Friday, October 25, 2013

LIZ SMITH: On Being Daring ...

"If I can’t be daring in my work or the way I live my life, then I don’t really see the point of being on this planet.”— MADONNA , Harper's Bazaar
Katy Perry Values Accountability ... Is Jamie Dornan the New Christian Grey? ... Please Bite My Neck, Jonathan Rhys Meyers!. ... The Great Shirley Herz Memorialized ... Madonna Insists on Being Daring (I Know — Big Surprise!)
Friday, October 25, 2013
by Liz Smith

“I TRY and keep my connection with the G-O-D or with a power that’s bigger than me. It’s important — otherwise you don’t have accountability. If you think ‘Hey’at the end of it all, ‘I am just going to be dust’ or ‘I have no soul,’ why not be a menace to society or whatever. For me accountability works.”

That’s pop star Katy Perry, who famously sang “I Kissed a Girl” and is now busy kissing fellow musician and apparently tamed hound dog, John Mayer.
I SUPPOSE people who keep track of everything know who Jamie Dornan is. I didn’t know his name though he has acted, sings and models. But he is pretty much an untested quantity in a big-budget film. However, it is Jamie who is rumored to take over the role of Christian Grey, in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” following Charlie Hunnam’s sudden departure from the movie.

I always thought an unknown, or at least not an actor overly familiar to audiences would be the best choice. Especially as he has to commit to two more “Grey” films.

Dakota Johnson is still on board as Anastasia.
"It's about gaining your trust and your respect, so you'll let me exert my will over you. I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy, even in your submission. The more you submit, the greater my joy – it's a very simple equation." Fifty Shades of Grey
I LOVED Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the sexiest, most imaginatively re-invented Henry VIII in TV’s “The Tudors.” What seemed a wild stretch turned out to be just perfect. After all, history was made to be tweaked a bit.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers — Nothing to prove as Henry VIII.
Trying to prove the vampire craze is not over.
In the end, as with gossip and conspiracy theories, people believe what they want to believe. (In fact, when faced with a salacious rumor, those were Ava Gardner’s own words, which she had picked up from one of her early films!)

But I wonder about Mr. Rhys Meyers in the coming NBC series “Dracula.” Of course, the handsome actor plays the immortal bloodsucker, but he almost seems too well typecast here. He’s dark and broody and the show is set in 1896 London, so Jonathan gets to wear a lot of fancy duds. (And since he isn’t shy, one assumes he’ll be doffing those duds now and then.)

With the final demise (I hope!) of the anemic “Twilight” movies, I thought the endless vampire craze was over. Apparently not. And zombies remain a hot topic, on big and small screens.

I like Jonathan. He’s an excellent actor and my one interview with him remains an indelible memory. He was almost wearing a skintight, V-neck tee-shirt that plunged so far it was difficult to stay focused on his pouty lips and whatever he was saying. He’s had his troubles and I had been warned he could be “difficult.” But he was a doll.

I suppose if we hadn’t been drinking tea and I’d been more susceptible I might have wanted him to bite my neck.

“Dracula” airs tonight, on NBC.
MY FINE longtime friend, Shirley Herz, will be memorialized Monday, Nov. 4 at 1:30 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater at 261 W. 47th Street, off Times Square where there is a lobby named in her honor.

I have written and spoken often of this paragon of friendship who loved theater more than life itself. I won't say morehere other than to remark that Shirley is the only theater press agent ever to be given a Tony Award. I will save my further regard for her memorial. Theater lights were already dimmed in her honor.

Her recent death has diminished Broadway, off-Broadway and just deep friendship in general. She was such a good person and that is a lot to say these days!
MAYBE you have “had” Mario Buatta up to here as he has been everywhere lately (as they say in Texas, the seceding state, “like horse hockey at a rodeo!”)

Mario signing away ...
But I never get enough of this jokey vagabond who always appears with toupees and false beards and silly things while still maintaining his dignified place at the top of decoration.

Mario’s new (he says it is his last and only) book from Rizzoli is titled “Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration.” It is a damned beautiful thing of import to your library if your library is pretty chic.

He recently sold 493 of these beauties down in San Antonio and Houston and he is going on with his promoting through the country. You can read all about Mario in the Lily Hoagland article in Quest’s October “Arts & Culture issue."

And lets hear it for Hilary and Wilbur Ross and their recent kick off party in the Four Seasons Grill Room. Have to congratulate them on serving the best pate de fois gras since that became one of the forbidden fruits.
Mario Buatta (losing his hair again??!!) with his generous party hosts Wilbur Ross and Hilary Geary Ross. DPC (another man with great hair) took this pic.
ON OCTOBER 29th at The Ziegfeld Theater in New York, the movie “Last Vegas” has its world premiere. The film stars Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. It’s a comedy. I’ve heard no advance word, but the TV ads look very funny. All these guys appear to be having quite a good time. It’s always refreshing when the industry gives a few raw kids an encouraging break. It’s a tough business.
MADONNA is the cover girl on Harper's Bazaar's “The Daring Issue.” Well, of course she is. I used to hope that at a certain point Madonna would go all Dietrich on us. Stand in a misty spotlight in a glamorous, glittery gown, and sing some of her truly lovely ballads. (In the end, I think it will be her ballads, rather than her dance music, that will define her for future generations.)

But this is not going to happen! And I suppose, certainly for Madonna, that’s a good thing. Calming down would be like a little death for her. She has to be active, brassy and bold — creative. (Even if we’re not quite sure what she’s creating!) And while she can be hurt by words, she doesn’t dwell on those who don’t approve.

She tells the magazine this, and I think it truly is Madonna’s mantra for existing: “If I can’t be daring in my work or the way I live my life, then I don’t really see the point of being on this planet.”

Contact Liz Smith here.

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