Woody Allen's new film Cassandra's Dream is about a pair of brothers who do something dreadful and are plagued with guilt. So naturally, we asked guests at the Cinema Society's celeb-studded screening of the flick on Tuesday what was the worst thing they'd done for money. Colin Farrell admitted that he once line-danced, and Rosie Perez said she did an ABC movie, but our favorite answer was Carson Kressley's. Because it was so, well, not fake. "When I was a young struggling stylist, I had a credit card that my parents would help me pay for, and when I would run out of money for food, I would go to Bloomingdale's and buy something and I’d put it on my charge card and I’d ask for a gift box," the former Queer Eye style guru told us. "And then I would take it back to Bloomingdale's and say I’d received it as a present. Then I would ask for the money back, and if they wouldn’t do that, I would buy popcorn or Mrs. Prindable's Apples or whatever food they sold at Bloomingdale's, and that way I could eat. But now they have much stricter return policies, it totally doesn’t work." We've never tried this tactic, but we did run out of money during college and use our parents' credit card to pay for group dinners so our friends would give us cash. So we really feel him on this one. —Fiona Byrne
So, what exactly is Tina Brown doing at HBO? We asked Sheila Nevins, head of HBO's documentary division, when we saw her at last night's Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund Launch Dinner. "I don't know!" she said. "You tell me! I thought I'd read it in New York Magazine!" Nope, it was Liz Smith. "Here's the hot skinny on the queen of buzz," Liz wrote yesterday. "The amazing Tina Brown is in a newly struck, first-look deal to bring projects and story ideas to HBO." We can see how you'd confuse us, though. Anyway! Would Nevins be open to discussing ideas with Tina? "I talk to anybody! I like to work with anybody," she said, although she rejected the idea of a Princess Di documentary inspired by Brown's book. "There are too many Diana documentaries," she said. Yeah, people said that about the book, too. How about something on one of the presidential candidates? Hillary? "Well they say Hillary's tough to get good access to," she said. "I think actually what's her name tried. [Alexandra] Pelosi tried. But I don't think she got in the door. Candidates are boring. I think real people are more interesting. I'm into sort of human things, beating the odds. Ordinary people that crawl out of manhole covers. I like to lift manhole covers. And womanhole covers." —Amy Odell
What with the wintry weather, and fashion folks being so skinny, there was much discussion of how to stay warm at last night's party for fashion magazine Fanzine137 and Rodarte held at the Park. "I think you need a lover over the winter because then you can get snowed in," said Leelee Sobieski. Does she have one? "No. You've got to be choosy. Life is too short." Her BFF Arden Wohl, who had been talking with Chloë Sevigny, agreed. It has to be the right lover, she said. "Some men are kissing monsters! They do this" (she stuck out her tongue) "or they do this" (she stuck out her tongue and wiggled it around) "but all you want is a smooth French!" We asked her who the bad Frencher was. "Some guy!" she shouted. No, really, who? Finally, Wohl told us. "Zach Braff! Zach Braff is a bad kisser!" Ha! We suspected as much. "I haven't kissed him!" Sevigny hastened to add. "Thank goodness." —Blythe SheldonEarlier: Zach Braff and Piper Perabo Can't Fight the Moonlight
We've been scared of Harvey Weinstein since P. Diddy's launch party for his fragrance, Unforgivable Woman. We had squeezed through a gap in the models surrounding Weinstein to ask what he thought he smelled like. He turned into a scary monster, giving us quite possibly the nastiest look we've ever received on the party circuit, maybe even in life. "What do you mean, 'What do I smell like'?!" he growled. So we were shocked to see him floating around the Plaza Athenee Tuesday night after The Great Debaters screening, smiling, laughing, and greeting every table regardless of the importance of its occupants. (Perhaps he's excited about his wedding to Georgina Chapman tonight? Felt good about that morning's Globe nods? Had a recent colonic?) And then! Feeling a grizzly presence behind us, we were shocked to turn around and see the 'Stein himself sticking out his hand for us to shake. We asked if he had any good stories about the film's absent director, Denzel Washington. "'You got to do what you have to do to do what you want to do.' That line in the movie — that's Denzel to his kids all his life," he said. "That's why Denzel's got great kids that are totally unspoiled." If Harvey's as scary to his litter of Chapsteins as he was to us, we doubt he'll have trouble in that department either. —Amy Odell
