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Nicole Kidman Only Imaginary at Fur Premiere
Max Minghella & The MisShapes' Leigh Lezark
Robert Downey, Jr. & wife Susan Downey
Harris Yulin

New York, November 5, 2006 – It was cold outside at the premiere of Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, and we couldn’t help noticing that most of the women were wearing…fur. But the film’s title refers to Robert Downey, Jr.’s character, who is covered in hair during most of the movie – although not in the poster, where he’s pictured barechested in bed with Nicole Kidman. Kidman wasn’t at the premiere, presumably due to her husband, Keith Urban’s stint in rehab. Downey carried the PR ball at the screening, joking with reporters and mugging for cameras.

Director Steven Shainberg talked about what an actress of Kidman’s caliber brought to the project. “She’s a star, and it brings attention to the film, but she’s so gifted, and she was so involved with trying to honor Arbus, and bring her A-game to the part, that, you know, that is an enormous gift to the film, and to me” he told us. “You know, I got to work with what she has inside. It’s like a piano with six keys or eighty keys. I’ll take the piano with eighty keys.”

Candy: Another Unconventional Love Story for Heath Ledger
Ron & Cheryl Howard share a laugh
Heath Ledger
Claire Danes

New York, November 6, 2006 – ““I’m not usually attracted to conventional love stories. I like them to be snuggled within a more interesting kind of, backdrop, I guess”, Heath Ledger said, without irony, at the premiere of “Candy”, in which he plays a heroin addict who draws his girlfriend into the drug scene. The usually aloof Oscar nominee was in a playful mood, evading photographers, and then dashing back for the photo op - just kidding! What attracted Ledger to the role? "It was mainly because I wanted to go home. There aren’t that many opportunities, film-wise, in Australia", he said.

There was speculation that Aussie costar Abbie Cornish didn’t attend the Cinema Society screening because she’s been implicated as the other woman in the Reese Witherspoon/Ryan Phillippe split. Ledger’s fiancée, Michelle Williams, wasn’t there, but he brought along a couple of good looking, scruffy male buddies that had the ladies primping. Claire Danes, Fisher Stevens, Ron and Cheryl Howard and actor Ben Shenkman were in the audience at the Tribeca Grand screening room, and partied later slightly uptown at the Soho Grand.

Babel Premiere Leads to Harsh Times
Eva Longoria before leaving Harsh Times premiere
Cate Blanchett at Babel premiere
Brad Pitt rubs his eyes at Babel
Zach Braff at Babel
Christian Bale & wife Sibi Blazic at Harsh Times
Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Esposito at Babel

Los Angeles, November 5, 2006 – Everyone in Hollywood popped up at the premiere of Brad Pitt’s new movie, Babel, but the celebs were as disappointed as we were that Angelina Jolie was not there – she was still over in India shooting a film. But it wasn’t crying over Angie that had Brad rubbing his eyes; rather, he complained that the flashbulbs irritated them.

Just a few of the folks joining Pitt and costar Cate Blanchett were Casey Affleck, Zach Braff, Don Cheadle, Julie Delpy, Jacqueline Bissett, Tom Sizemore, Josh Lucas and Vinnie Jones. Bradley Cooper was with fiancée Jennifer Esposito.

Immediately after the Babel premiere at Mann’s Village Theater, we went just a few blocks down the road - to another premiere! Harsh Times, starring Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez, made its debut at the nearby Crest Theater.

Eva Longoria has said that she’d like to concentrate on movies rather than television series’, but you wouldn’t know it from her behavior at this premiere. Despite having a role in Harsh Times, she walked the red carpet, then got right back into her car and left.

We noticed that Ricardo Chavira, who plays Eva’s husband Carlos on Desperate Housewives, came to check out Babel, but didn’t bother to support his DH costar’s cinematic effort.

BAFTA + AFI + Motorola = Star-Studded Night in Hollywood
Penelope Cruz & Salma Hayek at AFI tribute
Clint Eastwood at BAFTA
Halle Berry at BAFTA
Christina Aguilera at Motorola
Robin Wright Penn & Dustin Hoffman at BAFTA
Paris Hilton at Motorola
AFI photo: Andy Fossum/Startraks Photo

Los Angeles, November 2, 2006 – We didn’t know where to go first on Thursday in Los Angeles, with events happening all over town, each packed with A-Listers, including a delicious contingent of Europeans.

First stop was the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA/LA) Britannia Awards, where lots of American twang was audible amidst the proper English accents. Sharon Stone, Dustin Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn, Forest Whitaker, Tim Robbins and handsome Cannuck Kevin Zegers mixed with Brits like Rachel Weisz, Stephen Fry and Anthony Minghella. A couple of Yanks, Clint Eastwood and Sidney Poitier, took home lifetime achievement awards. But even with such high star wattage, all eyes were on Halle Berry, stunning in a dress slit up to here.

After opening with Bobby the previous day, the American Film Institute Festival honored Spaniard Penelope Cruz on day two with a tribute and a screening of her buzz-worthy new film, Volver. Director Pedro Almodovar couldn’t be there, but Cruz’s old friend Salma Hayek came out of the Cinerama Dome to meet her when she arrived.

Meanwhile, over at the Hollywood Palladium, Motorola reminded us of the difference between listening to music on your little phone and hearing Christina Aguilera belt it live. Xtina's performance was the centerpiece of the company’s eighth anniversary party, where Nicollette Sheridan, Ivanka Trump, Jesse Metcalfe and Kylie Bax grooved. Lindsay Lohan and Robbie Williams both snuck in through a side door, and Paris Hilton kept adjusting her dress.

