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Dinner for Five: The Elder Statesmen of Hollywood I'd Seat Round My Table

By Cindy Davis | Seriously Random Lists | December 14, 2012 | Comments ()


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I don't know if there's a name or a diagnosis for finding graying gentlemen attractive, but whatever it is, I have it. This is the group of distinguished actors I would love to have to dinner--my own version of Jon Favreau's "Dinner for Five." I just want to lock myself in with them at the Oak Bar, have a drink, take a coupla good puffs off a good cigar, and listen to them for the rest of my life. Who needs food?

Eddie Izzard:

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"The greatest British stand-up comedian of his generation" and the "funniest man in England" has never been afraid to be who he is, nor to clarify when people mistakenly label him a drag queen or think his transvestitism is only part of an act. He's easily transitioned to acting, and stands out in everything from the recent "Mockingbird Lane(-tastrophe)" to "The Riches," to "Bullet in the Face." He's an active marathon runner who carried the Olympic torch through his hometown this year, and recently challenged himself to twenty-seven marathons in twenty-seven days, in honor of Nelson Mandela (he had to stop because of medical issues, but intends to try again). Izzard recently participated in Eric Idle's play, What About Dick, and he'll appear in the upcoming NBC show, "Hannibal."


Ian McKellen:

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Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, X-Men, "Doctor Who..." Yes, "Doctor Who;" McKellen voiced the snowmen in the upcoming Christmas Special. This glorious man has been acting for fifty-three years, doing Shakespeare plays since he was twenty, and earning accolades even at the outset of his career. He is active in Lesbian and Gay rights, having co-founded the Stonewall charity group, as well as participating in groups to aid theater and the aged. He is delightfully charming and funny, and who wouldn't want to listen to that distinguished voice forevermore?

Patrick Stewart:

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Number One. Jean-Luc Picard was perhaps my favorite "Star Trek" captain (sorry Shat!), and the glorious Patrick Stewart continues to delight us at in his 70s--like McKellen, he's been acting since 1959. Another Shakespeare aficionado, Stewart says he turned to acting to escape from childhood trauma, as his father was a violent alcoholic who would often attack Stewart's mother. The stage became his alternate home, "a refuge." From "The Next Generation" to A Christmas Carol, to X-Men, the twinkle in Stewart's eyes mesmerizes...and reveals his wonderful humor. He sings, plays piano and races cars, and like Izzard, carried the Olympic torch this year.


Surprise! Snuck in THE Woman.


Helen Mirren:

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Where to start, where to start? How about with boobs?

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At 67, Mirren is still as bawdy and beautiful and sexy and brilliant as she ever was--disproving every agist stereotype ever held. Acting since she was twenty, she's been honored for her talent all along the way. At age twenty-five, a documentary about her-- Doing Her Own Thing was made; Mirren was the youngest Royal Shakespeare Company actress. She's won awards for television, theater and film, including the Golden Globe, SAG, Emmy and Oscar--and even she admits, "Being me right now is sort of amazing." On top of all that, she (along with her husband, director Taylor Hackford) owns a mini-castle!


Terence Stamp:

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At 24, Stamp made his film debut in Billy Budd, and won an Academy Award nomination. At 74, he's still headlining movies (A Song for Marion), he writes memoirs and co-authored a cookbook, he sings, and lends his voice to video games and documentary narrations. He's worked with Wyler and Fellini, been a Queen of the Desert and The Limey and Superman's memorable General Zod. He's humble ("...I can do ordinary, but it's not my best thing."), and funny ("Everyone's gonna know how old I am -- I can't go back to being a romantic lead after I've done the OAP [Old Age Pensioner]!"), and he gives careful advice. In a recent interview, Stamp offers to Michael Shannon (who'll be playing Zod in Man of Steel), "All I can say is he needs to be very present. When I walked onto that set I'd been in an ashram for a year, learning to separate orgasm from ejaculation. I was rechanneling the lifeforce and I hadn't been working, and when I walked on the set, it seemed like everyone was asleep, but I was so, so ready. The only guy who was really up for it was Brando -- he totally understood where I was coming from."


Who would your five table mates be?


...yes, I can count and yes, this would really be dinner for six. But I probably won't eat. And yes, I know they don't technically belong to Hollywood.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) has no idea what to wear to this soiree.







Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.


Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Salad_Is_Murder

    Kneel, son of Jor-El....KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!

  • LadyKarinsky

    Sir Ian can wear the hell out of a pink jacket.

  • Uriah_Creep

    If you're not going to have Dame Maggie Smith there, I may as well decline the invitation, Cindy.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Thank you so much for that Patrick Stewart video. I can't believe i never saw it before - utterly amazing.

    I'm kinda surprised at people's lists. I'm not sure what the cutoff for "elder statesmen" is - but Susan Sarandon, Judi Dench, Viggo Viggo Viggo, Mandy Patinkin (just watched his kick-ass interview with Colbert, followed by his sonorous singing), and Billy Connolly to keep the conversation lively.

