Category: Sundance

Chris Hemsworth leads a celebrity storm at Tao Sundance

Chris Hemsworth The Ministry appreciates Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford, with his quiet grace and undying love for filmmaking -- but honestly, who doesn't occasionally need a little Patron on the rocks and some quality star gazing?

That's why we love the annual Tao nightclub pop-up that comes to the festival in Park City, Utah, this year in residence at the Samsung Galaxy Tab Lift.

On Friday's opening night, an army of hot young things turned up to party -- including "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth with his new bride, Elsa Pataky, and actor-brother, Liam Hemsworth.

Hotelier Andre Balazs circulated with the likes of James Franco, bachelor Dominick Cooper, Claire Danes' man Hugh Dancy and Rachel Leigh Cook.

Representing the winter sports was Olympian Shawn White, taking in Robin Antin and the girls of the Pussycat Dolls getting down in the packed space.

Also spotted: actor Kyle Howard sans girlfriend Lauren Conrad, Tinsley Mortimer and Brandon Davis (what, pray tell, are those two doing in town?), and former Brody Jenner flame Jayde Nicole.

Enough snow-covered celebs for you? Tell us in the comments section below.


Sundance sightings: Susan Sarandon, Lil Jon, Paul Giamatti

Sundance Film Festival: James Franco and his 'Three's Company' installation

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo:  Chris Hemsworth at Comic-Con 2010. Credit: Jerod Harris / Getty Images

Sundance Film Festival: James Franco and his 'Three's Company' installation

James Franco at the Sundance Film Festival

James Franco hit Park City, Utah, this weekend for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, where the actor and upcoming Oscar host had no movie to promote -- but rather an interesting art project involving Janet, Chrissy and Jack.

Franco conceived an art installation at Main Street's Chefdance space, interpreting the raw human drama of '70s sitcom "Three's Company," wherein he re-created the characters' living room.

"There's a brown chenille couch for you to sit on, wicker coffee tables, fake plants and three faux bedroom doors where oh-so-many hijinks, blonds-are-dumb jokes and is-he-gay-or-isn't-he innuendo played out," Awards Tracker said of the space.

A Friday night party saw the likes of Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox, Anton Yelchin, Michael Rappaport and John Salley coming through for the experience.

Plenty of blond wigs were on hand to invoke some Suzanne Somers magic (which Franco himself partook in). Artist and filmmaker Carter, Franco's frequent collaborator, served as DJ.

At one point, Carter called Franco up to the stage to hype the crowd, and the "127 Hours" star seized the opportunity for some freestyle.

"James jumped up and just started singing," an onlooker told us, dropping lyrical gems like, "'I thought you found love, I thought you were love. You are not love. You are just a good ... you're a hot mess.'"

Do we smell a Franco trip-hop concept album coming? Give us your thoughts on keeping "Company" with the actor in the comments section below.


James Franco's 'Maybe I'm just gay' -- and why we love it

James Franco makes out with himself (and other things that make sense)

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Carter, left, and James Franco don blond wigs at the actor's "Three's Company" art pop-up in Park City, Utah. Credit: Tiffany Rose / Chefdance

Sundance sightings: Susan Sarandon, Lil Jon, Paul Giamatti

Susan Sarandon and Lil Jon at Bing Bar SPiN Happy Hour The 2011 Sundance Film Festival kicked off Thursday, but most Hollywood partiers arrived starting Friday, hitting the town for luxury lounges, discussion series and late-night haunts.

By day, search engine Bing opened its annual Main Street bar with the Decision Makers Series -- a creative panel that kicked off with Susan Sarandon, who reflected on her life and career. Immediately after, she reflected on happy hour with Lil Jon

Sarandon mugged with the actor and producer at the cocktail hour, which also featured ping-pong, hosted by Bing all weekend for celeb revelers. 

Down Main Street, at the Samsung Galaxy Tab Lift, celebs scored something other than ping-pong points -- stars including Amy Ryan, Lake Bell, Don Cheadle and Paul Giamatti stopped by the lift, where Samsung was gifting its tablet device, tricked out with Internet access (hard to come by in Park City) and a built-in camera.

All that swag-gathering can inspire some serious hunger, so Sotheby's opened the doors on Chefdance, launching several nights of offerings from celeb chefs.

