On the Town with Shinan: Matt Bomer shows his heart while Tom Cruise and Ruth Reichl pop up in Toronto

By Shinan Govani

Is there a publicist in the house?

There were a few, including the husband of the party's VIP hearthrob. As actor Matt Bomer worked the room in Toronto the other night – looking not unlike something carved by Michelangelo himself, I will confirm – his main man, Simon Halls, wasn't far.

And while most revellers were much too busy being wooed by Matt's physical gifts – cheekbones, check; Superman jawline and piercing blue eyes, check; an innate skill to rock a suit, definitely check – it was the presence of the similarly sharp-suited Halls that consummated an even bigger deal for those acquainted with Hollywood's ecosystem.

“My husband was raised here, so it's always a good chance to see family,” Matt was heard saying. He was, indeed, referring to the Canadian, Halls, his spouse of three years who also happens to play backup to a whole host of familiar names. The co-founder of Slate PR with fellow power-flack Stephen Huvane, theirs is a roster that includes, and has included, Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, Julianne Moore, Neil Patrick Harris, Johnny Depp, Daniel Craig, Ryan Gosling, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Ford, Jimmy Fallon… and, well, you get the pic?

Tonight, though? All about Matt. Arriving to a small shindig held at The Fifth, off Duncan Street in Toronto's entertainment district, it was a gathering organized by CANFAR (the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research). The project du jour? The Canadian premiere of HBO's effective new 80s period piece, The Normal Heart, hosted by the Inside Out Film Festival. The new film is based on Larry Kramer's Tony Award-winning play centred around the AIDS crisis. “I read it when it was 14, and it blew me away,” is how Matt described that play to me this eve, in a room in which there's an actual toy train suspended right above the bar, in the centre of the room, going round and round.

Choo choo some 20 years, and here's Matt, being seen as the MVP in a production is truly not lacking in star power. Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo are just two of the many who do admirable work in The Normal Heart, but there's something unstudied and purely elegant about Bomer's performance, specifically. Already a star from his TV series, White Collar, and for an abs-tastic part in Magic Mike, this oughta rocket him to the next level of his career.


Barbra Streisand keeps an under-the-bed freezer drawer stocked with ice cream for late-night cravings? If that sounds like the ultimate foodie fantasy, it is, according to one of the planet's most celebrated eaters, Ruth Reichl. Having the chance to lunch with her the other day at The Chef's House, on Toronto's King East, she told me the Babs story, which she's woven into a scene in her sugary debut novel, Delicious. In it, a rom com-friendly hunk keeps his bedroom's freezer stocked, oh yes, for post-coital snacking. Reichl, the former editor-in-chief of Gourmet and a bona fide goddess in the culinary world, didn't leave town without trying two others restaurants in the 416. One was the earnest Actinolite, on Ossington, and the other, witty Bar Buca, on Portand – both of which she raved and raved about on Twitter.

Scene! Heard!

    * "It hasn't hit me yet. Perhaps the weekend." That was Tom Cruise, doing the I'll-sleep-when-I'm-dead routine, when he made a surprise appearance Thursday (May 29) at the Toronto premiere of his new one, Edge of Tomorrow, having just come off a 24-hour rigamarole that had him doing premieres in London, Paris and New York in one day! Showing zero signs of fatigue, the superstar glad-handled with finesse.

    * Suits star Patrick J Adams is one of the special guests expected at the annual kick-off and fundraiser, slated next week at Campbell House, for Toronto's Summerworks Performance Festival.

    * Having a ball on the other coast: Zooey Deschanel. The daffy starlet, while in Vancouver these days working, turned heads the other day when she showed up to something called the 'Miss Cobalt 2014' drag competition at local dive, The Cobal

    * Crooner Rufus Wainwright held artisanal coffee court this week at Ezra's Pound, on Dupont. (See my 'Last Word' in an upcoming issue of Hello! Canada for more!

    * 50 million: The amount funnelled by one of Canada's richest families into a new research initiative dubbed the Weston Brain Institute, "targeting brain research and, specifically, neurodegenerative diseases of aging.” Galen Weston Sr. – the clan-leader behind Loblaw, Holt Renfrew, Shoppers Drug Mart, Selfridges, and more – personally made the announcement recently.

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