Will Smith plays the last man on Earth in I Am Legend, and at the premiere at the Wamu Theater at Madison Square Garden, when we asked the predictable "what if it were you" question, there were lots of predictable answers — living in mansions, driving other people's sports cars, wearing diamonds, finding food, etc. But rocker Pete Wentz had a refreshing outlook on the whole scenario: "I'd probably just go everywhere naked," Wentz figures. "I like being alone a lot," the Fall Out Boy front man told us. "I turn off my phone. That's my best way to do it." Based on trailers of I Am Legend, however, Wentz questions the premise. "From the preview, it looks like he's got his dog in the movie. And that's not really like being alone. That's like a dog buddy flick, you know." And Wentz never quite feels alone with his English bulldog, Hemingway, around. "He looks like an alien," Wentz says. "He looks like Stitch, and he behaves like Stitch, actually. Prime mission: to destroy everything I have in my house. He's like, is this an antique book? Delicious!" What a bummer. Now we can't name our dog Hemingway. —Bennett MarcusHear more about I Am Legend from Will Smith, Alice Braga, and others at our complete coverage of last night's premiere.
Third Wave feminist Naomi Wolf wrote about the Gossip Girl books long before the CW morphed them into the Greatest Show of Our Time. "Unfortunately for young girls," Wolf opined in the New York Times, "these novels reproduce the dilemma they experience all the time: they are expected to compete with pornography, but can still be labeled sluts." But the Beauty Myth author won't be voicing an opinion on the TV show anytime soon. For one thing, she's never seen it. "We're not allowed to watch it in my house because I have a 12-year-old girl," Wolf said at Brassiere Ruhlmann, at the after-party for a screening of the Kite Runner. "I'm sure it's a great TV show, and I can't wait to watch it when I'm alone sometime, but for now, we don't." Is it the fact that the show's teen characters have sex that makes her want to shield young girls from it? "It's not the sex," she replied. "Sex is great. Judy Blume is great. There are all kinds of fabulous teen stories about sexuality and sexual awakening. It's the skanky sex, the way the sex doesn't mean anything. It's just another commodity. It's just like Daddy's gold credit card: threesome in the hot tub." The upside, she says, is that the sometimes awkward sexual exploits of S., B., Lonely Boy, and the crew on the Upper East Side aren't necessarily any different from what goes on in car backseats across suburbia. "You could have skanky sex anywhere," she said. "You could have skanky sex in a mall." Don't tempt us. —Candace TaylorEarlier:Why Gossip Girl Is the Best Teen Drama You've Been Watching Your Whole Life
Last night we cornered Anderson Cooper yet again at a gala at the Museum of Natural History. He was there for the CNN Heroes Awards ceremony. He told us that our lusty coverage of his mondo biceps was one of the only things he read about himself on the Internet this year ("I try not to read anything about myself," he explained, and we didn't ask why). Then we got to chatting about the subway. "I ride the subway every day actually," he told us, explaining that it's the fastest way to get around. "You get to interact with people from all different walks of life in a very short amount of time. So before they actually get annoying, you're off the train." Wow, that's an excellent point, we realized. So what do people ask celebrity (and heir) Anderson Cooper when they see him? "Why are you on the subway?" he said. Wow. Anderson is such a man of the people. Except, wait a minute. We just spotted a post on his blog from yesterday. "So today has been one of those days. I ran out of my apartment after our morning call today and suddenly realized I'd forgotten both my keys and wallet," he blogged from his BlackBerry. "I'm now in a taxi (I borrowed some cash) and am heading to the Museum of Natural History." You have no money and you're late, but you're taking a taxi? That doesn't sound like someone who believes in the power of the subway. —Amy OdellReady for an inspiring night [CNN]
Earlier:Iraq Trips Hamper Anderson's Gym ScheduleRelated:Anderson loves the subway, but why do you love New York?
