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Even the lack of sun on Saturday afternoon didn’t dampen the mood of the many celebrities who headed to Santa Monica, CA for the Independent Spirit Awards. The daytime, beachside bash, sponsored by Elle, Lacoste and Piaget, is usually true to its name and this year was no different. Stars let loose in all directions, including Mickey Rourke, who gave an F-bomb laced acceptance speech upon winning for his leading role in “The Wrestler.”

“I just got done talking to the Santa Monica police department,” he said. “They gave me a bed to sleep in 10 years ago. I asked them for two pillows and they said f—k off. But I thank them now.” And how could he not? In other places, people who wind up in jail often never recover. In Hollywood, it’s the springboard to an award-winning movie.


Earlier in the day, on the blue welcoming carpet, the star had gotten frisky with Rachel Weisz, the wife of “Wrestler” director Darren Aronofsky. “Darren, Darren, you better get over here,” Rourke teased as he sidled up to the actress. The laidback atmosphere seemed to agree with Mariah Carey, who told the crowds: “Have fun,” as she passed by. She was joined by awards show pros like Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz, Claire Danes, Michelle Williams, Jessica Alba, Penelope Cruz, Lucy Liu, Michelle Monaghan and Elizabeth Banks, many of whom had accessorized their bright frocks with white ribbons worn in support of gay marriage.

Meanwhile, some newbies like Mad Men’s Rosemarie Dewitt were trying to find their footing. “This is a whole new thing for me,” she said. “Afterwards, you go home and take it all in.” First-timer Padma Lakshmi was also a bit confused. “I’ve never been to this award show before and I thought it was on the beach,” explained Lakshmi, who had paired her dress with flip-flops, albeit Prada. “I didn’t want to sink in my stilettos.”

One thing she did know was that awards shows make for big appetites. “Usually by the end of the night you’re hungry, you’re feet hurt, you probably had a little too much champagne and you’ve been running around getting ready,” she said, adding that a “bacon double Western cheeseburger or fried chicken” was in her future. “Rachel Getting Married” scribe Jenny Lumet agreed. “I’m really hungry,” she said. “I need a big a** lunch, that’s what I’m thinking about.”

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