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The Playlist Go Behind The Scenes Of Paramount's All-Star Vanity Fair Group Photo

by Oliver Lyttelton
June 12, 2012 1:28 PM
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Paramount Group Photo

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.

Paramount Black Lynch
What Could They Possibly Have Talked About? 1: Jack Black & David Lynch
Jack Black: Hey man.
David Lynch: Hcnyl Divad M'i. Nam yeh.
JB: What?
DL: Sdrawkcab gniklat M'i, yrros.
JB: Dude...
DL: I said I'm talking backwards.
JB: Oh, right. Like the little guy in Twin Peaks, right?
DL: No.
JB: Ok.
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.

Paramount Bieber Downey Jr
Little Twerp: Robert Downey Jr. Kicks Justin Bieber Off The Staircase.
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.

Paramount Character Actor Corner
"Interesting" Face Corner: Bud Cort, Nick Nolte, Michael York, Mickey Rooney
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.

Paramount James Caan
Practicing His Nick Nolte Impression: James Caan
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.

Paramount Jones Carvey
What Could They Possibly Have Talked About? 2: Felicity Jones & Dana Carvey
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.

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  • fuckyouall | October 31, 2013 4:24 PMReply

    Look the devil herself is in the middle top, how can you still show your face

  • Yod | June 14, 2012 12:27 AMReply

    Painfully unfunny.

  • jingmei | June 13, 2012 1:41 AMReply

    According to such resources the internet provides to massive fans, supposed to have b-rolls or something else of shooting the fucking awesome huge pictures. ;D From the web link given by here(thanks), failed to see clearly who's who (supposed to be larger as each figure). One of the potential functions of such stuff is to show people some stars still do well seems. Mr. Peter Bogdanovich is also on it who is the blogger here. Simon Pegg is unbelievable silm. So far discovered these without mentioning the actors whom I like such as Patton Oswalt or some others.

  • DG | June 13, 2012 12:32 AMReply

    Everyone needs to relax. This was pretty funny. At least the David Lynch/Jack Black Part was pretty spot on

  • Meetthespartansfan62 | June 12, 2012 7:08 PMReply

    OMG!!!!!!!! Finally! I totally saw right through your deception, Playlist! You hired my favorite writers ever!! I'm so happy you got Freidberg and Selzer to write these jokes for you. This piece lives up to their high standards of celebrity parody comedy set by their ouevre of classic films. Nothing funnier than to put these hilariously true and goofable humor bits into celebrities mouths!! Just having a celebrity appear at all is great! Hey look! It's Carmen Electra! (hysterical laughter) just kills me everytime!! Hey guys, you gotta do a Fifty Shades of Gray parody film with lots more of those awesome and hip Kardashian jokes! It never gets old at all, serious! LOL buddies!!!!!!

  • gonad | June 12, 2012 3:59 PMReply

    Looks like a composite of loads of different photos taken on different days.

  • Steve75 | June 12, 2012 3:56 PMReply

    Very,very nice picture. Awesome actors awesome directors. Must see for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sven | June 12, 2012 2:31 PMReply

    Can I watch this photo up close somewhere on line?

  • Drac | June 12, 2012 1:52 PMReply

    Normally The Playlist is spot-on, so maybe I shouldn't expend the energy to say anything, but this was just remarkably unfunny. I'm sorry Oliver; celebrities are easy marks, but this barely even qualifies as droll.

  • Jerry Territhen | June 12, 2012 1:37 PMReply

    This is one of the least funny things published on this site, which is saying a lot. I used to go to you guys for the best coverage of all things film, but now it's turned into a gossip rag filled with rumors and joke pieces. You should link up with The Hollywood Reporter, cause this is about as far away from an indieWIRE site and it's a shame you're destroying their brand.

  • jingmei | June 13, 2012 1:22 AM

    Apparently you are jealous dude.

  • cory everett | June 12, 2012 1:44 PM

    It's just Indiewire now, so it appears it is YOU, Jerry Territhen, who is destroying their brand.

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