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Interview with Steven Cojocaru, 'People'

Aired March 25, 2002 - 10:36   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: You've seen the pictures, now let's get the comments, and no one can dish it stronger or better or more honestly, doesn't hold back, than Steven Cojocaru from "People" magazine, the style editor. Good morning.


KAGAN: May I say for someone who, like me, has not gotten sleep, you are looking marvelous.

COJOCARU: Well, a lot of pancake makeup and a prayer, and a Buddhist chant.

KAGAN: It's our friend.

COJOCARU: Exactly.

KAGAN: Let's get right to the woman of the night, Halle Berry.

COJOCARU: Halle Berry. Best actress, best dressed, really extraordinary. Just so beautiful. The criteria, for me, this is all so subjective, but the criteria for me is movie star. It's Hollywood. You know, not picipsy (ph), not Somalia, not lower -- you know, but Hollywood, and Halle Berry really did that. She looked extremely elegant. Very, very glamorous, and sexy too. And it is hard to do that whole combination. You and I know about that combination, but it's an elite club. Halle nailed it. Just bottom line, she nailed it. She's so feminine. That was the really big word this year at the Academy Awards in terms of fashion, is feminine. In years previous, it was sexy, or naughty, or vampy. This year it was more soft, or feminine (ph).

KAGAN: OK, but can I just say one thing. What I was really looking forward to, from talking to people like you, and you and I talked right before the red carpet kind of exploded with all this wonderful -- all these wonderful people we were...

COJOCARU: Bloated with (ph) Botox. I had to.

KAGAN: Did you see some?

COJOCARU: Oh, I did. I saw lots of it. You can smell it now. Smells like burning rubber. KAGAN: Let's keep it on dresses. But you know, people like you were pumping it up, like this is going to be so over the top. So many women are going to get it right. You are just going to see one phenomenal outfit and jewelry combination after another, and I have got to say...

COJOCARU: We were wrong.

KAGAN: I was underwhelmed.

COJOCARU: OK, I'm retiring. Sorry. No. You know what, we all get swept up in the Hollywood -- in the hype machine. Nobody is immune to that. And you are also hearing a lot, because the stars are requesting so many gowns, and they are calling Channel, you know, on their long distance cards. And they are getting the jewels, and then this.

KAGAN: They asking for it.

COJOCARU: So when -- it is kind of -- you're surfing with all this glamour a few days before, and the buzz words...

KAGAN: OK, it's morning after.

COJOCARU: We're strong, it was going to be strong...

KAGAN: Morning after, people talking about Halle Berry, she hit it.

COJOCARU: She hit it.

KAGAN: Who missed?

COJOCARU: Who missed? A lot of people are talking -- I'm not saying this.

KAGAN: No, no, no, no.

COJOCARU: Don't shoot the messenger. I'm just the vessel here. A lot of people, like the buzz out there, a lot of people are talking about Gwyneth, and we can do them one at a time, J. Lo, and Cameron.

KAGAN: Let's just do Gwyneth. Now, can we just say, she knows better.

COJOCARU: She knows better. Gwyneth is one of the most fashionable women, girls in Hollywood. She has actually been anointed, I think they said she was a style icon in the make, and this has been all over, and I think it's that she -- I mean, I'm not a mind reader, but I think that there is a certain confidence that -- where she feels she can go out, let's say, on a fashion limb, and that's an Alexander McQueen dress, and for those...

KAGAN: Can I say a girl thing? It's like, wrong bra or something is happening there.

COJOCARU: Yes, exactly. Well, maybe she needed the Victoria's Secret diamond bra.

KAGAN: Maybe, and who doesn't?

COJOCARU: It sparkles and it lifts. You know what, she was trying to be fashion. You could see the look she was going for -- yes, clearly it was very dull. She looks like Robin Hood in drag. There's that Robin Hood thing going on there, yes or no?

KAGAN: Someone who did hit, I think. Renee Zellweger.

COJOCARU: Renee Zellweger, just bulls eye. Bulls eye.

KAGAN: I mean, movie star on the red carpet.

COJOCARU: And no bells or whistles, just pure glamour. And it had sweep and it had drama, and it was wow. I mean, if it impresses even us, you know what I mean, like I was on this bridge overlooking the carpet...

KAGAN: And this picture doesn't do it justice. Because as she swept down the red carpet, you could just see that train, I think, it went back to Orange, you know.

COJOCARU: Yes. I think it went all the way back to Oregon.


COJOCARU: It was pretty amazing, just the whole movement of it.

KAGAN: And the hair was braided, had the jewelry.

COJOCARU: Movie star, movie star, movie star. All the way.

KAGAN: Who else did you like?

COJOCARU: I thought we were going on who else we didn't like. You know what, I really liked Nicole Kidman.

KAGAN: You did. Now everyone is not going to agree with you.

COJOCARU: I'm controversial.

KAGAN: Okay. Make your case.

COJOCARU: I liked Nicole Kidman because she is so fashionable she can do less is more. It was very, very simple, but it was so chic, and so beautiful and so elegant, and so polished. Some people thought that she looked washed out, I didn't at all. In person, it was just the right note, just the right volume.

KAGAN: And that's a good point. You make the difference between in person and on camera.

COJOCARU: Yes, and that is a big thing. So, next time, I want everybody who is watching to come to the Academy Awards with us. I'm going to pay for the bus. KAGAN: Yes. OK. It had better be a plane. I would make that point about Jennifer Connelly. I think a lot of people think maybe she didn't make it on camera, but in person?

