Hotel Thrillist Conquers Los Angeles

Last weekend, the good folks—and insatiable party animals—over at Thrillist, set out to prove that the West Coast truly is the best coast by inviting hordes of social influencers, media types, and sweepstakes winners to be wined and dined (emphasis on the wined) in L.A., home to the website’s second-longest-running city edition. The home base for what was dubbed “Hotel Thrillist” was the JW Marriot, part of the massive entertainment complex L.A. Live, the centerpiece of downtown L.A.’s revitalization.

Night one featured a party on the hotel’s roof where we sampled bites from some of the area’s best restos, including Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Katsuya L.A. Live, LA Market Restaurant by Kerry Simon, Rosa Mexicano, Trader Vic’s, WP24 Restaurant & Lounge by Wolfgang Puck, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill. After that, it was off to the Club Nokia VIP Lounge, for a private affair that featured suds courtesy of Corona and specially mixed cocktails courtesy of Bacardi.

But the highlight of the weekend was by far the Entourage-style pool party, at a private mansion in the Hollywood Hills, where in between those same Barcadi-based cocktails and those ice cold Coronas, guests got coifs in the NIVEA for Men Spa and caught shade in smartwater’s Relaxation and Hydration Station. Top Chef Alums Marcel Vigneron and CJ Jacobsen made sure guests didn’t go hungry, with, among other snacks, an entire roasted pig. Midway through, the Aquailillies Flash Mob provided a dazzling spectacle of synchronized swimming that earned raucous applause from guests.

The weekend came to a close with one last bash at LA Production Studios, where partygoers seemed unfazed by the boozy weekend, going hard to the very end, aided in part by the addictive beats of Deejay Reprise. When all was said and done, despite the many opportunities, we managed to keep our shirts on, which for many, only made the weekend that much better. Check out pics below.

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Photos courtesy of Colin Wolff-Young.

Two New Restaurants Open at Hollywood & Vine

Vine Street is one of Hollywood’s main arteries, yet for a long time, its nightlife offerings paled in comparison to Sunset’s. But lately, things are trending slightly more upscale on Vine, especially near the famed intersection at Hollywood Boulevard, where several large nightlife destinations are dominating L.A.’s clubland, like The Redbury’s Cleo, the W hotel’s Drai’s, and SBE’s Katsuya.) Now, two new hangouts are set to debut at this new nightlife nexus: the Lexington Social House and Cafe Entourage.

Entourage is a restaurant hoping to lure in clubbers in the mood for something more upscale without the velvet rope hassle of Drai’s. The restaurant boasts two full bars, one for each floor, and a stunning patio that overlooks the W’s valet patio area. Opening this Friday, Entourage represents a new nightlife option for anyone seeking sleek environs. Awash in purple hues and boasting a gaudy gas fireplace, Entourage mimics the look and feel of the W brand. Expect spillover crowds from Drai’s on weekends to end up here, especially with their 24-hour license to serve food.

Beginning tonight, a much different demographic will settle in just up the street, in the shadow of the Capitol Records building, when a private party will offer a first taste of the anticipated venue Lexington Social House. The restaurant lounge opens in earnest in April, but the neighborhood is already abuzz, thanks to the reputations of all involved. The menu, which aims to bring a more Manhattan-style late night dining to Hollywood, was created by Mette Williams, formerly of Spago and Cut. But Lexington will also double as a club, with Travis Andres (a name familiar to long time night owls in L.A.) bringing in large-scale events. Brent Bolthouse has already been in to take a look at the smart spot, formerly the awful Forbidden City (the place was gutted completely).

Designed by Thomas Schoos, Lexington feels casual yet upscale, with classic Queen Anne chairs set against exposed brick walls and tin ceilings. A carrara marble bar is the centerpiece of the interior, with a massive outside patio that will likely prove a hit this summer with patrons seeking a slightly sophisticated oasis in the heart of Hollywood.

image Lexington Social House.

Where Celebs Go Out: Sarah Palin, Andy Samberg, Judd Apatow

Sarah Palin @ the Time100 gala: It would be Double Musky in Girdwood, Alaska! ● Andy Samberg: Momofuku. ● Harvey Weinstein: I like Nobu downtown. ● Suzy Orman: Carmine’s, either on 44th or on Broadway, uptown. My favorite dish is the chicken scarpariello, I love it! ● Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann: Katsuya!

