Help, I need a real man, says Award contender Jessica

Actress Jessica Chastain makes her Broadway debut later this year

Actress Jessica Chastain makes her Broadway debut later this year

Oscar hopeful Jessica Chastain is looking for a beau who will sweep her off her feet.

Jessica – a best supporting actress Academy Award contender for her poignant performance as Celia Foote in the film The Help – makes her Broadway debut later this year in a much-anticipated revival of The Heiress.

It’s based on the Henry James novel Washington Square, about a shy spinster under the thumb of her wealthy father who falls for a dashing young man.

But director Moises Kaufman and the show’s producers are having trouble finding the right actor to play Morris Townsend, the handsome chap who may or may not love her.

‘You’ve got to believe that Catherine would defy her father to be with Morris,’ Jessica said when I asked her about the play.

We’d bumped into each other at a fabulous tribute dinner at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Boulevard to salute Charlie Chaplin on the 40th anniversary of him receiving an honorary Oscar.

The silent screen legend’s actress granddaughters Dolores and Carmen Chaplin joined Harvey Weinstein and Vogue in hosting the event, which was sponsored by upmarket watch firm Jaeger-LeCoultre.

An array of actors from London, New York and Los Angeles are being considered to play Morris. I don’t know if he’s on the list, but the producers should definitely consider Tom Hiddleston, the fast-rising star who was in Thor, War Horse and Midnight In Paris.

Jessica was slowly getting into the spirit of Oscar week.
I saw her on Monday at a Vanity Fair-Juicy Couture bash at Siren Studios, where a bar serving vodka-laced cocktails (and non-alcoholic drinks, too!) was set up in an industrial lift, with more bars on the roof.

After Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, Jessica heads to Jordan to continue shooting Kathryn Bigelow’s as yet unnamed new film about how Osama bin Laden was killed. Some scenes will also be shot on location in India.

McKidd mulls song choices

Generous: Kevin McKidd is donating proceeds to charity

Generous: Kevin McKidd is donating proceeds to charity

Kevin McKidd is donating everything he makes from a forthcoming album of traditional Scottish songs to the Save The Children charity.

The actor, who plays chief of surgery Dr Owen Hunt on TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, rented a house with friends, including music producer Nick Lloyd Webber, close to his birthplace in Elgin, Scotland, to record 29 numbers — although he told me just 15 tracks made the final cut on the LP known as the Speyside Sessions.

McKidd (pictured) has lived in the valley district of Los Angeles with his wife and two children for five years while shooting the hit hospital drama, but he likes to return to his native land as often as he can.

When I saw him in downtown LA on Wednesday, he told me – in between signing autographs for teenage girls – that the songs on the album include Charlie Is My Darling, John Anderson, My Jo and Both Sides Of The Tweed.

But what about Mull of Kintyre

‘We only considered songs over 100 years old,’ McKidd said, laughing as he mildly dissed the song Paul McCartney and Denny Laine wrote in the late Seventies. It wasn’t ancient enough!’

The actor has been busy shooting new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, which is about to plunge him into a highly controversial storyline – but you won’t get any spoilers from me.

Rose's fever-ish performance

Crooner: Actress Rose McGowan

Crooner: Actress Rose McGowan

Actress Rose McGowan walked up to me in the Chateau Marmont, draped her arms round my shoulders and whispered: ‘I’m going to sing to you.’

And it gets worse – or better, depending on your point of view.
‘When you put your arms around me,’ she crooned in my ear, a la Peggy Lee, ‘I get a fever that’s so hard to bear.’

The actress disentangled herself, and then explained that she was planning to record an album of (mainly unrequited) love songs in Nashville, Tennessee. ‘I specialise in torch songs,’ she told me.

Rose, who starred in films such as Grindhouse and Fifty Dead Men Walking, gave her impromptu performance after we sat opposite each other at the tribute to Charlie Chaplin, where, naturally, our conversation turned to that love letter to Hollywood’s silent era, The Artist.

The film is the frontrunner to win the best film Oscar at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony – and much of the talk was about it, and about Uggie, its scene-stealing Jack Russell terrier.

She admits that ‘Uggie was cute’, but has her own canine favourites.
‘I love my two Boston terriers,’ she told me.

time last year, Andrew Garfield was getting a lot of attention for his
role in Facebook movie The Social Network.

Now, attention is being paid
to his brilliantly layered performance as Biff, opposite a magnificent
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman, in Mike Nichols’ production of
Death Of A Salesman.

I saw an early preview on Broadway, en route to LA,
and I was struck anew by the freshness of this classic.

Watch out for…
Tom Hollander who stars in the BBC TV comedy Rev. He will portray novelist Wilkie Collins in The Invisible Woman, a film about Charles Dickens’s affair with Nelly Ternan. Ralph Fiennes plays Dickens (and also directs); Felicity Jones will tackle the role of Ternan; and Kristin Scott Thomas is Dickens’s wife, Catherine.
Mickey Rourke, who has had another nip and tuck. He had some work done on bags under his eyes last year. And now he has had a little cosmetic ‘uplift’ on his forehead. The facial enhancements are part of his preparation to portray gay rugby international Gareth Thomas. Filming will start in September in Wales and London.Kathleen Turner and Matthew Rhys, who have recreated their stage performances in The Graduate as an audio play. Ms Turner played man-eater Mrs Robinson opposite Rhys’s Benjamin in the West End production of The Graduate 12 years ago. Rhys encouraged the actress to fly out to LA and record the ‘book’, which is available as a CD via Amazon and iTunes. The audiobook is up for two Audies – the Oscars of the audio book world. Sam Palladio, who was discovered by impresario Bill Kenwright, and has just finished working with former Friends star Matt LeBlanc on the new series of TV comedy Episodes. Palladio is also in negotiations to star in a U.S. TV show called Nashville, where he will play a young musician who becomes entangled with a girl in a band. Nashville has been written by Callie Khouri, who wrote the film Thelma And Louise — the launchpad for an unknown actor called Brad Pitt, who happens to be up for a best acting Oscar on Sunday.