Monday, January 22, 2007
Sundance, Day 3 (1/20/07)
The streets of Park City are crawling with people. Tens of thousands of people are here -- many to get a first look at the films being featured, some just to stargaze -- and then there are the actors, directors and producers themselves.

A quick walk down Main Street and you're sure to spot celebrities. I nearly bumped into Kristen Bell of "Veronica Mars" as I was winding my way through the crowds, and Famke Janssen ("X-Men," "Nip/Tuck") was seated at the table next to me at dinner.

Some stars are Sundance veterans, like Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman. This is his third trip to Sundance, this time to unveil "The Savages."

Hoffman and co-star Laura Linney stopped by the CNN workspace first thing this morning for an interview. Philip requested coffee as soon as he walked in the door. Caffeine is a must for many festival attendees who have late nights rubbing elbows with fellow industry folks. Hoffman and Linney were a delight and are thrilled about their new film. Although "The Savages" already has a distributor, there is no release date yet. Stay tuned for when you can catch it in theaters.

My next interview of the day goes in the books as one of my all-time favorites. And no, it wasn't with a celebrity. I sat down for a very candid chat with Dick Gephardt (former House minority leader), his wife Jane and their daughter Chrissy, who is gay. The three of them are featured in the documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So," which argues that a handful of Biblical passages have been used to "validate hatred and violence against homosexuals." The Gephardts told me they wanted to tell their story in this documentary to show that the Bible really is about love and acceptance, and that they support their daughter Chrissy unconditionally. These three people radiated such warmth and goodness. I could have spent the entire day with them!

But duty called and I had to rush from that interview to another location to chat it up with Kevin Bacon. I think I was rushing a bit too much because, as I was literally running up the hill on Main Street to make it in time, I hit an ice patch. You can imagine what happened next. It was a major spill, but pride and adrenaline (and the nearly 50 passers-by who witnessed this) forced me to pop up immediately and soldier on, despite my now dirty jacket and hands, and bruised left hip and ego. My mother always says she should have named me "Grace."

Kevin didn't seem to notice my harried appearance and we had a nice time talking about his new project. No, it's not a film, but a new Web site he has launched, sixdegrees.org, to play off the game that has been synonymous with his name for years. The Web site is a central location for celebrities to share their favorite charities and why it's important to them. It's up and running and is not just about fund-raising, but volunteering and awareness. Check it out -- and let me know what you think about the Web site and Kevin's efforts!
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