Something truly historic arrived online yesterday: in honor of the 100th birthday of Paramount Studios, one of the most prestigious studios in Hollywood, Vanity Fair gathered together 116 stars and directors from the company's glittering history. From Kirk Douglas to Anton Yelchin, from Jack Nicholson to Dakota Fanning, from Martin Scorsese to someone called Katie Featherstone, it was as dazzling a collection of stars as had even been assembled.
But as you can imagine, it was an enormously difficult task to get even one version on that photo taken, and you can only imagine the stories that come out of this kind of hurricane of talent from across the generations. The Playlist were the only online press there at the shoot (suck it, TMZ!), and we can now exclusively bring you ten of the key things we observed over the 17-hour-shoot.
Jack Black: Hey man.
David Lynch: Hcnyl Divad M'i. Nam yeh.
DL: Sdrawkcab gniklat M'i, yrros.
DL: I said I'm talking backwards.
JB: Oh, right. Like the little guy in Twin Peaks, right?
DL: They let me sit on piano keys.
JB: Oh, that's cool.
DL: My friend, have you ever wondered when?
JB: When what?
DL: ( )
JB: Listen, man, I know it's not the kind of thing I'm usually associated with, but I really, really dug Mulholland Drive.
DL: That's very kind. I loved you in Beverly Hills Ninja.
It was a conflict that had been brewing all afternoon. Robert Downey Jr. was keen to get back to the counting the kajillion dollars he'd made off "The Avengers," and was looking for the process to go as swiftly as possible. Justin Bieber, meanwhile, had been given a pack of Skittles by his entourage, and was pretty much just running around in circles. Bieber eventually calmed down, and was put under the care of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (the two are developing a hard-hitting drama about an altar boy at the studio), but soon got free, and began clambering over the set, to the frustration of most, and the encouragement of a delighted Ernest Borgnine. The decision was made to take the photo and make the best of it, in the hope that the young popster wouldn't be a blur in at least one photo. The picture comes at the moment shortly after Downey Jr. told Jon Favreau that he was going to kick Bieber in the ass off the staircase (to both of their amusement), and only seconds before he kicked Bieber in the ass off the staircase. Tears ensued, not least from Tony Scott, who'd failed to film the incident from twelve different cameras at eight different shutter speeds with four different filters.
Look, you've seen this picture. You can imagine what these guys are like. Every bar has them: the guys who come in at 11am, stay all day, and look like they've never seen daylight. They've got stories to tell -- or Michael York would, had he not recently visited Mickey Rourke's plastic surgeon, and was able to speak. But they can turn pretty quickly, as Mickey Rooney's growl demonstrates. Cameron Diaz was, frankly kind of upset to be asked to stand with them.
Although he tried to hide his disappointment, James Caan was upset not to be asked to be sat in Character Actor corner. Consigned instead to I Was Only In One Godfather Movie Row, Caan was smarting further due to Nolte having beaten him to the part in "Warrior." As a result, the veteran actor spent the photoshoot looking up pork pie hats on Andy Garcia's iPhone, and trying out a grizzled, sandpapery voice, until Molly Ringwald told him he sounded more like Rip Torn.
Dana Carvey points to Charlize Theron
Dana Carvey (in a Bill Clinton voice): I did not have sex with that woman.
Felicity Jones: I don't get it.
Dana Carvey points to Marlee Matlin
DC (in a Bill Clinton voice): I did not have sex with that women.
DC: Bill Clinton?
FJ: I don't know who that is.
DC: Ok, here's a new one. (puts on Maggie Smith voice) "What is a weekend?"
FJ looks blank
DC (in Maggie Smith voice): "What is a weekend?" Downton Abbey?
FJ: I'm not in Downton Abbey.
DC: You're not?
FJ: Look, would you mind getting me an Evian?
DC: Uh, I'm a star too. Like you.
FJ: Really? What have I seen you in?
DC: Wayne's World?
FJ looks blank
DC (puts on Garth voice) Wayne's World! Party Time! Excellent!
FJ: You were a film called Excellent?
DC: No... I mean I guess you were pretty young. Wayne's World 2 came out in 1993.
FJ: Ah, well that'll it be it then. That was fourteen years before I was born.