The 68th annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 16, 2011, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
You acknowledged the other nominees in your category, but how do you feel about being the one to win the award?
Yeah, I suppose it feels good. I know all three of them. I know [Johnny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal and Kevin Spacey]. It’s nice but I know those guys, so it’s a little weird, but it feels good, too. I was very shocked [to win] and surprised. I never think I’m going to win.
Who did you think was going to win?
Depp. I’d give it to Depp if it was me. I’d give it to Depp, the great-looking guy.
How did you prepare for your “Barney’s Version” role, since the story spans several decades?
When I first read the script, that was one of the most attractive things about it, was having the stretch of time. To prepare for it, you kind of can’t. It’s this sort of day-by-day thing. And you build it in a funny way, as you’re doing it.
And you begin to realize that you can taken from when you played him younger that you can take with you into the older scenes. Because it’s shot out of sequence, you can go vice versa. You’re building in a lot of ways, not on the fly, but I had ideas but I had to be flexible about it, and let it sort of develop organically, if that many sense.
You seemed to be overwhelmed by getting your award from Halle Berry. Care to elaborate?
You saw her. You see what she looks like. I mean, she could probably be wearing a Hefty Cinch Sak, and she’d probably look pretty good. She looks amazing! And she was very nice, too, so it was a pleasure.
Can you talk about shooting “Barney’s Version” on location in Montreal?
I loved Montreal. The city is amazing, and the people were amazing. I really love that city. And I like the script in a lot of ways because it was a distinctly Canadian story, uniquely Canadian. It was one of the most attractive things.
I felt a little worried that as an American, I might screw up the Canadian national treasure. And I hope I didn’t. I hope Canadians aren’t going to tar and feather me and not let me back into their country again, because I won’t work at all if I can’t get back into Canada. I was nervous about it. I think it’s a really nice, lovely movie. And I hope that they like it, Canadians.
“Barney’s Version” hasn’t been widely seen. Do you hope that your Golden Globe win for the movie will get the film more recognition?
I hope so. That was one of the nicest things. It’s nice to be nominated, and to win now, I really hope that it raises the profile of the movie, because it’s a wonderful movie. So I really hope it means more people will see it because it’s a lovely film.
What are you working on next?
I’m doing a movie called “The Ides of March,” which George Clooney is directing. It’s about a political campaign, a nasty political campaign.
What do you think of Ricky Gervais hosting the Golden Globes this year?
I thought he was really darkly funny. I liked it. Kind of nasty and funny. I liked it. Yeah, I thought he was great.
What did your father think about you becoming an actor?
Well, he’s not around any more. He’s been gone for a long time. I didn’t know for sure that I was going to do it, but I’m sure he knew better than I did that I was going to do it. He had no problem at all. He encouraged me to do it.
What was it like working with Dustin Hoffman in “Barney’s Version”?
Dustin Hoffman, who I forgot to mention [in my acceptance speech]. I walked off, and I felt like a complete idiot. And I hadn’t planned anything, except to talk about Dustin Hoffman, and he’s the person I forgot. I wanted to make jokes about young, up-and-coming newcomer Dustin Hoffman. And I blew it.
He was amazing. He took me along with him in these scenes, to try to absorb his energy. His vitality is something I can’t learn. I just don’t have it, but he can tap into something amazing. He still seems to see himself as learning. He really still sees himself as he doesn’t get it right entirely. He’s absolutely humble and he’s absolutely convinced that he still has a lot of way, a lot of distance to go to be an even better actor, which is amazing.
Your “Barney’s Version” character Barney Panofsky takes big chances in life. Has he influenced you?
Yeah. Well, no. That’s the funny thing when you play a part. It was wonderful while I was playing it, and I felt all that great energy. And then he goes away, and it goes away, and I go back to being me. So I have to find another part like that. But definitely, that appetite was a wonderful thing to pretend to have for a little while.
Are Canadians funnier than Americans?
They seem to be, don’t they? They generally seem to be. They’re really dry. French-Canadians are really funny. They’re super-sharp and [have] kind of a mordant wit.
For more info: “Barney’s Version” website
Golden Globe Awards website
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