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Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 4:00 AM NY Daily News  Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column

Shakespeare in undying love

Why has it taken this long for someone to make a film called "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead"?  "It is a sweet love story between vampires and Shakespeareans set in present-day New York," says turbaned party fixture and jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia (a favorite of director Wes Anderson), who appears in the film.  He told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the Elise Overland fashion show: "Jake Hoffman and Devon Aoki are also in it. Jake is almost a vampire slayer - he is Dustin Hoffman's son, and he looks a lot like his dad. He has a lot of that energy."  The pic by writer-director Jordan Galland (tag line: "Don't let your ex-girlfriend suck the life out of you!") is due at the end of the year. 

Jan. 29, 2008  NY Daily News  Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column

Paul Morrissey makes return to film

The last survivors of Andy Warhol's Factory are getting together again, in director Paul Morrissey's first fiction film in almost 20 years. The untitled movie had its genesis when publicist Kelly Cutrone, who was married to Warhol's late assistant Ronnie Cutrone, discovered a male model in Mexico. Morrissey, after meeting the model through photographer Bruce Weber, cast him as the reincarnation of Jesus. The film also stars Warhol regulars Geraldine Smith and Viva. Smith, star of Warhol's "Bad," told Webster Hall's Baird Jones, "I play a lesbian who is married to this girl for a green card. I have a broken leg, and I am on crutches because I had an accident. I am obsessed with these three-legged dogs, and I become crazy hysterical." Or, as another insider puts it: "I don't think there is a plot. But in a Paul Morrissey movie, is there ever?"

January 17, 2008 – NY Post Page Six column  


DICK Cavett doesn't have much sympathy for today's coddled late-night talk-show hosts, who need teams of writers to be funny. At Julian Schnabel's show at the Sperone Westwater Gallery, Cavett told Webster Hall's Baird Jones, "Back in the day, we had real men who could do five 90-minute shows a week. I realized the other day that no one has done that in a very long time. It was like getting hit by one wave and getting up on your knees and then getting hit by another, which knocks you down. At one point, a car picked me up in Central Park, and I saw there were leaves and I asked the driver, 'Are these new leaves or old leaves, did I miss the summer?' It was the strangest sensation . . . That can't be good for you." While Johnny Carson enjoyed three-day weekends, Cavett taped two 90-minute shows back-to-back on Thursday. "That would kill an ordinary man," he said. "The last 15 minutes of the second show, I would notice the guests' lips had stopped moving, and I would have no idea what they had said. I would just try to start myself somewhere. Or I would say, 'That's a good point.' "

January 10th 2008 NY Daily News Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column

Now that's art to die for

How would you like to have Ross Bleckner hanging on your wall - literally?  The artist was at the opening of Julian Schnabel's "Navigation Drawings" at the Sperone Westwater Gallery Monday night. He told Webster Hall's Baird Jones: "When I die, I want my ashes to be mixed into paint and have my friends use that paint in their work. I will be given to my friends like Julian Schnabel, Eric Fischl, Brice Marden, Cy Twombly, Lucian Freud and Tom Sachs."  Not Robert Rauschenberg, ventured Mr. Jones?  "Rauschenberg - oh, no!"  Legendary art dealer Mary Boone, who was in the room along with Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Charlie Rose, Ben Gazzara, Peter Brandt and Stephanie Seymour, Alexandra Kerry, David Salle and Jeff Koons, thinks there might be quite a market for Bleckner's remains.  "Oh, absolutely," she said. "Of course it is sellable!"

Toronto Sun  Jan. 1, 2008   Entertainment Other column

Room service, could I have a woman?

Moby supposedly had a failure to accurately communicate his desire for ventilation in his hotel room when he was in Kiev, Ukraine.  "The hotel had no air conditioning," the musician told Webster Hall nightclub's curator Baird Jones, the New York Daily News's Rush & Molloy reported.  "At 4 a.m., I called the front desk and asked if they could send up a fan. The bellhop disappeared and came back and said, 'There are no fans.' "  Moby apparently tried to explain that he wanted a fan by acting out his wishes, but he was met with the response: "There are no women in the lobby."

 December 24th 2007 NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column

 Moby, who stopped by the Village Pourhouse, still marvels at the hotel room service he got in Kiev the last time he played there. "The hotel had no air conditioning," he tells Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "At 4 a.m., I called the front desk and asked if they could send up a fan. The bellhop disappeared and came back and said, ‘There are no fans.'" Despite moving his arms in a cooling propeller motion, the techno master was told apologetically, "There are no women in the lobby."

 November 3, 2007  NY Post  Page Six


THERE are fans, and then there are fans. Techno maestro Moby told Webster Hall's Baird Jones about the time he was in Kiev after performing: "It was very hot in the hotel and they had no air-conditioning. At 4 in the morning, I called the front desk and asked if they could send up a fan. The guy put me on hold, and came back, and said, 'There are no fans.' We had this long confused conversation and finally he said he was sorry, but there are no women in the lobby. He thought I meant a groupie. Eventually I was able to explain to him that I meant a plastic thing that spun in the air . . . So he was able to finally send up an actual plastic fan."

November 3, 2007  NY Post  Page Six

Blind to Flesh

WILLEM Dafoe was oblivious to the female anatomy as a young man. "My first job as a teenager was as a binder of Penthouse and Hustler magazines," Dafoe told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at a recent party at the Costume National store. "It sounds exciting, but actually it was just a typical Midwestern factory job. Everything just went by in a constant flow of magazine pages. I did not look at the pictures, not even one. It could just as easily have been National Geographic and Popular Mechanics. There was nothing erotic to it at all."

Dec. 3, 2007, NY Daily News  Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column

Dancing for dollars

Who would need a bribe to take a supermodel to a dance? Let's ask Iman! "When I had my prom, my father had to pay my own cousin to take me to it," the Somalian stunner said at the Safe Horizons Benefit Wednesday night. "He had to pay him a lot of money, at least a couple of hundred dollars. No one wanted to take me out," Mrs. David Bowie told Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "I was an ugly duckling compared to the other girls. The other girls were fatter than me. They like them round in my country!"