David Chang: I just had amazing cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Per Se. So if you’re [at the Time Warner Center], there’s no reason to go anywhere else. ● Neil Patrick Harris: Oh,I’m a big Batali fan. His are some of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever been to, in my life. ● Jack Dorsey: I really like the the Boom Boom Room. Minetta Tavern is my favorite restaurant. It’s in my neighborhood. Everything on the menu is amazing. I love it. They change it so frequently. ● Jamie-Lynn Sigler at the opening party for Prime KO restaurant: I’m not much of a partier anymore. It’s more [about] a place where I can hear the people that I’m with. I live in L.A. I go to friends’ houses for game nights. Dan Tana’s is one of my favorite restaurants. Recommended: chicken parm. Izakaya restaurant–it’s Katsuya, but it’s more low key. My favorite dish there is baked crab hand roll. ● Dann Florek: Ouest–I’m a big fan of Tom Valenti’s. His signature dish is a braised short rib. You can’t have it too often. His salad is the best I’ve had on the Upper West Side. The dressing is the best–I think it’s a red wine parmesan vinaigrette. I also like Bar Bao and Calle Ocho. ● Jason Binn, founder of Niche Media Holdings: We’re a big fan of Joey Allaham. We had a staycation in Manhattan. We stayed at the St. Regis and went to the Oak Room.

Where Celebs Go Out: Marc Jacobs, Amanda Lepore, Adrian Grenier, Emma Snowdon-Jones

At David Barton Gym annual toy drive: ● MARC JACOBS – “In Paris, there’s a small club called Montana, and there’s a restaurant called Thiou. Bars I really don’t hang out in. Oh, there’s this great club that happens once a month in Paris called Club Sandwich. And it’s at the Espace Cardin. And everyone gets super dressed-up, so it’s really, really fun. I try to go whenever I’m in Paris, if it’s going on. And we stay out all night and just dance like crazy. And in New York, my favorite restaurants have always been the same. I love to eat at Pastis. I love the Standard. I love Da Silvano. I eat in the lobby of the Mercer a lot, the hotel. I usually go to Pastis for lunch, and there’s a sandwich that was on the menu, but they don’t make it anymore, but I always insist that they make it for me. And it’s really fattening, so I shouldn’t eat it, but it’s chicken paillard and gruyere cheese and bacon. And it’s so delicious. It’s really good. And it’s my weakness. It’s just like the most perfect sandwich.”

● DAVID BARTON – “Oh, I can’t think where I like to hang out in Seattle except my new gym! There’s a great place that just opened up in New York, up on 51st, called the East Side Social Club. Patrick McMullan is one of the partners there. He’s co-hosting with me tonight. Great place; really cool. It’s very old world, kind of like going to Elaine’s, kind of little cozy; sit at a booth; very cool. Love a little place called Il Bagatto, over on 7th between A & B — little tiny Italian place, East Village, kind of a neighborhood place that I go to. What else? I don’t know restaurants. I’m very casual. I’m so not that into food. I mean, I could eat cardboard — I’m just not into food! I like people. I like atmosphere, but I’m just not that into food.” ● AMANDA LEPORE – “I definitely like Bowery Bar and I like Hiro. Boom Boom Room. Just anywhere where everybody is, I guess! [laughs] Novita, I like, my friend Giuseppe. Any favorite dishes? I try not to eat too much! ● PATRICK MCDONALD – “My favorite restaurant in New York is Indochine. It’s been around for 25 years. Jean-Marc, I adore. I love the bar at the Carlyle. I don’t drink, but I like to go there for tea in the afternoon. And I love Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon on Gramercy Park. I love Pastis, Odeon, and everywhere. I like the French fries at Pastis.” ● PATRICK MCMULLAN – “I love going to Waverly Inn downtown. Boom Boom Room is fabulous. That’s really a new, great place. SL, on 409 W. 14th Street, down below is nice. Of course, I have the East Side Social Club that I’m involved with, and that’s great for hanging out in, for eating. Favorite dishes anywhere? Oh, I don’t know, just anything that people recommend. I usually go with what people recommend ’cause most people know what’s good — the waiters know, so I think that’s the best thing. Red wine is good to have to drink sometimes. They have a drink called the Eastsider at the East Side Social Club that’s really good; any of their pastas; their ravioli is great there. What else do I like? That new place that’s open, the English place, on 60th in the Pierre — Le Caprice, that’s a nice place. At the Waverly Inn, I like the macaroni and cheese. It was funny because the macaroni and cheese is about two dollars less than a room at the Pod Hotel, which is where the East Side Social Club is! The Monkey Bar is fun. There are so many cool places in New York. I just go where people tell me to go.”

