Depardieu Gave De Niro his Secret Boner Recipe

Mon (Depar) dieu! Gerard does seem to be shooting his mouth off these days. Not two weeks ago he was railing about what a shitty actress Juliette Binoche is, and now he’s spilling the beans about other actors’ erectile issues. Speaking at the Montreal Film Festival, Depardieu said that on the set of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 (1977), fellow actor Robert De Niro had a difficult time getting it up for a scene. Of course, Depardieu had the solution.

Apparently, it involved Tiger Balm and water, but what I’m curious to know is whatever happened to the porno sequence in 1900 that called for a tumescent De Niro? I must not have seen the director’s cut.

Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton Re-Team In The ‘Stone’ Trailer

For the first time since 2001’s pretty decent The Score, the legendary-but-now-tarnished Robert DeNiro has teamed up with Ed Norton, one of the best character actors of his generation, and the result is Stone, a sexy prison thriller about an arsonist trying to manipulate his way out of prison. The trailer is out and…yup, yup, okay, not bad. DeNiro does his squinty-eyed world-weary tough guy routine, Norton disappears inside a chewy accent and a pile of cornrows, and Milla Jovovich — playing Norton’s wife, who seduces DeNiro, Norton’s parole officer — is finally given something to do besides shoot zombies.

As decent as this looks, I’m a little bit disappointed by the trailer, at least in that it’s a DeNiro project. DeNiro made his name starring in some of the greatest films of all time, yet he seemed content to spend the aughts keeping busy with sub-bar projects and mining his tough guy/curmudgeon persona for cheap, if lucrative, laughs. Sadly, this doesn’t look like it’s going to reverse that trend.

If DeNiro is simply tired of really trying and just wants to spend his golden years making serviceable, if less than transcendent movies, that’s certainly his prerogative. With Raging Bull, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Casino, et cetera et cetera, already in the bag, the man doesn’t owe us a thing.

On the other hand, why isn’t he teaming up with real talent any more? What, Paul Thomas Anderson or Martin Scorsese or the Coen brothers or whoever don’t have any juicy roles for him? We used to expect brilliant performances from DeNiro. Now we’re conditioned to expect by-the-numbers performances.

Oh well, at least we have Little Fockers to look forward to this Christmas.

Scorsese and Von Trier to Remake ‘Taxi Driver’?

We like to think of certain cultural artifacts as being sacred, especially when it comes to cinema. Some films (so the fan’s argument goes anyway) simply shouldn’t be messed with after the fact, re-makes, sequels and spin-offs serving only to muddy the legacy of an otherwise “perfect” piece of work. A follow up to Night of the Hunter? Never! Citizen Kane Part II? Egads! Yet sometimes such projects go forward for whatever reason ($ or insanity or both), and there’s not much the faithful can do about it. The latest seemingly inviolable picture rumored—and I can’t stress the “rumored” part enough—to be getting a new gloss is none other than Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. What’s even more curious is that Scorsese is ostensibly on board.

According to the Copenhagen film magazine Ekko, Scorsese and Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier have discussed the possibility of remaking the 1976 drama. As if this weren’t surprising enough, it also alleges that Robert DeNiro, 66, would reprise his role at pycho-cabbie Travis Bickle. When pressed for comment, Von Trier’s producing partner, Peter Aalbek, would “neither confirm nor deny” or the rumor, but said that an official announcement would be forthcoming shortly.

I’m with film blogger Jeffrey Wells in thinking (or at least wanting to think) that this is pure nonsense, a story cooked up to get some attention, but you never know. Von Trier is well known for deliberately pushing audience buttons, and remaking and/or somehow mucking around with Taxi Driver doesn’t seem at all beyond him. Recall that in 2003’s The Five Obstructions, he obliged fellow Danish filmmaker Danish Jorgen Leth to repeatedly remake his 1967 short, The Perfect Human, under various cinematic contraints. I doubt Scorsese would submit to the same kind of manipulation and chicanery, but it will nevertheless prove interesting to see if there’s any truth to this re-make rumor at all. Stay tuned….

Links: Lindsay Lohan’s Leggings for Haiti; Bon Jovi to ’30 Rock’

● For a limited time, Lindsay Lohan will donate 100% of the cost of her leggings to Haiti. And yet, still, you should not buy them. [People] ● Photographic evidence of how much Obama likes to kiss the ladies. [Gawker] ● Diddy gave his son a Maybach and other over-the-top gifts from celebrity parents. [The Frisky] ● 12 chillaxing Kangaroos. [Listicles]

● Jon Bon Jovi will appear on 30 Rock as one of Liz Lemon’s exes. For those keeping score at home, supposed spaz Lemon has now shagged John Hamm, James Franco and Bon Jovi. [TV Guide] ● The 10 best songs about librarians. [Flavorwire] ● Will Robert DeNiro star in Precious director Lee Daniels’ next film? [/film]

Celebrity Hotels of Our Dreams

London’s Telegraph runs a slideshow of the “The best celebrity-owned hotels.” It’s a pretty random grouping. Sure, we knew Robert DeNiro was behind New York’s Greenwich Hotel (and its delicious restaurant), but did you know Gloria Estefan and John Malkovich were also in on the celeb hotel game? Yeah, neither did we. It got us thinking about what other celebs could and should give hotelier-ing a go.

