Steven Spielberg talked movies with Harvey Weinstein. John Travolta chatted with Bradley Cooper. Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black shared cellphone photos.
Those stars, along with Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence, Kelsey Grammer, Christina Hendricks and others, lit up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual summer luncheon Thursday at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where the group behind the Golden Globe Awards presented grants and introduced its officers for the coming year.
The stars helped present and accept $1.2 million (Dh4.5 million) in grants from the association to organisations around the country that promote film education and preservation.
The Sundance Institute, Film Foundation and American Film Institute were among 40 non-profit beneficiaries of grants this year.
But the organisation’s annual luncheon was really about schmoozing with the stars.
“I loved your movie,” Weinstein said to Travolta, who stars in Oliver Stone’s Savages. “I thought your movie was great.”
Meanwhile, Hoffman and Black swapped snaps on their iPhones as Washington and Hendricks posed for a photo.
“I am here to get nominated,” Hoffman joked as he took the stage. He told the audience he had just turned 75.
“Dustin’s 75 and he looks great. I’m 57 and I look [so much older]!” said the grey-bearded Grammer, who sat with his new wife, Kayte.
Don Johnson was practically unrecognisable with a newly taut face and his long hair wrapped into a bun. He referred to Scandal star Washington as “poised, delicious and divine”.
Washington said from the stage that she’d gotten close to Black during the luncheon.
“I’m going to call him my dear friend because of the things we’ve shared this afternoon,” she said of the comedian.
Black addressed Spielberg from the podium: “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer looks incredible,” the funnyman said to the director.
Lawrence also joked with the legendary filmmaker.
“I just had to follow Steven Spielberg,” she said when she took the stage. “Or you opened for me, actually.”
The president of the association, Aida Takla-O’Reilly, also poked fun at the filmmaker, saying the luncheon was especially memorable for her.
“This is the day Steven Spielberg pulled my scarf out of the soup and wiped it for me,” she said.
Spielberg thanked the organisation for its support of film-preservation efforts that totalled $3.6 million over the past 16 years. Film is “mankind’s most original medium”, he said.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has given nearly $15 million in grants over the past 18 years from profits generated by the Golden Globe Awards telecast. The 2013 Golden Globes are set for January 13.