Golden Globes 2017: Star-Studed Opening Musical Number

The 74th Golden Globes show kicked off with a pre-taped musical number that recreated the film’s opening song-and-dance.  Host Jimmy Fallon navigated a red-carpet traffic jam with Lion’s Nicole Kidman, Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington, the cast of Stranger Things and Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, John Travolta and Sarah Paulson of The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Some cameos were made in character–Westworld’s Evan Rachel Wood powered down in her blue dress, while the hooded Rami Malek of Mr. Robot hacked the Tonight Show host’s hard drive–while others paid tribute to their roles, as Arrival’s Amy Adams was backed by dancers in HAZMAT suits.

“It was a bit of a scramble to get everyone cast, but if Jimmy Fallon calls, it’s like, ‘Of course,’” La La Land choreographer Mandy Moore tells The Hollywood Reporter of mapping the five-minute cold open. It was written and directed by The Tonight Show’s Dan Opsal and shot by the film’s steadicam operator Ari Robbins.

Preparations began before Christmas, and the cameos were captured over three days before the Globes. “We basically shot it in little vignettes, whenever the celebrities were available,” Moore explains, as each of the stars stopped by the Universal lot for nearly 30 minutes at a time and either recorded their audio component just before or after their shoot. “We didn’t have them for a long time, so I knew whatever they did had to be simple, effective and fun, but also gave them enough room to be their own personality.”

The segment also featured 27 of Chazelle film’s 30 dancers, this time, wearing costumes referencing the year’s popular titles. “Dan wanted to be true to the shots in the film, which were so fun to revisit and recreate,” says Moore. While Harington’s appearance was shot earlier in London, the most exciting cameos on set were those by Travolta — “He was so lovely and immediately knew we wanted him to do the most iconic dance move ever known to mankind” — and the Stranger Things cast.

Says Moore of watching Millie Bobby Brown, “She felt the pressure with that rap; it’s a lot of work. But everyone was so hyped and screaming behind the monitor. That was the first one we shot, and it set the tone for the entire thing.”

It took mulitple edits to determine where the opening musical number, shot on the connector between the 110 and 105 freeways, belonged.

While the gridlock scene was shot during the day, Friday night was spent on a soundstage with Fallon and Justin Timberlake for what Opsal called “a hysterical, raunchy waltz.”

Of spoofing Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s cosmo-set duet, Moore says: “I just thought of the five most ridiculous moves that’d be great as a silhouette. They immediately went for it.”

That opening began what became La La Land’s big night, as the musical earned seven awards a new record for any film at the Golden Globes.