Backstage at the Golden Globes -- Jennifer Aniston hobbled, Meryl Streep reeked, and Jack Nicholson talked about being nude in Omaha at the loopiest awards show of the year

By Liane Bonin
Updated January 19, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Nicole Kidman: AFP PHOTO/Hector Mata/NewsCom

Maybe it was because the Golden Globes is the only awards ceremony that serves alcohol, or maybe it was shock over Lara Flynn Boyle’s baby ballerina outfit, but backstage the stars were babbling weird confessions, idle threats and plenty of weepy thanks. was there to report the good, the bad, and the just plain weird.

SCENT OF A WOMAN ”The Hours”’ Best Actress winner Nicole Kidman carried a prop with her that would have put her Virginia Woolf prosthetic to shame. ”Someone gave me a red nose, but I didn’t have the guts to wear it,” she sighed. Not that she had second thoughts about leading with her nose on film. ”In the makeup chair, I thought, this could look totally ridiculous. But your body, your voice, your face, those are all tools, and you can’t be too attached to anything about yourself as an actor.”

FUNKY DIVA Best Supporting Actress winner and double nominee (for ”The Hours” and ”Adaptation”) Meryl Streep may have looked pulled together (sartorially, at least) while delivering her giddy acceptance speech, but backstage she confessed that she was best admired from afar. ”Don’t get near me, I smell like a camel,” she shrugged, explaining she’d just flown in from a film shoot in Rome. ”Glamour is NOT my forte.”

HER RIGHT FOOT ”Friends” star Jennifer Aniston discovered her Best Actress Golden Globe was more useful than it looked. ”This is a good anesthetic,” said the actress, who recently broke a toe by ”stubbing it on an ottoman while running for the phone.” Not surprisingly, her award made a sharper accessory than her cane. ”Getting ready for an awards show is always terrifying, and then, with this lovely club foot, that was a little extra stress. But I did get a senior citizen discount on the cane.”

SORE WINNER ”Curb Your Enthusiasm” mope Larry David may have been crowing about after-awards nookie in his acceptance speech, but he later admitted that he almost skipped the ceremony altogether. ”I was upset the last couple of days, because I really didn’t want to go,” he muttered. ”I always feel like the downside potential is so much greater than the upside. You can say something idiotic up there that can haunt you for years, or some bodily function could emerge. I thought losing was better than winning, but now that I’ve emerged unscathed, it’s okay.”

TENDER FOOTED Uma Thurman, who took home a Best Actress award for HBO’s ”Hysterical Blindness,” claimed that playing a white trash Joisey goil was a breeze compared to her next role as a karate-kicking action heroine in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming ”Kill Bill.” ”This reminded me of myself and the girls I grew up with, so the acting only really came in with the Jersey accent,” she said of ”Blindness.” ”But with ‘Kill Bill’ I’m punching and kicking and fighting day in and day out. I’ve always been a couch potato, so it’s been good for me.”

FANCY FOOTWORK Hanging upside-down in a pair of short shorts in ”American Gigolo” didn’t win him any awards, but ”Chicago” star Richard Gere has a new strategy for taking home gold. ”From now on, I have to do a tap dance in every movie,” he joked. ”Obviously, that was the key.” Now that he has that settled, he can focus on the rest of his to do list. His next goal? ”World peace,” he said. At least he’s got the Dalai Lama on his side.

40 AND FABULOUS Samantha may be ”Sex and the City”’s sultriest character, but Best Supporting Actress winner Kim Cattrall said that prior to signing on to the HBO show, she’d resigned herself to fuddy-duddy status. ”When I turned 40, my desirability in Hollywood was cut in half,” she said. ”I did believe the myth that women aren’t supposed to be sexy or sexual in their 40s unless it’s with one person, probably their husband.” Though ”Sex”’s days are numbered, Cattrall will continue to kink it up with a documentary series called ”Sexual Intelligence” that she’s producing for HBO. ”I must continue to break barriers,” she said. What? Masturbating to Handel’s ”Messiah” wasn’t enough?

CLEAN FREAK ”Monk” star Tony Shalhoub got into character briefly backstage, noting his defective detective would be more unnerved by his Best Actor award than overjoyed. ”I think first of all he would have it steam-cleaned and disinfected, because it came out of the hands of someone else, and God knows where they were before they came on stage.”

FIGHTING IRISH Bono, whose ”The Hands that Built America” won for Best Song, was more interested in singing director Martin Scorsese’s praises than his own winning tune. ”What Martin Scorsese is about is truth over romance, and that’s why he deserves an award tonight,” he said, relating how he was so affected by a screening of ”Goodfellas” that he told a gun-wielding mugger to f— off because the man had interrupted a discussion he was having with the Edge about the film. ”And if he doesn’t, I know some Irish gangs who are going to visit you people with baseball bats.”

HOARSE WHISPERER ”The Sopranos”’ star and Best Actress winner Edie Falco had lost her voice to laryngitis, but that didn’t stop her from reminiscing about her days as a waitress with a fellow Globe winner ”The Shield”s Michael Chiklis. ”He was always talking and chatting, and his tables were always screaming for stuff,” she said. ”It was this little restaurant on West 10th, and it was a terrible job, but it’s turned out very well for us.” Falco was mum about whether or not Carmela and Tony would be able to patch things up next season, saying only that ”I don’t think the writers know, either, but I would happily play Carmela until she expires.”

STRONG ARMED Best Actress winner Renée Zellweger (”Chicago”) struggled to grasp her win, literally. ”I’m in denial with massive impostor syndrome,” she said, hefting her award. ”But it makes my biceps look really good.”

NAKED TRUTH, PART TWO Best Actor winner Jack Nicholson was sporting a tux for the ceremony, but it was his birthday suit that got attention during the filming of ”About Schmidt.” ”Apparently I was walking around nude at all hours of the night, and Omaha’s all up in arms about it,” he said. ”But in all honesty, I didn’t think Omaha was awake at that hour when I was going downstairs to get pie.” Maybe getting flack for his peep show helped him see the beauty in his costar Kathy Bates’ nude scene. ”That was the most successful nude scene since Brigitte Bardot,” he crowed. Unfortunately, sometime girlfriend Lara Flynn Boyle’s attire got more of a mixed review. ”Lara’s tutu was startling,” he admitted. ”But she’s a very colorful actress.”