Post-Oscar Partying

Halle, Denzel Celebrate With Elton

The big news from the post-Academy Awards ceremony last night was that both Halle Berry and Denzel Washington spent their time with Elton John. 

Indeed, Berry — who has graced the cover of InStyle Magazine — chose to spend her post-Oscar time with that magazine and Elton John at Moomba, where the downstairs VIP room was filled with A-list celebrities including Paul McCartney and Heather Mills, Sting and Trudie Styler, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, Winona Ryder (greeted by fans shouting "Gwynie"), John Goodman, Sissy Spacek, Ian McKellen, Bob Dylan, Joan Collins, Jennifer Tilly, Naomi Watts, Dominique Swain, Christina Applegate, newly minted Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes (who wrote Gosford Park), the cast of TV's Scrubs, Oscar-winning composer Hal Shore (for Lord of the Rings), plus all the top execs from Time Warner (Dick Parsons, Gerry Levin, Roger Ames), Mel Gibson, Lesley Ann Warren, former tennis star Boris Becker, Backstreet Boys Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson and their wives, Rosanna Arquette, Benicio del Toro and so on. 

And so this new reality — and this historic landmark occasion of having black best actor and actress winners after 74 years of white dominance — brings up a question for celebrity magazines everywhere: What, for example, will People magazine do? 

"I'm sure they'll feature them on the cover in some way," incoming People editor Martha Nelson told me last night. "Luckily I don't start work until April 1, so Carol Wallace will have to deal with that."

Nelson pointed out that during her reign as editor of InStyle, she featured several black actors on the cover. 

Meanwhile, Berry told me her speech was "from the heart" and that she improvised when she threw in the names of past and present black actresses she admired. But what about mentioning her lawyer, I asked? "He saved my life," she said, and said it twice. Berry was involved in a hit-and-run auto accident case last year. 

But Halle ruled at Elton's, spending time greeting other celebrities with her husband, singer Eric Benet, at her side. Benet told me that he and Berry had met back in 1992 "walking through the Beverly Center shopping mall. I remember it but she doesn't. She wasn't in any movies yet. I thought she was beautiful. But when we met again, marriage was the last thing on my mind. I knew if we hooked up we'd be kickin' it, but marriage? Never."

Meanwhile, over at Vanity Fair, the lights in one of the big rooms went out twice. Fast-food In 'N' Out Burgers were served to the guests, and there was no evidence of the evening's heavy hitters. Russell Crowe never showed, but was said to be nursing his failures at the Hotel Bel Air. 

Mel Gibson caused a small traffic jam when his limo pulled up at the Kodak Theatre following the Governor's Ball and he couldn't decide what to do with it.. 

"Braveheart had better make up his mind," announced Maggie Smith, was who right behind him. 

Paul McCartney told me he missed the video tribute to George Harrison. "I heard about it but I was backstage getting ready." 

Heather Mills, by the way, has her own evening clothes designer and does not buy or order from Paul's daughter Stella McCartney, a very acclaimed lady in the fashion world. "She doesn't make evening clothes," Paul exclaimed.

Respond to the Writer