Now that "X-Men 3: The Last Stand" has zoomed into the record books (biggest Memorial Day weekend ever, etc.), I can tell you star Halle Berry’s shocking secret as she related it to me.
“I’m in a relationship 12-step program,” she told me last week at the movie’s post-Cannes late-night party at a nightclub in the Hotel 314.
This outrageously beautiful woman has been through two publicly bad marriages (ballplayer David Justice, R&B singer Eric Benet), countless boyfriends including a recent short stint with nice-guy actor Michael Ealy and she’s currently involved with a male model, of all things, named Gabriel Aubry, who was in People’s Most Beautiful whatevers recently and is definitely a little younger.
Doesn’t he spend a lot of time in the bathroom, gazing into the mirror, applying all those potions we find in gift bags, I wondered?
“Not really. He doesn’t do anything to look that way,” Halle said. Rats!
Is this one a keeper? “I don’t know, we’ll see,” she said. “We hope so!” She laughed. Halle Berry has a really nice laugh, dear readers.
She can work on those 12 steps all summer, because she has a break until her next film starts in September.
She came to Cannes — her first time ever at a red carpet premiere, she told me -- with her longtime agent and friend, the legendary Toni Howard, and another friend, her stylist.
Wherever they went in Cannes, there was a crush. At the “X-Men” premiere, with many principals, Halle was the one every paparazzi wanted. At the press conference, the great preponderance of questions was directed toward her in many languages.
At all these events, she played down the star attraction, and fit well into the heavy-hitting ensemble cast of Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen, Ben Foster, Rebecca Romijn and director Brett Ratner.
Even with an Oscar for “Monster’s Ball,” Berry is still looking for more substantial movie roles. She just finished “Perfect Stranger,” with Bruce Willis. But her next one could return her to Oscar status: an indie film called “Things We Lost in the Fire,” co-starring Benicio del Toro and directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier.
She will always make a lot of money — between Revlon, which loves her, and future “X-Men” projects — she’s set for life.
If you’re interested, she does want children. There has been some talk of adoption, but she told me she’d like to have them the old-fashioned way. Her clock is ticking. Believe it or not, she will turn the big 4-0 in August. Trust me, we did not discuss this subject. Why would we? She looks 30 easily, and has that easy grace and style of an old-time Hollywood star.
Maybe it’s because she doesn’t go out and party. When the after-thing was over, Ratner headed up to the Hotel du Cap, where he fell asleep on a sofa around 6 a.m. as others continued to nosh and gossip (he doesn’t drink). Stewart, McKellen and a few other “X-Men” headed to the temporary beachfront digs of London’s Century Club.
And Halle? “Honey, I’m going home,” she said, “I’m exhausted.”
Yes, they do call it beauty sleep when it involves true beauties.
Sources tell me that Michael Jackson’s weekend trip to Japan was not all about publicity and quick self-gratification for a dimmed star with no fans.
Jackson toured orphanages perhaps with a reason: I’m told he’s looking for more kids to add to his current collection of three.
He may be hedging his bets since his first wife, Debbie Rowe, wants hers back from him and is gaining ground in the courts.
Why Japanese authorities would let Jackson leave their country with children would be a good question. He doesn’t really have enough money to pay off officials there; the trip is underwritten by a promoter.
And certainly adoption laws are stringent enough in Japan that there would be some kind of background check. You’d think standing trial for child molestation would be an impediment to adoption, wouldn’t you?
Jackson is all about timing. He told London newspapers last week that he was in their city because he wanted to live there. None of those reports mentioned the real reason, as we did: he was giving a day-long deposition for the imminent Marc Schaffel lawsuit.
Since Jackson will not appear in person for the suit, his video deposition will be used as testimony, and should make for a hot ticket in court.
And so the 2006 Cannes Film Festival is over. It was my first trip to this no-sleep, 10-day event in four years.
Yes, it was glamorous, but for the press, it’s hard, hard work. And much of it has to be performed in a tuxedo! Not only that, but if you show up (I didn’t do this) without a bowtie, but a regular long necktie, sacre bleu, the cinema police — there is such a thing — make you take it off and purchase a clip on!
And that, my friends, says all you need to know about France.
The press office is run by an amiable woman named Christine Aime, who deals with thousands of journalists and has no idea who we are.
I was lucky to get a “pink pass” from her, which helped get me into some screenings. But the bulk of the backstage machinations takes place while negotiating with publicists for premiere tickets. It’s like being in a foreign greenmarket at lunch time, and trying to get the last roasted chicken. Everyone, you know, is very hungry!
So thanks to everyone who helped, among them: Jeff Hill of the International House of Publicity, who looked nervous when I was seated among the Hollywood Foreign Press (one of them wouldn’t sit next to me — a new buffet was being set up), Gary Springer, Chopard’s exceptional Stephanie Labeille, everyone at The Dart Group, MPRM of Los Angeles, the gangs at Sony (and Sony Pictures Classics), FOX (and Fox Searchlight), Weinstein Company and Paramount Vantage.
And special mention goes to Dreamworks’ Terry Press, who pulled off the single best event of the festival with her “Dreamgirls” party and footage screening. When that movie gets 12 Oscar nominations, people are going to reference back to that event. Brava!
Please send prayers and good wishes to CBS News’ fine foreign journalist Kimberly Dozier, who — according to reports — could lose her leg after a bombing in Iraq over the weekend (Dozier, according to reports, also had shrapnel removed from her head).
Our condolences to the families of her brave camera and sound men, James Brolan and Paul Douglas, who were killed instantly.
Foreign correspondents in front of and behind the cameras don’t get the respect they used to from the public or the broadcast networks, especially when they’re fighting for airtime with the likes of Paris Hilton and friends. But like our soldiers, they are true heroes.