Stuart Black’s Legendary Mr. Black Party Comes to Webster Hall

Black is back in a big way. Black is the new black. Stuart Black of the famous Mr. Black party, which was amazing here and has been amazing in its L.A.incarnation, will move his traveling circus of debauchery to the spacious confines of Webster Hall. In this interview, I was surprised to learn about the audience he plans to cater to. Stuart is determined to carve out a great club within the great club.

Mr. Black is at Webster Hall starting tonight. Webster Hall has been around for like 130 years. It’s an institution, it’s absolutely the best room in New York, bar none. Best sound, more rooms than you can imagine… Now, Stewart Black, known for being one of hippest motherfuckers in this world, had this great party called Mr. Black in various places, and now you’re moving your Mr. Black to Webster Hall. You’re shaking your head. Alright, tell us! Inform us! To clarify, Mr. Black now exists in L.A., just so you know. It’s a party at Bardot, which is the V.I.P. space in Avalon. I can arrogantly say it is the best gay party in L.A. and has been for the last two years. We are celebrating our second year. Which is fantastic! But to get out of that, I’m on board with Webster Hall to create a club within Webster Hall. We are essentially taking over the balcony lounge, as you know. The balcony next to the lounge. High ceiling, great sound… So this has been in the works for the last eight months. I guess there are two parts to this. One reason is trying to get a different clientele and demographic into Webster Hall. And another reason is trying to create more of a…I hate to use the word “upscale”… Mr. Black is not “upscale.” It might intelligent. It might be forward thinking, but upscale is not the word. Upscale is not the word. So, it sounds a little bit sleazy, but essentially what we’re trying to do is given this room its own name. It’s going to be called Hanky-Panky. Good name. Essentially the room will serve its purpose as being a V.I.P. lounge for regular Webster Hall customers. We are looking to create real cocktails with real glassware. And it’s going to be 21+ plus, as you know Webster Hall is a 19+ venue. So, the idea is that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, huge acts come through here, huge hip-hop acts on Thursday nights, and then there’s also that big electro-European thing going on as well, and not everybody wants to be in that 19+ crazy chaos downstairs which is great for what it is, as honestly nothing like that is happening elsewhere as far as I can see. But we thought, You know what? This place is big enough to create a new oasis away from all that. And now we’re just going to turn it into something unique and special. For me nightlife is all about a gimmick, so I start off with a concept and idea, and then I allow it to evolve according to what I see.

What kind of music are you going to play? I mean, it’s a music driven venue… I’m tailoring the music according to what’s going on. Like for example, on Thursdays, when it’s really heavy on the hip-hop sound, I would make the upstairs a little more classic R&B, a bit of funky, grind-y, sexy music. I’ve got Herbert Holler and Ed Lover from those Yo! MTV Rap days. Two of them will be doing the music, and again, hopefully we wish to bring in a more mature crowd.

You described the party at Bardot as a gay crowd in L.A.? No, no, this will not be a gay crowd at all. Surprise! So this is not a gay party. This is a mixed party? So, essentially, it is gay friendly, but it is not necessarily for a gay audience. I don’t have any gay parties on schedule. The schedule is to be open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I guess this my opportunity to do everything for the straights that I wasn’t able to do with Mr. Black because it was predominantly a gay party. So why not give the straights the things that I’ve learned? So let’s do this briefly. On Fridays it’s… On Fridays it will be DJ Louie the 14th, who’s a great mash-up, pop DJ. I expect it to be a really nice downtown vibe. On Saturdays, Johnny Dynell-

