Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks onstage at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Updated: April 14, 2013 6:02AM
They haven’t even named the producers of next year’s Oscars show, but a couple of key Motion Picture Academy insiders said Tuesday that they believe the rumblings about Jimmy Kimmel hosting the 2014 Academy Awards are more than mere rumor.
“I’ve never seen such a broad-based groundswell for a potential host or hostess before,” said a veteran Hollywood player and Academy member. “Everyone wants Jimmy to host the awards. The stars all love him. He’s comfortable around them and also has that history of hosting the post-Oscars special.”
Another Academy member and Oscar voter seconded that opinion. “It’s Jimmy’s job if he wants it. … Of course, it’s up to the show’s producers to decide in consultation with the Academy leadership. … But you just mention Jimmy’s name and people smile and go, ‘Oh yes. He’d be perfect.’ ”
Kimmel has had success in the past hosting award shows. He’s emceed the American Music Awards five times, co-hosted the sports ESPY Awards and hosted the Primetime Emmys last year — as well as the prestigious White House Correspondents Dinner.
† The other popular choice would be Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, the star emcees who wowed everyone at this year’s Golden Globes. However, that dynamic duo have made it very clear they have no interest in the Oscars gig.
LAW’S LADY: Sounds like the identity of the beautiful blonde recently seen on the arm of Jude Law has finally been revealed. Life & Style reports she is model Alicia Rountree and quotes a longtime pal of the actor who says she’s, “drop-dead gorgeous and totally sweet.” She’s quickly become serious with the “Sherlock Holmes” star, and “he took her to France for the premiere of his film ‘Side Effects.’ It’s taken off fast,” said the source.
The 40-year-old actor is believed to be about 15 years older than his new amour, a native of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius.
† Law has had a somewhat complicated love life. He was married to English actress Sadie Frost, the mother of three of his children. They divorced in 2003, after six years of marriage. He then had an off-and-on relationship with actress Sienna Miller for seven years. During a break with her, Law had a daughter with model Samantha Burke, whom he dated briefly in 2008.
H’WOOD ON THE LAKE: Not surprisingly, Illinois film office director Betsy Steinberg and Chicago’s film czar Rich Moskal are thrilled that the film and TV projects about to hit town could make 2013 another record year for Our Town and Our State.
Fans of Christian Slater will be happy to learn the actor will be here making the “Influence” pilot for ABC. It’s a workplace drama about the complicated relationship between brothers (Slater and Steve Zahn) who run an agency that attempts to solve client problems using the scientific study of human motivation and manipulation. Filming should begin next week.
† Also headed here is “Doubt,” another ABC pilot about an ex-cop who becomes an attorney.
† A third pilot is ”Betrayal,” written by David Zabel, a former executive producer of “ER.” The proposed series focuses on an unhappily married female photographer (Hannah Ware) involved with an attorney (Stuart Townsend) who represents one of the city’s most powerful families. James Cromwell co-stars.
† Also coming later this spring and summer is the movie “Divergent” (though that title likely will change), starring Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley, plus director Michael Bay and his “Transformers 4.”
† On top of all this good news, Steinberg is thrilled that a small indie film shot here last year — “Drinking Buddies,” the craft beer brewery comedy starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston — has been getting rave reviews down at the big SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, this week.
NICK’S BOOST: Turns out the appearances of “Parks and Recreation” star Nick Offerman at several screenings of his “Somebody Up There Likes Me” film helped the Music Box Theatre on Southport to literally top the national specialty box office last weekend. The 700-seat theater sold out most of its weekend shows of the film, produced by and co-starring Offerman — bringing in more than $34,000. It was the Music Box’s second biggest opening in the past 12 months, topped only by the Ira Glass-produced “Sleepwalk With Me,” which took in nearly $72,000 its first three days last August, beating the film’s New York numbers.
F ASHION FLASHES: Designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte will be the recipients of the Legend of Fashion Award at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Fashion 2013” extravaganza, including the school’s 79th annual fashion show on Millennium Park’s Chase Promenade — presented three times throughout the day on May 3. At the school’s “The Walk” event that evening, the Rodarte designers will receive their award, and veteran Chicago philanthropist Melissa Sage Fadim will be honored with the “Heart of Fashion” award.
† Chicago friends and associates of former Chicago Daily News and Sun-Times fashion editor Patricia Shelton are mourning her passing earlier this week, due to complications from a fall in her Shreveport, La., home. Pat will long be remembered for her canny fashion sense and her excellent reporting and writing style — but also for her sharp wit and lack of pretense in a world so often full of it.
ON THEIR TOES: The Auditorium Theatre is declaring Wednesday “Sharon Luckman Day,” honoring the executive director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before the the troupe’s performance with a special dinner at Tesori and a pre-show announcement to celebrate her leadership .
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Things were hopping Monday at Boarding House as Mayor Rahm Emanuel dropped by, and fashion designer Wes Gordon was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by Kelly Golden of the Neapolitan boutique in Winnetka.