January 6th, 2010
01:08 PM ET
Any actor who has received a Golden Globe nod or a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination usually kicks off the season by heading to Palm Springs the first week of January.
They make the two-hour trek from Hollywood to the Palm Springs Film Festival Gala, and event that kicks off the 13-day festival where actors, directors and producers show up to be honored for their achievements in film throughout the year.
For several of the actors, it was their first time attending the gala. Among them: Anna Kendrick, who received the Rising Star Award for her work in "Up in the Air"; Helen Mirren of "The Last Station," who finally got the Career Achievement Award; and Jeremy Renner, who picked up the Breakthrough Actor Award for his compelling work in the acclaimed film "The Hurt Locker."
And it's hard to believe that Quentin Tarantino hadn't been honored at this festival before; he received the Sonny Bono Visionary Award presented to him by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody.
Of course, seasoned vets like Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood and Ivan Reitman showed up as well. Clint even joked that he had to show up to support his buddy Freeman, and that they're "always together and up to no good."
But the night belonged to Mariah Carey, who showed up around 6:20 p.m. - when the gala was supposed to start at 6. She was literally the last star to walk the red carpet before going inside to accept her Breakthrough Performance Award for her work in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire." She showed up sans husband Nick Cannon and was dressed to the nines in a dazzling gown that was so tight it looked painted on. When asked how it feels to have the spotlight on her for something other than her singing and her personal life, she grinned and said, "It's an amazing time in my life right now."
Despite not having much luck with prior films, Carey said she had always wanted to do good movies. She believes that "Precious" director Lee Daniels got it right: "Lee got what I was trying to do."
But when asked about her scenes in the film with little or no makeup, and claims that she tried to sneak more makeup onto her face between scenes, Carey quickly set the record straight. She said that she was wearing makeup designed to make her look worse, as opposed to not wearing ANY makeup at all. She told me, "I'm mortified that people think that is my no-makeup look. ... I mean, I can go wash my face right now and show you what I look like without makeup!"
Hmm ... we'll pass, MC, and just turn the focus back on your solid performance right now.
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