By Judy Shields
Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 2/22/18 – The AARP Movies For Grownups Awards has just matured a little. The show, now in it’s 17th year, will air for the first time on broadcast television nationwide this Friday, February 23rd, at 9:00 PM on PBS Great Performances.
February 5th, ahead of the Academy Awards, Hollywood’s most respected actors, directors, producers and writers attended the taping of the ceremony, held at the lavish Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The Hollywood Times was there on the red carpet to catch up with some of these celebrated artists.
The guest list was, indeed, it’s own attraction. Gary Oldman, Willem Dafoe, Wendy Mailik, Laurie Metcalf, Guillermo Del Toro, Alfre Woodard, Greta Gerwig, Saorise Ronan, Mark Hamill, Ben Mendelsohn, and event honoree Helen Mirren were among the glitterati at the elegant evening. Alan Cummings hosted.
On the pre-show carpet, important discussions were ongoing; particularly those related to the recent #metoo and #timesup movements.
“I think some important voices have been heard; not just in our industry, but in all industries and all walks of life,” actress Jane Seymour told THT. “I think there may be some people who’ve had some really horrendous things happen to them that were covered up will now be taken seriously and heard.”
Seymour says that although she’s a highly accomplished actress and producer with years of entertainment industry experience, she’s still got plenty to learn. “I’m still a work in progress,” she laughed. Seymour currently has a show on POP TV, “Let’s Get Physical,” airing alongside the mega-popular Schitt’s Creek. “I’m really enjoying playing these crazy old ladies,” she added.
The ever-refined Annette Bening, who won Best Actress for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, told THT that she felt the current push for gender equality in Hollywood could potentially last; but the industry must be careful. “I think it’s a sea change,” she said. “We have to be careful, and mindful, and everybody deserves due process.
Blythe Danner, longtime actress and mother of Gwyneth Paltrow (and grandmother to Apple Martin, Paltrow’s daughter with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin), shared with THT what a great time of life it is for her. “I’m incredibly proud of my daughter,” said Danner. “I’m thrilled that she can do so many things so well, and is a phenomenal mom on top of it all; that alone gives me great satisfaction. My son is a wonderful director, writer, and a great dad. They’re doing what they love and they’re great kids, and they’re great parents. That’s really all I could hope for.”
Actor Doug Jones, who played The Asset in The Shape of Water, told THT that in spite of his maturity in the industry (Jones is 57 years old and has been playing monsters in Del Toro films for decades) he still doesn’t have it all figured out. “The minute I feel that I have it all figured out, will be the day that I die,” laughed Jones. “And I meet my maker, and he’ll tell me whether I got it right or not.”
He has to know he’s doing something right. They all do; as Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan rushed past the carpet to their seats; Jane Seymour darted out to catch a word with Richard Jenkins; and Guillermo Del Toro sauntered in the back just before the dinner and ceremony started, it became obvious that this “grown up” precursor to the Academy Awards wasn’t merely the more mature celebration of Hollywood. It was a definitive celebration of the very best the industry has to offer; buoyed by the experience and gravitas age inevitably brings to the quality of one’s own career.
As for the awards themselves, Helen Mirren was honored with the Career Achievement recognition. It was presented by her Winchester co-star Jason Clarke. Other honors went to Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Best Picture/Best Movie for Grownups); Annette Bening, Best Actress for her performance in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool; Gary Oldman, Best Actor for Darkest Hour; Laurie Metcalf, Best Supporting Actress for Lady Bird; Richard Jenkins, Best Supporting Actor for The Shape of Water; Guillermo Del Toro, Best Director for The Shape of Water; Aaron Sorkin, Best Screenwriter for Molly’s Game; Best Ensemble for Molly’s Game; The Greatest Showman for Best Grownup Love Story; The Florida Project for Best Intergenerational Film; Dunkirk for Best Time Capsule; and I Am Not Your Negro for Best Documentary. Check local listings for exact details on Friday’s broadcast.