Golden Globes: Six Inside Jokes Explained
Paying for awards, being a "Tom Hardy type of actor" and whether 'The Martian' and 'Schindler's List' were funnier than 'Pixels' were all the subjects of jokes from host Ricky Gervais and presenter Jonah Hill, dressed as the 'Revenant' bear.
Ricky Gervais had Sunday night's Golden Globes audience laughing, gasping and (with respect to viewers at home who missed many of the show's bleeped moments) wondering what he and other presenters said. But even when the host and presenters weren't cursing, it may not have been entirely clear to viewers at home — particularly those who aren't members of, or closely follow, the entertainment industry — what the punchline meant.
Specifically, Gervais joked about paying for Golden Globes, that the "best" awards ceremony was the one during the writers strike and that The Martian was funnier than Pixels.
Read on to find out the stories behind these and more inside jokes from Sunday night's Golden Globes.
Paying for Golden Globes:
In his opening monologue, Gervais claimed that an entertainment publication argued that his return as host would mean some stars would skip the show for fear they'd be the targets of his jokes. That's ridiculous, he joked: "As if film stars would stay away from the chance of winning a Golden Globe — particularly if their film company has already paid for it." In the past, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that determines the Globe winners, has been dogged by rumors that awards or the support of HFPA members could be bought or won by favors, gifts or bribes. One of the most famous controversies surrounds Pia Zadora's 1982 win of the best new star award. The unknown, then-28-year-old beat out actresses like Kathleen Turner and Elizabeth McGovern to win the Golden Globe for her performance in the trashy incest drama Butterfly, which hardly anybody at the ceremony had seen, since it wasn't being released until the following week. The common suspicion was that Zadora's award was bought by the film's sole backer, her husband, Meshulam Riklis. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter last year, Zadora insisted her win was justified, adding, "I know that Rik did not buy it." This isn't the first time Gervais has joked about bribery on the Golden Globes stage; it was a popular source of material during his 2010-2012 hosting stint as well. But following the election of former president Theo Kingma in 2013 (Lorenzo Soria currently leads the HFPA), the Golden Globes has made a concerted effort to demonstrate its legitimacy.
"How the hell can a 25-year-old live on $52 million?"
During his monologue, Gervais also addressed Jennifer Lawrence's Lenny essay, in which she talked about her anger when she discovered, via the Sony hack, that she was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle. The actress' comments reignited the discussion about the pay gap between men and women in Hollywood. But, as Gervais joked, Lawrence isn't exactly impoverished. He joked that Lawrence "received overwhelming support from people everywhere. There were marches on the street with nurses and factory workers saying, 'How the hell can a 25-year-old live on $52 million?' There were plumbers around the world going, 'Poor girl it's ... f—ing hell.'"
Specifically, according to Forbes, Lawrence made $52 million in 2014, making her the world's highest-paid actress. THR broke it down further, explaining that Lawrence earns as much as $25 million for tentpoles like the Hunger Games films. In her essay, Lawrence herself notes that she was mostly "mad at [her]self" and that she didn't need the money.
"I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early," she wrote. "I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need." In addition to her role in the Hunger Games series, Lawrence recently completed her last of three X-Men films.
"To be fair, The Martian was a lot funnier than Pixels. But then again so was Schindler's List."
Gervais made a number of jokes about The Martian being included in the musical or comedy categories at the Golden Globes, a curious placement, given that the sci-fi film about an astronaut struggling to survive on Mars isn't a traditional comedy. But in one zinger, Gervais also took a shot at Sony's Adam Sandler starrer Pixels, about a group of childhood friends who have to use their skills at arcade games to save the world when aliens attack Earth using the classic games as the models for their assaults. The movie was panned by critics, many of whom called it unfunny, and has only a 17 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. THR called it a "one-note comedy." The New York Daily News said the film features, "moronic jokes, lame action, drooling for 'hot chicks' and sad-assed, middle-aged neuroses. Thanks to that, Pixels is right down there with Jack and Jill as Sandler’s dumbest flick ever." Steven Spielberg's Holocaust-set drama, Schindler's List, which won seven Oscars, is definitely not a comedy, letting Gervais bash Pixels further.
Jonah Hill's Revenant bear is "a Daniel Day-Lewis or Tom Hardy type of actor."
Sporting a furry hat and pretending to be the grizzly bear that attacks Leonardo DiCaprio's character in The Revenant, Hill joked about the lack of publicity that the animal has done. "I’ve notoriously done zero press for the film," he said. "I’m a Daniel Day-[Lewis] or Tom Hardy type of actor who doesn’t like my face out there very much." The bear, indeed, hasn't done interviews since it's, you know, a bear. But as for Day-Lewis and Hardy, the former is notoriously press-shy and the latter, who co-stars in The Revenant, has had a few recent exchanges that have created the image that he's not the most press-friendly star.
Known for his method approach to acting, when he does participate in an interview, Day-Lewis is reluctant to talk about how he created his character. “There’s a tendency now to deconstruct and analyze everything, and I think that’s a self-defeating part of the enterprise," he told The New York Times in 2012. "It sounds pretentious, I know. I recognize all the practical work that needs to be done, the dirty work, which I love: the work in the soil, the rooting around in the hope that you might find a gem. But I need to believe that there is a cohesive mystery that ties all these things together, and I try not to separate them.”
Five years earlier, ahead of the release of There Will Be Blood, Day-Lewis told USA Today, "The thing I find hardest about making movies is talking about them. You want people to discover your movie, or there's not much mystery to it."
Hardy, meanwhile, has made headlines for his short, dismissive answers at two press conferences. While promoting Mad Max: Fury Road, Hardy was asked if he found the abundance of women in the film to be strange for what might have been thought of as a "man's movie." "No, not for one minute," he said. "That's kind of obvious." There was a more uncomfortable exchange a few months later at the Toronto Film Festival, where he quickly shot down a question about his sexuality. While promoting his role in Legend as London gangster twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray (one of whom was gay and the other straight), Hardy was asked about a 2008 Attitude magazine interview, in which he apparently admitted to having same-sex flings in the past. When asked about reports of his "ambiguous" sexuality, he shot back, "What on Earth are you on about?" and "What is your question?"
After pressing the reporter as to whether the question was about his sexuality, he said, "Why?" before quickly dismissing the reporter with a "thank you."
The "best" Golden Globes "was during the writers strike when they just read the winners."
Before introducing presenters Kevin Hart and Ken Jeong, Gervais took a moment to lament the show's three-hour running time. "This show is way too long, isn’t it? This could be half an hour," he said. "The best one was during the writers strike when they just read the winners." In 2008, the normally lavish Golden Globes ceremony was canceled due to the Writers Guild of America strike that began the previous fall. With the actors refusing to attend out of solidarity with picketing writers, the HFPA ultimately replaced the ceremony with a live, hourlong press conference, during which the winners were announced, at the Globes' longtime venue of the Beverly Hilton.
Eva Longoria is not Eva Mendes; America Ferrera is not Gina Rodriguez.
When the Golden Globe nominations were announced a month before the show aired, the show's Twitter account made the unfortunate mistake of confusing Ferrera, who helped announce the nominees that morning, with Jane the Virgin star and Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez. Sunday night, Ferrera got some humorous revenge, pointing out that she's not Rodriguez, as she and co-presenter Eva Longoria joked about being confused with other actresses. Longoria pointed out that she's not Eva Mendes and neither is Rosario Dawson, and the two ended their bit by calling each other the names of two more actresses: Salma Hayek and Charo.