November 25th 2007 , NY Daily News  Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column

Deadly serious presidential debate
Next October's presidential candidate debate in Hempstead, L.I., will be the first in the state for 48 years. And let's hope nobody dies this time! Broadcasting legend Joe Franklin was recording his talk show in the studio next to Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy when they squared off in 1960. "I had a man drop dead on my program once," he told Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "I think I said I was so old I went back to when the Dead Sea was only sick. It was a bad joke. I thought [the guest] was laughing; he started to snort and then he fell on the floor. "Nixon and Kennedy came racing in and tried to revive him. It was at the Channel 7 building. They tried to revive the man from the floor, but he was gone." So who seemed more concerned, the Democrat or the Republican? "Nixon and Kennedy could not have cared less about the heart attack," Franklin shrugged. "They were so used to it."

Nov. 19, 2007  Phil Daily News  Tattle column

How to marry a 'Medium'

Last week Thomas Jane told Tattle's Baird Jones at the premiere party for "The Mist" at NYC's Rosa Mexicano how he popped the question to wife Patricia Arquette.  "My marriage proposal was very simple," he said. "I cut myself into a Charlie Chaplin film and rented out a silent movie theater in Los Angeles and invited my wife to be on a date to go see a silent film.  " . . . When we walked in, the theater was dark and you could not see that it was empty. Then I had the projectionist and the owner laughing and trying to make it sound like there were people there.  "About 20 minutes into it, I cut myself into the film with cards. Chaplin swallowed a whistle and in the movie there was a host of a party who gathered everyone around a piano to sing a song with cards. Then they cut to me with cards and each card said, 'Will' 'You' 'Marry' 'Me' 'Patricia.' I had dressed myself up like a waiter and Patricia (Arquette) was sitting there thinking to herself, 'Who is this waiter?'  " . . . Finally it dawned on her what was going on. She shouted 'Yes' at the screen, over and over. Then we had the projectionist run it again just for fun. I kept a copy."

Nov. 14, 2007  NY Post  Page Six column


PAUL Sevigny is worried about his sister Chloe Sevigny's love life, and he blames it all on her L.A.-based HBO show, "Big Love." "Chloe goes out with a wonderful man, Matt McAuley. I introduced them seven years ago," Sevigny told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the Members Only party at the Bowery Hotel. " 'Big Love' is not helping. It's a lot of sacrifice. She gets maybe one day off in the week and she can't come home for just one day, that's ridiculous. They work her extremely hard. But Matt has a job, too, and can't go see her, so he is stuck in New York. It's a big problem."

November 3, 2007  NY Post  Page Six

KERRY Washington won't forget her encounter with a gorilla while filming "The Last King of Scotland" in Uganda. At the Movado Future Legends Gala at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Washington, a graduate of the posh Spence school, told Webster Hall's Baird Jones, "I got way too close to a female gorilla, who started toward me. If you run, they run after you. So I did my best gorilla imitation: chewing leaves, head scratch, kneeling. I remembered watching animal behavior on TV and zoo trips." It worked. "I would not be having this interview now if that gorilla had attacked me."

Oct. 28, 2007  NY Post  Page Six

Jamaica Jaunt

WHIT Stillman, who delved into the world of privileged preppies and debutantes in "Metropolitan" (1990), is going in a different direction for his next movie. "I'm doing a film set in Jamaica in the early '60s about the gospel church and the music scene from pre-reggae days, including ska," Whitman told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the party for "Grace Is Gone" at Osteria Del Circo. British producer Jeremy Thomas ("The Last Emperor") is backing Stillman, who hasn't directed a movie in eight years. "It's an all-black cast. I'm thinking of Danny Glover and J.J. Walker for parts," he said.

October 24th 2007 NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column

Deepak Chopra shares archive of vintage presidential jokes

Stop Deepak Chopra if you've heard this one!  The physician and spiritualist showed a remarkable knowledge of the history of presidential jokes on Monday night. Most of the gags he told our correspondent were probably making Grover Cleveland groan.  First there was the one about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney going out to lunch, with Bush asking the waitress for "a quickie."  "The Vice President says, 'It's [pronounced] quiche, George. It's quiche!'" Chopra quipped.  Then there was a dirty one about Bush meeting Bill Clinton and his former intern in hell. We can't really go into it, but the punch line is the Devil saying, "Okay, move over Monica!"  After three more similar gags at the Iconoclasts party thrown by Grey Goose, the Sundance Channel and Condé Nast, Chopra assumed a serious tone.  "Here is one which is not a joke. This happened three days ago with the Dalai Lama," he told Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "It was an embarrassing moment [when] George looked at the Dalai Lama and said, 'Toga, toga!'"  While that might not actually be true, at least it's not an old joke. It was born during Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" monologue last Thursday.

Oct. 22, 2007  NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column

Sometimes husbands should not listen to their wives. The other night at his new Sky360 Lounge on W. 57th. St., Rande Gerber recalled how his, Cindy Crawford, "made me quit racing-car lessons because she was worried they were too dangerous." Shortly afterward, Gerber told Webster Hall's Baird Jones, "Cindy and I were driving in Malibu, going up a hill. Coming up from the other side were a bunch of horses that had gotten loose from a ranch. We hit the hill at the same time. We did a couple of 360s [and avoided them]. The car behind us hit the horses. My wife never bothered me about my interest in racecar driving after that."

Oct. 11, 2007  NY Post  Page Six

MAYBE naming their fashion line after themselves wasn't a great idea for Mark Badgley and James Mischka. The other night at the Brides Magazine party at the Lotus space to launch Badgley Mischka's Something Pink campaign against breast cancer, Mischka told Webster Hall's Baird Jones: "Our name has been mispronounced so many times. Once we were called Bagley Whiskers. Another time it was Baggy Mishmash. We corrected the Baggy Mishmash one because it was at the Emmys. Generally we don't correct them. Our attitude is as long as they are trying to say it, we are happy."

