Starstruck. Not my thing, except perhaps when I met Bill Clinton. Whether you like his politics or not — he is a rock star. Staring into his eyeballs had me a little woozy, and well I find super intelligence to be super sexy. That was many years ago and so when given the opportunity to meet the cast and crew of The Grand Budapest Hotel, which premiered in Prague this week, at a reception hosted by our US Ambassador — I was just not that enthused.
First of all, my hormones are at it again. A dreadful week of hot flashes and zero sleep had left me ashen and irritable. So much so, that I bailed on my Diplomat’s wifely responsibility to accompany Steve to an important reception at the home of the Russian Ambassador. Secondly, the idea of giving up my Saturday night curled up in my sweatpants with a lapful of chocolate and Olympic broadcasts in exchange for a very late evening in heels being “on” to greet a potentially narcissistic cast and crew was not at all appealing. Star gazing is just not on my bucket list.
But I went. Ambassador Eisen hosted a lovely party, and did so in honor of Wes Anderson, the director, who apparently modeled his character of the ethical attorney named Kovacs (played by Jeff Goldblum) after him.
And I was wrong. They say that the personality of an organization is hierarchical, and having Wes Anderson as the leader certainly set the stage for a humble group of people. He is shy, unassuming and obviously brilliant. He had an sheepish grin, and his movie was as brilliant & stylized as he appeared to be. I was fortunate to be able to enjoy it at the press screening the day prior.
And then there was Jeff. GOLDBLUM! Who I had the great pleasure of chatting with for a half an hour. Who did not speak once about himself. Not about this nor any other movie that he so greatly acted in. We talked about eyewear (we share a fetish) and baby names of all things. He was extremely engaging, very charismatic and a great conversationalist. OK, so maybe I was a bit charmed. Did it have something to do with the fact that he said I look just like a young Gina Gershon and that he loved my glasses?? Possibly. Truthfully, he was just a nice, quirky guy that I wish I were friends with.
Steve enjoyed meeting the Czech artist David Cerny, the often controversial Czech artist, who was also a guest. Many view his art as very edgy. I love his work.
Speaking of edgy — I try always to be on my best behavior at a reception. It is my job as a Diplomat’s wife, like it or not. My grandmother once told me that I would never snag a nice guy if I continued cursing like a sailor. She was wrong. While the Ambassador was busy chatting up Jeff and the former Prime Minister Schwartzenberg, it was great fun to peel back and chat with the very colorful and magnetic Robin Hurlsone who could easily challenge me in a potty-mouth dual. For those who are not familiar with this captivating gentleman, he is an art dealer, erstwhile know as Joan Collins lover, and currently the inspiration for the Ralph Fiennes character in the movie, M. Gustave. He too would make a great friend.
Back to starstruck. Maybe the person I enjoyed meeting the most was the youngest person there. Seventeen year old Tony Revolori, who played Zero (the lobby boy) in the movie, is basically an unknown actor. Until now. Not only do I think Tony’s performance in the movie stole the show, but he was well mannered and delightful to talk to. Good parents, no doubt. I also have no doubt he has a great career ahead of him. So I had fun. I admit it. It was a nice break from the traditional reception and Diplomatic obligations that fill many of my days and evenings. In the end — I was rewarded with a couch potato evening catching up on Olympic programming with chocolate provided by my wonderful husband. Just a day late, but definitely not a dollar short.