Move over, Tom Cruise! The “Top Gun: Maverick” legend wasn’t the only star Hollywood’s latest group of Oscar contenders were excited about seeing at Monday’s nominees luncheon.
“The Banshees of Inisherin” stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson gushed over meeting Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”). “I spent a long time chatting with him,” Gleeson told me after the annual luncheon at the Beverly Hilton.
In fact, Gleeson texted Mescal after the nominations were announced in January. “I had to ask my son Domhnall for his number. I was very proud of [Mescal],” Gleeson said.
Earlier in the day, Mescal told me what it was like to receive the text. “He’s an idol of mine,” he said. “He was just incredibly generous and was like, ‘We’re gonna make this a fun month.’ That was one of those crazy things.”
Farrell said he unsuccessfully tried to get an email address for Mescal over the last few weeks. “I hadn’t met Paul before,” Farrell said, adding, “I got to see him today and give him a big squeeze.”
Even so, he didn’t ask for his email! “I got his shoulders and I wrapped my arms around him instead,” Farrell said. “That was even better.”
Watch the video below to find out why I’m thinking of buying Farrell and Gleeson shirts that say, “Country Lifter.” Plus, Gleeson plays very coy when asked about working with Lady Gaga in “Joker: Folie à Deux.”
With Netflix’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” earning nine Oscar nominations, director and co-writer Edward Berger is fast becoming an in-demand film- maker. Given all the praise for “All Quiet’s” battle sequences, could an action movie be next for Berger?
“I’m a big fan of action films. I love Jason Bourne. I love James Bond,” Berger tells me. “One of the reasons I made ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ is it’s quiet in the end. There’s no music. I wanted you to sort of take home that pressure sitting on your shoulders and think about it for days. Next movie I want to make, I just want to turn on the house lights and people stand up and I put on a pop song and people go, ‘That was really fun. Let’s go home.’”
Like a rom-com? “Maybe not that,” Berger says, laughing. “Just an entertaining movie. Also I want to wash it off. I don’t want to take it home forever.”
As for releasing a movie that shows the horrors of war today when the world seems more upside down than ever before, Berger says, “The common German psyche has a lot to do with the legacy of wars, the terror we’ve bought into the world in the last century. I grew up with it and my kids grow up with and my parents definitely grew up with it. And so it just felt I had this real urge to talk about the real sense of guilt, shame and responsibility towards history that we have.”
“Wednesday” star Hunter Doohan insists he doesn’t know what’s in store for the second season of the hit Netflix series — but he’s got an idea for a guest star. “I would love Joan Cusack because she was such a good villain as Debbie Jellinsky in ‘Addams Family Values,’” the actor tells me. “Please bring Debbie back.”
As if Beyoncé’s smile doesn’t sparkle enough. Grill-maker to the stars Alligator Jesus tells me he recently made not one, but two grills for Queen B. “Those have yet to be seen,” he teases.
While he can’t share details about the “Cuff It” singer’s bejeweled teeth, Alligator Jesus reveals he worked with Madonna in September. “She called me, and I needed to get off of Burning Man, and she got me a private jet out of the playa and straight to New York to adjust her grill for a music video,” he says. Did Madge know he was at Burning Man? “She was very aware of where I was, but when you’re Madonna you get what you want. … Fill [her mouth] with diamonds, and the girl will love you forever.”
Speaking of Madonna and Beyoncé, I asked celebs during Grammys weekend who they would see in concert this year — Madonna, Beyoncé or Taylor Swift — if they had to pick just one. Here’s what Sharon Stone had to say: “I would go to Madonna because it’s such a rare occurrence these days and because Madonna is a legend. And I think Taylor Swift will be a legend, and I think Beyoncé is becoming a legend because she consistently makes such remarkable and extraordinary work.”
Miranda Lambert says she’d love to work with Bruno Mars. Both are holding court in Las Vegas with residencies — the country star at Planet Hollywood and Mars at Park MGM. “He can just pop over,” Lambert says. “Bruno, come sing with me.”
Meanwhile, Lambert is readying for the April release of her book “Y’all Eat Yet? Welcome to the Pretty B*tchin’ Kitchen!” The cookbook features memories of cooking with her mom, Bev, and best friends. “It’s sort of like ‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Casserole Dish,’” Lambert says, laughing. Her fave recipe is Bev’s Famous Meatloaf: “It was the editor’s pick in Southern Living in 2009, and she’ll never stop talking about it.”
Get to know Elias Anton! The 24-year-old Aussie actor stars in “Of an Age.” Set in 1999 and written and directed by Goran Stolevski, the film features Anton as a 17-year-old ballroom dancer who has his first sexual experience with a man with his dance partner’s older brother Adam (Thom Green). The two spend only one day together before Adam has to leave for university. If you’re a fan of the Oscar-nominated movie “Close,” you are also going to fall in love with “Of an Age.”
Anton’s first scene shows him rehearsing by himself in a garage, shirtless and wearing short-shorts. However, Anton doesn’t have a dance background. “Don’t ask me to do it again,” he recently joked with me over Zoom from his home in Australia. “It wasn’t a big deal. I did a show in the past where I was mostly in a Speedo because I played a swimmer. I’m not uncomfortable with my body, which is a good thing, so that kind of helped. But it was a bit nerve-wracking to have all the cameras. I did request for the garage scene that it be a closed set because it’s just all the eyes and I could fumble because I’m not a ballroom dancer.”
Anton doesn’t identify as queer, but says, “I just wanted to do it justice and make it feel as authentic as possible.”
When I chatted with Anton, he was getting ready to head to Los Angeles to promote the movie. He also told me he was hoping to find U.S. representation while he was here. Your turn, Hollywood!