Andie MacDowell, lovebirds Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox, Anton Yelchin and Maria Menounos were welcomed for a five-course meal from Brian Malarkey, who paired his dishes with specialty cocktails by Belvedere. 

Who wouldn't need a cocktail after the awesome sight of Sarandon and Lil Jon? Stay tuned to the Ministry for updated Sundance sightings.


The suite life: Sundance swag lures America Ferrera, Malin Akerman and more

Park City parties with Sundance stars Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Katie Holmes and more

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Susan Sarandon and Lil Jon get paddle happy. Credit: WireImage 

The suite life: Sundance swag lures America Ferrera, Malin Akerman and more

America Ferrera2 The excitement of Sundance draws celebs from Hollywood, New York and beyond with an appreciation of their craft, a platform for industry dialogue -- and an endless train of luxury gifting suites.

What would Sundance be without swag!? The Ministry has a full report of who, where and -- most important -- what was gifted.

Lucky ones included America Ferrera, Malin Akerman, Marisa Tomei and John Legend

The hottest lounge for L.A.-savvy fashion fans was Fred Segal Fun. The swanky boutique opened a pop-up shop at Village at the Yard and packed it with wares including Parish Nation menswear, social business cards Poken, KR3W denim and footwear and some stiff cocktails from Absolut. Ferrera, Akerman, Adrian Grenier and Kate Mara all scored the goods.

At the Lia Sophia Suite at the Lift, Edie Falco and James Franco escaped the snow to grab goodies like Diesel's "Be Stupid" tees and Under Armour performance jackets. There was a charitable opportunity amid the booty: Franco, along with Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, signed a Muscle Milk Light cooler for auction. 

Over at the House of Hype, AT&T presented Samsung Mythic phones to the likes of John Legend and festival actor David Hyde Pierce, as well as G-Shock watches and Votre Vu skincare products.  

On the mountaintop at Marriott's MountainSide, Oakley's Learn to Ride snowboard session gifted goggles, hats, snowboarding pants and neck warmers to Tomei as well as Paris Hilton and boyfriend Doug Reinhardt, so that they might better brave chilly Park City, Utah. 

Meanwhile, at Talent Resource's Sky Suite, newlywed Khloe Kardashian-Odom cleaned up -- presumably easing disposable-income pressure on husband Lamar Odom. She scored a yearlong free movie pass to AMC, UrbanEars headphones, Jenny B tees and skincare products from EOS.

Sometimes the biggest star perk isn't what you take home, it's what you burn off ...

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Five days of 'The Runaways'! Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning -- anatomy of a kiss

Kiss pic How to close my five-day coverage of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning's "The Runaways"? With a kiss, of course. 

Since the film's world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, there's been lots of talk about the actresses kissing in character as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, and the trippy montage of skin and sexuality that follows.

"It's pretty subjective," Stewart said of the girl-on-girl action. "It was never written in the script, like, 'hardcore sex scene.'"

What was it like to film the scene, and what do the real-life ladies think of the results? I got the dish straight from Stewart, Fanning, Jett, Currie and director Floria Sigismondi.

Sigismondi told me the actresses were "such pros" and understood their physical intimacy was crucial for the film. In fact, the director would've gotten away with more if Fanning were older.

"There were a lot of things I couldn't do that I wanted to do," she said.

Such as? "If I used an 18-year-old, I could've maybe had her topless ... just to give it a little more reality." 

"The challenging part was all the rules," the director admitted -- meticulous details such as, "One person can be on the bed; the other person can't." An on-set teacher laid down the guidelines for how Fanning, who turns 16 next month, could be depicted in romantic scenes.

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Park City parties with Sundance stars Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Katie Holmes and more

Ryan Gosling Michelle Williams While the Sundance Film Festival chugs along in snowy Park City, Utah, selling flicks and shilling swag, the Ministry has a comprehensive guide to what star-packed parties have been held.

Prepare for a schmooze-fest starring Ben Affleck, Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper, Katie Holmes, Kristen Stewart, pro-boarder Shaun White and even (shudder) Jon Gosselin!

