Welcome to the Smart Set. Every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: There's talk George Clooney's big fundraiser for President Obama could generate $12 million, the guy who sold "The Scream" and Neil Young conversed, and Mark Wahlberg denies he's getting artificially ripped for his new movie.
George Clooney's fancy Hollywood fundraiser for President Obama next Thursday is all sold-out. According to sources, the shindig (which Jeffrey Katzenberg is co-hosting) is "expected to raise up to $12 million" for Obama's reelection campaign, which would be a record haul for a political fundraiser. (150 guests at $40,000-a-head only amounts to $6 million, but campaign insiders "believe the "tally of online donations could hit $6 million," which is where the $12 million prediction comes from.) The President will return to the Southern California fundraising circuit June 6 for an "LGBT gala," where Pink (Pink!) is slated to perform. Donations for that event are apparently "ranging from $1,250 to $25,000." [The Hollywood Reporter]
Also on the George Clooney front: it seems his whirlwind White House Correspondents' weekend included a 2 a.m. chat about energy with boldfaced policy wunderkind Ronan Farrow. Per a source, the discussion took place last Wednesday "in a corner of the Vanity Fair after-party." [Page Six]
In the eyes of the state of California, Demi Moore is still Mrs. Kutcher. In the eyes of Twitter, she is no longer @MrsKutcher, just @justDemi. Moore says she chose the new handle because it was "somewhat playful and available." No comment! [Us Weekly]
Petter Olsen sold Edvard Munch's "The Scream" for $119.9 million Wednesday. He also bumped into Neil Young and got to talk to him! Olsen's celebrity encounter happened at Café Boulud in New York, where both were having dinner. Upon arriving, it seems Olsen spotted Young -- his "personal hero," according to Page Six -- and approached the Godfather of Grunge. A witness says the pair spent "15 minutes in conversation, as the room looked on in amazement." We'd be amazed, too: it's not every day you see Neil Young talking to a guy in a restaurant. [Page Six]
Paul Schrader are Bret Easton Ellis are collaborating on a thriller, which is a goofy and intriguing proposition in and of itself. But they're also trying to raise funds for the film -- called The Canyons -- using Kickstarter and offering services and Priceless Hollywood Memorabilia to the biggest donors. For a pledge of "$5,000 or more, fledgling authors can earn a review of their novel by Ellis himself." For the same amount, Schrader will give you notes on your script, in person (!!), but only if you live in New York or Los Angeles. All others will have to settle for a Skype session with the man who wrote Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and -- lest we forget -- Hardcore. But the big prize, which will go to one lucky donor of $10,000 or more, is "combo pack including a moneyclip autographed by Robert De Niro on the set of Raging Bull." The goal is to raise $100,000, though they can get probably get more if Martin Scorsese ponies up a signed tie clip. [The Wrap]
Mark Wahlberg: not taking steroids to beef up for his role in Pain and Gain, a thriller bodybuilding and extortion and kidnapping and the 1990s. Wahlberg's been looking huge -- unnervingly, unnaturally huge -- in photos from the Miami set, but a source insists Wahlberg "definitely is not using any kind of enhancements to pump up" for the role. The actor's rep also denied he's juicing. [Us Weekly]
Politico turned five yesterday. Happy 5th birthday, Politico! The publication -- which is to say, staffers -- celebrated "with barbecue and a family bash last night on the 30th floor of World HQ." [Playbook]