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HOT SEATS • Brooklyn Paper

HOT SEATS

Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Philip Seymour Hoffman catch some fresh air before answering audience questions at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Monday night. Xaverian High School President Salvatore Ferrera with gala honoree Regis Philbin and Philbin's wife, Joy, at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan on June 10.
All photos The Brooklyn Papers / Greg Mango

Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson and actor
Philip Seymour Hoffman arrived at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Monday night to have a lively, expletive-peppered chat with a
sold-out audience about Anderson’s 2002 film "Punch-Drunk
Love."



The film, which stars Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in an unlikely
romance, features Hoffman in the villainous role of Dean Trumbell,
a mattress salesman cum shakedown guy who masterminds a plot
to blackmail Sandler after his character calls a phone sex line.



"I was working from a place of anger," Anderson said
wryly about writing the script. "I was not seeing anything
good in romance movies. I said, ’I’ll f— show you how it’s
done.’" Anderson won Best Director at the Cannes Film Fest
for his black comedy.



Among the members of their posse in attendance at the Q&A
was "Saturday Night Live" cast member Maya Rudolph,
a scream when impersonating Donatella Versace or the angst-filled
teen Megan on "Wake up Wakefield." (Anderson’s film
also features a cameo by Robert Smigel, of SNL’s "TV Funhouse"
cartoons and "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog" fame, in
the role of Sandler’s brother-in-law.)



Anderson has cast Hoffman in all of his feature-length films
to date: "Magnolia" (1999), "Boogie Nights"
(1997) and "Hard Eight" (1997). Anderson said he first
noticed Hoffman and wanted to work with him when he saw the actor
in 1992’s "Scent of a Woman." The admiration appears
to be mutual, as Hoffman said he wanted to know more about Anderson
after seeing his 1993 short film, "Cigarettes and Coffee,"
at Sundance.



"We’re more friends than anything," said Hoffman. "As
much as I hate it, there’s a knowledge of me [Anderson] put there
[in the role of Dean]."



Both Hoffman and Anderson agreed that the film was larger than
life, more along the lines of a fairytale – albeit a comical
Grimms fairytale.



"[Sandler’s character]’s got to face his dark side, and
I’m that," said Hoffman. "I’m more of a mythical character.
I’m part of him. I understood that I stand for something. If
you confront me, I go away. It’s a powerful moment."



Anderson said he had also been wanting to work with Sandler,
although he described himself as "not a big ’Waterboy’ fan."



Other inside scoops: after Sandler punches up a restaurant bathroom,
his bloody knuckles read "L-O-V-E."



"It was for continuity, so the cuts would look the same
in every shot," explained Anderson. "Then I realized
it was in ’Night of the Hunter’ and ’Do the Right Thing.’ I hoped
it was cool, but in case it was corny, we make it go by really
fast."



The "Punch-Drunk Love" DVD, which includes two deleted
scenes, arrives in stores this week.



Doctors are in



Television host extraordinaire Regis Philbin ("Who Wants
to Be a Millionaire?" and "Live with Regis and Kelly")
was honored at the annual Joe DiMaggio Award Dinner on June 10
at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.



The dinner raised $400,000 for Xaverian High School’s Joe DiMaggio
Scholarship Fund and the Bay Ridge school’s Reach Education Achievement
(REACH) program for college-bound students with learning disabilities.



Philbin, accompanied by his wife, Joy Philbin, marveled at the
number of doctors, some of them his own, on the dais and their
support for Xaverian.



"Dr. Andrew Weiland is my elbow man," Philbin told
GO Brooklyn, gesturing to the professor of orthopedics and plastic
surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital. "I’m so impressed."



Philbin recalled growing up in the Bronx and bonding with his
father over baseball.



"For a nickel, you could take the train," said Philbin.
"The Yankees came out of the dugout and my father said,
’Watch DiMaggio.’ It was the most graceful thing you ever saw
[DiMaggio] had a big influence on my life and how he handled
his success. He had a lot of class."



Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, former manager of the Los
Angeles Dodgers, presented a crystal baseball bat to Philbin
along with a kiss on the cheek. The garrulous Lasorda also offered
the crowd a stand-up routine of surprisingly well received jokes
poking fun at all things Catholic.



The audience was happy to have Jim Ryan, anchor of FOX-5’s "Good
Day New York," back as master of ceremonies. Ryan apologized
for missing last year’s event due to a heart ailment. He introduced
his cardiologist, Dr. Jeffrey Borer, co-chairman of the gala,
and his heart surgeon, Dr. Wayne Isom, of Weill Cornell Medical
Center, who, he said, made him "an official member of the
zipper club."



Among the 700 gala-goers were Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph
Branca; Steve Harrison, class of ’66, and chairman of Community
Board 10 in Bay Ridge, who is also a Xaverian trustee; artist
Igor Babailov who presented Philbin with a portrait he painted
of him (and the Brooklyn Bridge); podiatrist-to-the-stars Rock
Positano (Class of ’76); state Sen. Marty Golden; Rabbi Joseph
Potasnik; Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo; Fire Commissioner
Nicholas Scoppetta; restaurateur Angelo Vivolo; "French
Connection" inspiration Sonny Grosso (Roy Scheider’s part
was based on him); Brooklyn’s own Tony Lo Bianco ("The French
Connection," "The Seven-Ups"); Roseanne Colletti
of WNBC-TV news; and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.



The late Yankee Clipper was introduced to the all-boys Catholic
high school by Positano, who met DiMaggio in 1989 when the retired
baseball great sought medical attention for his chronic heel
ailment. Positano was again chairman of this year’s fourth annual
event, and told the crowd that Philbin "did have pretty
feet."



Morris Engelberg, executor of the Joe DiMaggio estate, kept the
sports hero’s legacy alive by recalling his own personal anecdotes.




"His only love was Marilyn [Monroe], and his only weakness
was children," said Engelberg. "I knew him for 16 years,
and I held him in my arms when he died." Engelberg also
shared with the mostly male audience the intimate detail that
the Yankee Clipper held both of his sons for their circumcisions.



He also gave a cancelled check to Philbin, pointing out DiMaggio’s
signature on it.



Summer soiree



Co-chairs Emma Bloomberg and Vogue Fashion Editor Sally Singer
are inviting 20- and 30-somethings to Summer Soiree, a Junior
League benefit for the Campaign for Prospect Park 2001-2005,
which has the ambitious goal of trying to raise $116 million
to support all of the park’s programs, capital projects and maintenance
needs over five years.



The Soiree, to be held at the park’s boathouse on July 24, will
offer young park enthusiasts an opportunity to mix and mingle,
dance to the tunes of DJs from Park Slope’s Southpaw nightclub
on the patio overlooking the Lullwater, enjoy cocktails and hors
d’oeuvres, and enjoy leisurely rides on the canopied electric
boat, The Independence.



Tickets are $35 and up. For information call Amanda Eisen at
(718) 965-7712 or Jessie Betts at (718) 965-8988.


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