The only reason to attend last night's premiere of the new Showtime series "The Tudors" at the W Hotel was because word on the street was that Jonathan Rhys-Meyers was going to be there. Seriously, never has creepiness and beauty so closely aligned in one human being. Those eyes: pale dreadful spotlights. Those nostrils, lupine and flared. Those lips, churlishly curled and plump. But he never showed up.
Outside the hotel, Showtime had arranged for down-on-their-luck thespians to be dolled up in vaguely historical costumes. Their clothing ranged from American colonial to Elizabethan, completely avoiding the mid-16th century when the whole Henry VIII thing took place. Also, though I'll check Wikipedia, I'm pretty sure they didn't have Segways back then. Ah crap. They did!
Upstairs was Bobby Zarem, the last of the old school PR guys. He was deep in conversation with one of the extras who, at this point, had come in from the cold and was roaming the room in doublet and pantaloons. Well into his 70s, Zarem, is a short, balding voluble man, at once gruff and endearing. We chatted a bit about nothing (his favorite movie is Singing in the Rain). I asked him about the whole Roman v. Lewis thing, since he is the king of Elaine's. Zarem said a bunch of shit off the record. But the best quote concerns neither the pedophile nor the libeler. Sort of:
Mia Farrow is a filthy lying dirty cunt. She said Michael Caine introduced her to Woody but it was me. But she says it was Michael just because it sounds more glamorous. But fuck that. We were all at Elaine's and she had come twice to meet Allen. The first time he wasn't there but he was the second time and I introduced them. I even told Page Six she was a lying cunt. And still, I was invited to her book party.
Elsewhere in the room, Nick Denton was talking to Nerve CEO Rufus Griscom about threesomes.
DENTON: How many threesomes have you had?
RUFUS: I don't think any. What's a definition of a threesome?
DENTON: Jesus Christ, how many times has Nerve mentioned threesomes and you've never had one?
JOSH: Hey Nick, how many threesomes have you had?
Thankfully then we all got herded into the theater. The series is rigged along 15 minute cycles. The first three minutes are taken up with horribly hackneyed dialogue. The second four minutes are uninterrupted closeups of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers handsome, handsome face. Then you have two minutes of papal perfidy, a minute of generalized violence and the remainder taken up with sex of J.R-M. effing the ess out of some lady. Hottt. We had the pleasure of sitting in front of a row of This American Life girls who chortled at the first and fourth sections of this cycle.
By the halfway point, our Guinness was warm and our curiosity about Henry the 8 (as they call him) was exhausted. So we dozed off in our chairs, to dream of threesomes, Bobby Zarem and codpieces.