COJOCARU: In person was beautiful.

KAGAN: I liked it.

COJOCARU: I liked it too. In person -- first of all, color or no color, the dress was really beautiful. But on camera, the color read so bad. Really flat, really washed out.

KAGAN: And she has, I think, an interesting problem. You know, you hear that the camera adds 10 pounds. I think the camera took away 10 pounds, because I sat -- I was standing as close to her as I am to you, and she did not look too thin in person.

COJOCARU: No. And then on -- when you see her on screen, she looks thin. Renee Zellweger -- I am sending her pork rinds.

KAGAN: "Bridget Jones" was not a problem.

COJOCARU: Not a three cheese pizza, a four cheese pizza.

KAGAN: Let's talk men. Any man stand out, as...

COJOCARU: The one that stands out, right off the top of my head, was Will Smith, because Will Smith did something a little different. I'm on a campaign. Now I am going to get political on you.

KAGAN: Watch out.

COJOCARU: I have one mission in life...

KAGAN: And that is...

COJOCARU: ...because I am the most shallow person in the world, is to see men's formal wear change a little bit. It is too rigid, everybody looks like a penguin, and I think there is a way to be formal and elegant and classy, but more modern. And people like Brad Pitt has been changing it, and Will Smith has been doing it in his own way.

KAGAN: He did look better.

COJOCARU: Tweaking it a little. You don't have to do traditional now. A lot of people are going to argue with me. There might be a letter-writing campaign.

KAGAN: Is it going to get ugly?

COJOCARU: It might get ugly, because some people don't want to deviate from that, they think that it is a classic. But I think there's room for both, that is all I am saying.

KAGAN: Before I went on the air, you said that -- also buzz was about Jennifer Lopez, the big hair thing.

COJOCARU: Jennifer Lopez -- I happen to be a really big fan of Jennifer Lopez, no matter if she wears a garbage bag, and the reason why is because she is exciting. Because -- and I'll name names, you know I won't hold back.

KAGAN: I know, I know.

COJOCARU: But 99.99 percent of the women there are so dull and boring, yawnsville, and J. Lo, whether she is good or bad is like a fiery movie star, a throwback to Elizabeth Taylor in her heyday. At least, that's the way I see her. So, J. Lo, the dress, the Versace pink dress, it was okay. The hair -- you could see that they were going for like a Raquel Welch, Bridget Bardo (ph) thing. My friends -- because my phone has been ringing off the hook. I have like 17 cell phones and pagers. My friends really had a violent reaction to J. Lo and thought she looked really off. I'm more in the middle ground.

KAGAN: Can we just say points to J. Lo for all body parts covered.

COJOCARU: First of all, I measured her last night, and I just want you to know, she is 36, 24, 312. There was a lot of J. Lo on that red carpet. A lot of J. Lo.

KAGAN: You can dish. You're fun.

COJOCARU: Yes, well, you know. I do with such love. Again, I'm just a vessel in information.

KAGAN: We are going to read more about this in "People" magazine.

COJOCARU: We are going to have a huge Oscar issue, you are going to see everything in such beautiful detail.

KAGAN: You are going to be a very busy guy.

COJOCARU: I will be.

KAGAN: You will. We thank you for staying up and making time for us.

COJOCARU: My pleasure.

KAGAN: Steven Cojocaru from "People" magazine. Dare I ask what he thought about what I was wearing, but we won't get to that.

COJOCARU: I'm not getting paid right now. So I -- no pay, no critique.

KAGAN: I will escape, very safely. We are going to talk -- you went to a party. You went to the "Vanity Fair" party. That is like the party.

COJOCARU: That was the, the, the.

KAGAN: Can you give us some dish from that?

COJOCARU: I went to several parties. I went to the In-Style party -- and it is nice that the two parties had different tones. The In-Style party was really chic, and really polished and smooth, and then the "Vanity Fair" party was just like ripping it open, just Hollywood schmoozing. The air was thick with schmoozing and plastic surgery, and deals, and hair extension and glamour. What is great about "Vanity Fair" is the mix. You just see such a variety of people. Artists, and superstars, and rappers, and models, and Rabbis.

KAGAN: Everywhere.

COJOCARU: It was really, really cool. The parties are amazing.

KAGAN: I am going to show you a moment. In fact, our viewers can see it on Headline News. Our Headline News reporter, Kendis Gibson, he ran into Janet Reno at the In-Style party.

COJOCARU: Yes, I saw Janet Reno at the In-Style party. I thought it was a Saturday Night Live skit. I thought it was Will Ferrell, dressed as Janet Reno.

KAGAN: No, it was Janet Reno.

COJOCARU: I was like, are you real?

KAGAN: Kendis went up...

COJOCARU: She was getting down. She was wearing a tube top and hot pants.

KAGAN: She was not wearing that. Stop.

COJOCARU: I am telling you. I'm a survivor.

KAGAN: Stop, stop, stop. But Kendis did ask Janet Reno, he said, I never thought I would say this, but what are you wearing. Who would imagine saying that to Janet Reno?

COJOCARU: And what would she wear (ph)? A bonnet?

KAGAN: No, she wasn't. Watch Headline News. That's a tease for our friends at Headline News. Steven, thank you so much.

COJOCARU: Thank you.

KAGAN: Appreciate it, and get some sleep.





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