With movies the obvious centerpiece, many a glass was toasted to A-list attendance at private parties throughout the village. At Bing's Supper Club at the House of Hype, star Justin Bartha celebrated his performance in "Holy Rollers" with Gerard Butler, Cooper, Harvey Weinstein and Adrien Brody.

While chef Philippe Chow cooked up goodies at Bing, the Village at the Yard and DirecTV threw a soiree for Affleck's effort in "Company Men."

Jennifer Garner's main squeeze chatted up co-star Tommy Lee Jones all night, while Ron Livingston and Rosemary Dewitt got cozy in a corner, sipping Stella Artois and talking with friends. Paris Hilton also dropped in.

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Five days of 'The Runaways'! Joan Jett on KStew -- and will Kristen and Dakota record their own albums?

Kristen stewart joan jett the runaways Yesterday I told you about Cherie Currie's impression of Dakota Fanning, who portrays the singer in director Floria Sigismondi's "The Runaways." So how does Kristen Stewart's Runaway stack up in the eyes of her real-life counterpart Joan Jett?

The rocker said she's pleased -- and with more than just the haircut.

"I thought she had a quiet intensity," Jett said at a Sundance round table discussion in support of the film. "The physical stuff ... just the way we move in space. We shake our legs, our hands are all over."

And those signature moves? "She just studied me, man."

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'Sympathy' for snowboarding: Mark Ruffalo and Orlando Bloom hit the Park City slopes

Mark ruffalo orlando bloom For even the biggest stars, the Sundance Film Festival can be fraught with stress over film reviews and the quest for distribution deals.

Then again, for the biggest stars there are plenty of VIP distractions. Take Mark Ruffalo and Orlando Bloom, director and star, respectively, of rocker pic "Sympathy for Delicious." 

While press and potential buyers screened the flick, which costars Juliette Lewis and Laura Linney, the guys were treated to Oakley's Learn to Ride snowboarding program.

On the slopes at Marriott's MountainSide, adjacent to Utah's Park City Mountain Resort, the A-listers were outfitted in pants and puffers, goggles and hats from the sunglasses-making sponsor, then sent down the hill with pros like Shaun White

"Orlando needed no help. He's really good," an onlooker said of Bloom, who navigated the snow like a champ.

Can "Sympathy" navigate the murky trail of studio favor in the snowy town? Get more details on Ruffalo's directorial debut here.

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Mark Ruffalo, left, and Orlando Bloom on slopes at the Marriott's MountainSide. Credit: Chris Polk / WireImage 

Get our full Sundance coverage here! And ride our news slopes on Twitter and Facebook.

Five days of 'The Runaways'! A fake tattoo foreshadowed Dakota Fanning's starring role as Cherie Currie

Dakotafanningcheriecurrie Sometimes it's the little signs that point toward big roles -- like Dakota Fanning playing singer Cherie Currie in "The Runaways."

And in this case, that little sign was a little bit of body art.

Currie, chatting at the Sundance Film Festival, told me about when she and Fanning met over lunch to discuss re-creating her persona on the big screen. Fanning revealed to Currie that her journey to their table had started with a classmate who was holding some temporary tattoos.

Dakota's friend had brought the arty stickies to school, Currie said. "She picked a single cherry and put it on her arm."

When Fanning got home that day, her mother was holding the script for "The Runaways."

As Currie tells it, Joy Fanning said, "Dakota you’re not going to believe this. I’m holding this script and you would play a girl who has a cherry tattoo."

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No 'Glee' for James Franco; 'Howl' is here and 'Eat Pray Love' on the horizon

Franco panel With various celebs getting bitten by the "Glee" bug, one would think James Franco would be a strong possibility, having been directed by show creator Ryan Murphy in the upcoming "Eat Pray Love."

Unfortunately, Franco has to catch up on some major TiVo before that's in the cards,

"Probably not," Franco told me of making a cameo. "I haven't even seen the show yet!" 

I caught up with the actor at the press day for "Howl," his festival entry at Sundance this year, which sees him playing beat poet Allen Ginsberg

Franco and I discussed his knack for re-creating historical characters (his breakout James Dean, and Harvey Milk's lover Scott Smith), but Franco still enjoys the originals -- such as his "Eat" character David, one of Julia Roberts' love interests in the film.

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