"I have this feeling that I was a cheetah or a panther in another life and that I was also a Black soul singer: Male. So I do believe that you come back as something else or someone else."Jackie Collins shares her personal belief with People five days before her death. Maybe it was the medication talking.
In my zeal to include Emmy gossip in last week's column, I didn't get to write anything about the HBO party. The Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood was transformed into a flame-engulfed fantasy, courtesy of premier party planner Billy Butchkavitz. Since HBO was the biggest winner of the night, the place was buzzing with oodles of folks from Veep, Game of Thrones and Olive Kitteridge brandishing statuettes. Gone are the days when the biggest names at this party were Lorraine Bracco and Aida Turturro. HBO's bash has become de rigueur to anyone who's anyonenot to mention quite a few nobodies! There were some strange pairings around the room: Adrien Brody and Marilyn Manson, Laverne Cox and John Stamos, Mel Brooks and Justin Theroux. I had a brief conversation with designer Zac Posen ( wearing an ill-fitting suit ), who entered on the arm of Naomi Campbell. The supermodel seemed annoyed that I ignored her while gabbing with Zac about Project Runway. I don't think I was ever in any danger, but I kept an eye on her cellphone ... just in case.
Around the same time, a very butch Queen Latifah entered wearing a white pant suit and a green fedora. And that leads me to answering one of your questions. Many wondered why Bradley Whitford was wearing a fedora at the awards. That's because his hair has been significantly altered to play the role of Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the HBO adaptation of the Broadway play All The Way, about Lyndon Johnson. Others were curious why so many attendees were sporting green ribbons. Those were in support of the Environmental Protection Agency and were embossed with the words "Demand Climate Action." And now, you know.
When a filmmaker tackles a big subject such as the Holocaust or World War II, that person often does so through the eyes of a character the audience will identify with. Roland Emmerich has done that with Stonewall. Like most people, lead actor Jeremy Irvine also cannot actnope, not even a little. But he is pretty ( actually prettier and taller in person ) and, these days, that tends to suffice. He kinda strikes me as an aspiring porn actor who got luckywell, I'm sure SOMEONE got lucky. But he was not nearly as pretty as the people who were at this premiere in WeHo. The really pretty ones were part of the lovely Bryan Singer's posse, but let's not go there. Back to the movie: The lead actor isn't even the biggest problem. That honor is saved for the script, written by the usually serviceable Jon Robin Baitz, which is filled with more pitfalls and potholes than any street in Greenwich Village. What the film DOES have going for it is the bravura, highly skilled performance of Jonny Beauchamp, who you may know from Penny Dreadful ( where he has appeared naked, and you can see every inch of him on BillyMasters.com ).
Last week, Disney announced that it is making a new Mary Poppins film. This is not a remake of the classic Julie Andrews flick, nor is it a sequel. The movie will utilize other stories taken from the Poppins booksstories that happen roughly 20 years after we last saw Mary. The new songs will be written by my pals Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittmanthe talented guys behind the musical version of Hairspray. The film will be directed by Rob Marshall, who previously directed big-screen adaptations of Chicago, Nine and Into the Woods. I'm told that the Disney brass would like to find some way to include Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke into the new project. Sounds like a winner to me. And this goes to show that, contrary to popular belief, I CAN keep a secret. I knew about these negotiations for months, and did I tell you? No. 'Cause, I've got scruples ... which was a brilliant miniseries starring my beloved Lindsay Wagner.
Many of my less scrupulous colleagues pay lots of money for gossip storiesas if I haven't proven that you can get good stories using nature's credit card. This tit-for-tat is actually illegal, as an ex-prison official from London found out. Back in 2010, George Michael spent a month in jail after he was caught driving under the influence. One of the officers in that prison, Amanda Watts, was paid more than $3,000 by the UK tabloid The Sun for information used in five different stories. She has pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office and is facing jail time when she is sentenced Oct. 16.
Just before we went to press, little Danny Pintauro made some revelations to Oprah Winfrey. First, he had been hooked on crystal meth: "I had just come out of a two-year relationship, and I discovered in that relationship that there was more I wanted to explore sexually. Crystal meth takes away your inhibitions, and if you want to explore that adventurous side, taking the drug is going to put you there." What it also did was lead to his next revelationhe's been HIV-positive for the past 12 years. "I know exactly when it happened," he said. "I was living in New York at the time and completely clueless to the idea that I was positive. I went in for a regular checkup. It was just regular blood work. You go in, and you sort of waited two weeks on pins and needlesor at least I did, because I was just terrified of the idea of getting HIV." He said that the diagnosis was almost a relief: "You spend so much time terrified that you're going to get it, and then you have it. You don't have to be terrified anymore." Let us hope young people everywhere are not following his example.
When Danny Pintauro is newsworthy, it's definitely time to end yet another column. And what a busy week I have ahead of meone night with Linda Ronstadt, another with Susanna Hoffs and then Gay Days Anaheim. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. But I'm never too tired to update www.BillyMasters.com, the site that is anything but tired. If you have a question for me, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Jackie Collins wins a ( posthumous ) Tony. Until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.