Rambling Reporter

6:00 AM PST 12/04/2012 by Merle Ginsberg & Gary Baum

Baz Sneaks Into His Movie: Baz Luhrmann went incognito at an early test screening of The Great Gatsby at the Sherman Oaks ArcLight on Nov. 29. A maroon baseball cap pulled low over his silvery hair, the director arrived just before the lights went down, hunching into his taped-off central seat in a middle row, according to an onlooker. The roughly two-hour and 10-minute print revealed that some placeholder music remains and quite a bit of CG work has yet to be completed. This despite the fact that the film -- which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan -- originally was set for release this month. (It's now scheduled for May 10.) The audience applauded when it was over and got to work on their assessment cards, answering questions concerned with pacing and character preference. For his part, Luhrmann was out the door within seconds.

Quvenzhane's Quick Response

At an all-guild screening Nov. 26 in New York, THR's Scott Feinberg introduced four of the makers of Beasts of the Southern Wild to the audience one by one: first writer-director Behn Zeitlin, then composer Dan Romer, then co-writer Lucy Alibar -- saving the fave for last, pint-size 9-year-old star Quvenzhane Wallis, who already knows how to make an impactful entrance. She ran onto the stage to great applause, only to slip on the piece of felt protecting the wooden floor at the Scandinavia House, where the panel was held. As the audience gasped, she hit the ground, paused -- then jumped up, crossed her arms and yelled: "Safe!" This got even bigger applause.

Jackman: Big in Korea

When attending the first premiere of Les Mis, held in Seoul, South Korea, Hugh Jackman discovered that Olympic gold figure skating champion Yuna Kim had chosen a medley from Les Mis as her soundtrack for 2013 competitions. He didn't necessarily know who she was -- but figured it out fast. "Now you are certain to win!" was his pronouncement to her when asked his reaction.

Huffman's Felicitous Voiceover Casting

Arts nonprofits and stars: perfect for symbiotic brand burnishing! NPR has memorably corralled Alec Baldwin's wit for its pledge drive. PBS made Laura Linney its madam of Masterpiece. Now L.A.'s Center Theatre Group may have outdone them by assembling an all-star cast of veteran CTG performers, including Alfred Molina and Jeff Goldblum, for its new preshow recorded announcements. Felicity Huffman debuted her own endearingly self-aware voiceover address at the Ahmanson Theatre opening of Anything Goes on Nov. 28, advising the audience -- which included Seth MacFarlane and Lawrence Bender -- to refrain from texting (extended beat: "that's super-annoying"), take note of the exits (beat: "in case you hate the play") and, please, make a tax-deductible donation. After all, CTG hires "out-of-work actors like myself."

Evans' Bob Mots

Robert Evans, the 82-year-old Hollywood legend given to piquant musings about life in the film business, will release a book of his collected aphorisms in 2013. During a short Q&A following a private screening Dec. 1 of a new documentary about the making of Rosemary's Baby under his aegis as Paramount boss, Evans revealed that the volume of "one-liners," as he called them, would be published in a "very expensive," extremely limited edition. At the event -- held as part of an ongoing film series program at Soho House, where he's the sole honorary member ("I sleep here every so often, perhaps twice a week," he joked) -- he even read a few of the bob mots. So what wizened wisdom can we expect? How about: "Once branded, always branded." Or: "Money buys justice." And: "Continued silence is your best insurance policy for continued breathing."

Power Lunch

Caulfield's at the Thompson hotel has been especially popular since its recent decor face-lift and new chef came on board. Producer Bruna Papandrea dropped by with Simon Baker. Others who've been in: WME's Andrew Finkelstein, UTA's Brett Hansen, producers Steve Hutensky and Daniel Kellison, plus Robin Tunney and Cedric the Entertainer. … On the same day at Nobu Malibu: Bradley Cooper with Zoe Saldana, as well as David Geffen, Larry David, Jimmy Iovine and Martin Short. … Music producer Rick Rubin ducked in to BierBeisl in Beverly Hills. … Childhood friends Casey Wasserman and designer James Perse ate at Craig's. … Homeland's David Marciano dined at the Chateau Marmont. ... All at Spago at once: Gersh's Leslie Siebert, Colleen Camp, Pam Dawber, Gigi Levangie Grazer, Rumer Willis, CAA's Traci Brennan and 3 Arts manager Molly Madden. … John C. Reilly and Jason Sudeikis have each hit the Umami Burger in Los Feliz of late. … Lightning Entertainment president Robert Beaumont and Sandbar Pictures producer Lizzie Friedman broke bread at Giorgio Baldi. … Susan Sarandon and boyfriend Jonathan Bricklin dined at the Parish. (They recently opened an outpost of their SPiN pingpong empire at the downtown Standard hotel nearby.)

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