Franco owns the Desert, Sidibe Mum on Mom, and World Cup star goes Hollywood
“Twilight” is so big everywhere that its marketing machine needed London’s U.K. Foreign Office for the after-party following Thursday night’s premiere – a secure government building equivalent to the U.S. State Department. (Photo at left by Getty Images)
While none of the big three made the trip – not hometown hero Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, nor Taylor Lautner – the second-string players stepped into the spotlight.
Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz (below right – with fans), Nikki Reed and Boo Boo Stewart supported the film and their British director, David Slade, during his homecoming event.
The premiere turned the Times Square-ish Leicester Square into a woodsy red carpet, with more than 50 trees brought in for the event. Afterwards, celebs unaffiliated with the movie, including Joe Jonas and Kelly Rowland, headed to the heavily patrolled after-party where servers were dressed as vampires and werewolves.
James Franco, who appears to have put his “sleeping through Columbia classes” days behind him, was quite active at the Palm Springs International Short Fest last weekend. He directed three of the 314 shorts in competition.
Alicia Witt and AnnaLynne McCord (without her ubiquitous tag-along sisters) rounded out the starpower on the desert’s marquee at their summertime film festival. Palm Springs’ feature-length fest usually starts at New Year’s and runs through the Golden Globes. As for Franco, his next project is rumored to be a Ph.D. program in English at Yale. (Photo at left courtesy of WireImage)
While not a huge locals’ weekend traditionally, the BET Awards ignited a slew of parties shouldering Sunday’s telecast. Interscope-Geffen-A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine hosted the hot ticket – his fourth annual Crème of the Crop dinner at Mr. Chow immediately following the telecast.
Continuing on his Spitzer-esque redemption campaign, Chris Brown skipped the carpet to sneak in a side door wearing a ski cap after his show-stealing performance. Sean “Diddy” Combs basically skipped the carpet, but arrived “+39 “ (not a typo), which left long coattails clogging up the carpet for several minutes.
Inside Gabourey Sidibe was mum about her mom’s appearance on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” (Sidibe’s mother, Alice Tan Ridley, is a singer who honed her skills in NYC’s subways.) “The Blind Side’s” Quinton Aaron had party sponsor Asics scrambling to come up with a “size 22” shoe. Meanwhile, Interscope simultaneously hosted another event across town in Hollywood. Producer Jermaine Dupri andTravis Barker linked up for a party at Playhouse Hollywood, which was taken over by NYC outpost Greenhouse for the night.
After the stellar ratings for Team USA in the World Cup, ABC and ESPN brass should not be happy to have star Carlos Bocanegra back from South Africa so soon. By Wednesday night, the Team USA captain was in West Hollywood at the industry-heavy “Spin” event at the Skybar instead of preparing for a Friday night quarterfinal match. The weekly gathering at the Mondrian calls on notable managers and publicists to take turns performing as DJ’s, a challenge that Bocanegra declined.
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