  • Viggo Viggo Viggo! Not enough times could that be repeated. Plus he'd whisk you away from that boring dinner table and soon the cigars would be had under beautiful, aurora-lit Nordic skies. Or something. But he'd make it happen.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oh, I mean the Ghostbusters 2 Viggo, but yours sounds good too.

    (but seriously: just whisper a little Danish. Just a little)

  • Derfelcadarn

    Peter Ustinov, John Cleese, Spike Milligan, Brian Blessed, Peter O Toole.

  • I'll stick with the British men parameters but not the age:
    Ricky Gervais
    Stephen Merchant
    Simon Pegg
    Nick Frost
    Edgar Wright
    Also Ricky's +1 would be Karl Pilkington, because how could it not be?

  • I walk past Ricky and Smerch quite a lot where I live, and by god I'm slowly hatching a kidnap plot to get them in for some witty banter. (The Manc would of course also have to be present. I need to perfectly cover an ugly clock on my wall somehow.)

  • Jemiah Jefferson

    I would like to also nominate Rutger Hauer - he's hilarious. Also, if he's not busy, Werner Herzog can come by and read us a bedtime story. And I know a Barishnikov of a certain age... oh, and James Earl Jones, of course.

  • I would fucking love Werner Herzog at my house. It'd start with cryptic, quasi-connected topics that only make sense because he's saying them; but before long bullets would fly, dwarves would roll and shoes would be eaten.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Barishnikov, excellent choice.

  • Gene Wilder
    Mel Brooks
    Chris Rock
    Kate Winslet
    Keith Richards

    I've always been a huge fan of Gene Wilder. I was honestly geeked when I found that he read his audiobook. I think that having Chris Rock and Mel Brooks at the same table would be enormously entertaining, You know that Keith Richards is going to have some great stories to tell. Kate Winslet is there because she's bawdy and hot.

    Now that I think of it, having everyone on that list there would make me feel tremendously inadequate. That's how I should feel in such a group, but that doesn't make it pleasant. Allow me to revise my list to preserve my fragile self esteem.

    Ashton Kutcher
    Seth McFarlane
    Katt Williams
    Megan Fox
    Chad Kroeger

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Only British folks? I like the way you think.

  • cheryl88

    Malcolm McDowell
    Christopher Walken

    Patrick, Helen, and Ian can stay.

  • jzhz

    Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Ian McKellen and Eddie Izzard.

  • BWeaves

    Oh, too many to choose from.

  • sean

    I am good with your list. Thumbs way up. Bill Nighy might replace Stamp if Stamp was really busy that night.

  • lowercase_ryan

    OMG Eddie Izzard, Cindy I love you all over again!! And I take back everything I said about you.

  • e jerry powell

    Don't ask me to think today. It's just not happening.

  • Natallica

    He's kind of a mess, but I would love to have Malcolm McDowell in there. Also, Christopher Lee, Judi Dench, Charles Dance and, if musicians and not only actors can be admited on the table, Jimmy Page.

  • Lubeg

    Izard was a great John Silver. Find it on Netflix. Other than the Pirates of the Caribean inspired makeup for Elija Wood, it was great. Perhaps just a bit beefier than necessary. But not ponderous.

  • ckrub

    When I saw the lede, I thought Robert Evans must be on this list...

  • Tom Hanks seems like he would be delightful to have dinner with.

  • Anna von Beav

    If Terence Stamp is there, I am TOTALLY crashing that dinner. FYIsies.

  • You are welcome to join us, my dear.

  • Puddin

    You're gonna need a lot of booze for that crowd, Cindy.

  • $2786243

    Can we make Stamp and McKellen scootch over a bit so Alan Rickman can squeeze in?

  • PDamian

    Do they have to be British? I agree with all of your choices, but I'd want Mads Mikkelsen to be there, too. I read an article about him a couple of years ago in the NYT and was absolutely captivated. He speaks Danish, Swedish, English, and German, and he's learning a couple of others to increase his range. He danced professionally for eight years, and studied at the Martha Graham School of Dance in NYC before becoming an actor. He's played police officers, junkies, international bad guys, courtiers, Vikings and Igor Stravinsky with dignity, intelligence and a certain latent ferocity. He's also rough around the edges: "[The director Nicolas Winding Refn says,] “He’s from a part of Copenhagen where they don’t have the best of manners,” Mr. Refn said. “There’s a lot of profanity involved.” And while he's only 45, he's graying beautifully.

    Here's the NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06...

    And here's a pic: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/imag...

  • Love him.

  • cheryl

    Swap out Stamp and Izzard for Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall. Keep the rest.

  • Quatermain

    Anthony Hopkins
    Michael Caine
    Sean Connery
    Sophia Loren
    Derek Jacobi

  • theotherone

    Not this guy?

  • oilybohunk7

    I'd like to invite Bill Nighy to my table.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    What a good choice.

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