At elf party for Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe:

● JENNY MCCARTHY – “In Chicago, I would have to say Gibsons Steakhouse still; in Los Angeles, Katsuya, still love that sushi; I’m addicted to it. And in New York, Koi. I’m very trendy and boring, but, hey, that’s where the good food is, so …” ● PERI GILPIN – “In L.A., we like BLT a lot. We have five-year-old twins, so we’re like in bed by nine o’clock — pretty boring. Corner Bakery for soup.” ● CANDACE CAMERON BURE – “L.A., hands down, our favorite restaurant is Gjelina, which is in Venice. And we love Craft; love Michael’s in Santa Monica. Here, in New York, my favorite restaurant is Lupa, which is a Mario Batali restaurant; love it here. And I don’t go to clubs anymore, nightclubs; I don’t ever! At Gjelina, they have a burrata with prosciutto and, usually, a warm pear or a warm peach. I love that! I really love tapas. I enjoy getting a lot of appetizers, more than just a main dish. We, actually, have had our own wine label, Bure Family Wines, for two years, which is at several restaurants, so matching the food and the wine is a big part for us. We’re big foodies” ● DEAN MCDERMOTT – “There is a great bar, Ye Coach & Horses in L.A., on Sunset. I’m so bad at this stuff! Oh, Katsuya, in the Valley, awesome sushi. It’s our favorite place. We go there like three times a week.” ● KEN BAUMANN – “In New York, my favorite restaurant is Il Cortile. It’s in Little Italy, and it’s run by this guy named Stefano, and it’s incredible, phenomenal food. In Los Angeles, my favorite restaurant’s gotta be Cut, which is in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.” ● SHAILENE WOODLEY – “Honestly, I’m not really a club kinda girl. I’d rather go to a local bar with some friends and hang out there. Or just go back to my house and have people come over. I’m more of the congregate-at-my-house kind of chick. I’m 18, so I don’t drink, so I don’t go to bars. There’s a place called the Alamo, which has karaoke and it’s a bar, but we go and karaoke there probably once a week.” ● FRANCIA RAISA – “I’m not a big club person. I really like bars and lounges. In L.A., I like to hang out at Buffalo Wild Wings, watching sports and drinking beer with my friends. I really don’t go out that much. I hang out at home and have my own glass of wine, watching Grey’s Anatomy. Oh, I just tried this restaurant yesterday at Gramercy Park Hotel. It’s a new, Italian place — Maialino. It was amazing. And again, I’m very simple, so I like pizza, and John’s Pizza out here is amazing to me, too. And hot wings I like at Planet Hollywood. I’m obsessed with them!”

At Zeno “Hot Spot” launch party @ MTV Studios:

● SKY NELLOR – “I am a huge sushi fanatic, so I just had Katsuya three times in two days in L.A. What is it about Katsuya? It’s the baked-crab hand roll in a soy-paper wrap. It’s just so yummy. I want one now! In New York, I have a fixation with Bagatelle. I just love the fish and the veggies. Nightclubs, nightlife, oh, my God! Apparently, I’m a really good bowler, so I hang out at Lucky Strike everywhere — Miami, L.A., Kansas! We just had a bowling party, and I won, so … Oh, they didn’t let me see my score. I just kept getting strikes to the point where they were, like, ‘Give her more shots! We have to stop this girl!’ And the drunker I got, the better I got. Clubs — if I’m going to go out, I’m going to go out to dance. And I’m going to go where the DJ is playing. I don’t care what club it is. I went to a dive in L.A., at a party called Afex, just because some of the best DJs were playing that night. Like, I don’t care about the crowd. I don’t care about the scene. I care about the music. I don’t think the venue has a name. I think it’s called No Space. They just move the party around.” ● SUCHIN PAK – “I have a great place. It’s called Broadway East, and it’s on East Broadway. And I love it because it’s a beautiful space, but also it’s literally across the street from my house. That always helps. And then there’s a really fantastic place called Bacaro. Oh, it’s amazing! It’s downstairs. It’s almost a dungeon-like place. The people that used to do Peasant, the wine bar there, moved to this place. I like to say the Lower East Side on East Broadway is where the grown-up hipsters go. For a true Lower East Sider, it may not be true Lower East Side, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve moved more south than east, and I keep trickling that way.”

