By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Overheard in my mind: Scientology's most married men are getting awfully sequined up these days. I mean, JOHN TRAVOLTA stars as a complete woman in Hairspray and TOM CRUISE is co-producing a sequel to The Birdcage, both of them suddenly transfixed by gay-friendly drag projects. I'm just sayin' . . . . Also rattling about my nutty noggin: I adore LILY TOMLIN, but I've always raised a waxed eyebrow whenever she's said that if only someone had asked her, she'd have gladly come out long ago. But now she admits to the Canadian mag Xtra!, "In '75, Time magazine offered me the cover if I would come out. I was more taken aback that they thought I would just do anything to get a cover, and I didn't do it."
Overheard in the pages of EW: GLENN CLOSE saying she didn't want her new TV character to be a total ballbuster because "I felt quite strongly that there's still a lot of clichés about powerful women, and The Devil Wears Prada is the epitome of that. I don't ever want to be a cliché." Dis MERYL much, dear? And didn't you play Cruella de Vil (not to mention star in Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, and so on and so on)?
As for another clichéd powerful woman, I feel it's imperative that PARIS HILTON be set free from jail againnot because she deserves it, but because Paris is only valid as a celebrity if she's a pampered princess who acts above the law, requiring us to roll our eyes while resentfully trying to slime her down to our level. If the woman's getting sympathy because she's suffering a just sentence, she's of no use to our culture and veritably ceases to exist. We need her to be bad! Besides, it's good for Paris's own portfolio to act all snotty and entitled; she's way more famous in that mode than when she's trying to do good deeds. I mean, talk much about ANGELINA lately? So let's take to the streets and free Paris! (And let's get a star on the Walk of Fame for Hitler while we're at it.)
Anyway, overheard at the premiere of Hostel Part II: Writer/director ELI ROTH asking the crowd, "Are you guys ready for some fucked-up shit?" They were, so the projectionist unspooled the glossily stomach-churning Grand Guignol S/M tale that makes Saw II look like More American Graffiti. After the movie, they cleared away the spewings, and Roth and his cast emerged to spread sunshine. "It's the next level of depravity," said Roth, who comes off like a charming egomaniac. "I wanted to step up everything." Parts of the film, he said, were intended to seem "almost like you're watching an Al Qaeda video." With even more laughs. "Where else," he gloated, "can you see a dick cut off and fed to a dog?" I genteelly refrained from screaming, "In JOHN WATERS's Desperate Living, made 30 years ago!"
But ROGER BART, who plays the guy with the dissed member, was funny, talking in a high-pitched voice about how he's so looking forward to his career as a castrato. Still ballsy, Roth then admitted he'd be hanging upside down and covered with blood if he didn't give the Hostel fans every drop of the gore they expected. And just when you felt a little icky about that, co-star HEATHER MATARAZZO chimed in with the most damning, career-threatening comment of all: "Eli's one of the sweetest, nurturing individuals there is." I ain't touching that one!
For the next level of depravity, FALL OUT BOY rocker (and ASHLEE SIMPSON's boyfriend) PETE WENTZ had a birthday bash at Angels & Kings after doing a concert at Jones Beach last week. What did he do in between? Well, on the phone two days later, Wentz told me, "I jumped into the ocean, which was not a good idea. I always forget about saltwater. I took a big gulp of it. And there was a dead cat floating in there earlier that day." Was he by any chance responsible for that particular scenario? "No," Wentz replied, emphatically. "I'm not into ritual mutilation." Only of himself, right? "Exactly!" he admitted.
Fortunately, for every dead animal, there's a new celebrity clothing line, and in fact Wentz has one: Clandestine Industries Clothing, which he says was launched pretty accidentally last year. "Artistic people consider me business-savvy," he said, "but to anyone with real knowledge, I'm not. I know that more money needs to be coming in than going out, but I have no idea even what a carton of milk costs. I thought it would be eight or nine dollars." No, dear, that's a pack of cancer sticks.
"I come up with a million ideas a day," Wentz went on, "and about one is all right. The lamest idea ever was a circular tape measure that comes out of the toilet bowl so frat guys can measure their shit." I guess he realized that frat boys can just go in there with a slide rule.
Other horrible admissions? "I've been in jail overnight for trespassing as a skateboarder," he said. "But I never served hard time. I wouldn't do well in prison. I'm little. People would definitely pass me around." Like a pack of cancer sticks. Or Paris Hilton. Are his privates petite as well, or do they need a gastric bypass? "I don't like to talk about my equipment," Wentz shot back. "It's already been all over the Internet." With that I hung up and went online, only to find he doesn't need amplification or augmenting at all. Any dog would be thrilled.
Overheard at the Tony Awards? I have no idea, since this year I watched from the peacefulness of my gay living room. My chronological thoughts: ANNE HECHE is with a woman! TAYE and IDINA are still together! The two featured-actor winners are a scenery designer's worst enemy: They chew it nonstop. ANTHONY CHISHOLM was robbed. So was KEVIN SPACEYin that cruise park. Why are so many Broadway starswho perform live for a livingsuddenly lip-synching? MARY LOUISE WILSON's speech is as adorable as JENNIFER EHLE's is gratingly Romper Roomlike. ("I want to thank Tom and Jack and Amy . . .") That Ugly Betty kid is the gayest thing since Ethel Merman. "Let's hear no more nonsense about the state of the American theater," crows the best-director winnerof a British play! An American, The Little Dog Laughed's star JULIE WHITE, turns in a sensationally funny speech that convinces me she's a campy gay male (which I already knew from seeing the play). Yet another Viva Laughlin commercial? Couldn't CBS get other people to advertise? Miss Celie is suddenly dressed by Dior. "If you didn't see it, you missed something special," says BEN VEREEN aboutUSHER's performance in Chicago. Well, a lot of people didn't see itbecause Usher canceled out.
At the gala after-party, Julie White stayed in character, telling me she got my book in the nominees' luncheon's gift bag, "but we were hoping for a phone or a mattress." Well, at least she got a Tony. Did her play's author, DOUGLAS CARTER BEANE, write her zippy acceptance speech, by any chance? "No," she said, smirking. "Maybe you should start wondering if I wrote his play!"
By a different buffet, I asked genius TOMMY TUNE how he got assigned the celebrity-death segment. "I was so honored," he said. "It means I must be gaining gravitas. Usually they want me to throw my legs over my head." I am touching that one. firstname.lastname@example.org