Classic.Love johnny! Can’t say anymore than that. Daddy. We call him Daddy.Who’s a mash-up DJ. Right. And Lydoske. So essentially, they’ve been doing a great party in Bushwick, once a month, for Tiki Disco. It ends in the summer, and we’re not looking to replicate that. But we’re thinking we could create our own little disco party here on Sundays. Bushwick, Greenpoint, Williamsburg… will they come to the city? Well, no, I’m not expecting them to because I’m not trying to replicate that. I never try to replicate anything. I just do my own thing and push ahead towards whatever that is. I think anyone that’s ever been really successful in New York, they do their own thing. Yeah, but they don’t do their own thing by being safe! You need substance, and thoughts, a process. Absolutely. So how did you end up at Webster Hall? Well, obviously Steve Ballinger I’ve known for quite a long time– Steve is one of the three Ballinger brothers… Steve had been torturing me all of 2010 to come on board at Webster Hall. No one really knew what the idea was, and so I met up with him and he needed help with his V.I.P. section and I was like “Okay. I guess I’ll help out for awhile”. And from there we saw that there was a section being neglected and that could be utilized. And then I said to him, “Well, why don’t we try to create more of an adult scene upstairs. See how it goes and give it its own entrance. We’re going to use the back entrance which leads up to the pink stairway that you created. And we’ve actually built bathrooms up there as well. So essentially we’re just trying to create an environment of which you go through Hanky-Panky and you don’t have to leave to get anything there. You don’t have to go into Webster Hall if you don’t have to. It’s self-sufficient, but if you chose to, you may. The staircase you alluded to is part of the renovation my team and I did a couple of years ago. Webster Hall, with all its tourists and New Yorkers that do come in offers incredible music on the main floor and the other rooms, It’s; a real big club experience that is becoming extinct. Now let’s talk about that. Basically, you’ve got Pacha, which isn’t close to being as big as Webster Hall, there aren’t any big clubs anymore, there was an era when I ran clubs and going to a big club was the shit.

What does being in a big club mean to you? Professionally and otherwise? Well I’m used to small venues, so this is the first time I’ve ever been exposed to the logistics and promotional work of a big club. I think I’ve actually learned more in the last eight months than in the last three years. But I guess this has just enabled me to infuse what I’ve learned, well how I managed smaller venues. I don’t know how to explain it… I’ll explain it. It’s an exponential experience. The problems you have in a small club are exponential in a big club. There are so many other things to control and cover. an example. You can have a lot of places which people could sneak into your party, and so then you’re going to have to secure from downstairs, upstairs, all those ways to get in , all these rooms have got to be secured. We’ve really been particular about what we want to do this is operation. It’s taken this long to even agree we could pull this off because all those things that you just mentioned are so crucial and essentially we are bringing in a new business model. As like you said, I’m now dealing with three business managers, and so we all have to be on the same page, and we all came to the conclusion that this club is going to run as its entity. And so it’s not Mr. Black? No! The name is Hanky-Panky! That’s what it will be called. Stewart Black’s Hanky-Panky? No, I haven’t really used my name for this occasion before. But I mean, people will know. I’ll add certain touches to it Give me one touch. Well, it will be full of debaucheries. We’ll have some sassy, sexy entertainers in the room. Performances, more showcases. But it’s not going to be like The Box. I don’t like stopping a party for five minutes to show off some X-Rated show. I kind of like…well, part of it is going to be a dance party, and the other part, a lounge. I prefer to have moments of time in which the music never stops.

Your 2011 LA Grammy Party Roundup

With Hollywood awards season reaching its crescendo, we’d forgive you for thinking movie folk have all the fun. But this Sunday, the Grammys will aim to remind you that the music industry is full of famous people, too, and that like their cinematic counterparts, they love a good party. Here are a few of the best events in Los Angeles leading up to Sunday’s big show.

Last night, Essence magazine hosted a salute to Janelle Monae at Playhouse for the second-annual “Black Women in Music” event, with Joy Bryant hosting. A private party, obviously, and still the organizers had to disinvite previously confirmed guests. Classy. But the Essence party was a blip on the radar compared to the usual lineup of heavyweights. On Saturday, we have Clive Davis’ annual bash at the Beverly Hilton, and the Jimmy Fallon-hosted Roots jam session at the Music Box. Then on Sunday, Sony takes over the Beverly Hills Hotel, EMI throws down at Milk Studios, and Warner Music hosts a bash at Soho House.

