B.D. Wong, of television's Law & Order, won't admit whether he thinks his co-star, hot bald cop Christopher Meloni, is hot. "That's a lame question," he groaned last night at a 25th-anniversary celebration for the Asian-American Arts Alliance at the Tribeca Rooftop. Really? Well, that's a lame answer. "He's one of those people that more people find attractive than not," he grudgingly admitted. Annoying! The correct answer is yes, he is. But we kind of think B.D. — what does that stand for? Wikipedia: Bradley Darryl — is hot, too, especially when he is diagnosing psychopaths on L&O and gets all passionate. So we stuck around. Whom was he voting for? Hillary? "I think so." Okay so if he and Hillary were stuck in an elevator together, and Hillary turned and said, "Aren't you B.D. Wong, of television's Law & Order?" would he acknowledge, in turn, that she was the big Hill? "Wouldn't that be interesting if I didn't?" Wong mused, suddenly mischievous. "I'm just pondering the idea of that…" He went coy again. We demanded an answer, just like Sam Waterston would. He finally broke: "As a human being, I'd want to ask her a lot of dumb personal questions about Monica. But that would be stupid." Hm. We don't know, doctor. We think you actually just tapped deep into America's psyche. Aren't those the questions everyone wants answered? —Tim Murphy
It’s hard to believe that the world’s most renowned rock club was started by someone who didn’t care for rock. But that was one of the things we learned at Hilly Kristal’s memorial service at the Bowery Ballroom last night, where Old Guarders like Patti Smith, Joan Jett, and Tommy Ramone remembered Kristal’s quirks: his lumberjack attire, his penchant for bluegrass and brandy-Frescas, and his distaste for loud music. “He was a unique person who appreciated unique talent and innovative acts,” said Ramone. “He knew which performers had something to offer.”
Last night moguls and media types gathered to celebrate the revamp of Business Week. Henry Kissinger, Dylan Lauren, Atoosa Rubenstein, and Alexis Stewart (Martha's daughter) all rallied at Guastavino's to toast editor-in-chief Stephen Adler. Michael Eisner praised the redesign and then got down to business with us about — what else? — the Fox Business Network."When you have Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes doing a project, you can’t discount it," he told us. "So I suspect it will be competitive and successful." Eisner reminded us that he has his own show on CNBC, a network he thinks is "pretty entrenched and well done." "I think it will be a long time before they’re taken over the way CNN was taken over by Fox News," he said. "It's not really analogous."
Rosie Perez is chill when it comes to being around the tons of buff, nearly naked men in the current Roundabout Theatre revival of the 1975 gay-bathhouse farce The Ritz, which she stars in as a talentless singer. "At first it was a little shocking, but now I see them naked backstage and I go, 'Move, excuse me,'" she said last night after the opening. Does the 43-year-old Perez, a native New Yorker, have any memories of Gotham in the seventies? "I remember the blackout in '77 and going to see Saturday Night Fever three times and screaming for John Travolta," she recalls. "And there were a lot of drugs and drug addicts and craziness and sex," she adds. "It was fabulous." Hmm. So, has she ever been to a real bathhouse? "Not a bathhouse bathhouse," she says, "but I did go to a fabulous place on 46th Street called Osaka. You wet-steam, dry-steam, then a 300-pound woman walks on your back. It's great." —Tim Murphy
* No, we didn't write it like that 'cause we think they're the same thing. Rumormongers!
Related: Kevin Chamberlin of 'The Ritz' Discusses Beefy, Naked Guys [Vulture]
Last night's Skin Cancer Foundation’s Skin Sense Award Gala was for an excellent cause, so when faced with the prospects of interviewing celebrity guests, we kept it very serious. Emmy Rossum, who showed up not wearing Ralph Lauren, was one of our first targets of inquiry. "Have you seen Gossip Girl?" we asked, getting right down to business. "It's entertaining," the Phantom of the Opera star said. "It's a dramatized version of how catty girls schools can be in New York." Hey readers, did you know Emmy Rossum went to an all-girls school in the city? That's right, she went to Spence. She's practically a Gossip Girl co-star! "[Some classmates] were that precocious," she said. "Just, you know, how much money everybody spent on their Sweet Sixteen party. Like, $3 million." Wait, we've seen My Super Sweet Sixteen. Is $3 million supposed to be a lot? "You had to outdo the other one," she explained. Really? More, more! "Everyone would come back each summer with a different nose," she said when we prodded her. "Or boobs. Or mysteriously having lost a ton of weight." Oh, Lord, Emmy, forget anything negative we've ever said about you. You rule, and we're totally buying your new CD where you pretend to be Enya! —Bennet MarcusEarlier:Emmy Rossum Combats Impending Irrelevance With New Music Video (sorry for the mean headline, Em! Call us!)
