AFI honorees toast each other ahead of Golden Globe Awards
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Golden Globes will be handed out Sunday, but many nominees got a practice run through the awards process Friday at the American Film Institute’s annual luncheon.
Like the Globes, the AFI Awards celebrate outstanding work in film and television. Unlike the Globes, though, there is no competition: All 11 films and 10 TV shows recognized by AFI are considered winners.
AFI president Bob Gazzale said nothing was expected of the honorees other than to “embrace and applaud each other as colleagues.”
With no television cameras and no agenda other than to schmooze and nosh, guests happily obliged.
Sarah Paulson, an Emmy winner and Golden Globe nominee for her portrayal of Marcia Clark in “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” chatted with “Atlanta” creator and star Donald Glover, whose show and performance are up for awards on Sunday.
AFI also recognized TV’s “Veep,” ″Game of Thrones,” ″The Crown,” ″Stranger Things,” and “This Is Us” — all Golden Globe nominees — along with “Better Call Saul,” ″The Americans” and “The Night Of.”
John Lithgow, a Golden Globe nominee for “The Crown,” hung around with Jeff Bridges, who’s nominated for his supporting role in “Hell or High Water.”
Former flames and fellow Globe nominees Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield socialized a bit before lunch. Garfield is nominated Sunday for his performance in Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge;” Stone is a lead actress nominee for her work in Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land.” AFI recognized both films Friday. Gibson and Chazelle are also Globe nominees for best director.
Chazelle sat between his two leads, Stone and Ryan Gosling, on Friday. Gosling, also a Golden Globe nominee, quietly left the Four Seasons Hotel ballroom before “La La Land” was recognized onstage.
AFI’s other film winners included Golden Globe nominees “Hell or High Water,” ″Moonlight,” ″Manchester By the Sea” and “Zootopia,” as well as “Sully,” ″Silence,” ″Fences” and “Arrival.” The documentary “O.J.: Made in America” received a special award.
AFI officials praised and showed clips from each honored production, but there were no acceptance speeches. Instead, producers, directors and stars of the winning films and shows sat with each other and cheered from their tables. Each received a framed certificate.
Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris, both up for Golden Globes for their supporting roles in “Moonlight,” walked side by side to claim theirs.
The only star to take the stage was “Fences” director and star Denzel Washington, whom Gazzale introduced as “someone greater than an icon in the community.” Gazzale also noted that Washington’s son, Malcolm, recently graduated from the AFI Conservatory, which announced a new Audi-sponsored scholarship for female directors Friday.
“I’m hoping that one day he hires me,” Washington quipped after being welcomed with a standing ovation.
But when it came to talking about “Fences,” he was almost speechless.
“It’s just a privilege, a responsibility, a duty and an honor to help in some small way to bring August Wilson’s genius to the screen,” Washington said. “I don’t like to use the word proud, but (I’m) proud of it, and humbled by it all.”
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .