Channing Tatum at the premiere of White House Down
As a final breath of festivities before a long holiday weekend in the Hamptons and beyond, Hollywood shared two powerful draws to help moviegoers escape the sizzle of July in crisply air conditioned movie theaters.
Tuesday, June 24: The Cinema Society and Bulova screened White House Down, a blockbuster starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx (as POTUS). It isn't art—on a couple of occasions characters huddle to awkwardly review plot points—but it's a seriously fun shoot 'em up, and Tatum and Foxx are magic together. At the Ziegfeld Theatre for the premiere, the two stars pulled up in a faux presidential vehicle covered with fake bullet holes, escorted by cops on motorcycles.
James Woods told reporters that he had pulled a muscle trying to "act macho" and doing his own stunts, and that Tatum had been burned by a shell on the set. "I wish I could say that I was as tough as [my character]," offered Tatum, "but he has a lot of moves."
Columbia Pictures must know they have a hit on their hands, because not only did they rent The Frick Collection, the Fifth Avenue mansion built by Henry Clay Frick, they also hired dream chef Olivier Cheng to create ethereal bites: mini lobster rolls, crab cakes, braised short ribs, and wild mushroom Gruyére tarts.
Steve Carell and Toni Collette at the premiere of The Way, Way Back
Wednesday, June 25: One of the sweetest, most perfect films of the summer, The Way, Way Back, also from Columbia Pictures, stars Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell. It's a coming of age story about a 14-year-old boy who spends the summer with his mother (Toni Collette) and her obnoxious boyfriend (Carell) and takes a job at a water park. It's a must see for awkward or angry teens and their parents.
"That actually happened to me when I was 14," said co-director and co-screenwriter Jim Rash referencing the opening scene, in which Carell's character asks the young lead, played by Liam James, to rate his appearance on a scale of one to ten. Rash wrote the script with Nat Faxon, who he also worked with on The Descendents. "This was our first time out of the gate as directors," said Rash at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square premiere.
And how did young star James bond with costar Rockwell, who plays his mentor and manager at the water park? "Sam Rockwell is a great guy," said James. "He taught me a little bit about boxing, because that's his passion, and I taught him about wrestling."
"I didn't have a date until college," shared Allison Janney on the subject of young love. She plays the mom next door who is frequently drunk and a "kind of TMI factory" in the film. AnnaSophia Robb, the gorgeous young female interest, kidded that in real life she's "still waiting" for her first serious boyfriend.
Cher and Andy Cohen at Marquee
Thursday, June 26: Meanwhile, at “Cher Kicks-off Pride Weekend at Susanne Bartsch and Brandon Voss’ CATWALK Thursday Party at Marquee,” every guy in the packed house was smitten with Cher. Dispatches spotted multiple bedazzled leotards, leather thongs, and feathered headdresses. The doors at the recently revamped club on 10th Avenue opened at 10 p.m. and the venue was jammed by 11 p.m. Cher strolled in with Andy Cohen, finally, at 2 a.m. They scooted straight to the balcony of the club to put Cher on view. Then Cohen and Cher watched as Bartsch paid homage to the star with a drag runway show. Later, Cohen took the mic and mentioned that Cher was his idol. She spoke for two minutes, introduced a new song, performed a Cher shimmy and split. Cher genius.
BY JEFFREY SLONIM
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICK MCMULLAN; GETTYIMAGES.COM (CHER)