George Clooney on Wrestling with Stacy Keibler at National Board of Review Awards Gala

George Clooney
Photo: Patrick McMullan
George Clooney with Stacey Keibler at the National Board of Review Awards gala

As George Clooney, named best actor at the National Board of Review Awards gala on January 10, strolled the red carpet with his love interest Stacy Keibler, we had a very pressing question: Can the silver fox hold his own on the dance floor with the former Dancing with the Stars contestant?

“Well she leads, which really throws me,” The Descendants star said. And Clooney added that he hasn’t picked up any dance moves from Keibler, which gave rise to another question: Has Keibler, a former pro wrestler, taught him to, uh, tussle on the mat? “No she hasn’t,” Clooney laughed to FashionEtc, flashing that million-dollar smile.

Fellow honoree Tilda Swinton, who took the best actress award for We Need to Talk About Kevin, was also in a joking mood. “Ha! I was about to say I am wearing Haider Ackerman, but I’m not wearing Haider Ackermann, I’m wearing something that he made,” she said when asked about her ensemble. “I am wearing a shirt and trousers by Haider Ackermann,” Swinton clarified.

And while Swinton is always adventurous with fashion, we noted some interesting looks at the black-tie gala, particularly on some of the younger actresses.

The radiant Jessica Chastain chose a knee-length Zac Posen in black with floral embroidery. Gleaming ruby Harry Winston earrings set off her strawberry hair.

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Shailene Woodley, who landed the supporting actress trophy for her performance as Clooney’s teenage daughter in The Descendants, looked sophisticated, yet age-appropriate in knee-length L’Wren Scott with minimal makeup and jewelry.

The sensible Woodley explained that borrowing dresses is good for the environment. “The nice thing about borrowing from big designers is that many people wear the same dress, so you’re actually reusing and recycling dresses,” she said. (But seriously, she should keep that dress!)

Chloe Moretz, star of Hugo, which won best picture, was in head-to-toe Miu Miu at the gala. One of FashionEtc’s most stylish teens, the budding fashion plate is enjoying the designer attention that goes along with awards season.

“Chanel just gave me my first two Chanel purses ever, and at 14, that’s a big feat!” Moretz said, beaming.

tilda swinton
Photo: Patrick McMullan
Tilda Swinton in "a shirt and trousers by Haider Ackermann"

The gala, at NYC’s Cipriani 42nd Street, was teeming with stars; Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren, Sally Field, Keira Knightley, Emma Stone, Jeremy Irons, Daniel Radcliffe, Naomi Watts and Viola Davis were just some of the Hollywood luminaries at the dinner.

The acceptance speeches were often a tad, uh, lengthy, let’s say, and less-than-titillating, but occasionally someone got the crowd chuckling, particularly Rosie O’Donnell, who basically did a stand-up comedy routine when presenting an award for a documentary film.

“I’m happy to be here at the National Board of Review,” O’Donnell said. “They’re much better than National Society of Film Critics, and we know this because today they announced their best film: Melancholia. If I had the choice between giving birth to a flaming child on the floor of an igloo or watching that film again, I would choose the birth of my child.”

Rosie noted that Melancholia’s director, Lars von Trier, was not present at the gala. “He’s in Denmark. F**k it, I don’t know where that country is,” she added. “I’ll never work for him, or Woody Allen. Pedophile? Who’s to say?”

The talk show host also took shots at the desserts served during dinner, at an audience member or two, and at herself. “This tablecloth I’m wearing cost $5,000,” she cracked, referring to her dress.

When the laughter finally died down, emcee Natalie Morales acknowledged that O’Donnell had broken the tedium of the evening’s endless stream of dull speeches. “Thank god for Rosie O’Donnell, right?” Morales told the audience.