Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the day's top gossip coverage filtered. Today: Dick Cheney did not look well at a recent party, James Franco could be appearing as Hugh Hefner in the Linda Lovelace movie, and Bruce Springsteen might be shopping at J. Crew.
Sources say former vice president Dick Cheney looked "enfeebled" during a recent Welcome-to-D.C. party for Northrup Grumman CEO Wes Bush. The former vice president, who has survived five heart attacks and was fitted with a mechanical pump in July of 2010 to push blood through his arteries, "sat while others stood at the party," accoring to a Page Six source, and was "seen using an oxygen mask to aid his breathing." A Cheney rep denied that he was taking oxygen at the party, declaring, "He’s doing fine. He’s celebrating Christmas in Jackson Hole with his family." [Page Six]
D student and occasional movie star James Franco is said to be "in talks" to cameo as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in Lovelace, the upcoming biopic of Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace, which we still can't believe is starring Amanda Seyfried. If Franco makes it to the set -- which, considering the number of times he cut his "Directing the Actor II" class at NYU, is a pretty big if -- Variety reports that he will only be needed "for a single day." Apparently, the scope of his role is "limited to scenes in which the magazine mogul welcomes Linda and Chuck to the Playboy Mansion for a screening of Deep Throat and has a heart-to-heart with Linda about her future." To be fair to Franco, very few actors are given scenes where they're asked to watch hardcore pornography, then immediately transition into giving one of the performers "heart-to-heart advice." [Variety]
The Fast and Furious franchise will have a sixth and seventh installment, The two not-entirely necessary films will shoot back to back, according to star Vin Diesel. The account of the negotiations Diesel gives to The Hollywood Reporter is full of delightful childlike enthusiasm, even though he's describing a scene that has never taken place in the history of the movie business. Diesel recalls saying to Universal executives during the pitch meeting: "We have to pay off this story, we have to service all of these character relationships, and when we started mapping all that out it just went beyond 110 pages." According to Diesel, the executives replied, "You can’t fit all that story in one damn movie!’" So now he's getting to make two! [The Hollywood Reporter]
Literary agent Luke Janklow, whose clients include Demi Moore, Anderson Cooper, and Simon Cowell, has apparently cast aside British society beauty Jemima Khan and is "officially dating" Vogue senior market director Meredith Melling Burke. The duo was spotted "out at a party Monday night at the McKittrick Hotel in Chelsea, home of British theater production Sleep No More," and were seated next to -- wait for it -- Monica Lewinsky and Alan Cumming. [Page Six]
Could The Boss be trading in his Born in the USA Levi's for the denim offerings of J. Crew? On Friday, a shopper at the J.Crew in Tribeca claims he heard an employee shout out that "Bruce Springsteen's office" called and asked management to put aside a pair of their Wallace & Barnes "Made in the USA" jeans in dark indigo for the rocker. We don't know what happened next, so until more details emerge, we will continue to hold on to our belief that Bruce Springsteen is unaware that a clothing store called J. Crew exists. [Gatecrasher]
Debra Messing says she "privately separated" from husband Daniel Zeiman after 10 years of marriage earlier this year. A rep for Messing insists the "decision was mutual," which of course explains nothing. Strangely, a source close to the couple says that even though they've supposedly split up, they "recently relocated to NYC [with their 7-year-old son]-- and remain living under one roof." [Us Weekly]
Roll Call associate politics editor Christina Bellantoni is moving to PBS to become Politics Editor at NewsHour. According to the network's internal memo, she'll "oversee all coverage related to domestic political developments both on air and online, including on-air analysis of politics, elections and political figures" for the coming election and beyond. She starts January 2. [Fishbowl DC]