At charity:ball for charity:water:

● ADRIAN GRENIER – “Brooklyn. Fort Greene. Habana Outpost — it’s run mostly on solar power, and it’s a sustainable business.” MARK BIRNBAUM “Well, if I do say so myself, Abe & Arthur’s on 14th Street; SL, the new club underneath it. I still love Tenjune. And I like hanging out at home other than that. What about places other than your own? So I shouldn’t say the Chandelier Room, in Hoboken? I really like going to Bar and Books in the West Village — that’s our spot. You know where else I like to go? Miami — the new W South Beach is unbelievable, by far the best hotel down there. The design is incredible; the pool area is very nice; they have good restaurants there — there’s a Mr. Chow’s and the other one is good; the rooms are really nice; it’s very well done; it’s just very fresh, the entire thing; and the artwork is incredible. You don’t feel like you’re in South Beach — not that there’s anything wrong with it — but it’s really, really, really, well done.” ● NICOLE TRUNFIO – “I just found this really cool jazz club in Paris where they still dance to old, rock-and-roll music in partners. It’s a location undisclosed. I don’t remember what it’s called. It’s in the Saint-Michel — it’s just off it. You can jump into a taxi, ‘cause we went to a jazz bar called the Library, but that was closed. So we asked the taxi driver, and he took us to this place. So, I’m sure lots of local French taxi-drivers would know the place.” ● LAUREN BUSH – “Oh, gosh, I’m like so uncool! It’s such an obvious question, it’s so hard … I’m a vegetarian, so I love Blossom restaurant. They have a good, quinoa-tofu dish. It’s like gingery. It’s really good. ● EMMA SNOWDON-JONES – “I love Le Bilboquet because it’s consistent, and mainly wherever your friends are it makes the place. It’s on 63rd, between Park and Madison. I’ve gone there since I was in boarding school. I’d come into the city on the weekends, and I’d go there. I think anyone that’s been in New York as long as I have knows it. That’s a really, bloody long time, sadly. As good as my Botox is, it’s too long!” ● KRISTIN CHENOWETH – “I am an old-fashioned girl, and I still love Joe Allen’s. I go there all the time. And right next-door above, is a place called Bar Centrale, and I go there, too. I was just there last night for three hours. I like the manicotti at Joe Allen’s. It’s excellent!” ● JULIAN LENNON – “Probably the Jane bar and the Rose Bar in New York.”

At launch of S.T. Dupont in-store boutique @ Davidoff on Madison Avenue:

● RON WHITE – “I love the bars in Glasgow, Scotland. You could go sit in a bar by yourself and in five minutes, you’d be talkin’ to 10 people because they’re so curious about anybody that walks in that’s not normally in there. They just want to go talk to ’em and find out what they’re about. They’re just as friendly as they can be. I was there for the British Open, or the Open Championship, as it’s called. And if you go to a bar in New York City, you can sit there for the rest of your life and not meet another person because they’re not really gonna come up to you and go, ‘Hey, what’s up? What are you doing in town?’ That just doesn’t happen here.”

Kellan Lutz Talks ‘New Moon,’ Robert Pattinson, & Freddie Krueger

When Kellan Lutz decided to join the Cullen family for their Twilight saga, he couldn’t have possibly predicted the magnitude of the hurricane he was about to get swept up in. Now, whether he’s leaving the gym or a BlackBook photoshoot, he’s followed by a pack of photographers looking to satisfy that insatiable Twilight bloodlust. Lutz, who plays the bulky big brother to Robert Pattinson’s Edward (and appear later next year in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake), is currently in Vancouver filming Eclipse, the follow-up to New Moon, out this November (like you don’t know). We called him up the day before he was scheduled to head up north and spoke about what it’s like being a young actor on the rise in Los Angeles and the madness that is Twilight and its fans.

Does going to auditions make you nervous? No, I love them. I always fight for them and hate when some agents make us put ourselves on tape and send it to the casting director. I like winning the room, if that makes sense; hanging out with the casting directors and talking with them. An audition is 50% knowing your lines and the other 50% is being personable.

