Vodka party in Beverly Hills

On Tuesday I was invited to the Svedka Splash of Summer party to celebrate their new vodka flavours, Orange Cream Pop and Strawberry Colado.

The bash was held at an amazing estate in the Beverly Crest neighbourhood, high up in the hills over Beverly Hills.

The view alone would have made it worth the trip but the grounds were decked out with everything you need for a great party. Along with a DJ spinning awesome tunes such as my current favourite Blurred Lines and bars serving the new vodka flavours, there were also snow cones (made with vodka obviously), amazing canapes, giant jenga (for the big kids) and vodka bowling.

We seemed to have missed out on the orange dress code though as most of the celebrities there, including Julianne and Derek Hough, Gossip Girls’s Jessica Szohr and Rob Kardashian’s ex-girlfriend Adrienne Bailon, were all wearing the same colour.

Otherwise it was a mix of your typical LA scene, gorgeous model/singer/actor types, all standing around looking suitably bored and hoping a model scout, record boss or casting executive would spot them and give them their big break.

Thankfully my friend and I aren’t trying to make it in any of the typical LA industries so we had no qualms about acting uncool by smiling, dancing, drinking and the worst LA offence…eating! 

24 Hour Plays LA

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There’s always something fun going on in Lala land. Last weekend, I went to the 24 Hour Plays at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The event – where six short plays are written, rehearsed and performed in a 24-hour period – has been going on in New York for years but this is only its third time in Los Angeles.

While I had my doubts about the quality of the plays, I was really impressed with what they managed to achieve in such a short time frame, particularly Bear Witness and Something About Lily, my two favourites.

Maybe it’s just that I still have a soft spot for Seth Green from his days as Oz in Buffy The Vampire Slayer but he was perfect as Build A Bear employee Gregg who has a romantic encounter with dippy bride to be Maise (Lucy Punch).

I also loved Something About Lily, which achieved the (almost) impossible and made me love Wilmer Valderrama. The always wonderful Anna Camp was excellent as the ditzy woman torn between her cheating fiance Adam (Wilmer) and her bumbling criminal ex-boyfriend Derek (Skylar Astin), who tries to rob the liquor store they all find themselves in.

Organisers Montblanc and the Urban Arts Partnership put together a stellar cast including Melanie Griffith, Jason Biggs, Molly Sims, Anna Camp, John Cho, Jamie Chung,Michael Ealy, Jack McBrayer, Ashley Fink, Seth Green,Ian Harding, Wilmer Valderrama, Sasha Alexander,Skylar Astin, Samantha Barks, David Krumholtz, Rosie Perez, Lucy Punch,Romy Rosemont, Hannah Simone, Alia Shawkat, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Tracie Thoms.

Two students Emanuel De Los Santos and Cedeshea Oliver, were also chosen to take part in the productions.

And of course the whole event is for a charitable cause (Urban Arts Partnership) so everyone left their egos at the door. No tantrums, no diva behaviour. Almost unheard of for an event involving so many celebs!

Afterwards everyone decamped to the fabulous Shore Hotel for the afterparty where Rosie Perez kicked things off by taking over the DJ Booth. Melanie Griffith brought her son and daughter along. Ashley Fink twerked it on the dancefloor with Alia Shawkat and Gillian Jacobs while Tracie Thoms took over the karaoke.

Fun times!

Check out some pictures below (courtesy of Montblanc/Getty Images)

 

 

 

Celebrity spotting and an impromptu WeHo pub crawl

Some friends were visiting from London at the weekend so we went for lunch at Chateau Marmont

I’ve been there for a dinner a few times when I’ve had visitors as it’s one of those places that is just synonymous with Hollywood and celebrity spotting. The food is seriously good with, shock of all shocks in this town, large portions, and is surprisingly reasonably priced.

Clearly Sunday lunch is the time to go if you want celeb sightings though as there were well known faces everywhere we turned.

Selma Blair was working the room and seemed to be at yet another table chatting everytime I looked, Harold Perrineau (who despite more recent roles in Lost and Zero Dark Thirty will always be Mercutio from Romeo & Juliet to me) was having a low-key lunch with friends and Rob Kazinsky (Irish and Brits will know him as Sean Slater from EastEnders, for everyone else he’s in season six of True Blood) was also hanging out.

We then moved on to Pink Taco just in time for happy hour, where we ended up sitting beside Josh Henderson (Dallas’ John Ross Ewing), who was there with a group of friends but without his rumoured girlfriend Ashley Greene.

[The randomness of Hollywood, I spent last weekend sick in bed watching back to back episodes of Dallas and the following Sunday sitting beside John Ross!]

