2009 May 12

It’s So Easy

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Jessica Biel, in 3.1 Phillip Lim Jessica Biel, in 3.1 Phillip Lim
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(NEW YORK) “Over your shoulder, Jessica!” the packs of photogs called at Ms. Biel, hoping for that perfect shot of the star posing in her one-shouldered 3.1 Phillip Lim gown. Her equally lovely (though in a different way) costars, Ben Barnes and Colin Firth, jumped at the chance. “I can look over my shoulder!” Firth laughed, before the two began posing coquettishly. At Monday night's Cinema Society screening of Easy Virtue, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal with Brooks Brothers & Jaeger-LeCoultre, the camaraderie was clear. Cinema Socials Chris Benz, Hamish Bowles, Dree Hemingway, Fern Mallis, Stefano Tonchi, and Patrick and Mia Demarchelier all came out to support the cast and director Stephan Elliot.

Biel’s character Larita, the American bombshell (and racecar driver) was earned the actress' sincere adoration. “She’s got such a great attitude, such a killer personality and a killer wit," said Biel. "I had so much fun. I actually would like to be her, if I could--not racing cars, but just being…tougher, and having better comebacks!” In the film, however, which follows Larita and her new husband John (Barnes), as they meet the parents (Firth and Kristen Scott Thomas), Biel’s character faced a few familiar challenges: “I’ve had a couple funny meeting-the-parents experiences a long time ago. You know, old boyfriends that you hope to forget!” Surely things must have gone better with boyfriend Justin Timberlake (who skipped the screening, but joined his Biel and guests like Sting, Karolina Kurkova, Sessilee Lopez, Lindsay Price, and fellow lovebirds Marc Jacobs and Lorenzo Martone for Grey Goose cocktails at the afterparty on the rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel).

Barnes was humble about playing the man in Biel’s life, considering the profile of her current counterpart. “How do I compare? Probably not at all!” he laughed. “You’d have to ask her that! I had a lovely time. She’s not the most difficult person to pretend to be in love with for a couple weeks--let’s put it that way.”

“I really don’t give a damn what the costume is,” said Firth, eschewing the notion that he's a period actor. “I don’t make the distinction between modern and period that I think some people may. Everything’s period.” He did admit to enjoying his time on-set tinkering with an old motorcycle, given that he's not a regular rider of-screen. “I’m far too frightened to do it very often!”

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