At Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar soiree in Gotham, many guests jammed into the crowded Upper East Side celeb hangout Elaine’s were rooting for hometown heroes Martin Scorsese and Chris Rock.
Those who said they were on “The Aviator” director’s side included Chazz Palminteri, Joan Collins, Liza Minnelli, Regis Philbin (“I want all the New Yorkers to win”), Linda Fiorentino (“It would be a disaster for Italian-Americans” if Scorsese didn’t win), and Alan Cumming (“I think it’s obscene that he hasn’t won an Oscar and loads of crappy people have”).
“I’m really rooting for Chris Rock,” said Ice-T of his “New Jack City” co-star. “I don’t know, he may pull his titty out or something. Of course, I’m black, so we want Jamie Foxx to win (actor and supporting actor),” he continued, “but I wouldn’t mind if Clint Eastwood got it, ’cause I’ve been down with him forever, you dig?”
The restaurant’s owner, Elaine Kaufman, mused about her favorite nominees, such as Eastwood (“He has a great sense of humor”), and didn’t apologize for the cramped confines. “That’s a good party,” she said.
When the talk turned to politics. Marcia Gay Harden expressed her hope that Hollywood’s edge and individuality would stick it to conservatives.
“They’ve already censored Rock within an inch of his life,” she said, though she hoped he would say something scandalous. “God bless freedom of speech and a little sense of humor about the world.”
The George W. Bush jokes in Rock’s monologue brought loud cheers.
“I’m not that enthused this year” about the Oscars, admitted Richard Belzer. “There’s just more serious things in the world now.”
Others in the crowd included Joe Pantoliano, Tatum O’Neal, Tony Danza, Katie Holmes, Mena Suvari, Mariska Hargitay and pop diva Mya.
AMPAS had its own Sunday night soiree at Upper West Side restaurant Gabriel’s for those who couldn’t wing it to Hollywood.
(Ian Mohr contributed to this report.)