LOS ANGELES – Hasan Minhaj got laughs as the host of Saturday’s Film Independent Spirit Awards.
But the comedian couldn’t convince actress Cate Blanchett to take part in an audience gag during the awards show honoring independent films.
Blanchett literally hid under her table to avoid taking part in the routine, which might be an awards show first.
The Oscar-nominated “Tár” actress had laughed with her hands over her face when Minhaj first approached during the bit’s introduction. The host asked Blanchett to make “some unhinged expressions” for the cameras to generate “clickbait thumbnail” photos for the show’s YouTube broadcast.
But Blanchett shocked the star-studded audience – and Minhaj – by diving under the table filled with fellow “Tár” filmmakers.
“Is she coming out the other end?” Minhaj asked incredulously as Blanchett continued hiding.
The host moved quickly on to “Tár” director Todd Field for a face. But Field also jumped under the table with Blanchett.
“Do we have anyone else?” Minhaj asked, moving onto new tables. But nearby stars Marisa Tomei and Regina Hall continued the under-the-table exodus, with all four Hollywood personalities hiding under one table.
Minhaj was forced to move on from the skit that did not illicit one unhinged expression.
Here is the moment captured on Twitter:
And here are Minhaj’s other major host moments at the Spirit Awards, held in a tent at the beach in Santa Monica, California.
Hasan Minhaj pokes fun at the Spirit Awards’ YouTube broadcast
Minhaj expressed surprise that the independent awards show was streamed live on YouTube and Twitter. The IFC cable channel has broadcast the show in past years, “but they did not renew their contract,” he said.
“Let me reiterate how bad this is – the Independent Film Channel did not want the Independent Film Awards,” he said, noting that IFC showed the poorly reviewed 2008 Will Ferrell comedy “Semi-Pro” instead of the star-filled gala.
“‘Semi-Pro’ was shot in Flint Michigan and it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened there,” he said.
The Spirit Awards host jokes about first-ever gender-neutral categories
The host had some laughs over the Independent Spirit Awards making film awards history by switching to general-neutral acting categories.
“For the first time ever, all acting awards will be gender-neutral,” said Minhaj, looking at the Hollywood stars in the audience. “We don’t care about your gender identity, as long as you’re hot.”
The joke continued:
“That’s right Fox News. We know you’re watching Tucker Carlson. Just know, we’re not mired in a culture war. We don’t care about pointless binaries, like male or female. We only care about important binaries like lead and support. I’m glad we’re getting rid of gender categories. Because for the first time in history, all the men know what all the women have to deal with when they find out they are competing against Cate Blanchett.”
Dive deeper into the 2023 awards season:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Independent Spirit Awards: See Cate Blanchett hide from Hasan Minhaj