We asked Regis Philbin if he had any special skills or hidden talents at last night's Alzheimer's Association gala at the Waldorf Astoria. "Hidden talents?" He paused and turned to his wife, Joy. "There's got to be something that I do that's unusual, right? What's something that I've mastered?" We suggested sports — for some reason a mental image of Regis doing the butterfly stroke comes to us quite easily. "You're a great tennis player," Joy answered. "No, I'm not, I'm not," Regis shook his head. "He's a great net man," Joy insisted. Regis continued to fluster. "There's got to be one damn thing!" he said. "I'm good at giving nicknames." Really? We asked which ones he had recently bestowed. He looked perplexed. "I gave La Lucci her nickname," he said finally. "Kelly Ripa: Kipa!" Then, silence. "Where are you sitting? We'll come find you later," Joy offered. But they never did. In the meantime we thought of a nickname for Regis Philbin: RePhil. Ha! We kill ourselves. — Amy Odell
At last night's premiere of We Own the Night, celebrities pondered the nature of sibling rivalry. In the film, Mark Wahlberg plays a cop whose brother (Joaquin Phoenix) ends up challenging him over a nightclub raid. We asked Wahlberg if he was still facing that kind of competition from his brother, Donny. "I’m still trying to kick my brother’s ass," he assured us. "That’s what it’s all about.” Which is funny, because we thought it was all about the fact that his brother's ass had been thoroughly kicked since Marky Mark outlasted the New Kids on the Block. Adam Goldberg feels the same way. "My [siblings] are 12 and like 13 and 10," he explained. "But I have it very severely because they get to wear little dresses and get a lot of attention.” Isn't that always the case? Speaking of dressing up and getting attention, when we ran into Rihanna at the after-party, we had to ask about her trademark hairdo and whether it was inspired by Victoria Beckham. "Is it Posh?" we asked. "My hair is Rihanna," she shot back. "Get used to that!" —Bennett MarcusRead more of our complete We Own the Night premiere coverage!
We've loved Janet Jackson ever since Control, partly because she seems to have remained relatively sane despite growing up in America's most baroquely fucked-up family. Er, the nipple thing aside. So we were pleased when last night at the Bryant Park Hotel, before a special intimate (read: we weren't invited) screening of her forthcoming film, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, we got to ask her a question worthy of James Lipton: What did she learn about acting from playing Penny on Good Times when she was 11?
Cable centerfolds Anderson Cooper and Jeff Corwin came together last night at the Museum of Natural History to celebrate their joint project, Planet in Peril. Of course we made a beeline straight for Anderson and introduced ourselves. "I'm working on my biceps," he assured us, without our even asking. Ay caramba, Anderson pays attention to what we blog about! IT'S LIKE WE'RE FRIENDS. Okay, anyway Planet in Peril included shoots in many exotic locales, like bug-infested jungles and the arctic north. While in Greenland, Corwin told us, everyone had to use the same public bathroom igloo, called a "shigloo" (we have no idea why). Including Anderson. "In fact, the shigloo is only partially covered," Anderson told us later. "It's got a wonderful view. It's quite exposed." Wow, Anderson's glutes exposed. We just had to sit down for a minute. "Nancy Pelosi came to the field site we were at," Corwin added. "I believe Nancy Pelosi may have visited the shigloo." Man, the ice caps have never seemed so white. —Amy OdellEarlier:Iraq Trips Hamper Anderson Cooper's Gym Schedule
We read in the Times yesterday that the financial district is so dead at night, most people who move there experience instantaneous buyer's remorse. Not club impresario Amy Sacco, whom we ran into at Saturday’s Cinema Society screening of Things We Lost in the Fire and who will be moving into her new condo in the District, the luxury development on Ann Street she consulted on, this spring. She thinks the financial district is just fabulous! Of course, as with most people involved in the real-estate trade, when Sacco says one thing, she really means another. Since we have a lot of experience with these things — hello! We've been renters for our entire adult life! — we were able to translate her Realtorspeak, and really, practically read her mind.
