Pret-a-Reporter

Hollywood Hits the Red Carpet

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Prince William and Kate Middleton now share something with Eddie Murphy: 48 hours made them stars in Hollywood. During their whirlwind visit, the newlyweds found time for a polo match, a brunch for a wildlife charity and a visit to the Inner-City Arts children's center on skid row. The splashy showbiz event of their visit was the inaugural black-tie "BAFTA Brits to Watch" dinner at downtown L.A.'s Belasco Theater. The night turned Hollywood's social order topsy-turvy. Usually, it's stars the magnitude of Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lopez (not to mention execs such as Les Moonves and Harvey Weinstein) who are being awaited, not doing the waiting. But 280 guests, who arrived an hour early, stood by patiently until the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge -- she in a nipped-waist pale lilac Alexander McQueen gown -- had strolled the red carpet. There was some grousing that there were no plus-ones ("That's the most un-Hollywood of experiences at a dinner on a Saturday night," said an attending studio exec) and that midnight was a bit late for the evening promoting emerging British talent to run (the duke and duchess excused themselves at 11 p.m. as dessert was served). But there was agreement that the royals starred in a rare Hollywood event: a black-tie bash without an awards presentation.  -- Bill Higgins

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' Premiere
London's Trafalgar Square Was Awash with thousands of Potter fanatics hoping to feel the Muggle magic at the premiere of the mega-franchise's final adventure. The cast and filmmakers gave farewell speeches from a red-carpeted platform in the middle of the square. Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer welcomed fans to the event, while creator J.K. Rowling said: "I'm barely holding it together. It's a mixed bag of emotions." She was greeted with near hysteria while walking the carpet with grown-up wizard Daniel Radcliffe and his pals Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. They appeared to have waved their wands nicely: The late-day sun came out after hours of heavy rain. And though teary-eyed at the premiere, Watson energetically hit the dance floor during the packed afterparty at Old Billingsgate Market.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" Premiere
It might not have been something the Founding Fathers would have envisaged, but it was a statue of Larry David done up as the Statue of Liberty that graced the white carpet at the premiere for season eight of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, which includes scenes set in New York. "We were the lowest-budget slapdash production of all time. Never in a million years did I think we'd still be doing this now," said Curb star Susie Essman. While most guests were on hand to see two episodes and then dine at the Porter House restaurant, Evan Rachel Wood had an agenda. "I want to talk to Larry tonight and beg him to put me in his show," she laughed. -- Randee Dawn and Bill Higgins

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