Helen Mirren, the British-born actress, who was the evening's two-time best actress winner, seemed slightly miffed when someone asked: So, what's with the queens?
Mirren noted with an icy stare that she has performed more roles than just royals. "I was nominated for [detective chief inspector Jane Tennyson in] 'Prime Suspect.' I was very, very thrilled."
Mirren then stepped down from her throne and cracked an off-color joke more common to British pubs than Buckingham Palace. "You know how an Essex girl knows that she has an orgasm? She drops her fries."
Mirren's quip caused a roomful of reporters to laugh and groan, but when someone later asked if she was expecting to win an Oscar for her role in "The Queen," the British actress snapped: "Get out of here! Stop it!" She then conceded that if she did win an Oscar for best actress: "I'll definitely drop my fries then."
Ah, yes, the Brits do love their self-deprecating humor.
Take Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt. When Blunt mentioned that Nighy had made her blush in a moment of paternalistic humor, the actor retorted that Blunt became "almost physically nauseous" when he talked about the opposite sex.
"She's not hard to wind up," Nighy said. "It was only about halfway through shooting [when] she realized that I wasn't the Science Guy. She certainly couldn't spell or pronounce my name, which was refreshing. No, she was wonderful. I was very, very happy and very lucky to have her play my daughter, and the work that we did together is some of the most satisfying work that I have ever done in my life."
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A member of the press asked: Have you actually ever been confused for Bill Nighy the Science Guy?
"Yeah, when my daughter was small. I disappointed a lot of small children over the years. When my daughter first started school they wanted to meet Bill Nighy the Science Guy until they actually realized I was the other Bill Nighy."
Nighy said he never expected his dry English wit would get him this far. "My expectations were low early on. I certainly wanted at some point somebody to say the word actor and my name in the same sentence casually. I wanted to be accepted in that community."
Jeremy Irons, who won a Golden Globe for Elizabeth I," showed up in a tux with ill fitting sleeves and no tie and a waistcoat with red roses that looked like kisses. Americans should be so unstuffy.
Hugh Laurie, who won best actor in a TV drama for "House," said England -- at least his British accent -- is never far away when he leaves the set at the end of each shooting day.
"As soon as I leave the lot I become English again. I find it is just the only way I can do it, otherwise I would be going crazy trying to remember what I am supposed to be doing."
Doing 24 episodes a year takes 10 months of his time, he noted, providing little time to relax or see his family.
"There's actually very little time in between, and so little time that relaxing becomes quite an attractive idea .I haven't read a novel in about six months. I am not even sure I can read any more . I am hoping I will be able to read and think and walk and get to know my children again. They are no longer children."