All this time we thought that Traver Rains’s ever-present cowboy hat was just an affectation. It turns out that the silent half of fashion-design duo Heatherette — maybe he just can’t get a word in when partner Richie Rich is around? — is a real Marlboro man. “I grew up in Montana on a cattle ranch," Rains told us at the Lunchbox Auction at Saatchi & Saatchi on Thursday. Really? Does he know how to, like, rustle or wrangle or whatever one does to cattle? “Rope. Yeah," he said, all Heath Ledger–like. “I spent more time on a horse than not, growing up. I was Brokeback before Brokeback was cool.” One of the specialties that ranchers rustle up around the campfire, Rains says, is Rocky Mountain oysters. And those are? “It’s fried cow balls. After they’re snipped," Rains told us, covering his mouth and giggling coyly. We were, for once, speechless. “Um, they’re like, fried, breaded, um, you know the things hushpuppies! That’s what they remind me of.” Alas, Rains moved to New York in 1999 and has not eaten Rocky Mountain oysters since. He doesn’t know of a place that serves them in the city. “That would be fun,’ he said. “I would love to take my friends out and torture them with that.” —Bennett MarcusRelated: We can solve this problem! Where to Get Cow Balls [Grub Street]
Attention shoppers! It's that time of year. Yes, the Tipping Time, wherein you must give of your bounty unto all those little people who make your world go round (even if it makes you a little morally queasy). But what to give, and to whom? Well! We ran into Barneys creative director Simon Doonan and Fashion Week overlord Fern Mallis several weeks back at the launch for our New York Look fashion magazine (which, we might add, yet again, is pretty fucking fantastic), and asked them how they treat the help when the holidays come around. What we discovered was a highly detailed system of reward, based on equal parts anger, fear, and compassion, which we've made into a handy list, below.
1. If you subscribe to fashion magazines, be generous to your postal carriers.
As every girl or gay knows, September fashion magazines are heavy enough to be used as doorstops or murder weapons. You've seen your coffee table buckle under the weight. Now imagine the spinal discs of your poor postal carrier, forced to lug a 5,000-page Vogue to every apartment in your building. And then there's Bazaar. And W. Oh, God, that W. Feel guilty yet? Doonan does. "Every postal worker who has ever delivered to my building has gone on sick leave with hernia from lifting magazines. It's a really disastrous situation," he says. His tipping solution: at least $25. "But I do raises, so [my postal carrier] is making a fortune now."
One of the things that we love about Mayor Bloomberg is that he always makes an effort during speeches. He always has a joke handy, he's personable, and crowds always eat him up (who doesn't want to eat up a munchkin?). So it was last night at the Global Green USA Awards. "When I first got elected mayor, [my mother] said to me, 'Now don’t try to be witty or clever; just be yourself,'" Hizzoner cracked, to much general amusement. Then he went straight into his eco-themed speech, which touched upon a lot of his PlaNYC initiatives. And then he threw down the gauntlet to PepsiCo, of all people. "Coca-Cola Enterprises has developed a hybrid delivery truck," he explained. "This new truck produces zero emissions when it’s going very slowly, which is the only thing it’s ever going to do in our city … If I can start to get people saying, 'Hey, Coca-Cola is a responsible company,' then it’s good for Coke. They will make more money, and they will have an increased interest in investing in our future. And other companies will hopefully follow suit. After all, if you were PepsiCo., what would you do?" Um, bring back that commercial where Britney Spears, Beyoncé, and Pink are gladiators? Is that the wrong answer? —Robert Fischer
We ran into Heroes star Masi Oka at the Cinema Society screening of Atonement last night. Heroes films in L.A., and Oka, a Brown graduate, was happy to be back on the East Coast. “There seems to be a lot more culture in New York; people talk to each other; people are interested in more intellectually stimulating conversation," he said. "Whenever I go out, I’ll meet like, investment bankers, you know, people who are creative. The creative folks here tend to be a lot more intellectual.” Wait, what? Investment bankers are creative? And intellectual? Has living in California addled Oka's brain?
