THE PEOPLE AND THINGS MAKING THE GRADE FOR SAVVY SCENESTERS
— DARREN STAR (creator, Sex and the City) Deborah Copaken Kogan, author of Shutterbabe [her memoir about photojournalism], a cross between Sex and the City and The Year of Living Dangerously. She is fearless and courageous in the face of war and motherhood.
— FRAN HEALY (singer, Travis) Look out for Craig David [Born to Do It], who is quite possibly the best voice I’ve ever heard. Good-looking, well-mannered, clever, he’s a breath of fresh air to pop music.
— JOSHUA JACKSON (Dawson’s Creek) Ryan Hurst [Remember the Titans] is one of the few actors who’s consciously in control of everything he does. Plus, he’s like 6’5” and 240 pounds. Are you gonna tell this guy he’s no good?
— VIRGINIA MADSEN Angelina Jolie. We don’t need any more Barbie dolls. It’s great to see someone who’s a little dangerous.
— AIMEE MANN AND MICHAEL PENN The Naked Trucker Show, a performance-art band that has residency at L.A.’s Largo. It’s William Faulkner meets Spinal Tap.
— ROBERT SMIGEL (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) Demetri Martin is a young comedian who really makes me laugh. And I don’t even like comedy.
— TRIUMPH THE INSULT COMIC DOG Benji has definitely had It for years. I assume you’re talking about genital warts.
— BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN (Beverly Hills, 90210) Benicio Del Toro, because he doesn’t care about being It.
— BETH ORTON (singer-songwriter, Central Reservation) Rapper Princess Superstar [Last of the Great 20th-Century Composers]. She’s a very funny, extremely innovative individual.
— SOFIA COPPOLA (director, The Virgin Suicides) My cousin, Robert Schwartzman. He’s 18, cute, and super-suave. He had a small part in Suicides where he flirts with Kathleen Turner — and steals the scene. A teen idol in the making.
— JUDD APATOW (exec producer of Freaks and Geeks) Amy Poehler [Deuce Bigalow] is the funniest woman in America.
— SHANNON ELIZABETH (American Pie 2) Girl bands like Destiny’s Child and girl action flicks. Basically, girls are It.
— CAROL LEIFER (exec producer, The Ellen Show) Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch — the funniest females out of Saturday Night Live in years — are the first two names on my dream slumber-party list. Also Sean Hayes [Will & Grace] and Ira Glass, host of This American Life on NPR, who weaves together a no-fat hour of insightful stories every week…on radio.
— JOHN AUGUST (screenwriter, Go) Changing Rooms, a great British TV show where [people] redecorate other’s houses; a better commentary on mutual trust than a season of Survivor.
— NEIL LABUTE (director, Nurse Betty) Brooke Smith [Series 7], who is one of our greatest natural resources: dangerous, vulnerable, and always ready for a dare. And Mark Ruffalo [You Can Count on Me], a guy who makes you believe Brando wasn’t a fluke but a lovely virus that only afflicts a lucky few.
— CAMERON CROWE (writer-director, Almost Famous) PJ Harvey’s ”66 Promises,” included only on her ”Good Fortune [Pt. 1]” single from the Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea CD; Polly Jean is quietly having one of her greatest years yet. And Noah Taylor [Tomb Raider], the best-kept secret in movies.