But what would a weekend of exclusive parties be without a week of exclusive parties leading up to them? Tonight, the annual Peapod event goes down. Fresh off their questionable half time show, The Black Eyed Peas headline the Bacardi-sponsored event at the Music Box. Playhouse has Jermaine Dupri’s annual bash tonight with DJ Vice, and on Friday, Beyonce will be in attendance. Also on Friday, the annual “Friends & Family” party will take place at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, where you can expect pop Svengali Dr. Luke. At Bardot and the connected larger club Avalon, Usher held a party Thursday night. Friday, Bruno Mars hosts a separate event in the same space.

On Saturday, expect less star-power but more actual good music, when Groove Armada toasts their fantastic Grammy nominated Black Light at Supper Club with Jason Bentley and Dirty Vegas. And Sunday, Jay-Z will brunch at a Gucci/Roc Nation event. The biggest parties, however, have yet to leak. Arcade Fire is expected to play somewhere, where a certain someone will probably not be attendance.

It’s Basel, Baby!

My boyfriend and I have been saying that a lot since we landed in Miami on Tuesday. When spoken in a tipsy, slutty voice, it’s a reverent nod to the late Anna Nicole Smith, and a perfect excuse for the week’s debauchery. At a dinner last night hosted by Puma and the Bass Museum of Art in celebration of their partnered unveiling of the works of artist Isaac Julien, the woman sitting next to me said, “If you want to get noticed at Basel, you need to party your ass off.” (She was, at the time, heeding her own advice.) This morning, when I ran into another friend, he said, “I see you’ve got your morning coffee. That must mean you had a good night.” And yes, Jimmy, I have had a couple of good nights.

On Tuesday, the Standard Spa hosted a dockside event in honor of a new boat designed by Marc Newson. A modern take on the classic speedboat, it’s called the Aquariva, and it ferried hotelier Andre Balazs and producer Stuart Parr back and forth past the docks, while people clapped and cheered despite their hands being weighed down with glasses of Dom.

That night, dinner was at STK in the Gansevoort, and although the food was wonderful, I kept getting up-sold by our server, which pissed me off because it reminded me of my days working in a movie theater, when I’d implore moviegoers to spend an extra 50 cents on a combo. We swung by the W hotel‘s “Official Art Basel Opening Party,” one of at least 30 similar events happening simultaneously across the city, and ended up in north Miami at Bardot, a fake dive with a pool table and ashtrays aplenty. I got room service that night, later scorning the $30 quesadilla and the fact that I would, for another day, refuse to remove my shirt at the hotel pool.

image The entance to the Bass Museum of Art.

On Wednesday, after taking in some art, both official (the Bass Museum’s incredible Isaac Julien show; the Miami Conference Center clusterfuck of creativity) and unofficial (an abandoned hotel on one street corner populated each of its balconies with life-size blow-ups of Darth Vader), we started drinking. Like, hard. First, there was the opening reception of the Bass Museum’s show, which had keepers of the crypt mingling with jailbait in party tops. From there, it was off to Asia de Cuba, where I gorged on cod with the editor of Blend, a really cool magazine from the Netherlands. Then there was the MOCA LA Beach Party hosted by Jeffrey Deitch at The Raleigh. LCD Soundsystem played for over an hour, which made it the most table-dancing–appropriate party of the night. China Chow and Nate Lowman had trouble getting in, and the door was nuts (but not this nuts), and about the same level of nuts as the door of Le Baron later that night). James Murphy opened his set with “Dance Yrself Clean,” but from where I was sitting, that was far from the desired outcome.

image James Murphy at the MOCA LA Beach Party.

Illustration by Garrett Pruter. Photos courtesy of Patrick McMullan Company.