After that we spent the day checking out some other hotspots in West Hollywood. The Den might be my new favourite place and if you go, ask Travis the barman for his special Swedish lemonade [It definitely contains more vodka than lemonade but it tastes so good!]. We met a major Whitney Houston fan and ended up singing Whitney songs with most of the other customers! Rock and Reilly’s Irish Pub  is another Sunset Boulevard institution and we hit up The London before finishing up at one of my personal favourites The Standard.

Channeling Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise is renowned for doing his own stunts, one of the most memorable is in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol when Ethan Hunt runs down the side of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. but you can check out some others here.

Next week I will be attempting to emulate Mr. Cruise by taking part in a Jack Reacher training day where me and some other (lucky/unlucky? I haven’t quite decided yet) journalists will be put through our paces by the stunt co-ordinators from the 2012 movie.

The email invite says..

‘Can you: Take out five guys simultaneously?

‘Chase down a suspect at high speed in a stolen car?

‘Disable your opponents in a brutal, no-holds-barred street fight?

‘No?

‘Then you need to come to the Jack Reacher training day!’

I highly doubt I’ll be able to do any of this after the day but the chance to head to a movie studio here in Los Angeles and be trained by some of the top stunt guys in the business is pretty exciting.

It also warns us to ‘wear comfortable clothes, preferably something you don’t mind getting blood on’. I really hope they mean fake movie blood and not my own but I guess all will be revealed next week.

I’ll post a review of my day afterwards…if I can move!

Check out the Jack Reacher trailer below

 

 

 

 

Sean Penn puts his angry man reputation in jeopardy!

He’s got a reputation as one of the angriest men in Hollywood so I was pleasantly surprised when I bumped into Sean Penn recently.

I was in David Arquette’s Bootsy Bellows nightclub on Sunset Boulevard in LA. Some pretty awesome friends managed to hook me up with VIP passes so I could take my sister, who was visiting from Ireland, on a proper Hollywood night out, and we ended up partying in the back room with Sean Penn just a few feet away.

Because I interview celebrities for a living, I’m not really one for approaching them when they [and I] are off duty but in order to give my sister a good star spotting story to tell at home, I decided to stop Sean for a chat as he passed by.

Luckily for us, we got the open, chatty, friendly Sean we rarely hear about rather than the scary, snarling man we all recognise from the tabloids! It probably helped that I didn’t mention I’m a showbiz journalist, didn’t launch at him brandishing a camera and that my sister is a teacher whose students are interested in the good work he’s doing in Haiti. Sean even introduced us to his friend, who turned out to be the President of Haiti’s son.

I only found out later it was the same day his son Hopper launched a shocking racist and homophobic attack on a photographer! Probably wouldn’t have approached him if I’d known!

Even though he’s a bona fide A-Lister, chatting to Penn was in no way the highlight of our night. Bootsy Bellows is such a fun club, mixing the weird and wonderful aspects you’d expect from David Arquette (puppets, dancers etc) with great music and a really fun crowd.

His co-owners were all milling around and seemed genuinely pleased that people were enjoying their night. It’s easy to see why this has become one of Hollywood’s hotspots after being open for less than a year.

And by the way the non VIP section is equally awesome, exact same set up minus the celebs but with the puppets, which range from Barack Obama to Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch. I’ll definitely be back!

Sean Penn arriving at Bootsy Bellows

Sean Penn arriving at Bootsy Bellows

Bootsy Bellows

Bootsy Bellows

Poolside reading and Taylor Swift’s lies

Yesterday was such a fabulous day that I chilled out by the pool catching up on the Sunday papers and the latest Vanity Fair. I’ve read lots of snippets of the Taylor Swift article, including her silly attack on Tina Fey and Amy Poehler but the part that stood out for me was her denial about the house she bought in Hyannis Port.

Poolside reading!

Poolside reading!

 

Taylor bought the property near the Kennedy compound last year when she was dating Conor Kennedy and when asked about it, she told Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales:

People say that about me, that I apparently buy houses near every boy I like — that’s a thing that I apparently do. If I like you I will apparently buy up the real-estate market just to freak you out so you leave me.”

Yet, realtor Bob Kinlin  confirmed to E! Online, she did buy the property and sold it a few weeks ago for a profit of almost one million dollars.

I don’t really care that she bought the house, but why lie about something that can easily be checked via property records. It just means we’re all less likely to believe anything else she says!

Check out the always hilarious Tina Fey and Amy Poehler poking fun at Taylor and other celebrities at the Golden Globes below.