Very social weekend — for me, anyway, a booknerd introvert who can pass as otherwise for limited periods of time, and although I enjoy that phenomenon known as Other People, it does exhaust me — and so today passed in a flattened and recovering state of mind. In order to get any writing done I had to sit myself down at the back of a local Borders with a scary-huge thing of coffee and my coconut chocolate meltaway bar (served warm). I am impressed with their selection of baked goods. I must write there often.
On Saturday E and I were invited to a party co-hosted by producer Lawrence Bender (Kill Bill, among others) and a famous actress who has aged out of her role as America’s Sweetheart and is still carving out her new professional identity. Her last two projects, both ‘edgy’, didn’t do very well — although I rather liked them, and I like her when she’s not being sweet or cute*; she’s actually quite talented. I remember seeing her at the premiere for An Inconvenient Truth and thinking she looked really great, in a natural, tousled, sensual, fit forty-ish kind of way, but it appears since then she’s had some kind of face-lift. Maybe the facelift has yet to fully ‘take’ — the way breast implants need time to soften — the pagan gods of all things Hollywood only know how these things work — but I was disappointed. Also, I have to wonder: couldn’t it work to your advantage as an actress to let yourself show at least some signs of age? Not every female character in a movie is a hot young thing (or a middle-aged woman doing her damndest to be one).
I had a nice chat with Kristin Gore, who has a novel out, and told her how much I liked one of those lines she gave her father (about his ‘feud’ with Lindsay Lohan: “She knows what she did”). “He delivers them really well,” she said. “He’s kind of a natural.” She used to write for television (Futurama) and our conversation was continually interrupted by industry types coming up to greet her. Talked to Bender and learned that he used to dance ballet and named his son after Barishnikov (although the baby’s mother pointed out that the name has been corrupted somewhat by a certain actress from the OC. Ah well). I expected somebody aloof, but he was this very charming, attractive guy, even if he couldn’t remember my name. “I’m terrible with names.” But he used to have the same Barishnikov poster I did growing up, so he was forgiven.
Sunday night E and I dropped by our friend Randall’s house in the hills; Randall (pseudonym) is a dot.com guy turned film producer, and some very interesting and/or famous people come into his orbit. I got into conversation with a man I knew only from magazines, not an actor but a very private individual thrust into a not-very-flattering limelight when a relationship he had with an actress took a dramatic turn. This was not the first time I found myself forced to reconsider and redefine my idea of a person: the media construction dismantled by the real person behind it, who has his own things to say about that media construction, especially when it goes up against the media construction of someone else. We didn’t dwell on that topic for very long — he was patient and gracious with my curiosity on the matter — but mostly talked politics. And a little bit of movies and screenwriting. But mostly politics.
E and I left Randall’s house after only a couple of hours, knowing we’d have to get up in the morning to deal with work and small children. Sources informed us how the night turned ‘epic’, people seeing it into the morning hours. There was even a walking naked dude.
*Not into sweethearts. Give me dry acerbic wit. Or femme fatales. Or damaged in an intelligent and interesting way. Or some combination thereof. Supernatural powers a bonus.