The Michael J. Fox Foundation hosted its annual fund-raising gala over the weekend, and our Jada Yuan was there with a camera. The night's theme was "A Groovy Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's," though some of the participants opted not to dress the part. Governor Eliot Spitzer blamed decorum and said a spotted tie was as groovy as he could get. Whatever you say, your Excellency. You dress like you support medical marijuana. Watch the video for more wardrobe explanations from Donny Deutsche, Gavin DeGraw, and others.
Party Lines: Michael J. Fox Foundation
With the holidays upon us, Donny Deutsch is kind of feeling charitable toward Ann Coulter. At the annual Michael J. Fox Foundation's "A Groovy Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's" fête at the Sheraton on Saturday, Donny had forgiven Coulter for her "Jews need to be perfected" rant during a recent Big Idea appearance. "What was shocking was that it wasn't a bit. It was very genuine," the big D told us. But, he clarified, "I don't think she's an anti-Semite." Huh? "She's gotten to the point where she's so detached from her words … it's the same reason Britney Spears will crash her car again. Because she doesn't exist until she crashes her car. Ann Coulter doesn't exist until she says those types of things." Wow, that's like a koan for our time: Without Car Crashes, Britney Exists Not. "I think [Coulter] genuinely felt bad afterwards," Donny continued. "I think she saw me personally offended. It's like seeing the hate crime in front of you." Donny even said he's ready to send Ann a Hanukkah present. "A muzzle!" he suggested. "And a Jewish history lesson." God bless us, every one. —Justin RavitzEarlier:The Internet Finally Thinks of a Response to Ann Coulter
At a WE TV voter-registration event on November 28, Brady Bunch alum Chris Knight—he was Peter — wandered past with his wife/reality-show co-star Adrianne Curry. "I'm a libertarian," he said. "I hate the two-party system, but I'm not sure what other system works." He said he was leaning toward Barack Obama at the moment. What about the other sons of Mike (and the daughters of Carol)? Did they grow up to be Democrats or Republicans? “I think they were swing voters,” he said. “Conservative Democrats. More like libertarians, probably, in their heart of hearts.” Did any grow up to be Republicans? “Oh, Greg's a Republican,” Knight said. “He’s probably a John Bircher. In real life, only two of us grew up in Democratic families. But I gotta believe that Mike Lookinland [Bobby] has turned out an independent, because was a Deadhead. And Susan [Olsen, who played Cindy] has turned the other way, too: She’s a strident liberal. And Eve [Plumb, who played Jan] is more or less a libertarian. Her dad was a banking investor and very conservative. But Barry [Williams, otherwise known as Greg] was always was a Republican — he was always very businesscentric.” —Tim Murphy
Last time we ran into smoking hot (even while tubby!) Ryan Gosling, he told us that he'd been living with his Lars and the Real Girl co-star, Bianca, the blow-up sex doll. So, where was Bianca tonight? "She's at home, reading a book by the window," he told us when we ran into him on a cigarette break from a post-screening dinner at the Plaza Athénée. As he spoke, he rested his hand gently on our back. Well, well! Maybe things aren't so happy at home after all! We smiled adoringly at him. But leave it to Peggy Siegal to ruin our moment. "He's taking her to St. Barts with him," she interjected. "Do you know how much that doll costs? $10,000!" Gosling shushed his publicist. "Don't put a price on her," he said, removing his hand. Damn. So, does Ryan ever feel as shy as his character in the movie? "I feel pretty shy right now," he said, very un-shyly. So, uh, what does a real girl like, a human one, have to do to try to steal his inanimate lover's place? "That would be implying that she is inanimate," Gosling warned sternly. Then he softened. "It's a very special relationship, but they're welcome to try." Victory! So should we — uh, they — stay, you know, pretty still? "I think at this point I could use the conversation. She's not the best conversationalist." —Amy PreiserEarlier: Ryan Gosling Keeps in Touch With His Co-star
Below, the tale of the coolest thing one of our reporters has ever done, which she has, after much deliberation, decided to give unto the Internet because she never plans to run for political office, and her parents were hippies and have therefore engaged in far too much delinquent behavior to ever cast judgment:
[Scene: The Bowery Hotel. Second floor. After-party for the opening of the first U.S. Billionaire Boys Club/Ice Cream flagship store. BBC/Ice Cream co-owners Pharrell Williams and Nigo hold court on a banquet in the back room. Fellow Neptune Chad Hugo stands in a doorway, fielding sexual innuendo from tiny Asian girls. Pusha T from Clipse leans on the bar, knocking fists with the myriad black dudes who walk by. Countless models swarm the one table with bottle service, sending death stares through all who dare approach. The three beanie-wearing white guys in the room play pool, pretending they haven’t noticed there’s a party going on in here. Two Disaffected Reporters, Jada Yuan from New York and Neel Shah from Radar convene in the hallway with their Assorted Friends.]