Heidi Montag Fresh off her confession/desperate-publicity-plea of plastic surgery addiction, it could be prime time for Mrs. Spencer Pratt to help those like her. We’re envisioning a beachy plastic surgery recovery center somewhere in SoCal or just south of the border. Spencer would run the place with her, caring dude that he is, presumably stealing guests’ pain medication for his own bro-tastic use.

Jennifer Love Hewitt News of her use of Swarovski crystals around her woman bits (official term: vagazzling) to empower her “precious lady” after a breakup, makes us think Jen could really “shine” by heading up a female empowerment and spirituality resort. We’re thinking somewhere you could take the girls for a fun weekend of vinyasas, Chardonnay, and, of course, Vagazzling (yeah, we’re now thinking this is a word that merits capitalization).

Gwyneth Paltrow Really, it’s almost shocking that her royal GOOP-ness doesn’t yet have a little B and B she “runs” on the side. We’re thinking a snowy-cabin-in-the-wood place in New England where there are cable knit sweaters awaiting you in your guest room, which just so happens to be decorated with tasteful (always tasteful) nude photos of the inn’s owner. Rooms also feature iPods filled with Coldplay tunes, thinning mirrors, and do-it-yourself colonics. It is sort of like hell with good knitwear.

Links: Rashida Jones + John Mayer Denials, Paul Haggis vs. Scientology

● The rumor that Rashida Jones and John Mayer hooked up at the Chateau Marmont is untrue; rather, the two were dining with their friends separately. Mayer did come over to Jones’ table to say hello and asked to play the guitar her friends had brought for an impromptu concert. [GossipCop] ● Despite actor Matthias Schweighöfer telling German GQ otherwise, Jude Law and Robert DeNiro are not in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor. [LatinoReview] ● Kenny Ortega has left the Footloose remake after the studio wanted to cut his budget and have the film be a drama with very few musical numbers, rather than the musical extravaganza Ortega wants it to be. [JustJared]

● It seems Sandra Bullock, husband Jesse James, and his ex-wife Janine Lindemulder are in a three-way custody battle over James and Lindemulder’s daughter Sunny. Lindemulder was granted limited visitation rights, despite James raising concerns that Lindemulder’s new husband has quite the criminal record. Janine is currently in rehab, although would be out sooner if the judge would approve her new career as an adult video blogger. [Radar] ● Paramount is discussing the possibility of the inevitable Paranormal Activity sequel, seeing that the $15,000 film has already grossed $62.5 million. [Bloody-Disgusting] ● Paul Haggis has broken up with Scientology, reportedly leaving the church over their backing of Prop 8 and the church’s role in “disconnecting” his wife’s relationship with her parents. [Showbiz411]

Los Angeles: Top 10 Celebrity-Owned Hotspots

1. Ago (West Hollywood) – De Niro’s joint. Paps in the parking lot, authentic pies on the table. 2. Dolce (West Hollywood) – Ashton Kutcher’s spot. Good food, plenty of eye candy. 3. Mulberry Street Pizzeria (Beverly Hills) – Seven tables, twenty-minute time limit on using said tables, one (four-time) Oscar-nominated owner — Cathy Moriarty, who also waitresses on occasion — all adds up to a blockbuster hit.

4. Geisha House (Hollywood) – Ashton again, this time in red, plus sushi. 5. Milky Way (Beverly Hills) – Spielberg’s mom owns the place. On the menu: Jewish fusion. On the walls: family photos. 6. Beso (Hollywood) – Eva Longoria is attached to this one. Try the carrot juice martini — make sure to order it at the communal aka “hook-up” centerpiece table. 7. Ortolan (Mid-City West) – Celebrity chef Christophe Eme and his celebrity wife Jeri Ryan own this hot French spot. They keep the dining room so dark, they hand you a wee flashlight to read the menu. The food is fantastic, even if you can’t see it. 8. Tagine (West Hollywood) – Ryan Gosling co-owns this tiny, sexy Moroccan hotspot. 9. Viper Room (West Hollywood) – Johnny Depp’s name is no longer on the deed, but we bet he touched a bunch of stuff in there. Now owned by pseudo-celeb Harry Morton of Pink Taco, it still rocks. Sort of. 10. Dominick’s (West Hollywood) – Rose McGowan, Ben Harper, and Laura Dern. They would make an awesome threesome. Or awesome business partners for a critic-worthy restaurant. Either way.

Industry Insiders: Drew Nieporent, Emperor of Eats

Drew Nieporent of Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Montrachet, and countless other iconic endeavors gives us a glimpse inside as he conquers the known world.

