So many parties, so little time! October closes with charity galas, film festivals, premieres and even fashion fetes, all filled with the world’s most famous faces — and nary a mask in sight.
Everyone who is anyone (and has films to flog or causes to champion) has been out and about in Hollywood, New York City and beyond, as the world goes back to normal (fully vaccinated, of course) for the first real Fall season swirl since everything shut down. Parties and premieres are back with a vengeance; here are our favorite recent happenings, complete with a fashion flair.
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the long anticipated sequel to “Black Panther,” finally premiered In Hollywood on Wednesday at the El Capitan Theatre, two weeks before its theatrical release, in a sign of confidence in the film by Marvel Studios. Clearly the hottest ticket in town, the powerful and emotionally moving film is a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who originated the title character on screen; the film’s glamorous stars took over Hollywood Boulevard in a big way, all decked out in celebratory attire evoking Wakandan majesty.
Actors Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Alex Livinalli and Mabel Cadena, along with director Ryan Coogler and the film’s producers Kevin Feige, Nate Moore, Louis D’Esposito and Victoria Alonso made the purple carpet a fan’s dream, and there were plenty of them on hand, most wearing costumes related to the movie.
Among the purple carpet standouts were Michael B. Jordan, who played Killmonger in the first “Black Panther” and cut a dashing figure in a yellow ensemble. Other notable celebs not in the film who joined the fun included “Ms. Marvel” star Xochitl Gomez, “The Little Mermaid” headliner Halle Bailey and “Shang Chi” star Simu Liu.
However, the show stopper of the night was global icon Rihanna, who arrived with partner A$AP Rocky while taking a break from looking after her newborn to promote her new song “Lift Me Up,” the lead single from the upcoming “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” original soundtrack. The tune is Rihanna’s first new music in six years and features prominently in the film. The paps surrounded the pair on carpet and Rihanna took it all in as she dazzled the carpet with a fierce look giving her fan base a taste of what is to come. – Umberto Gonzalez
“Ticket to Paradise”
Regency Village Theatre, Westwood
George Clooney and Julia Roberts brought their “Ticket to Paradise” rom-com to Westwood, along with their ongoing “we’re a happy couple of friends” roadshow, for the premiere of the film that also stars Kaitlyn Dever and Maxime Bouttier. Set in Bali (but shot in our favorite tropical paradise, Queensland in Australia), the comedy marks the first romance the longtime friends have made together.
Clooney brought his wife, Amal, to the bash as well, and did a little gushing to TheWrap about how his happy (second) marriage has worked out. “Amal and I are very lucky,” he admitted. “I think, I know, it came to me very late, because I’m not so young. It’s finding the right person. That’s it. I mean, that’s all it is. And luck!” – Red-carpet reporting by Elijah Gil
Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles
At the premiere of “Call Jane,” Roadside Attractions’ timely abortion saga set in the 1960s, the film’s leading ladies were out in force. Stars Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver and Wunmi Mosaku brought attention to the emotional drama, which was filmed prior to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. The buzz on this one is hot, so hot it drew Sue Dunlap, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, along with famed attorney Gloria Allred.
At the packed pre-party at the Skirball Center, guests mingled on an outdoor patio, many bedecked with pins and stickers in support of abortion rights. The stars of the film spoke to TheWrap about the importance of the film and each actress stressed why fans should see the film before the midterm elections. Elizabeth Banks told TheWrap that she has high hopes that “Call Jane” can help open up more dialogue. “I truly just hope it inspires more empathy,” she said. “I really think we’ve lost a lot of empathy for other people.”
And we couldn’t resist asking Sigourney Weaver about the coming “Avatar” sequels, and she gave us some inside scoop, revealing that, “It’s so different from the first, it’s much more wild. Technically, a lot of it is underwater. It’s about the family and how the family survives through these different uprootings and the lengths they go to to protect each other and save each other.” – Elijah Gil
Matilija Auditorium, Ojai, California
It was standing room only up in Ojai, California (about 90 minutes north of Hollywood), as Ron Howard reunited with his “Happy Days” co-stars Anson Williams and Don(ny) Most for a special screening of his critically important documentary “Rebuilding Paradise.”
