We’re still not quite sure HOW we found ourselves sitting yesterday on a dais eating spinach with Ed Harris, Amy Adams, and Marcia Gay Harden. The event was the annual awards luncheon for the Motion Picture Club, a 69-year-old organization for people in the movie business. Although founded as a social club for folks in the business end of the business (exhibition, marketing, advertising), the MPC now focuses on fundraising for many worthy charities, and hearing how much work is done for causes from breast cancer to the Will Rogers Institute was definitely an inspiration to give a little bit more where it helps, especially in these trying times.
At any rate, our own purpose in attending was to present the award for Star of Tomorrow to Luke Goss, perhaps best known as the villain in both BLADE 2 and HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY. Someone had come up with the idea of a presenter who could talk about the comic book aspect of the role, and The Beat was somehow summoned. Of course, it did cap off a busy season of award presenting, what with our duties at the Harveys and the Ignatzes this year, even if the crowd was slightly more…upscale.
It was an amusing day to say the least. We (we being The Beat and FMB) arrived very late, due to the evils of cross-town traffic and The Beat was whisked to the green room, where we met Luke and his publicist Mandi. And oh yeah, people like Blythe Danner (an award-winning actress and mother of Gwyneth Paltrow) and Jonathan Demme (director of a cult film called SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) were also hanging around. Then we were whisked to the banquet room, where we found ourselves, somewhat mortifyingly, seated between Luke and Rosemarie DeWitt, and a dinner roll’s toss away from Oscar®- and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer John Patrick Shanley and Oscar® nominee Amy Adams. Talk about fast company! Luckily, by then we had hit it off with Luke, but on the other side was the lovely Ms. DeWitt, whom we guess most of you know from MAD MEN — her upcoming RACHEL GETTING MARRIED is supposed to be fabulous — but we could only turn to her and say “Hi, my name’s Heidi.” To which she replied “Hi, I’m Rosemarie.”
The really weird thing was that, being seated up on a dais, you get the idea that everyone is watching you eat lunch. Well, we suppose everyone was watching the very beautiful and famous people eat lunch and wondering who the heck we were. As a result, we could barely eat more than a leaf of lettuce and a forkful of manicotti. (The dubious looking white gel-festooned dessert was rejected by almost all.)
After moving reports on various charity activities were given, the presentations began. DeWitt won for Star of Tomorrow (Female), Amy Adams and Richard Jenkins were given Stars of the Year, and Ed Harris was given Director of the Year, for APPALOOSA. It’s safe to say that just about everyone is a fanboy for Ed Harris and that he is a total badass. The speeches were all heartfelt and we held up our end as best we could, talking about the imagination and vision of comics, and how fine performances such as Luke’s Prince Nuada — a noble antagonist who isn’t even a villain but a fighter for his people — are helping “comic book movies” become better and better. Or something like that.
Fortunately, we were able to spend much time conversing with the very charming Mr. Goss, who told us about his upcoming role in MAGDALENA, based on the Top Cow comic and co-starring Jenna Dewan. “It’s definitely playing up a lot of the religious elements,” he told us. Having played a few comic book movie roles, he’s familiar with the importance of respecting the material, given the dangers of fan nitpicking. He’s also signed for a role in the video game-based TEKKAN. Since Luke has a long history in music — he was in a hugely popular boy band at age 18, and also had a theater career, with roles in musicals, including Grease — we ended up talking about music a lot, including American Idol, the state of the music biz and the time he broke his arm roller-skating on the opening night of a play about Ed Wood.
Given his relationship with Guillermo del Toro, we could not refrain from speculation on a possible role in THE HOBBIT. We could definitely see Luke making a fine Elf of Mirkwood, perhaps Thranduil? Or would that be typecasting, given his elven turn in Hellboy? Suffice to say, we hope Luke Goss remains a regular subject here at The Beat!
After lunch wrapped up, we grabbed our gift bag and snagged a photo or two. In all honesty, this was the nicest celebrity gathering we’ve ever been to. Everyone was so friendly and polite, which made the whole thing kind of surreal. As in, FMB just had lunch with Jonathan Demme, and the producer of Pollack.
Anyway, it was a nice mid-afternoon. Big thanks to Luke’s publicist, the excellent Mandi Warren, for helping us figure out what the heck we were doing. Also big thanks to Jeremy Atkins for suggesting us in the first place. Now, back to the real world.