Sept. 26, 2007   NY Post   Page Six

Crooked Skull

JOSH Lucas was asked by Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the Tropfest party at P.J. Clarke downtown the other night how he got his nickname, "Easy Dent." "My parents were living on an Indian reservation, and they believed in naming the child on what happened during the birth. I came out very easily, so easily that the doctor pulled back and dented my head quite severely against the bed post. There is a big dent." Lucas let Jones feel the hollow on the back of his head - "It was huge," Jones told us.

Sept. 17, 2007  NY Daily News  Ben Widdicombe’s Gatecrasher column

 A kid tough to check on

It's hard to begrudge a 7-year-old his looks, even in these competitive times. But it doesn't seem fair that Helena Christensen's striking son should be a genius as well. "Mingus is really good at chess right now. His teachers say that he foresaw 18 moves ahead," his dad, Norman Reedus, said at the Catherine Fulmer fashion show. "He beat his teachers two games in a row his first day at school - he is in second grade," Reedus told Webster Hall's Baird Jones. So is he considered a genius? "Yes, absolutely," said his proud dad. Mingus himself was asked how he felt about being the "discovery" of Fashion Week. His response? "No no no!"

Sept 2, 2007 NY Post Page Six

Pal Has Sympathetic 'reid' On Tara  

TARA Reid gets mocked for her hard partying and bad plastic surgery, but she has a loyal defender in Constantine Maroulis, the "American Idol" alum. "I went to high school with Tara Reid," Maroulis recently told Baird Jones. The two grew up in Wyckoff, N.J. "I noticed her even be fore high school because she also went to a private Catholic grade school," Maroulis said. "She was so striking with that hair and she was pretty developed even when she was a little kid . . . She was always a good girl, a sweet kid. It's tough, when you are making a name in Hollywood with the press, the way people brand you. People are unfair to her. Compared to the other party girls - Nicole, Paris, Lindsay - Tara doesn't look so bad these days. Tara did not go to prison, she never broke the law. Tara is trying to clean up her act. She is a talented girl."

 Aug. 26, 2007 NY Post Page Six

Dueling Roccos

LONG before there was famed chef Rocco DiSpirito, there was Rocco Ancarola, the nightclub king. South African-born Ancarola had a Rocco's in Sag Harbor that was the hottest place in the Hamptons for a few summers. "Then [DiSpirito] opened Rocco's in New York. A lot of people started getting confused," Ancarola told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the bash for "The Hunting Party" at Azza. "I thought about suing him. Then I said, 'Just let it be. Let him have his five minutes of fame.' Maybe I could have won a million. Now we're friends and we're talking about opening a restaurant called Rocco & Rocco, so maybe I can make more than $1 million down the line."

Aug. 24, 2007   NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column

CNN may have ejected Paula Zahn, but she still leaves actor Steve Zahn tongue-tied. "I saw Paula Zahn in a hallway and I almost talked to her," the "Rescue Dawn" star tells Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "But she was just too pretty. I was going to ask her if we were related." Maybe it's best he didn't. His ice-breaker? "Zahn in German means ‘tooth.'"

July 27, 2006 Philadelphia Daily News  Tattle column

Tovah Feldshuh spoke with Tattle's Baird Jones at the NYC Piaget reception for "Becoming Jane" (also opening next Friday). If you ever call Tovah, who's married to attorney Andrew Harris Levy, now you'll know if you dialed the right number:  "I have one message on my answering machine," she said, 'This is the Levy summer home, summer home summer not, leave your message at the beep.' "  "My other one is 'My Jewish mother is away on jury duty, but they are sending her home because she keeps insisting that she is the one who is guilty. Please leave a message for her at the sound of the beep.' "  As Henny Youngman used to say, "Take my answering machine . . . please."

July 22, 2007  NY Post, Page Six

The Designer and the Minors

FASHION designer Anand Jon, 33 - who is facing a total of 32 criminal charges, including sexual battery, committing a lewd act on a child, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor by giving her liquor - is obsessed with underage models, according to Juan Mendez, Jon's personal assistant for two months in 2005. The other night at the Dolce & Gabbana jewelry show at 532 Broadway, Mendez told Webster Hall's Baird Jones: "Anand seemed like a decent guy. Sometimes I did question what was going on behind closed doors . . . I never saw any girl come back crying . . . When I heard the initial rape accusations, I was appalled but not surprised. There were situations where alcohol was involved with minors. . . . I figured because of that, a girl could always speculate about what had happened afterward and fabricate a story. Then it could easily happen that one girl could build on the story of another. But then it was five, 10, 20 kids coming forward . . . I have not been questioned by the police yet because none of the rape accusations are during the time I worked for him."

July 15, 2007  NY Post, Page Six

FATEFUL DAY  SCOTT Speedman, the heartthrob from "Felicity," would be an athlete today if he hadn't injured himself. At the Veuve Clicquot bash at 7 World Trade Center, Speedman told Webster Hall's Baird Jones his parents were runners who met at a track in Scotland. By age 12, he was training five hours a day. "I looked like a ghost. I was exhausted all the time," he recalls. Speedman "busted up his shoulders" training for the 1996 Olympics swimming relays: "I needed to get out of it, to become my own person. In a way, getting injured was a good break."   

June 19, 2007  NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column

 Heidi Klum isn't just a supermodel, she's a noble one. "We used to be very rich and then we got very poor and we sold our title, which was von Klum," she told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the 401 Projects Gallery exhibit of Magnum photos. "I would have been Baroness von Klum."

