"It's not even A-listers we're talking about. We're talking about legit legends," said longtime dancer and newly-minted actress Courtney Galiano last night at The Cinema Society's special screening of Stand Up Guys, presented by Chrysler and Bally. The legends in question? Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Walken, who star in the film as a trio of aging con men who reunite for one last adventure out on the town, following Pacino's character's release from prison.
"I was freaking out! I was having a bit of a panic attack," Galiano said of the days leading up to her arrival onset for her first feature film, after turns on Glee and So You Think You Can Dance. "I just wanted to be super-professional and make it like I've done it a hundred times before. Meanwhile, it was the first time I've ever done it."
Addison Timlin, a slightly more seasoned actress with a slew of projects planned for next year—including three films and a new TV series, Zero Hour, which she describes as "a mystery thriller; it sort of takes the shape of a Da Vinci Code, in the form of a TV series"—wasn't immune to being a little starstruck, either. Timlin, who plays Walken's granddaughter in the film, says the experience involved "a very false sense of being calm—I was really trying to swallow any fear that I had. But really, it all went away when I was on set, because both Christopher and Al are these incredible actors, and more than that, they're legends. The two of them were so warm and so open and made me so comfortable."
The film's director, Fisher Stevens, had a long career in acting before ever stepping behind the camera—and explained that he's known several of his actors for years. "It felt like the whole gang!," he exclaimed, after briefly being pulled away from our interview by a congratulatory Gina Gershon—who recognized the red YSL tie he was wearing, since she was the one who gave it to him.
Stevens connected with the script immediately. "I loved that it was about loyalty and friendship and that morality of, ‘Myself or my friend? Where do we go?' And it's about aging. I love people who are older. They've taught me so much, and they keep teaching me, and now I'm getting old."
Next up for Stevens is an adaptation, currently in production, of Philip Roth's masterpiece novel American Pastoral, starring Mandy Patinkin as narrator Nathan Zuckerman. "I read it when Fisher contacted me—I had not read it before. I thought it was one of the greatest novels I'd ever read in my life," Patinkin said.
Given that it was a Sunday-night screening, we couldn't help asking Patinkin about the last two episodes of this season of Homeland, though we knew he had to keep mum. "I can't even tell her!," he said, giving his wife, Kathryn Grody, an affectionate squeeze. "My wife! But she doesn't want to know."
Any longtime Patinkin fans who are hoping the show might find an excuse for Saul to sing will likely be disappointed. "Ahh," he laughed. "I think they might kill me if I do."
After the screening, guests including Jon Bon Jovi (who wrote two songs for the film), Liev Schreiber, Ben Stiller, Zosia Mamet, Sam Rockwell, Ronnie Wood, Nicole Miller, and many others decamped to the Oak Room for Appleton Estate cocktails and some slightly more subdued fun than they'd just seen onscreen. —Alexandria Symonds