LOS ANGELES — The stars gathered Sunday at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel for the second big show of awards season: the Critics Choice Awards.
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” became the night’s favorite, winning five of its 14 nominated categories. ‘Abbott Elementary’ star Sheryl Lee Ralph picked up the Best Supporting Actress win and delivered another powerful speech – just like Angela Bassett and Niecy Nash when they both scooped trophies actress in a supporting role for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Dahmer – Monster”. : The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” respectively.
A lot happened during the telecast, but even more action happened in the ballroom that didn’t air on TV. From stars getting excited with selfies to emotional behind-the-scenes moments, here’s what happened.
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Amanda Seyfried takes a selfie with Paul Walter Hauser, Kaley Cuoco and Tom Pelphrey share a date night
In typical Critics Choice fashion, the second the telecast hit a commercial break, the stars jumped to their feet, practically leaping across the ballroom to chat and dance with other celebrities.
During a break, Angela Bassett chatted with Janelle Monáe. Keegan-Michael Key and his wife Elle Key went to the “Abbott Elementary” table to have a chat with Quinta Brunson and Lisa Ann Walter. And Stephanie Hsu of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” shared a hearty laugh with Jenny Slate of “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”
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After winning their respective trophies for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Made-for-TV Movie, Amanda Seyfried and Paul Walter Hauser stood outside the ballroom and spoke in low voices and with animated expressions. At the end of their conversation, the two took a selfie.
For some stars, the show served as a romantic evening. Kaley Cuoco, sporting a growing baby bump, spent most of the night with partner Tom Pelphrey. During a break, a guest asked Pelphrey to take a photo of herself with Cuoco, which the actor happily agreed to. Nash also worked the red carpet alongside his wife Jessica Betts. The two got married in 2020.
Ke Huy Quan struggles to hold back tears backstage
The adrenaline was palpable during the show, as ecstatic stars claimed their trophies and gave heartfelt speeches for the world to see.
This intensity continued backstage in the media room, where the winners were immediately invited to answer questions and reflect on what their victories meant.
After winning the Best Supporting Actor award, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ star Ke Huy Quan got emotional while speaking to reporters, saying the recognition was beyond his wildest dreams.
“I just wanted a job,” he said, his voice wavering and his heart “still beating.”
“I’m so lucky,” he added, tears in his eyes. “I vividly remember what it was like to be an Asian actor in the late 80s and early 90s. I just want the doors open for all those actors like me who don’t want anything other than a steady job, and I just want everyone to have their dreams come true.”
Quan wasn’t the only one feeling immense gratitude. Ralph, winner of Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, got emotional when talking about her late parents. “If they’re able to look down at me, ‘Thank you, mom and dad, because this one’s for you,'” she said, raising her trophy skyward.
Previously:Indiana Jones Star Ke Huy Quan Waited ‘Over 30 Years’ For ‘Everything Everywhere’ Role
In? Vibes. Outside? New Year’s resolutions
New year, same stars? On the red carpet, stars such as Kerry Washington and Ayo Edebiri told USA TODAY that they aren’t really into the resolutions, at least not for 2023.
“I’m big on intentions for the year,” Washington said. Many share the same sentiment, forgoing the age-old tradition of setting big personal goals at the top of the year.
Kate Hudson says she “decided not to make any resolutions…I haven’t done any of that this year, I’m just gonna be hot.”
The ‘All American’ Bre-Z star tells us her resolution was to “eat better,” but it’s not going too well. Why? “I just don’t feel like it,” Bre-Z laughs. Co-star Samantha Logan shared that she was also trying to eat better in the new year, while also having a better sleep schedule, but at the end of the day the duo agreed that it was all about ‘balance.
“The plan is to be happy. Whatever makes you happy,” says Bre-Z. “Life is about balance.”
Logan adds, “My body is going to fluctuate, and my skin is going to do what it wants to do, and that makes me human, and I don’t really care about that anymore.”
Edibiri says she hasn’t made any resolutions either, but what’s “in” for her this year is to be “nice to myself.” What’s in store for the ‘The Bear’ star? Screen time, especially TikTok.
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The Critics Choice crowd was A-list, but the menu was not
What do A-list celebrities get for dinner at the Critics Choice Awards? Certainly not a five course meal.
Each table was stocked with plenty of Fiji water, a few bottles of wine and a large bottle of champagne. However, the dining options weren’t as plentiful as the drink selection: in addition to a basket of crackers at each table, celebrities feasted on an array of dips, including hummus and baba ganoush.
In case the hummus wasn’t enough, there were plenty of Cold Stone ice creams for everyone. Aside from a mini ice cream stand just outside the ballroom, Cold Stone mugs were also handed out inside during commercial breaks.
It was only after the show that the stars were finally able to feed themselves a little more. As soon as the telecast ended, the stars left the ballroom to find flatbreads, sushi rolls and dessert tables flooding the reception area.
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