Backstage at the awards show, winners George Clooney, Felicity Huffman, Sandra Oh, and Mary-Louise Parker talk about being on top of the world

By Liane Bonin
Updated January 17, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST
Sandra Oh: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com

It was a good night for gay cowboys and country singers, but not so swell for the occupants of Wisteria Lane. Backstage at this year’s Golden Globes, winners like Geena Davis, Felicity Huffman, Sandra Oh, and George Clooney had plenty to say about the surprise wins and losses, their personal politics, and a mysterious mouse connection (yes, there really was one).

Mary-Louise Parker, who upset four Desperate Housewives with her win as Best Actress in a TV Comedy Series for Showtime’s Weeds, seemed just as surprised at her victory as the rest of us. ”I didn’t have a speech or anything,” she said. ”I thought Felicity [Huffman] was going to win, so I was really surprised. Teri Hatcher was so sweet to me. She said, ‘I voted for you for the other award.’ I think she was talking about the SAG Awards.” Any theories as to what put her ahead of the competition? ”We were all desperate housewives,” she said. ”Mine was just a little more desperate than they were.”

Felicity Huffman, who didn’t win for Housewives but did take home the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama prize for Transamerica, shrugged off her loss in the TV category, for which she had been favored. ”I don’t predict winners,” she said. ”That way lies madness. I think Mary-Louise Parker is a formidable actress, and it’s a great show.” And as for those persistent rumors that she and her fellow Housewives feud on the set, she said that they’re not only wrong but that women are unfairly targeted by such accusations. ”I heard on Boston Legal they fight like cats and dogs and they’re always fighting about clothes,” Huffman joked. Actually, knowing those divas Shatner and Spader, she could be right.

Not surprisingly, Sandra Oh, who gave a particularly bouncy acceptance speech upon winning Best Supporting TV Actress, was just as peppy backstage. ”I literally can’t relax my cheek muscles right now!” she said. ”I’m so elated! And I’m elated it’s over. I don’t remember what I said, but I hope it was coherent. When you win, your brain goes to mush, you can’t walk, and you can’t remember anything.” But the actress did remember to mention backstage that her parents, who were initially resistant to her choosing an acting career, have finally come around. ”They’re getting it now,” she said. ”My dad is reading Star magazine.”

Philip Seymour Hoffman, winner of Best Actor in a Movie Drama for Capote, suspects the writer he portrayed in the film would have plenty to say about his win if he were still here today. ”He’d probably be right up here next to me, and he’d probably point out all the things that were wrong in the movie. But he’d be happy that attention was being showered on him again. That was one of his character flaws, if you know what I mean.”

Evangeline Lilly found out her winning TV drama, Lost, had plenty of admirers at the Globes. ”Zach Braff is a diehard geek fan, his words, of Lost,” she said. ”And dead serious, George Clooney loves the show. Huge fan.” But she still wouldn’t give them — or reporters backstage — the secret to those winning lottery numbers. Damn.

Though Best Director winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) has been knee-deep in kudos for his gay love story about two cowboys, he said he has received hate mail ”from the right and from the left” for the film. ”People are free to express what they want to express,” he said with a shrug. ”But I just wanted to do justice to the short story. The reception has been very warm, mostly.” Maybe an Oscar will make him feel more loved.

Joaquin Phoenix, who won as Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line, was also a loser tonight. ”I lost a $220 bet to Ryan [Phillippe],” he said. ”He bet I would win, and I said no way, and I bet him what I had in my pocket. And after I won, he came after me. I mean, I was halfway up the stairs, and he was coming after me.”

Steve Carell, who won as Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in The Office, revealed backstage that, unlike his breakthrough movie role this year, he’s not really a 40-year-old virgin. ”I’m telling people that I lost my virginity when I was 17, because it sounds like a good age,” he said. ”But I made a deal with my wife that I wouldn’t actually say the truth.” The former Daily Show correspondent’s schedule has been picking up in both film and television. ”I’m hoping I’ll keep working nonstop until 2010,” he said. ”I’ll catch up with my children in junior high school.” He was joking. We think.

S. Epatha Merkerson, who won Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie for HBO’s Lackawanna Blues and who, thanks to Law & Order, has the longest-running African-American role in television history, got weepy discussing the importance of Martin Luther King Day but said she was happy to be celebrating the work of African-American people on a special holiday. ”For whatever reason they picked this day for the show, it rings significantly for me,” she said. And as a woman of a certain age (53), she also had plenty to say about plastic surgery: ”My stand on Botox? I did my breasts, I won’t do my face. At this point, if I don’t tell the truth, f— it. But that’s the truth. I might have a tummy tuck. But so far, just breast reduction. Aren’t they cute?” And speaking of those breasts, Emmy viewers might remember they swallowed up her acceptance speech last year. This year, she didn’t put her speech down her cleavage, but something else. ”I’ve got a $20 bill in the dress,” she said. ”It used to be a quarter, because my mother said you make sure you have a quarter to call home. It’s inflation.”

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