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BOOKING TALENT: Though Dana Vachon‘s book, “Mergers and Acquisitions,” has barely been in bookstores a week, this season’s lit “It” kid pondered at his book party Tuesday night who could play a few of the tome’s notable characters on the big screen. The producers of “Babel” have already optioned the roman à clef, which chronicles the privileged life of Tommy Quinn, an analyst at fictional firm J.S. Spenser, and is based on the 28-year-old Vachon’s early years at J.P. Morgan. “The winning role is Yves Grandchatte,” said Vachon of the dark but most-celebrated artist in Manhattan. “I would be excited if Johnny Depp played him.” Meanwhile, “I want Owen Wilson to play Roger Thorne,” Vachon continued of the book’s crass, shallow character. As for Quinn and his girlfriend, Frances Sloan, both “should be played by an unknown who is gorgeous,” but Vachon admitted it would be difficult to find the right guy to play Quinn. “The main character is 23, so the problem is, how many 23-year-olds are there to play the role?” he said. The current crop of Hollywood’s young hunks are simply too mature. “You can’t have, say, Jake Gyllenhaal because you have to shave him every 23 minutes.” Bloggers, bankers and novelists gathered at downtown restaurant Felix for the celebration, glad-handing Vachon on his success in between rubbing elbows with Jay McInerney and his wife, Anne Hearst; New York City Ballet principal Charles Askegaard; Radar’s Maer Roshan, and Gawker Media‘s Nick Denton. — Stephanie D. Smith
ALL FOR Margaret: Should Bravo decide later this month not to renew “Top Design” for a second season, Elle Decor editor in chief and show judge Margaret Russell can at least console herself that she’s drawn her own set of fans. The comments section on her obligatory weekly blog on Bravo’s Web site (“Like we all need another deadline!” sighed Russell, racing to finish her final post) has been almost unanimously adoring. That is, except for the errant, “We find it difficult to believe that you are that callus [sic], opinionated, cold and tunnel visioned and still produce such a fresh journal.”
This story first appeared in the April 12, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
A more typical example: “Most of my regular-guy, Midwest buddies would ridicule me for watching a show like this; however, if they were to see Margaret in [a] red dress, they’d set their beer down and pull up a seat next to me.” Or, “For all of us semiliterate heterosexual males out there, the rest of you can have…(insert whatever Hollywood sex kitten’s name you like here) — Margaret Russell smokes them all.” And this even though Russell is judging alongside former Playmate and well-known interior designer Kelly Wearstler. Her fashion choices have above all won fans — one viewer thanked Russell for her “inspiring attire and your glamorous life.”
“I wear a lot of Prada,” said Russell, who said she moved out to Los Angeles for five weeks and packed three suitcases — though she did fly home after the taping of the first episode to switch it up. “I brought what I would wear to a business meeting,” she said. “But I couldn’t get by on the Jackie O sheaths I was wearing….I went back and packed literally every cocktail dress I owned.” — Irin Carmon