You would think Hollywood would be exhausted by now with all the parties around town. Not so at the Sunset Tower Hotel, where “Joy” director David O. Russell and “Concussion” star Will Smith were jointly being feted at a cocktail and conversation soiree hosted by Jerry and Linda Bruckheimer and the inexhaustible Colleen Camp.
“Joy” co-star Diane Ladd (a three time Oscar nominee) drove down from Ojai with husband Robert Hunter to be there for Russell along with “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner, Nastassja Kinski, director Catherine Hardwicke and “Concussion” director Peter Landesman, Cuba Gooding, Brenda Vaccaro, Jason Patric, director Michael Mann, famed publicist Norby Walters and his producer son Gary, “Joy” producer John Davis, Harvey Weinstein, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
But leave it to the coolest lady in Hollywood, Dame Helen Mirren, to steal the show. When it came time for the remarks, Helen elegantly stepped in front of David, and in her best Queen Elizabeth voice boomed, “Hello. This is not David. It’s Helen and I’d like to thank Will Smith and all of you for coming.” While Russell and Smith cracked up, Helen continued her witty banter.
Russell thanked Will Smith for making “Concussion,” saying, “I’ve been a longtime fan of Will. I didn’t know about all of this before I saw it. I was knocked out by it, pardon the pun.” Will spoke up and returned the compliment saying, “I would like to thank David for his beautiful work in “Joy.” He addressed Russell: “Hey I wasn’t in the movie, and I do some acting you know. I’ve seen all of your films. I am offering myself at a discount for your services.”
Smith continued, “When they came up with this idea to this event as a joint evening,” which then elicited unintended laughs, to which Will cheekily clarified, “not that kind of joint.” Will continued, “I thought it was a wonderful idea. These award things can get lost into arrogance and vanity, so something like this just to say thank you is a good thing.”
Russell said, “Joy” is for anybody that has a dream, “Concussion” is so big and important and truly impactful.” Gracious David then thanked all for being there and especially Helen for “giving me my mighty voice.” So all in all, a relaxed Hollywood evening where everyone mingled and worked the room.