February 08, 2010 12:00 PM

What’s the best thing about PEOPLE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards gala? Even Hollywood’s biggest names get to be big fans. At the exclusive afterparty, Matt Damon was so eager to congratulate SAG nominee and Up in the Air star Anna Kendrick that he stepped on the train of her Alberta Ferretti gown, and his pal and her costar George Clooney got to schmooze with fellow heartthrob Warren Beatty. Meanwhile Adam Lambert talked pop stardom with Justin Timberlake, and Sigourney Weaver formed a mutual admiration society with newcomer Gabourey Sidibe of Precious.

When not basking in all that star power, guests freshened up at a special L’Oréal makeup booth and danced to the rock and country rhythms of Uncle Kracker. For winners, there was that classic awards-show dilemma—where to put your prize as you work the room. The Glee cast put down their statuettes to perform an impromptu routine to Madonna‘s “Like a Prayer,” but for Sandra Bullock—one of the many stars who hit TNT and PEOPLE’s first joint red-carpet preshow—there was no letting go. “My hands aren’t usually this cold; it’s the award!” she told well-wishers. Not that she was complaining. “I’ve had a blessed life. This year has been an unexpected sweet career year for me.” As for her big night, “it’s overwhelming in a very humbling way,” said the star. And for the rest of us, one we’ll never forget.

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