I learned from Going Clear (where else?) that Paul Haggis and some friends –– including a peace activist?! –– have a monthly boys’ night during which they make fancy cocktails and talk about any number of topics. A writer for the Times wrote about this tradition of theirs back in 2005. Here’s a snippet:
“Until 2000 Mr. Haggis had toiled for almost 25 years as an Emmy-winning but frustrated television writer. He made a lot of money, but he worried that his co-creation of the hokey television series Walker, Texas Ranger would constitute his legacy.
Then, early this year, came the success of Million Dollar Baby. Now he has made his directorial debut with Crash, a searing look at racial and ethnic strife in Los Angeles that he wrote with Bobby Moresco.
The movie, which was produced for $7.5 million, has earned nearly three times as much in the first 10 days after its release on May 6. ‘I thought it could fall flat; who wants to go out on a Friday night to see a movie about race relations?’ said Mr. Haggis, whose film opens with a brutal car accident, which he claims is the only way in which Angelenos interact with strangers.
The maker of Crash wasn’t taking any chances on this evening. After a round of the shudder-inducing cocktails, he suggested to his pals – the actor Josh Brolin, the television writer Stephen Nathan, the film producer Rudy Langlais and the peace activist Blase Bonpane – that they walk to Locanda Portofino, an Italian restaurant nearby.
On the way, the men, who meet every three months or so, talked about earthquakes, Egyptian cotton linens and the preponderance of strip malls.”
You can read the whole thing here.
In Going Clear, Lawrence Wright says that the men decided, after being trailed around by this female reporter, that one lady added nicely to the mix, so they started inviting one lucky woman to every Boys’ Night. One such invitee was Madeline Stowe, who said it was the funniest night of her life but that she wisely brought her husband. Possibility of being made the subject of shady misogyny (is there a different kind?) aside, I still want to be invited.