James Franco Gets His Pick of Columbia FreshmenA bunch of girls screamed with lust for James Franco at Columbia, and we don’t blame them. Also, Alec Baldwin screamed at a limo driver while leaving the U.S. Open, in today’s gossip roundup.
‘Pygmalion’ Star Jefferson Mays Saws the Air With His Hands Who: Jefferson Mays
Job: Playing the role of Henry Higgins, opposite Claire Danes’s Eliza, in the Roundabout Theatre’s current hit production of Pygmalion.
Neighborhood: East Village
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
My wedding dinner at Eight Mile Creek.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I saw the air with my hands, tear passion to tatters, and do a fair amount of strutting and fretting.
Mischa Barton Lives in Hoboken
Mischa Barton is currently filming Assassination of a High School President with Bruce Willis in New Jersey, and the apartment she owns in Tribeca is rented out. So instead she’s taken up residence across the river, in Hoboken. “Every time I’ve come recently I’ve stayed in a hotel, which just feels lame,” the former O.C. star told us at Paper magazine’s dinner for its September cover girl, Rihanna, last night. “I’ve been hanging at friends’ flats in the city, and it made me want to get a place of my own.” Oh, that’s right, Mischa, you were born in London, where they have flats. We forgot. (Elsewhere at the party, Paper’s Mickey Boardman greeted guests in a sequined blazer, of the Elton John style. He prefers Rihanna’s “Breaking Dishes” from her new album over the more popular “Umbrella,” if you must know. “It shows a little bit of a rougher side,” he said.) “I think I need to be back here,” said Barton, who grew up in an apartment in the city. “I’m in my twenties now, and it would be nice to finally have my own place in the city. I like the East Village, Greenwich Village, and the meatpacking. I’m sort of a downtown girl.” Which is just as well. We needed a new haughty waif who thinks she’s British. Claire Danes is nearly 30. —Rachel Wolff
Regan Outfoxes News Corp.?Judith Regan has secret tapes that may help her $20 million lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch. The Land Rovers and helicopters used to launch a new Ralph Lauren cologne may have disturbed a community of East Hampton piping plovers. Cindy Adams, who has a vendetta against Larry David because he dissed her once, claims that Laurie had been stepping out on him for quite some time (and that he’s being set up with Ellen Barkin). Olivia Newton-John really liked Xanadu. OK! dropped $400,000 on sex pics of Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo, but the mag won’t publish them. Claire Danes may have landed the lead in the Pygmalion revival because the director directed her boyfriend in Journey’s End. Annie Leibowitz angered the Queen of England by asking her to remove her crown during a photo shoot.
The Newlywed Game With Claire and Hugh (Who Are Not Newly Wed)
Many of the promised celebs didn’t turn up last night for Afghan Hands launch party, celebrating the outreach charity for Afghan widows founded by celebrity makeup artist (and native Afghan) Matin Maulawizada. (Classy, folks!) But the “It”-ish couple Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy were there, looking gorgeous and gamely — and separately — answering our impertinent questions. How did their responses match up? It’s the Daily Intel Party Lines Q&A Newlywed Game! (Not that they’re newly wed, or even engaged, or anything close.)
Chuck Schumer, Lady’s ManAfter college, Chuck Schumer picked a girl over a scholarship. 50 Cent is really rich. Gay activists don’t like John Travolta in the Hairspray movie because he’s a Scientologist, not because of his performance. Brian Grazer is getting divorced. Eliot Spitzer banged his head on the trunk of his car. Rufus Wainwright defends Anderson Cooper’s lifestyle and choice of gym. Maggie Gyllenhaal might come to Broadway as Nellie in South Pacific. Kevin Spacey partied at Lotus. Lily Allen put on a bad show at the Roseland Ballroom, then she hung out with Josh Hartnett. At Graydon Carter and Anna Wintour’s party for Nicholas Coleridge’s A Much Married Man, Ron Perelman thought the book was about him.
Hollywood Agent Exaggerates!A former colleague of Hollywood superagent (and Ari Gold inspiration) Ari Emanuel says he intentionally threw tantrums when talking to Entourage producer Doug Ellin so they’d make it into the show’s script. Donna Hogan plans to make over her appearance — plastic surgery and all — so that she looks just like sister Anna Nicole Smith. NBC’s Campbell Brown may take Paula Zahn’s spot at CNN if she leaves. Jason Binn’s wife is pregnant. Dina Lohan denies saying she ever called herself the “White Oprah,” except that she did. Patti Smith is covering the Doors’ “Soul Kitchen” because a sanitation truck that almost ran her over was playing that song. Emma Thompson pissed off Will Smith when she pulled out a lit cigarette at the Waverly Inn. Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer is an investor in a lounge in Sag Harbor.