Howard brought his film, which follows the Sierra Foothills town of Paradise, California, as residents attempt to rebuild after devastating wildfires in 2018. A cautionary tale of the need for fire awareness and prevention, Howard’s visit coincided with Williams’ run for mayor of Ojai, as he runs on a platform that includes making sure that the city never experiences the horrors of wildfire devastation.
“Ron is such a busy guy, traveling around the world nonstop. We’re lucky that he had a day on the West Coast where he could work this in,” Williams told the crowd. “His documentary tells a story of not only horrible tragedy but of the power of humanity, hope and redemption. It’s a story all of us in this time of climate change can learn a lesson from. Let’s prevent Ojai from becoming Paradise!”
The event was sponsored by Ojai Valley Fire Safe Council, Anson for Mayor 2022 Committee, and Let’s Green CA, all of whom are dedicated to help stop wildfires before they even begin.
Netflix Tudum Theater, Hollywood
It takes a village to get a miniseries made, which is why so many high-powered Hollywood women were on hand for the “From Scratch” premiere at the Netflix Tudum Theater, along with the big Netflix boss, Ted Sarandos. Zoe Saldaña stars in the series based on the memoir by Tembe Locke; both headed to Hollywood to join in an evening that was all about love. The story follows a love affair between an American woman and the Italian chef she meets while visiting Sicily; Saldaña also executive produced the eight-part series, along with Reese Witherspoon, who was also on hand for the premiere.
Witherspoon explained to TheWrap why she and Saldaña decided on Locke’s book as a perfect candidate for a series: “It just felt so perfect, this epic romance that goes all across the world, and puts two people who are not meant to be together – never should have met – who just fall so deeply in love. And it had all these wonderful themes of romance and of just really taking life by the hands and really making the most of it, because you don’t know what life has in store for you.” – Red-carpet reporting by Elijah Gil
Netflix Tudum Theater, Hollywood
Randall Park grew up going to the most famous video store in the world, so when Netflix called to offer him the lead in its new series “Blockbuster,” he jumped at the chance, then couldn’t believe how real it all seemed when he got to the set. “I felt like I was just in the ’90s at my neighborhood Blockbuster,” Park said with a laugh at the show’s premiere at the Netflix Tudum Theater in Hollywood. “It was amazing! I mean, the production design on this show is just incredible.”
The talk of the night was all about what people remember from those old days of renting videotapes, from their go-to movie and candy options (popcorn or Sour Patch Kids) to favorite movie rentals from back in the day (action flicks and rom-coms).
The after-party was packed with stars actually too young to remember going to Blockbuster, like social media influencer Teala Dunn and “Love, Victor” star Isabella Ferreira, who both were in attendance to support their “Crush” castmate Tyler Alvarez, who co-stars in the 10-episode show. With a DJ spinning ’90s tunes and mojitos flowing, the crowd felt the old-school vibe, right down to hitting a station to get custom-printed Blockbuster nametags before everyone hit the dance floor. Now that’s something you’d never see at a Blockbuster video store! – Elijah Gil
The 66th BFI London Film Festival
Venues Across London and the U.K.
The 66th BFI London Film Festival closed out its run with a bang, as a gathering of some of the world’s biggest stars hit the scene to celebrate the premiere of “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” Led by an actually smiling Daniel Craig (he must love this role of detective Benoit Blanc!) and writer-director Rian Johnson, the cast came out in force, from Edward Norton, Leslie Odom Jr. and Dave Bautista to a sleekly gowned Kate Hudson and Janelle Monáe, a vision in red whose hat and train both seemed slightly problematic to maneuver. The mystery-comedy opens in the U.S. on November 23.
Screamfest Horror Film Festival
TCL Chinese 6 Theaters, Hollywood
Vampire slayers, bad billionaires, influencers with a thirst for human blood and other slightly crazy characters populate “Slayers,” the Thomas Jane-starrer that rolled into the Screamfest Horror Film Festival in Hollywood, presenting thrills and chills in its world premiere. Along with Jane came his beautiful co-stars, Malin Akerman, Lydia Hearst and Abigail Breslin, all happy to join the 10-day fest that reveres all things designed to make a theater full of people holler.
