The Insider’s Guide to the Golden Globes Parties

2 STY HBO Party
Paul Mounce/Corbis

HBO’s 2009 party at Circa 55 restaurant.


Seven bashes. Five hours. Everything you need to know about all the Hilton hotspots on Jan. 16.

Hitting the golden globes afterparty scene is like playing a game of human Chutes and Ladders — you’re one of 5,000 guests (plus crashers) trying to navigate the Beverly Hilton’s maze of elevators, stairs and winding corridors. “It’s like throwing a wedding in a hotel where six other weddings are going on, and you’ve all invited the same guests,” is the way one afterparty host has described the experience.

This year, there are seven weddings — er, parties — six inside the hotel and one walk-ably adjacent. It makes for great one-stop shopping as the Hilton becomes a mall for partying. But getting to the right shindig at the right moment is crucial to catch the action: Heidi Klum ripping her dress and Adrian Grenier busting moves on the dance floor last year, or the surprise Prince performance at InStyle/Warner Bros. in 2004. “If texting and Twitter were invented for one event, this is it,” says Relativity/Weinstein event planner Jeffrey Best. “You’re spotting execs, stars and trading information on where the heat is.”

This tradition of afterparties really only began in the mid-’90s, when the studios started putting more emphasis on the Globes as part of their pre-Oscar campaigns. Money began to flow, and parties were one beneficiary. Established events, like InStyle/Warners, get the best spots, while studios that don’t hold parties annually often have the eighth-floor Stardust Lounge, where Sony is this year.

Here are the post-show tips: Get dropped off by cab or car at the Wilshire ticket-pickup entrance (or valet it at the Peninsula); if you follow the rules and shuttle it from Century City, there could be a lot of heel cooling. And follow the winners; if The Social Network scores big, the Stardust Room could turn out to be the most desirable place.

 “It’s like spring break for Hollywood,” says producer and former HBO Films head Colin Callender. “And it’s all in one place. It’s the only night you can drink without worrying about driving.”               


The Scene Arguably the most lavish and, because it has been in the same location for a dozen years, the most polished. It takes 10 days to build the octagonal tent set over a pool. During the ceremony, 160 guests view the telecast, and 600 more (including The Big Bang Theory’s Chuck Lorre) pile in for the afterparty.

The Buzz This is where Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford met in 2002. He was bumped by a guest; his wine spilled; she helped him clean up; the rest is history.

Insider Tip Since the line here is usually long, this might be the one to hit first. On the other hand, it’s usually the one that goes the latest, maybe because it has a 10-piece cover band and guests actually dance — a Hollywood rarity. “Everybody starts here and ends here,” Molly Sims said last year. This year, the fire marshal has approved a back exit, allowing guests to bypass the often-clogged main exit.


The Scene The Beverly Hilton is maxed out for space, so Fox is putting a tent on the adjacent Robinsons-May garage roof across from the red carpet. It’s near enough so guests can walk over, far enough to be independent of the hotel.

The Buzz There’s the sense that Fox — known for the most bottom-line approach to festivities — has mixed feelings about Globe afterparties. Last year, it went way off campus with a party at Craft, and it had Avatar. But even if the studio wanted inside this year, the prime spaces aren’t available; the companies most loyal to the Hilton get priority.

Insider Tip Save your appetite for this one. This is technically not on hotel grounds, so Fox can bring in an outside caterer — a good thing. Catch Glee nominees Lea Michele, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer and Matthew Morrison.


The Scene There’s a viewing party for 300 on the roof of the hotel’s parking garage under a clear-plastic-topped tent. Then 600 more guests arrive afterward, including 30 Rock’s TIna Fey and Alec Baldwin and The Kids Are All Right’s Lisa Cholodenko, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. It’s a pretty lavish affair, and the party offers stunning views of the city. This year, Chrysler is a sponsor, so expect to see cars among the stars.

The Buzz Does incoming NBC chief Robert Greenblatt attend? When does he start making public appearances as head honcho?

Insider Tip Due to the number of guests and the need to take an elevator to the roof, it might be good to hit this party early before a line forms.


The Scene By far the smallest of the seven parties, it’s held in the Le Chateau wine store in the hotel’s lobby, which covers all of 1,400 square feet. AMC has noms for Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead. If nominees Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Bryan Cranston and Frank Darabont attend, things will get cozy quickly.

The Buzz If they don’t win, at least there’s plenty of wine (the store stocks about 5,000 bottles).

Insider Tip AMC keeps a small guest list, and it’s more of a viewing party that goes a bit after. Not a place to look for dancing.


The Scene It’s a circuitous route to go from the lobby to the old Trader Vic’s space, now Bar 210, but usually worth it. The more uplifting part of Harvey Weinstein’s reputation is throwing good parties. This year’s draw is The King’s Speech’s Tom Hooper, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

The Buzz It’ll be interesting to see whether this is more a Harvey Weinstein or a Ryan Kavanaugh party. Who will have the most minions in tow? Also, Weinstein hasn’t always been lovey-dovey with the Beverly Hilton. Years ago, he threatened to move his Miramax party offsite in a dispute over what the hotel was charging.

Insider Tip Fox isn’t the only place with upscale cuisine — Thomas Keller of Bouchon is cooking. Planners found a way around the Hilton’s union catering regulations because Bar 210 is a restaurant.


The Scene Located in the eighth-floor Stardust Room, this is more of a private bash for the studio’s nominees, execs and HFPA members. It’s not a long guest list, but it includes The Tourist’s Angelina Jolie with Brad Pitt, The Social Network producer Scott Rudin, best song co-nominee Christina Aguilera and Howard Stringer.

The Buzz If The Social Network wins big, this will be the hotspot.

Insider Tip Sony has done everything but hire hostage negotiators to deal with “nonessentials” (the polite term for crashers and those without tickets) trying to gain entry at the elevator door. Good luck. If you’re in, don’t be too shy about going up to say hi to David Fincher. He’s not seen around town much, and at the DVD release party for Social Network on Jan. 6, he found a quiet cove behind a courtyard tree. He’s a bit reminiscent of Terrence Malick: a bit shy but friendly.


The Scene Nobody competes with HBO when it comes to winning at the Globes — sometimes it’s hard to count all the statuettes on the tables. This year’s bash, held as usual by the pool next to Circa 55 restaurant, will sport a Pucci-inspired design and rings of fire floating in the water.

The Buzz It’s not every day you see Jack Kevorkian — nominee Al Pacino played him in You Don’t Know Jack — and The Pacific’s Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg in the same room; all three are expected, plus Claire Danes, Steve Buscemi and Thomas Jane.

Insider Tip Last year, a guard reportedly barked: “If you’re not talent or staff, you’re not getting in for the next 40 minutes!” So prepare to line up. But it’s worth the wait: Even the cast of Mad Men left their own network’s party last year for this one.