Good Morning with Gwyneth

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I don’t stay up for late night TV. Ever. But the stories frequently show up in my feeds the next day.

This “Toddlerography” clip with James Corden and Gwyneth Paltrow put a smile on my face this morning. Hope it does the same for you.

Is Poor the New Rich?

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From Hillary Clinton proclaiming that “the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top” and saying that she wants to be “that champion” for “every day Americans” to Gwyneth Paltrow’s pledge to eat on $29 for the week, per the #FoodBankNYCChallenge in response to what America’s SNAP (food stamp) families have to live on, it seems that East Enders are embracing the art of frugality.

I’m curious. Will these acts of the privileged class, such as those of the newest Presidential contender and of the Goop luxe lifestyle website founder, draw positive attention and impact to the plight of poverty? Or will they backfire badly? What do you think?

Gwyneth Paltrow and Howard Stern

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Much has been made of Gwyneth’s chat with Howard Stern on his Sirius XM show on Wednesday. Look, I get the whole idea of search engine optimization (thus all the web headlines about oral sex) and I also understand that not everyone on the planet has to love our gal, but I’m pretty put off by all this ridiculousness.

So let’s get the silliness out of the way first. Yes, the Oscar-wining actor talked about blow jobs with the King of All Media. It is Howard Stern after all. The portion of the interview that has gotten the most attention came around minute 59 of the hour-and-five-minute broadcast. It was in response to advice that Gwyneth gave her friend, talk show host Chelsea Handler, about staving off fights in a romantic relationship. The gist of which was, in Gwyneth’s words, “Be a girl. Show him that he’s a man” by energetically giving oral pleasure.

She also made a joke about how a man’s confidence could be measured by the amount of such. “It depends on how many blow jobs you give them,” she laughed to Howard when he mused that it’s got to be hard on a man’s ego when he’s dating such an accomplished woman.

Lastly, on the matter, Gwyneth said she turned down the part of Roller Girl in “Boogie Nights” because of sensitivity to her family.
“I can’t be totally naked and giving a BJ on screen, it would kill my grandfather,” she said.

Was it kind of shocking to hear this regal gal talking about this particular subject? Sure. A little. Was it also scintillating to talk about sex, especially when it comes to famous and beautiful people? You betcha. But there’s so much more to the interview. Howard did a great job in reining himself in, except for when he talked about masturbating while thinking about Blythe Danner. Again, he is Howard after all. But, as a matter of fact, the entire talk brought to light that Gwyneth is not only a real person, she’s pretty cool. Having briefly been in the same room a few times, I have always had good feelings about her, and this interview made me like her more. I really don’t get the haters.

The point of Paltrow’s visit to The Howard Stern Show was to promote her new film, “Mortdecai,” in which she co-stars with Johnny Depp. They did eventually get around to that, in the last 15 minutes or so. Based on what she said about the comedy, I will now go see this film It sounds fun.

Briefly, here’s what else Gwyneth and Howard talked about:

* Blythe Danner, who sometimes has trouble remembering lines, taping hers to the inner thigh of a fellow actor to whom she was examining while playing a gynecologist on a television show. I laughed out loud when I heard that one. Good stuff.

* She never thought about the attention and extreme scrutiny that would be paid to naming her daughter Apple (actually Chris Martin came up with the name) or in using the term “conscious uncoupling” for her amicable separation from her husband. “Just get me to shut the fuck up,” she laughed about indirectly creating the media firestorms.

* Robert Downey Jr. – brilliant, complicated, funny, warm. “I love being with him,” Gwyneth said. She also noted that he, Sean Penn, Johhny Depp, and Daniel Day Lewis are “the highest level” of artists. Depp is brilliant, an icon and so cool. “I am not cool enough” for him, she said.

* Cameron Diaz, “Jay” (as Gwyneth calls him) and Beyonce are her best famous friends. BUT most of her friends, including her best friend, are not in the limelight and are long-term friends.

* Steven Spielberg is her godfather. He also cast her in “Hook.”

* “When Harry Met Sally” is her favorite film. She was so star-struck by Meg Ryan when they worked together in “Flesh and Bone” that she had to pull it together to not act nerdy. Cute.

* She turned down “Titanic,” which Howard brought up. Gwyneth said that her mom says it’s unladylike to talk about roles she’s turned down.

* On past loves: Brad Pitt is “so gorgeous and sweet” and “too good for her.” Ben Affleck is “super intelligent, really talented and funny.” Chris Martin wrote “Fix You” about “trying to put me back together after my dad died.” He, by the way, is “a really, really good dad,” she says.

* As for Howard, she admitted that she started listening to him in the eighth grade and was afraid to come on his show. But now that she’s done it, she’d like to come back and do it again.

