Saturday, January 30, 2016


On the patio at the Redbury Hotel in Hollywood
.  Strange but true---since the phenomenal success of the bondage-heavy S and M saga Fifty Shades of Grey its young star Dakota Johnson has had difficulty meeting men.  For some reason, she tells me when we chat at the trendy Redbury Hotel in Hollywood, they are scared to approach her  or talk to her.  "I don't know why. You tell me," she says with a smile. 

 Then there are the other kind who think she is into the same kinky sex her character Anastasia Steele goes in for. "Some people think this is something I'm interested in in my private life which is not the case," she says firmly. "I'm an actor--I pretend. But I guess it's something that happens with a lot of actors: people think that in real life they are like the characters they play." 

  The 26-year-old, doe-eyed actress, whose latest movie is the sex comedy How To Be Single, admits: "I definitely get lonely sometimes, for sure, but luckily I have such a distraction in my job at the moment that I don't think about men very often."

   Dakota, who is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith is soon to start filming the Fifty Shades sequel, Fifty Shades Darker wiht co-star Jamie Dornan. And, she says: "It’s going to be interesting. It's kind of more of a thriller and there are new characters,which will be nice."

Sunday, January 17, 2016


 Talked football with Oxford United supporter Hugh Laurie when we met up at the W Hotel in West Hollywood.
  Oxford-born Hugh, who went to school there but attended university at Cambridge, was naturally naturally delighted with League Two Oxford United's 3-2 upset of Premier League club Swansea City in the FA Cup's third round.
  Hugh, who for eight years starred in House and will soon be seen in the mini-series The Night Manager, had faith that Oxford, who face  Blackburn in the next round, could go all the way.
  "It's such a crazy season that anything can happen," he says. "It's so unpredictable and I'm looking forward to seeing Oxford at Wembley."
 Sadly for Hugh, they lost 3-0 to Blackburn. 

Monday, January 11, 2016


Thank heavens for Ricky Gervais! Hosting the Golden Globes for the fourth time the English funnyman's often raunchy jibes livened up what was otherwise a tame and boring Globes sho
  As Ricky said: "It goes on far too long."
  He took potshots at everyone from Sean Penn to Caitlyn Jenner to Mel Gibson during the boozy, three-hour show. Of Gibson, he said: ":I'd
rather have a drink with Mel in his hotel room than with Bill Cosby." And Caitlyn Jenner, he said, had done a lot for transgender people but nothing for women drivers.
   And some of the  awards were as cringe-inducing as Ricky's jokes.
  First timer Lady Gaga as best actress in a limited series for American Horror Story, beating out  such serious and seasoned actresses as Kirsten Dunst and Felicity Huffman??
Partying with Globe winner Brie Larson
   And the Martian as best comedy with its star Matt Damon as best actor in a comedy?? Still, if The Big Short and Joy, neither or which are the slightest bit funny, qualify as comedies, then why not the Martian?
on the red carpet
on the red carpet
   The voters got it right, however, with the Globe for best actress going to Brie Larson, whom I first met at a party in Toronto in September and who turned in a stunning performance in the drama Room. Also good to see Sylvester Stallone finally getting a Globe for Creed as best supporting actor, 40 years after he missed out on one for Rocky.
  But while the show was yawn-inducing, driving many of the audience to the bar, the after-show parties were as good if not better than ever, with both Universal and Fox building lavish pavilions for their bashes while once again HBO covered the pool for their party and Warner Bros/InStyle transformed the hotel's Oasis courtyard into party central. Netflix and the Weinstein group shared their party at a specially-erected pavilion at the top of the red carpet. 
  This was one year when the parties were definitely more  fun than the show itself.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


  Partygoers are dazzled by choice this week as the build up to Sunday's Golden Globes gets into high gear. Studios, TV shows, entertainment executives and individual movies are all throwing bashes to celebrate their nominations or in some cases just to garner publicity for their next projects.
   I will be going to a dinner with the cast of Spotlight in Beverly Hills, to the party at the home of Netflix boss Ted Sarandos and possibly to Paramount's annual party at the Chateau Marmont, and on Saturday afternoon BAFTA will be playing host to most of the British nominees at the Four Seasons.   
  While most of those who will be attending the Globes show at the Beverly Hilton are looking forward  to the event, some are nervously wondering what jibes host Ricky Gervais is planning.
 He has already indicated that Donald Trump and  Mel Gibson, who will be presenting an award, will be among his targets, gleefully tweeting:"Mel Gibson is presenting an award at The Golden Globes. Thank you Jesus."
 And he said: "Trump might get a mention. He's put his head in a basket."
  It is Ricky's fourth time hosting the show and each time he has caused controversy and in some cases, anger for his jokes.He previously poked fun at Gibson, joking in 2010: "I like a drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is Mel Gibson."
 In 2011 Charlie Sheen was a target following reports he was struggling with substance abuse: "It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking. Or as Charlie calls it: breakfast."
 He was criticised for what some viewed as a homophobic attack on actress Jodie Foster when in 2012 he said "Jodie Foster's Beaver … I haven't seen it myself", referring to her film The Beaver in which she starred alongside Gibson.
 Bruce Willis was a victim when he was introduced as Ashton Kutcher's dad. Kutcher was dating Willis' ex-wife at the time, Demi Moore.
And playboy chief Hugh Hefner was not off-limits: "Talking of the walking dead, congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who is getting married at age 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris.
"When asked why she was marrying him, she said: 'He lied about his age. He told me he was 94.' Just don't look at it when you touch it."
  Anticipating more criticism and controversy, Ricky says now: "Because I can see the future, I'd like to apologise now for the things I said at next week's Golden Globes. I was drunk & didn't give a f****."


  It's always a pleasure seeing Nicole Kidman, whom I first met 21 years ago on Batman Forever. A lot of water under the bridge si...