So what’s it like being a young actor in Los Angeles? It’s been an eye-opener, for sure. I really don’t like LA. I don’t go to the beach, I don’t use the amenities that are in LA , I don’t really go out to the clubs.

Why don’t you like going to the beach? I live in the Valley, so it’s kind of a trek to go there. And for me, whenever I go traveling I just throw everything in a suitcase. I don’t really plan outfits or anything like that so I’ll throw a bunch of stuff in, and when I go to the beach I’m like, “Okay, I need a bunch of balls, towels, sandals, I need to bring my lacrosse stick in case I want to play, and a volleyball.” You know, it takes an hour finding everything and then you have to drive there. It’s just exhausting. And no one really goes in the water in LA, unless you surf. There’s only a month to two months where you can actually go in the water without a wetsuit.

So do you avoid the flashiness of LA’s nightlife? There’s some things you should go to. Last night I went to the InStyle party and it was very beneficial for myself to meet the editors and hang out with them. It’s all about making relationships—real relationships, you don’t need to be fake. You just talk and build that bond for future endeavors. It’s really weird seeing other actors who go to every single thing, every party out there. It doesn’t appeal to me.

Is it a game you feel you have to play? No, not really. Again, being in L.A. is kind of like school. You go to math, then you go to geometry and then algebra. It’s changed so much from when I first moved out here. Now it’s a depressing city.

So I hear you’re pretty cool with the Twilight fans, who I hear can be a little much. I am extremely blessed to be a part of this franchise. I didn’t know this series and I didn’t know it had such a following. I love going to conventions. That’s why I love Will Smith. He goes to every premiere in every country. I really admire that because his fans are the ones going to his movies, and it doesn’t take much to show your appreciation. The Twilight moms made dog tags and engraved really cool things on them.

What’s a Twilight mom? I’m assuming it’s parents that take their kids to these things? Well actually most of the time it’s the opposite. It’s funny because the mom’s are like, “Oh, we need a picture for my daughter, can you get a picture for my daughter.” And I’m like, where is she? And she’s like, “Oh, uh, she’s grounded this week.” There’s groups of Twilight moms that go to every convention. That’s the amazing thing about Twilight. It’s for everyone.

But what happens when the fans get to a Robert Pattinson-level where it’s just insane? Well, it’s crazy because with all this attention, all of us are handling it extremely well. We still have our head on our shoulders and our feet on the ground. Rob’s handling it so well. I can’t fathom being in his shoes. I believe I could handle it, but being cooped up in Vancouver and not being able to leave the hotel room or the apartment without having a driver and having to hide out—especially when he was shooting Remember Me, I talked to him a lot in New York and those fans were just crazy. I can’t imagine trying to act when you have all these people yelling your name and you’re doing an emotional scene.

You have some fight scenes in New Moon. Did you have to put on weight? That’s the thing that’s really hard for me. I did a couple movies after New Moon and before Eclipse where I had to play a high school kid, like Warrior and Nightmare on Elm Street, and it’s one of those things where I love my size—I love being a big kid and having my muscles. So having someone tell you, “Hey, can you not work out until we shoot so you don’t tower over the other actors?” I’m really happy to take the time out and just work out. That’s what my character is, he’s a big guy and it makes me happy being able to eat and just put that weight back on.

So you’ve actually been forced not to work out? Yeah, I mean they didn’t really say it that blatantly.

Do you like doing your own stunts? I love doing my own stunts. I try and fight the producers to allow me to do stuff and of course there’s insurance reasons why we can’t, but again, I want that to be my face on screen. I don’t want them to have to blur it out if there’s a cool fighting scene. And a lot of times I can do the stunt better than the stuntman. I once had to fall ten feet from a tree and I go the wind knocked out of me. The stuntmen were like, Let all the air out before you hit the ground. It’s a learning process but I just love doing all my own stunts and I’m an action junkie. I love anything action and being on rigs and falling from buildings. I kind of want to be a stunt man too.

So I imagine you’d love to top line a big action film. Yeah, I mean, my team and I really are focusing on that genre. I feel like there aren’t that many American action heroes. You got Daniel Craig who’s overseas and Matt Damon’s awesome. I love his career choices. He does comedies, to dramas to big action movies, like the Bourne franchise.

