By the time Woody Harrelson arrived at the Chateau Marmont penthouse, the party hosted by the New York Times Style Magazine -- with editors Gerald Marzorati and Stefano Tonchi, writer Lynn Hirschberg, and hotelier Anton Balazs -- was well underway. A Peggy Siegal event in the tradition of her most astounding soirees, this one featured a famed terrace chockablock with legends: Joan Collins, Jane Fonda, and Shirley MacLaine. Jane Seymour joined them for a photo. Dom Perignon champagne, vintage 2000, flowed.
Did Woody, a star of the movie The Messenger, think he would win a best actor award? No, he said, without hesitation. "That prize belongs to only one man: Christoph Waltz, and he's brilliant." Across the room, a Hollywood Who's Who, the Austrian actor seemed poised for his close up.
The stars arrived in enclaves: A Single Man's Tom Ford with Julianne Moore clad in red. Claire Danes with pal Mamie Gummer, A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg stood near Amy Landecker, Marisa Tomei, Bob Balaban, Carla Guigino, Chloe Sevigny, Dana Delaney, Jena Malone, Elizabeth Banks, Lindsay Lohan, Quentin Tarantino with Waltz; more directors, Oren Moverman, Sofia Coppola, Oliver Stone who recently finished directing Carey Mulligan in Wall Street II. Nailing a coquettish Audrey Hepburn persona perfectly in An Education, the young star had her mother in tow. Tom Cruise held court inside near the bar. Katie Holmes really is taller, and while I wanted to know whether she truly embraced Scientology, this was not the place.
But back to Woody who was wearing a hat, to paraphrase a Kerouac haiku, that wasn't on his head. His Messenger co-star Ben Foster kept grabbing it, claiming the pork pie shaped topper was his, and explained their comic symbiosis. They were doing a Laurel and Hardy routine in the crowded space as if no one else was there.