Paris got blown away. London is battened down. New York is nervous. Seattle is shut.
The millennium is going out with a whimper, not a bang.
For industryites, the last big question of the 20th century is whether to party with the hordes of revelers like it’s 1999, or hunker down at the manse like it’s 1899.
Execs are a mixed bag — many are making last-minute plans to head for the Big Apple — while celebs, more vulnerable in public, almost unanimously prefer the home option.
Denzel Washington, still in a festive mood from his recent Golden Globe nomination for “The Hurricane,” said his plans are simple and romantic: “I’m kissing the wife, taking a drink of champagne and that’s about it.”
Belying the image of showbiz folks as uncontrollable sybarites, several stars sounded downright stoic when discussing their plans to put a wrap on the century. Julianne Moore, double Golden Globe nominee for roles in “The End of the Affair” and “Magnolia,” plans a quiet New Year’s with her boyfriend and their son. “I’m not a big New Year kind of person, anyway,” she said. “I really don’t see any more significance to this New Year.”
Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins was even more unimpressed with all the Y2K millennial hoopla, and he’s “just going to sit in my house. I don’t celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving or New Year’s.” With a fine Chianti, perhaps.
More ebullient plans are underway for singer Paula Abdul, thesp Andy Garcia and Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. The trio will be on hand for the first ceremonial lighting of the storied “Hollywood” sign since the 1984 Olympics, which should be a magnet for locals and tourists. The event, touted as part of a $3.2 million citywide party is only a the warm-up act for something called “Hooray for Hollywood 2000,” which organizers are calling a “dusk-to-dawn” party at the Hollywood Castle, down the road from the Tinseltown landmark.
What started as uncertainty for some execs — one had said she was in a “definite state of maybe” about New Year’s Eve — has metamorphosed into a clear desire to escape from Los Angeles. Some praisery mavens will be frolicking in the Bahamas and Cabo San Lucas; filmmakers are trekking to the sun and fun in Palm Springs; and many transplanted Euros of all professions have jetted back across the Pond to their native lands.
Yes, even industry insiders — usually the most noncommittal — have taken the leap and made airplane, hotel, dinner and party commitments. But it’s clear that news reports of potential computer chaos and miscreants walking explosives across our borders has burst a few champagne bubbles.
Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker said he is taking his family to a restaurant in Bedford, N.Y., 25 miles away from his residence. “It will be a nice dinner,” he said. “And I hope all is nice when midnight passes. But I feel confident we will be in relative safety there.”
George S. Clinton, who composed film scores for such pics as “Austin Powers” and “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” wasn’t swayed or tempted by the variety of vices available to the music man behind a $200 million-grossing pic. It may be hard for folks out in the heartland to believe, but baby, he’s going to behave. “We have invitations to go to a lot of places,” said Clinton, “but we are just going to stay home and open a bottle of champagne, because we are getting up early the next morning to see the Rose Parade in Pasadena.”
And finally, there are the results from a CNN/USA Today poll, which finds one in five respondents saying that they are planning to be having sex at the stroke of midnight.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)