If you want to get attention at a swank party at The Four Seasons, do not walk the carpet behind Katie Holmes. In a dark lacy shirtwaist, the star had the photographers snapping steady and at least one observer noted, she could play another Kate -- Middleton -- in a biopic about the British royal couple. Yes, the Observer fete had everything, including a British contingent: author Amanda Foreman served on the 2012 judging panel for the esteemed literary award, Man Booker Prize for Fiction, with Dan Stevens. Yes, Dan Stevens, or Matthew Crawley to you, offed in a car crash at the end of season three, leaving viewers beyond anxious about the future of Downton Abbey. It took three beats to register exactly who he was, standing there, handsomely familiar, blond hair darkened and spiky for a new movie, A Walk Among Tombstones, he is shooting with co-star Liam Neeson. But what was Dan Stevens doing HERE? Turns out he is not just another pretty face but commands the online quarterly, The Junket, and writes a column for the Daily Telegraph, having read English literature at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Did he really, really want to leave Downton Abbey, this reporter asked gamely. Yes, but not that way.
He remained unobserved at this party where the clink of champagne glasses mingled with the din of diners catching up: Katie Couric, Deborra-Lee Furness, Jordan Roth, Alexa Ray Joel, Peter Cincotti, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, J. C. Chandor, Sean Parker, Jay McInerny, Ken Auletta, Donald Trump and his son-in-law, publisher Jared Kushner. Caricaturists worked the crowded poolroom. The guest list was so impressive, Michael Bloomberg was awed. But his face registered flat out longing as he rose to the microphone for a speech to salute the famously salmon colored newspaper into its next quarter decade. Glancing my way, the mayor observed my plate piled high: filet, braised short rib, turkey, lamb chop, whole cranberries, as if to say, Are you really going to eat all that? The server had just convinced me that yes, I needed the sauce over my perfectly crisped duck. "It's the best you ever ate," he boasted. And it was.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.