Writer Nick Vallelonga: “‘Green Book’ was the best I could make it. I tried being honest about both of the men. It was about friendship. Coming together of two guys on a long crazy roller coaster ride. I was stunned when critics turned it into a political thing.
“Some say our movie should not have won, but at the Governors Ball right afterward, Alfonso Cuarón hugged me. Holding his three Oscars, he said he felt connected to me because we both wrote about family.
“Mahershala and Viggo, we all hugged one another. We all said, ‘I love you,’ and, ‘It was the best experience.’
“I look at my two unbelievable Oscars — Original Screenplay and Best Picture — in my home on my mantel at my TV in my living room in LA. Next to my Golden Globe. It’s a lot of gold.”
The late Tony Lip, never getting to cash in on the movie based on him, did cash in when he played crime boss Carmine Lupertazzi on TV’s “The Sopranos.” A used-car salesman, he parked cars outside his home and handed autographs to prospects. He called them “successful marketing tools.”
Vallelonga being now a hotshot, what’s next?
“A romantic comedy musical. The title’s ‘That’s Amore!’”
Please pay attention
The hills are alive with the sound of scary stuff. Nominated for “Vice” this year, Christian Bale’s out later this year in “Ford v Ferrari,” a pulse-racing car racing thing with Matt Damon . . .
Amy Adams, who’s earned half a dozen nominations, is next out in Fox’s thriller chiller “The Woman in the Window,” which is set in New York . . .
“BlacKkKlansman” Adam Driver’s coming up in “The Report,” which deals with torture . . .
Emma Stone? Hers is titled “Zombieland: Double Tap.” Forget four stars. This bunch will grab four eeks . . .
And in the TV world, Nathan Lane, with no day off since he left the crib, joins Showtime series “Penny Dreadful” for its comeback. Set in LA in the ’30s, it’s social, racial, political, radical. Creator John Logan wrote the rough tough police detective role specifically for Nathan.
Sir celebrates with staging
From his Lancashire beginnings, Sir Ian McKellen — all things “The Lord of the Rings,” and more awards than Her Majesty has pearls — made a pit stop in the palace to be knighted in 1991. Now for his 80th birthday, he’s making a mammoth 80-stop personal appearance one-nighter tour of Britannia. Solo. It’s titled “Ian McKellen onstage With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and You.” He’s bouncing around to venues, including London’s Duke of York Theatre and some charming whereeverthehell paradise called Folkestone.
Bits & pieces
Nothing stops New Yorkers. On Sunday’s snow/rain/blizzard night, East 60th Italian eatery Canaletto was mobbed. Not a table available . . .
Sunday’s Times reported the buzz around Jeff Bozo’s newly going Hollywood. Wrong! Whatever about him is amazon, I don’t know. I do know he’s a player. For years, he decorated Harvey Weinstein’s VIP table the night before the Oscars. I know. I talked to him.
Anthony Quinn’s son Lorenzo, whose studio’s in Barcelona, is, like his pop, an artist. The sculptures he expects to place along Park Avenue are, he says, “Twelve. Like the numbers of a clock. Akin to the human voyage beginning with birth. One stands for Love. Health. The Hand of God. Not every block can accommodate them because they’re huge. Very wide. Very tall.”
D’Agostino. A lady handpicked perfect bananas studiously omitting any brown spotted. Navigating the laden cart, her attention was diverted. At the checkout counter came the realization that her perfect unblemished selection had been swiped. In its place? Mushy bruised ones that even King Kong might’ve dissed.
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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