Of the 67 actors who turned in performances in 2008 deemed excellent enough to score a nomination at the 66th Annual Golden Globes, a whopping ten of them didn't even bother to show up at the Beverly Wilshire hotel to attend last night's ceremonies. For those of you without handy access to a calculator, that's a fairly high No-Show Rate of 14.9 percent (and, if you were wondering, this figure doesn't even include Heath Ledger's tragic absence). While we may never know what led Philip Seymour Hoffman, Judi Dench, Kevin Spacey, Dianne Wiest, Gabriel Byrne (who was a surprise winner for his work on HBO's In Treatment, which left a stunned and possibly illiterate Hayden Panettiere to frantically beg Zac Efron to read the TelePrompTer for her), Mariska Hargitay, Frances McDormand, Rebecca Hall*, and James Franco to each decide they had better things to do on a Sunday night than go to an awards show with an open bar, there was one no-show whose reasons for not showing up are well documented. That person being, of course, Hollywood's No.1 friend of the press: Mr. Sean Penn.
As Tom O'Neil reports over at Gold Derby, this is at least the third time that Sean Penn has skipped the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual celebration of glitz and glamour. He was a surprise no-show when he won the Best Actor prize for Mystic River back in 2004, and he even snubbed the HFPA press conference for Milk in 2008. This bad blood between the bad boy and the attention-craving journos led to a near shutout for Milk at this year's ceremony, the lone tip of the proverbial cap going to Penn's Best Dramatic Actor nom. However, we don't much mind the fact that this beef exists, as it certainly helped propel Mickey Rourke to his semi-surprise victory last night (which gave him the chance to give this awesome speech).
And with this, it looks like we're down to a two-horse race for this year's Oscar for Best Actor!
Sean Penn snubs the Golden Globes again! [Gold Derby/LAT]
*We kind of assumed that Rebecca Hall performed in The Cherry Orchard yesterday at BAM, but then we noticed that director Sam Mendes managed to get himself out to L.A. So maybe not?