At the Golden Globe Awards ceremony Monday night at the Beverly Hilton, a few people mused at the inclusion of “The Martian” under the category of Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), including Matt Damon who won for Best Actor (Comedy) and director Ridley Scott who accepted the award for Best Motion Picture.
In his opening monologue, host Ricky Gervais mentioned, “The Hollywood Foreign Press deemed ‘The Martian’ a comedy and even nominated it. And hence, Matt Damon is here tonight, so that worked a treat, didn’t it? To be fair, ‘The Martian’ was a lot funnier than ‘Pixels’. But then again, so was ‘Schindler’s List.’ It’s just a film.”
In his acceptance speech, Scott began, “Thank you very much. Comedy? But, anyway, I’m very grateful for that.” He later added, “I was just quietly enjoying ‘The Martian’‘s cume when along came a juggernaut called ‘Star Wars.’ I was left in the dust, except we did pretty good. That put everything into perspective because, you know, our business is like a sport, and that kind of success, we had success, and ‘Star Wars’‘s majestic success, actually, it’s inspiring. You’ve got to stay hungry and keep bouncing the ball. That’s me. ‘Martian’ began with a very smart book by Andy Weir and adapted to a brilliant screenplay by Drew Goddard. It strictly has got wonderful cast and a terrific group of artists. Matt Damon wore his special brand of humor and grace.”
Backstage, Scott was asked about the category and joked, “Bearing in mind I am carrying this right now. I have nothing else to say on the grounds that it may incriminate me.” He later said, “When you are editing a film, you are putting it together and preparing and putting together the previews. It is like a comedian telling a joke 150 times. So it is no longer funny. You have to be careful. The key is to keep fresh. I used to walk down the edge into the kitchen scene where John Hurt started to bring up his breakfast. That moment I realized how pretty scary the film was and the reaction on people was. I felt a sense of responsibility had gone too far because it was extreme. I wanted to try to do that again this year but much worse.”
During his acceptance speech, Damon made sure to thank his kids, “because I told them if I got on TV, I’d definitely say something to them. So get ready to go to bed.” He also thanked his wife. Damon did make people laugh as he remembered, “This was, like, an incredible ‑‑ look, I was here 18 years ago. It’s literally been 18 years since I’ve been here doing this. With a little more context, I know how lucky I am and how lucky I am to do this for a living. When people go see movies, it’s just ‑‑ it’s kind of rare. I’ve made a lot of movies that people just didn’t go see.”
Backstage Damon was queried about about whether “The Martian” is a comedy, and replied, “No, it is a musical, and I think that’s what the 18-year gap was, was me working on my singing, which really is what brought me here tonight.” Damon was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a drama for “Good Will Hunting,” but won a Golden Globe with Ben Affleck for writing “Good Will Hunting.” Peter Fonda won Best Actor that year for “Ulee’s Gold.”
Damon and Scott were both asked about Sean Penn and El Chapo, but had little to say. Damon said, “Look, it is nothing new, actors going and seeking out meetings like this. I don’t want to throw actors under the bus, but I know a lot of serious actors and filmmakers who have been having meetings like this forever. And writers, for that matter, who take meetings like this, and it is part of what we do to do our job really well. Sean somehow figured out that he had an audience. I am sure he was pursuing something creatively and thought it would be valuable.”
In a little turnabout, as this year the reporters backstage asked very few questions about clothing of the women, Damon was asked if his daughters were involved in helping him get ready for an awards night like this. Damon replied, They are more interested in what Lucy’s wearing with the throws and stuff. She’s wearing a lilac thing tonight, so they were really into that. I am kind of on my own in the corner in the tuxedo.”
“The Martian” does partially take place at JPL-NASA. “The Martian” will be available on Amazon from Jan. 12, 2016. You will have to wait until Feb. 9 for it to come to Netflix.