The stars are starting to align for the Golden Globes.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Jamie Foxx, Natalie Portman, and Emma Thompson will present awards at the 63rd annual Golden Globes, taking place on Jan. 16 at the Beverly Hilton.

Leonardo DiCaprio

No official word on which star will present which award. But according to Barry Adelman, executive producer of the Golden Globe awards show, it’s customary for last year’s winners to present in their winning category. “It’s not a hard and fast rule but we usually ask last year’s winners to come back and present awards for best actress and best actor.”

That could mean that Leo, who won a best actor in a dramatic movie for “The Aviator,” will present in that category. It could also mean that Foxx, who won for “Ray,” will present for his winning category, best actor in a musical or comedy movie. And since Portman won best supporting actress for “Closer” last year, well, you figure it out.

As yet, there is no word on who will perform the coveted task of presenting the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award. This year the honor goes to Anthony Hopkins, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. for the actor’s “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.”

The lifetime achievement award requires a careful and painstaking selection process. “We try to be good matchmakers," says Adelman. We go through a research process to find someone who is either a personal or professional friend.” Or both.

Adelman recalls past successful pairings: When Dustin Hoffman won his DeMille at the 1997 ceremony, Tom Cruise, his costar in “Rainman,” presented it to him. Warren Beatty, one of Jack Nicholson‘s longtime close personal friends and a professional colleague, presented his pal with his DeMille in 1999.

Hmm. We can’t help but wonder if Thompson, who costarred with Hopkins in two memorable and award-winning Merchant-Ivory productions, “Howard’s End,” and “Remains of the Day,” may be the lucky lady who hands the distinguished British actor his overdue DeMille.

Then again, the DeMille presenter could also be….

Photo Credit: Leonardo DiCaprio warms up for Golden Globe presenter duty at the Earth to America! eco-fundraiser in Las Vegas in November 2005.
(Michael Caulfield / WireImage)

]]>…Hopkins’ “Silence of the Lambs” costar Jodie Foster. Or Oliver Stone, who directed Hopkins in “Nixon.” Nah. My money’s on Thompson. “We should be ready to announce the DeMille presenter next week,” says Adelman. That’s fine. I can wait.

Picking a presenter can often be fun. Edelman says Felicity Huffman jumped at the chance to get her “Desperate Housewives” costars to present the award in the best performance by an actor in a mini-series or motion picture made for TV — the category that her husband William H. Macy (“The Wool Cap”) was nominated in. She and the girls gathered onstage and read the winner’s name. But Geoffrey Rush won for “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.” Bummer. I mean, hooray!

When pals are nominated, their friends often ask to present in their categories. “Julia Roberts asked to present best director, motion picture, in 2001 because Steven Soderbergh was nominated for ‘Traffic’ and she had a close working relationship with him,” said Adelman. Think “Erin Brockovich.”

The only downside was that Soderbergh didn’t win. And Roberts had to look thrilled when she read Ang Lee’s name.

“One thing we ask is that the presenters stay professional,” says Adelman. “Even if their friend doesn’t win, they have to act excited. But most of them truly are excited for everyone who wins a Globe.”

Who is Adelman’s favorite Globe-goer? He’d be thrilled if he could clone Jack Nicholson. “Jack is an example of one of the best audience members at the Globes. He sincerely and genuinely gets excited to see talented people win. He laughs, he screams, he applauds. He just lights up!”

And occasionally, he drops his pants. You gotta love the guy!

Posted by:LATimes