Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
January 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM EST

If you want to feel like time is traveling more quickly than a Martin Scorsese acceptance speech, try sitting in the Golden Globes press room. Journalists are seated in a ballroom adjacent to the ceremony, where one winner after another steps in front of a microphone to answer questions regarding film, TV, politics, philanthropy, dogs, dresses, underwear (or lack thereof), protestors, the British royal family, cooking, babies, and Pilates. And then, before your brain is even able to come to terms with the fact that Steven Spielberg/Kate Winslet/Meryl Streep/George Clooney is standing right in front of you, he or she is whisked away. One minute later, it all repeats, becoming a sort of speed-dating session in which each person you meet is approximately 27 times more attractive than you are.

It’s a surreal blast, and by the time The Descendants had won Best Picture, I couldn’t believe that three hours had passed. Here are the highlights of what was said backstage:

Kate Winslet, best actress for Mildred Pierce, on her dream role: “I would like to one day play a man. I don’t know what kind of man, or if that would ever happen or not. But I would be really interested [in doing that] because I think it would be the ultimate challenge.”

George Clooney, best actor for The Descendants, on “competing” with Brad Pitt this awards season: “The truth of the matter is Brad is my friend. I have never felt competition with him. I have only felt a great deal of friendship and support from him and for him. We don’t wager or bet. We just look at each other, slap each other on the back, and wish each other well.”

Meryl Streep, best actress for The Iron Lady, on accidentally using profanity in her acceptance speech: “I can’t believe I said ‘s—‘ on TV! I had such a good speech. Here it is [she holds up a piece of paper], and I can’t see it because I left my glasses at the table. Would you like to hear it now?” Streep, unfortunately, didn’t share it with us.

Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet addressing the antigay protestors across the street: “America is a great place, speech is free, and you’re able to expose the fact that you’re an idiot.”

Modern Family‘s Sofía Vergara on the topic of, um, her underwear: “I am not wearing anything. For what? I don’t need it!”

Kelsey Grammer, best actor for Boss, announced backstage that he and wife Kayte Walsh are expecting twins: “I am really looking forward to these new arrivals of ours,” the actor said. A reporter responded in a state of ecstasy: “Arrivals, as in plural?” Roger, that’s an affirmative.

Downton Abbey actress Elizabeth McGovern on why the best miniseries winner is so appealing to American audiences: “I think people love going into a world without mobile phones and Twitter, although they don’t know that [costar] Hugh Bonneville tweets between scenes.”

Homeland executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa revealed a few tidbits about the best drama winner’s second season: “Don’t expect the next season to start right when this one left off,” said Gansa. “And the other thing we know for certain is that the Brody-Carrie relationship is going to be front and center in the second season, as it was in the first.”

Added Gordon: “The international aspect of the show is going to be highlighted in a way that we couldn’t last year because of time. We hope to include some foreign locations.”

Morgan Freeman, winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award, talking about his idol Sidney Poitier: “Sidney represents my guiding beacon in life. When his career cranked up, I was a teenager, and I felt certain, seeing him, that there would be room for me. Most of us need something to guide ourselves — something to hang our hopes and dreams on. Sidney has been my beacon, my guiding light. I always tell him that, and I am so honored that he thinks of me as a friend.”

Octavia Spencer, best supporting actress for The Help, upon realizing she could no longer handle wearing her high heels: “I’m sorry, y’all, I love you, but I have to kick these shoes off! We lasted, but we’re done.”

Steven Spielberg, who won best animated film for The Adventures of Tintin: At the conclusion of Spielberg’s press room Q&A, a cameraman asked Spielberg if he could hold up his Golden Globe for a photo. Spielberg, always thinking like a director, responded, “Is this for the digital video camera or a still camera? Because I can move a little bit if you want a little animation, you know?” Spielberg then proceeded to shimmy for the camera. “Yeah, I learned everything from Andy Serkis!”

Best song winner Madonna on how she’s staying in shape: “I am not doing Pilates anymore. I am just dancing. The best thing for your bum is dancing.”

Jessica Lange, best actress for American Horror Story, on the hardest part of playing Constance Langdon: “The hairdo. Not the work itself, not the acting, not the writing, not the scenes, not the other actors, but the hairdo, which really tested my patience.”

Peter Dinklage, best supporting actor for Game of Thrones, on what makes the show stand out (SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched season 1): “You never know what’s going to happen. I mean, we killed the protagonist, and I think that’s a really smart narrative. Writing has gotten so formulaic in television. You got to push the envelope and challenge people’s expectations, and I think we do that. You never know what’s around the corner. In season 2, we’re not done killing off people, and it’s amazing the characters we choose.”

Claire Danes, best actress for Homeland, revealed that she did research for her role by watching YouTube videos: “YouTube was a really valuable resource because there is a lot of material [from] bipolar people, who I think are up in the middle of the night and want to talk, but have no one to talk to. So they talk to the camera and post it. I gorged on these videos of these people in manic states, and tried to extrapolate from that.”

The Artist best actor winner Jean Dujardin on whether he’s a suave and sophisticated guy, or more of a goofball: [Through an interpreter] “My name means ‘Jean of the garden,’ so I’m more grounded. And not very sophisticated.”

Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier from The Artist: Uggie didn’t take any questions backstage, but he did join his costars. This is calmest, most well-behaved dog I’ve ever encountered — he’s got this Hollywood thing down pat. At one point, Dujardin held Uggie in arms. The canine stared at all the reporters and cameras, and then showed an expression of serene contentment: “Yes, I am Uggie, and this is where I belong.” Or, you know, he was just tired.

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