Ricky Gervais has said taking swipes at Hollywood’s top talent during the Golden Globes is his “extreme sport.”
The Office star returns as host of the ceremony for the fifth time and promised he will not hold back with his digs at the famous faces in attendance, which will include Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson and Renee Zellweger.
He told E’s Ryan Seacrest: “I do the same old thing I always do. I just hope they are more used to it now.”
Asked if it ever gets awkward, he replied: “Yeah but I like that, that is my extreme sport. Some people do drugs, some people jump out of planes. I say awkward things to their faces.”
He added that partner Jane Fallon sometimes asks him to nix some of his more brutal jibes, saying: “She says ‘please don’t’, she uses emotional blackmail.”
Asked if the show’s producers have heard everything he is going to say, he said: “There might be a couple of ad libs. I show it to them, the lawyers see it and I don’t think they have asked me not do anything.
“I don’t libel anyone, I don’t break the law, I tease them, they are just jokes.”
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the body which votes for the Golden Globes, has announced the ceremony will be going vegan for the first time, which could draw some gags from the comedian.
Netflix, once seen as an unwelcome disruptive presence and industry pariah, is now a major Hollywood player and leads the way in nominations for both film and TV.
British actor Cynthia Erivo, who is nominated for her leading role in Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, was among the first stars to arrive on the red carpet, sporting a black and white beaded Thom Browne gown.
She joked to Seacrest: “It’s very casual, easy, I don’t know why I didn’t just wear jeans.”
She added that the hand beading took 800 hours, and the designer added peonies to the hem of the skirt and lining in tribute to her favourite flower.
Asked how much the diamonds she is wearing are worth, she replied: “About three million.”
Erivo also discussed being at the ceremony, saying: “It’s a dream come true, it’s an emotional thing.”
Irish star Andrew Scott, who is nominated for best supporting actor in a limited series for his role as the priest in Fleabag, said he has been overwhelmed by the reaction to the BBC show.
He told E!: “The reaction is insane, it’s a little show. You always want it be seen, but the fact the internet has taken the character and the show to their hearts is amazing.”
He also hinted at a reunion with creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, saying: “We are definitely going to do something. All will be revealed, we have got great chemistry and we want to do as much as we can.”
Netflix’s gangster saga The Irishman is a major contender in the drama categories alongside Marriage Story, while the Eddie Murphy-starring Dolemite Is My Name is also well-fancied in the musical/comedy groups.
Netflix’s main competition in the film categories is likely to come from Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 1960s Los Angeles, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood and Sam Mendes’s war epic 1917.
The 77th Golden Globes takes place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.