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PREACH IT! Real men love candles -- especially if they're free (at a Golden Globes gift suite)

Michael rady Stars get free stuff in the days leading up to major awards shows. You get free gossip, and all from the same place: the swag suite scene in and around Hollywood. The big gossip out of the suites this year? That hoovering up thousands of bucks worth of free stuff isn’t just for the ladies anymore.

Suites like these traditionally give away stuff like shapewear and cosmetics. (At least that’s what we’re, um, maybe seeing here in our own swag bag.) And they certainly did this year, along with your occasional electronic toy or tiny live animal. But the main contingent picking it all up this particular season? Guy actors, ranging from Ernie “Ghostbusters” Hudson to that dude from “Heroes” to the adorable BooBoo Stewart from the "Twilight” franchise.

“We’re getting more men than we’ve ever seen,” one spy from the Madison & Mulholland suite told me Friday. Indeed, Joe “Criminal Minds” Mantegna blew through there, filling up a gift bag to donate to a charity auction. (Every celebrity at the M&M suite did that, including Hudson, who is so passionate about local homelessness that he can rattle off homeless statistics instantly. His chosen charity: the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.)

Over at the GBK Suite at the Mondrian Hotel, male actors, including Iqbal Theba from "Glee" and Edi Gathegi, a.k.a. Laurent the “Twilight” vampire, were seen everywhere, some of them downing glasses of Silver Oak Cabernet or snatching up feather necklaces from a company called Silent Gypsy. (“We’re on our fourth belt buckle” giveaway, remarked another jewelry designer from a company called Paragon of Design, having, she said, just handed one to “Baywatch” actor Jeremy Jackson.)

And oh: Actors apparently aren’t too proud to take home a pretty candle that smells like rum.

Michael Rady from ‘Melrose Place’ loved our Havana candle,” a spokesman for Tocca said to me.

There were also not-quite actors, including, reportedly, the Situation.

Still to be seen: Whether any Globe nominees or presenters take up GBK on its offer of a small, free piglet.

-- Leslie Gornstein

Photo: "Dude, it would all be *perfect* if I only had a candle that smelled like rum. But where you gonna find that in this town?" No, that's not the work of the writers of "Melrose Place," but we really think it should be. The pic? It's Shaun Sipos, left, and Michael Rady rehearsing on set in August 2008. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Related -- we swear -- dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

Keeping up with Taylor Lautner: Chaske Spencer is packing on muscle for 'Breaking Dawn'

PREACH IT! I shall take you up on your kind offer, Golden Globes gift gurus, and I shall name him Bacon Bits

Ricky Gervais roundup: Golden Globes is the luckiest award show EVER

Will Ricky Gervais cut loose as Golden Globes host? How loose? 

We're live blogging and live tweeting the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, so follow us on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs) and Facebook for reports from behind the scenes, in the ballroom and at the after parties.

 
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