent challenges faced by the industry. Companies that had weathered the storm of strikes and financial scrutiny were cautious about hosting grand celebrations.
The focus shifted towards maintaining a low-key presence, avoiding extravagant displays at a time when the industry was still finding its footing.
Fortunately, for the select few with coveted tickets to the Golden Globes, Billboard teamed up with the awards ceremony for an official afterparty.
The partners took over a space previously occupied by HBO, providing a venue for winners like Billie Eilish, Finneas, Lily Gladstone, and The Bear crew to gather and have their trophies engraved.
The town’s top talent agencies, grappling with the impact of dual strikes on their bottom lines, adjusted their approach to the festivities. CAA and UTA opted for smaller, more intimate gatherings, recognizing the need to be mindful of the industry’s current landscape.
On Saturday night, Apple TV+ took over Sunset Tower not for a Globes party but for an AMPAS tastemaker celebration.
The event hosted luminaries like Martin Scorsese and his Killers of the Flower Moon team, Guillermo del Toro, Reese Witherspoon with son Deacon Phillippe, Natasha Lyonne, and Paul Walter Hauser, a winner at the previous year’s Globes.
Sunday’s show coincided with night two of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, contributing to the reduced number of on-site parties at the Beverly Hilton. In previous years, the hotel had hosted multiple post-show parties, with Amazon, Netflix, NBC Universal, Disney, HBO, Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and InStyle, along with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, hosting events.
Many of these companies had faced challenges during the prolonged strike, which drew attention to studio finances. Hosting lavish parties at this juncture might have been perceived as tone-deaf, leading multiple insiders to emphasize the importance of keeping things low-key.
For the ticketed guests who did make it inside the Hilton, Billboard and the Golden Globes had them covered with an official afterparty.
This year, the partners chose a space previously occupied by HBO, creating an environment where winners like Billie Eilish and Finneas, Lily Gladstone, and The Bear crew could relax while their trophies were engraved.
The town’s top talent agencies, confronted with the financial implications of dual strikes, adjusted their celebration plans. CAA and UTA, recognizing the need for prudence, opted for smaller, more intimate gatherings. CAA hosted a private get-together at Chateau Marmont, while UTA took over La Dolce Vita.
Leaders at UTA, Jeremy Zimmer and David Kramer, played host to winners like Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers), Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), and Justine Treit (Anatomy of a Fall). Nominees such as newlyweds Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Sandra Hüller, Will Ferrell, Tony McNamara, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, and Andrew Wyatt (Barbie) were also in attendance.
The guest list included Harrison Ford, Jack and Dennis Quaid, newlyweds Chris Evans and Alba Baptista, Mads Mikkelsen, and Holdovers guru Alexander Payne.
The Golden Globes, aired on CBS and Paramount+, diverged from the norm in terms of post-show celebrations. Paramount opted not to host its own bash, leading executives like Brian Robbins to join the festivities at La Dolce Vita.
Other notable figures making the rounds included Showtime’s David Nevins, Amazon Studios’ Jen Salke, Warner Bros. execs Pam Abdy and Josh Goldstine, DC Studios’ Peter Safran, Paramount+ chief George Cheeks, and Spotify’s Jeremy Erlich.
Netflix and Universal also joined the post-show festivities, with the latter having much to celebrate thanks to Christopher Nolan’s wins for Oppenheimer.
The filmmaker and his partner in producing and life, Emma Thomas, toasted their team’s wins at Universal’s private party at Tommy’s in Beverly Hills, alongside other winners like Cillian Murphy, Ludwig Göransson, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph from The Holdovers.
The celebrations extended to Netflix’s hot party across the street from UTA. About 24 hours after Taylor Swift dined on pricey Wagyu beef at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, Ted Sarandos and the streaming giant’s team hosted collaborators like Bradley Cooper and his Maestro team including Carey Mulligan, Dave Chappelle, Lenny Kravitz, Jon Batiste, Beef winners Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, Eilish, Andrew Scott, Colman Domingo, Gerwig, May December’s Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, and Charles Melton, Jon Hamm, winner Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Sudeikis, Creative Arts Emmy winner Sam Richardson, and even deflated host Jo Koy.
On a night that showcased how much Hollywood has changed over the past few years, some things remained the same.
After concluding a press room appearance to discuss his Holdovers victory in the best actor category, Paul Giamatti, accompanied by girlfriend Clara Wong, joined UTA’s Billy Lazarus and manager Perri Kipperman for burgers, fries, and soda at the iconic L.A. institution In-N-Out.
In conclusion, Hollywood’s return to the Golden Globes’ party circuit revealed a transformed landscape marked by caution, exclusivity, and a conscious effort to navigate a complex post-strike era. While the red carpet exuded its usual glamour, the subdued tone of the festivities and the reduced number of parties signaled an industry still finding its rhythm amidst global challenges and internal upheavals. As Hollywood embraced a new year, the traditional celebrations took on a different hue, reflecting an industry in transition, with some constants like In-N-Out providing a nostalgic touchstone amidst the evolving landscape.Conclusion