The Daily India
Feb 18 (ANI): Their careers as movie stars may have made them famous in their adult life, but Hollywood celebrities such as Robin William and Sylvester Stallone have revealed that their class mates in school never thought that they would succeed in life. Robin Williams told Webster Hall curator Baird Jones that in school, his classmates were so sure that he would fail to make it big, that they listed him in the yearbook as the one 'Least Likely to Succeed'. "I was isolated, which was made worse when I moved to California when I was 16 and I went to Redwood High School in Marin. When I graduated in 1969, they listed me in the yearbook as the 'Least Likely to Succeed' - which is an awful thing to read about oneself," Contactmusic quoted him, as saying. "But all that talking to myself by then had paid off because I could really make people laugh. That's something I already knew about myself," he added. Sylvester Stallone didn't have much luck either, for his high-school classmates voted him "Most Likely to End Up in the Electric Chair." The men are not alone, for "X-Files" babe Gillian Anderson was not only voted the one "Most Likely to be Arrested" by her classmates in high school, but she was in fact arrested on her graduation night for trying to glue the locks shut at her school. (ANI)

January 18, 2007 E! Online

Forest Whitaker - About why he named his daughter True and son Ocean: "I want those names to be their destiny, for my daughter to be honest and my son to be expansive. I try to be like a forest, revitalizing and constantly growing." Forest knows an odd name can be hard for a child: "Kids would tease me, calling me 'Little Bush'. But ... I thought being called Forest helped me find my identity." --Whitaker to Webster Hall curator Baird Jones, quoted in the New York Post, December 11, 1999

January 11, 2007 NY Post,  PageSix 


IVANA Trump hasn't fared so well with building projects in Las Vegas and Australia , but she's bullish on Beirut . At the party for Michael Musto's book, "La Dolce Musto," at Room Service, the bouncy Czech told Webster Hall curator Baird Jones she's going ahead with the 27-story seaside condo she's helping design in the Lebanese capital even though war broke out there last summer, just three days after the luxury project was announced. "We are actually in a better position than before," said Ivana. "There is so much damage, but there are also many people coming to build schools and roads. It is going forward."


January 2, 2007 NY Post,  PageSix


RICHARD Bey, who hosted a trashy talk show on Ch. 9 a few years ago, had a Christmas party at his West 56th Street penthouse last week, and told Webster Hall's Baird Jones about his new career as a fledgling actor. "I am rehearsing to play a sanitation worker in an off-Broadway play, so I showed up all dirty in costume at the playhouse. On the street, a woman recognized me and said, 'Richard Bey, is the best job you can get now as a garbage man?' I replied, 'Lady, it was always trash TV. It's a step up to go straight to trash.' She just looked stunned."


Nov. 28, 2006  NY Post,  PageSix


BEFORE Robert Altman became a famous movie director, he made a living tattooing dogs' ears with ID numbers. Shortly before he died last week, Altman told Webster Hall's Baird Jones he "invented a whole new occupation" in Los Angeles in 1945: "I had seen livestock get tattooed growing up around Kansas City . I thought the West Coast would be open to dog tattoos as a new idea." He even ID'd Harry Truman's dog, which helped his company "really take off initially." The start-up didn't go far after that. After two years of dog inking, Altman sold his business, took the money and got into movies.   Nov. 28, 2006  NY Post  Page 6


Oct. 29, 2006  Boston Herald  Inside Track column


Imperfect decision

From the Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda File: “Saving Private Ryan” star Ed Burns said he was offered the Mark Wahlberg role in the 2000 made-in-Gloucester flick “The Perfect Storm” and to his eternal regret, he turned it down!   “I was young and naive,” Burns told Big Apple man-about-town Baird Jones at a FilmAid International Benefit in NYC. “I look back on my career and say, ‘What an idiot I was.’ At the time I did not want to be an actor. I knew those films were going to be a success. I knew ‘Perfect Storm’ was going to be George Clooney . . . My part went to Mark Wahlberg . . . I turned down the meeting with (director) Wolfgang Petersen. But I read the script. I even looked into the rights for the film for me as a director. I certainly have thought about how much money I could have made if I had made that film as an actor.”    Burns said he also turned down the Dermot Mulroney part in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and a part in a second Julia Roberts flick, “Michael Collins.”   “When you are a filmmaker you are not an actor,” he said. “Acting is like a hobby. Like a nighttime job. But I should have done those parts.”   File Under: Storm (Non) Trooper.


Oct. 27, 2006  Chicago Sun-Times  Bill Zwecker column,CST-FTR-zp27.article


GIFT GAB: Hugh Jackman may make many women swoon, but hopefully his gift-giving skills have improved with age. At the opening of the James Houston photo exhibit at Milk Studios in New York , the actor told my Big Apple stringer Baird Jones he gave his sister Sonia some Mum deodorant for Christmas after seeing the product in a TV commercial.  Jackman thought everyone in the ad "seemed very happy ... felt pretty and beautiful."  His sister, natch, was horrified and threw it out.  Jackman can be forgiven for his faux pas. After all, he was only 7 at the time.


Oct. 26, 2006  Philadelphia Daily News Tattle column


When Tattle was little, we bought our mom a Johnny Guitar can-opener for her birthday. We thought it was the coolest thing ever - this can-opener shaped like a guitar. Mom mocked that gift for the next 20 years. Turns out we're not the only ones with bad taste in presents. At the James Houston photo exhibit at Milk Studios in NYC, Hugh Jackman ("The Prestige") told Tattle's Baird Jones, "When I was 7 years old I gave deodorant to my sister, Sonia, for Christmas. "The product was called Mum. I saw the commercial on TV and it looked amazing. She cried and she said, 'How dare you give that to me?' I said, 'I had no idea!' I saw the commercial and everyone seemed very happy. They felt pretty and beautiful and that was it. I never did it again. It went right in the bin."


September 28, 2006 Daily News  Rush and Molloy column

Beniahana mogul Rocky Aoki was set for takeoff in his balloon yesterday in Albuquerque, N.M. "I have broken over 30 bones flying in balloons," he told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at Ferro's restaurant. "When there is a crash, I don't feel fear. If I am afraid of dying, I am afraid of living also."


August 25, 2006  Daily News  Lloyd Grove  Lowdown column

That was aging rocker Alice Cooper bragging about his celebrity golf game the other night to Webster Hall's Baird Jones: "I play golf often with Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Michael is a masterpiece in the works. His iron goes to the right but his putting is strong, with a good chip shot. He is a 12 handicap. Catherine has a smooth swing and she is good off the tee with steady mid-irons, but her handicap is more like a 25. She has potential, and boy, is she a distraction to play alongside! I am a 5 handicap. I have had three hole in ones, which is rare. Many great golfers like Ben Hogan have never had a hole in one. The only negative about a hole in one is that if you hit one, you have to buy drinks for everyone in the club." A good talk spoiled?


