Stars weigh in at the top of the awards-show season

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Hanging off America is a foreign strip called Hollywood.

Its annual war dance — which in a sense began Wednesday with the Golden Globes nods — is the Oscars. A Medicine Man emcees. The tribe’s in full war paint. No faces have lines on them, although their original photos do. The females wear gowns for which they didn’t pay, jewels they didn’t buy, hair they didn’t grow, arrive in cars they don’t own, driven by chauffeurs they haven’t paid, escorted by guys they don’t always know and watered at parties for free.

This action is to applaud the year’s output, which is produced by money that’s borrowed for projects that are unseen because theaters are shut and the public’s home playing Scrabble.

I, however, will inform you of assorted stuff about assorted stars:

Bruce Willis to TV Guide: “I’m not an action hero anymore. Would be inappropriate for me to compare anything that happens in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. What happens in Hollywood isn’t real. It’s about diversion. What I’m trying to do is just entertain people. I’m proud to be an entertainer.”

Julianna Margulies, who has 12 Golden Globes nods and one win, to the Daily Mail: “I have no problem showing my body. If a scene’s absolutely imperative that this character be naked, OK. But if you’re looking for tits and ass because your movie has too many guns and fighting in it, you’ve got the wrong girl.”

Russell Crowe, reported by Britain’s Telegraph: “After winning his award Russell Crowe wanted to light up a ciggie. He was told to go outside. It was raining. He was joined by Kate Winslet, who was rolling her own. When a security guard offered her a commercial one she refused with: ‘Mine are proper cigarettes — and thank you.’”

Here’s what I’ve heard

Don Johnson: “People can be very cruel. They don’t mean to be. They just don’t regard celebrities as real — and I guess in some ways we’re not.”

Kristin Scott Thomas told “W” she rarely attends movie premieres if she’s not the center of attraction.

Susan Sarandon to the BBC: “Academy organizers try to control it. I resent them making you sign a paper saying you’ll never sell the statuette. Except back to them for $1. I changed that to ‘market value.’ It’s only an Oscar, not sperm.”

Two savants who are left say awardees could be Sony Classics’ “French Exit” in which Michelle Pfeiffer’s character moves to Paris when her inheritance runs dry. And “The Father” — with Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman in the role of caring for him. I’m told Pfeiffer, Hopkins and Colman could get nominated.

Pay attention

Edward Norton to Total Film magazine: “The Oscars are not a very substantial thing. Ask most people the next day who won the supporting actor award, they can’t even remember.”

Helen Mirren to Express: “The Oscars get blown up too big. It’s just a little soufflé. Nobody actually gives a damn. And they all want you to look like a model and it’s your fault if you don’t. I love Sissy Spacek, who absolutely doesn’t engage in that and always wears her hair the same and some black suit. I admire that.”

Spike Lee to Premiere magazine: “America. The children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light get passed. The movie industry now is dominated by 12-year-olds. I’m not trying to be snobbish — but remember ‘American Pie’? Sticking your d–k in a pie? That’s a movie? Come on . . .”

Richard Gere to Parade: “I’ve never voted for the Oscars. I usually give it to my wife to do.”

Julie Christie to People: “Putting out an award is showing off and not something I choose to do. My Oscar is in a box away in storage.”


Returning to Scrabble, a Broadway friend, sitting in my kitchen, used the word qapik. One of the few words beginning with “Q” that doesn’t follow with “U.” What it meant for him is he won. What it meant for me is I’m going back to the movies.

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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