Ask the Celebrity Bartender

I probably shouldn’t be goofing around and writing this thread, but the script I was working on this morning disappeared when the program crashed and a month of rewrites went down the tube. (That isn’t so bad as I can probably pull up the new material from memory, but still: ugh.)

Plus – and now the real reasonIndygrrl asked me to write this thread when I mentioned on another post that I tended bar at Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding. And since she and I are dealing with similar stuff – and every time I come here I happen to come across her name – I consider it enough of a sign to move forward with it. Or maybe I just seek attention. Or maybe I just want to re-live past glories (well, they’re not exactly glories). And of course, being the procrastinator I am, I’m dreading rehashing previously mentioned script.

I have not waited on EVERY celebrity to grace the big or small screen, but quite a few of them. It began as a catering position that lasted for about six years from which I’ve since retired. A few of the events I’ve worked include:

Pitt/Aniston Wedding
Tom Cruise’s 40th birthday party
About 75 movie premiere parties
“Titanic” Oscar Party
Governor’s Ball the “Braveheart” year
Paramount Oscar Brunch the “Saving Private Ryan” year
Final “Seinfeld” episode taping
Many others.

My apologies in advance to those whose writing eloquence makes me appear awkward by comparison. I often feel the gatekeeper that let me into this message board was doing his best Homer-Simpson-at-the-nuclear-reactor imitation. I’m doing my best, honest.

One disclaimer to mention: I will not expose any celebrity in a way that I believe could do harm to their career or seriously damage their character (I’ll just say “anonymous…”). That said, I can only think of one instance that would be the case – and I didn’t see it firsthand, but was informed by another caterer. But if somebody was a jerk to me (and I can’t think of many who were) I’m happy to name names.

And if there’s anything worth mentioning that hasn’t been asked, I’ll drop it in somewhere.

I also worked a couple years as a security guard at Warner Brothers, chaffeured for a limo company and been to the Sundance Film Festival a few times, so if a question or antecdote can be supplied from a personal experience other than a party I bartended, I’ll mention it (e.g. George Clooney shot hoops out in front of his trailer every single day while he was on E.R. – and he had a pretty good shot, good from downtown).

I will do my best to reply to your questions ASAP, but please understand I do not hang out here as often as some others.

Ask away!

OK, I guess I’ll bite.
What was the thing the other caterer told you about? What did this Anonymous Person do?

He saw a syringe fall out of the purse of “an Anonymous Guest” at the Pitt/Aniston wedding. I only recall seeing her briefly at the reception (she apparently left early) and, although it was from a distance, she seemed a little belligerant.

You would not know she had a problem with heroin (or steroids???) based on her career post-wedding. Which leads me to believe the number of celebrities (primarily young ones I think) who dabble heroin is larger than we might think. And this is NOT insinuating that Pitt or Aniston are into those types of drugs. Based my interactions with them (three or four times) I would guess the opposite.

Point to make: all caterers were forced to sign a waiver for the wedding, that we could not sell our stories for profit or be quoted by any for-profit media (e.g. People magazine).

I’ll take the risk that this doesn’t count, but I’m still feeling cautious about this.

And since they’re also splittsville, really, who cares?

Heck I’m bored why not…

Which celebrity that you’ve met is easiest on the eyes in person?

Anyone stand out as looking great on screen and not so much up close?

Easy one, but (being a bartender myself) it always tells me a lot about a person:

What did everybody drink?

Is Tom Cruise as nice a guy as is rumored? Or as short as people make him out to be?

I was wondering about that. Have you ever been approached by People, or National Enquirer, or Us, or any of the other celebrity mags?

When you did finally meet them, who was the least like you expected them to be, for better & for worse? Who’d you think would be cool but turned out to be a jerk, or vice versa. Or just least like their image, whichever way you want to take the question.

Richard Nixon died a few years back, but maybe–what’s he like? What’s he drink? :slight_smile:

Three women that struck me as very beautiful in person that maybe wouldn’t be considered that way on screen are:

  1. **Rita Wilson (Tom Hanks’ wife)
  2. Vanna White (Wheel of Fortune)
  3. Maria Conchita-Alonzo (“Colors,” some memorable appearances on Letterman)**

They all share the same thing in common: all have eyes that absolutely sparkle in person. Conchita-Alonzo had the deepest, darkest brown eyes I’d ever seen. I was literally stunned when I looked up from my bar and into her eyes.

Another perhaps-not-expected-to-be-considered beautiful but is striking in person is Elizabeth Perkins.

That doesn’t exactly answer your question (easiest on the eyes in person), so I’ll think about it a bit more.

