The Daily Telegraph
23 January 2002
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Australians revel in awards glory
by Michael Bodey

ANDIE MacDowell banged on a drum. Michael Caine was in a corner. Keith Richards was dancing on his own. But holding court at the parties to celebrate the Golden Globes were the exultant Australians, as MICHAEL BODEY explains: EVERYBODY wanted to meet them, to share in their success.

The Australians had taken over Hollywood.

Golden Globe winner Nicole Kidman, with her mother Janelle and friend and potential Oscar nominee Naomi Watts close by, was popular.

She hardly had time to eat, as well-wishers and film moguls wanted to congratulate her.

Kidman's fellow revellers included Moulin Rouge winner Baz Luhrmann, his wife Catherine Martin, Kidman's parents and Fox executives, at the Beverly Hilton. A number of other Australians joined the Moulin Rouge party.

"We Aussies just wanted to catch up," Luhrmann said.

Luhrmann nearly put his foot in it when telling of the rough days during Moulin Rouge 's production, including the time "Nicole's life changed".

Kidman walked into the room and Luhrmann said: "Uh oh, I should never talk about that."

Kidman had to leave the party early to fly to Sweden to continue shooting the Lars von Trier film Dogville.

Before she left, she seemed as happy about her psychic skills as her second Globe win.

She had predicted Russell Crowe's Golden Globes award.

"We were having a cigarette backstage and I told him he was going to win. And he said, 'You always say that'," she said.

"I told him: I've only said it once and you won [for Gladiator ]. And I'm going to raise my batting average tonight."

Crowe, a Globes winner for A Beautiful Mind, celebrated at The Tiki party hosted by DreamWorks Pictures, USA Films and Universal Studios. In a giant candlelit tent at Trader Vic's restaurant, Crowe sat at the back of the room celebrating with partner Danielle Spencer who was wearing a strappy black dress.

He joked when asked what he planned to do with his Golden Globes trophy: "That's a bloody rude question in the country where I'm from, mate."

Crowe was surrounded by bodyguards as Keith Richards, Bryan Admas, Hugh Hefner and his seven blonde girlfriends partied nearby.

Crowe partied well into the night and then headed for the airport bound for his farm in Coffs Harbour where he had an engagement to fulfil with his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs.

He will host the 30-man South Sydney first grade squad and coaching staff at his farm tomorrow night where he has "something special in store for the players".

Rachel Griffiths celebrated at Hilton's Palm Court, where In Style magazine, cable network HBO (which screens her series Six Feet Under ) and studio Warner Bros held their safari-themed parties.

Griffiths' minder quickly grabbed the champagne flute out of her hands as television cameras zoomed in on the newly-discovered star who upset Friends' Jennifer Aniston.

"How exciting. I think I did the best shocked acting of the night . . . because it was true," she said.

"I thought Allison Janney [The West Wing] would win.

"I was thinking my turn will come, that's when I'm 45. It was just a punch from left field. It's weird, very out of body. I have never won anything before.

"I was going to have a good night anyway. Winning is fun. My dress wanted to win a lot. My dress was very happy I won because it really wanted to be up there. It has a personality of its own. It wanted to be on the podium."

The ecstatic Griffiths stole a few calls to friends and family back home while her off-the-shoulder, pink feather outfit, designed by Valentino, entertained the crowds.

A pink Australian diamond reminded her of home, as if she needed reminding on Golden Aussie night.

Griffiths partied with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. She also had a tearful reunion with her Hilary and Jackie co-star Emily Watson.

The surprise losers on the night, the New Line and MGM crowd gathered on the Hilton hotel's roof for a pizza party musing on how the first instalment of The Lord of the Rings triology could end up without a win.

There were parties everywhere. But, typically, Globes winner and Birchgrove resident Judy Davis was the one to keep it in perspective.

"I'd rather be working in my garden."


HOLLYWOOD knew enough about Australia to have its theories on why our actors stormed the Golden Globes.

Actor Tom Hanks, suggested the Australian diet had something to do with all the success.

"You know what it is? I'm going to tell you what it is. It's the Vegemite," said Hanks at an after-awards party. "I'm going to eat some Vegemite."

Steven Spielberg was full of praise. "Australia has come here and in a wonderful way has taken over the motion picture industry," he said.

"Once all the Aussies come over here and take over the business we're going to go to Australia and take over Australia," he said yesterday.

A Beautiful Mind's producer Brain Grazer said Hollywood had been watching Australian actors for a long time. "We got excited about Russell long before Gladiator . . . we saw this thing in him, which other people had seen for sure: intelligence," said Grazer.

"There was a time when we were considering other people," added director Ron Howard. "But when I met Russell, from the first meeting ... I thought he would be fantastic for it. Brian had always been a big believer in him."

Nine Australians were nominated for Golden Globes.

The ones to miss out were Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Simon Baker and Lisa Gerrard.

There were no losers in the Aussie invasion though, Crowe said.

"The industry has become international," said Judy Davis. "In a way it wasn't when I started. When I first came to America there were people who thought I was from Austria."