Byline: Aileen Mehle
Brad Pitt has Georgia on his mind. He’s been in Savannah and the surrounding area — Hilton Head, S.C., to be specific — looking things over. You can imagine the Southern fried excitement.
Now rumors are circulating that he was in Savannah because he’s considering doing one of the two leading roles in the film version of the bestseller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” the part of the murdered hustler lover of Savannah antiques dealer Jim Williams. But do the rumors make sense? A star doesn’t have to visit a city when he’s considering doing a movie to be filmed there. Almost always he/she just reads the script and decides if the answer is yes or no.
Brad Pitt playing the hustler and Tommy Lee Jones as the antiques dealer were always author John Berendt’s choices, but, in reality, an author’s choice has little to do with who ends up in the movie. Hello there, Anne Rice.
The film’s producer has said that inquiries have been made about Brad’s availability, but that’s all. “From your mouth to God’s ear,” he added for emphasis. Everybody is dying to have Brad any way they can get him. (Oh, you too?)
So why is Brad in Savannah? Originally he was supposed to have reservations at the Kehoe Inn there but ended up staying at the Mulberry Inn across the street from the Kehoe, where — guess who’s staying — Julia Roberts, there filming “Gup” (thank God that title won’t last) with Dennis Quaid. Though no one has seen them together, the story spread that Brad was there to see Julia. Man does not live by fried chicken and beaten biscuits alone.
The best the gossips could come up with was Brad at a Savannah country western music bar one night, and then seen strolling along Congress Street with a brunette who was definitely not Julia Roberts. Not in Savannah is Julia’s husband, Lyle Lovett, who is now working in Texas.
To keep the stuff flying, Brad Pitt, as of yesterday, was in Hilton Head along with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. The place is hot. Demi Moore, who finished her movie in Savannah a few weeks ago, is there with her husband Bruce Willis. The locals are either thrilled to bits or mumbling there goes the neighborhood.
One of New York’s most popular, attractive and visible couples, Fernanda and Jamie Niven, have mutually agreed to separate after 27 years of marriage. Although all is amicable, a divorce is probably in the offing. Jamie is the son of the late David Niven. Fernanda is a member of the very social Wanamaker and Wetherill families.
Those wonderful Girl Scouts who are always out there doing good deeds, plus selling an awful lot of cookies, honored Arnold Scaasi on the St. Regis Roof last night at a special Valentine-ish dinner dance. The designer has always championed their cause and they wouldn’t want anyone to think they’re not grateful. Nina Griscom was slated to be the master of ceremonies, and when Arnold got his award all the ladies wearing Scaasi frocks ran up on the stage, crowded around him and had their pictures taken. Them and their Scaasis.
Marielle McKinney, Mary Phipps, Christine Hearst (in a bright red draped chiffon Scaasi), Barbara Tober (in a deep red flounced chiffon by A.S.), Jessie Araskog, Patty Cisneros, all the Forbeses, Sale and Woody Johnson, Noreen Drexel, Patricia Weeks ( in A.S.’s red lace), Mary McFadden and Parker Ladd were just of few of those expected to arrive. Philip Baloun, fresh from his triumph at the terrific Taubman party in Palm Beach, turned the St. Regis Roof into a big red and white lace Valentine. Romance, romance.
Speaking of the Taubman party that Judy Taubman gave to celebrate her husband Alfred’s 70th birthday, the 350 guests came from all over, the women made a great effort and looked lovely and the men were a splendid sartorial sight in their white dinner jackets. Who was there? To name but a few from several countries: The Duke of Marlborough, his former sister-in-law Lady Jane Churchill, Lord and Lady Camoys, Lord and Lady Weidenfeld, Lily and Edmond Safra, Noreen and John Drexel, the Hon. Brian Mulroney, former prime minister of Canada, and his dancing darling wife, Mila; Cecile and Ezra Zilkha, Thorunn Wathne and Harry Platt, Louise Grunwald, Jackie and Paul Desmarais of the Canadian billions, the Paul-Annik Weillers, Betsy Bloomingdale, Barbara and Conrad Black. Sandra di Portanova with a sequin parrot embroidered on her dress, Carroll Petrie and her stunning daughter, Andrea Portago; Pat and Michael York, Hilary and Galen Weston, Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Prince Michel and Prince Dimitri (all of Yugoslavia), Donna and Bill Acquavella, Patty and Gustavo Cisneros, Sibilla Clark, Rosemarie Kanzler from Argentina, Marta Corral ditto and Teresa Carcano ditto.
Then there were Buffy and Bill Cafritz from Washington, the delectable Begum Aga Khan all in white, Alexandra and Arnaud de Borchgrave, Nancy and Norman Brinker, the Jorge Pereiras, Mica and Ahmet Ertegun, Princess Ghislaine de Polignac, Count and Countess Jean Charles de Ravanel, Kathy and Billy Rayner, Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Janet and Derald Ruttenberg, Claude Roland, Khalil Rizk, Betty and Virgil Sherrill, Jean Tailer, the Baron and Baroness Thierry Van Zuylen, Lauren and John Veronis, Gil Shiva, Dolores Smithies, the Hon. Peter and Mrs. Ward, Jane and Guilford Dudley, Gayfryd and Saul Steinberg, Leslie Smith, Katie Ford, Mick, Muck and Donatello Flick, Mario D’Urso, Alfonso Fanjul, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul and Princess Firyal of Jordan, dressed in white with tropical flowers running up and down an arm.
To go on: Kay Graham, Marjorie and Max Fisher, Vivien Duffield and Jocelyn Stevens, Joanne Cummings, Gail and Harry Theodoracopulos, Gale Hayman and Dr. William Haseltine, Lee Thaw, the Robert Fomons, John Damgard, the Nicholas Forstmanns, Oscar de la Renta, Florence Grinda, Francesco Galesi, Mallory Hathaway, Phillips Hathaway, Hilary and Jack Geary, Nicky Haslam, Lorna de Wangen, Tiffany and Louis Dubin, Ann and Gordon Getty, Denise Hale in white by Gianfranco Ferré, Prentis Cobb Hale, the Philip Hararis, Susan and John Gutfreund, Eles and Warrington Gillet, Prince Ernst of Hanover, Nina Griscom Baker and Dr. Dan Baker, Pat and Michael York, Jane Hitchcock and her fiance Jim Hoagland, Lydia and Bill Mann, Brucie Hennessy, Betsy and Michael Kaiser, Lynn Wyatt, Sandy and Jean de Yturbe, Maryll and Bernard Lanvin, Joy Henderiks, Francis Kellogg, Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Hillie Mahoney, Carol and Earl Mack, Barbara and Henryk de Kwiatkowski, Kenneth Jay Lane, Alyne Massey, the Count and Countess de la Beraudiere, Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme and Princess Maria Pia di Savoia, Prince and Princess Ferdinand von Bismarck, Donald Marron, Pauline and Dixon Boardman, Patricia Patterson, Camiar Pahlavi, Dreda Mele, Georgina Brandolini, the Craig Mitchells, Judy and Ed Ney, Virginia and Freddie Melhado, Christina and Gerald Goldsmith, Duane and Mark Hampton, Sally and David Metcalfe, the Leslie Wexners, Robert Woolley, Chan Mashek, Marina Palma, Boaz Mazor, Gabhan O’Keeffe, Kay Meehan, Julie Michel, Liz and Damon Mezzacappa, Duncan McLaren, Piero Mele, Jamie Niven, Georgette and Bob Mosbacher, Duncan McLaren, members of the Taubman family and on and on and on. It was a night to remember.