At last night's opening of Mauritius at the Biltmore Theater, Patricia Clarkson confessed a secret. "I never throw away a New Yorker," she told New York. "I have New Yorkers dating back to the 1980s. I have boxes and boxes." That sounds so, um, normal, actually. "She does. I know this," said Chris Noth, passing by. "Not New York Magazine." Noth also had some harsh words about our recent Bill Clinton–as–First Lady cover. "Your magazine has absolutely no scruples," he said. "That’s terrible!" You know what else we're terrible at, according to Noth? Predicting the plot of the Sex and the City movie based on all of the shooting around town. "Have you seen the script?" he asked. "I have. There’s been all this talk of Big and Carrie get married. I’m not going to say yes, or no, but did you see me at the church with Sarah Jessica? No, because I was at the Brooklyn Detention Center shooting Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The pictures everyone’s talking about are me with Charlotte. What does that mean? All I can say is that you people have gotten nothing right." This makes us feel a lot better about the fact that we never watch Criminal Intent. —Jada Yuan
Last night we ate dinner next to Richard Gere. It was prior to a screening of I'm Not There, a film about Bob Dylan starring six different actors, including Cate Blanchett, in seven different life phases. Gere plays the oldest Dylan. Whatever. The point is Richard — we call him Richard now — is the silverest of silver foxes, and after a while, we forgot all about the Dalai Lama stuff and the, you know, hamster thing and fell straight in love.
“I used to work for New York Magazine,” Terry George told us upon seeing our "New York" Scotch-taped to a barricade at the premiere of his movie Reservation Road. “I was a fact-checker,” the Hotel Rwanda director added. With that Irish storytelling gene, George dredged up a memory of his days toiling at this rag. “You can print this: I was kneeling down at the cupboard where all the New York Timeses were kept, because it was before LexisNexis and all that," he explained. "And as I’m kneeling down, I feel these executives stepping over me, and I turned around and looked up, and there’s Rupert Murdoch stepping over so he could go into the executive office. One of my bigger regrets in life is that I didn’t bite his balls off then, you know.” Joaquin Phoenix, who stars in Reservation Road, had a different reaction when he saw our name tag on that red-carpet barricade. “I love this, by the way," he told us. "That they have you here, corralled. —Bennett Marcus
At last night's Lucid Absinthe party, packs of twentysomething almost-models spilled out of the back of tightly packed SUVs to enter the Lower East Side's Back Room. "They're like hipster clown cars," observed publicist Alison Brod as she manned the door. Inside, the place was so packed that dainty green fairies (waitresses with body paint and glitter) kept getting their wings caught in people's hair as they tried to serve drinks made with the powerful licorice liqueur (it's the first legal absinthe in the U.S. in decades). Amiable Hills star Brody Jenner lounged in a corner with his friends and chatted with New York. We asked about Lauren Conrad (did you see this week's episode? They totally/maybe slept together again!). "I love Lauren, she and I are best friends," was all Jenner would say, before being yanked away by photographers. Ten minutes later, New York spotted Jenner chatting animatedly to a random male partygoer, who looked extremely confused. Jenner looked up and spotted us and ran over. "I was talking to that dude for like five minutes because I thought it was you," he said. "He thinks I'm a psycho!"
