If there were an Oscar for most exotic premiere after-party locale, this year’s front-runner would be the Silverlake nunnery/mansion used by Paramount for Wednesday’s Chinese Theater preem of “Sleepy Hollow.”
Now called the Paramour, the 22-room Mediterranean villa was once the residence of silent film star Antonio Moreno. In 1929, the four-acre, hilltop property was deeded to charity as “a home for girls.” In 1954, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception converted the estate into a convent.
The site’s religious past elicited the line: “Didn’t they use this for the ‘Song of Bernadette’ premiere?” from one publicist/wag. Producer Adam Schroeder viewed the scene and said: “I can see we’ve got a lot of graduates from the wayward girls school here tonight.”
With designer Jeffrey Best adding film-themed decor, including a headless horseman delicately trodding a graveyard; a white-wigged harpsichordist in the former chapel; 19th century garbed, bustier-enhanced waitresses; and Marilyn Manson as a guest, one partygoer described the overall ambiance as “Hearst Castle meets Bela Lugosi.”
Another description was “if Crispin Glover and David Lynch shared a bachelor pad, this is what it would look like.” Taylor Negron said it was the first party he’d attended “where the dress code could be ‘head optional.’ ”
Among the heads at the preem were Par’s Sherry Lansing, Jonathan Dolgen, Rob Friedman and John Goldwyn; Mandalay’s Peter Guber, Adam Platnick and Paul Schaeffer; director Tim Burton with Lisa Marie; stars Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci and Casper Van Dien; plus 800 guests including Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Paul Reubens, Rose McGowan, Michael Tolkin and Barbara Steele.