Everyone has their reason for coming to Sundance: movies, networking, making money, making off with swag, making out, usually while drunk. But there's also the skiing and snowboarding. It's a rare pleasure to see the celebrity taking time off from promoting his or her movies to hit the slopes, but most do at least once: Woody Harrelson, for instance, has gone snowboarding nearly every day since he's been here. Paris Hilton got in a day of skiing (though she may be a liar about how good she is). And on Monday, Eliza Dushku, Matthew Rhys, and Dave Annable (from Brothers & Sisters) all made valiant attempts to tame the fluffy white beast.
Even after the folks at French Connection kitted them out in Spyder outfits, Grenade gloves, Oakley goggles, and Gnu snowboards, the trio looked about as comfortable with the snow as tribesmen from a remote part of Papua New Guinea. Annable and Rhys confessed they had never even ridden a chairlift before. Two-time Olympic silver medalist Danny Kass, who’s been traveling the West filming a snowboarding movie called The Boned Age: In Search of Honor, Powder, and Fine Chicks, had been charged with giving them snowboarding lessons, but, he confided to New York, he wasn’t too keen on working with beginners. He'd only signed on, he said, because he thought Scarlett Johansson would be there. (She didn’t show up.) So he pawned the newbies off on his buddy, Australian snowboarding legend Dingo, and turned his attention to the only celebrity present who’d ever been on a mountain before, Adrian Grenier. New York, who we don't mind telling you can handle a snowboard pretty well, tagged along. We will not lie: It may have been the best day of our lives.
Two and a half years ago we couldn’t even stand up on a board, and here we were, riding with Danny fucking Kass. We followed him through powder and trees and into a monster half-pipe with 90-degree walls. He called us “extreme” and told us we were “killing it.” Grenier was decent, especially given that he’s only been snowboarding “maybe twelve days in my life.” By the time he had to take off to promote his stuff (a green-lifestyle show on the Discovery Channel and a movie called The Adventures of Power), he’d even figured out how to ride backwards.
Back at the MySpace café, we gloated to a glum Rhys and Annable, who, having been ditched by Dushku and Dingo (who left them to talk to girls), were drinking and nursing their wounds. “I can’t count how many times I bit it. Pretty much every 30 seconds,” said Annable. “But I was falling with style. I had a few 10.0’s. I lost the hat, the goggles, heard a few people shout out, ‘Oh, that’s gonna hurt.’” At least no civilians were injured. “I only plowed into one skier, some poor mom who was teaching her kid how to ski. And even that I did in style. I actually went right through her legs, almost. I was like, ‘Incoming!’” As for Rhys, he managed to make it through the day without hurting himself. “Well,” he said, “only emotionally.” —Jada Yuan
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