Brits fete Cruise, three of their own

WHAT: The 14th annual Britannia Awards on Nov. 10

WHO: Honorees Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, Mike Newell and Ronald Neame; plus Anthony Hopkins, Cate Blanchett, Shirley MacLaine, Johnny Depp, Dennis Hopper and Jon Voight

WHERE: Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills

RAISING A CUP: Depp, who presented to Newell, shared an anecdote about how his “Donnie Brasco” helmer went to a meeting with some “Italian community leaders” in New York during lensing and showed up the next morning in a unique shade of green and simply said: “I won (the drinking contest).”

Newell, who received the John Schlessinger award, remembered the late director, who was a presence on both sides of the Atlantic. “John Schlessinger had a foot in both camps,” Newell said. “A lot of us tried the same thing, but it wasn’t easy. Among problems Schlessinger faced was driving on the wrong side of the road and trying to drive and read a map at the same time. Added Newell, “A very strange place, L.A., but fortunately, like John Schlessinger, I’ve gotten used to it.”

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