— DIANE CLEHANE
I love when the stars align just right on a Wednesday at Michael’s, and I get to chat with a star I’ve always admired. I hit the jackpot today when I spotted Glenn Close in the dining room. Just last week, I’d seen Glenn on Oprah Winfrey’s Oscar special where she and Michael Douglas did their first joint television interview about Fatal Attraction. “It was great fun,” Glenn, who looked positively radiant, told me. “We’d never done that before and it brought it all back for us.”
I don’t think anyone who saw the iconic thriller (nominated for six Academy Awards, including a best actress nod for Glenn) could ever forget her portrayal of book editor Alex Forrest. While audiences pegged Glenn’s character as a home wrecker and bunny boiler, the actress, after doing tons of research for the part, saw her much differently. “I never thought of her as a villain,” she says. Instead, she viewed the character as an unstable woman driven to madness over an affair gone wrong. Audiences made it the second highest grossing film of 1987, and it became a cautionary tale for men everywhere who thought twice, at least for five minutes, about having that one night stand. “We had no idea we were going to be part of a social phenomenon,” says Glenn, who happened to be lunching with Stanley Jaffe, the film’s producer. “But it was right at the time when there was a lot of feminist anger, and we touched something that was right below the surface.” I’ll say.
I was joined today by Myrna Blyth, who after spending two decades as editor-in-chief of Ladies Home Journal and later launched MORE, is now at the helm of BettyConfidential.com. (Full disclosure: I write a parenting blog for the site). Since launching two years ago, the site, which was co-founded by Deborah Perry Piscione and Shaun Marsh, now ranks seventh in comScore’s top ten in the Beauty/Fashion/Style category and was recently nominated by MIN for editorial excellence for their Best of the Web Awards — competing with Conde Nast and The Daily Beast. “What’s great about being online is that you can talk to women about what they want to talk about when they want to talk about it,” says Myrna. While so many in print are bemoaning the decline of magazines, Myrna doesn’t have time for all the whining: “The web is great. You can’t go backwards and you can’t fight it, so you’ve got to get with it.”
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Today show co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb with Sunny Luciani. The gals ducked out early for their weekly Broadway outing.
2. Michael Fuchs and a blonde mystery gal
3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Paula Zahn
4. Jonathan Wald and The Financial Times‘ Chrystia Freeland. I told Jonathan that his Facebook posts on Sunday had reassured me that Cablevision and WABC-TV would, in fact, come to their senses and restore service so that their 3.1 million viewers could watch the Oscars. “It will be settled in time,” he predicted when things didn’t look good later that afternoon, and lo and behold, the show appeared 13 minutes into the telecast. Whew!
5. Glenn Close and Stanley Jaffe
6. The ‘Imber Gang': Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Michael Kramer, and Andy Bergman.
8. Christine Taylor (love the new ‘do!) and Davidson Golden
9. Myrna Blyth and yours truly
11. Gerry Byrne and Missy Godfrey. I caught up with two of my favorite Michael’s regulars as they were leaving to ask about their St. Patrick’s Day plans, since the annual Kelly Gang gathering at Michael’s isn’t happening this year. (Organizers sent emails out last month saying they were taking a year off due to the economy but expect to come roaring back next year). “The Kelly Gang is getting a contingent together to march in the parade,” Jerry tells me. So perhaps we’ll be seeing Jerry on Fifth Avenue next Wednesday. We’ll be on the lookout!
12. My pal, politico Robert Zimmerman with Melanie Brandman and Diana Biederman of Blackbird PR, which specializes in the luxury market. The glam gals tell me that things are on the upswing, as their top tier clients are opening their wallets once again and spending on high-end travel cruises and posh resorts. Warms the heart, doesn’t it?
14. Wayne Kabak and Brian Gunderson
15. Tivo’s Tom Rogers
16. Two Degrees Ventures’ Mitch Kanner
17. Avenue‘s Judy Price
18. Lewis Korman
19. Beverly Cahme and Jon Dindas. Bev gave me some scoop about her latest project, producing the big Earth Day concert on April 25 on the Mall in Washington, D.C. You heard it here first: none other than Leonardo DiCaprio and Barbra Streisand are co-chairing the event this year (Organizers are crossing their fingers both A-listers will make an appearance). Jon, who is executive producing, tells me the musicians scheduled to perform include John Legend and The Roots. We’re booking our hotel now.
20. Lisa Linden and former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman
21. Quest‘s Chris Meigher
22. Amanda Haynes-Dale
23. Time Inc.’s Paul Caine
24. Mitch Rosenthal
25. Wilma Jordan, founder and CEO of The Jordan Edminston Group (and George Green’s wife)
26. Estee Lauder’s Alexandra Trower, looking chic in head-to-toe black
27. Nathan Gantcher
28. Amy Kliger and Laura Hill. I got a chance to meet Amy and chat with her this afternoon about her hubby, Jack. It turns out the publishing powerhouse is something of a romantic. Who knew? Amy, who works as a presentation and speech coach, said the sparks started to fly between the couple when they worked together on a speech for Jack. It wasn’t long before the lovebirds took off to Venice and eloped in 2008. (Sigh) The lovely Amy was at Michael’s today celebrating a CNBC appearance Laura “aced” last week with Maria Bartiromo.
Faces in the crowd: “The Bar-ettes” Vi Huse and Kira Semler, in for their monthly champagne lunch at the bar … Public relations maven Trica Jean Baptiste in the Garden Room.
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.