Long Island Royalty Entertains at Princess Grace Awards
Larry King
Christie Brinkley & daughter Alexa Ray Joel
Prince Albert of Monaco

New York, November 2, 2006 – Billy Joel’s little princess, Alexa Ray Joel, got to perform for royalty – the real, European variety – at the 2006 Princess Grace Awards gala on Thursday. Alexa was listed as a “surprise” performer, even though it had been announced the previous week. Proud and protective mom Christie Brinkley told photographers to be kind to her daughter and only publish the good shots. (Have there ever been any “bad” photos of Brinkley?) Dance legend Twyla Tharp – who collaborated with Billy Joel on the hit Broadway show Movin’ Out - received the Prince Rainier III Award for outstanding artistry. Larry King emceed again this year, and Chita Rivera, Jesse L. Martin and Anthony Michael Hall joined HSH Prince Albert of Monaco at the dinner.

Men Superfluous at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards
Tonya Lewis Lee
Sandra Bullock's husband, Jesse James, sneaks in
Sandra Bullock
Jesse James' credentials
Catherine Zeta-Jones solo

New York, October 30, 2006 – This year, Glamour magazine got so carried away at their Women of the Year Awards that men became mere afterthoughts. Catherine Zeta-Jones had hubby Michael Douglas on her arm at last year's ceremony, but dispensed with him altogether this time. Sandra Bullock’s husband, Jesse James, who slipped in to Carnegie Hall via a side door, was demoted from car-builder extraordinaire and Monster Garage star, and identified simply as “married to Sandra Bullock” in press materials given to journalists at the awards. His photo appeared above that statement.

Certainly the few males in the house – David Bowie, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Salman Rushdie – were intimidated by the accomplished females like Queen Latifah, Anjelica Huston, Rosario Dawson and Gloria Steinem, just to name a few.

One thing men don’t have to deal with is wayward dresses causing embarrassing nipple slips, like Tonya Lewis Lee's. She also left husband Spike Lee at home.

Borat Make Glorious Traffic Jam Outside Letterman Studio
Borat proudly shows off his polyester suit, left, and enthuses, center, at Letterman studio
Isla Fisher
Borat's motorcade

New York, October 30, 2006 – Sacha Baron Cohen basically closed down West 53rd Street in Manhattan when he arrived – in character as Borat, naturally - for an appearance on the David Letterman show to promote his movie, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

He arrived with a motorcade fit for Kazakhstani royalty, and got the red carpet treatment. “I am wearing a suit!”, Borat proclaimed, when asked about his outfit. Beaming, he removed his overcoat, giving us a closer look at his duds.

Cohen's entourage included Ken Davitian, who he introduced as Azamat, Borat’s sidedkick. We asked Davitian how to spell that, and he began, “A, Z… Ah, forget it!”

Isla Fisher, Cohen’s real-life fiancée, joined him at the studio, but stepped out of a separate car, with its own driver, of course.

Halloween With the Stars, Bicoastal Edition
Matt Lauer & Al Roker on Today show set
Shalom Harlow with Scarface friend & white powder at Hulaween Ball
Tisha Campbell as Tyra Banks & Co. at Klum's party
Seal & Heidi Klum in L.A.
Jeremy Piven at Heidi Klum's party
Willie Nelson crooned at Bette Midler's NYRP Hulaween Ball

October 31, 2006 – OAN covered the big Halloween bashes on both coasts, and we can’t decide which celebrity had the best costume. In New York, Al Roker’s Today show turn as Davy Jones was our favorite, until we hit Bette Midler’s Hulaween Ball that evening, where a bullet-riddled, bikini-clad Shalom Harlow toted Scarface, complete with giant plastic bag full of “cocaine”. This very original costume stunned us all, and everyone roared when Shalom’s guy dropped the bag on the floor and it broke, leaving a huge pile of white powder on the carpet right in front of the elevator at the swanky Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

Midler’s long-running Halloween bash benefits her NY Restoration Project, which funds parks and green spaces throughout New York City. The evening began with an auction run by the Queen of England – actually Joy Behar dressed as Queen Elizabeth. Yep, she saw the movie and was inspired. “I’m the auctioneer tonight. We’re gonna sell trees. Bette Midler, you know, wants to green up Manhattan, and we’re going to help her”, Behar told us.

Bette’s costume was appropriate: “I’m Goddess of the Garden; Flora, the goddess of Spring. I’m wearing a garden hose on my head”, she said. Willie Nelson insisted that he simply chose an all-black suit, and was not dressed as Johnny Cash. Martha Stewart was a black cat, and Margaret Cho was a ‘ho.

Meanwhile, Heidi Klum took her legendary Halloween bash to L.A. for the first time – because she’s too pregnant to fly! But pregnancy didn’t stop her from donning an over-the-top costume, as the biblical Adam’s apple and serpent. Hubby Seal got into the spirit, dressed as Eve, and laughed when we told him he makes an ugly woman.

And we thought their costumes took the Left Coast cake until we saw Tisha Campbell dressed as Tyra Banks, complete with big forehead, and two cohorts channeling Tyra’s America’s Next Top Model sidekicks. “Tyra’s going to kill me”, Tisha said, but it was brilliant!

Bandito Jeremy Piven kept pointing his big rifle at all the women at the party, including Paris Hilton, Alyssa Milano, Minnie Driver and Elisha Cuthbert.

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