Monday, June 17, 2024

Oscar Weekend: Armani Steals the Party Crown with Cheek by Jowl A List, Followed By A George Clooney-Stevie Wonder Night


Saturday night, Oscar weekend. Plenty of parties, some successful, others kind of meh.

The big show off was Armani on Rodeo Drive for their annual jam packed get together. This one had Michelle Yeoh as special guest, with her pals from “EEAAO” Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, plus Harry Shum all in attendance.

Ke Huy Quan is the star of the season, isn’t he? Everyone loves him, he loves everyone, he’s still so excited and overwhelmed you can see the bubbles coming out of his ears! I asked him if, with all this new money and fame at age 53, has he bought anything? A new car? A house? “No!” he cried, “I’m really making sure I have no changes, just living as I always have. I haven’t even taken a new job. I just wanted to experience and remember everything. That’s why we take so many selfies. To have a record of what happened!”

Ke Huy’s wife, Echo, is a doll. She’s also smart: she did most of the translating on the “EEAAO” shoot. Their win tonight will be very satisfying. And yes, that’s a picture of us from the party. Ke is always smiling. (I look like his grandfather!)

Other Armani guests included Samuel L. Jackson and his Broadway director wife LaTanya Richardson, plus Petra Nemcova, super model Karolina Kurklova, “The Whale” star Brendan Fraser, “Creed” star Tessa Thompson, Allison Williams, Danny Ramirez of “Top Gun,” and Jet Li’s beautiful 22 year old daughter, Jane, who’s breaking into the acting world.

And no, there was no gift bag. Believe me, we asked. And even the security guards sported Armani jackets. I had second thoughts about trying to mug one of them on the way out1

Later last night, dining at Sunset Tower: George and Amal Clooney with Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber. No, George will not be at the Oscars tonight. He told me: “I only go when I’m nominated.” He’s got 1 win and many noms. The Gerbers are rooting for Austin Butler for Best Actor in “Elvis.” And let me tell you, Cindy Crawford still looks exactly like Cindy Crawford. She’s amazing. Amal Clooney could be a model herself. PS George indicated his favorite movie of the year was “The Banshees of Inisherin.” He has good taste!

How do you top those four? All of a sudden none other than Stevie Wonder sauntered in with a group of six including Epic Records prez Sylvia Rhone, the only woman who runs a record company in the music biz. So that’s what they call power dining in Hollywood!

Earlier in the afternoon: the famed GBK gift suite took over the whole lobby and first floor of the LaPeer Hotel. Viola Davis came by, chauffeured in a $300,000 electric SUV, and picked up some cool products. Inside, I met the great, great actor Keith David, who deserves an Oscar himself. He does have three Emmy Awards, so he’s no slouch– plus an Outer Critics Award. Not bad!

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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