Strike presents dilemma
EmptyIt was a bittersweet day for most Golden Globe nominees who received the good news on the 39th day of the writers strike.
TV series writers and actors, who normally celebrate their shows' nominations on the set of their shows, did that on the picket lines or in the solitude of their homes this year as production on most series has been shut down.
"It stinks," "Samantha Who?" star Christina Applegate said. "We've been off for five weeks now, so I don't know what to do with myself. I miss my crew, and I miss my cast, and I just want it to be over as soon as possible."
Said "House" nonwriting executive producer Katie Jacobs, who is overseeing postproduction for the hit drama's last filmed episodes: "It's sad and painful. I'm here at work, celebrating with the six people still working on the show."
The producers of the Golden Globes ceremony have not yet received a waiver from the WGA, which puts nominees in a tough spot.
Film and TV actors, directors and scribes took a cautious note Thursday about attending the Jan. 13 show if the strike is still ongoing, generally expressing support for the writers but steering the talk toward their nomination and away from the ceremony.
Striking WGA members all said they will support their guild and boycott the Globes if no waiver is granted — but would do it with a heavy heart.
"It would break my heart because it celebrates artists, but I wouldn't cross the picket line," said Matthew Weiner, creator of AMC's breakout drama "Mad Men." "Not that it would be an easy decision. This is a huge, big deal to me."
That said, Weiner added that the WGA's not granting a waiver "would seem silly to me. An awards show is no place to make a statement. The statement should be made at the bargaining table," he said.
Screenwriter Ronald Harwood is in a similar position, landing his first Globe nom for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."
"I've never been to the Golden Globes, but if the writers don't come, I shall have to boycott it, I'm afraid," he said.
"Eastern Promises" director and WGA member David Cronenberg said he hoped for a solution but was ready to accept the consequences if no solution came. "It would be somewhat hypocritical for me to cross the picket line," he said.
Shonda Rhimes, creator/ executive producer of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice," also was firm that she won't go to the ceremony if no waiver is granted but added that she is "cautiously optimistic."
"As time goes on, it gets more and more difficult, but I remain hopeful that (the two sides) will go back to negotiations and this will all be taken care of," she said.
Dick Clark Prods., the company that produces the Globes telecast in association with the HFPA, continues to hope for a waiver that would allow the show to go on as planned but would "respect and honor any decision the WGA lays down," said Globes exec producer Barry Adelman.
He said a waiver could help not only the event but also the WGA-AMPTP negotiations.
"It does everyone a lot more good to be in the room," he said. "Maybe the Golden Globes can be a useful tool in bringing the industry together."
Actors were split on whether they would attend the ceremony if the strike was still going.
"I'm not getting all dressed up and having a shave just to get shouted at by a bunch of nerds in glasses," "Extras" creator and star Ricky Gervais quipped, adding on a more serious note, "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."
"Californication" star David Duchovny was more adamant about not attending.
"I would never cross picket lines," he said. "I would probably send a stunt double in."
It was a different story for the ladies.
"Of course I'm going to go regardless," Applegate said. "I'll be there with bells on. Now comes the task of finding what to wear."
Jacobs, who landed her first Globe nomination for "House," also was determined.
"I've never been in anybody's face, but if anybody is going to try to prevent me from buying a new dress and prevent me from going, I'll get big about it," she said.
Said "Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky, "I'm big on peace and harmony, so despite a strike, I hope we can all attend the ceremony and have an exciting time."
The oldest Globes nominee, 90-year-old Ernest Borgnine, also said he will attend, urged on by his wife, who already has picked a dress. But the actor, who has been through several Hollywood labor disputes, had some words for the studios, too.
"I'm all for the writers," he said. "Everyone needs a piece of the cake, and why shouldn't they? Pay them!"
Things are murkier for the foreign nominees.
Englishwoman Helena Bonham Carter, nominated for "Sweeney Todd," said she wasn't aware of the waiver issue but then joked that the show might be a lot shorter if "everyone just got up and had to stand there mute." (Bonham Carter is set to give birth and might not be able to make the show even in nonstrike conditions.)
And James McAvoy, a Scot nominated for best actor in a drama for his role in "Atonement," said he had tried to keep a distance from the strike.
"I'm keeping my nose well out of it," he said. "I do think actors and writers need each other, but it's an American struggle, it's not a British one."
Although they all might have to face a tough personal decision eventualy if the Globes waiver problem is not resolved, most nominees wanted to just savor the moment Thursday.
"To be honest, I just want to enjoy the day and the nominations," "Californication" creator/exec producer Tom Kapinos said.
Ray Richmond, Karl Gibson and Gretta Parkinson in Los Angeles contributed to this report.