WITH BENJAMIN NUGENT
Week of October 20, 2003
Drama Dept.: Queer Guy Meets The Press
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s hair-and-face man, Kyan Douglas, has no love for the Fourth Estate. “Get the fucking press out of here!” he shrieked after spotting reporters in the VIP area at the opening of the L.A.-based hipster-clothing label Von Dutch at Show. (Given Douglas’s decidedly B-list status, we’re surprised no one in the VIP area yelled, “Get the fucking Queer Eye for the Straight Guy guy out of here!”) Douglas then demanded that two journalists from In Touch Weekly explain to him how they got into the exclusive area, publicly berating them in front of a room full of entertainers and media people, which we’re sure endeared him to any number of TV writers. You would have expected Douglas to be in a better mood—his salary was recently bumped up from $3,000 an episode on the show’s first season to between $6,000 and $10,000 for the second, and the cast of five has a million-dollar-plus book deal in the works.
Looks That Kill
While there is no shortage of buff, beautiful badasses wielding weapons on the big screen these days, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill—Vol. 1 is very different from, say, Charlie’s Angels. For one thing, Uma Thurman’s sword, which she brought to the premiere last Tuesday, could slice Cameron Diaz like sashimi. For another, there’s a lot more blood—or, as the movie’s stars would have it, more feminism. “Girl power is absolutely alive in Hollywood,” said Vivica A. Fox. “Finally, the babes are kicking ass.” Fox even showed off some of that girl power, hitting the dance floor with co-star Daryl Hannah when the RZA (who scored the soundtrack) rapped for guests. Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein held court on the balcony. “We’ve had strong women in movies since Barbara Stanwyck,” he told us. “We just skipped a generation. It’s a renaissance for the dangerous woman, and I’m very supportive.”
Sound Bites: Toe Jam
Now that Brooklyn’s tongue-in-cheek pop quintet Fannypack appears to have generated more press than album sales, Tom Silverman, the president of Tommy Boy Music, is alleging that the men behind the curtain at Clear Channel Worldwide may be partly to blame. The radio conglomerate routinely measures the popularity of new singles by playing them over the phone to a random selection of potential listeners. While Fannypack’s single “Camel Toe” attracted an impressive number of call-ins when it was played on the company’s New York radio station Hot 97, it tested abysmally in Clear Channel’s “call out” research. Silverman, appearing at a Billboard dance-music conference, suggested that Clear Channel deliberately chose a sample that would generate a negative reaction. According to a Tommy Boy spokesman, Silverman says he did criticize the practice of market-testing new music over the phone but that he didn’t single out Clear Channel. Despite numerous profiles and rave reviews, the label has sold only around 15,000 copies of the album, after shipping 100,000. “I think it might be Creed’s fault,” deadpans Fannypack’s D.J., Fancy. “And I don’t look enough like Hilary Duff; but I do look a lot like Seal.”
“There was a guy who used to have an iguana in his apartment. He would slip acid in people’s drinks, turn off the lights, and throw the iguana in the room. I thought I was going to swallow my harmonica. ”
-Dan Aykroyd, on keeping exotic animals in one’s home
Model Misbehavior: Social Sickness
Model and socialite Elisabeth Kieselstein-Cord says her most recent visit to everyone’s favorite snotty British club made her sick. No, she’s not protesting its class-conscious admissions policy—she means it literally. Kieselstein-Cord believes she got food poisoning from a late-night seafood salad at Soho House. (Apparently, no one warned her about the perils of English cuisine.) “There’s no proof that it was anything to do with Soho House,” insists the club’s spokesperson. “We served 28 seafood salads that night, and hers was the only complaint. It might have something to do with her not being a member and feeling like she should be a member.”
Halloween Happenings: Party Girls
We hear that Karolina Kurkova, 19, is hosting her first Halloween party at Lot 61. Perhaps she is hoping to follow in the stilettoed footsteps of Heidi Klum, 30, who hosted her annual Halloween party there two years ago. Lot 61 owner Amy Sacco insists that models (including Kirsty Hume and Shalom Harlow) have always hosted the party and that Kurkova is merely following tradition. Klum, after passing up the Maritime Hotel and Nocturne, has decided to throw her party at Capitale for the second year in a row, this time with the Borgata casino, which we fear will encourage a slew of “high roller” costumes. . . . In other club news, Greg Brier just sold Groovejet on Spring Street to a group he mysteriously identified as “some guys from New Jersey.” And Jonathan Morr has closed 325 Spring Street, the truffle restaurant across the street, because he could only fill the place on the weekends. “We’re looking to open uptown,” he says.
Tough Customer? Daniel Libeskind Hires an Architect for His Loft.
Talk about pressure. Architect Alexander Gorlin tells us that he’s been tapped to renovate Daniel and Nina Libeskind’s new Tribeca pad. The Libeskinds recently bought the 2,000-square-foot seventh-floor loft on Hudson Street for just under $1 million. “We wanted to be part of the revitalization of lower Manhattan,” says Daniel. Gorlin will create three small bedrooms inside the triangular loft, one of which will be for their daughter. “I was speechless when he asked me,” says Gorlin, who had his thesis critiqued by Daniel years ago when they were both students at Cooper Union. “But I have no performance anxiety! I’m up to the task.”