Rambling Reporter

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When Mad Men Met Radiohead: When it comes to her love life, Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant thinks ignorance is bliss. Wedded bliss, actually. She has won Emmys and designed collections (Banana Republic, Maidenform), but on dates, men always wanted to talk about her job. Then she met Peter Yozell, a tour manager for Radiohead, who on their first date said, "Mad Men, yeah, I've heard of that show but never seen it." She countered, "Radiohead, yeah, I've heard of them but never listened to them." After they married in the fall at Cliff's Edge, their favorite restaurant in L.A.'s Silver Lake neighborhood, we have to assume he's watched the show -- and she's listened to the band. "I actually missed the Mad Men wrap party so we could finally take a honeymoon," Bryant told THR.

Alien Linguist

Paul Frommer, the linguist who created the Na'vi language for Avatar, will return to the big screen March 9 with another alien tongue: Barsoomian, the dialect spoken on Mars in Disney's $200 million-plus sci-fi epic John Carter, starring Taylor Kitsch. But whereas Na'vi was an entirely original composition, Barsoomian is an adaptation of the language conjured by Edgar Rice Burroughs for his pulpy Barsoom novel cycle. (Barsoom was the author's representation of the red planet.) "The challenge here was different, to create a language that was internally consistent and true to what Burroughs would have intended," says Frommer. "He'd only come up with about 400 words on his own -- mostly place names, characters and measurements. I had to fill things in."

Sorkin World

Hugo star Emily Mortimer will play a fast-paced cable news producer on Aaron Sorkin's HBO series The Newsroom as a Brit -- not unusual, considering she is British. Except the character was written as an American, she told THR at its Oscar Nominees Night event Feb. 23. "When I saw how many words my character has -- this is Sorkin World, not the real world -- I asked if I could make her British. Luckily, they said yes. I can do an American accent, but not with so many words all at once. It's a lot!"

Dine a Duel

The judgment in the Mr. Chow vs. Philippe Chow trademark-infringement case has been handed down, but the war of words continues. Mr. Chow restaurateur Michael Chow won $1 million in damages in U.S. District Court on Feb. 23 on a claim that upstart rival Philippe Chow (no relation) engaged in false advertising related to its online marketing. But Philippe Chow CEO Stratis Morfogen insists victory is theirs. "We won 15 out of 16 counts -- it was a landslide," he says. Among the charges thrown out was the explosive claim that Philippe Chow had stolen Mr. Chow's menu and recipes. Adds Morfogen: "They sued us for more than $20 million and must have spent $5 million in legal fees. We are going to appeal." Responds Michael Chow's lawyer Bert Fields: "The point is to win, whatever you win. Mr. Chow got the damages. Mr. Morfogen has to pay those damages."

Harvey Goes Chevalier

In March, France's government will bestow upon Harvey Weinstein the Legion of Honor -- and it will be handed to The Artist executive producer by France's president himself, Nicolas Sarkozy, who is grand master of the Legion. A Hollywood precedent for the honor exists: Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and David Cronenberg also have been tapped as chevaliers.

Power Lunch

On Feb. 20, Annette Bening visited The Tower Bar with Warren Beatty, who greeted Joan Collins at one table. Also in: Spike Jonze, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, Carrie Brillstein and Joseph Abboud creative director Bernardo Rojo. … Four days before the Oscars, ceremony producer Brian Grazer broke bread at the Polo Lounge with Columbia Pictures head Doug Belgrad while Participant Media exec vp production Jonathan King sat nearby. … Steve Tisch at The Grill, being congratulated yet again for his New York Giants' Super Bowl win. … Mel Gibson dined at a table of 10 at Ago. … Hugo's Oscar-nominated costume designer, Sandy Powell, at Culina, while top stylist Lori Goldstein, in from New York, held court elsewhere in the room. … Carolina Herrera, Betsy Bloomingdale and a few of their lady friends dining in an alcove booth at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air; out on the lawn by the swans, Viola Davis and her family, The Help director Tate Taylor and producers Brunson Green and Michael Barnathan enjoying a lunch thrown by aircraft maker Bombardier and Davis' agency, APA. … Jodie Foster double-dipped at Il Covo on consecutive days. Kirsten Dunst was dining with friends on the patio the first time Foster stopped in, and Jessica Alba and Cash Warren were eating alfresco the second.

 
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