So what was it like filming the Nightmare on Elm Street remake? Freddie scared me growing up. I watched a lot of horror movies with my dad and my brother. There’s something about Freddie Kruger attacking you in your sleep that terrified me. I mean, that’s probably why I only get four hours of sleep a night, I hardly dream. And having the chance to be a part of this movie, and it’s a psychological thriller versus some bloodbath, I’m blessed. I’m the guy that you want to root for in this because he’s a good guy having these problems because he can’t sleep, and he sees Freddie when he sleeps, so he just stays up.

Do you hang out with your cast mates from Twilight when you’re not filming? Me and Ashley Greene are kind of not—the kids of the group, but we like playing games. I went to Toys R Us and bought Wii Fitness and tons of other games to play in the hotel, because we are always in the hotel and it’s tough to leave and not be followed by paparazzi or fans.

So people stalk you at the hotel? Well the thing is, we can’t rent out the whole hotel, so fans will come up that know we are shooting there to have a chance to see all of us in one place. They’ll get rooms and every time one of us leaves, they’re there. It’s great to talk to them but you really can’t sneak away.

What is their reaction when they see you? They’re very nervous and shy. They’re shaking, they shake and shoot the camera, and it’s all fuzzy so they have to do it again. Then there’s paparazzi who have flown from LA to Vancouver just to shoot a bunch of us. So it’s not just the Vancouver paparazzi, it’s LA as well. So it’s great just to feel like you’re at home and to play games. I bought the Twilight game which we never played until we were up there. It’s a fun game!

You started your career as a model, but when exactly were you bit by the acting bug? I fell into the modeling world by luck, but I did it because I found photography to be a passion of mine, and being in front of the camera was really cool. So doing different stuff and learning who I want to shoot with as far as photographers was great I got a scholarship to go to Chapman University for chemical engineering in Orange County, and my father’s always lived in LA, so I just wanted to pack up and go there, but my mother didn’t want me, so I did it anyway. It was just something I had to do. When I was in LA, it was extremely lucrative with the modeling—the money, the opportunities—it’s LA so it was fast-paced and I was making more money and traveling all over the world. I just kind of fell into acting as a way to show off my personality.

What’s your favorite restaurant or place to eat in LA? Katsuya is a great place, one of my favorite sushi places.

Kellan Lutz, along with two other New Moon stars, appear in our upcoming October issue.

Rob Zombie Attacks: Halloween 2

Rocker-cum-writer/director Rob Zombie’s re-imagination of the Halloween franchise is a dark, gory fantasia where John Carpenter’s original circa ’78 characters are a collection of layered, psychologically disturbed misanthropes. The former White Zombie frontman’s prior film pursuits — House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects — were littered with gruesomely violent acts, and Halloween II (in theaters Friday) is no exception to the Zombie film norm. Halloween II continues where his first remake left off, focusing on Michael Myers’s sister, Laurie, as she picks up the pieces of her brother’s killing spree. Mellow Zombie talks about the state of the film industry in ’09, his personal absence of the ‘fear factor’ and how to market a movie the right way.

What’s going to shock people in this film? Two things that they don’t expect from this type of movie: they’re surprised by how involved they get with the characters as an actual drama and then they’re actually surprised just how graphic and realistic the violence is. Not in a goofy splatter movie way but in a real life way. People are walking out of it going, “Holy crap, way more fucking intense than I was prepared to deal with!”

Are there any horror films that scare you? No. Nothing. I see them and I appreciate them and I can like them, but they don’t scare me in any way. Unfortunately. That shock has worn off.

Describe the first time you saw John Carpenter’s Halloween? I saw it on its original run back when it came out in ’78 at the drive in on a double feature. I was probably 13 or 14. I thought it was super scary and awesome. It’s hard to believe now, because that movie’s been so copied and imitated and every aspect of it almost seems like a cliché, but at that time, it was so fresh and original. It was just mind-blowing. The only movie that you could relate it to was Psycho.

What’s different about the mask in the sequel? There was the famous mask that they used in John Carpenter’s and through all the subsequent sequels, they always had a new mask, and they always, to me, looked really shitty. It never had any real purpose or significance or any kind of symbolic nature to it. We’ve been using the same mask for the first film and now our second film and it just keeps degenerating. It’s crumbling and falling apart. Sort of like as Michael Myers’s state of mind deteriorates, so does the mask. In this version, it’s pretty dirty and filthy and ripped apart and half of it is missing, you can see half of his face exposed. Picking apart at the legend.

