BY MICHAEL MUSTO
Back in New York, we toasted our old pal Lisa Edelstein on her success in television’s House M.D., which came after Lisa had appeared in so many other shows she lost track of the amount. Along the way, she turned down a callback for what ended up being the Debra Messing role in Will & Grace because, as she told me, she didn’t think the part was right for her, especially the way she was being directed to play it at the audition. “I have to know I can like the person for seven years,” Lisa said, sans regrets. And in the case of Will & Grace, it ran eight years, so it would have been a total disaster for her!
But wait! One more party! FIT had a glamorous opening for their Isabel Toledo show, featuring artfully made gowns by the Cuban-born designer who famously did Michelle Obama's inaugural swearing-in ensemble. That moment, Toledo told me, changed the design of her whole life. "I'm being heard," she said. "It has given me a platform to express myself. You're here asking me questions. You wouldn't have cared before!"
Rather than argue—especially since she had a point—I sauntered over to promoter extraordinaire Susanne Bartsch for some very different career talk. Bartsch told me she turned down a chance to be in The Real Housewives of New York City because "I just don't feel it. I want to be in something with intelligence and a message." I bet she would have turned down Will & Grace, too!
FROM TOP: Katy Perry; Kirsten Dunst
photographs by kevin mazur/wireimages (dunst); jon furniss/wireimages.com (perry)