‘Wit’ or without hair
Opening tomorrow in the drama “Wit,” Cynthia Nixon is bald. Stone bald. An eyeball is hairier.
“I shaved my head. My character is undergoing cancer treatment,” she said.
“Doesn’t sound like this play’s fun, but there are big laughs. The tougher the going, the bigger the laughs. Without humor, it might be hard to get through.
“A stylist who did this before and works at the theater first cut my hair off. Very short. Then went at it with a razor. She put towels in the microwave to warm and ease it, but my scalp wouldn’t let go. Days later we did it again.
“I first thought about a prosthesis but realized it would take an hour every night to get ready, which meant extra time in the dressing room. I have children, and I didn’t want to take more time away from them. My partner and I have a baby sitter but no nanny.
“My baby’s 11 months. I’m up mornings 7:15, make the children breakfast. Make their lunches. Take my son to school 8:30 near our house. Afternoons I watch the baby nap or visit my mom or have some acupuncture or get in a nap. Most days I pick my son up at school at 3:20. And right after dinner, 6:45, I run out.
“My reaction when I first saw myself bald was pretty strong. It’s suddenly staring at the shape of just your naked empty head.
“In real life, it’s a bit odd. I attract attention. We live on the Upper West Side so going to work, when I take the subway or walk the streets, I wear a hat.
“I sort of like it. It’s not a fashion choice, but it’s freeing and, anyway, I’m not one who can do anything with my hair. One thing, though, I stopped wearing earrings. And no makeup on my head. Just a little cover-up on my blond eyebrows.
“I take some vitamins and, since we began shaving when rehearsals started, I find it grows a half-inch a month. Every night in the shower, it’s hot water, shampoo, go over it with a regular razor. I feel the back of my head then around the front. Afterward, I rub in Nivea. I also have a razor in the theater.”
Did she save any of her own hair for a wig?
“No. Wasn’t really long enough to save.”
This was a first for me. My first time ever interviewing a star strictly about her skull.
THAT was Kyle MacLachlan grabbing No. 8 sandwich at Lenny’s in the 20s . . . What were Barry Diller and Mike Ovitz, alone, no others, unscrambling for 2 1/2 hours at Marea on Monday night? Except to inhale broiled fish, those mouths went nonstop . . . Blackie, Sacha Baron Cohen’s Doberman co-star in “Hugo,” had hoped to be up for a first Golden Collar nom Feb. 13, LA’s Hotel Palomar. Says Cohen, who bathed with Blackie: “What happened beneath the bubbles is our business.”
KATE Hudson filmed her first ads as Ann Taylor’s new springtime spokeslady . . . I don’t know who Rebecca Bruder is, but Andrew Lloyd Webber’s agent is masterminding her career. Meanwhile, she hostesses at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in Grand Central . . . An insider on Colin Farrell: “He’s been known to drink, smoke and womanize. He’s just a sleeve tattoo from being a real rock star.”
MORE on the Mexican Mormon Romneys. In 1885, after polygamy became a no-no, Mitt’s great-grandfather Miles fled the US for Mexico to escape religious persecution. Also to keep his four wives and 30 children and raise those generations that spawned Mitt’s grampa and papa. Devout great-gramps, Miles built the Mormon enclave of Colonia Juárez in Chihuahua.
Considering granddad Romney returned here by crossing the border illegally, Florida Hispanics won’t shout “Olé” to Mitt’s smack at illegals.
Political scrabble notwithstanding, Republicans will vote for anybody — even the head of the MTA — anybody but Obama. However, to quote one GOPnik: “If it’s Newt and his wife Callista, Queen of the Jungle, I’ll move to Uruguay.”
CHELSEA Handler’s written a foreword for a friend who just wrote the new Villard paperback “Life as I Blow It.” About early days of the author of this sweet tale of love, life, drugs and sex, she writes: “Sarah Colonna dislodged her ass from Fayetteville, Ark. . . .” Fifteen years and 10 boyfriends later, this friend and she work together daily.
THORA Birch: “My parents wanted a boy and to call him Thor. For me, they made up that the god Thor’s twin sister ruled over thunder and they added an ‘A’ to my name. I believed the story but could never find its mention in mythology. They said the name’s common in Nordic countries. I believed that, too, but could never find a single Thora in Sweden.”
OUR lousy housing market hasn’t reached Asia. Its richest man, the Sultan of Brunei, has a palace with 1,755 rooms. All rented.
TWO Upper East Side ladies going to dinner. One in a black top, black pants, silver bracelets, dark mink throw. The other in a black top, black pants, silver bracelets, dark mink throw. Sighed the first to the second: “It’s the uniform.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.