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Willie Garson, Justin Hartley and Stars celebrate Globes at Derby Prelude Party

Stars came out Thursday night for the 5th Annual Derby Prelude Party benefiting Blessings in a Backpack in Hollywood. This Golden Globes weekend celebration included a cocktail party, silent auction, music and cabanas by the pool at The London West Hollywood. When we interviewed Willie Garson (“Two and a Half Men”) on the red carpet, he gave us insights on the event, his favorite charities, the success secret for “White Collar” (now in Season 5) and his favorite movies this awards season, which you can hear in our VIDEO: Willie Garson (White Collar) - 2014 Golden Globes Derby Prelude Party.

Kate Flannery ("The Office") at 2014 Derby Prelude Party during Golden Globes Weekend
Kate Flannery ("The Office") at 2014 Derby Prelude Party during Golden Globes Weekend
Liz H Kelly
Willie Garson ("White Collar") at Derby Prelude Party Golden Globes weekend
by Liz H Kelly

To bring you the inside scoop, we also interviewed Isaiah Washington (“Grey's Anatomy”), Justin Hartley (“Revenge”, “Smallville”), Chrishell Stause (“Days of our Lives” and dating Justin Hartley), Maitland Ward (“Boy Meets World”) and Laura Linda Bradley (“Dancing with the Stars”), and captured fun photos of Kate Flannery (“The Office”), Quinton Aaron (“The Blind Side”), Bob Guiney (“The Bachelor”), and Jason Patric (“The Lost Boys”).

Willie Garson (144 credits on IMDB, and best known as Stanford in “Sex and the City”) is passionate about horses. He explained, “I come to this event every year….and to support Blessings in a Backpack…It’s not just a frivolous celebration of the Derby, we’re actually doing some good for a lot kids so it’s a great thing.”

When asked about his favorite movie of the year, Willie replied, “They’re so many good movies.” He likes “Dallas Buyers Club”, “12 Years a Slave”, “Philomena”, “Inside Llewyn Davis”, and his son likes “Gravity.” When we asked about “Her”, he added, “I haven’t watched ‘Her’ yet, my dear friend Spike made that movie and that’s sitting in the pile next to my DVR.”

Isaiah Washington was also there to support Blessings in a Backpack. When asked about his favorite movie, he shared, “I only have one favorite movie, ‘Blue Caprice’.” When asked why, he added with a big grin, “The direction, sound design, the performances of Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond. The fact that I love the producers, which I am one. I just think it was great.” The film was featured at the Sundance Institute NEXT Weekend last summer, comes out on DVD on January 20th, and is nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Justin Hartley (“Revenge”, “Smallville”) and Chrishell Stause (“Days of our Lives”) hit the red carpet together as an “official” couple at this party. With her “electric smile”, Chrishell shared that she is from Kentucky and plans to take Justin to his first Derby this year. She expanded, “I love the Derby….I’ll pull my accent out, we’ll have a couple Mint Juleps, get some hats, it’ll be fun.” And then Justin replied, “I don’t care about the horses, just talk to me like that.”

When asked about Blessings in a Backpack, Laura Linda Bradley (“Dancing with the Stars”) shared, “It’s mind-boggling and it’s not acceptable in all honestly. There’s so much pulling on everyone’s time. I feel sometimes that it gets lost in the shuffle that children are going hungry here locally.” She just wrapped a dance movie, and we wish her luck as the busy pilot season ramps up.

Maitland Ward (“Boy Meets World”) has finished two scripts and is headed to the Sundance Film Festival next week, and we hope to see her there. She shared how social media has re-connected the cast of “Boy Meets World” with their fans and each other.

After the red carpet, we were fortunate to meet Quinton Aaron (“The Blind Side”) with Vincent de Paul (“House of Cards”) and Elizabeth Webster. He’s a very big nice guy who let everyone take photos with him.

Many thanks to the York Sisters for raising awareness and funds for Blessings in a Backpack. This non-profit organization currently feeds over 63,000 children in 583 schools and in 45 U.S. states and three countries.

And big thanks to Meriam Bouarrouj, National Showbiz Examiner, who interviewed these celebrities with me on the red carpet at this Derby Prelude Party. Meriam just finished covering “The Voice”, and it’s always fun to cover events with her.

© Liz H Kelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist and Goody Awards Founder

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