August 12, 2006  NY Post  PageSix


IT took decades before Dominic Chianese, who plays Uncle Junior on "The Sopranos," won his dad's respect. At the party the other night for at the 40/40 Club, Chianese told Webster Hall's Baird Jones: "I got my start playing John Hancock in a public-school third-grade production of "The Signing of the Constitution' . . . Everyone gave us a standing ovation except for my father, who was a bricklayer from The Bronx. He remained completely suspicious of my acting, until 37 years later, I played Johnny Ola in 'The Godfather II.' Then he finally shook my hand, after he'd realized I could make a lot of money doing it."


July 6, 2006  Chicago Sun Times  Bill Zwecker column


HE'S BACK: Anthony Michael Hall is busy directing and acting in a comedy called "Life and Death in Las Vegas ." At the Loft 21 party at New York 's Skylight Studios, Hall told my Big Apple correspondent Baird Jones, "I have Wayne Newton, George Carlin and Mike Epps on board." Newton plays a Donald Trump-Steve Wynn kind of guy who finds a way to screw a bunch of people out of their inheritances. Years later they find out and go to reclaim them.  Hall is producing the film with his dad, and says Paris Hilton has read the script and may possibly play Newton 's daughter.


July 5, 2006  Daily News  Lloyd Grove  Lowdown column


SHAGGY ACTRESS STORY "Big Love" star Chloe Sevigny recently told Webster Hall's Baird Jones: "I shaved my head when I was 17 years old. I had really long hair down to my waist. I wanted a rebirth. I sold it for $500 to a famous Broadway wigmaker. He had all these poor immigrant women sewing wigs strand by strand. Caucasian hair is rare in the wig trade, and my hair was blond and had never been dyed. I probably could have gotten a lot more money for it. I should have gotten $1,000. My mother and my brother were so thrilled because my hair had always been so greasy, and I always wore it in my face. They said I never looked better than when I had a shaved head. I would never do a buzz again, but I would like to do a Mia Farrow-Jean Seberg really short look for a movie. If you have to shave your head, you get an extra paycheck. But this time it would not be $500. It would be $500,000." Nice work if you can get it.


June 22, 2006   SF Chronicle  Leah Garchik column 


New York movie fan and man-about-town Baird Jones forwards a note from saying the opening of the "Zodiac'' movie that was filmed around here has been delayed from mid- to late November to early January. Additional shooting is in the works. (As to other local movie angles, Jones, who's at most every New York premiere, told me that at the party for "Invincible,'' Greg Kinnear said he once worked in Fremont as a purchasing agent of industrial lightbulbs. Last week Kinnear's wife, Helen, gave birth to their second child, Audrey Mae. That family fact has nothing to do with lightbulbs.)


June 18, 2006  NY Post  PageSix



FREDDIE Prinze Jr. has seen the dark side of teen girlhood. "I was in the Vancouver airport, and I was speaking with a young girl," the actor told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the Vonage V Phone party at Aer nightclub. "She asked if I was Freddie Prinze Jr., and I said I was. She kind of giggled, and while I was talking with her, her girlfriend ran up and took my sandwich. I did not call out after her. I didn't know what to do. I had never had anyone steal food from me before. How do you react if someone takes your sandwich? I just finished my cup of coffee and got on the plane and flew home."


June 18, 2006  NY Post  PageSix


HOW did Ethan Hawke become a whiz at learning dialogue? Thank his lust for the ladies. "I did the memorization to improve my memory. When I was 16, I memorized the first 15 pages of 'Catcher in the Rye ,' " Hawke told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the New York Public Library Young Lions dinner. "I only let girls know I was doing it. I convinced myself I would use it for an audition somewhere sometime - but really I did it to woo chicks."


June 15,2006  NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column


Side Dish

Norman Mailer wants Bill O'Reilly and others to stop confusing a "factoid" for a fact. "I coined the term 'factoid' in my book on Marilyn Monroe in 1973," Mailer tells Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "It is not even a lie, it is a misrepresentation of a void. People think it is a fact because it appears in the papers over and over." ... 


June 12, 2006 , Chicago Sun Times


GOOD MEMORY: At the New York Public Library Young Lions dinner last week, Ethan Hawke told my Big Apple correspondent Baird Jones that even in his teens Hawke could memorize huge chunks of everything from Catcher in the Rye to "Hamlet." "I only let girls know," said Hawke. "I convinced myself I would use it for an audition somewhere, sometime, but really I did it to woo chicks."


June 12,2006  NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column


Raking over the past

James Toback says he's neutered his inner horndog. In 1989, a Spy magazine investigation of the filmmaker's libido suggested that there was little difference between Toback and the rake Robert Downey Jr. played in Toback's "The Pick-Up Artist." But that was then.  Thursday, at a VIP screening of "The Outsider," Nicholas Jarecki's rollicking new documentary about Toback, the fabled conquistador couldn't have looked more devoted to his wife, Stephanie, and his 6-year-old son, Andre.  "There's such a misconception about me," Toback told us at the party afterward at the Gramercy Park mansion of Nick 's financier father, Henry Jarecki. "Partly I'm to blame, because I wrote about the excesses of living with Jim Brown, which even I can't believe I survived. But I could name a dozen directors who are much worse."  Setting the record straight on other subjects, Toback denied that he resented pal Warren Beatty not getting a screenplay credit on "Bulworth." "It was his idea, it was his movie, and he did a terrific job," he told Webster Hall's Baird Jones.  He also disputed the perception, fostered in Lorraine Bracco's new book, that her former lover Harvey Keitel is a madman.  "When I directed Harvey Keitel in 'Fingers,' he never did anything but act in the most harmonious, spiritually connected way," said Toback, "I like Lorraine Bracco, but you have to take her with a grain of salt."  Also at the preview for the movie, which opens Friday, were Adrian Grenier, Bret Easton Ellis, Matthew Modine, Norma Kamali, Wu Tang Clan's Power, Monica Crowley and Danielle Evin.


