George Clooney cut a typically dashing figure at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where he flew in by helicopter to receive the Modern Master Award – the fest’s highest honor. But he admits he wasn’t always so cool: “It’s unfortunate that (I started my) career in the ’80s, which somehow was the worst fashion period of all time,” he told film critic Leonard Maltin. “Big balloon pants and shoulder pads will come back to haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Not that he doesn’t have a sense of humor about his days as a fashion don’t. “When I was playing George Burnett on The Facts of Life … I was trying to make a mullet really important,” said the Oscar-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck director and Syriana star. “That is my next political film: The Mullet.”
Clooney kept tongue firmly in cheek while accepting his award. “I’m a huge star,” he joked to the audience. “And yes, I have a pet pig and I am never getting married again.” And when his trophy broke while he was at the podium, he quipped, “Somehow I don’t think this happened to Peter Jackson” – last year’s winner.
Carmen’s Girl Crush
Carmen Electra, the new face of Max Factor, was in New York to perform at a party for the cosmetic giant – meaning she and husband Dave Navarro were apart once again. “It’s hard,” she tells us. “But we talk on the phone every day.” But separation doesn’t breed jealousy for the busy couple – even after Electra told a British magazine about her crush on Kate Moss. (“She’s so beautiful and has such great style!”) Navarro’s reaction? “He’s totally fine,” she says. “It’s actually kind of nice. He tells me who his crushes are, and I tell him (mine), and we laugh about it.”
Caught in the Act
• Nicky Hilton (right), sharing a banquette with a couch-dancing Kimberly Stewart at the New York City hot spot Bungalow 8.
• Dave Chappelle, at Washington, D.C., restaurant IndeBleu, drinking water at a back table with two friends after his surprise 40-minute comedy set at the Improv comedy club.
• Missy Elliott, grooving with pals to the songs “Gold Digger” and “My Humps” while one friend rubbed her shoulders, at a party for Tab Energy at New York’s Drive-In Studios.
• By OLIVER JONES, SARYN CHORNEY, KATY HALL, EMILY HOCHBERG and LESLEY MESSER