Breslin chatted with TheWrap about the possibility of a return to another of her iconic horror characters, Chanel No. 5 from the Ryan Murphy-produced Fox hit “Scream Queens.” “I love Chanel No. 5,” Breslin giggled, “I’m always ready to return to her. There’s a little bit of Chanel in me!” – Red-carpet reporting by Elijah Gil
The 23rd Annual Newport Film Festival
Various Venues in Newport Beach
Eddie Redmayne wasn’t the only popular Hollywood star to head to the 2022 Newport Film Festival, which happened in that lovely SoCal city for eight days in October. A whole crowd of familiar faces and breakout stars turned out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon for the Fest’s Honoree Awards, including Ron Howard, Patton Oswalt and Aubrey Plaza.
They all took home trophies for their work in films that played in packed venues all around that seaside city, as did Aimee Carrero, Colson Baker, Jonathan Majors and Cooper Raiff. Over 100 feature films unspooled, as did 30 short programs, and parties that celebrated the power of the movies rolled every night.
Animation Is Film Festival
TCL Chinese 6 Theaters, Hollywood
“Wendell & Wild” wowed the crowd on the opening night of the Animation Is Film Festival, as everyone entered into the combined lunacy of Henry Selick and Jordan Peele, who put their heads together to write a stop-motion animation feature that creates a certifiably insane world – and a sublime moviegoing experience.
“Is Henry Selick insane?” laughed Keegan-Michael Key in response to our question at the packed after party held in the garden of the Roosevelt Hotel across the street from the festival’s home base at the Chinese 6 Theaters on Hollywood Boulevard. “Is he creatively insane like me or like Jordan? Oh yeah, absolutely! The ideas that he brings to the screen are so intense, on so many levels. And he loves to try things.”
Selick, best known for “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Coraline,” collaborated with Jordan Peele on the script for “Wendell & Wild,” which got a rollicking ovation on the fest’s opening night. The film is truly a wild ride and as the animation-loving crowd seemed to universally agree, it’s going to both scare and delight kids – and adults.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 2nd Annual Gala
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles
At the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 2nd annual gala, designed to raise funds for the museum celebrating film in all forms, the color of the night was green and the money raised matched that: $10 million for the 1-year-old museum. It’s no wonder since the event was co-chaired by an A-list team that included Halle Berry, Jason Blum, Ryan Murphy and Lupita Nyong’o.
Oscar winners were everywhere, including Jessica Chastain, Chloe Zhao, George Clooney, Adrien Brody, Spike Lee and a slew of others, this was awards season’s biggest Hollywood bash so far. So it was only natural that two icons made the evening complete, with diva Diana Ross taking the stage to entertain the glitterati and Wolfgang Puck cooking up a meal to remember.
Cipriani Wall Street, New York
New York’s finest gathered at NYC’s Cipriani Wall Street for DKMS’ black-tie gala to raise critical funds for the nonprofit’s global work in life-saving stem cell transplants.
Vera Wang arrived fashionably on time and posed with fans before hitting the red carpet. Guests commented on the fashion designer’s calm and elegant demeanor. “I just want to be BFFs and smoke a blunt with her while she designs my wedding dress,” whispered one infatuated attendee.
Jaime King spent most of the night arm-in-arm with friends, including Charly Sturm, and even snapped a few pics on her iPhone with the evening’s musical performer Aloe Blacc. As guests were seated for dinner, a fire erupted at Table 2. Someone commented, “it smells like burnt s’mores in here,” before anyone even noticed that one of the programs was on top of a candle. From then on, the table (made up of mostly Brazilians) proclaimed themselves as “the hot table.”
Meanwhile, TheWrap caught up with Lenya Bloom, the first transgender cover model for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue. The actress and activist shared her best NYC dating advice: “If you’re not looking for a f— boy, then only date someone who lives under the tunnel and over the bridge. People who live in the suburbs are more likely to want to settle down and can show you things you can’t already do in the city.”
