The Golden Globes were back in a big way at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday night (January 11) and spirits were certainly high, with everyone from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lopez walking the carpet and smiling broadly for an appreciative assembly of fans and paparazzi alike.
Only a year after the ceremony was canceled due to the writers' strike, the carpet was back bigger than ever. And everyone sounded like a fan, not just the screaming throngs who turned out to cheer on their favorites. "Beautiful night," [movieperson id="189096"]Aaron Eckhart[/movieperson] grinned only minutes before his co-star Heath Ledger won a posthumous award for "The Dark Knight." "I'm like you — a fan. Ron Howard is right there!" he said, gesturing to the nominated "Frost/Nixon" director to his left. "I get inspired by these guys"
Howard, meanwhile, was thinking back to his beginnings, even as he was about to sit down at his umpteenth awards show. "I realized a couple of weeks ago my first nomination was in 1977 here at this hotel. I didn't win. It was a John Wayne movie, 'The Shootist,' but at the same time, as I was not winning, David Frost was here at this hotel preparing to interview Richard Nixon."
Fellow best director nominee [movieperson id="236451"]Sam Mendes[/movieperson] ("Revolutionary Road") claimed to not have jitters for himself so much as for his wife, two-time nominee [movieperson id="1660888"]Kate Winslet[/movieperson]. "I really feel she has to win one. For myself, I'm not too nervous. I really don't think I have a chance in hell." He quickly added that "Slumdog Millionaire" is "the film of the year. [Director] Danny Boyle deserves everything that's coming to him."
"This is not the evening to get stressed out," "House" star [movieperson id="342191"]Olivia Wilde[/movieperson] said, when asked if she had any butterflies. "This is the fun one. Everyone gets a little tanked, and hopefully someone trips onstage — not me. Hopefully someone says something embarrassing in their speech — not me. I think that's why everyone enjoys coming to this one."
Perennial Golden Globe nominee [movieperson id="190873"]Debra Messing[/movieperson] was back (she proudly told MTV News that it was her eighth year in a row), this time for "The Starter Wife, and she had plenty of advice for rookies at the ceremony. "Do drink wine and run around and say hi to all the people that you never get a chance to see, because you're working all the time. Don't take it too seriously. Do go out dancing."
She paused as she considered one last important warning: "Don't spill anything on your dress."
We've got every angle of the Golden Globes covered! Head to the Movies Blog to check out our live blog of the show as it happened. Plus, get a fashion flashback with our red-carpet blog. All the Globes glamour is here.