They'll Always Have Paris

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Portman and Gyllenhaal at last night's premiere. Photo: Getty Images

Paris, je t'aime — a collection of eighteen micro-mini shorts set in, and in tribute to, the French metropolis of croissants, angst, and amour — premiered at, natch, the Paris Theater on 58th Street last night. The shorts were made by brand-name auteurs — the Coen Brothers, Alexander Payne, Alfonso Cuarón, and Wes Craven among them — and a slew of boldfacers came out to walk Yves Saint Laurent–sponsored black carpet. (Black, rather than red, is apparently plus chic.) Natalie Portman was there, channeling Audrey Hepburn again, plus Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elijah Wood, Emily Mortimer, Steve Buscemi, Gena Rowlands, and Ben Gazzara. What are these New Yorkers top memories of the City of Light? Tales of excessive drinking, bad hairdressers, and, bien sur, the Eiffel Tower await after the jump.

BEN GAZZARA
What's your most vivid Parisian memory? While making this short [with Gena Rowlands], we hung out in Gerard Depardieu’s restaurant right next door to where we were shooting. When they were changing the lights, we’d have a bottle of wine. Then go back to work. They change the lights again, we'd have another bottle of wine. Had about eight bottles of wine that night. Did you experience that famous Parisian rudeness? Oh, no. Well, what's the rudest behavior you've experienced? It was here in New York. But I’m not gonna name names. I’m Sicilian. It’s against my religion.

EMILY MORTIMER
Did you ever experience the famous French rudeness?
I had a very rude hairdresser in the South of France. He cut my hair short — he cut it half off. I said, “I wonder if you could do it a little bit differently?” He got so cross and tried to get me to leave. I cried. He was going to put me out on the streets of St. Tropez with one side short and one side long!

NATALIE PORTMAN
What's your favorite Parisian memory? I remember shooting Everyone Says I Love You when I was 14. One night, all of us kids on the movie — Lukas Haas, Gabbie Hoffman, Natasha Lyonne, and I — went up the Eiffel Tower and it was snowing and we just hung out there at night. So magical, but also out of a tourist book.

MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL
Your most vivid Parisian memory? I was in Paris on September 11 actually, alone. I was there on a trip by myself, because I’d recently broken up with a long-term boyfriend. Didn’t really know anybody, couldn’t get home because nobody was flying. Did you find any solace there? I went up to Montmarte to Sacre Coeur — I’m Jewish, but I felt God there in the midst of something really horrible.

STEVE BUSCEMI
What's the rudest thing you've ever done? I walked away from an interview. —Justin Ravitz