Juliette Lewis Names the Top 5 Movies People Recognize Her From

To say that Juliette Lewis and I have a past might be correct, but it wouldn’t be accurate. Sure, I’ve caught her rock act four times now, reviewed it twice, and underwent all kinds of maybes before I interviewed her by phone for two different publications. And yes, I’m a longtime fan of her film work. But for two people to have a past, both have to know about it. And until last Thursday, it’s highly unlikely that Juliette Lewis even knew I existed, let alone imagined a backstory that comprised spilled drinks, stunned silence, a stilled heart, and more superlatives per column-inch than any Thesaurus. So when I got the nod to meet with the blinding and bewildering star of stage and screen before she and her merry band of mayhem-makers opened for the Dolphins/Bears up at Sun-Life Stadium, I jumped at the chance to add to that past – and to clue her into it in the process.

Fanboy hyperbole aside, Juliette Lewis remains one of the most remarkable women on the planet – a fact I’ve spent innumerable hours telling anyone who’d listen. And I’d sooner walk a plank than miss out on a chance of meeting her. That in the end we actually got to sit down and have almost a conversation kinda leads me to believe there could be a past after all.

But first the present, or the near present anyway. As you might suspect, up close and personal, Juliette is decidedly present, and her presence is deeply felt. She considers each question, answers with candor, and endures anecdotes and asides with the grace of an angel. After we’d spoken, I left the conference room kitchen feeling as if I’d just been blessed. Of Juliette’s four South Florida appearances, it’s the last blast at Bardot that is her favorite thus far. Sadly, it was the only one that I’d missed. But she didn’t hold it against me. In fact, she was still thrilled with what went off that night.

“Miami’s a weird town for rock ‘n’ roll,” she said. “And I was so pleased that all the rock ‘n’ rollers and all the freaks in Miami came to my show. I was like “Yay!”

Considering I consider Juliette to be one of the baddest-assed performers I’ve ever seen, you’ll understand why I sat quietly and kicked myself for missing the Bardot show. But like I said, Juliette’s too cool to put a cat on the spot, not without good cause anyway. And her ease allowed me to continue without dwelling too badly on the lapse. I told Juliette that I was still a little giddy from interviewing John Waters at Miami Book Fair the night before. I mention how cool he is, and how he was everything you’d expect him to be. Juliette countered with a little fandom of her own:

“That’s how Chrissie Hynde is too. I opened for the Pretenders last year and she is everything you could ever want and imagine. She’s just totally herself – uncompromised.”

Cat Power was also on that tour, and Chan Marshall seems to have left a mark of her own.

“She was lovely, man. That particular tour was like a walk in the park; it was like a dream tour. I’d just play thirty minutes and then watch the most incredible musicians. So I was in heaven.” Speaking of legends, I add that Patti Smith was also appearing at Book Fair and asked if Juliette had met her as well.

image

“Yes, I got to hang out with her at her house, and she is just as uncompromising and radical as she was when she was younger.” When I tell Juliette that I’d caught the rock goddess back at the Miami Jai-Alai Fronton when I was wee lad, and how I’m still a bit struck by the sight of her having to be dragged from the stage while screaming “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger,” she seemed equally struck by the notion of punk’s first lady “making a statement.”

Juliette was also eager for me to know how excited she was to be staging later with a certain Aerosmith guitarist, who, over the years, has made a few statements himself. “I can’t believe I’m about to have Joe Perry shred while I do ‘Hard Lovin’ Woman,'” she said. And the wow was apparent in every word. Juliette’s “basically doing one-off shows, until I make a new record, which will be later in the winter.” Whether or not she again works with Mars Volta’s Omar Rodríguez-López, as she did on 2009’s Terra Incognita, is still to be determined. “I’d love to. He’s a busy man. I was lucky to get him once.”