Cute story about Vanna. I encountered her and her husband (some pizza magnate and big-time businessman) at a surprise birthday party for the wife of Sugar Ray Leonard. Hubby was giving me a particularly difficult time because I was holding the Dom Perignon “wrong” when pouring it. Subsequent to that moment, every time she walked by me that night she would smile and flash the sparkles and I would just melt.

On the flip side, Sharon Stone did not appear as very attractive. Cher looks a little freaky (but has a killer body) and Faye Dunaway has not aged particularly well, but, although she struck me as a little loopy, doesn’t seem to really give a crap about what people think of her.

Also, Glenn Close, who has aged some since her most successful days, was across from us at a diner at Sundance last week and looked (to me) surprisingly naturally beautiful.

I think it could be a rule of thumb that if a celebrity wants to look great he/she can.

I’ll think about some men who did/didn’t look great in person.

I know you can’t name names, but have you ever seen a closeted gay celebrity at a function with somebody who was very obviously their same-sex significant other?

Any celebrities who are chain smokers that we may not know about?

Any particularly big tippers?

No, and that would be a good source for them I would think. The only circumstance that comes to mind is that a publication (which did not name itself) left flyers on our windshields after the Pitt/Aniston wedding offering cash for details.

A little before my time, but Bill Clinton sticks to Diet Coke.

A bit more on Clinton. The guy is the most statuesque person I’d ever been near. He’s gotta be 6-3 or 6-4 and just struck me as BIG. And his hands are HUGE – I got to shake his hand. (Clearly, he is a mouthful for Monica Lewisnsky.) But he’s genuinely personable, preferred to take photo opps with the caterers instead of chat with those who spent $25K to attend the Democratic party fundraiser at which he spoke that I waited on.

I have heard a lot of jerkish things about Michael Douglas but he was more than appreciative when I served him at a particularly crowded party (a pre-Golden Globes party at producer Mike Medavoy’s house). Gave a sincere thanks not once but twice.

James Woods struck me as a bit nerdy, fumbling, not like the characters he usually portrays, nor the way he handles interviews. It’s a not-so-much inside joke that he dates very young women and this case was no different.

Both Andrew Dice Clay and Dennis Miller were very low key, very different than I would have predicted. Of course, everyone has their pensive moments as well as their animated ones, but Miller was seated a very prominent table with Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Ovitz and some others and barely said a word.

Vince Vaughn who attended an MTV Movie Awards party with Joey Lauren Adams one year, was also ultra low-key. I guess some people turn it off or on for the camera.

Michael Jordan was a jerk in one instance (actually told an autograph seeker to, “Get that thing out of my face,” which really threw me as I practically idolized the guy a the time (1989 NBA All-Star Game). But then I bumped into him years later and he was very pleasant (while he was shooting “Space Jam” at WB in 1995).

Warren Beatty acted a bit bumbling, too, but it seemed more his way to be self-depricating than anything else. His wife, Annette Bening was super bubbly, very friendly.

The best story relating to this question regards Carrie-Ann Moss. I consider “The Matrix” my favorite movie and her character, Trinity, the ultimate heroine. I served her perhaps the worst-ever margarita at a SAG Awards party and she handled it in stride – as you might expect the most elegant and striking actress to act (which is how I considered her). But then, she and my wife had the same birthing class together she was so regular, so normal (but still pleasant) it was like an absolutely different person. I bumped into her one other time at the supermarket and she was still that regular, normal girl. I actually chatted with her somewhat significantly but could never tell her how I idolized her in “The Matrix” because I didn’t want her to think I was a freak.

Barbara Streisand is something of a bitch but that’s not surprising.

Val Kilmer struck me as sort of a weirdo, also maybe not so surprising.

Matt Damon surprised by being so pleasant. It was almost as if he wanted to let me know just because he was sipping champagne with Sherry Lansing and I was pouring it we were still the same. (No, he was not coming on to me. I don’t think he was, anyway.)

James Gandolfini seemed a bit primative, something of a heathen, which to me was a surprise because I think it’s always difficult to play a charicature and actually be one in real life.


Virginia Madsen

Which part–A or B?

Oops. A. Very much A.

Whew! Very glad to hear that…

This is a little complicated, but bear with me.

I’m guessing that Robert DeNiro doesn’t have to pay for a lot of drinks when he’s out ‘n’ about (“No, Mr. DeNiro, it’s such an honor just to have you in our establishment…!”). I’m also guessing that Kato Kaelin doesn’t get many freebies.

What level of celebrity is the dividing line? Tara Reid? Someone who used to be on SNL but never made any movies? Who would make you flip a coin as to whether you bill them or not?