Election Night 2016: Party or Panic?

Industry insiders share their Nov. 8 plans as comedy legend Carl Reiner preps a Trump pinata and Ben Silverman welcomes all to his home but doesn't expect "many public Trump supporters."
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From left: Ben Silverman, Kate Hudson, Jill Soloway, Don Lemon

Jeffrey Katzenberg has yet to decide on where he will be on Nov. 8. But the longtime Democratic rallier tells The Hollywood Reporter one thing is for certain: “I will be cheering on Hillary [Clinton] until I’m hoarse or dragging people out of their houses and driving them to the polls — whatever I need to do.” Other insiders will either party or panic as the entertainment industry braces for a new president in either Clinton or Donald Trump.

Ben Silverman and wife Jennifer Cuoco have booked a banjo band and food trucks for about 100 guests at their Santa Monica home. “It’s the party that my wife and I love to throw more than any other, partially because there’s a real purpose to it,” the producer says.

Though Silverman wouldn't get specific about the guest list, it's expected to be filled with young Hollywood activists, insiders and political types from shows that Silverman has his name on, like Jane the Virgin, among others. The couple supports Clinton, but all are welcome. "My Republican friends always ask if they will be comfortable [at his house]," Silverman laughs. "There's more diversity than you think at these parties, but this year, I don't know if there will be many public Trump supporters."

Getting Hollywood types to take a public stance isn't always easy, but asking them to dish on their plans is, even if many admit to not wanting to leave the comfort of their home where they can be close to the TV … and wine. 

Kate Hudson says she’ll be “sitting on the sofa with a bottle of wine and just, like, sweating, hoping to God that it’s a sweep.” Jane Fonda likewise will “sit by the TV and sweat.” New Yorker and Atlanta and Divorce producer Paul Simms will watch CNN solo (veteran producer Joe Roth also favors CNN) in his Lower East Side apartment: “I like to watch all my political coverage alone, so I can yell back at the TV screen.” Music mogul Clive Davis also will be in Manhattan, hosting about 14 people in his screening room, “all riveted to the incredible adventure that is this election.”

Same for Malin Akerman, who will be in New York drinking with her debate mates, a best girlfriend and her husband, with whom she has been watching every debate thus far. "We will be watching with a big bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne in hopes that [Clinton] wins," she says. Likewise, How I Met Your Mother co-creator Craig Thomas plans to “start with scotch and worry and hopefully end with champagne and sanity.” 

Fox’s Gary Newman and his attorney wife Jeanne Newman also have champagne plans (they'll be home in Los Angeles after having already mailed in his ballot to avoid the Nov. 8 crush): “We will have a big bottle of champagne, which we will either be celebrating with or crying into.”

Also planning to stay home and channel surf with their spouses are Carole Bayer Sager, Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Sherry Lansing, who will head out if she likes what she sees. “Billy [Friedkin] and I take it seriously. If the results come in early, then we go to a friend’s,” says Lansing. “Obviously I’m hoping for a very quick Hillary victory so I’m hoping that we can go celebrate.”

Director Adam Shankman also will be close to a TV. "I surf and watch everything," he says. "I want to hear what everybody is saying ... while just biting my fingernails." That's exactly how Discovery president Rich Ross forecasts his night, like "an edge-of-your-seat kind of experience," he says. "I don't think we've ever seen anything like this. Working in the TV business, it feels like a script that you read but you think that this can't possibly be true. But it is." 

Loving star Joel Edgerton feels the same way: “It’s the first year that I can remember that politics in this country became almost more about pure entertainment than actual politics.”

Far from L.A. is where Brian Grazer will be. He and his wife Veronica will be on vacation in Israel, but despite the time difference, "We will be away no matter what time it is, cheering on Hillary's victory," she says. 

Nina Dobrev tells THR she’s venturing out for a shindig hosted by Aaron Paul and his wife, Lauren Parsekian; Paul has said the couple would move to Canada should Trump be elected. “We will be hopefully celebrating a positive outcome with a positive leader — not a negative one,” Dobrev says of the bash, which Paul's The Path co-star Michelle Monaghan also tells THR she plans to attend. 

Carl Reiner knows how to handle a little negativity: The 94-year-old comedy legend tells THR he has a Trump pinata, which he’s saving for Nov. 8, when his grandkids can come over and eat all the candy off the floor.

Silverman didn't mention candy, but he did say that his party will be well-stocked with beverages. "We will have multiple bartenders depending on how the evening goes," he laughs.

No candy for Transparent creator Jill Soloway, but she'll have tissues nearby. "I want to make sure I want to have a really good weep. I don't want to just tear up, I want to sob uncontrollably, so I'm setting everything up in order for that to happen." 

Transparent star Amy Landecker also is staying close to home, pulling for Clinton and switching channels with ambition. "I'm a beast with that stuff," she admits. "I want to change the channel and I don’t want to hear people talking in the same room. I will be recording and rewinding. I’m hoping for a really incredible night." 

Should Trump defy the polls and prevail, Lost City of Z director James Gray says, “I won’t recognize our country anymore if it wants a scumbag white nationalist to be its president. You can quote me on that: I hate that guy.”

Canadian Paul Haggis says he will happily retreat to his home country, which How I Met Your Mother co-creator Carter Bays will seriously consider as well. “I went to a wedding in Victoria this summer," he says, "and the whole time on the way there, as a joke, my wife and I said, ‘If Trump wins, we're gonna live there!’ Then we got there and thought, ‘Whoa, it's actually beautiful and it's a great place to raise kids.’”

Ali Wentworth would rather go down under with husband George Stephanopoulos: “If Trump wins, we’ll start looking at real estate in Sydney, Australia. No crime, no guns."

Any travel plans are off for Don Lemon: “I just want to go on a long vacation, somewhere warm and sunny where people serve me margaritas and rub my feet. If Trump wins, all bets are off. But honestly, if Hillary Clinton wins, I may not get a vacation either because there will be a big section of the country that’s unhappy.”

Others have more sedentary morning-after plans if Trump is elected president. “I’ll be in my bed for four days,” says Mario Cantone, and Neil Burger joked of "a handful of pills and a glass of water." Leslie Odom Jr., who will be drinking in Boston with his band after a gig, will then work to “find a way to move on and heal, and come together as a country, as we’ve always done. I’ll be looking to find a way through in the most positive way I possibly can.”

But if Clinton wins, Molly Shannon will enjoy “a presidential pancake breakfast for Hillary Clinton the next morning.”

A version of this story also appears in the Nov. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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