There was a long hold up last night at the big premiere for Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” First it was hell getting all the guests into the Ziegfeld Theater–sort of mass chaos as lines of guests bunched up. Even Sony Chairman Sir Howard Stringer waited patiently to get his tickets–and he financed the movie. There were lots and lots of A listers besides the big star cast — including legendary singer Patti Smith, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Piven, and Uma Thurman.
Smith had just gotten off a plane from Dublin and came straight to the premiere. “I love Quentin’s movies,” she told me. And she loved this one.
Once inside, things still did not get underway. When Tarantino was introduced by Harvey Weinstein, he conceded that there had been a problem with the blub in the projector in the projectionist’s booth. “Yes, we’re using real 35 millimeter film,” Tarantino said. “In the old days I might have really gone crazy and had a hit. But in the days of DVD projection, it’s kind of romantic having this problem.”
The audience loved “Django.” By the time everyone got downtown for the party at the Standard’s enclosed Beer Garden, both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter had issued raves. Stars Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz came to the snappy get-to-together but Leonardo DiCaprio had to get back to the set of Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf of Wall Street.” Foxx told me: “I spent a year of my life on this film. I think Quentin Tarantino is actually a genius. He may be the best director working today.”
The “Django” party also attracted billionaires Ron Burkle and Paul Allen, the latter who looks great after a huge battle he’s won against cancer. Also there were a too long not seen Cameron Diaz, plus Ahmad Rashad, writer-director Peter Hedges, Richard Belzer, Sharon Osbourne, and “Gone Baby Gone” star Amy Ryan.
Around 1am, Foxx took over the deejay stand and started making toasts– his 45th birthday is the day after tomorrow–to himself, to Tarantino, and to everyone else. Waltz, who saw “Django” for the first time, told me: “I have to see it again. I was too nervous.” For the record, he’s just terrific. He and Foxx make an excellent team.