About Town: Hollywood Hits the Red Carpet

Amy Graves

Women in Entertainment | Beverly Hills, Dec. 7

Gender be damned! The room is filled with hollywood’s brightest visionaries,” ICM’s Toni Howard said about The Hollywood Reporter’s 19th annual Women in Entertainment breakfast.

The 600-person event at the Beverly Hills Hotel debuted THR’s Power 100: Women in Entertainment issue, which spotlights the leadership and impact of the industry’s female movers and shakers. Among the list-makers celebrating were Disney TV chief Anne Sweeney (who leads the Power 100), CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler (No. 8) and Warner Bros. marketing head Sue Kroll (No. 11).

“I feel extremely proud and powerful to be a woman, something all women should be encouraged to feel every day,” said Entertainment Tonight’s Linda Bell Blue, who spoke of THR’s Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor program for inner-city girls.

Universal’s Donna Langley saw her mentee come onstage to receive a $5,000 scholarship and break into tears while accepting. Warners’ Veronika Kwan-Rubinek was so inspired, she offered to be a 2011 mentor on the spot.

Halle Berry presented the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award to Helen Mirren, who got quite a response with the line, “I resent in my life the survival of some very mediocre male actors … and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones.”

Keynote speaker Katie Couric spoke of her late sister Emily, who she called “the rare politician truly committed to public service,” and her battle with pancreatic cancer. She later tweeted a photo of herself with Crenshaw High students that became the talk of the school, then left for the Glee set to tape a guest spot. 

Tron: Legacy | Los Angeles, Dec. 11

All Things Tron came around a second time at the premiere of Disney’s Garrett Hedlund starrer Tron: Legacy, which sees Jeff Bridges return to the grid. Laser lights cast a cold, blue glow on the El Capitan in Hollywood, and platinum-haired “Sirens” paraded among guests drinking Trontinis. Daft Punk, which provides the sequel’s music, hung with the likes of Disney’s Robert Iger and Rich Ross. Even Tom Cruise — who attended the 1982 premiere for the original film at the Village in Westwood — made an appearance. Producer and Disney president of production Sean Bailey said the film is “a fundamentally emotional father-son story, with really ambitious technology.” That included everything from crafting a younger onscreen version of Bridges to creating the film’s immersive digital world. “The studio’s line to me was: ‘We want you to push us. We need to be pushed,’ ” director Joseph Kosinski said. “To say that to a director is the most powerful thing.”            — Borys Kit