When Scotsmen invaded the city earlier this week for the Friends of Scotland’s annual Dressed to Kilt charity fashion show, the event’s unofficial king, Sir Sean Connery, was notably absent. Why? As he told us the next night at a dinner Hennessy Cognac threw in his honor, he was recovering from a kidney exam at New York Presbyterian. “I actually heard from quite a few people that everyone thought I was dead because I wasn’t there last night,” he said. “No, I had to have a test because last time I was here, I had a tumor on the kidney. Everything’s perfect.” Well, almost perfect.
“I’m notorious. I have to go to the toilet before we sit down,” he said, excusing himself. When he came back, he was greeted by a performance from 20-year-old Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti and a giant platter of haggis, which was presented with a grand ode and tasted, as is tradition, by every person at the table before being served. Connery said he loves haggis but doesn’t cook it himself. “Cook it? Me? I don’t cook! My wife cooks!” Another thing the original 007 loves? Daniel Craig. “He was wonderful. But if he’s going to do two more, he should stick with Martin Campbell, the director.” As for the movie, Casino Royale? “Half an hour too long,” he said. “And the music was shit.” —Jada Yuan