In this episode, we (the 2 Boomer Broads) go to a celebrity screening and party for the film Florence Foster Jenkins and get to stand next to and drool over several stars including HUGH GRANT. We both live in Los Angeles so celebrity sightings are sort of a normal thing. Still, it’s always fun.
Coming to you from that exclusive screening room from that big Hollywood Agency
The event took place at Creative Artist’s Agency (CAA) in Century City. Some of the stars we spied included Bud Cort, Remember Harold and Maude?
Just FYI – Rebecca also starred in a film with Ruth Gordon.
Our celebrity sightings at the screening party
Ed Asner – Lou Grant from the Mary Tyler Moore Show – He is still doing one-man plays and voiceovers at the young age of 86.
Morgan Freeman – That man is in everything.
Andy Garcia – We noticed he hung out at the bar a lot.
Beau Bridges – Looking good Beau. Also a bar fly.
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick – If you listen to our podcast you too will be one degree of separation from Kevin Bacon.
Did we mention HUGH GRANT? – We are both still drooling.
Simon Helberg – He’s Howard from The Big Bang Theory – A little bitty guy but adorable.
Sharon, a sister blogger, who has another midlife blog, invited us to the event and told us she saw JON HAMM – Darn! We missed him. Rebecca’s seen him in person before, but still.
We love going to screenings
Rebecca attends many TV Academy and Special Effects Society screenings but at those, the cast and/or production team are usually on stage doing Q & A’s. This screening was for celebrities, agents, and other above the line folks to see the film and then mingle with each other at the party afterward. They wanted about 20 midlife women to attend as well and that’s why we were invited.
Both of us loved the film, which takes place in 1944. It stars Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and Simon Helberg and is the true story of a woman – Florence Foster Jenkins – who was a patron of the arts. She loved to sing but her voice sounded like a screeching cat. Her dedicated husband, played by HUGH GRANT, arranged private concerts so she could perform for friends who enthusiastically cheered her on.
Meryl Streep, who studied opera in college, hilariously replicates Florence’s screeches. As always, she is brilliant in bringing to life all the nuances of Florence’s multi-faceted persona.
HUGH GRANT is equally stellar in his role as well and we believe it’s one of his best performances ever. The relationship is complicated because Florence contracted syphilis from her former husband and her husband, though intensely loyal to his wife, has a girlfriend on the side.
Simon Helberg is a jazz and classically trained pianist and does a remarkable job as Florence’s horrified new accompanist. You just want to pinch him, he’s so cute.
We caught a glimpse of Meryl Streep’s ponytail as she was walking out of the building after the party. Sharone says she almost tripped over her but Rebecca must have been daydreaming. (probably about HUGH) Just FYI, if you see the movie and think Meryl’s put on weight – FAT SUIT! Meryl is tiny in real life.
Other celebrity sightings during our lifetimes
Rebecca worked on a play in the 80’s called “Tamara”, as one of the serving wenches. (actually, she was a glorified waitress) The show was unusual in that the audience followed the actors around the American Legion Hall in Hollywood into different rooms. Some of the leads were celebrities like William Schallert from the Patty Duke Show, Angelica Huston, and Theresa Saldana. During the year she worked on it, a massive amount of celebrities came to see it. Rebecca served champagne to Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss, Rock Hudson, and even Maryann and Mrs. Howell from Gilligan’s Island.
Sharone says she stepped on Adam Arkin in a supermarket twice. She also took singing lessons from the same teacher as Barry Bostwick and Swoosie Kurtz and would often run into them from time to time.
We’ve decided that LA is just a show business backdrop and we are merely extras.
But back to HUGH GRANT
He has aged very, very well. Hubba Hubba.
How to behave at a celebrity sighting
If you meet a celebrity, treat them like a normal person and then give them a compliment as you’re leaving. That way they don’t have to deal with you as a fan. Stars love being complimented (that’s why they became actors) but they hate to be “attacked”by rabid fans because it’s scary.
She knew them when
Rebecca knew several stars before they became famous. She worked with Lauren Tewes from “The Love Boat” at Knott’s Berry Farm when they did melodramas together. She discovered Richard Moll who was Bull in “Night Court” when she was helping out to cast a film about Brigham Young. She found his headshot at a telephone answering service and thought he looked like Joseph Smith. He was called Charles back then. She worked with Bryan Cranston, from “Breaking Bad” voicing Japanese cartoons in the early 80’s. At an acting class in the 70’s, she did a scene with Gary Graham, star of “Alien Nation.” Their rehearsal became more than friendly but remember, it was the 70’s. She’s had other random celebrity sightings over the years, but who’s counting?
Back to the party
We enjoyed the appetizers at the reception after the screening but were surprised at the amount of meat being served because almost everyone in LA is vegan. The waiters were probably having a hard time serving all those skinny stars so they made their way to the plump gals who gladly gobbled up their skewered lamb chops and sliders. As you may have guessed, the plump gals were us.
We think some of the celebs need to eat a cookie once in a while. (What do you want from a couple of Jewish Mamas?)
Anyway, we wanted to record this episode in honor of HUGH. We love, love, love you! A girl can dream, can’t she?
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