"ARE YOU kidding? I'm not going to tell you that!" So said Warren Beatty a couple of weeks back. The icon was celebrating the 100th anniversary of the fabled Beverly Hills Hotel, and a reporter asked him to share some of his experiences at the hostelry back when he was Hollywood's most eligible, active bachelor.
Good for Warren. I am so tired of almost every young actor, male or female (and some not so young!) who feel compelled to answer anything asked of them, no matter how intimate. Warren Beatty did not become a star because he talked about his sex life. We talked about his sex life. And he just went on being a great actor/director/producer.
- REMEMBER we told you a while back that Jane Fonda's famous sci-fi fantasy flick "Barbarella" might be re-made for the big screen, with Natalie Portman as the intergalactic sex-kitten?
Well, no further word on that project, but director Nick Refn ("Drive") thinks "Barbarella" would make a nifty TV series. Refn has projects such as "Hannibal" and "Only God Forgives"--again with Ryan Gosling--upcoming. So he is a serious guy and certainly plans a deluxe TV effort.
(Maybe for cable?)
Scarlett Johansson would be a luscious Barbarella. As would Emmy Rossum, currently in Showtime's "Shameless." (Who says Barbarella has to be blonde?) So would Gabrielle Anwar of "Burn Notice." (Who says "Barbarella" has to be very young?) And there's always Lindsay. (Who says Barbarella has to stay out of trouble? Look at all the publicity she's given to Lifetime's "Liz and Dick?")
- WE BROKE the story that Olympic hopeful Nick Symmonds was so smitten by Paris Hilton--he glimpsed her from afar one memorable day--that he asked her father, Rick, for permission to "date" her. Well, they actually have been out on a date, and it must have gone well. They've been texting and e-mailing each other almost every day since. Symmonds, often referred to as "the Brad Pitt of runners" is on the rise. Aside from his own athletic skills, some of this success has to be credited to his indefatigable press rep, Hal Lifson. Lifson represents other athletes and a few actors. This guy is like a dog with a bone about his clients. And he'll throw in items that have nothing to do with his own interests. He's old school PR and one of the last of his kind.
- DIFFERING OPINIONS. That's what makes the world go around. Over the weekend I watched HBO's new Aaron Sorkin series, "The Newsroom." I really liked it. I thought it was smart and funny. Few critics agree with me, including one of my office staff. When I brought it up, my assistant said, "Ugh! Are you kidding? It was horrible. Like a parody of Aaron Sorkin's work. I mean, who talks like that?" Well, I don't know. For sure a fast rat-tat-tat way of speaking is far more prevalent now than ever before. Anyway, it's a TV show. How much reality do we expect?
It follows "True Blood," the vampire series, for heaven's sake. As for how people speak. I am here to tell you, nobody sat around talking like characters in Noel Coward's plays either. So there.
- ON FRIDAY, the New York Times posited the theory that "gay culture" is a thing of the past. The story was illustrated with a photo of Judy Garland. The headline
read, "Judy Who?" For a long time, ever since the riots at the Stonewall bar in 1969, which spawned the gay liberation movement--and just so happened to occur on the day of Garland's funeral in Manhattan--people have been saying gay culture, "camp" and all that over-the-top love of over-the-top is dead. Really? Then how to explain the LOGO Channel's endless marathon of "Ru Paul's Drag Race?" How to explain Madonna (yes, even today) or Gaga (most certainly.) Or even the late Whitney Houston, who had a big gay following that supported her a la Judy, even as her voice failed and her career sputtered.
Sure, times have changed for the better. Gay men and women are eager to emphasize their ordinariness: they want to marry; they want to adopt children. Times writer David M. Halperin doesn't condemn these wants and needs, but wonders why so many people "straight and gay, are so eager to declare the death of "gay culture" and sensibilities. I'm not. Somebody just gave me a copy of the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton movie "Boom!" I intend to watch it with gay friends. The better to appreciate Miss Taylor as she dines with Noel Coward while she is wearing a spiky, bejeweled headdress the size of Texas.
- I RECEIVED so many nice responses to my remembrance of the designer Nolan Miller, who passed away last week from lung cancer. Even Joan Collins and her hubby Percy Gibson chimed in. But one person who wrote--Rene Horsch, who had worked for Nolan 22 years--corrected me. Nolan did receive a Emmy award in 1984. I am happy to hear this especially as Mr. Horsch was so nice about it. In any case, Nolan deserved more than one Emmy!