LOS ANGELES — When Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais took sharp swipes at Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Robert Downey, Jr. and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at last year's ceremony, some criticized the comedian for going too far.
Downey described the vibe as "hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones."
With Gervais back for his third turn as Globes host on Sunday, nominees are already preparing themselves for the British funnyman's pointed jabs.
"I'll probably get the piss taken out of me, but it's fine with me," said Elton John, nominated for his song from "Gnomeo & Juliet." ''I'm British. I can take it."
Johnny Galecki, who is up for his first Golden Globe for his work on TV's "The Big Bang Theory," said that when he got word he was nominated, "one of my first five thoughts was, 'Oh Christ, Gervais is going to make fun of me.'"
But the actor isn't really worried.
"I'll be flattered by it," said the 5-foot-5-inch Galecki. "I'm looking forward to it. I hope he doesn't just zero in on the height. That's just easy pickings."
Damian Lewis, nominated for his work on the TV series "Homeland," said he might also be an easy target for Gervais.
"If he's got a thing about redheads, I'm a sitting duck," Lewis said.
"Glee" and "American Horror Story" executive producer Ryan Murphy is excited about Gervais' return and the spice he brings to the three-hour telecast.
"It's always good with the shows to have an unpredictable element to them, and he certainly is that," Murphy said. "He's very funny and very smart and I think he will make nominees even more nervous than they already are, which is kind of funny."
Seth Rogen, who produced and starred in best picture nominee "50/50," is also looking forward to Gervais' return. He even went online to check out what the comedian said last year.
"It was the first time in a long time I'd gone on YouTube and watched something an awards show said," Rogen said.
Supporting actor nominee Christopher Plummer said he appreciates Gervais' irreverence.
"I think finally everybody's come to that same conclusion: That that's him, he doesn't mean it, but he's very funny," Plummer said.
Jean Dujardin, nominated for his starring role in the silent film "The Artist" (which is also up for best picture and is the night's leading nominee with six bids), said it would be an honor if Gervais even mentioned him.
But there's a caveat, the actor said: "If he mocks me, he has to do it silently, without any words."
The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards will be presented Sunday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and broadcast live on NBC.
AP Entertainment Writers Derrik J. Lang and Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.