We were not invited to the star-studded New York screening of A Single Man or the afterparty at Monkey Bar last night. Somehow fictional freelancer Betsey Morgenstern wrangled her way in. Here is her report.
All the Single Men
By Betsey Morgenstern
Celebrities, fashion, and me on the red carpet. No, silly, no one wants to scream my name and take my picture while I walk down it, I was on the other side of the velvet rope with my tape recorder last night at the New York premier of A Single Man, the hotly anticipated new movie by director Tom Ford. After interviewing all the celebrities, my name was not on the list to actually get into the screening. I tried to tell them that I was definitely on the list and showed them an email that says I was, but apparently that trick doesn't work anymore. I never got to see the movie. It's about some straight guy who does it with Julianne Moore.
I did get into the afterparty at Graydon Carter's super exclusive midtown hot spot, Monkey Bar. I only had to give the doorman half of an eightball and a little bit of my dignity, but it was well worth the price of admission. Let's see who I met along the way.
A Single Man star Colin Firth is getting lots of Oscar buzz for his debut role. I asked him what it was like to star in his first movie.
"What are you talking about, I've been in lots of movies," he laughed. "But really this felt like the first movie I ever did, because the director Tom Ford did such an excellent job getting a powerful performance out of me. It was like I was back in acting school again. It's his first movie, you know."
"Don't say that just because you're trying to make yourself look better. Name one movie you've been in."
"I've been in tons. Did you see Mama Mia! or Love Actually or Nanny McPhee. Oh, wait, no one saw Nanny McPhee. My wife, Livia, still hasn't forgiven me for taking her to the premiere. But she really loves these things, don't you dear?"
"Oh yes, I do," the glowing Livia said. "I'm not really good at talking to reporters, though."
"That's funny," I replied. "You're on Glee. You guys must be talking to lots of reporters right now. Oh, and I loved when you did "Defying Gravity." That's my favorite song!"
"Colin, honey, what is this little girl talking about?"
Padma Lakshmi was looking resplendent in a gown that perfectly hid the baby bump that she has been sporting in recent months. Way to let the ruffles do all the work.
I walked up to her and asked if she and Tom Colicchio had the nursery all ready for their little bundle of joy.
"Um, Tom and I don't live together," she said very, very slowly.
"That's going to be a little awkward for the baby. How are you going to explain that mommy and daddy don't live together?"
"He's not the father, if you'll excuse..."
"Who's the father, Padma? Who is it? Is it Toby Young? Why are you cheating on Tom? Padma, come back, I have questions!"
As I was chasing after the Top Chef hostess, the step and repeat start to shake violently and make a noise like thunderclaps in a shanty town. We could hear someone moaning in a distinctly British accent. "Oh Terry. Yes. This is what I came here for. Come on. Smack my ass. Again, like you mean it."
It sounded just like that time I was on a porn set (Full disclosure, for a story I was writing about female pornstars, I once costarred in a movie for Digital Underground. It was only research. Yes, research!). We couldn't see anything other than the backdrop billowing about. After about 45 seconds, it stopped, and out crawled photographer Terry Richardson and Jimmy Choo honcho Tamara Mellon.
All the media started shouting "Terry. Tamara. What just happened?" They didn't say anything, Terry just gave us the thumbs up and Tamara just laughed. What could have been happening? Looks like it will have to remain a mystery.
"Hey, mister. I love your Andy Warhol wig."
"Thanks little lady, who are you?"
"I'm Betsey, who are you?"
"I'm Nick Rhodes."
"Oh, that's, um, great. Who do you play in the movie?"
"You don't know who I am, do you?"
"No, I'm so sorry, I don't. I usually know all the celebrities, but..."
"I was in Duran Duran."
"Is that a TV show?"
"Ack. No. What is wrong with you girl?"
"Well, thanks for talking to me Mr. Rose."
"It's Rhodes. R-H-O-D-E-S."
"OK. Sure. Whatever."
I was going to talk to Gina Gershon, but she looked at me just like this and I backed away. Even I knew better than to mess with that...
That's when I ran into Olivia Palermo with a very strapping young gentleman.
"Hey Olivia, who is this?"