Last night Salman Rushdie showed up at the Cinema Society screening of Elizabeth: The Golden Years to very publicly not watch the season finale of Top Chef, hosted by his former-model (and dubious-culinary-expert) ex-wife, Padma Lakshmi. Instead, he spent much of the after-party on the roof of the Soho Grand getting his flirt on with a bevy of tall model-esque beauties, one of whom looked like Padma 2.0. If we’d once been amazed at Rushdie’s ability to rein in a hottie like Lakshmi, we were more than impressed with his ability to keep three ladies entertained at once, using some strange mating dance involving jumping, hand gestures, back touching, and, at times, French. Earlier in the evening we’d gotten a taste of his conversational skills ourselves. Was he witty? Charming? Sexy? Well…
Part of the reason people love Ryan Gosling is that it's possible to suspect that in real life, he's a little bit adorably weird, just like the characters he plays. That's why it was exciting to catch up with him at the premiere of Lars and the Real Girl last night and realize that it's true. The film's plot follows Lars (Gosling) as he falls in love with a sex doll. Gosling told us he was nervous to work with his inanimate co-star at the start of filming, because he imagined he would have to be acting for two people. "But then I met her," the Notebook star said. "She came to the read-through," he explained. "I couldn't stop staring at her. I was fascinated. She had all these beautiful freckles on her face. She was endlessly fascinating to me. I got excited about all of our scenes together." What a delightfully odd turn of events! So where did the doll end up after filming? "Well, uh," Gosling mumbled. "My house."—Jocelyn Guest
Like any good red-carpet watcher, at the premiere of Sleuth, we did our best to sniff out some drama between stars Jude Law and Michael Caine, director Kenneth Branagh, and writer Harold Pinter. With all those egos on one set, sparks must have flown! But apparently, unlike catty actresses, men can get along on a set. "They’re extremely funny and easy to work with," said director Kenneth Branagh, as Caine and Law told us they "loved" each other. Well, fine. They all "love" screenwriter-playwright Harold Pinter, too, apparently. "Thirty years ago, I did a monologue from a Pinter play for my audition for drama school, and it’s taken me 30 years to meet the guy and work with him, and it was a real thrill,” Branagh told New York. "When I knew him, he was an actor called David Baron," Caine said, one-upping Branagh (ooh, let's project some tension here!). "He decided to write plays, and he thought, 'I’ll use my real name,' he told me, which is Harold Pinter," Caine explained. "And so I did his first one, and then he wrote all this great stuff, and I wasn’t in any of it!" Caine says that though he and Pinter are friends, this is only the second of the famous scribe's works he's performed in. "I thought, I’m the one who started you, and then no one gave me any more," he said. "I was sort of pissed off!" Yeah, that's right. Fight, fight, fight! –Bennett MarcusFind more photos and chatter from Bebe Neuwirth, Joan Collins, and others at our complete coverage of Sleuth's New York premiere.
We ran into Tina Brown while waiting for the elevator at the last night's Heart On! benefit at Lincoln Center and thought we'd make polite conversation. How about Dan Rather suing CBS? we asked, as the elevator failed to arrive. "I'm a fan of Dan Rather so I want to know how it will turn out," she said, poking impatiently at the elevator button. So are we! Maybe we can be friends with Tina. "I'd like to see it reinvestigated, so let's put it that way," she said. "I keep missing the elevator." Since we were standing there, we thought we'd get to know her a little better.
The Plaza Hotel's 100th anniversary last night ought to have been a joyous celebration. The Orchestra of St. Luke's played a forties-Hollywood soundtrack. Yitzhak Tshuva, the Israeli mogul who turned the hotel into condos, smiled and laughed among some 200 family members and his favorite singer, Paul Anka. Gucci brought really cool fireworks — they even shot rockets off the roof of the building — and a twelve-foot, one-ton Ron Ben-Israel cake in the building's image was admired and then eaten. And it was good. And yet, Matthew Broderick, there to toast the happy occasion, could barely contain his sorrow.
Shakira shook her lower body vehemently during her performance of "Hips Don’t Lie" at Saturday night's MTV-produced event for Bill Clinton's Global Initiative Conference, but Clinton, sitting front-row center, would not oblige her by looking, at least not in public. Instead, he focused hard on Wyclef Jean. Lest we forget, Bubba is all about the music. "I’ve always wanted to play the Apollo," he admitted later. "I’ve been invited to play amateur night a number of times, but I’m afraid. If the audience doesn’t like you, they actually take a hook and pull you off!" Ha! It's not like the White House, is it then? But Clinton was distracted by MTV News personality Sway, who walked by wearing a Rasta hat and dreadlocks. Apparently the two men had bonded earlier in the evening. “I thought we were going to talk more about hair grooming,” Clinton asked Sway plaintively. “You could grow the locks, man,” Sway said, regarding the president's tufty white head. "It’ll change your life.” Clinton laughed. "I think it's too late for that," he said. Don't be silly, Bill! It's never too late for a new look! —Jada Yuan