INDIE-MINDED HEATHER GETS WITH THE GROUP
Blair Witch Project star Heather Donahue is maintaining her independent spirit. At the premiere party for her latest flick, Dimension Films' Boys and Girls, at Bowlmor Lanes last week, Donahue told us her next project is an ensemble indie film called Seven and a Match. "It's about seven twentysomethings finding their place in the world and with each other," she said. As for the indie that made her famous, don't look for Donahue in the upcoming slew of Blair sequels. "I like the original directors," she said, "and they're not working on it, sooo . . ." She also modestly declined to discuss Blair Witch's rise to bona fide commercial monster: "My movie's box office had very little to do with me, so I feel I have very little right to talk about it. It had a huge professional impact on me, but my struggle was to make sure it didn't have a personal impact." The humble star did confess to one luxury that notoriety has brought: "Fame hasn't changed my life or who I am, but I have health insurance now."
WILL BRITNEY GET IN SYNCH WITH 'N SYNC FLICK?
For anyone who says that no self-respecting male teenager will take his kid sisters to a movie starring boy wonders 'N Sync, the band has two words for you: Britney Spears. When the guys were in Cannes to promote their flick last month, the group's Lance Bass told a source that the amply talented Spears is going to be their leading lady. "He said it's going to be like The Bodyguard with Britney as Whitney Houston," says the tipster, leaving us to wonder if all five bandmates intend to squeeze into Kevin Costner's shoes. While reps for 'N Sync and Spears did not return calls, a source close to Spears says the casting would make sense since the pop star wants to break into the movie business and is a childhood friend of the band's. Too bad the Spice Girls never had friends like that.
SEX-Y KIM IN BLUE: LIGHT MY FIRE?
Kim Cattrall's husband might be in for a live private performance of her infamous Sex and the City firehouse scene. After shooting the segment -- in which she seduces a Staten Island stud while wearing no more than a snappy overcoat and matching leopard-print bra and panties -- Cattrall decided she liked the coat so much she had to own it. She laid out $2,330 for the turquoise wool number with Mongolian lambskin collar, part of Genny's fall 2000 collection. No word yet on whether she also bought the "matching" jungle-cat skivvies.
DID MARVISI GET A GRIP ON LIFE?
It looks like nightlife impresario David Marvisi might be a winner at the game of Life. Marvisi, who owns Spa, has long coveted Roy Stillman's vast Bleecker Street space, and though he hasn't sealed a deal, it looks close. "It's not true yet," said Marvisi's consultant Steve Lewis, who admits they want the space. "There's no deal. No money has changed hands." But Webster Hall curator Baird Jones tells us he was approached by a Marvisi employee earlier this month about setting up an exhibition of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's paintings in Life's gallery space. Despite published reports that the club is about to reopen, Jones was told "the deal was a hundred percent solid." Stillman hadn't returned calls by press time.
SKIPPING OUT ON THE FASHION WALK
It's no fun hosting an awards ceremony when the honorees don't show up. Just ask organizers of the brand-new Fashion Walk of Fame, which recognizes outstanding clothing designers by setting silver-colored plaques in the Seventh Avenue sidewalk. The June 6 streetside unveiling attended by Rudy Giuliani honored eight fashionistas, but only one of the four living legends -- Geoffrey Beene -- came for the pomp. Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren declined, citing previous commitments. Honoree Bill Blass is battling cancer, but sent a contingent of folks. But Barbara Randall, executive director of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, which produced the event, says Lauren and Klein should have been there, or at least sent delegates. "We were really disappointed," she grumbles. "When New York puts a permanent landmark in the sidewalk, the appropriate response is to come and say thank you." Randall says Lauren's staff told them that the designer couldn't come because he was on vacation. A spokesperson for Calvin Klein said the jolly jeans giant was in California for a CNN appearance the night before. Was no one else available? "We have commented all we can on this," she responded. Despite the no-shows -- and heavy rain -- the outdoor event was a success. "Mr. Beene was there, and he was lovely," Randall cooed.
PRINCE'S EX GETS A (UNION) SQUARE DEAL
Even after they split, Prince's much younger wife, Mayte Garcia, spent most of her time at their home in Marbella, on Spain's Costa del Sol (where she apparently unwound by studying religion and tending her garden). But her ex's freedom from his label seems to be her emancipation, too. She's been living in midtown Manhattan -- while reportedly homing in on a recording contract. Real-estate sources say she's found a luxury loft just off Union Square that she's renting for $4,000 a month. (Should cut those commutes to Spa and Float.) Citi Habitats, the brokers squiring her around town, refused to comment.
