Marcia Cross, Sienna Miller, Ashley Jensen and Reese Witherspoon turn out for Montblanc and Unicef

Posted by Dean Piper On February 21st, 2009

dean-marciasiteIt’s always nice to get dressed up in a tux for a big posh event. And last night was pretty major – even for somebody like myself! I trotted over to the Paramount Studios for an intimate charity dinner hosted by Montblanc and it was packed full of Hollywood A-Listers.
I always thought the Montblanc – Signature for Good gala evening would be pretty cool when I received my invite in London. It was dead posh and said the night would be hosted by 12 female ambassadors for Montblanc and UNICEF and they were all due to attend.
Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Andie Macdowell, Mira Sorvino, Sienna Miller, Eva Longoria, Emily Blunt, Marcia Cross, Christina Ricci, Helen Hunt, Milla Jovovich and Lauren Hutton all posed together on one big stage after huge billboard style photographs were unveiled of each actress to support the campaign! Even screen legend Michael York was on hand to present the ladies onto the stage!
It turned out to be the most amazing room to schmooze around in. And it became even more exciting when Reese Witherspoon turned up to make a speech about the work UNICEF and Montblanc have been doing. She even donated $50,000 out of her own pocket towards the campaign that helps educate children all over the world. Annoyingly Reese didn’t mingle beforehand and walked in with an entourage of four but she did get asked whether she was ready to marry her actor boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal and she blushed and said: “No, erm, no, no no.” I guess that’s a no then! In real life she’s pretty – but doesn’t blow you away….
One lady that did blow me away was burlesque performer Dita Von Teese – she looked truly stunning, as per usual, and told me she couldn’t wait to get back to Paris to perform her show again for two weeks at the Crazy Horse. After a sell out residency that ended a week ago she’s announced she’s going back. She actually invited me to go and watch the show so I must try and get out there! Dita told me: “Paris is just the most amazing city in the world and they made me feel so welcome there.”
I hung out with lovely Extras and Ugly Betty star Ashley Jensen who told me she hasn’t officially left the show – but she’s scaled her involvement right back. She said: “I’m still there and if I wanted I could have still been in it a lot more but I think it’s time I challenged myself professionally. You can’t stay doing the same thing year after year and I want to try out some different roles.
“The last thing I wanted to do in Ugly Betty is start relaxing and just cruising in the role. It’s not good as an actor or as a person. I like the idea of a challenge.”
She also told me she’s currently on detox after becoming bored of “eating out and drinking champagne”. “Being out in LA I’ve started to not enjoy eating out or having a glass of champagne because it always on tap,” she laughed. “So I’ve basically stopped drinking since the Golden Globes and I’m enjoying everything much more. LA hands everything to you on a plate so it’s nice to appreciate things more. It’s not a detox to lose weight or anything.”
I like Ashley, who was there with her charming husband Terry Beesley, because she’s dead honest. She was laughing at the room full of Hollywood stars and whispered in my ear: “I want my slippers, I forget to put my gel balls in my heels and they’re killing.” Hysterical.
Sienna Miller and Emily Blunt hung out in the drinks reception before and were joined by Cat Deeley and relatively new boyfriend Jack Huston. They look like a nice couple in real life and were continually popping out for fags together and walking hand and hand everywhere……
My favourite part of the night was getting to sit down for dinner. Most tables had one of the famous ladies dining with guests and I ended up sitting slap bang next to Desperate Housewife Marcia Cross and her husband Tom Mahoney. Tom was only recently diagnosed with cancer and I was startled to see how ill he looked – he’s lost all his hair through his grueling chemotherapy sessions. But it’s clear they are an incredibly close couple and blissfully happy. It’s so devastating that they are going through such a hard time. They excitedly showed me pictures of their 2-year-old twins on their mobile phones throughout the meal. And it was actually their second birthday yesterday – so they told me they were throwing them a nice party today! Sweeeet.
The three of us chatted throughout the dinner about everything – London, holidays, Greece, children, fashion and Desperate Housewives. The full version of what we spoke about will appear in Closer for my column – but for now I’ll leave you with this…..Marcia spoke about Nicollette Sheridan’s shock departure from the show. She told me: “It was a real shock when we heard the news actually. We only found out she was going an hour or so before the news release was issued to the media. Of course she’ll be sorely missed and I doubt they will be able to find a character that big to fill the slot after she leaves. She’s such a strong woman and I’ll miss her on the show.”
Hilariously by the end of the meal I’d forgotten that she was in the hit show – she was just Marcia, the person next to me at dinner. How weird is that? It was definitely great to meet them both.
After a fairly long set of speeches everybody ran off home to get an early night – and some of us went over to Cecconi’s where once again there was an incredible turn out of big names! All that to come later on!

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