After rolling out the red carpet, Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg were the co-hosts of the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards. And it was obvious when the honors were handed out Sunday, January 6, that the past year has been a game changer for women in Hollywood. Sandra Oh became the first actress of Asian descent in 39 years to win a Golden Globe for best actress in TV for BBC America’s assassin series “Killing Eve.”
Throughout the NBC telecast there was more evidence of empowerment for great actresses with lots of meatier roles that demanded attention.
Of course the Hollywood Foreign Press Association also put the spotlight on the great guys in the industry. It was wonderful seeing Jeff Bridges, Dick Van Dyke, and another self-described “alter cocker” Michael Douglas, alongside Andy Samberg, Darren Criss and Rami Malek, and many other talented young lions.
But this reporter believes that the women were especially inspiring starting with Carol Burnett. The 85-year-old comedy icon was honored with the inaugural Golden Globes TV Lifetime Achievement Award, which henceforth will be known as the Carol Burnett Award. Carol reflected on her six decades in comedy for the stellar crowd at the Beverly Hilton. She lamented that her variety show couldn’t be done today due to many factors, and she was glad “to be there at the right time. I’m so glad we had this time together.” What-a-gal!
The women’s march continued with inspiring words from Regina King, winner of supporting actress winner for the film If Beale Street Could Talk. Regina challenged the entertainment industry’s movers and shakers to hire more women, and she will lead by example with her production company.
The Golden Globe Awards, often referred to as “Hollywood’s Party of the Year,” is one of the few awards shows that combine the best of both film and television. Many in the TV categories have been to the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tours and have offered insight to their award-winning roles. Rachel Brosnahan won best actress in a TV series comedy for Amazon Studios’ The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. “It takes a village to do the show, and our village is a matriarchy lead by Amy Sherman-Palladino (creator, executive producer). We have women in so many leadership roles,” she gushed with gratitude when accepting her award. Rachel also got a TCA Award last summer.
Patricia Clarkson who won the supporting actress honor for HBO’s Sharp Objects starring executive producer Amy Adams. Patricia revealed that director Jean-Marc Vallée, “demanded everything of me except sex, which is exactly how it should be in our industry.” At TCA, Patricia described Jean-Marc’s working environment as “free and wild and explosive and emotional. He was always exploring just how far we can take a scene, just how deep we can go, how dark we can go. We were quite close off-camera, so we had these very traumatic days and drink fake alcohol on the set, and then have real alcohol when we would be done.”
Clarkson added, “I think any time women are at the center of a story, we’re winning. It’s always good. Also when the characters are so beautifully drawn, complicated, daring, bold, difficult, unlikeable and non-heroic — which most of us are — we’re winning. That’s always a great thing. HBO got that and wanted to make a show that was female-led with this perspective, and it was important.”
Patricia Arquette won Best Actress in the prison break mini-series for Showtime’s Escape at Dannemora and at TCA she explained, “I started off as an ingenue, as a young actress, then I started to play mothers. To be able to do character work and explore human sexuality as a middle aged woman with not a kind of body that Hollywood is used to I thought was a really interesting conversation to have. To explore needs and love and wanting to feel alive. It’s scary to go to that place, but also I found it fascinating how that changes things for her.” Indeed.
Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 38 years, and was half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.