What isn’t in question is who’ll be backing her on the next offering: “I wanna work with this band on the next record – and then name us.” Naturally, a chat with Juliette Lewis isn’t complete without speaking about movies. Figuring fans would be first to recognize her from Natural Born Killers, I ask how many times a day people yell “Hey Mallory!” Turns out I underestimated the depth of Juliette’s audience. “Never,” she said. “It’s always funny, because I’ve been around the world so many times touring, for like a week people will know me from The Other Sister. There are top five movies people recognize me from: there’s Natural Born Killers, Gilbert Grape, Cape Fear, Kalifornia, and The Other Sister. And I’m always surprised when I get a rare one like Strange Days or Romeo’s Bleeding. Then for younger people of course there’s Old School.”

Out now are Due Date (“I’ll do anything [director] Todd Phillips asks.”) and Conviction, which tells of a woman’s eighteen-year quest to free her wrongly convicted brother.

Conviction is the most intense piece of work I’ve done in the last decade. I always look for new things, things I’ve not done before, because that’s just how I am. But I’ve never transformed so completely. It’s a very small part – two scenes. But the second scene is really long, and there are all these emotional twists and turns and contradictions. I play a real-life character, because it’s a true story. So it’s really intense. And everyone’s heart was really in it, because we all wanted to honor the real Betty Ann Waters, who lived this story.”

Juliette was adamant in mentioning the Innocence Project, and if she’s adamant, I’m adamant. Later, backstage, she was also adamant that the paparazzi step back so she could snap a shot with me, and then a few for my photographic accomplice, Jeffrey Delannoy, who is steadfast whenever I get a great get. Then she and her band roared through a drive-by set that not only knocked the proverbial socks off the sports fans, it left me standing just a little taller, smiling just a little wider, and walking away with just a little but more swagger. Why? Because my past had again caught up to me – and this time I didn’t mind one bit.

image

Photo: Jeffrey Delannoy

LA’s Top 5 Bars For Smokers

For smokers in Los Angeles, big changes are on the way. A new ban on lighting up on restaurant patios is expected to go into effect as early as February of 2011, according to laist.com, and last week, a new, stricter ban on smoking in all public places (that includes bars) passed a preliminary hurdle by a 13-0 Los Angeles City Council vote. What does this mean for those who like to smoke with a cocktail in hand? It’s too soon to tell. There may well be exceptions for some bars, especially in Hollywood. It all depends on how strict the new L.A. ordinance is (only an early draft to prepare an ordinance passed last week—actual language is forthcoming), yet early signs point to a severe ban that could be universal. But, for the next six months or so, thanks to a current loophole that allows some bars to qualify rooms as “outdoor” patios, savvy Angelinos will keep on puffing inside at a few select bars. Here are the top 5 bars in L.A. to sneak a smoke.

La Descarga: This Havana-meets-L.A. favorite has a fantastic back room where cigar aficionados and cigarette smokers relax in a decidedly smoky and sexy environment. Just don’t expect your designer dress to smell great after a night here.

Bardot: Hollywood’s Bardot has long been a go-to spot for those who wish to light up under the stars, while surrounded by them, too (Ryan Gosling and Jeremy Piven have been known to occasionally light up here). The bar’s main room feels like an indoor area but is technically outside, so puff away.

MyStudio: Another Hollywood find where a major room inside the club feels like a cozy indoor area, yet is technically outdoors. Perhaps more than any other club in L.A., smoking inside MyStudio really feels like breaking all the rules.

Tiki Ti: This tropical drink haven, recently voted one of the best cocktail bars in America by GQ magazine, has long been a Silver Lake staple. The tiny slice of Tiki paradise even has ashtrays, so smoke ’em if you got ‘em.

● Dinner House M: Sorry, hipsters, but the secret has been out for years. Dinner House M is a great Tokyo-style jazz bar that is technically a “members club,” which allows them to charge a small fee – and to allow smoking inside. One of the best finds in L.A. for those who still smoke (there aren’t many of you left).

