Exclusive: Last night, despite the relatively freezing cold weather, the Hollywood gang managed to make the rounds at what seemed like dozens of parties along Sunset Blvd from Chateau Marmont to the Beverly Hills Hotel. (It’s funny how many fur jackets have started popping up even though it’s usually 80 degrees here!)
At the Beverly Hills Hotel–where Ben Affleck was being honored by Cinema for Peace and Justice for his work in the Eastern Congo–Steven Spielberg told me what happened with “Robopocalypse,” the film he was supposed to make that just got postponed. First of all, he’s not going to make another film instead. “I don’t have anything else,” Spielberg said. “I looked at Robopocalypse and realized it just needed a new script. We know now what the story should be, so we’ll rewrite the script. And make it.”
Meanwhile the lobby of the grand BHH was filled with musicians and others whom Affleck has worked with in his efforts to enlighten the world about the plight of Congo. Several celebrs showed up to help him out including two sensational actresses whom we don’t see enough of– our old friend Alfre Woodard and Thandie Newton. The “Argo” director was still fielding kudos from his win Thursday night at the Critics Choice Awards for Best Director and Best Film.
Then over to Chateau Marmont for W Magazine’s annual Hollywood issue party. “Say it’s the party of the night,” joked host Lynn Hirshberg, but we didn’t need much prodding. We took the elevator to the sixth floor penthouse with Dev Patel and Freida Pinto–they’re still together and charming as ever some five years after “Slumdog Millionaire.” In Hollywood, that’s a lifetime. Lovely!
Remember the famous scene from the Marx Brothers’ ‘A Night at the Opera” where everyone’s stuffed into a small stateroom? Well, that’s what the W party is like every year and that’s what makes the W party so much fun. Bradley Cooper is cheek by jowl with Hayden Panitierre, and Helena Bonham Carter comes rolling with Homeland star Damien Lewis and his famous British actress wife Helen McCrory. Catherine Keener gets introduced to Christoph Waltz, and Eddie Redmayne is on the wide balcony surrounded by beautiful young things. Not too far away is Chelsea Handler with her boyfriend Andre Balazs, who owns the swanky Chateau, and so on. “On the Road” stars Kirsten Dunst and Garrett Hedlund look like a million bucks. And everyone is admiring the new issue of W which has amazing, edgy pictures of Hollywood stars by Juergen Teller.
Waiting for cars in front of the Chateau is always a little organized mayhem with tons of autograph hounds and paparrazzi planted just on the other side of the narrow, hilly street facing the valet stand. When “Django Unchained” star Christoph Waltz is spotted on our side, the gang from across the way starts chanting his name. When Waltz’s car pulls up, he suddenly darts over and signs as much as he can from “Django” and “Inglorious Basterds.” But he’s very careful, he tells me just before this, as I await my the return of my rental car.
“Someone actually handed me a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf the other day,” Waltz said, shaking his head. “And someone else wanted me to sign my name over a swastika.” Needless to say, he declined both opportunities.