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What’s different about your version of Laurie? In the first movie, we don’t really know much about her. We just kind of introduce her, ‘Oh here she is, Laurie Strode. Happy-go-lucky all- American girl.’ But now, she’s Laurie Strode, girl who wakes up and finds out that her parents are murdered and most of her friends are murdered too. She’s scarred on the inside and out. I tried to play upon the idea that a lot of times, people who have been through really tragic events will try to reinvent themselves to distance themselves from who they were. So she’s trying to be a more outgoing, punk-rock type girl. It’s a totally different character. She’s lashing out at everything, trying to make sense of how destroyed her life is now.

An unofficial trailer was leaked online and viewers are saying that this one is better than the official trailer. What hand do you have in the marketing of your films? I always disagree with the way studios want to market my films. It’s been a source of contention on every single one of my films. I try to make movies that are different from the norm and the problem is that studios don’t really want to market anything different from the norm. They want to make everything look like ‘the norm’. So, no matter how layered you make a movie or how character driven, they still want to market it like it’s a generic slasher movie. I liked that trailer that got leaked because I feel that it more so incorporated the scope of our film and the feel of our film as opposed to some of the other spots that felt like a totally different movie to me.

Do you want viewers to view this as a Rob Zombie film? I think that’s a great quality if people can do that, because as a director, if you can have your voice in the film, so people can watch it and go, wow that’s obviously a Spielberg film, a Scorsese film, a Tarantino film, it just jumps out that you know it’s that person because their directing style is so strong. That’s a great compliment. I get that a lot, that people say, ‘That’s so you, you come through so strong in your movies.’ It’s a little harder to step back and judge it. What about that, it is exactly, I’m not sure.

Tell us about the soundtrack. The most significant song in the movie is “Nights in White Satin.” It plays almost constantly through the first fifteen minutes of the movie, over and over. I always like to take a really classic song that you’ve heard a million times and try to twist it around so you never quite hear it the same again. I did that in Devil’s Rejects with “Free Bird”. Now people are like, ‘I can never hear “Free Bird” again without picturing that movie.’ That’s a great thing considering how many times most people have heard [that song] in their life.

What’s going on with El Superbeasto and Tyrannosaurus Rex? El Superbeasto is finished and that’s coming out September 22nd and Tyrannosaurus Rex is still a future project. That’s not in any kind of status right now. It’s a script I’ve written that may or may not be the next film for me. I would like for it to be my next film. You never know for sure.

What’s the most difficult thing about making a film now? Nothing ever seems to get easier. And in 2009, with the economy slowing down, studios are tightening their budgets, they don’t want to spend the money and they don’t want to take any kind of risks. Not that they ever did want to take risks. As more and more time goes on, it really feels like all they want to do is make sequels, remakes or something based on a graphic novel. It’s really difficult to try to get any new, original material through the system.

Where do you hang out? I don’t really have a favorite anything. I always try to go somewhere different. I love Nobu when I’m in New York. We used to go to Katsuya all the time before TMZ swooped down on it. Now it’s too annoying. We also used to go to Madeo, but last time it was a nightmare with photographers. New York doesn’t have that going on. That people shoving video cameras in your face, asking you stupid questions every time you step out of a place.

Industry Insiders: Sam Nazarian, Guard of the Empire

Hotelier and restaurateur Sam Nazarian — the man behind the Philippe Starck-designed SLS brand (SLS Beverly Hills), celebrity hotspot Hyde, and future Vegas landmark, the revamped Sahara Hotel & Casino — gives BlackBook the inside scoop on his top picks around the country, academic lecturing, and the luxury of flying private.

When you’re not visiting your own bars, clubs, and restaurants, where can we find you? I love Houston’s. It’s a very contemporary American brand. It’s not the most trendy and not the most chic, but it’s one of the most successful brands, and I love going there because I know exactly what I’m going to get every time. I love Giorgio Baldi in Malibu. There is something that is so timeless in the personality of the staff, and the food is amazing. You get transported into this Italian world. It’s really a staple of our community. I like going to Tenjune in New York and Lavo in Las Vegas.

How would you describe yourself? As someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. And is hopefully very eager to keep learning.

How did you get your start? I got my start by being an investor in this industry. I first started my own telecom company when I was 19. I sold that when I was 22, and I became an investor in real estate and ultimately in hospitality.

Who do you admire? One is Tom Barrack with Colony Capital, and the other one is Jim Murren, who is the chairman and CEO of Mirage.