I could go on and on with more interesting stuff from the interview but why don’t you listen for yourself. Here’s the link:

Hamptons Party Girl is Being Read in Over 100 Countries

Hamptons Party Girl is Being Read in Over 100 Countries

The end of May marks my 1-year anniversary of starting Hamptons Party Girl and I’m happy to report that this blog has readers in 106 countries and counting. Yes, that map is a correct picture of the readership location statistics. Pretty cool.
HPG is being read everywhere from here (no surprise that the U.S. UK and Canada are the top-reading countries) to places like Bosnia, Ghana, Nicaragua, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Ethiopia. Cheers to being able to spread a little joy to places I would’ve never imagined possible while sitting here in front of my computer in Sag Harbor.
When I started writing the blog, I hoped to entertain a couple hundred people here in the Hamptons with my musings on our culture. My very first post was on Eric Fischl’s book “Bad Boy.” It was read by 40 people in the first 24 hours and I was beyond thrilled to have that many readers find what I had to say. Since, I’ve published 219 additional posts. The most popular so far has been “Cops Caught Sexing it up in East Hampton Cottage,” which received over 5,600 hits in a 24-hour span. I was pretty excited about my sleuthiness in posting a wildly popular bit that had a slightly harder news angle than is typical on this site. Until I realized about 2 seconds later that most of those page views probably came from people looking for porn. Ha. Whatever the case, my readership has grown steadily (several thousand hits this past Saturday, Sunday and Monday alone) and I’ll take the page views however people find me.
The most-read celebrity scoop I’ve posted here has been about Alexander Skarsgard, who has appeared in posts such as “Mere Mortal or Nordic Sex God?” and “Alexander Skarsgard just got hotter by signing up to help wounded American soldiers.” I’ve never really been into blondes but I can see why this very, very handsome man is a heartthrob of international scale. Other bold-face names who have garnered high stats here are: Bill O’Reilly, Stevie Nicks, Sofia Vergara, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow. On the news front, another big read was “Hundreds Show Up for Cull Protest in East Hampton.”
Most of my posts are on the lighter side. It’s always been my goal to write things that uplift and celebrate–Lord knows there are enough snarky gossip blogs–and I’m happy that readers seem to embrace my good-news philosophy. Thanks to you all for your readership and continued support. I feel beyond fortunate. Cheers to another great year!

Stop Hating on Gwyneth

Stop Hating on Gwyneth

Okay, so everyone in the free world has heard about Gwyneth Paltrow’s and Chris Martin’s split and has a snarky thing or two to say about “conscious uncoupling.” Well, here’s what I have to say to all the haters: take a look in the mirror, and grow a little compassion while you’re at it.
Look, I know that Gwyneth can be polarizing. She rubs many the wrong way with Goop, and apparently just because of her mere existence. I don’t get it.
The attacks are almost always about her lifestyle, wealth, diet and appearance. Now people are actually gleeful because the woman’s marriage broke up? And they are calling her parenting into question? That’s freaking heartless.
Why is a crime to be successful? And what’s so terrible about eating right and taking care of your body and mind? Or trying to ensure the least possible damage to your children’s psyches during what is guaranteed to be an emotionally damaging time?
I’ve read the much reviled release and it seems to me to be coming from a place of care and compassion. So why all the schadenfreude? The bottom line is that divorce sucks, but I applaud this uncoupling couple for trying to do the right thing for the sake of their children.
Those who think that Gwyneth is smug have a right to their opinions, but isn’t is just as smug (and cruel) to assume this stuff when you haven’t actually met her? Isn’t it ugly and heartless to revel in someone else’s misery? And why? Think about what it is that so rubs you the wrong way: she’s too privileged, too rich, too thin, too Zen?
Why do you care? How does her happiness or unhappiness affect your life? Does the success of others make you feel like a failure? Do their failures make you feel good about yourself? Time to ponder …
I’ve been in Gwyneth’s presence exactly twice–once a million and two years ago in the city (before her macrobiotic days, in the Brad era) and again this past summer at Authors Night at the East Hampton Library. You know what? She was pleasant and accessible both times. And let me tell you something else; she used to be tall and lanky but basically had an okay body back in the day; now she’s in amazing shape! She’s doing something right alright. And her children are well behaved, regular little kids who seem to be healthy and happy. That’s them in the picture, taken by my friend Lisa Tamburini (thanks for the photo Lisa!) at Author’s Night 2013.
Sure, money and success can help ease a blow but they can’t eradicate one’s ability to feel pain. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of mean-spirited spitefulness, let’s instead practice some kindness and compassion to one another. Happy Thursday.
*Lisa Tamburini photo.

Happy Birthday Jay McInerney!

Happy Birthday Jay McInerney!

