Friday, July 12, 2024

Kirsten Dunst, Courtney Love Upstage “Harry Potter” Premiere


Call it “Harry Potter and the Deathly Premiere.” Inside Avery Fisher Hall it wasn’t so easy digging up celebrities outside the cast of the final Potter episode. Whoopi Goldberg was the biggest deal, and we spotted Seth Green. Actor Noah Emmerich brought his kids. Outside on the red carpet, fotogs got shots of Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker with son James, but they must have been seated someplace very special: no one saw them in the theater. Warner Bros. took over the whole plaza in front of Lincoln Center, but there was no sign of the “Harry Potter” superstars like Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, or Michael Gambon. It’s too bad they didn’t follow the format laid out for the “Lord of the Rings” series. Ah, well. I did see some of Daniel Radcliffe’s “How to Succeed” Broadway pals.

It was a good thing, then, that Peggy Siegal had not one but two premieres last night while “Harry Potter” plodded along (set for a 6:30 pm start it was still in process at 6:50). Diane von Furstenberg, Courtney Love, Regis and Joy Philbin, Malin Ackerman, and famed R&B singer Maxwell were among the stars who showed up at a screening of the lovely and moving film, “Sarah’s Key,” with a dinner that followed at Osteria del Circo. Legendary restaurateur Sirio Maccione looked wide eyed as this A list poured into Circo along with Harvey Weinstein and a big group from St. Martin’s Press, which turned “Sarah’s Key” into an international bestseller. Other guests included BAFTA founder Freddie Hancock and Broadway producer Jean Doumanian, who was celebrating good financial news about “The Mother—- in the Hat.” It’s recouped its investment.

I’ll tell you more about “Sarah’s Key” soon, because it opens next Friday, July 22nd. Suffice to say that it’s the one “serious” film of the summer, a magnificent rendering of the Holocaust themed novel upon which it’s based. Kristen Scott Thomas is wonderful and so are the many lesser well known actors who brought last night’s audience to tears.

Meanwhile, we caught up with Kirsten Dunst at the party for Erroll Morris’s documentary, “Tabloid,” held at a cool strip and dance club down on the West Side Highway. This was a far cry from Circo! Kirsten won Best Actress in Cannes for “Melancholia,” a very intense drama. So she’s in New York to film a comedy, “Bachelorette,” directed by Leslye Headland and co-starring Lizzie Caplan. And PS Kirsten has good music taste. She’s dating Jason Boesel, former drummer from Rilo Kiley who’s still playing with the eminently talented Jenny Lewis. Rock on!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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