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Hugh Jackman Salutes His Dad at Australia Premiere
Catherine Martin & Baz Luhrmann Hugh Jackman & Nicole Kidman Naomi Watts
Baz Luhrmann & Catherine Martin
Hugh Jackman & Nicole Kidman
Kidman's pal Naomi Watts
Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban Rupert Murdoch & Wendi Deng Valentino
Nicole Kidman and her other leading man, Keith Urban
Wendi Deng & Rupert Murdoch

New York, November 24, 2008 – New York City was practically an Australian colony this week, thanks to Monday’s premiere of Australia.  The Aussies involved in the movie were all beaming with pride – about star Hugh Jackman being named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive!   Director Baz Luhrmann said, “He’s like a John Wayne or an Eastwood; he’s so centered.  And he might be the sexiest man alive.” 

Jackman himself joked about it, saying that he hadn’t mentioned the “Sexiest Man” title to his dad, who had accompanied him to New York for the premiere, and it was nerve-wracking seeing the magazine cover all over the airport.  “My father didn't say anything and I'm thinking, this is really uncomfortable,” Jackman told reporters on the red carpet.  “It's a little weird! So literally, I haven't even mentioned it,” he added. 

But Jackman further embarrassed his dad – in a nice way – when he introduced the movie, by telling this story: “About eight years ago, I was to sing at Carnegie Hall, and my father flew to New York.  It was three days from door to door; he had less than 24 hours in New York.  And he asked, ‘What shall I wear,’ and I said, ‘I think it’s suits, don’t worry about a tie.’  So he came to pick me up, and he had a full black-tie on.  The full thing.  I said, ‘Dad, I’m sure it’s not black tie.  Plus, the only people wearing black tie are the choir, and you’re the only one.’  And he said, ‘My son is singing at Carnegie Hall.  It’s black tie for me!’” 

Then Hugh had his father stand up, and thanked him for making the trip again.  “I just want to say Dad I’m so thrilled you’re here.  I love you and I’m thrilled you made it.  Thank you for coming,” he added, to wild applause. 

Emma Thompson & Ang Lee Reunite at Last Chance Harvey Screening
Dustin Hoffman Ang Lee & Emma Thompson
Dustin Hoffman
Ang Lee joins Emma Thompson at the Cinema Society-Piaget screening of Last Chance Harvey

New York, November 19, 2008 – London is as much a character in Last Chance Harvey as are stars Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.   “We were lucky, we had a really beautiful autumn,” Thompson said at a screening hosted by the Cinema Society and Piaget.  Going home to her daughter at night was an added bonus of shooting in her hometown, Thompson whispered – she was losing her voice.  Director Joel Hopkins is conflicted – the Brit moved back to London to make this movie after living for twelve years in New York.  At the screening in freezing cold Manhattan were fashion designer Marc Jacobs and his boyfriend Lorenzo Martone, Ivana Trump, Lisa Kudrow and Brittany Snow.  Later, at the dinner at the Hudson Hotel, Thompson’s Sense and Sensiblity director Ang Lee popped in unannounced, and the two Oscar-winners grabbed seats and gabbed for ages.  

John Mayer Hasn't Bought a New Car in Five Years
John Mayer Alicia Keys Justin Timberlake
John Mayer
Alicia Keys
Justin Timberlake
Queen Latifah Elijah Wood & Pamela Racine Chris Daughtry & Simon Fuller
Queen Latifah
Pamela Racine & Elijah Wood
Chris Daughtry & Simon Fuller

New York, November 13, 2008 - John Mayer thinks it’s in poor taste to flaunt his rock star millions while people are losing jobs all over.  “There are certain things I don’t think I would do right now because it’s not a time to celebrate the country in terms of the economy,” Mayer said before his performance at Keep a Child Alive’s Black Ball on November 13.  “I don’t think that I’d be racing up and down the street in a Ferrari right now,” he said. “Even if I had a Ferrari, I don’t think I’d take it out,” he added.

In fact, it apparently is not his fancy cars that have attracted Mayer’s string of high-profile girlfriends.   “I think the best form of recycling is buying used cars, so I haven’t bought a new car in like five years,” he told us.  “I’m into Land Rovers, like old, used Defenders.”  Not only that, Mayer works on them himself!  “I watch my hands, but I’m sort of figuring out how to do all that stuff,” he says.  (Maybe that explains the butch haircut?)

But Mayer is not economizing too much – he has three 1990s-era Defender models.  Alas, he would not tell us how many of the off-road utility vehicles are up on blocks in his front yard.

On the Scene: MoMI Salutes Ben Stiller
Anne Meara Christine Taylor & Ben Stiller Amy Adams
Proud mom Anne Meara
Christine Taylor & Ben Stiller
Amy Adams
Bill Hader Amy Ryan Joyce Randolph
Bill Hader
Amy Ryan
Joyce Randolph

New York, November 12, 2008 – “I gave him no pearls of wisdom.  He grew up and is fine despite me,” Anne Meara told us at the Museum of the Moving Image tribute to her son, Ben Stiller.   Dad Jerry Stiller put aside the jokes for the evening.  “I’m just so proud of everything he does,” papa said.  And Ben does do it all, but the writer/actor/producer/director said that directing is his first love.  “That was what I always wanted to do since I was a kid.” Stiller told us.

Night at the Museum 2 star Amy Adams said that though Stiller is serious on the set, his funny side can be distracting.  “We had some amazing comedians on set, and to see Ben and Bill Hader do their impersonation of our director definitely made it hard for me to focus,” she said, laughing at the memory. 

The speeches during the tribute were less complimentary, but all in good fun.  “Ben Stiller.  The name conjures up so many images.  Director.  Actor.  Writer.  Jew. Simian.  And of course, midget,” said Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.  And Stiller’s Meet the Parents co-star Robert De Niro gave this heartfelt salute: “Ben, it’s no exaggeration to say that you’re the greatest comic actor of our time.  Now let me just say for those of you who remember my saying the same thing at tributes for Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks and Jim Carrey; this time I really mean it.”

Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton Among Glamour Women of the Year Honorees
Condoleeza Rice Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman America Ferrera & Hillary Clinton
Condoleezza Rice
Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman share a private moment
America Ferrera & Hillary Clinton
Taylor Swift Tyra Banks Fergie & Sarah Michelle Gellar
Taylor Swift
Tyra Banks
Fergie & Sarah Michelle Gellar

New York, November 10, 2008 – Folks at Glamour's Women of the Year Awards were clearly thrilled that Barack Obama won the presidential race.  Glamour EIC Cindi Lieve said that she considers the awards gala to be the most electric evening of the year, but that Tuesday’s election came pretty close!  Honoree Hillary Clinton said, “We had an incredible event last Tuesday with the election of our new to-be president Barack Obama, and it offers so much hope.” 

We wondered what fellow honoree Condoleezza Rice, a Republican, was thinking.  But the U.S. Secretary of State was gracious, and told the crowd that she loves America because nothing is ever impossible here.  “We overcome old wounds, as we did on Tuesday, to elect the first African American president of the United States. And for a little girl from Birmingham, that’s a special thing,” Rice said. 

Fergie opened up the ceremony with a performance, and later, Mary Steenburgen surprised her old friend Hillary Clinton – and all of us in the audience – by bringing out American Idol winner David Cook to sing.  Clinton quipped that the Idol alum garnered more votes than she did. 

Nicole Kidman, Tyra Banks, Dr. Jane Goodall and artist Kara Walker were among those receiving awards.  Presenters were a noteworthy bunch that included Salman Rushdie, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Natalie Portman and America Ferrera

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