What a funny coincidence, I was JUST talking about the Water Mill-based writer a couple of days ago. I had bumped into a friend at the bank and he mentioned that he had enjoyed my Authors Night post re: Jay’s and Christina Oxenberg’s “feud” with Gwyneth Paltrow. We talked about McInerney’s creative efforts–I really enjoyed his latest wine book but I’d LOVE to read some new fiction by him–and his various philanthropic endeavors before parting ways, both thinking about days of yore.
Cheers to you Jay, hope your day is filled to the brim with good tidings.
*Photo by me at the Artists & Writers game a couple of years ago

Golden Globes: Hamptons Party West

Golden Globes: Hamptons Party West

I was keeping track of all our Hamptonites and Hamptons-related celebrities last night at the Golden Globes and boy oh boy did we ever represent!
Here’s the list of nominees and winners, with a few East End tidbits where I know them to be. More info is available from my Twitter account at @hamptonsprtygal.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine–Filmed on the East End, specifically Quogue and East Quogue and based on the life and crimes of Montauk’s Bernie Madoff.
Lupita N’yongo, 12 Years a Slave–Was screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival, hereafter referred to as “HIFF,” this year.
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County–Screened at HIFF.
June Squibb, Nebraska–Screened at HIFF.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Jacqueline Bisset, Dancing on the Edge
Janet McTeer, White Queen
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Monica Potter, Parenthood
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family–Had lunch at Grand Prix Day at the Hampton Classic. I was right there and she really enjoyed that fried chicken! Frequent Hamptons visitor.

BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Behind the Candelabra
American Horror Story: Coven
Dancing on the Edge
Top of the Lake
White Queen

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
The Good Wife
House Of Cards–Not a Hamptons sighting but Kevin Spacey did use to date one of my coworkers at the Institute for International Research and would pop in every once in a while.
Masters Of Sex

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan–Hamptons resident. Seriously considered buying the house of a friend of mine.
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards–see above
James Spader, The Blacklist

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Alex Ebert, All Is Lost–not quite a Hamptons reference but Diddy, who lives in East Hampton, gave him an on-stage shoutout.
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years A Slave–HIFF

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Atlas, Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Let It Go, Frozen
Please Mr Kennedy, Inside Llewyn Davis–screened at HIFF
Sweeter Than Fiction, One Chance

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
Josh Charles, The Good Wife–has played in the annual Artists & Writers softball game. Skinny legs.
Rob Lowe, Behind the Candelabra
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Corey Stoll, House of Cards

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County–screened at HIFF

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Winner: Robin Wright, House Of Cards
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife–haven’t met her but have interviewed/photographed frequent Good Wife costars Nathan Lane and Alan Cumming. Met Chris Noth a long time ago back in the city. Hubba hubba!
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is The New Black
Kerry Washington, Scandal–Went to fancy Spence with Gwyneth Paltrow and a journalism friend of mine.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle–frequent Hamptons visitor
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave–HIFF screener

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Her–HIFF screener
Nebraska–HIFF screener, Bruce Dern and Will Forte came out and gave an awesome talk at Bay Street Theatre.
Philomena
12 Years A Slave–HIFF
American Hustle

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Winner: The Great Beaty
Blue is the Warmest Color–HIFF
The Hunt
The Past
The Wind Rises

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Winner: Frozen
The Croods
Despicable Me 2

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: 12 Years A Slave–Again, HIFF.
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine–see above. Also, how could we not mention her co-star Alec Baldwin!
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Winner: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips–I was supposed to interview his wife, Rita Wilson, to preview her engagement at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center but the timing never worked out. Sigh. But I DID interview his old Bosom Buddies co-star, Peter Scolari, for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed.
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: American Hustle
Her–HIFF
Inside Lleywn Davis–HIFF
Nebraska–HIFF
The Wolf Of Wall Street–set here in the Hamptons, though not really something to brag about.

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska–HIFF
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis–HIFF
Joaquin Phoenix, Her–HIFF

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Winner: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave–HIFF
Alexander Payne, Nebraska–HIFF
David O. Russell, American Hustle

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Big Bang Theory
Girls–Adam Driver was one of HIFF’s Breakthrough Stars in 2013. Good guy. Not a weirdo as one might believe. See also my note on Peter Scolari.
Modern Family–note on Sofia Vergara above. Her boyfriend is good friends with a big-time luxury builder out here. I remember him telling me about how she stayed in his house the first time and how he almost had a heart attack when she emerged from the pool in her swimsuit. She IS pretty va-va-va-voom, though MUCH smaller than you’d expect.
Parks & Recreation

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie–Hamptons resident. I frequently see her shopping in Bridgehampton.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Winner: Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Michael J. Fox, The Michael J. Fox Show–lives in Quogue
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor–I interviewed her at HIFF this summer for Burton and Taylor. Absolutely LOVELY and super funny!
Rebecca Ferguson, White Queen
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Winner: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Al Pacino, Phil Spector

Let us not forget that this year’s Miss Golden Globes, Sosie Bacon, whose parents Kevin and Kyra are East Enders.
Water Mill’s Matt Lauer, who hosted the pre-show.
Presenter Jessica Chastain was a HIFF breakthrough performer.
Ben Affleck’s “Argo” was a big HIFF hit last year.
Diane Keaton’s “Something’s Gotta Give” house is right out here on Dune Road in Southampton.
Chris Martin, who got a shoutout from Bono, was supporting his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, at this year’s Authors Night for the East Hampton Library.
Presenter Naomi Watts lives here with her husband, Liev Schrieber.
I’m sure I’m missing stuff but I’m tired and sleep deprived.
Looking forward to awards show season!
* Helena Bonham Carter–who was MIA at the Globes–photo taken by me before our interview at this year’s HIFF.