Cocaine’s Best Roles

Last night on the season premiere of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain did more than just sample the ceviche, though that happened too, when he visited Panama. On a lark, he got to burn six tons of pure, uncut cocaine (wholesale value $300-600 million) with the Panamanian Directory of National Security. “I’d like to say this is the first time I’ve cooked cocaine, but that’s not exactly true,” Bourdain said, a bit wistfully. Before the show aired last night, the cocaine-burning clip had already garnered a decent amount of buzz. It got us thinking about some of the white stuff’s most memorable roles on the big screen. After the jump, our list of some of the best cocaine moments in the movies.

1. Scarface – All I Have Left is This Huge Pile of Blow image Cocaine’s quintessential big screen moment. Having killed his only true friend, Tony Montana (Al Pacino) sits alone in his office and dives into a snowy mountain on his desk.

2. Blow – I Can’t Feel My Face Upon sampling George Jung’s (Johnny Depp) superior Colombian product, Mr. T (Bobcat Goldthwait) exclaims “Where did you get this stuff?! I can’t feel my face, I mean I can touch it but I can’t feel it inside,” later inspiring Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana.

3. Cruel Intentions – Cocaine Jesus image In one of many fine Sarah Michelle Gellar moments, she’s queried by Bunny Caldwell (Selma Blair’s innocent’s mother) as to where she gets her strength. She answers by pulling her cross-necklace-cum-coke-keeper out from between her bosoms and saying “Well, I know this sounds corny, but whenever I feel the temptation of peer pressure, I turn to God and he helps me through the problem.”

4. Pulp Fiction – Whoops, that’s not cocaine. Actually, it’s a heroin scene, but close enough. Mistaking heroine for cocaine, Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), has a cut and sniff and promptly overdoses, requiring Vincent Vega (John Travolta) to take adrenaline shots into his own hands to save her. We’d call it one of the film’s classic scenes, but really, they’re all pretty classic.

5. American Psycho – Quality Control image Evil yuppies Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) and Timothy Bryce (Justin Theroux) hit the club and deign to put some not-perfectly-pure coke up their perfectly groomed noses. Not impressed with the product, Timothy exclaimed “I want to get high off this, not sprinkle it on my fucking Oaties.”

Links: Sara Michelle Gellar Preg Faux Pas, Mischa Barton Hospitalized

● Sarah Michelle Gellar tries to make wearing daisy-dukes-while-pregnant happen during an errand run in Los Angeles. [JustJared] ● Although MTV hasn’t played music since the millennium, they have complied a list of the Best Albums of ’09 (thus far), including everything from Grizzly Bear to Kelly Clarkson. [MTV] ● No shotgun wedding for Jamie Lynn Spears and baby daddy Casey Aldridge, as the two have called it quits. [AllieisWired]

● Simon Cowell, Kate Moss, and Topshop head Phillip Green are set to join forces to create “a global entertainment super-company [that would] rival Disney.” [TVWeek] ● Mischa Barton is currently in the hospital due to complications from oral surgery, the actress was ambulated by LA police because of the amount of pain she was in. [Rpulse] ● The trailer for Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut promises three things: a socially awkward Ellen Page, Roller Derby babes in Girl Scout costumes, and kick-ass music. [TrailerAddict]

Links: Spike Jonze + Kanye West, Sara Michelle Gellar & ‘Buffy’ Movie

● After being rejected by Heather Locklear, Melrose Place producers have gone pretty far down the list to find a replacement — enter Laura Leighton a.k.a. Sydney Andrews, who hasn’t been seen since the fifth season. [ComingSoon] ● Spike Jonze will reunite with Kanye West (Jonze directed the “Flashing Lights” music video) for a 10-15 minute short film. [EW] ● Even though they said their last tour was it, are Destiny’s Child getting back together? Their contract seems to think so; turns out the DC ladies owe their label one more album. [EOI]

● Is Viggo Mortensen pulling a Joaquin Phoenix and quitting acting for good? Trend Alert. [P6] ● Audrey Hepburn beat pouty Angelina Jolie as the “ultimate Hollywood beauty.” [Telegraph] ● Seeing that Sarah Michelle Gellar’s movie career hasn’t exactly taken off, it makes sense that she’s contemplating a Buffy movie. [Showbizspy]

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.