MAYBE IT pays NOT to win the Oscar. Mickey Rourke didn’t grab the gold at this year’s Academy Awards, but he was surely the comeback kid, star of “The Wrestler” and he generated enough clout to make a fuss over future salaries. And to win those fusses. Mickey initially rejected an offer to appear in the sequel to “The Iron Man,” the movie that served as a comeback vehicle for Robert Downey Jr. Rourke turned up his often broken and surgically altered nose when they said they’d pay $250,000 for him to play a character named “Whiplash.” But the producers really wanted Mickey and they came back with something more cognizant of his revitalized status as a big deal on the bigscreen. So now Downey is to reprise his role as the Iron Man, Sam Rockwell and Samuel L. Jackson are also on board. Rourke had to strike while the, uh, Iron, is hot!
I AM going to miss the dynamic and magical actor Ron Silver who died over the weekend from esophageal cancer. Happily, I saw him recently and he was looking good, so I felt relieved. He had greeted me, as usual, with “How is my darling co-star?” Ron was making “Garbo Talks” when he had occasion to look over my shoulder at a movie cocktail party where I was playing an extra. He never forgot this. And neither did I. It was a wonderful thing to be his friend. I can never forget his performance as the attorney Alan Dershowitz in “Reversal of Fortune.” What a killer of a nice guy!
I went to lunch at the hotspot Michaels on West 55th Street last week. And it didn’t hurt that I was with the sexy, talented superstar and down-to-earth human being, Frank Langella. Frank looks divine these days. He has an appealing humanness combined with his acting gravitas. Not for nothing was he Oscar-nominated for his astonishing portrayal of the 37th president in “Frost/Nixon.” (It’s not too late for you to catch this wonderful movie which has actual suspense and is a masterpiece of writing, plotting and character.) Personally, I think Langella should have won the Oscar and although Sean Penn is always great and I am very pro-gay rights, I was the rare person who didn’t find “Milk” such a terrific movie. It was far too documentary-like and fragmented for my tastes. I know, I am in the minority.) Many people came by at Michaels to say hello to Frank and Liz, as I ate my French fries and roast chicken while Frank maintained his Spartan healthy diet. It was nice — a regular “old homeweek” feeling in Manhattan.Mr. Langella, was tan and handsome from four weeks in L.A. We discussed lovers past, husbands and wives we have each had, who is gay and who isn’t and who cares? Frank corrected my grammar from “us” to “we” and I loved it. We wondered together why Hugh Jackman sat down on Frank’s lap in the front row at the Oscars instead of choosing Brad Pitt’s lap? And we did deep analysis of persons we both know and love. (We were careful only to talk about the high and mighty , covering such as Barbara Walters, Mayor Bloomberg and Diana Atwood, the late Brooke Astor, Sid and Mercedes Bass and like that — all rich, social and/or famous and we spoke highly of them in a lowly way.) We attempted to find the answer as to why human beings are so interested in the sex lives of celebrities? We couldn’t. I left my great actor movie star friend Frank reluctantly because he is so special at brilliant fun conversation. But here’s a nugget! He will be writing his memoirs as well as making another major motion picture soon. I could not ferret out the name or idea behind this super project or even a further hint about it. Listen, I’m good, but not that good.
ANNE HATHAWAY, Marisa Berenson, Claire Danes, Cornelia Guest, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tory Burch, Lynn Wyatt, Carolina Herrera, Diane Von Furstenberg, Annette de la Renta will converge on the Museum of Modern Art. There they plan to attend the premiere of ‘Valentino: The Last Emperor.” This is not about the silent screen star, Rudolph, rather it chronicles the not-so-mute designer of fantastic frocks — Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani. He goes by the first name. Valentino, his partner Giancarlo Giammetti and Matt Tyrnauer (director of the documentary) are hosting the event. Valentino has dressed every truly great star you can think of. And Miley Cyrus. After the screening, a dinner happens at the revitalized Oak Room in the Plaza Hotel. Be there or be J.C. Penney.