"I don't know about you, but I'm over it," Salma Hayek told me about halfway through the grueling marathon of parties and small talk on Saturday of Golden Globes weekend. The petite Mexican star of Frida had been going at it since Thursday, along with every other nominee and Hollywood person who had something to do with the main movies of 2002.
It was at that point that the Los Angeles-based USA Today entertainment reporter, who was standing near us at the tea for the British Academy Awards at the Park Hyatt Hotel, revealed a secret: she had a tiny dog stashed in her coat. The dog poked his nose out and looked around. Hayek, taken-aback but charmed, gave the dog a little kiss — and the pooch responded in kind.
What kind of dog was it? "A chihuauha," said the reporter.
"Salma, how did you know he was Mexican?" I asked. (The semi-rodent of a canine was actually pretty cute.)
"I don't know," she said, "he just looked familiar!"
Let me tell you, that's the luckiest dog in Hollywood.
Hayek went home to recharge, but many others at the BAFTA tea — including Nicole Kidman, Brendan Fraser, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Hugh Grant, Jennifer Connelly and new husband Paul Bettany (they met on the set of A Beautiful Mind and married last month), Adrien Brody, Sam Rockwell and Sigourney Weaver — were still headed out for a big night.
Among the offerings: a mid-size, A-list gathering at the Hollywood Hills home of producer/director Irwin Winkler in honor of director Martin Scorsese and Gangs of New York. Also on tap were a HBO fete at the Chateau Marmont, a cocktail party for Chicago nominee Richard Gere at super-agent Ed Limato's house and a bloated Hollywood bacchanalia sponsored by Vanity Fair using the name of producer Mike Medavoy to attract big name advertisers.
(You want to know why Vanity Fair is so thick every month? They're very clever. By using celebrities as bait, they draw in all the big name fashion, jewelry, liquor and auto ad people and seduce them into forking over their annual budgets. You'd think the stars would have figured this out by now.)
But for most it turned out that the Winkler/Gangs fest was more than enough and, in the end, it featured the cream of the evening's offerings. There was Leonardo DiCaprio in his trademark baseball cap trading bon mots with the usually reclusive Gene Hackman in a stunning drawing room. At the same time, Gangs Best Actor nominee Daniel Day-Lewis, also not one for parties, was letting the ladies drool over him by the pool as he held forth with Penny Marshall, Carrie Fisher, Michael Caine and director Stephen Frears.
There were no advertisers being buttonholed by magazine publishers, or Graydon Carter's wing-like hair drawing attention away from the guests of honor. There was no backyard tent or publicists with headsets, but there were stars, stars, stars.
Gene Hackman, who plays such forthright guys on screen, is modest and soft-spoken. His wife, Betsy, is tiny and elegant — just lovely. Walking through Winkler's gorgeous mansion — bought with the proceeds of the first two Rocky movies, which he produced (along with all the others) — Hackman told me, "I haven't been to a party like this in 20 years." Indeed, the couple lives in New Mexico and rarely sets foot in Los Angeles.
DiCaprio, spotting him, doffed his cap. "I met you 10 years ago," he said to Gene. "I was 18!" The two men shook hands, and Leo was appropriately respectful of his elder. When someone mentioned to DiCaprio that Day-Lewis was out by the pool having a drink, he said, "You know what? I passed him jogging the other day in Westwood. I was driving by and I saw this guy, with his head down, and I thought, 'is that Daniel Day-Lewis?' I waved to him, and he kind of waved back, but he was pretty intense."
That's the DDL we've come to know and love this weekend. There have been other stories of Day-Lewis jogging like a triathlete all over the area, which accounts for his sometimes gaunt, lean look. Note to Jason Alexander from the other night: DDL isn't scary, he's just in shape. We should all be so scary.
Meantime, more stars, stars, stars — in the living room, in the dining room, on the terrace, packed in to these wide open but cozy spaces like glittering sardines: Michael Keaton with short blonde hair, Cybill Shepherd glowing and more beautiful than ever (she no longer wears sneakers with dress clothes, by the way), Robin Tunney from Cherish (who told she was amicably separated from her husband), The Hours producer Scott Rudin, Jacqueline Bissett, Gangs nominee John C. Reilly (who's also in The Hours, The Good Girl and Chicago), producer/director/actor/all-around-good-guy Sydney Pollack, New York producer and Robert DeNiro partner Jane Rosenthal, plus Alec Baldwin, Michele Lee and New York TV critic Joel Siegel, producer Bonnie Timmerman, Colleen Camp, Alan Ladd Jr., Marisa Berenson, Paramount exec Jon Goldwyn (brother of actor Tony) and, of course, Miramax's Harvey Weinstein with his gangbuster wife, Eve.
Isn't that enough for you?
If not, and if you follow this story from the New York tabloids, I also came across supermodel Heidi Klum, recently separated from her longtime husband Ric Pipino. She's been photographed holding hands with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Keidis. But that, my friends, is over. Not only was the Pepper not in attendance, but Heidi was off to dinner with friends who were not necessarily into "Californication."
However, later that evening, my gang and I spotted Keidis having dinner and partying at the famous Ivy restaurant on Robertson in Beverly Hills — just in case you need to know that important information. In other words, Klum, not seeming glum, is free again. I joked with her at the Winkler house: "You left your husband and didn't call me? I'm mad." The blonde beauty replied without missing a beat: "I did, but I think your machine was full." Oh, so that was it!