Category Archives: freelancing

Words: Dodi Fayed’s Adventures in Hollywood

The first day of location filming for F/X in 1985 found an eerie foreshadowing unfolding for producer Dodi Fayed. Michael Peyser, who worked on the film with Fayed, recalls one of Fayed’s bodyguards getting into an altercation with a bus driver after the bus got too close to Fayed’s car. “It led to a shouting match between the bodyguard, who was talking to the bus driver, who didn’t like his guff,” Peyser says. “And it came to, I believe, some fisticuffs.”

In the melee, the bus driver was either knocked down or fell, and Fayed’s bodyguard fled the scene while the police were called. “We found him and resolved the situation,” Peyser says. “But it was weird that a bodyguard created trouble for his client by having a temper.” Eleven years later, another man in Fayed’s employ would create trouble again, with tragic results.

Visit Town & Country to read the full story.

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Fact-Checking The Crown Season 5

The Crown” is back — and so is the Netflix series’ accompanying drama about what is and is not factually accurate. This season feels particularly explosive, as the first batch of episodes to take place in the oh-so-well-documented 1990s. Among the many topics tackled are the dissolution of marriages (Charles and Diana, Andrew and Fergie, Anne and her husband, whoever he was), the discovery of the remains of the Tsar of Russia and his family, the election of Tony Blair — and Prince Philip’s obsession with carriage driving.

In order to sift through what is historically accurate and what is merely conjecture (if not outright dramatic fiction), we turn to the Internet’s favorite arbiter of fact versus fantasy: Jonathan Frakes, the host of late ’90s meme-fave “Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction.” Are these “um, what?!?” moments true? Or is Peter Morgan just pulling the crown over our eyes?

Visit IndieWire.com to read the full story.

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Words: Olivia Wilde’s Salad Dressing

It was the question on the minds of every overly online person this week: What is Olivia Wilde’s salad dressing recipe?

This query is just the latest wrinkle in a titanically rough year for the Don’t Worry Darling director. Fresh off the heels of the disastrous press tour for the film, Wilde’s former nanny gave the kind of typically explosive interview that former nannies tend to give, alleging, among many other things, that Wilde made a salad and accompanying dressing for Harry Styles while still living with ex-fiancé Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis was so outraged by this that, according to the nanny, he lay under Wilde’s car to prevent her from leaving. “She made this salad and she made her special dressing and she’s leaving with her salad to have dinner with” Styles, Sudeikis allegedly told the unnamed nanny.

As has been her wont over the last several months, Wilde remained silent about the latest revelations. The former couple released a joint statement decrying the interview and calling it the latest attack in an 18-month-long harassment from their former employee. But then Wilde (like so many before her) took to her Instagram stories and revealed the source of that “special dressing.”

Reader, that salad dressing is from Heartburn, Nora Ephron’s roman a clef about her messy divorce from Carl Bernstein.

To read the full story, visit Town & Country.

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Words: Capote’s Swans Are Alive and Well and Living on Runways

They were walking, breathing Slim Aarons photos come to life—literally. The photographer who defined midcentury style by taking photos of “attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places” frequently captured them at home and at play, and often both. Some 60 years later, much like “walkers” and long lunches at La Côte Basque, these stylish women—whom Truman Capote dubbed his “swans”—have largely faded from view.

But this season, they took wing again. Look no further than the 2022 pre-fall shows at New York Fashion Week, where the swans’ silhouettes found their way into collections as varied as Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Khaite, and Christopher John Rogers—complete with some thoroughly modern updates. At Oscar, perfectly cut tweed suits came with statement buttons and bare midriffs. Carolina Herrera’s models stood on pedestals, but their swanlike ensembles included down-to-earth touches like cutouts; Rogers updated classic silhouettes with bold stripes and one-of-a-kind hats. These are clothes for a woman who prizes individuality, maybe even eccentricity, in a sea of algorithm-driven sameness.

To read the full story, visit Elle.com.

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Words: Martha Mitchell, the “Mouth of the South,” Gets Her Due

During her time, Martha Mitchell was ­inescapable. The Arkansas-born wife of John Mitchell, Richard Nixon’s attorney general, was an invaluable source for gossip columnists, a guest star on Laugh-In, and the cover star of a 1970 issue of Time devoted to the women of Washington, DC. But her true place in history is weightier than pop culture ubiquity. “If it hadn’t been for Martha,” Richard Nixon told David Frost in 1977, “there’d have been no Watergate.”

Mitchell’s predilection for critiquing the administration—which earned her the nickname “The Mouth of the South”—caused headaches, but it was her threat to tell reporters the truth about the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters that resulted in a beating, kidnapping, and smear campaign. Fifty years later, she’s finally getting her due with Starz’s Gaslit, starring Julia Roberts.

To read the full story, visit Town&Country.com.

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Words: Rediscovering the Gallant, Fearless Betty Ford

Betty Ford may be the most famous and least known First Lady in history.

Everyone recognizes the name—thanks in large part to the Betty Ford Clinic she co-founded in 1982 after coming out with her own battles with addiction—but few know anything beyond her health struggles, including a breast cancer diagnosis just two months after she became First Lady.

