Globe and Mail  

Stars twinkle at fest’s first weekend Madonna as Sandra Dee? Tom Green flirting with Adrienne Clarkson? ALEXANDRA GILL has the dirt, from the strange to the surreal Monday, September 13, 2004 – Page A10

Madonna has surely never met a torpedo bra or fake upper-crust British accent she couldn’t conquer. But can you imagine the Material Girl playing Sandra Dee?

“Omigod!” Kate Bosworth gasped upon hearing that America’s sweetheart had wanted Madonna to play her, Bobby Darin’s dream lover. Mind you, Johnny Depp and Tom Cruise were once on the short list to play the Sixties crooner.

That was five years ago, before Kevin Spacey wrestled the project out of director Barry Levinson’s hands and assumed the role for himself.

“I hope she’s satisfied with me,” Ms. Bosworth said at the post-premiere party at Reservoir Lounge for Beyond the Sea, looking demure in a tight Givenchy corset gown. “I’m a far cry from Madonna.”

After Ms. Bosworth had finished celebrating with her mom, dad, Mr. Spacey and co-star Bob Hoskins, she twirled over to the Courthouse to join her real-life lover Orlando Bloom, who was celebrating his own premiere for Haven with Bill Paxton, Steven Dillane, Joy Bryant and Vistor Rasuk.

The entourage partied outside on the patio, under the twinkling lights, until 2:30 a.m. The scene was decidedly more relaxed than Friday night, when logistical problems almost turned the after-party for Crash into a bloody crush.

“I just want to get out,” Jennifer Esposito cried, after being led from the cast’s intimate dinner into the bottlenecked stairwell leading up to the VIP room.

Overzealous security guards weren’t granting access to anyone who wasn’t on the list, including several L.A. executives associated with the film. “We’re having a PR nightmare,” Ryan Heil, the New York self-described LIVEstyle Engineer (I swear that’s the title on his business card) shouted as he pushed through the throngs.

David O. Russell, the director of I (Love) Huckabees, could barely move, but never lost his cool. In fact, the congenial New Yorker was actually quite amused.

“Are you writing about this?” he asked laughing. “And then someone sang out ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo!’ ” he yodelled. “You must put that down.”

Kevin Spacey marked the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, with respect, but didn’t let it stop him from enjoying his big night.

“I don’t want to forget what today is, despite the fact that we’re here to celebrate a very special evening,” the director, producer and star said at Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday before the premiere of Beyond the Sea, his dearly beloved Bobby Darin vanity project.

“As a native New Yorker, I never want to forget what 9/11 is,” he said, welling up with tears that some suspected were crocodile.

Speaking of crocks, it looks as if the festival’s new co-director, Noah Cowan, is still struggling with the demands of the job. When introducing Mr. Spacey, he referred to “Alligator Eyes,” the actor’s first stab at directing, which made its debut at the Toronto festival in 1996. The film was actually Albino Alligator. Oops.

Mr. Spacey was later seen heading into Jamie Foxx’s private party at the Brandt House with a group of about 15 compadres. Inside, the crowd was heard chanting “Tom, Tom, Tom!” Has Mr. Cruise rolled into town?

Over at the Drake Hotel on Queen Street West, stargazers lined up outside to gawk at Chris Cooper, Billy Zane, Darryl Hannah, Maria Bello, Jeremy Irons and Kevin Bacon, who all turned up to celebrate the premiere of John Sayles’s election campaign satire Silver City.

Everyone seemed to be having a grand time at the party, hosted by Toro magazine. Except, perhaps, for one disgruntled hotel guest who was stopped by several security guards and door hosts.

“I just want to get to my room, you HIPSTER NAZIS!” he screamed before storming off to the elevators.

Meanwhile, inside the Drake, a rather odd meeting of the minds was taking place as comedian Tom Green tried to flirt with Adrienne Clarkson. The Governor-General was out partying until at least 3 a.m. In a full-length organza gown, Ms. Clarkson tottered down to the Underground bar with actor Colm Feore and Iceland’s ambassador to Canada.

Her Excellency shook her booty on the dance floor as the hip-hop band rapped. It was quite the scene.

Tom Green sidled up to her and grinned. “So where’s your husband?” he shouted over the music.

“My husband is John Ralston Saul,” Ms. Clarkson replied, standing up on her tiptoes to get closer to his ear.

“No, no. I know who your husband is. But where’s the dude tonight? Are you, like, free?”

Ms. Clarkson gave him a funny look, and sashayed away. She was back the next night, looking slightly more tired but still kicking.

“I love this place,” she said, lounging on a couch in the bar. “It’s a true celebration of arts and culture.”

Luckily, Mr. Green had already split town.