WHAT A PAIR OF ROCKERS!
Fans of Dave Matthews will soon have a chance to see him play with a true musical legend -- and he'll be eight stories tall. Wetlands owner Peter Shapiro and his brother Jon have arranged for the Dave Matthews Band to team with Al Green for All Access, the IMAX concert film the industrious brothers are producing. Matthews and Green will perform "Take Me to the River" at the DMB concert at Chicago's Soldier Field on June 30. The movie will also show B. B. King paired with Phish front man Trey Anastasio, Sting with Cheb Mami, and Carlos Santana jamming with Rob Thomas. Shapiro says the movie will premiere next spring to coincide with the Grammys.
A SCENE OF DISCONTENT AT BRILL'S
One young scribe has discovered that walking out on Steve Brill is about as easy as leaving the CIA. When Brill's Content senior writer Katherine Rosman recently tendered her resignation to Brill, "he went ballistic," says a source close to the magazine. Not only was Rosman the penultimate remaining member of the editorial team Brill installed to launch Content in 1997, but, according to the source, the 28-year-old was viewed by many as Brill's protégée. So when Rosman gave her boss six weeks' notice (per her contract, which does not expire until December), "he immediately threatened to sue her. He even said he'd sue anyone who publishes her before the contract is up." Although Rosman has written some of the mag's most noted stories, not everyone at Content understands what lies behind Brill's anger. "She's talented," says the insider, "but she's still a rookie. I don't see what the big stink is all about." The tipster says that Rosman didn't ditch for a better offer; Rosman declined to comment, and Brill did not return calls.
MEL'S COVER STORY: HE'S WAY BOOKED
Ever since Tom Cruise successfully buddied up with Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Hollywood has sought to pair off veteran actors with its young guns, shooting for similar slam-dunks -- and, they hope, avoiding a titanic clash of egos. But though Harrison Ford reportedly squabbled with Brad Pitt during filming of The Devil's Own, it seems Mel Gibson has been taking his recent upstaging a bit more gracefully. With Gibson's new movie The Patriot set for summer release, Hollywood insiders say Columbia Pictures was hoping for a Vanity Fair cover story -- presumably on Gibson, who'd graced the VF cover in the past. But after viewing a 40-minute screener from the Revolutionary War flick, magazine staff members were apparently so taken by Gibson's onscreen offspring Heath Ledger, they decided to feature the younger Aussie in the August issue instead. "There were discussions about giving Mel the cover," confirms a Columbia rep, "but it wasn't offered. They were very impressed with Heath." Tinseltown sources say Mel took the news graciously and even ended up jawing with the author of the Heath piece about his rising co-star. Gibson flack Alan Nierob insists his client wasn't passed over for the youngster from Down Under. He says that while Columbia might have pitched Gibson to the glossy, his office has the final say. "It never got to us," Nierob insists, claiming Gibson couldn't have done it anyway. "Vanity Fair was never a consideration or an option. Gibson has many other cover commitments." Like Ladies Home Journal. "We love Mel Gibson, and we hope to have him on the cover again," says VF spokeswoman Beth Kseniak. "But for this particular issue, we decided to go with the unknown. He's pretty hot."
ALICE WATERS: I'LL SOMEDAY HAVE PARIS
Celebrity chef Alice Waters still has Paris on her mind. The noted mistress of Berkeley's Chez Panisse hasn't scrapped her two-year-old plan to open a half restaurant, half culinary installation space in the Louvre -- like a great reduction, it's just simmering on the back burner. After one of the directors of the museum abruptly resigned from his post as watchman over the Mona Lisa, the venerable Right Bank temple of art halted construction on the decorative-arts wing where the restaurant was to be housed. Waters tells us she's planning on waiting until next year to renegotiate with the museum. And in case you were wondering, the très naturel chef isn't looking to build "a Chez Panisse concession," according to a mission statement from Waters, though a California spirit prevails: The restaurant "must express the humanity of the artisans, cooks, and servers who work there . . . and must have the spirit and truth of the handmade."
Additional reporting by Brooke Gosin, Suny Sehgal, and Carl Swanson.
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