James Woods Feeds Rob Lowe To Paparazzi; Puff Daddy Surfaces
The most spectacular Oscar weekend premiere event was held last night at the magnificent home of Ed Limato, the great talent agent from International Creative Management. High above Beverly Hills, A-list stars danced, schmoozed, and ate with abandon and zest — and yours truly was lucky enough to make it through the front gate.
It wasn't until the near-end of the party — at 1:30 am — that actor James Woods tossed Rob Lowe into the lion's den of awaiting fans and paparazzi who were lined up across the street from the entrance to Limato's home. Lowe had just turned his back to the crowd — trying to ignore whistles and catcalls — while wife Sheryl looked on. But Woods, who is a very spontaneous guy, suddenly came up from the crowd below, pulled on Lowe's leather jacket, and thrust the two of them across the street into the melee. Lowe at least took it in stride and laughed. The crowd went wild.
But that was the temperament last night all over Limato's grand estate as Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt partied with Laura Linney, Robert DeNiro, Elton John (in a terrific black and silver Versace suit), Roseanne, Nicolas Cage, Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson, Cameron Crowe, Russell Crowe, Marcia Gay Harden, Garry and Penny Marshall, Steve Martin, Bruce Vilanch, Winona Ryder (with blonde locks for her movie with Adam Sandler), Ellen Burstyn, Diana Ross and her entire family, Rita Wilson, Cameron Diaz, Kenny Babyface Edmonds, Julian Sands, Julia Ormond, David Selby (Limato's first client — and still with him), Calista Flockhart, Lucy Liu, Portia de Rossi, Austin Powers director Jay Roach and wife Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles, Ellen DeGeneres, Farrah Fawcett, Vince Vaughn, famed producer Robert Evans, CBS honcho Les Moonves, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee, Pulp Fiction producer Lawrence Bender, director/artist Julian Schnabel, Variety's Army Archerd with wife Selma, Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein, New Line Cinema's Bob Shaye and Michael Lynn, USA Films' Scott Greenstein, producer Al Ruddy, producers Ed Zwick and Marshall Hershkovitz, director Curtis Hansen, Gabriel Byrne, Steven Weber, Lara Flynn Boyle, Samuel L. Jackson with his wife, the amazing "100 Centre Street" actress LaTanya Richardson, Diane von Furstenberg, Barry Diller, Teri Polo, the Hollywood Reporter's venerable George Christy, Talk magazine's Caroline Graham, Kelly Preston, Famke Janssen, manager Joan Hyler, PR whiz Bobby Zarem, and Chocolat producer David Brown with wife Helen Gurley Brown.
And if all those swell types weren't enough, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, freshly acquitted and wearing a beautiful cream-colored suit, swept in and took the crowd by storm. "I am blessed to be here. I'm just enjoying myself drinking orange juice, swallowing ice," he half-joked, very modestly, asking me, "Please, no interview tonight." Instead he danced a little jig to Cheryl Lynn's old classic "To Be Real," and looked like a man relieved to be on his own again.
There were probably more names, but the crowd was so full at one point, spilling out from the estate and down the manicured lawn to a huge see-through tent, that there was no way to get the names down completely. Famous faces seemed to swim by. People who you thought knew each other but didn't were introducing themselves around. Marcia Gay Harden introduced herself to Winona Ryder, and they hugged. Laura Linney met Julia Ormond, and they hugged. Julia Roberts and Calista Flockhart hugged. Model/actress James King nearly climbed aboard Tobey Maguire during an animated conversation. Russell Crowe and Julian Schnabel parried pleasantly. Cameron Crowe reunited with Kate Hudson. Chris Robinson, of the Black Crowes, shook hands with Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, and they joked: "All we're missing is Sheryl Crow." Geoffrey Rush slow danced with wife Jane. Diana Ross and her family — daughters Tracey and Rhonda, son Evan — all danced together jubilantly. David Geffen hugged Ed Limato. And Limato, barefoot as usual, surveyed the scene. He managed to upstage Vanity Fair by two nights, and throw the biggest, most lovable gala Hollywood will see for some time.
As one producer put it, "This shows you the old one line about Hollywood — 'There's no there, there' — is wrong. It's all here. And if a bomb drops on us, tomorrow life will go on."
Already a joke's been cut from Steve Martin's opening bit. More or less it went: Michael Douglas married Catherine Zeta Jones, had a baby, and became a father and a grandfather all at once. A reference to the couple's age difference. "It will not see the light of day," said a source. Martin, by the way, will not be singing, or showing a parody film. "He wanted to just be straightforward for his first year hosting," says my source. "Nothing wild or crazy." John Travolta will introduce the clips of stars who passed away in the last year. That's stars themselves, not careers. Travolta, as we all know, did not have a very good year.