June 2, 2006  NY Daily News   Rush and Molloy column


Fire in the roll!  

A fire in the women's bathroom of the HBO Mobile launch party at Mr. Chow's downtown Wednesday night didn't even faze the gaggle of models primping, preening and gossiping.  The leggy ladies just stood there and stared as a pile of paper towels went up in flames, supposedly when a lighted candle fell off a shelf. The blaze had fully engulfed the towels before jewelry designer Kathleen Cavallaro heroically started cupping water in her hands to put the fire out. "Nobody cared," Cavallaro told us. "They seemed oblivious."  Elsewhere at the party, Robert Downey Jr. recalled to Webster Hall curator Baird Jones how he used to be a living sculpture at the 1980s club Area, - a venue much frequented by Andy Warhol - only a few blocks up Hudson St. "I think Andy had a crush on me because he used to stare at me all the time. He probably liked me because I was young and I had a good figure."


May 29, 2006 NY Post  PageSix



SHARON Stone plays for keeps. Harry Winston Inc. once had to sue her to get back some diamond jewelry. Now comes word that she has a rule on photo shoots: "I wear it; I keep it." Photographer Todd Eberle was at the Free Arts NYC benefit at the Phillips de Pury auction house when he bumped into Webster Hall's Baird Jones. Eberle told the story of how he shot Sharon Stone for Allure magazine a few years ago. "She actually showed up six hours late. One of the items was a $25,000 couture Galliano kimono. Sharon Stone walked in with an entourage of at least eight women; it was bewildering. At first, she was very polite and professional. We messed up the bed, and she was going to pose there. Sharon said quite loudly, so everyone in the room could hear it, 'I wear it. I keep it.' But on magazine shoots, the editor always takes the clothes back. So I shot her in this plain leather miniskirt she was already wearing, and she just looked ridiculous, and they published that." Stone's spokeswoman didn't recall the photo shoot, but said Eberle's recollections seemed implausible.



May 16, 2006  NY Daily News   Rush and Molloy column


Side Dish

Rusell Simmons wants to set the record straight about the time when he was leaving his mark on the mean streets. "It's not true that I shot at someone's head," the cross rap mogul told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the opening for the Tribecca Mr. Chow's.  "I was not trying to shoot the guy. I intentionally shot over someone's head. I was 15. Now get out of here." ... 


May 9, 2006  NY Daily News   Rush and Molloy column


Side Dish 

Could Mark Wahlberg and his entourage have stopped the 9/11 hijackers? The actor says he and some buddies booked seats on one of the flights from Boston to L.A. that tragic day, but later decided to depart from Toronto . "We certainly would have tried to do something [to fight]," the brawny "Invincible" star tells Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "I've had probably over 50 dreams about it."


March 26, 2006 NY Post Page Six

Model Wisdom

BESIDES a killer bod, Brazilian bombshell lian bombshell Gisele Bundchen has an intellectual pedigree of sorts. "My father, Valdir, wrote a book about how to better yourself as a human being," Bundchen told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the Vogue Eyewear party at Eyebeam Atelier the other night. "In Portuguese, it's called, 'Como Construir a Si Mesmo.' The title in English is, 'How You Can Build Yourself as a Better Person,' I guess. Someone told me that it is available on Amazon, and I was surprised because I did not know you could buy it in America. My father is not a professor at a university. He just says that." March 11, 2006 New York Post, PageSix

March 11, 2006 New York Post, PageSix


SHALOM Harlow has set the record straight on those reports from Britain that she wants to explore outer space to meet extraterrestrials. "It got misinterpreted," the model/actress told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the premiere party for "Game 6" at restaurant Sapa. "Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. I wanted to start with the moon because that seemed like a safe place to start. Then I wanted to check out the nebulae like the God's Eye . . . I always wanted to travel in outer space, but not to meet aliens . . . I just wanted to be an explorer."

March 19, 2006  NY Post Page 6



CAMERON Diaz once said she stopped eating pork when someone told her pigs have the same mental capacity as a 3-year-old child. The bubble-brained star admits it's been especially tough since bacon was her favorite hangover cure. On the topic of celebrity hangover helpers in the wake of St. Patrick's Day, be advised that Julia Roberts swears by champagne and carrot juice, Limp Bizkit lunkhead Fred Durst guzzles blackcurrant-flavored Pedialyte baby formula and Radiohead singer Thom Yorke likes a cocktail called the "corpse reviver," reports trusty Webster Hall curator Baird Jones.

November 6, 2005 The New York Post  PageSix


Feb. 11, 2006, Page Six


-- WITH Valentine's Day coming up, Webster Hall's ubiquitous curator

* Q'Orianka Kilcher, who was 14 when she played Pocahontas in "The New World," tells her first kiss ever was with lusty leprechaun Colin Farrell. "We were shooting, and all of a sudden, out of the blue, director Terrence Malick goes, 'OK, now kiss her, Colin,' " Q'Orianka recalls. "I totally froze up . . . I know my face went pale, and that was exactly the way Terrence had written it in the script." The smooch was cut out of the epic, but will surely be on the DVD.

* Tyra Banks was 13: "[My boyfriend] tried to kiss me at the movies, and he put his tongue in my mouth. It felt like a worm, like a slug in my mouth."

* Heather Graham: "I was 9. This boy I had a crush on said, 'If I give you a dollar, will you kiss me?' I said, 'I don't know.' Then he asked, 'What if I give you 50 cents?' I finally kissed him for free."

* Uma Thurman dished to Premiere magazine that she was 8: "It was brief, swift, and then it was done. It was a professional job. I needed to be kissed, and I was kissed."

* Charlize Theron recalled: "He had braces. It was in the back yard after we had just watched 'Friday the 13th.' His name was Nicky, and I'm like, 'You wanna do it, you wanna do it?' We're standing there arguing about it for so long, and it was just awful - darkness, saliva and tongue."

* Brad Pitt: "I was in the fourth grade. We actually made a plan at school and to meet in her garage and kiss. It was like this business deal. It took me half an hour to [find] courage to go. So I get there. I go right up to her. I kiss her. Then I ran home."