That’s all changing thanks to Showtime’s The First Ladya limited series telling the real-life stories of three FLOTUSes: Eleanor Roosevelt (Gillian Anderson), Michelle Obama (Viola Davis), and Ford (Michelle Pfeiffer). Now, a new generation of Americans are poised to fall in love with the woman whose national popularity so eclipsed her spouse’s that his supporters wore “Betty’s Husband for President” buttons during his unsuccessful run for president in 1976.

To read the full story, visit Town&Country.com.

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Words: TV’s New Comfort With the Dead

Shining Vale

We’ve welcomed the undead into our living rooms since the days of “Dark Shadows.” But in the decades since, most of those stories have been about life and death battles between the living and the dead, with a dose of forbidden romance tossed in.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Walking Dead” focused on averting the apocalypse. Other shows, like “Ghost Whisperer,” zeroed in on the spooky. But in today’s TV landscape, death is something we’re far more comfortable with, and the no longer living aren’t treated as monsters or even as metaphors. Instead, they’re used as tools to investigate a wide array of topics as varied as feminism, political disenfranchisement, and trauma. And in the case of “The Good Place,” all of the above and more.

The last six months alone have seen the premieres of CBS’ “Ghosts,” Starz’s “Shining Vale,” and Season 2 of Prime Video’s “Upload,” all of which revolve around the undead and all of which take radically different approaches to how we interact with death.

To read the full story, visit IndieWire.com.

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Words: Nancy Cunard Really Didn’t Give a Fuck About Society

Almost 100 years before Kim Kardashian was advocating for prison reform, Nancy Cunard was wielding both her fortune and her notoriety for social justice.

A combustible combination of Art Deco chic and aristocratic activist, Cunard made shock waves throughout London society, publicly feuding with her mother—renowned London society hostess Emerald Cunard—and thumbing her nose at almost every conceivable convention of an era not necessarily known for its staidness, even while shielded somewhat by her mother’s reputation and the Cunard shipping line fortune.

“She was dedicated to obliterating the social class to which they all belonged. And I think she meant that,” historian and biographer Laura Thompson says. Cunard is one of a slew of wealthy women prominently featured in Thompson’s delicious new book Heiresses: The Lives of the Million Dollar Babies, alongside Vanderbilts and Huttons and others, stretching back to the 17th century. Cunard’s was a generation dedicated to decadence and refuting their parents’ values—but Cunard often took it to extremes.

To read the full story, visit Town & Country.

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Words: The Ambitious, Social-Climbing Bisexual Gossip Chips Channon

“Sometimes I think I have the character of a very clever woman—able, but trivial with flair, intuition, great good taste and second-rate ambition,” Henry “Chips” Channon wrote in a diary entry dated July 19, 1935. “I am susceptible to flattery, and male good looks; I hate and am uninterested in all the things men like such as sport, business, statistics, debates, speeches, war and the weather; but I am riveted by lust, bibelots, furniture and glamour, society and jewels.”

Those qualities may have made Channon an unremarkable Member of Parliament, but they earmarked him as a particularly insouciant cicerone through the interwar years of London high society. American-born, the bisexual and snobbish Channon married into the Guinness brewing family in 1933 and then pursued politics and social climbing, with a firm emphasis on the latter. His political career stalled after his vociferous and prolonged endorsement of appeasement in the late 1930s, but his social life was a resounding success. With a knack for being on the scene of historical moments and a particularly waspish wit, his diaries have been required reading for aesthetes and Anglophiles since they were posthumously published in heavily expurgated form in 1967. Only now are they being published in their full form; edited by Simon Heffer, the two volumes covering 1918–1943 are out now, with a final volume hitting American bookstores September 8.

To read the full story, visit Town&Country.com.

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Words: Princess Grace’s Forgotten Life as an Artist (and Linens Inspiration)

There is a tendency to pin a celebrity down in the apex of their fame. For the general public, Grace Kelly remains eternally veiled in her Helen Rose wedding gown on April 19, 1956, poised to become a princess the moment she exchanges vows with Prince Rainier III of Monaco. As with all fairy tales, most are content to leave the story there, with the beautiful 26-year-old Oscar winner walking away from Hollywood to live happily ever after as a real-life princess. Only the tragic circumstances around her death—she suffered a stroke while driving at age 52, and died from her injuries—prevent the rosier version of Princess Grace’s life from remaining extant.

But 26 years is a fairly large gap, and though Princess Grace’s day-to-day is not as well-known as her film career, her style, her wedding, or her untimely death, she did more than simply preside over royal functions and smile at visiting dignitaries. Among other pursuits, Kelly narrated several documentaries, toured America with an evening of poetry reading to benefit the World Wildlife Fund, and served on the board of directors of the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. She never again starred in another feature film—though she was offered roles in everything from Marnie to The Turning Point—but she also never abandoned the pursuit of new creative outlets. And as her comfort in Monaco grew, so too did her long dormant passion for flowers.

To read the full story, visit Town & Country.

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