"How long did you last? I was asking at what point in the Oscar show was the entire audience gonna want to cut its arm off!"Lynn Samuels on Sirius Left 146 wonders what people thought of the Academy Awards. If someone's gonna copy James Franco, I'd rather they went for the skinny-dipping scene from Milk.
For the first time in over a decade, I watched the Oscars from the East Coast. And you know what? I didn't miss a thing. Sure, it's always fun to be at an awards show or a swanky soirée. But something told me to just relax and chill. That feeling appears to have run rampantnever have there been such laid-back hosts. Anne Hathaway and James Franco seem to have completely forgotten that this is the Academy Awardswatched by a billion people around the world. There was never a sense that this was an "event." And they didn't bring in a ratings bonanza, either. Ratings overall were down 9 percent from last year. It should be noted that the ratings were still higher than in 2008 and 2009which means that Hugh Jackman should be on any producer's short list of prospective hosts!
Then there are the awards themselves. No surprises, to be sure. The headlines were grabbed by some presenters, like Kirk Douglas. It was an uncomfortable momentmost people couldn't tell if he was purposely milking it or was as befuddled as that broken shell of a woman screeching "Gladiator!" at the Golden Globes a few years back. Personally, I loved itat least something was happening. Still, I doubt he'll be asked back. In fact, I daresay the next time we see Kirk Douglas on an Oscar telecast it will be during the "In Memoriam" segment.
Then there's the same-sex kiss between Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem. What kiss? You didn't see it? That's because it wasn't on the telecast. When it was time to present Best Adapted Screenplay, Brolin and Barden came strolling out to "Ain't Misbehaving." From the long shot, we see them greet each other and it looks like they are about to embrace as the camera cuts to Penelope Cruz in the audience. It should be noted that almost every time someone came out to present an award, the camera cut to a reaction shot. While we were watching Ms. Cruz, the boys greeted each other with a brief peck (trust me, there was no tongue involved) and danced. This is not how it was done in rehearsalit was a spontaneous, fun moment. What was not spontaneous is the shot of Penelope, which was planned. Oscar producer (and openly gay) Bruce Cohen allays any thoughts of censorship: "It was unscripted, and the plan in the truck was always to cut to Penelope in the audience applauding Josh's and Javier's introduction, so that's what happened, just as they started to dance. Josh and Javier's moment would have made a great TV moment, but since no one knew it was coming, we cut to the gorgeous Ms. Cruz as planned. By the time we cut back from her close-up, James and Javier were walking to the podium." No conspiracy, folksjust live TV.
A few people have asked about the handsome hunk who attempted to wrestle the cane out of Kirk Douglas' hands. That would be Omar Sharif, Jr.the grandson of the famous actor. The 27-year-old ("In Hollywood I say 22 or 25I'm learning quick") is studying to be an actor at the Lee Strasberg Institute. When the Academy was looking for a trophy boy, Oscar scribe Bruce Vilanch suggested Sharif. As to the cane bit, it, too, was not rehearsed. Said Sharif, "He came in two days before to rehearsals and as I was standing next to him, he said, 'If I play a little something, feel free to play along and we'll improv it as we go.'" Next up, Kirk Douglas in with The Groundlings!
The most memorable thing to happen after the Oscars was Joan Collins being whisked out of the Vanity Fair party in an ambulance. Blame it on her killer dress. The legendary lady was looking lovely in a lilac gown. It was also very tight-fittingwhich, of course, makes for good photos, but makes for a less-than-comfortable evening. (I have some outfits that are impossible to sit in.) After schmoozing throughout the viewing and post-awards party, the 78-year-old diva was a bit dizzy. Paramedics were called. I'm surprised someone didn't ask the fire marshal to bring the jaws of life to extract her from that gown! Collins was checked out and later released. She said, "The truth is, I made the wrong decision to wear a very tight dress, and had something rather like a Victorian swoon." I believe the last time Joanie swooned was when she met Queen Victoria!
For our "Ask Billy" question, Robert in Salt Lake City wrote, "I loved seeing Russell Brand and Helen Mirren on the Oscars. I think you ran some nude pics of him before, but I can't find them. Can you help?"
He is sexy, isn't he? I believe you're referring to a clip from his 2002 UK television show, RE:Brand, when he joined a homeless man in the bathtub. He's not at all shy about showing off his "knob" (as they say in the UK) and describes it as "averageabout six-and-a-half inches is average." I suppose the presence of some warm water helped. Around the same time, he was sent by MTV to cover the May Day protests in Piccadilly Circus. First he taunted the police officers by waving a vibrator at them. (There's more of that British humor.) He then tore off his jeans and T-shirt and stood naked in front of the statue of Erosand he paled in comparison. "I'm still haunted by the sight of my silly, chilly, tiny drugged willy," Russell quipped. You can see how tiny at BillyMasters.com .
When we're using size to attract you, it's definitely time to end yet another column. You know, I can't let a week go by without mentioning the upcoming White Party in Palm Springs. I'm told that Robyn will be performing on Saturday night, while Natalia Kills will join Wynter Gordon for the Closing Party. But all I care about is Charowho is on TV as often as Charlie Sheen these days! For tickets and info, check out www.JeffreySanker.com . But first go to www.BillyMasters.com for the best gossip around. If you've got a question, send an e-mail to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I'll answer it quicklyno matter how big or small! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.