"This is my boyfriend Johannes. Who are you?"
"Oh, that's such an exotic name, Johannes. Where are you from?"
"I'm from Germany. Who are you?"
"Well, you're very handsome. Why aren't you on The City with Olivia?"
"I'm a model. I model. Olivia doesn't want me in the way when she's at work. She has a very important job at Elle and I would just get in the way. She is so great at picking out accessories, she told me to wear this scarf. Do you like my scarf?"
"Oh, I love your scarf. It's so, big and...blue. I want you to use it to tie me the bed post. I don't live that far from here if you want to...."
"Um, are you you hitting on my boyfriend right in front of me?" Olivia started to yell.
"I, uh, I gotta go. Oh, look, it's Madonna. Hey, Madonna"
I followed Madonna all the way to the party, because I do not need Olivia Palermo coming after me. If you have ever watched The City, you will know how much she loves confrontation almost as much as she loves hip hop!
When we got there, her Magesty—who was at the screening all alone—sat down at a table with the director Tom Ford. I came up and asked her what she was wearing. "Ferragamo," she said and then turned back to Ford. Didn't she see I was trying to talk to her?
"Where's Jesus tonight? Did you trade up for an older model?" I asked.
She gave me this look that would have set an orphanage full of African babies on fire. "Who is this girl?" Madonna asked.
"My name's Betsey, I'm your biggest fan, and I want to know when you and Tom Ford started dating."
"Dating?" Ford said with a little giggle, in an flagrant attempt to divert me from the real gossip here. "My husband is right over there."
"What are you talking about, Madonna doesn't have a husband."
"No, you stupid girl. He's my husband. Why do you think I'm dating Madonna? Which tabloid do you work for, because they need to fire you."
"I think it's a pretty legitimate question," I said, with my pen still on my notebook.
"I'm getting security," Ford said as he got up.
I leaned over the table and whispered, "I love you," to Madonna and then ran off to the ladies' room. Ford would never go near that.
When leaving the toilet, I walked past Julianne Moore, one of the stars of the movie and Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks wife, said "No, he's really only this tall. That's why Katey can't wear heels when she goes out in public with him." Juliane thought this was hysterical and let out a huge bleat of laughter. Ellen Barkin was not amused. "I don't think Tom Cruise is short. He was quite charming when he took me to the Sociologist center."
"Don't you mean Scientology?" Rita shot back.
"Why do you have to take everything so seriously, Ellen," Julianne said. "God, have another martini and chill out."
After witnessing that little conversation, I turned around to see that Courtney Love was back together with her ex-boyfriend. You know, the one who was in that '90s band that was really popular. Oh, you know who I'm talking about. I walked up and congratulated them.
Courtney just continued to rub his belly, and it quickly became clear that she would not be speaking. She just sort of hummed and looked like she was going to fall over, but her loving man kept tugging her up by the back of her dress.
He sort of smirked blankly and I said, "Well, I'll leave you two alone. I hope you write some songs for her new album. I loved the last ones you did for her."
Then he seemed interested. "I don't think I've ever written a song for Courtney."
"Yes, you did. On Hole's second album. Didn't you cowrite a bunch of those songs."
"No. Why would you think that."
"Because you were so big in the '90s and dated Courtney and you had that huge 'Despite all my rage I'm still just a rat in a cage' song."
"That wasn't me, that was Billy Corgan, you stupid bitch."
"Well, I'm sorry. Does that mean you're not dating Courtney?"
"If I wasn't lugging around 110 pounds of stoned rocker, I would smack you in the face."
With the threat of violence from some '90s rocker, it was time to go back to the open bar for another drink. While making my way across the room, I spotted her, the holy grail of all celebrity sightings: Anna Wintour. I was about to go introduce myself, when Tom Ford came running over.
"That is Anna Wintour, do not talk to her. If you upset her, she can still ruin my career, even though I'm not in fashion anymore. I'm not letting you mess this up for me," she spat through his clenched jaw as he dragged me toward the front door.
"Wait, I didn't get my drink!" I yelled back, but I was already out front where Courtney Love was trying to light a cigarette and mumbling to herself. "Hey Courtney, wanna split a cab?"