Summer is heating up a bit too much in terms of temperature around the globe, but in Hollywood the hotness got cold fast this week, as the SAG-AFTRA union joined the WGA in walking out of work. That means that movies like “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” got their huge premiere events finished just in time, and TV premieres like “Special Ops: Lioness” did the same. Happily, music, wine, food and even some film festivals continue all around and draw crowds, while Miami Swim Week brought a bevy of beautiful people to The Magic City. It seems the fun must go on, at least until the leaves begin to change and no new programming appears. Happy Summer!
“Barbie” Los Angeles World Premiere
The Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles
The L.A. pink-carpet world premiere of “Barbie” was a glamorous affair, with the comedy’s A-list celebrity stars arriving in droves (and sporting lots of pink outfits, too). Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, America Ferrera and an eye-popping Dua Lipa led the charge, while soundtrack stars Nicki Minaj and Billie Eilish joined in the massive (and pre-SAG/AFTRA actor’s strike) bash, too. The atmosphere was electric as crowds of fans gathered on a sunny afternoon to get a glimpse of the hottest flick of the summer, which opens Friday, July 21.
Michael Cera, another well-known face in the movie, took a moment to speak with TheWrap, shedding light on the deeper meaning behind the film. Cera emphasized that Barbie delves into thought-provoking themes, sparking a “deeper discussion” about its underlying message. – Elijah Gil
“Oppenheimer” U.K. Premiere
Odeon Luxe Leicester Square, London
Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” didn’t make it beyond its London premiere (Universal Pictures planned a New York premiere, too), as that much-anticipated biopic suffered the reverberations of the SAG/AFTRA actor’s strike.
Things at the Odeon in Leicester Square started out swell, as writer-director Nolan and family joined his star-studded cast on the carpet. That included lead actor Cillian Murphy along with Oscar winners Rami Malek and Kenneth Branagh, as well as Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh and Josh Hartnett.
The film opens Friday, July 21, but the actors didn’t get much of a chance to talk about their experiences following J. Robert Oppenheimer’s journey to creating the atomic bomb, as the other bomb dropped in the midst of the premiere – the strike had begun. So the actors left the party in solidarity with their union, but still hoping audiences will be ready to hit an air-conditioned movie theater to take in Nolan’s three-hour opus. Perhaps an “Oppenheimer”/”Barbie” double feature is in the cards for everyone suffering with this summer’s extreme heat?
“The Real Housewives of New York” Season 14 Premiere
The Rainbow Room, NY
New Era, New York. After a two-year hiatus, “The Real Housewives of New York” (RHONY) is back with an all new cast: Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Lichy, Jenna Lyons, Jessel Taank and Brynn Whitfield. “We found the right group of women,” Andy Cohen announced as he kicked off the celebration at the iconic Rainbow Room.
“It’s exciting, but weird,” Lyons told TheWrap as guests nibbled on Pringles and caviar – a signature Season 14 dish. RHONY-themed cocktails were also passed around including the “RHONY State of Mind” and the “View from the Top.”
Meanwhile Andy Cohen – who never stepped foot inside the roped-off VIP area once – spent the entire night holding court by the photo booth and on the dance floor chatting with guests. Later, everyone was gifted with signature “Bubbles & Bingo” boxes courtesy of Grubhub.
RHONY Season 14 airs on Bravo, and streams the next day on Peacock. – Emily Vogel
“Special Ops: Lioness” London Launch Party
Tate Britain Duveen Gallery, London
London welcomed another premiere that skidded in just under the actor’s strike deadline, as prolific creator Taylor (“Yellowstone,” “1883,” “1926,” “Mayor of Kingstown”) Sheridan’s latest “Special Ops: Lioness” brought stars Zoe Saldana and Nicole Kidman to the Tate Britain to introduce their new Paramount+ military espionage thriller series.