After guests watched Elle Barrera, a 16-year-old patient from New York, meet Guillermo Staudt, her lifesaving donor from Chile, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Which was perfect timing for comedian and “Sex and the City” actor Mario Cantone to come on stage and ask for donations. Guests could signal a donation by raising a glow stick. Cantone compared the illuminated crowd scene to being at a Coldplay concert. Overall, the event raised a record breaking $5.3 million in support of DKMS. – Emily Vogel
GLAAD “Beyond” Spirit Day Concert
Private Hancock Park Home, Los Angeles
LGBTQ stars and allies helped ring in Spirit Day 2022 with the private “Beyond” concert featuring rocking performances from host and MC Justin Tranter – and a surprise trio of rafter-raising songs from award winner Billy Porter.
Taking to the mic mid-performance, the former “Pose” star encouraged the crowd to continue the fight for LGBTQ equality. “We need to empower our children with a f— you, and bring it! Right?” Porter said. “I lived through the AIDS crisis. I’m not scared of none of these bitches. ‘Orangina 45’ don’t scare me. This Supreme Court doesn’t scare me. Stop being scared. Stop being terrified and get the f— to work! We are not the first people that have gone through this. We are not the first people who have experienced trauma in this life.”
Since launched by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in 2010, Spirit Day has become the world’s most visible anti-bullying campaign.
“When you look at where we are today, we’re in a worse situation than we’ve ever been for our youth,” GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told TheWrap, noting that one out of four LGBTQ youth reported attempting suicide last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. “Our youth have been under attack by legislation this year, and I think that this night is really important because we’re rallying around them. We’re going to show them all that they’re loved and supported no matter where they are in the world.”
A live donation rally raised over $120,000 to help cover media expenses during the Beyond concert event. Other performers included Shea Diamond, Jake Wesley Rogers and Chappell Roan. The event was presented with the support of the Kellogg Company, Ketel One Vodka and M&M’s, who even sent a purple M&M mascot to grace the purple carpet. – Benjamin Lindsay
2022 WIF Honors: Forging Forward
Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills
The Women in Film Honors gathered Hollywood’s most dazzling and inspirational women for a memorable evening with a focus on “Forging Forward,” held in Beverly Hills. Hosted by Da’Vine Joy Randolph, the night was full of moments of joyful celebration, from Sheryl Lee Ralph reprising “Endangered Species” from this year’s Emmy Awards to Viola Davis reciting “O Captain! My Captain” to honor “The Woman King” director Gina Prince-Bythewood, whom Davis calls a “warrior” and “artistic champion.”
In recognizing “She Said” actor Carey Mulligan, as well as producer Dede Gardner and journalists Jodi Kantor and Meghan Twohey, the WIF honorees reflected the positive change they have helped create in the industry, including the criminal conviction of Harvey Weinstein. But as every woman in the audience knows, the job is not done yet, as the continued harassment of women in the workplace still drives calls to the WIF Help Line.
The impactful stories and insightful panels left the crowd full of hope for the future and feeling revitalized to get to work to transform the industry. “I’ve seen progress in the types of films that are choosing to be made,” said Dana Stevens, the screenwriter for “The Woman King.” “Men in the industry are understanding that maybe they didn’t really listen to what women are saying when they hire them as actors or writers or directors and I feel that people are making an effort in Hollywood to make change.”
Also honored at the gala: Quinta Brunson, Olivia Wilde, Michaela Coel and Lili Reinhardt, joining many of Hollywood’s most powerful women in the room as well. – Loree Seitz
2022 Outfest Legacy Awards Gala
Paramount Studios, Los Angeles
It rained on the parade of the Outfest Legacy Awards Gala Presented by IMDb and Genesis, which were held outside at Paramount Studios, but that didn’t stop Hollywood’s LGBTQ community (and their supporters) from having a grand old time. The Outfest Legacy Awards have honored those who have made major contributions for LGBTQ representation in the entertainment industry for the last 40 years, and a little rain certainly wasn’t going to stop them from making a difference.
The night began with a musical performance by Tolliver and a hearty chicken and mashed potatoes dinner, as the rain kept coming down. But Outfest was prepared, as the servers began handing out ponchos instead of cocktails. And the celebs on hand didn’t flinch at getting a little wet, including honorees Janelle Monae, the cast of “Star Trek” and Outfest champion Kerri Stoughton-Jackson. Fran Drescher, Rian Johnson, Wilson Cruz and many others braved the elements, but some guests began slipping away as the rain grew stronger. Those who stayed enjoyed some delicious desert and a memorable time, as people in the crowd started channeling the great gay icon Barbara Streisand by shouting, “Don’t rain on my parade!” – Elijah Gil
American Ballet Theatre Celebrates Fall Gala
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, New York
Forget TikTok stars, Instagram models and Hollywood glitterati, invitations to the American Ballet Theater (ABT) Fall Gala were reserved for the upper echelon of New York society. The city’s elite gathered at Lincoln Center for the world premiere of choreographer Christopher Rudd’s new ballet “Lifted,” which is the ABT’s first all-Black production.