Who’s Better at Night: Paper Nightlife Awards

Last night Paper magazine held their sixth annual Paper Nightlife Awards. It’s been touted as “our version of the nightlife Oscars” by Publisher and Editor-in-Chief David Hershkovits, and we’ve been stumbling through the parties right along with them, as they nominate the best new and noteworthy names and places. A few years ago, we emerged ill and inked, “sweating vodka with bright red hearts, swastikas, and the name ‘Audrina’ scrawled across a back in paint and permanent marker.” We’re older now, and though we’re none the wiser, we’ve decided not to post about the curious relics we woke up with this morning. Instead, we’ll simply recap who/what won, and what we’re looking forward to trying out in the near future.

BEST PARTY The Winner: Flashing Lights at 88 Palace Presented by: Byrdie Bell, Peter Davis, and Luigi Tadini

BEST RESTAURANT WITH A NIGHTLIFE SCENE The Winner: Kenmare Presented by: Jared Eng and Rachelle J. Hruska

BEST HOTEL WITH A NIGHTLIFE SCENE The Winner: The Ace Hotel Presented by: Amanda Lepore and Cazwell (Editor’s Note: Was up against the Standard Hotel and won!)

BEST DESIGNER WITH A NIGHTLIFE INFLUENCE The Winner: Charlotte Ronson Presented by: Andrew Mukamal and Becka Diamond

BEST BAR/LOUNGE The Winner: Coco 66 Presented by: Hannah Bronfman and Apache Beat (Where Brooklyn at?)

BEST CLUB The Winner: Le Bain Presented by: Diane Birch and Andy Shaw

THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS Presented by: Michael Musto and Mickey Boardman

BEST PARTY The Winner: Freedom at Le Poisson Rouge

BEST CLUB The Winner: Webster Hall

AMERICA’S BEST PARTY The Winner: School Night at Bardot, Los Angeles

(More Winners @ Paper)

NYC Invasion: Semi Precious Weapons, Mr. Black

Whenever they are asked, New Yorkers will famously say how much they hate L.A.. Funny thing about that — for a group of people who seem to loathe our sunny climes, they sure are here a lot. Friday, New York glam rock group Semi Precious Weapons comes to La La Land, graciously hosted by none other than Perez Hilton, Queen of All Media, who has decided to channel some of his energy into music. The band, voted Best New York Band by Village Voice readers, may be a little too glittery and shiny for New Yorkers. With his raccoon guyliner and teased bleached blonde hair, singer Justin Tranter seems like he was airlifted from the Sunset Strip circa 1987. So it’s perfect that the New York band is playing with Evil Beaver, Gorgeous Got a Gun, Chris Pickering, and DJs Jamie Scrap and Lady Starlight. Friday, 8pm @ Viper Room.

And tonight the L.A. Mr. Black crew hosts the New York Mr. Black crew for a Glitter-Off. The original Mr. Black DJ, Sammy Jo (also known as the Scissor Sisters’ main spinner) is on the decks. As this is also co-sponsored by Paper magazine, Drew and Mackie (of the Trinity) will be on hand, as will New York scenester regulars Ladyfag, Nicky, One-Half Nelson, and Nicky. Tonight at Bardot.

Top 10 Friday Night Dance Parties

Guys may come from Mars, and women from Venus, but Friday night dance parties are universal lingo. From glittering warehouses to stealth doors at intimate lounges, these slick floors ache for some unbridled dancing debauchery.

Butter (NYC) – Friday night party Whipped is so fresh, most can’t believe it’s Butter. Resident hipster DJs Matt&Maia draw out big name fashion folks like Alexander Wang and the Ronsons and buddy up with special guest DJs like Interpol’s Paul Banks. Mixed clientele harbor a serious need to put on their dancing Miu Mius. ● Cielo (NYC) – New York’s dance addiction reigns supreme. Deep Space house heads maintain the sunken dance floor, which still attracts the pretty people looking to move something.

