“Yeah, I got along with Toby all right, but in typical fashion, he missed his flight and is going to be a couple hours late,” Simon Pegg groused Wednesday night as we took the elevator up to the fourth floor of Soho House.
The Shaun of the Dead star, Toby Young’s avatar in the movie version of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, gave his hair the once-over using a reflective surface on the elevator panel and peeled off a heavy peacoat he was inexplicably wearing on a very warm night.
I grabbed a drink and found Tom Arnold talking a hundred miles a minute at ex-Daily News gossip Lloyd Grove and his female companion about old hometown running buddy, David Carr.“Womanizing is as bad as homicide in sobriety,” Arnold opined, putting his arm around his tall young girlfriend, Ashley.
Before Grove loped off with his date (who was really mad at the New York Press for something), I asked him how much longer Young could dine out on a six-month bad run in NYC. “I wish I could get onetenth of that out of my old column.”
So it’s just Tom Arnold, his girl and I. “As soon as I stopped doing drugs people thought I was on them.” I asked him what he thought of Toby Young, “Um…who? Remind me?” I tell him, that the party is for him. “Oh, he’s nice.” He is? “Oh, that Toby Young, he’s a dick.”Tom Arnold has no idea who the man is. He started complimenting the Soho House book wallpaper and Ashley dragged him off. Even full-watt star Kirsten Dunst, her long-hair bleached blond, beat Young to his party, where her swarthy bald bodyguard circulated around glaring at writers. I’m not easily deterred. Hey, Kirsten. “Um, hi?” she said with her famous shrug. How did you like Toby? “I worked with Simon,” she motioned to Pegg.Well, but did you meet him? “Um,” she paused, giving her trademark liquid-eyed, puzzled expression, “he was… hilarious.” She seems happy her work is done and looks down to study her Black- Berry. I’m dismissed.
Young arrived and jumped on a table like a pint-sized goblin from Hell, throwing out scores of rude quotes to satiate any hacks that wanted to interfere with his drinks. “Thank you to Kirsten, she’s like an elfin princess that hangs out with trolls.”
Fake boos and hisses. One guy really hated it though: Mark Ames. The Press alum, who was recently
Toby Young banned from Russia and was worried that Observer party reporter George Gurley had spiked his drink with E, whispered to me, “he was like a bad provincial comedian.
Have people really become so stupid that they’ll go to see this movie?” Sorry,Toby, I’m not satiated with your fake tirade. He’s hyper, moving side-toside as we talk, and knocks my full drink all over me. “Get out those matches and burn those bridges!” he said, rubbing his face. Are you really waiting for the other shoe to drop? “Shoe?” It takes him a while to get the question. “Oh, OK. We’ll see when the weekend box office comes in; it might have already dropped.”
So, was this the plan all along? “No I really missed my flight, but I was almost hoping not to get in tonight, so I could tell people that I wasn’t allowed into my own party.” I tell him I meant master plan. “No, but I’m insured from failure. If the movie tanks, I’ll just write a book on that; I’m bulletproof.”