Sunday 28 December 2014

Tinseltown turns green for 'Gathering'

Ruth O’Neill in Los Angeles

Published 23/02/2013 | 04:00

Clockwise from Left: Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams, Colin Farrell and Jim Sheridan

TINSELTOWN turned green with it's own 'Gathering' at the US-Ireland Alliance annual Oscar Wilde Party.

The prestigious pre-Oscar shindig was celebrating the achievements of A-list actor Colin Farrell, Oscar-winning make-up artist Michele Burke and Lionsgate vice-chairman Michael Burns.

Hollywood power player and MC for the night JJ Abrams hosted the event in his production company Bad Robot's offices in Santa Monica.

Despite being one of the hottest pre-Oscar parties in town, the dress code for the bash was "casual" and the atmosphere was laid-back.

The sounds and tastes of Ireland with the low-key vibe of the event gave a feeling of home, despite being thousands of miles from the Emerald Isle.

Before the ceremony took place, stars sauntered down the green carpet, speaking of their love of Ireland, all things Colin Farrell and what bets they had on for the Oscars on Sunday.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Farrell admitted he almost jacked in his acting career following the critical panning of the 2004 Oliver Stone epic 'Alexander', in which he starred.

"The reviews 'Alexander' got, how trashed that film got, it made me go, 'what's it all about? Do I want to do it?'.

"It made me take a look at expectations. It was a very defining moment. I seriously thought about walking away from it all."

At the party, Oscar- nominated director Jim Sheridan tipped new Hollywood arrival Jack Reynor to be the next big Irish star star in Hollywood .

Meanwhile, Abrams, whose next blockbuster movie 'Star Trek – Into the Darkness' opens in May, hinted at plans to film his next project in Ireland.

Oscar-nominated producer Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly was also in attendance. The Kerrywoman is hoping to scoop the coveted award at Sunday's ceremony for her short animated movie 'Head Over Heels' which is competing in the Best Animated Short category.

Also there was up-and- coming Irish actress Dominique McElligott, who said the best advice she would give young Irish people hoping to make it in Hollywood is to "play the Irish card".

The gongs were handed out on the rooftop of Bad Robot, while guests helped themselves to Tullamore Dew speciality drinks such as an 'Oscartini' and a 'Brian Boru'. Waiters served up Kerry Gold cheese sandwiches.

Grabbed

Halfway through the night director Steven Spielberg made an appearance.

Sheridan grabbed his hand and said, "You have to see this band", speaking of Irish singing group The Heathers.

Spielberg sat front row and enjoyed the performance ahead of the big night where he is expected to sweep the Oscars with 'Lincoln'.

Under the moonlight, guests also enjoyed performances by Declan O'Rourke and Julie Feeney.

Hollywood icon Warren Beatty made an impromptu visit with his actress wife Annette Bening, slipping in and out of the event practically unnoticed.

Hollywood producer Paula Wagner introduced Oscar- winning make-up artist Michele Burke, who has worked on almost every Tom Cruise movie. She was also responsible for transforming the Twilight stars into vampires. Kildare-born Burke spoke of the fearlessness her Irish mother instilled in her which helped her to carve out a career in Hollywood.

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Irish Independent

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