Back and to the LeftA new book by Salon.com founder David Talbot claims that the JFK assassination was the joint work of the CIA and the Mafia. Philadelphia TV reporter Alycia Lane mistakenly sent risqué e-mails intended for NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen to his wife. Pete Wentz wants his new East Village bar, Angels and Kings, to be a place where people can have sex in the bathroom. A lot of bankers can no longer expense meals at Hawaiian Tropic Zone. Alec Baldwin skipped the premiere of his new movie to go to Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. Good move: The screening — of a movie in which he plays an estranged father after a messy divorce — would have been awkward. Penélope Cruz bought the wait staff at the Waverly Inn a round of shots. Rosie O’Donnell dropped a subtle hint that she may be headed to CBS. Boy George was arrested in London for keeping some guy chained to his wall. Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields gambled together in Vegas.
Giuliani Not the Only GOPer Who Knows His Campaign Faces ProblemsSome Republicans think his business and the press will keep Rudy Giuliani from running for president. Robin Williams made friends with a bunch of former enemies in the New York Film Critics Circle. Ron Perelman brought rabbis over to bless a plot of land he purchased on the secluded Harbour Island in the Bahamas; locals, having never seen a rabbi, thought they were terrorists. Dita Von Teese left Marilyn Manson because he was partying too heartily with Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, and Evan Rachel Wood. Word association with Forbes publisher Steve Forbes: Nancy Pelosi: “Trouble.” Hillary Clinton: “Future Trouble.” Speaking of Pelosi, daughter Alexandra’s latest documentary features a telling interview with outed pastor Ted Haggard. Claire Danes’ new boyfriend, Hugh Dancy, seems to be more interested in boys than in poor Claire. Simon Cowell prefers Kelly Clarkson to Bob Dylan. Britney Spears went out drinking, shacked up with model Isaac Cohen at the W Hotel on Monday. Bill Nighy prefers his matzo-ball soup without matzo balls. Coke-loving, hooker-loving Pat O’Brien is out at The Insider. Amy Sedaris was listening to “Desperado” when she lost her virginity; an 11-year old Tracy Morgan had “Superfreak.” The guy behind the N.J. sale of Whitney Houston memorabilia may not actually own all the stuff he’s selling. Paris Hilton pleaded innocent to her DUI charge from September. Katie Couric is having a 50th birthday party at Tiffany this weekend. Cross-town goalie rivals Henrik Lundqvist and Marty Broedeur avoided each other at Tao. PETA claims that the makers of POM pomegranate juice fund experiments in which the arteries of male bunnies are severed so that researchers can study the effect of the juice on male impotence.
Say It Ain’t So, ScreechQuestions surface about Screech’s sex tape: Did he use a body double, and did he make it with the intent to sell it? Disney exec and former Pataki spokesperson Zenia Mucha is not thrilled her ex-boyfriend, lobbyist Douglas Rutnik, is dating someone else. Billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn once had some trouble aboard a leased jet. New Jersey Nets part owner Jay-Z just maybe had a hand in giving a Nets Dancers clothing contract to House of Dereon, run by Beyoncé’s mom. Jane Krakowski went roller-skating. Jailed former pimp Jason Itzler wants to start a matchmaking service for rich men when he gets out. Claire Danes and Billy Crudup may have broken up. Melanie Griffith is no longer writing a dishy autobiography, much to the chagrin of the handful of people who would read a dishy Melanie Griffith autobiography. Whitney Houston once called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat bitch” in a Newsweek interview, but the mag didn’t run the quote so as not to offend any Whitney fans. Domenico Dolce, half of Dolce & Gabbana, had his pick of boys at a Miami nightclub. Obvious blind item alert: Which Tinseltown sex siren with a humanitarian streak has resumed her old habit of dabbling with heroin? Sacha Baron Cohen drinks soda, refuses to be photographed out of character. Kathy Griffin says Larry King is deaf. Liev Schreiber sweats a lot on the first date. Penélope Cruz lives with her dogs in Spain and her cats in L.A.