The British Academy of Film and Television Arts – Los Angeles – held their annual BAFTA/LA Tea Party Saturday afternoon in Beverly Hills and it was quite the scene in the packed Four Seasons hotel ballroom.
Partially a fundraiser for some of the organization’s charities, the BAFTA Tea Party has become another required stop on the awards circuit. Next to SAG, BAFTA has some of the largest duplicate membership in the Academy and the Brits are a powerful voting bloc to have on your side (especially in close races). So, like a political campaign, events like BAFTA are a necessary stop to help push either your candidacy or your films.
Two of this year’s most popular and gawked at attendees included Ben Affleck and Nicole Kidman. Affleck because, well he’s quite tall and of genuine affection for “The Town.” Kidman because, well, she’s Nicole Kidman.
Who was in attendance besides Kidman and Affleck? How about Jeff Bridges, Jane Lynch, Olivia Williams, Darren Aronofsky, producer Scott Rudin, Harvey Weinstein, LL Cool J, Hailee Steinfeld, Demitri Martin, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Kathy Griffin, Melissa Leo, Barbara Hershey, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Love Hewitt. Andrew Garfield, Ian McShane, composer Alexandre Desplat, Trent Reznor, director Lisa Cholodenko and former “Battlestar Galactica” star Jamie Bamber. And that was just who I caught before I had to jet.
Before walking out the door, however, I had a chance to chat with Kidman and fellow Oscar guru Pete Hammond of Deadline. After thanking both of us for our support of “Rabbit Hole” (“It’s so hard to get a movie like that made,” she noted) Kidman told both of us she’s actually enjoying her “return” to the awards game. First, because it’s sort of been awhile (she was last nominated for a Golden Globe for “Birth “in 2004) and that her husband, Keith Urban, is sort of enjoying himself. I wouldn’t want to misquote her, but it appears Mr. Urban is enjoying a lot of the different appetizer options at each stop. Kidman, who was not pleasantly photographed at the Critic’s Choice Awards the night before, looked fantastic in person. And having not seen her in years, you easily forget how tall she is.
And then, like us, she was gone. Only to run into one another at another awards event this Globe weekend. In fact, any moment now…
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