Oscar Wilde nod given to honorary Irishman
In the last couple of years, the U.S.-Irish Alliance has gotten very, very inclusive. Six years ago when the group (designed to promote the artistic flow between America and Eire) kicked off the Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film kudos, they actually honored Irish and Irish-Americans who have had success in all aspects of moviemaking.Cut to Thursday night. The evening’s big honoree at the Wilshire Ebell Theater was Paul Rudd, a self-described “Russian-Jewish boring person who grew up in Kansas.” And who showed up to present him the award? Julia Roberts (also not Irish), who giggled, “This is so crazy, really, Paul Rudd – Paul McRudd – is Jewish, not Irish!” Roberts, who whisked in just long enough to listen to Rudd’s emotional acceptance speech (seems he really believes he is Irish, despite having no bloodlines there), bonded with the actress when they did Broadway together five years ago in “Three Days of Rain.” He seemed slightly dazed that she turned up, and joked, “When you are getting something like this, it is a bad idea to get the most charismatic, beautiful movie star on the planet to introduce you. How do I follow that?” Pal J.J. Abrams, last year’s Jew-turned-honorary-Irishman, cheered Rudd on, along with emcee Donal Logue and a passel of real Irish types, including current Oscar nominee Michael Creagh (up for best short live-action film) and former winners Bill Monaghan and Richie Baneham. Irish uber-agent Hylda Queally presented an award to an absent Sarah Bolger, and Logue handed over a prize to casting directors Ros and John Hubbard. “We never moved to Hollywood, so Hollywood came to us,” said Ros Hubbard happily, as Orlando Bloom, Rhys Ifans, John Hamm, Stellan Skarsgard, Anna Friel, Peter Gallagher and Molly Ringwald applauded. Later, as the Jameson’s Whisky and Guinness stout flowed, singer Maria Doyle Kennedy warbled a few tunes while model Faye Dinsmore greeted actors Gilles Marini, Elaine Cassidy, James Frain, Samantha Mumba and Richard Schiff, who if things at the U.S.-Irish Alliance go as they have been lately, will probably be an Irishman come next season.