U2 at the Golden Globe Awards

U2 (Larry Mullen Jr., left, Bono, Adam Clayton and the Edge) won the Golden Globe for best original song with "Ordinary Love," from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2014)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. takes plenty of grief from those who don’t view the organization in the same esteem as, say, the storied Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

But the HFPA has a staunch defender in Bono, who seemed to urge reporters backstage at the Golden Globes on Sunday night to take the awards ceremony more seriously.

“We kind of laugh about the foreign-language press, [but] we have values in European cinema,” the U2 frontman said after U2's “Ordinary Love” was named best original song. “We see things differently. It’s just a different aesthetic. I think the Golden Globes is really important for that.”

GOLDEN GLOBES 2014: Full coverage | Show highlights

Writing a song for “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” forced U2 to put their upcoming album on hold.

“The timing was not ideal,” band member Edge acknowledged.

But the move was worth it, band members suggested, because of their tight bond with the late South African president. Turning serious, Bono recalled spending time on Robben Island with Mandela, “hearing his voice crack” as he recalled his experience being imprisoned for 18 years there.

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“He’s so stoic and so kind of dismissive of his own pain,” Bono said. “I’m not sure if you know this, but Mr. Mandela -- from cutting rocks on Robben Island with salt -- had lost use of his tear ducts. So this great man -- through all this historical drama -- was unable to cry.”

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