What is enlivening to you about the hospitality industry? I think it’s exciting when you can incorporate several different disciplines of giving people a place to stay, giving people something to eat, giving people an ability to escape, and capturing them for the three or four days while they’re staying with you.

What are some of the positive trends that you’ve noticed in the industry? The emergence of brands, brand accountability, brand differentiation, and customer loyalty. Those things are not only important to a Southwest customer, but also to a luxury customer. Really speaking to that, being proactive and learning your customer base and not just taking them for granted and really appreciating them — I think that’s a trend that’s growing more and more in this industry.

Any negative trends? I think we’re all living in a negative trend, which is over-building and building for the sake of building. I think every market has experienced it, whether be it the housing sector of hospitality or any real estate back sectors. We’ve experienced things that should never have been built, and this is something that has been saturating the market with product — but not good product, just average product that doesn’t speak to anyone specifically.

Any non-industry projects in the works? I’m doing a lot more speaking. I’m on the board of SCI-ARC University, which is a very prestigious architecture school. I lecture four times a week. I’m also lecturing at Harvard this year.

What’s going on in 2009? 2009 is about stabilizing and maintaining current assets in market share. We have two major projects that are still running full force in Las Vegas and in Miami Beach. Most importantly, fortifying our position in our current projects.

Is it all domestic, or have you already branched into international territory? We’re looking at international opportunities right now. We’ve looked at everywhere as far as Asia to the Middle East to Europe to Mexico to Canada to the Caribbean. I think that is what the opportunities will bring in 2009 and 2010. Until now, we’ve been focused on launching our brand, which we did in late 2008. We finished all that. Now we have a great flagship to be able to show the world what we can do and find partners that want what we have and launch in their markets.

Which of your properties is your favorite to visit? I really love XIV. A restaurant with Michal Mina on sunset. I think it’s one of the best restaurants we’ve ever built. And I still love Katsuya in Brentwood.

What are you doing tonight? Tonight we have a friends and family dinner for our newer menu at XIV. Our terrace menu. Then I get on a plane and fly to Vegas at around midnight.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? I guess having a private jet. Not only environmentally, but also because it’s obviously a very expensive endeavor. It’s one thing which I’ll never be the same without because I travel so much.

Los Angeles: The Girls’ Weekend

Friday Stay: Hollywood Roosevelt. It’s luxe. It’s glam. There’s all-night pool parties. It’s the perfect setting for a weekend away with the ladies. 3 p.m.: Tropicana at the Roosevelt Hotel. Stretch your legs in the sun and have a cocktail (or three). 4 p.m.: Nothing to wear? Head on down to vintage clothing store Jet Rag. Dig through hipster heaven and you might come away with a pair of 70’s Frye boots, or a sweet fur shrug. Either way, it’s good times.

7 p.m.: Katsuya. Sushi, eye candy, and strong drinks. 9:30 p.m.: L’Scorpion. Drinks flow freely at this sexy lounge. Get lit in preparation for dancing. 11:30 p.m.: Ritual Supper Club. Bangin’ beats and fun crowds; this is the place to wave your hands in the air.

Saturday 10 a.m.: Drag yourself out of bed and do like Angelenos do. Go for a hike at Runyon Canyon. Hit up the free yoga in the park by the entrance. 11:30 a.m.: Skin Sense by Marion Simms. Want camera-ready skin? This is the place to go. Your life may be changed in one short hour. 2 p.m.: Joan’s on Third. Sandwiches, soups, salads, and to-die-for red velvet cake. 3:30 p.m.: The Roosevelt. Relax with magazines and margaritas poolside. 6 p.m.: Arclight. Catch the latest blockbuster (or indie film) at the super high-tech, luxe Arclight theater. Go ahead and reserve seats in advance so you can stroll in after the previews. 8:30 p.m.: . Fajitas and more margaritas. Does life get any better than this? 11 p.m.: Spider Club. Great music, hot guys, great Facebook photo ops. Late Night: Pink’s. Get in line. They’re open till 3 a.m.

Sunday 11 a.m.: Griddle Cafe. Classic brunch for the Hollywood set. Huge pancakes to sop up any remnants of the night before. 1 p.m.: Hollywood Mega Store. So not cool, it’s cool. Souvenirs for everyone. 3 p.m.: One last drink at the Tropicana.