With Meryl Streep calling in sick, it was all on Julia Roberts to shine last night at the highly anticipated world premiere of August: Osage County. Was there any doubt? She's been doing it for almost 25 years.
Roberts and her big personality took over the red carpet – Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich and America's Sweetheart all at the same time. At one point, when asked to compare her own mother to Streep's character in the film, she sassily quipped: "My mother's not a drunken bitch." Then, realizing that she was on live TV, she smoothed over the situation with that perfect movie star smile. It works every time.
Roberts glowed at the after-party at Grey Goose Soho House later on, the belle of the ball, sparkling in the company of co-stars Ewan McGregor and Dermot Mulroney. Following a series of group photos, she put her glasses on, changed into a pair of low-heeled shoes and went back to being the centre of attention.
And then … the kind of moment that makes a party …
The meeting of Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift, a Harvey Weinstein production. Swift was sharing a booth with a cute mystery boy when Weinstein interrupted to make the introduction. Roberts graciously hugged the fan-girling Swift and cute mystery boy waited patiently as the two tallest women in the room exchanged mutual admiration.
Earlier in the evening, Swift attended the premiere of One Chance at the Winter Garden Theatre. She wrote a song for the film called Sweeter Than Fiction. With the audience filing in behind her as she made her way down the media line, Swift turned around and acknowledged every fan who called out her name.
Over at the Princess of Wales Theatre, Scarlett Johansson also made time for fans, crossing King Street to sign autographs and take photos at a screening for Under the Skin. The newly engaged Johansson seemed reluctant to show off her ring, either covering it with one hand or holding her arms behind her back during interviews. In Under the Skin, Johansson plays a man-stalking alien driving a white van. So I asked her who she would stalk in real life. The answer: anyone with a home renovation television show and Anderson Cooper.
It was a late midnight start at Live at the Hive for the Third Person after-party. That's probably why Adrien Brody dashed right by me to hit up the Nespresso bar for a cappuccino as soon as he arrived. Director Paul Haggis stayed out of the VIP section and worked the room while Olivia Wilde remained behind the velvet ropes, perhaps to protect her bright yellow Valentino dress. Wilde's ankle-length gown was so spectacular, her fiancé Jason Sudeikis didn't bother. He showed up in a nylon jacket with a baseball cap. Which is better than not showing up at all. Mila Kunis, who was on the expected guest list, skipped the event entirely.