* Burt Reynolds tells the Enquirer he was in sixth grade: "Her name was Marilyn. She had beautiful black hair and one front tooth that was longer than the other. At a party we played spin the bottle, and I prayed it would stop in front of her. When it did, we kissed a long sweet kiss with everybody looking. She dumped me for a guy who already had hair under his arms."

* Jack Osbourne fondly reminisces: "I was 8, and it was with my sister's 11-year-old friend. I like older women."

* Matthew McConaughey had technical difficulties on his first try: "Old Amy had braces, and my lip got caught. I almost threw up, but it was all right."


January 23, 2006  NY Daily News


'Factory' film on Warhol no work of art, says Reed

Sienna Miller, Hayden Christensen and Guy Pearce just started filming "¬Factory Girl," in which Miller plays Andy Warhol's drug-addled muse Edie Sedgwick.  But Lou Reed has already formed his opinion of director George Hickenlooper and his cast.  "They're all a bunch of whores," the rock god tells us.  Reed knew Sedgwick, and his band, The Velvet Underground, provided the jagged soundtrack to her 1960s scene. In "Factory Girl," The Velvets are played by the highly regarded indie rockers Weezer. Hickenlooper says that guitarist Brian Bell, as Reed, does a terrific cover of "Heroin."  But Reed is far from flattered.  "I read that script," Reed said the other night at a party for his new photo shows at the Hermès boutique and the Steven Kasher Gallery. "It's one of the most disgusting, foul things I've seen — by any illiterate retard — in a long time. There's no limit to how low some people will go to write something to make money."  Reed was asked at one point to get involved with the project.  "I wouldn't be part of that," said the rocker. "Just like I wouldn't be part of 'I Shot Andy Warhol,' " Mary Harron's 1996 film about Valerie Solanas' assassination attempt on the artist. "They tried to turn Valerie Solanas into a heroine. They're all a bunch of whores."  Reached on his set in Louisiana , Hickenlooper questioned whether Reed had read the latest script by "Wonderland" writer Captain Mauzner.  "There've been several Edie screenplays over the years," said Hickenlooper. "I adore Lou Reed. I love him for hating my project, which can only bring it more attention. But nobody is making big money on it. We're all working for scale to tell a complex story about a wonderful young woman.  "Lou will be making some money, since we've licensed his song." Also at the party for Reed's book, "Lou Reed's New York," was Moby (who turned down a part in "Factory Girl" as a speed freak, "only because I can't act"), Julian Schnabel, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, and Reed's girlfriend, performance artist Laurie Anderson, who may have more in common with last weekend's Miss America contestants than anyone knew. "When I was growing up in the Midwest , I was a maniac enthusiast for entering beauty contests," she told Webster Hall's Baird Jones. "At 18, I even won the big one, Junior Miss Illinois . That's my horrible secret. It still makes me hang my head."


January 22, 2006   NY Post Page 6



ARTIST-about-town Julian Schnabel is a real lifesaver - just ask his painter pal, Ross Bleckner. During a party last week at the Lehman Maupin Gallery for the Juergen Teller photography exhibition, Bleckner blabbed all the details to Webster Hall curator Baird Jones: "In 1979, Julian Schnabel saved my life when my leg got crushed in an elevator. Julian called the ambulance. He was the only person there. One of Julian's cousins turned out to be the doctor, too, which was unbelievable. Since I owned the building, I could not sue myself for the elevator's being negligent. I had always been very accident prone ... But I had never experienced pain like that, nothing even close to it. I was completely immobilized. I was in shock. I could have died if it were not for Julian ... So in gratitude afterwards, we exchanged canvases. Perhaps I owe him more than that in retrospect. Maybe I owe him a big wet kiss."


Nov. 30, 2005  NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column 


Side dish

Tony Curtis never misses the Museum of Modern Art when he returns to New York . "Each of the masterpieces speaks to me," he tells Webster Hall's Baird Jones. Now he can talk to himself: The museum has bought one of the 80-year-old's canvases for its permanent collection.


Nov. 30, 2005  NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column


Tony Curtis never misses the Museum of Modern Art when he returns to New York . "Each of the masterpieces speaks to me," he tells Webster Hall's Baird Jones. Now he can talk to himself: The museum has bought one of the 80-year-old's canvases for its permanent collection.


Nov. 20, 2005  NY Post  Page 6



NOVELIST/columnist Kurt Andersen thinks Catherine Zeta-Jones would make a great witch, and he's written a new musical, "Broomhilda," with the Welsh sexpot in mind as the lead. At the Bill Viola show at the James Cohan Gallery, Andersen told Webster Hall's Baird Jones, "Broomhilda is actually a 1,500-year-old witch, although we want her to be played by a vivacious star. [Co-author] Martin Charnin actually discovered Catherine Zeta-Jones, who got her start as Annie 30 years ago."


Nov. 11, 2005 NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column


While you're waiting for the rumored reunion of Genesis, you can check out Phil Collins' ceramic self-portraits in the Sentimental Sculptures show curated by Webster Hall's Baird Jones at SoHo's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.


May 3, 2005 The Daily New  Rush & Molloy


Paris waxes on at Tussaud fete

Paris Hilton met her wax replica at Madame Tussaud's in Times Square yesterday. And, even though the paraffin double seemed to mimic the hotel heiress' blank-eyed stare perfectly, the original Paris found her knockoff lacking.  "I'd like it to be in a pretty dress," she told The News' Joe Neumaier. "And I'd cut the hair; it's too long."  Touring the exhibit based on her thriller, "House of Wax," Hilton squealed at the ghouls, checked her hair in a prop mirror, critiqued the Jennifer Aniston wax figure ("She's prettier in real life"), and beamed a live iPod broadcast around the world.   "No such thing as too much Paris ," she said with a smile.  P.S. Keith Richards' daughter Theodora doesn't envy Hilton's notoriety. The rock child of the Stones guitarist and former supermodel Patti Hansen is dying for her own horror movie role, but "all I get is scripts where I'm giving guys [oral sex]."  "I don't want to be another Paris Hilton," she told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the Massimo Ferragamo exhibit "Origin: Mother and Child." "I would never do a porno video." 


