Celebrities Are Behaving Erratically at PartiesHayden Panettiere dirty danced with guys while her mom sipped screwdrivers and watched over her at an Old Navy party. Prince refused to walk into the 50th birthday party of his buddy Benny Medina until Medina agreed to come out and personally walk him in. Kristen Dunst’s “erratic” behavior has friends thinking she may or may not be “on the verge of a breakdown.”
National Board of Review Awards Lacked Writers, BrevityIf ever there were a case to be made for ending the WGA strike before the Oscars, it was last night’s lengthy National Board of Review awards gala at Cipriani. The WGA let the awards go on as planned because the NBR isn’t televised or otherwise connected with “money-grubbing moguls.” But that also meant no TV time limits on speeches. About an hour in Juno’s Ellen Page and screenwriter Diablo Cody became heroes for their quickly mumbled acceptance speeches (they were the fifth award of twenty). “We felt bad for just going up and saying a couple of ‘awesome’s,” Cody said during a break around hour four, “but now we realize we were being merciful.” Josh Brolin accepted award No. 7 (for Best Acting by an Ensemble) on behalf of the No Country for Old Men cast. “I’m going to take soooo long, because everyone before me took so friggin’ long,” he threatened, as the crowd let out a great cheer. But the baiting didn’t stop introducer Mike Wallace from talking so long he actually had to ask: “Now why am I up here?”
The only other hero was an animated George Clooney. Introducing the Coen brothers, he cracked: “These guys hate this kind of shit. They are the worst people you could have seen at this kind of event. It’s like March of the Penguins. Ethan won’t even talk.” Sure enough, Joel and Ethan Coen shuffled up to the stage, grabbed their award, muttered “Thanks” into the mike, and shuffled off. The bit got a big laugh, and suddenly the crowd seemed to get a second cocktail-fueled wind. Which only lasted two speeches of the remaining sixteen. —Jada Yuan
Hear more from George Clooney, Diablo Cody, and Ben Affleck at our complete coverage of the National Board of Review awards.
Imus Is Ready to Fight BackWhen he goes back on air, Don Imus will likely not be so nice to those who took him to task for his “nappy-headed hos” comment. Socialista owner Armin Amiri quarantined paparazzi who were trying to snap photos of Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin and got the police to force them to give up their memory cards. (Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem are dating, by the way.) Val Kilmer got claustrophobic at a party at the Thompson Hotel and left his girlfriend there. Mayor Bloomberg said of his cameo in Sex and the City, “I play the city.” Into the Wild’s Emile Hirsch celebrated his Gotham Award for Best Film by lying low at Marquee.
Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin Impress, Creep Out Partygoers“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.
Robert De Niro Pulls Out the Big Guns Against Art GalleryRobert De Niro sued an Upper East Side art gallery that gave twelve of his father’s paintings to a gallery in Rome as part of a debt-payment arrangement. Jason Binn had another kid. NBA commish David Stern, Derek Jeter, and Donald Trump showed up at the wedding of Ahmad Rashad and Sale Johnson, but estranged daughter Casey Johnson did not. Chris Noth and Steve Walter are thinking of moving their jazz club Cutting Room to Hell’s Kitchen. Ashlee Simpson begged photographers not to take her picture when she was smoking outside Angels and Kings. Theodore Sorensen, the lawyer who wrote JFK’s famous “Ask Not…” inaugural address, just bought at $10.75 million condo at 15 Central Park West.
Robin Williams, One-Man BandRobin Williams was in rare (okay, typical) form last night at the premiere of his new schmaltzy caper, August Rush. In it, he plays a Fagan-like proprietor of an abandoned theater, home to a gang of musical orphans (really). We asked him if he ever played a musical instrument in real life. “Yes,” he said, “and I’ve been asked to stop.” Turns out he spent some time playing the sax: “I did a black blues-player set,” he said; then he turned into a black blues player: “Man, you just gotta relax! You gotta make love to it, don’t hurt it, you know?” But his favorite music, he said, is the music of New York. “Look around you,” he exclaimed. “It’s like Gershwin flowin’! It’s got music, girl, everywhere. Uptown, downtown” — he turned into a feisty Latina. “Hola, mira, Mami. You got this thing, and it just keeps you movin’, ju know? You gotta have it, Papi. You know, leesten, leesten. Iss all crazy! You got to have music! And then you have the Russian clubs in Brooklyn” — with this he made some Russian-seeming sounds — “and Jewish music, Vhot, music!? It’s klezmer, what! Music to flee by! That’s why we take the skin off our penis — you gotta move! You can’t travel with that! Then you get in a cab” — he made some high-pitched wailing sounds — “Can you turn the radio down? Osama, please.” At this, the publicist began pulling him away, either because she felt enough was enough with the ethnic stereotypes or because the screening was about to begin. In his wake, however, there was a chorus of laughter. —Ben Kawaller
More Party Lines quotes and photos from the August Rush party: Keri Russell’s an instant cello virtuoso; Tamara Tunie philanthropically screws over her relatives.