On the unseasonably warm Saturday night just past, the Meatpacking District was engorged with the usual screeching banshees and washed up frat boys. But, since it was the Tribeca Film Festival and since the film the Nobel Son had premiered earlier in the day, the film's stars Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson and Alan Rickman were awkwardly chatting in the corner of Tenjune. Outside the venue, the small red carpet and backdrop adorned with various sponsors (tonight: Maxim, Altoids, and CKIN2U) that are endemic to these kinds of things had been strung up and the Grand Guignol had begun. A very paternal looking Bill Pullman answered questions from Fox's Shira Lazar. PR personnel commanded the many big and tall bouncers to guard the Velvet Ropes like the Masada; meanwhile, schlubby co-producers and their trophy wives entered the basement club. We sent Joshua David Stein and the Ansel Adams of peoplescape Nikola Tamindzic to report.
Having had a long standing pedicure appointment, we missed the two o'clock premiere, but the trailer told some story of intrigue and Alan Rickman-on-gamine sex, so we'll blindly commend the movie. Also to be recommended is talking to a drunk Alan Rickman. Apropos of nothing but purely genius; Life is just a series of uniforms, isn't it?
Me: What's your favorite uniform?
Alan Rickman: "When it's appropriate, I do love school uniforms. Lovely."
Nearby Mary Steenburgen, who plays a forensic psychologist in the movie, relaxed with her husband Ted Danson, who is in the movie somehow. The thing about Mary Steenburgen is she somehow embodies all the sexual longing I felt as a suburban teenager for my friends' moms.
"I really enjoyed making this movie," said Mary Steenburgen. Oh okay.
Without a doubt, the most engaging personality we met wasn't a star in the conventional sense of the word. Lying in wait by the men's room, Paul Gianquinto would ensnare passersby in conversation. Though the name might not ring any bells, Paul Gianquinto is, by his estimation, a star. He is, after all, an executive producer at MTV, a confidante of Uma Thurman and the man to go to for all your anti-Elton John gossip. "That man is a bitch. He was at that gay Black party last week at Roseland. He rolled up through the back door with thirty guys. Didn't pay. What a fucking diva."
It was all pretty heady and awesome until it got weird. "Come on, Pete," we implored, "what shows have you produced?"
"I don't like to boast," he said.
"It's not boasting, it's asking," we said. And then he said this, "Look, you wanna know who I am? I was involved in the biggest case in the last decade." "O.J.?" we asked. "Naw," he said, "look it up." So we did. And guess what? Peter Gianquinto is both full of shit and not full of shit.
First of all, his animus for Elton John made a whole lot more sense when Google turned up this nugget:
In 1999, Gianquinto was charged with fraud in Manhattan after he tried to pose as Elton John's manager in order to get tickets to a $750-per-plate dinner at the Four SeasonsSo it's safe to assume that although Elton John is definitely a backdoor man, he probably pays for it. So that's reassuring. As for the "biggest case in the last decade" bit, he wasn't lying. Besides being a con man and Rolling Stones impersonator, Gianquinto was charged as being an accomplice in the DC Sniper case. And so the real question that went unasked due to the vagaries of the space-time continuum and the linearity of knowledge, is why was Gianquinto at the party? And that's a question no one, not even a Nobel prize winner could ever answer.