Point of Origin: I was born and bred in New York City, an original New Yorker. I went to Stuyvesant High School, then known as Sty Hi, before going to Cornell Hotel School in Ithaca, NY, pretty much my first time away from home, not counting sleepaway camp.

Occupations: After I graduated, I was the chef de rang (a.k.a. foodie honcho) aboard the Sagafjord and Vistafjord cruise ships, then worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in Manhattan — La Grenouille and Le Perigord — and was the captain (in a tux!) at La Reserve, before the Plaza Athénée’s Le Regence French restaurant between 83rd and 85th streets. We earned three stars from the New York Times only seven weeks after we opened — a little like winning the lottery in those days.

Later, I was director of restaurants for Maxwell’s Plum and Tavern on the Green. But as an owner my first was Montrachet in 1985. And once you open your own restaurant, you’re the restaurateur for the rest of your life! It wasn’t long before I opened a restaurant with chef Leslie Revsin at 24 Fifth Avenue, where I was also general manager.

When Sean Penn, Bill Murray and Robert DeNiro proposed what would become the Tribeca Grill in 1988, no one knew that DeNiro had already done a little “chef casting” of his own and had quietly flown Nobu Matsuhisa into New York to meet me. It wasn’t a great casting, and we went ahead with our original choice, but I always kept Nobu in mind for something in the future. The Tribeca Grill was a big hit, instantly. With Francis Ford Coppola and Robin Williams we opened our first out-of-town adventure, Rubicon, in San Francisco. East Hampton isn’t that far out of town, and Della Famina opened in the early 1990s, followed in 1993 by the Harley Davidson Café. In 1994, we finally opened Nobu — in August. Summer failure could have meant the end of our friendships and partnership, but it was a hit! The East Hampton restaurants were pretty much the beginning of the Myriad Restaurant Group, and over the past 22 years, Myriad has opened 30 restaurants, including Centrico (the Mexican place on Broadway, with Zorella Martino’s son [Aaron Sanchez] … a very Iron Chef).

Anywhere in the world you can’t eat in one of your own joints? Like W.C. Fields: Philadelphia!

Any non-industry projects in the works? You’ve been honored by the Liver Foundation and by the Tourette Syndrome Association, and you’re about to be honored by C-CAP, and I was downtown one night when you were hosting a table full of ancient veterans. I’m also interested in autism; the numbers are startling, and the spectrum is vast. Over the years, I’ve been on the board of charities like City Meals on Wheels, the Food Allergy Initiative with Robert Kennedy Jr., City Harvest. Let’s see, non-industry? I was in a musical directed by Mark Tarlov, a singing role, and was also in Simply Irresistible with Sarah Michelle Gellar. I got a nomination for my only line — as a “Food Critic”! I opened Crush Wines & Spirits three years ago, a new wave-y wine and liquor store. But that’s about it, so far.

I’m still hung up on your singing career — when do you have time to just hang out? I’m a big sports fan and music fan, so I adore all of the New York teams and spend a lot of time at Madison Square Garden, whether it’s Bruce Springsteen, U2, or the Police the other night. The Yanks and the Mets are both priorities. And then I like to go to places like Benito’s II in Little Italy or other “simple” Italian restaurants I don’t own. And I smoke a lot of cigars!

Industry Icons: Of course, Richard Melman is one of my heroes. And certainly the late Jean-Claude Vrinat who just passed away — and, yes, I recently made the pilgrimage to Ferran Adrià.

Who are some people you’re likely to be seen with, other than your wife and kids, of course? All of my childhood friends are still friends. Other than my partners, I’m friendly with the native tribesman Stephen Schirripa from The Sopranos, the sporting goods mogul Mitchell Modell, the comedian Robert Wuhl, and some of the wine personalities like my partner Larry Stone in San Francisco. There are old, old friends like Joe Joe Bastianich, Lorraine Bracco, Hedy Marshall (at the Yankee Games), and Philippe Petit, who he came to my 50th birthday. Have you seen his new documentary Man on a Wire?

Projections: I think it’s wonderful how food has become the most important part of my life. After all: chefs are the new models. Look at Bobby Flay! I still think there are a lot of dreams and ideas I have that I’ll be able to actualize in the coming days, a lot of battling, but a lot of wins. My partners are opening the first Nobu Hotel in Herzliya, Israel. Any possible crazy thing that has ever happened to anybody in life has happened to us. Just when you think you know the business … it doesn’t get easier; it seems to be harder.

It’s your own fault. You keep raising the bar. I work hard at having fun.

What are you doing tonight? Tonight I’m doing Neil Diamond. I don’t know just why I’m going to see him perform, but he’s an interesting part of our culture, and Rick Rubin, Russell Simmons’ partner in Def Jam, is producing him … so it should be interesting to see where he’s going. I’m dining at Tribeca Grill prior to the show — you know, summertime, Fridays. My kids are at home still, so after a long week, I get to be Dad.