Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson’s 16-year-old daughter Simone Garcia Johnson was the toast of the town Wednesday night in Hollywood. Why, you ask?
The upcoming star was presented with the 2018 Golden Globe Ambassador title at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and InStyle’s party at Catch LA in West Hollywood, where the guest list was the most impressive it's ever been. Garcia Johnson’s celebration, hosted by Fiji water and Infiniti, marks the start of awards season as we count the days until the 2018 Golden Globes. And while the event also signified her coming out of sorts, Simone proved that she’s a pro when it comes to mingling with an A-list crowd as she greeted every star in a sleek Black Halo dress and Sam Edelman heels.
“I actually found out on my 16th birthday, and I was in New Jersey with my mom, stepdad, and his family,” she told us of learning about the honor. “It was so amazing and I was so emotional. I couldn’t believe that I was the first Golden Globe Ambassador. It’s crazy to think about.”
So what, exactly, does the title mean? Formerly known as Miss or Mr. Golden Globe, the honor goes to the child of a Tinseltown heavyweight who’s destined for a career in the spotlight. Previous honorees include Melanie Griffith and Laura Dern, to name a few.
Garcia Johnson, who is a model signed with IMG, will also present trophies at the 2018 Globes in January and partner with Global Girl Media to support young journalists without resources.
“I was a little bit nervous about the speech, so I’m super happy that I did well with that. Now, I’m just so ready to begin this journey,” she said. “I’m already so excited just thinking about all the events to come and everything leading up to the 75th anniversary of the Golden Globes.”
While The Rock wasn’t on hand for the event, he was there with her in spirit. Simone told us he told her to “enjoy the moment and just to have fun.” She added, “I’m glad he told me that because I’m keeping that in the back of my mind, and to just live in the moment throughout all of this is awesome.” Simone’s mom, producer and Chairwoman of Seven Bucks Productions Dany Garcia, was on hand with her at the event, and made sure to tell her “to always be a strong, confident woman.” The teen added, “I carry that in everything that I do.”
Following the announcement, Kate Bosworth, Issa Rae, Salma Hayek Pinault, Jake Gyllenhaal and more stars kicked off the party with words of congratulation for Garcia Jones. “I hope she really soaks in every minute of it,” Bosworth, who attended the fête for the first time in a pink floral Antonio Marras dress with husband Michael Polish, told InStyle. “Those things can be a little nerve-wracking sometimes, but I think ultimately you just want to really enjoy it.”
Arielle Kebbel, who appeared alongside The Rock in Ballers, told us she was thrilled that Simone was selected as the Golden Globe Ambassador, adding, “I’m so excited to honor Simone.” She continued, “I feel like that in the few years that I’ve known her I’ve already watched her evolve into a young woman. She uses her voice on social media in a beautiful way. She’s so positive, she comes from a positive Hollywood family, which I think is a wonderful message for all of us. I’m excited to watch her embrace it and shine.”
While the title has now shifted to Golden Globe Ambassador, there were a few former Miss Golden Globes in attendance, including Greer Grammer, Corinne Foxx, and Sistine, Sophia, and Scarlet Stallone, who all shared words of wisdom for Simone as well. “I just told her, you’re going to have a blast. It really is the time of your life, you just feel like a princess,” Corinne Foxx, Jamie Foxx’s daughter, said.
Inside of the glitzy bash, Nina Dobrev was nearly unrecognizable as she made her way around the room with her new chic bob in a dazzling red Ralph Lauren gown. “I remember seeing this dress [at the Ralph Lauren show] and being obsessed with it,” she said of her look.
Meanwhile, Issa Rae sipped champagne with her Insecure co-star and bestie Yvonne Orji after telling us earlier in the night that she was looking forward to doing just that. “Last year they had like, I had never seen the champagne bottles with the flutes, so that’s what I’m looking forward to tonight,” Rae told us in her red and pink Brandon Maxwell look. “I hope they have that again this year. Also, Yvonne, my little bestie is here so I’m hyped.”
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While Rae and Orji continued their fun inside, Hayek touched up her lipstick with Armie Hammer’s wife Elizabeth Chambers, and took a moment to tell us the bash was “lovely.” Meanwhile, Octavia Spencer posed for a photo with friends before dishing to us about why she loves coming to the party. “I love that you guys have chosen this location twice. It’s amazing. I love the rustic blend and everything. It’s beautiful.”
As attendees continued to nosh on mushroom pasta, swordfish, sushi and more, Gyllenhaal kicked back at a table with friends in a Salvatore Ferragamo suit.
The reason stars always return to the bash? It’s super laid-back, and everyone can just relax, wine, and celebrate the new honoree.
Scroll to see all the stars who stepped out to support Simone Johnson Garcia.