Avalon (LA) – Headliners and hipsters live harmoniously in this Hollywood dance palace. The multilevel playground draws fist pumpers, dance floor grinders, and A-listers. Timberlake, Timbaland … it doesn’t matter when you’re dancing ’til the sun comes up. ● Circle Bar (LA) – This toe-tapping Friday night hotspot is an LA singles favorite. A dark, circular pick-up spot, delicious for loud beats, dance floor writhing, riffs, and of course bringing someone home. ● Element (LA) – Bottle service and stellar sound system round out this public warehouse club with a private party rep. Handsome variety of the young n’ dumb prevail when it’s not a celeb-fest: Albas, Johanssons, Bartons, plus the men that worship them. ● Space (Miami) – Space often lures in big-time DJs like Danny Tenaglia, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, and Nic Fanculli and is definitely not for dilettantes who prefer “lounges” and, um, “conversation.” Since Saturday’s party usually translates to a Monday hangover, it’s only natural this dance haven started a Friday night after hours. Not for the faint of heart, or feet. ● 1Oak (NYC) – Certainly “one of a kind,” Friday night starts off with a lot of stargazing and label watching. When the PYTs finally down enough Veuve, the dance floor goes off, becoming one glittering mass of movers and shakers. ●Bardot (LA) – The LA dance party scene is not complete without a collection of oh-so-elite patrons and at least one stealth door. Surprise guest musical performances and Audrey Hepburn look-alikes make this secret dance den a prime after hours joint. DJ Sweet P hosts the late night Friday, where the packed dance floor goes until 7am. ● LIV (Miami) -Drinks are impossibly strong, outfits are impossibly tight and tiny; impossible not to have a good, wild time. Friday night plays host to some heavy hitting DJs, and special performances by the likes of Kid Cudi — making it easier to party like a rock star. ● Tenjune (NYC) – While Tuesday night is the “hot” night to rubberneck, Friday attracts straight up dancers. Bottle models and dangerously cute co-eds are TJ’s coup; oblivious to anything but vodka tonics and thumping tunes. If you aren’t moving, grab a girl and grind lest you be pushed up against a wall. Posted in Nightlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Like to Watch: Anna Kendrick of ‘Up in the Air’

Anna Kendrick has the sneaking suspicion that her life is about to change. She’s onto something. The 24-year-old actress will star opposite George Clooney in Up in the Air, Jason Reitman’s adaptation of the best-selling Walter Kirn novel about a man obsessed with accruing frequent flier miles. “I’m allowing myself to think about the possibility that this could be a big deal, because I think the worst thing would be to get caught off guard,” says Kendrick, best known for playing Jessica, the fickle friend to Kristen Stewart’s Bella in Twilight. (She will reprise the role in this fall’s ravenously anticipated sequel, New Moon.)

Kendrick first turned heads as a motor-mouth debater in the little-seen festival oddball Rocket Science, a performance that impressed Reitman so much he wrote the part in Up in the Air with her in mind. (Still, she had to fight to keep it: rumor has it Juno ingénue Ellen Page auditioned for the role.) After Twilight, she’ll play Michael Cera’s sister in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, an adaptation of the quirky graphic novels. With all of these high-profile projects about to be released, Kendrick will have to adjust to some of the more bizarro elements of movie stardom. Namely: premieres. “I always convince myself they’re going to be fun,” says Kendrick. “But having that much energy thrown at you is always jarring.” She’d better get used to it.

image Shirt by H&M, jewelry by Bulgari.

Photography by Hellin Kay. Styling by Jodi Leesley. Hair by Jonny Stutz for Bumble and Bumble @ Photogenics. Beauty @ Smashbox. Makeup by Riko Camp @ Celestine. Stylist’s Assistant Jessica Goddard. Location, Bardot, Los Angeles.