Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston put to rest any idea that they're splitting up last night. They showed up together for the premiere of "Troy," walked the red carpet and did the customary public relations needed for a $200 million blockbuster.
Of course, once the movie was over and the party moved to Cipriani, the story changed a little bit. Brad accepted kudos from the many, many talent agents and other sycophants on hand, including no end of women who were wowed by his unique physique, which is on display in "Troy" at crucial moments.
Brad's publicist made sure he didn't get to do any one-on-one interviews, including at one point telling me to move so more important people could have audiences with him. (One of these people was actress Catherine Keener, so I didn't mind.)
Aniston, on the other hand, was a doll, just as you might imagine. When I told her I'd missed the last two minutes of the "Friends" finale, she started to joke with me.
"Oh, well, you missed some really big stuff," she said. A friend of hers chimed in: "Yes, Jennifer and Lisa Kudrow became lesbian lovers and ran off together."
"That's right!" echoed Jennifer.
She's looking forward to taking some time off and finding more movies like "The Good Girl," she said. But she is genuinely sorry the show is over, more so than I would have thought.
Then Brad's publicist, with a look of horror on her face that Jennifer was actually speaking to a member of the press unguarded, sent in some lieutenants and whisked her away. Oh my!
There were some other familiar faces floating around Cipriani, including members of the "Troy" cast such as Eric Bana, who steals the movie from Brad and then some — as well as Sean Bean, Brian Cox and Brendan Gleeson.
The actresses who give ancient Greece some much-needed relief were also there: Saffron Burrows, Diane Kruger and Rose Byrne. I also spotted U2's Bono, Will Smith, Gina Gershon, Javier Bardem and new Tony nominee Anne Heche from "Twentieth Century," a sure winner when those awards are handed out next month.
Of course, my favorite member of the "Troy" troupe was Peter O'Toole, who plays Priam, father of Bana's Hector and Orlando Bloom's Paris.
If anyone gets an Oscar nomination from "Troy," it will be O'Toole, who manages to make magic in a conversation scene with Pitt that well, let's put it this way, makes Brad comes alive intellectually for the first time in the very long movie.
Was it fun making the movie? "When we worked," O'Toole said. "But we spent some time in Baja California, and what are you supposed to do for fun there, I ask you? Nothing."
What did he do? "I wrote," he said.
O'Toole — 71 years old, and the winner this year of an honorary Oscar — is hard at work on a third volume of memoirs. When will it be done? I asked.
"You should know never to ask a writer that," he said.
O'Toole, by the way, told me that he was in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, staying as he used to at the Chelsea Hotel.
"But the whole thing made me so sad I can't go back there," he said. "So I've moved uptown."
And finally, what about "Troy"? Will it be a hit?
The answer is: probably. It's long, two-and-a-half hours or more. It is not a great movie, but it is a spectacle, with lots of battle scenes and good special effects. Director Wolfgang Peterson doesn't give it much a point of view, though, and his endless obsession with photographing Pitt's body as a soft-core object gets kind of weird.
Pitt, in fact, becomes a kind of negative factor as the movie plods along, with Bana's Hector taking over as the heart and soul of the film. But women are the key factor in selling movie tickets, and the women I spoke to last night didn't seem to mind that Brad is no Sir Laurence Olivier. No, sir. Not at all.
I did get to thinking about all the Sturm und Drang that brought Pitt to "Troy" in the first place. You may recall that Warner Bros. pulled him off Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain," which was just about to begin filming, so he could star as Achilles.
This set off a chain reaction for shuffling a bunch of other Warner films that were being set up, including "Superman and Batman," which didn't get made, and the forcing out of a Warner exec.
Was it all worth it? Well, if "Troy" isn't a hit, all Warner has to do is wait two weeks for a sure thing — the new "Harry Potter" movie.
There was a lot of talk Friday night about David Duchovny's directorial debut, "House of D," including what a good eye the former Agent Mulder has and what a nice job he did on the film.
But there was also talk about the little girl who managed to get noticed in all her scenes. She's Zelda Williams, daughter of Robin Williams and wife Marsha Garces Williams. (She's the spitting image of her mom, in fact.)
Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich were just two of the celebs in the audience at the Tribeca Film Festival screening, as well as Duchovny's wife, Téa Leoni, and his mom.
Even more surprising: an appearance by Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana. Chris and Robin are friends from their school days at Juilliard, so Reeve made sure to show up and show his support.
"House of D" doesn't come out until October, but it's the first Tribeca movie bought by a distributor — Lions Gate — before its premiere screening.
The "House of D" in question refers to the old Women's House of Detention, a prison that was right here in the middle of Greenwich Village, on 6th Avenue and West 9th St. It was knocked down in the late 1960s, but before that it was common for the female prisoners to conduct conversations with people on the sidewalk, often at loud volumes.
In the movie, singer Erykah Badu plays such a woman, who forms a friendship with a 13-year-old boy modeled loosely on Duchovny, who grew up in the East Village.
The prison site, by the way, is now a lovely garden open to the public, with a beautiful fence supplied by Brooke Astor.
After the screening, festival folks happily congregated at Nobu, the best Japanese restaurant in the world, at a party thrown by Showtime for its excellent Mario Van Peebles film "Baadasssss!" which opens in theatres on May 28, and two cable films: "Cavedweller" (with Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick) and "Bereft" (starring Tim Daly).
All the stars of those films were on hand. Maybe there were celebs, too. Who knows? The food was so unusually good that no one cared. Now, that's a party!