Misc

Kristen Stewart's Quick Change at 'Welcome to the Riley's' Party

by Stephen Travierso Photographed by Nick Hunt/ Patrick McMullan Company
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
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To play a stripper in Welcome to the Riley’s, Twilight superstar Kristen Stewart did her research so well that she was offered dancing gigs at places like Barely legal and Dixie Divas. Directed by first-timer Jake Scott (son of filmmaker Ridley Scott), Welcome to the Riley’s is akin to another dark family dramedy American Beauty – if you replace the Stepford wife backdrop of Connecticut for the impoverished, but striking scenery of post-Katrina New Orleans. James Gandolfini and Academy Award-nominee Melissa Leo (Frozen River) star as a long-married couple separated from each other and themselves by the death of their young and only daughter. Stewart enters the picture as a teenage runaway, hustling the streets of the French Quarter, who becomes a difficult surrogate for their attentions.


The three stars ruled the red carpet at The Cinema Society screening at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Guests included stars of the big and small screen (James Woods, Tony Shalhoub, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks), model Linda V (models don’t need last names) and club king Nur KhanRussell Simmons, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, and Nicole Hanley Mellon (who is expecting her first child in December) and husband Matthew Mellon, all welcomed by Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir with pre-screening cocktails (cucumber and passionfruit margaritas featuring potent DeLeon tequila).


The evening’s co-sponsor, the Everlon Diamond Knot collection was well-adorned on the red carpet. Leo, though known for her gritty film work, worked the walk with ease in a simple black dress set sparkling by Everlon Diamond Knot Layered Chain Necklaces, Everlon Pave Diamond Knot Studs and an Everlon Pave 3-Knot Ring. Following the film, the diamonds continued to shimmer down the street at the Soho Grand Hotel’s new Club Room, a delicious space where the afterparty was held. Olivia Palermo (with model boyfriend Johannes Huebl), Linda V., and late arrival Petra Nemcova all were spotted showing off items from the Everlon collection. Nemcova, dressed in a periwinkle tiered gown, wowed the crowd late in the night, when she and several other guests popped in after “An Enduring Vision,” the annual fundraiser for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.


Hendricks and her husband, comedian Geoffrey Arend,  greeted her former co-star, the tuxedo-clad Bryan Batt, still looking as dapper as ever, and his partner Tom Cianfichi. Guests nibbled on seasonal pumpkin ravioli and Israeli couscous, with pastel macaroons sent about for dessert; Young Hollywood star Stewart easily walked away with the red carpet in an asymmetrical gold and black dress, but the low-key actress, known to most because of their children’s obsession with the Twilight series, dressed down to jeans and a wool cap for the party. One producer shared with me that filming on Riley’s began well-before the first Twilight was even released (it’s waited for several years), and that Stewart’s casting came at the suggestion to director Scott from Hollywood phenom Sean Penn. Good call Sean!


 
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