Now that Demi Moore is set to play the scorned adulteress, Hester Prynne, in “The Scarlet Letter,” the film remake of the famous Nathaniel Hawthorne classic, an offer is out to Richard Gere to co-star with Demi. (The thought occurs that maybe it comes as news to you that Demi was set for the picture in the first place — if so, be my guest). The story goes that Mel Gibson was first offered the male lead but that he passed. Maybe he’ll hate himself in the morning for that decision. On the other hand, maybe he won’t. Whatever, the film will be directed by Roland Joffe, who made the great movie “The Killing Fields.” Oh, and as anyone up on his ancient Hollywood history knows, “The Scarlet Letter” was made into a movie decades and decades ago with the famous stage actress Jeanne Eagels playing Hester to the hilt.
Changing agents in Hollywood is just another form of Musical Chairs. “What have you done for me lately?” is the credo movieland lives by. The latest star to convince herself that the grass is always greener elsewhere is Kim Basinger, who left her agent at ICM and signed with CAA’s Ron Meyer, often described as “the second most powerful man in Hollywood,” where they toss hyperbole to the winds on a regular basis. Not that Meyer doesn’t have a stable of high-strung mares and fillies, including Goldie Hawn, Jane Fonda, Madonna, Whoopi Goldberg and Cher, plus such stallions as Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas and Alec Baldwin, Kim’s handsome husband, who has just about completed filming in Los Angeles on “The Shadow” for producer Martin Bregman.
The author, A.E. Hotchner and Ursula, his wife of many years, have decided the marriage has run its course and there’s no use prolonging the inevitable. Actually, it was Ursula who decided.
Catty chatter under the catwalks has it that supermodel Naomi Campbell changes her hairdo frequently to please her loved one, U2 bassist Adam Clayton. The cats say she needn’t bother, that Adam really prefers her au naturel — or at least topless.
Speaking of that sort of thing, Claudia Schiffer has been photographed without anything on at all from the waist up in the French Antilles on the beach in Saint Barthelmey. Her love, the magician David Copperfield — you first read about their romance here — was nowhere to be seen. Unless he made himself disappear. Oh, hahahahaha.
A regal romance predicted NOT to end in matrimony is the thing going between Prince Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia (a possible future king of Italy if you believe in miracles) and the alluring Alejandra di Andia. Alejandra’s seven years Fili’s senior and considered by the family not only too aged but too sophisticated for their little boy. Furthermore, she’s a divorcee and a mother, of all shocking things. To cap it all, she recently appeared at a pompous Parisian gala, where her potential in-laws were present, undressed to the teeth. Said a guest, “You could see right through her.” In more ways than one.
Valentino, accompanied by his right-hand woman, the glamorous Countess Georgina Brandolini, will be in Washington Friday night for the Washington Opera’s opening night of “Dream of Valentino,” for which the famous Italian fashion designer has designed all the costumes. Of course, the opera’s not about Val the couturier but Rudolph Valentino, the silent screen star, whose sloe eyes and heavy breathing drove women mad in the Twenties. Women worshipped him, shamelessly throwing themselves at his head — and any other part they could reach.
The opera, written by composer Dominick Argento, depicts Hollywood as Babylon, the “dream factory” of the New World. American tenor Robert Brubaker, playing Valentino, will be costumed in a lot of pleated trousers, double-breasted jackets, classic dinner jackets and fur-collared overcoats. The women in the legendary lover’s life will wear cascading lace, ostrich plumes, clouds of chiffon and tons of beading. It was an era when females lived fast, played hard and dressed to kill. And men were glad of it.
That beautiful Paris couple, Maryll and Bernard Lanvin, whose name has been synonymous for years with haute couture and French perfume that rocks the room, stopped off in New York after a holiday in Nassau and Palm Beach, and Nan Kempner got them. In their honor, Nan gave one of her Sunday Night Specials, a groaning board buffet in her beautiful dining room preceded by cocktails in her even-more-beautiful living room with its Coromandel screen stretching from wall to wall. It’s the only way, really.
Maryll, who used to design for the House of Lanvin, designed the double crepe black pleated-at-the-bottom pants she wore with a little black jersey top. Saint Laurent designed the black velvet shirt and pants Nan wore with a black belt sporting a big diamante clip. And this is who was there: Hannah and Alan Pakula, (director of the hit movie “The Pelican Brief”), Blaine Trump, Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Catie and Don Marron, Kenneth Jay Lane, Jerry Zipkin, Antoinette and Mitia Guerrini-Maraldi, Duane and Mark Hampton, Glenn Bernbaum, Peter Bucanovic, Susan and John Gutfreund, Paul Wilmot, Lucy and Francois Boutin, Barbara de Kwiatkowski, Princess Firyal of Jordan with Texas tycoon Tom Taylor, Lane Montgomery, Khalil Rizk, Georgette Mosbacher, Gale and Bill Haseltine, like that. The Lanvins left the next day for Paris and their chateau in the countryside, one of the most beautiful in all France. It’s the only way, really, or did I already say that?
Two famous Canadians capering at the National Hockey League’s All-Star game at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 22 will be Mike Myers, the simply adorable star of “Saturday Night Live” and “Wayne’s World,” who simply adores the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Linda Evangelista, the gorgeous supermodel and hockey fan, who simply adores actor Kyle McLachlan. Linda’s admirers from all over are breathlessly waiting to see if she turns up with Kyle at the Garden. If not, they’d be thrilled out of their minds to warm the seat beside her.
Seen at the new Arcimboldo restaurant: Patrick Dupond, the premier danseur of France and the director of the Paris Opera Ballet, spent the holidays at Miami’s South Beach before meeting in New York with Twyla Tharp, rehearsing and preparing to perform at the Paris Opera this week. Then, on Jan. 28, he’s off to Monte Carlo for Prince Rainier’s big circus festival. You know about that, don’t you? Rainier invites all the circuses from all over the world to try out their new acts at the five-day festival, which he personally presides over. Rainier just loves a circus. Except the one his offspring seem to provide from time to time — with Princess Stephanie performing in the center ring.