Controversial Johnson pic looks at wealth, fame
NEW YORK — A capacity crowd filled Gotham’s Screening Room to hear about the taboo topic of inherited wealth Oct. 15.
HBO’s “Born Rich” docu was conceived five years ago before every cable network began featuring reworked versions of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”
Tyro helmer and pharmaceutical scion, Jamie Johnson, began the project as an introspective search for direction, but ended up seeing his name splashed across the New York Post’s Page Six when disgruntled friends complained about their portrayals. One even filed suit.
“Everyone comes up against hurdles, especially first-time directors,” said Johnson.
On his participation, high school pal and neighbor S.I. Newhouse IV declared, “No regrets, not in the slightest.”
Fellow subjects Cody Franchetti, Juliet Hartford, Josiah Hornblower and Ivanka Trump also attended the celebration.
“We thought we’d hate them and wound up loving them,” said HBO doc exec Sheila Nevins about the gang.
Such beneficence didn’t resonate across the venue. Post-screening, one guest whispered, “I thought ‘Kill Bill’ would be the scariest thing I saw this year — until this.”
Also in attendance: producer and Johnson’s uncle Dirk Wittenborn, Patricia Field, Fran Leibowitz, Isabella Rossellini, Trump parents Donald and Ivana, Amanda Hearst and “Less Than Zero” scribe Bret Easton Ellis.