Quentin Tarantino and his Basterds made quite a splash on Saturday afternoon.
The whole gang — Tarantino, Eli Roth, Golden Globe nominee Christoph Waltz, producer Lawrence Bender – appeared at BAFTA/LA’s annual afternoon tea at the Beverly Hills Hotel and wowed the crowd.
Among the superstars who were eager to meet them: both Sir Paul McCartney (with pretty gf Nancy Shevell) and Jane Fonda, who was introduced to Sir Paul by her bf Richard Perry, McCartney’s longtime pal and sometime record producer.
Also around the room were Jacqueline Bisset, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Jason Reitman, Christian McKay, Jeremy Renner, Joan Collins and hubby Percy Gibson, all of the great supporting cast from “The Office,” Anna Kendrick from “Up in the Air” — who was too nervous to meet Fonda, as well as Bob Balaban, Evan Handler (from “Californication”), Peter Jacobson (of “House” fame), and pop star/soap star Rick Springfield.
“Precious” director Lee Daniels and “Single Man” director Tom Ford nibbled on scones and talked about doing a project together.
But it was McCartney who caused the biggest stir as he and Shevell mixed and mingled. McCartney talked about making his brilliant “Fireman” album with Tarantino, Fonda, et al., explaining that when he laid down the tracks he had no lyrics. “I wanted to make it like improvisational theater or filmmaking,” he said. He even did that with the album’s centerpiece song, “Sing the Changes,” which stands up to his best work.
Tarantino immediately quizzed McCartney about his lyrics, citing the famous line from “Hey Jude”: “The movement you need is on your shoulder.” McCartney was impressed. “It was just a throwaway line,” he told Tarantino.
McCartney is in town for his Golden Globe-nominated song, “I Want to Come Home,” but but he knows it’s an uphill battle. The song is from Miramax’s last release, “Everybody’s Fine.”
“They told me there won’t be any support, it’s the last Miramax release, all of that,” he said. “The songs do as well as the movie.” But he’s still out there, promoting it because the song is lovely and vintage McCartney.
Meantime, I will never forget the look on Eli Roth’s face when he bounded up to say hello to Tarantino, not realizing the “Inglourious Basterds” director was talking to Fonda and McCartney. I heard out one of ear, “Whoops! Jane Fonda” and his eyes got as big as saucers. In no time, Fonda had both Tarantino and Roth enthralled. Maybe they’ll write a script for her. She could play Diane Kruger’s mother in the “Basterds” prequel!
As for McCartney and Shevell, they make a nice couple, much better than the Beatles’ former romantic entanglement. And listen to this: Just prior to the BAFTA/LA tea, the couple had lunch with Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach, and Joe Walsh and his wife, Marjorie (Bach’s sister).
Later I ran into Tribeca/De Niro producer Jane Rosenthal at another swellish party with lots of solid gold movie stars (Barbra Streisand, etc). Don’t ask. “Jane,” I said, “I’m glad you’re here. No one will ever believe these stories. In New York, all we have are TV commentators.” Rosenthal agreed, and added one caveat: Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese.
Oh yeah. Them!