One year later, Ricky Gervais is returning to the battle ground, his third go at hosting the Golden Globe Awards. Incessant debate followed the British comedian's controversial performance at last year's ceremony, during which he ruthlessly skewered the A-listers in attendance, poking fun at Robert Downey, Jr.'s days in rehab, Charlie Sheen's meltdown, and Angelina Jolie's performance in The Tourist — to name just a few examples. In a media tour promoting Sunday night's awards, he has warned that he'll be just as cruelly candid this year. "It's gonna be biblical," Gervais says. Here, 7 likely celebrity targets:
Thanks to his headline-grabbing ejection from an American Airlines flight for refusing to halt a smartphone game of Words With Friends, the nominated Baldwin is a prime target, says Scott Meslow at The Atlantic. "It would be unlike Gervais to miss this chance to rile the 30 Rock star's feathers." Yep, Baldwin should brace himself, says Aly Semigran at Entertainment Weekly. Gervais may also zero in on the actor's erratic Twitter behavior and Occupy Wall Street support.
Charged with presenting one of this year's awards, the former Mr. Demi Moore and current Two and a Half Men star "won't be able to escape" the wrath of Gervais, says Peggy Truong at the International Business Times. Kutcher is rife with potential material: His alleged cheating, his divorce, and his questionable bid to replace Charlie Sheen on Men.
"Gervais likes to aim big, and Gosling makes for an appealingly big target," says Meslow. Aside from his on-screen omnipresence this year (the double nominee starred in Crazy, Stupid, Love; Drive; and The Ides of March), look for Gervais to mock the "fervent online fan campaign" determined to steal People's "Sexiest Man Alive" title away from Bradley Cooper and bestow it on Gosling. Incidentally, says John Serba at The Grand Rapids Press, someone should "keep a running tab of how many times the camera cuts to the heartthrob" during the ceremony.
Blue Ivy Carter
Hollywood's newest A-lister and her parents Jay-Z and Beyonce aren't likely to be in attendance, but that won't dissuade Gervais from riffing at their expense. "After all," says Meslow. "The pop power couple just named their newborn daughter Blue Ivy."
Michael Fassbender's penis
Arguably, the Best Actor nominee earned attention less for his performance in Shame than for the film's full-frontal nudity and graphic sex scenes. As such, says Semigran, expect "countless puns about Michael Fassbender's other trophy." You can't show that much skin on the big screen and not get teased for it, echoes Truong.
Streep will inevitably be in Gervais' "crosshairs" for her turn as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, says Raju Mudhar at The Star. "Can the Brit in him resist?" Look for Gervais to "provide his honest criticism on what he thinks of an American portraying" Thatcher, says Truong.
"Nah. Too easy," says Verne Gay at Newsday.