April 17, 2005   NY Daily News  Rush and Molloy column


The lost power-chord

Maria Bartiromo learned the hard way: You snooze, you lose.  Wall Street's "Money Honey" struck up an unlikely friendship with Joey Ramone shortly before the punk pioneer (and amateur stock-picker) died of cancer four years ago. Ramone even wrote a song for her.  "Joey said to come at midnight to CBGB's and he would play it for me," Bartiromo told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at the book party for Jack and Suzy Welch's "Winning." "But I get up at 5 a.m. to do my TV show, so I had to miss it. When I heard he died a few weeks later, I was so upset. I had missed hearing my song, and I would never get another chance."


April 17, 2005   NY Post  Page



MARKING the 93rd anniversary of the Titanic disaster (the liner sank on April 15, 1912), Webster Hall curator Baird Jones reveals that James Cameron, who directed the Leonardo DiCaprio blockbuster, blames the mental state of the ship's captain, Edward John Smith, for the loss of over 1,500 lives. "In the huge banquet halls amidships, there were dozens of enormous, but remarkably easily moved, wooden tables which could have been transformed into makeshift lifeboats, sufficient to have saved all the lives that were needlessly lost," Cameron told Jones. "However, these banquet tables were located on D-deck, five decks below sea level. By the time the officers in charge of D-deck appreciated the crisis occurring, D-deck was already flooded and unreachable. The captain became borderline catatonic and ceased functioning soon after the ship struck the iceberg. The tables could have been used immediately. But the danger was recognized too late. There was plenty of time if the captain had only remained sane."


April 16, 2005   Daily News Ben Widdicombe Gate Crasher column


Famke says Bond isn't for Euro Ys only

Could the name be Bond, Jane Bond? Actress Famke Janssen says the next 007 doesn't need no stinkin' Y chromosome.  "James Bond can have blond hair," she said about speculation the next Bond could be goldilocked actor, Daniel Craig. "It is 2005, anything can happen. I think even James Bond being black is a great idea. I think James Bond could be a woman at this point."  Janssen played Bond vixen Xenia Onatopp, an assassin with killer gams, in "GoldenEye."  She told Webster Hall curator Baird Jones: "When I crushed people between my legs in 'GoldenEye,' it was an interesting, weird role, and it was fun, but it was just a character in a movie. It was not erotically stimulating for me."  Yes, but your victims died with a smile.


April 8, 2005  Washington Post  Names and Faces column 


Rather Quiet

Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather held his head high at Wednesday night's book party for Jack and Suzy Welch's tome "Winning" at the Four Seasons in Manhattan . "I did not think Walter Cronkite was too critical," Rather told our New York spy, Baird Jones. "My respect for Walter knows no bounds. You will never hear anything critical about Walter Cronkite out of my mouth." When Jones asked if it seemed Cronkite held a grudge, Rather denied, denied, denied: "I did not see it that way at all. Walter has had one of the rightfully legendary careers in the history of television. If that is what he thought, then he had a right to say it. . . . We have had a private conversation about it, but I would like to keep that private."


March 30, 2005  New York Daily News   Rush and Molloy column


It's no news "D.E.B.S." star Sara Foster has been seeing Benicio Del Toro (they were first linked nearly six months ago). But at least this time around, Foster is glad that no one will think she's dating a girl. "When I was engaged to Ashley Hamilton, because of his first name I used to hear constantly 'Have you become a lesbian?'" Foster told Webster Hall's Baird Jones at Bungalow 8.


March 26, 2005  NY Post  Page 6



"AS long as they are still talking about me, let them talk. I don't mind. I don't think kissing a man is a bad thing. If you like someone, kiss them" — Fabian Basabe at the Mercedes-Benz party at Milk Studios after being asked by Webster Hall's Baird Jones whether he was bothered by a recent sighting.


March 23, 2005  NY Daily News Gatecrasher column


A HoJo with mojo

Who knew the Times Square HoJo was such a school for celebrities? Director Mike Nichols and actor Gene Hackman are both graduates.  "When I was 17, for my first job, I worked at the midtown Howard Johnson's," Nichols said. "A customer asked me what our ice-cream flavor of the week was, which was a dumb question, because there was a huge banner showing that it was maple. So I told him that it was chicken. The customer laughed, but the manager fired me immediately. They were bastards there."  And Hackman told Webster Hall curator Baird Jones: "I came to New York when I was 25, and I worked at Howard Johnson's in Times Square , where I did the door in this completely silly uniform.  "Before that, I had been a student at the Pasadena Playhouse, where I had been awarded the least-likely-to-succeed prize, along with my pal Dustin Hoffman, which was a big reason we set off for New York together. Out of nowhere, this teacher I totally despised at the Pasadena Playhouse suddenly walked by HoJo's and came right up into my face and shouted, 'See, Hackman, I told you that you would never amount to anything!' I felt 1 inch tall."  And before you ask — I have no idea how Baird gets these insane stories out of people, either


March 15, 2005   Philadelphia Daily News   Tattle column


There are many reasons people get into acting. For Debra Winger, it took a bump on the head.
At the premiere party for "In My Country" at New York 's Hotel Plaza Athenee, Winger told Tattle's Baird Jones, "When I was 17, I was working as a troll at an amusement park in L.A. I was getting changed into my troll costume in the back of a truck when the truck jolted forward and I fell out on to my head. I was in a coma for three days. No one expected me to pull through. When I came to, suddenly I just absolutely knew I had to become an actor... From that day, I devoted myself to acting no matter what." Good news for acting. Bad news for trolls.


Tribune of India March 10, 2005


Rushdie turns script writer

NEW YORK : Noted writer Salman Rushdie is working on a script, which will be directed by his wife Padma Lakshmi." I am working on a script for Padma to direct. It starts as a comedy, then becomes tragedy and finally ends in horrendous violence," the New York Daily News quoted Rushdie as saying to Webster Hall's Baird Jones.