updated 02/15/2005 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/16/2005 AT 6:00 AM ET
Will Smith is an excellent kisser. Don’t believe us? Just ask him. At the premiere for his new romantic comedy Hitch, held on New York’s Ellis Island, Smith asked leading lady Eva Mendes what it was like to smooch him. “It was the most amazing onscreen kiss I ever had,” she told the crowd deliberately and automatically. Smith then turned to costar Kevin James and asked the same question, to which the King of Queens star replied, “It was the most amazing onscreen kiss I ever had.” “Cuz I got the fire in the lips!” Smith shouted. “That’s how I break them down. Watch!” He then smooched a guest sitting in the front row to prove his point. Also at the party: Jada Pinkett Smith, Russell Simmons, Missy Elliott, Amber Valletta, Nick Cannon, Tatyana Ali, America’s Next Top Model winner Eva Pigford and director Andy Tennant. Smith treated the group to a reunion with his former partner DJ Jazzy Jeff, who spun while Smith performed hits including “Getting Jiggy Wit It.”
Playing with Dolls
You would think Grammy-nominated pianist Jamie Cullum sits around listening to jazz classics, wouldn’t you? Turns out the young Brit is a fan of … the Beastie Boys. Cullum recently dropped $300 for Beastie Boys collectible dolls at a silent auction held at the recent MusiCares 2005 Person of the Year event honoring Brian Wilson. “I love the Beastie Boys,” Cullum tells us. “And the dolls, they’re cool. I need them in my flat. I’m gonna sleep next to them.” Okay, thank you for sharing. Turns out Cullum, who was up for best jazz vocal album, is a fan of the United States in general. “I’ve toured three times in America in the last year. I’ve had a brilliant time. The appreciation of music, especially live music, over here is second to nowhere else in the world. There’s an audience for live music in every town in America. It’s not like that in England. It’s not like that in Europe. I think you guys have a connection with live music and it’s brilliant.”
Vote for the Nanny?
She’s baa-aaack: Fran Drescher is returning to series TV on The WB’s Living with Fran in April, and it seems she may be eyeing the public stage as well. “I would like to someday run for an elected office,” she told us at the Washington Press Foundation’s Annual Congressional Dinner. “So now I’ve set up some roots back in New York, which is, of course, my hometown. If the series is a success I would have to be able to juggle both. But I think I could. You know, Jefferson was a farmer and a politician.” Yes, we see the parallels there, too. Anyway, as she was saying: “The show puts me in the public eye and I think that it would serve me well. It allows me to speak on shows like David Letterman and Jay Leno about important things like women’s health issues because I’m a celebrity. Other representatives can’t do that. People in Washington are always saying to me (that) I belong here. A lot of lobbyists and political funders have expressed that they would back me if I wanted to run. So we’ll see.” Stay tuned …
Caught in the Act
Reality television stars Trishelle Cannatella (Real World: Las Vegas and Surreal Life), Jennifer Crisafulli (The Apprentice), Kirsten Buschbacher (The Bachelor) and Juliet Rogulewski (Diva Detectives), making a guest appearance in the off-Broadway hit Pieces (of Ass) to benefit the Reality Cares Foundation.
By TIFFANY MCGEE, BRENDA RODRIGUEZ, SUSAN MANDEL and KC BAKER