A gazillion people showed up at Rockefeller Center last night to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the annual tree-lighting ceremony, and the dawn of what we truly believe is the most wonderful time of the year: the season in which tourists wait in long, miserable lines in order to fall on their asses and slide embarrassingly across a cold sheet of ice. As the lights twinkled in the night sky, Josh Groban, whose holiday album Noel is No. 1, thanks to Oprah, was feeling philosophical. "Every year I kind of say to myself, 'What a beautiful tree,'" he told New York. "It's great that it's on display, but I mean the tree doesn’t know that that's the best it is ever going to look. It’s just a living thing. You know?" —Catherine Coreno
At last night's Snowflake Ball to benefit UNICEF, we asked everyone awkward questions about the future to prepare them for their holidays with nosy Aunt Susan. DavidLaurenBush, are you getting engaged? ("I don't know!" laughed the Lauren half of the socialite organism). Maggie Betts, will your dad, Roland, have a job for his BFF George Bush when he retires the presidency? ("I don't think he'll need one," said Maggie, who was arm in arm with Barbara Bush herself. "But I think my dad will give him anything he wants!"). When we got to Margherita Missoni, we couldn't think of anything tough to ask her, so we threw her a softball. What do you love about New York City? "I'm not in love with New York right now," she said. "I'm thinking of moving back to Europe." Oh, no! Is it because they shut down SocialiteRank.com? We'll try to write about you more, we promise! "I'm not sure if I'll go back to Italy. Maybe London or Paris. I long to be back in Europe," Missoni explained. "I've been in New York four years. I miss my family and everything. I wasn't born in America, and I loved it — it was great when I first came here. But after four years it's like " Missoni didn't finish her sentence. She said she preferred how everything in Europe is close together, but we weren't listening anymore. All we could think of was, with Margherita gone, there will only be 49 other top-tier socialites for us to care about! —Amy Odell
The Independent Feature Project’s seventeenth annual Gotham Awards were at Steiner Studios last night, and Jada Yuan took a video crew all the way to the Brooklyn Navy Yards to chat up the indie elite on camera. Kyra Sedgwick was impressed by how fancy the event had become, while Jeffrey Wright extolled the virtues of Brooklyn. Maggie Gyllenhaal talked real estate, Emile Hirsch discussed survival techniques, and Juno star Ellen Page revealed a onetime Brooklyn job that will be familiar to many. Oh, and see Jason Reitman threaten Judd Apatow!
Video Party Lines: IFP Gotham Awards
“You know, I host a show about crime,” said CourtTV’s Jami Floyd, leaning in very close to Javier Bardem. “I’ve interviewed serial killers. You’re the only one who ever gave me nightmares.” The actor managed a polite smile. The official purpose of yesterday’s lunch at The Four Seasons, hosted by Miramax president Daniel Battsek, was to honor Bardem and Josh Brolin for their performances in the Coens’ No Country for Old Men (and, one assumes, to kick-start the Oscar buzz). Its unofficial running refrain, however, was people coming up to Bardem and telling him, by way of compliment, that he made them shit their pants.