I had dinner last night with De Niro and Pacino. I met them at Geoffrey’s Malibu an hour before sunset. It was mild and we sat out on the patio overlooking the ocean.
I didn’t know who was paying but it wasn’t me, so I didn’t stint on my drinks, my appetizer (sautéed Maryland lump crab cakes), or my dinner (Togarashi dusted seared Ahi tuna). De Niro ate a lot of red meat and drank plenty; I wouldn’t insure the guy’s heart or circulatory system, I’ll tell you that. Pacino drank and stuck to something green and leafy, from which he picked the bits of cheese. The chef, Bijan Shokatfard, made an appearance but waited until the principals were probably too bleary to distinguish him from Remy the rat.
Pacino is four years older than me, De Niro one year older. They’re both short, of course. They’ve both got this energy thing, this dynamic aura or whatever, radiating from them, but I still think I could take either one in a fair fight.
They were both there with women half their age. Wives? Daughters? Publicists? I was there with a woman half my age too, so we never got into who was doing what to whom. A lot of smiling and no “And what do you do?”
These two guys. They gave me half an ear but you could tell they had something going on between themselves, this alpha-dog BS. It was in their eyes, which couldn’t hold still, kept drifting back to the other guy. Both their companions kept patting them on the arm, murmuring in their ear, and I’d hear snatches of “Remember, you promised you wouldn’t…” and “Just let it go, Baby…”
I heard, hell, I hear all the time, that they’ve never gotten over “Righteous Kill.” Rooster and Turk. What were they thinking? Putting themselves in the hands of Jon Avnet – who, and I give him credit for this and this alone – has directed multiple episodes of “Justified.” He had already squandered Pacino in “88 Minutes” and now Pacino comes back for more? Rooster. Pacino is 70, for Pete’s sake. They’re supposed to be swinging dicks, but it’s their wattles that do that. Not that I’m any prize myself, but I’m not a megastar except to my family and a couple of special friends like my partner at dinner (she ordered a two-pound Maine steamed lobster). Hollywood.
What do I know that I didn’t know before dinner last night? Every girl or young woman or grown-up woman that I’ve idolized and desired from afar, in grammar school or high school or college or on the set, wherever, when I finally hooked up with her, she disappointed. That, I already knew. But now I’m thinking that it’s the same with movie stars.