After a couple of hours of watching the stunning European car chases, gunfights and self-directed abdominal surgery in UA’s “Ronin,” 800 guests drove over from the Academy’s theater in Hollywood to Chasen’s for the post-premiere party Sept. 23.
However, missing the fiesta was star Robert De Niro, who was at the theater for the pre-screening press interviews but then stayed for only 20 minutes before catching a jet back to NYC.
This still left a crowd that included Andy Garcia, Faye Dunaway, Jacqueline Bisset, Gary Sinise, Pam Grier and studio execs Frank Mancuso, Lindsay Doran and Michael Nathanson, who circled a remarkably lavish buffet that centered around a 6-foot-tall Eiffel Tower ice sculpture.
Among those noshing was Gabriel Byrne, who praised director John Frankenheimer as the man “who in a way invented the action picture” — a strong endorsement for the director who said he was “thinking of ‘The Third Man’ ” when he made “Ronin.”
Regarding the car chases — the scenes that got the most buzz from the crowd and which many compared to “Bullitt” –Frankenheimer says, “I didn’t think of anybody who’s done it before. After all, almost everything has been done before. I just wanted to do it well.”
Adding a European touch to the affair was co-star Jean Reno, who talked about his role and said he “just wanted to be with Robert De Niro with discretion.”
What exactly “discretion” means in this case remains a mystery as the Frenchman was soon out the door.