James Corden is trying his best to weave through a thicket of famous (and famous-adjacent) people while balancing a tray carrying glasses and a bottle of Champagne. The "Late Late Show" host and man of the hour is dressed smartly in a fitted suit and white sneakers at Esquire magazine's first Mavericks of Hollywood party, held at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood.
Corden, the magazine's March cover star, is slated to host the Grammys for the first time Sunday, but tonight he's just here to have fun with a few other members of the Hollywood glitterati. Among the stars in the crowd are Kate Bosworth, Liev Schreiber, rapper Desiigner, Edgar Ramirez ("The Girl on the Train") and Matt McGorry ("How to Get Away With Murder").
White-jacketed servers with lobster rolls and white wine navigate the event, presented by Hugo Boss, as a crowd of mostly black-clad guests chats. The din grows to a roar as conversations turns to politics, the women's marches and Trump's first 100 days in office.
"I'm always down to talk politics," McGorry says. "It's what I spend most days thinking of and it's weighing on me today with the confirmation of Jeff Sessions [as attorney general] and with the Dakota Access pipeline now starting to be drilled in. It's a lot."
McGorry says he wasn't surprised by the election results, but the daily updates on President Trump's policies have made him angry, upset, confused and concerned for the future.
The actor, who also appears in "Orange Is the New Black," self-identifies as an activist and intersectional feminist and goes on to stress the importance of political engagement.
"If I'm preaching to the choir, it's because I want the rest of the choir to be preachers," he says. "If all 750,000 people that were out for the women's march in L.A. were being active consistently and politically engaged, we would be much further along in the progress of our country.”
Some other party goers seek to find the silver lining in the solidarity following the protests.
"It was incredibly kind of electric," says "Atlanta" star Zazie Beetz, who attended the march on Washington and another protest in New York. "I was waiting around for some friends and saw people that I knew, and it was cool to see that my friends and my people are coming out and we all stand and believe in the same thing."
Ramirez, who describes himself as a journalist as well as an actor, says these are challenging times.
"I think that for free societies and for democracies as strong and compacted as the American democracy, it's a great opportunity to test the strength of the core values this country was built upon," he says.
The Venezuelan says the election results "didn't come as a surprise at all." He expects quality art to emerge as a result in the next four years.
"This tension between art and power is very fruitful for art," he says. "In the specific case of America, I think that we're in for a great few years of movies because power and art is the tension that creates great things."
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