A not terribly sober Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones has filmed his cameo as Johnny Depp’s swashbuckling dad in "Pirates of the Caribbean 3," which is shooting somewhere in Southern California in a place called Palmdale.
Last night at Premiere magazine’s decidedly swellegant Women in Hollywood Icon awards gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel, we heard a good story about Richards from gifted Brit actor Bill Nighy (you know him from playing a Richards like rock star in “Love Actually”).
Nighy wasn’t on set when Richards came for his big Hollywood moment, but he more or less confirmed for us a tale we’d heard earlier.
Richards, no stranger to substances and liquids, was left to his own devices in his trailer before his big scene. That wasn’t a good idea. When the time came to shoot, he was a bit “wobbly.” To keep him straight, director Gore Verbinski held Richards by the shins.
“You’ve got to keep straight,” Verbinski told him.
“If you’d wanted straight, then you got the wrong man,” Richards replied huskily.
Richards’ pirate costume, sources say, closely resembles Depp’s, with a different colored bandana. The two had such a good time together that Depp kept a souvenir from Richards’ short visit: a set of stairs built for Richards to get in and out of his trailer, which he signed to Depp with the salutation, “A step too far.”
Nighy, who doesn’t know when "Pirates" will wrap, came to the Premiere dinner as a special guest of Dame Judi Dench, who presented Premiere’s main award last night to “Notes on a Scandal” co-star Cate Blanchett.
They were just two of the A-list actresses in the room, with Sally Field, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sofia Coppola, Robin Tunney, Rachel Griffiths, Evan Rachel Wood, Anjelica Huston, Rhona Mitra and Joy Bryant among the beauties scattered around the room.
“Godfather” and “Rocky” actress Talia Shire came with her son, actor Jason Schwartzman, to cheer on Coppola, her niece, along with Sofia’s brother Roman.
And there were a few top actors there as well, with Warren Beatty accompanying Icon award-winner Annette Bening, Philip Seymour Hoffman there to cheer on Blanchett (more on this below) and Edward Norton at the podium to toast Wood, with whom he costarred in the little seen “Down in the Valley.”
“I didn’t know till I got here I was the only Y-chromosome presenter,” Norton told the crowd. “But I think Dorothy Parker once said, 'Scratch an actor and you’ll find an actress,' so maybe it doesn’t matter.”
And I was happy to run into one of my favorite Hollywood classics, Variety’s Army Archerd with his beautiful wife, Selma. Army at 80 is ever courant: He writes a must-read blog on Variety’s Web site.
There were some pretty good headlines from the Premiere dinner, including news from Paltrow. “I’m going back to work!” she told me. “I’m reading scripts and looking for movies.”
Paltrow and husband Chris Martin of Coldplay fame are still living in London, but they’ve bought a house in the Hamptons.
Paltrow’s revival includes cameos in two films this fall: “Infamous” and “Running With Scissors.” In the former, she opens the film very surprisingly as a jazz singer in a nightclub. It’s her singing, and she carries it off beautifully.
And you may wonder how her son got his name, Moses. Forget about daughter, Apple. At 2, she’s already in preschool, Gwyneth said, and having a ball.
“Moses was my father’s Hebrew name,” Paltrow told me. “And we just liked it.”
Little Moses has all kinds of nicknames, including the cherished appellation “Moishe.” Mazel Tov!
The Icon awards remains a cozy, you-shoulda-been-there kind of night, the sort of thing you hear about from the “old days” — lots of stars, all relaxed and kicking back.
Many of the acceptance speeches reflected that, starting with Bening’s very funny non sequitur recounting of reading Doris Lessing’s “The Golden Notebook.”
Bening was the first of many actors who took the podium and gave Dench much praise.
“[In school] I would go to the library and listen to tapes of you doing ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,’” Bening said to the British superstar. Later Norton told the audience: “I used to check out tapes of Dame Judi as Lady Macbeth.”
All of this was well and good, but Dame Judi had to come to Los Angeles in the middle of a New York vacation to present an award to Blanchett.
She looked stunning, but she told me that her last appearance in this column got her into some trouble with her agent and execs at FOX Searchlight.
I reported, with some humor, that she would be unavailable to promote “Notes on a Scandal” because was doing a play in Stratford-upon-Avon this December.
“You got me into such trouble!” she said.
Well, for the record, Dame Judi looks — from the clip we saw last night — to be a frontrunner for Best Actress whether she does PR or not. She’s in a tough field this year, with Helen Mirren (“The Queen”), Penelope Cruz (“Volver”), Renee Zellweger (“Mrs. Potter”) and Meryl Streep (“The Devil Wears Prada”) as heavy competitors.
But something tells me that “Notes on a Scandal” is the sleeper film of the season. We shall see.
Meantime, we’ll give the last word to Blanchett, who was a knockout in an Armani gown (someone else asked, but I jotted it down).
And yes, Hoffman is directing a play written by Cate’s husband, Andrew Upton, in Sydney next fall. That’s the connection.
I doubt if anyone else made the other connection in the BHH ballroom last night: Cate was sucker punched for the Oscar in 1999 by Paltrow, when the former was “Elizabeth” and the latter upset her with “Shakespeare in Love.” There should be plenty of rematches in the future for these two.
Blanchett told us, looking at the all the big names in the audience: “I feel like I meandered, or stumbled, into this room.”
Then, so not Hollywood, as she pointed out, Blanchett saluted her longtime agent, the beautiful Hylda Queally.
In a week when Jim Carrey abandoned his own longtime reps, it was a touchingly naïve gesture.
“I’ll be with you till the day I die,” Cate said. And you know what? I think she meant it. Nice.