I was going to start today with Chrissy Teigen pioneering a new baby general reveal trend – she just mentioned it casually, said “oops”, and moved on. No fires started, no massive destruction caused. But then a reader called Tracey sent this to Lainey and it gives me a chance to talk about Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It’s Chrissy, casually stopping into say hi, in her robe (she’s on bed rest for a few weeks) and running into a virtual wall of A-listers. Chrissy has been to the Oscars and has seen Beyoncé up close and is married to an EGOT winner, but when you are faced with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, live and on Zoom, it’s something else. And then there’s Julia, who quipped “That’s what I look like when I’m going to the Oscar’s brunch” about Chrissy’s loungewear. It’s a compliment, of course, and only Julia could make it sound like a lecture. No one does it better than Julia.
More Fast Times (we’ll be eating off this for weeks): Brad does indeed look embarrassed, right? (That works perfectly for the character of “Brad”.) And Jen is cool as a f-cking cucumber. It makes me think of the 2009 Oscars and how nervous Jen seemed to be presenting in front of Brad and Angelina – for those of us that lived through it, it was momentous. No one could have predicted that a little more than a decade later this is where they’d be. To quote Michael Scott, “oh how the turntables have turned.” Then, yes of course Julia immediately phoned Jen for a full post-mortem, breaking down every beat, every second of prolonged eye contact. As Lainey said, only Julia could lecture these two back into love again. But would she? Julia had her fun with movie stars and then married a man who doesn’t care at all for fame or attention. She was starry-eyed on Zoom but I think in real life, one-on-one, she’s probably too wise to want this for Jen again.
You know Julia Roberts called Jennifer Aniston the second this Zoom ended.pic.twitter.com/WMeoVMB2WU— Jamie "Karen Strode" Jirak âš¡ï¸ (@JamieCinematics) September 18, 2020
Guess I should try to focus on something else today besides the table-read, so here’s Nina Dobrev in quarantine, presumably for two weeks, and it looks like she’s alone. Her Insta-official boyfriend Shaun White isn’t with her, and if he visits he will need to self-isolate for two weeks (if he could even get across the border). So this is an interesting challenge for LA-based couples who have to work outside of the US right now – there’s no popping in for the weekend.
A Chris Rock interview is always worth a read because his insights into American culture (from politics to race relations to class) are blistering and brilliant. During this time, he’s been going through intense therapy (seven hours a week), working on his fitness, and preparing to promote Fargo, work he seems immensely proud to be part of. At 55, he’s hitting a new gear and even though he’s so celebrated, it still feels like he’s underrated.
I have no self-control so here are two more thoughts about Fast Times at Ridgemont High: first off, who was left out of this iconic (yes, I’m calling it that now) Zoom read? Who wanted to be cast and didn’t make the cut? That’s probably a whole other story, an oral history we will get one day. Second, this is a situation where we must give credit where it is due. The common complaint about celebrity culture these days is that it’s too controlled, too boring, too safe. To do a live-read (particularly for Brad and Jen!) like this, in front of the world, had to be nerve-wracking as hell. They know that we are going to analyse and meme the hell out of every moment and they did it anyway, for our entertainment.
OK one more thing on Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Dane Cook put it together. Are we going to get a Dane Cook resurgence? This is exactly the kind of chaos 2020 has wrought.