The screening and post-party, hosted by Vanity Fair magazine, gave everyone a chance to see the Tate’s Duveen Gallery, an artsy and posh British spot that wowed the crowd. But series co-stars Morgan Freeman, Laysla de Oliviera and Michael Kelly didn’t make the trip across the pond, as they expected to join up with the gang at the Los Angeles premiere, which bit the dust as the SAG/AFTRA actor’s union went on strike. Nevertheless, the show will go on, as the Paramount+ series launches Sunday, July 23.
The 41st OutFest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival Opening Night
Orpheum Theater, Los Angeles
Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival kicked off its 41st year with well-heeled LGBTQ stars and cinephiles descending to the Orpheum Theater downtown to strut the pink carpet, grab a Hornitos tequila cocktail and dance themselves silly as the night inched closer to midnight.
“Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” launched the fest, the adaptation of Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s beloved YA novel, a queer coming-of-age romance centered on two Mexican American boys living in 1988 Texas. “It is a fresh approach to something that we haven’t seen before,” screenwriter-director Aitch Alberto told TheWrap.
“I believe that specificity is universality, so that was always the mission statement,” she said of the film’s portrayal of underrepresented voices onscreen. Look for it in theaters on September 8.
The elephant in the room was the just-announced SAG-AFTRA strike and its bringing of Hollywood to an essential standstill. Newly minted 2023 Emmy nominee Joel Kim Booster was on-hand to present his “Fire Island” director Andrew Ahn with the fest’s Achievement Award; his fellow honoree for the Platinum Maverick Award, “My Animal” actress Amandla Stenberg, however, bowed out of the ceremony in support of the strike. – Benjamin Lindsay
Jazz á l’Hospitalet 20th Anniversary Music, Wine and Food Festival
Chateau de L’Hospitalet, Narbonne, France
When summer arrives, festivals abound, be they music, food or wine. But there’s nothing quite like Jazz á l’Hospitalet, the music, wine and food fest created by legendary French winemaker Gérard Bertrand exactly 20 years ago.
Held at his Château l’Hospitalet Wine Resort Beach and Spa in Narbonne, in the South of France wine region of the Languedoc, this year’s fest drew Ben Harper to the stage (on the night everyone wore rosé, the color of wine Bertrand is famous for producing here), who revealed that he’s actually a bit of a local. “I love this part of the world,” said the Grammy winner-turned-actor, “I come here whenever I can.” He even has a song called “Bizanet,” which is the small town nearby l’Hospitalet where Bertrand makes his home all year round. Harper, whose acting career just launched with a noticeable role in “Extrapolations” opposite Edward Norton, Diane Lane and Murray Bartlett, has pivoted back to music as the actor’s strike is full on at the moment.
Miami Swim Week The Shows
SLS Hotel South Beach, W South Beach, etc., Miami
When famous models, actresses and top swimwear designers descend on Miami, it’s just got to be July, when ridiculously hot days and wet nights make it time for Miami Swim Week. As Moh Ducis, the founder of Miami Swim Week The Shows tells TheWrap, “We are representing 22 countries this year, we have a brand from Africa for the first time, and 55 designers. It is really amazing!”
Amazing, too, how the swimwear industry has changed. No longer only the realm of very young women with perfect bodies, these days there is every kind of female on the over-the-pool catwalks at the SLS Hotel (and the W South Beach as well for the Sports Illustrated annual show).
So when famous supermodels of another generation did the strut at the SI show, it meant seeing Carol Alt, Vendela, Roshumba, Elsa Benitez and Samantha Hoopes proving that beauty is ageless. And in the same show, Sports Illustrated 2023 Swimsuit Issue stunning 26-year-old cover gal (and aspiring actress) Brooks Nader brought her whole Baton Rouge family to the runway.
Other hot brands on the runway included Maaji, with looks for both men and women, Tiare Hawaii with styles handmade in Bali, South Beach’s one-shoulder one-pieces and Banana Moon’s string bikinis. But the biggest buzz was for Alvin Valley, the local designer with the big following, who bought not only his debut swimwear line to Swim Week, but also a new lingerie line.
Please send party and event invitations to Jenny.Peters@TheWrap.com