Guests began the evening sipping cocktails on the second-floor terrace of the David H. Koch Theater. Among the designer gowns and blow-outs, Nicky Hilton almost blended in with the gorgeous crowd if it wasn’t for her purple sequined and feathered gown. Throughout the evening, Hilton kept to herself. During the performance, the hotel heiress sat in the third row center of the orchestra behind Talita von Furstenberg, up-and-coming designer and granddaughter to fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, and Prince Egon von Furstenberg of Germany.
As guests supermodel Coco Rocha and her little daughter Ioni nibbled on their maple chili salmon and apple-pie bombolini, TheWrap caught up with the leading minds behind “Lifted.” According to the dramaturg Phaedra Scott, the production, which received a standing ovation, took less than seven weeks to put together. Lighting designer Alan C. Edwards added that, “It only took me six hours to figure out the lighting,” which was tricky since the performance involved two 1,500-pound mirrors that didn’t arrive until two days before the performance.
TheWrap also chatted with ballerina Sierra Armstrong, a member of the ABT company who didn’t perform in “Lifted” but was eager to debunk rumors about the world of ballet. “There aren’t rivalrous competitions between the dancers,” the North Carolina native insisted despite what Hollywood movies about ballet suggest. And dancers are allowed to eat carbs and drink alcohol! After dinner, guests danced into the night on the dance floor, cementing the fact that the ABT’s fall season is officially in full swing. – Emily Vogel
50th Anniversary Saturn Awards
L.A. Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel, Burbank
The 50th anniversary of the Saturn Awards took place in Burbank as some of the biggest names in horror and sci-fi gathered for a show livestreamed on Electric Now. It was a memorable and (as host Joel McHale joked well into the evening) “a very long awards ceremony!” McHale landed some great jokes as host and the crowd happily went along, except for the awkward moment during a commercial break when McHale roasted his next-door neighbor, producer Julie Plec, with some cringeworthy jokes. But Plec got her revenge quickly as she was honored next and delivered retorts to McHale that had the crowd howling.
The night consisted of awards presented to major genre icons, including the creator of the “Chucky” doll himself, Don Mancini, Marvel president Kevin Fiege and Hayden Christensen. Jennifer Tilly joked to TheWrap that “The last time I was nominated for Chucky was 23 years ago! It’s very exciting.” She took home the massive Saturn trophy for her work in the new “Chucky” TV series. There were also some memorable characters roaming around the venue, including Darth Vader and the cast of “Chucky” holding a life-size version of the iconic doll. – Elijah Gil
Ralph Lauren Spring Season 23 Runway Show
The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
When Ralph Lauren comes West, everybody shows up! The East Coast designer brought his Spring 2023 collection to Los Angeles and the stars came out, in force and decked out in his clothing, which reflected mostly monochromatic colors and long-coat silhouettes for both men and women. Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Diane Keaton, Chris Pine, Sylvester Stallone, Laura Dern and Mindy Kaling (who went rogue in a striking red ensemble) and many other familiar faces graced the front row of the show.
Giambattista Valli Dinner
Caviar Kaspia, Los Angeles
Giambattista Valli invited loads of cut gals to have a fashion-focused dinner at Caviar Kaspia in Los Angeles, signaling the start of the “what will they wear to the big televised awards shows” derby (think the Oscars, Critics Choice Awards and others). He’s got a great track record of gorgeous women choosing his sophisticated stylings, which is why everyone from Angela Bassett and Ciara to Katelyn Dever, Alexandra Daddario, Keirnan Shipka and Thuso Mbedi (who is so far winning the best-dressed award from us this party season) flocked to his dinner. The caviar didn’t hurt, either!
Please send event invitations to Jenny Peters at email@example.com