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Names

Familiar faces

By Mark Shanahan and Paysha Rhone
Globe Staff / October 22, 2008
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We're giving TNT's "Bunker Hill" a big thumbs-up even before the pilot's been shot. Why? Because the Boston-based drama will not only star New Kid Donnie Wahlberg, but the network announced yesterday that Tom Brady's ex, actress Bridget Moynahan, has signed on to costar. Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, "Bunker Hill" is about a cop, played by Wahlberg, who comes back to Boston to serve and protect his peeps. Moynahan, who grew up in Longmeadow, plays the police officer's sister-in-law, with whom he has a love-hate relationship. Best known for her role opposite Will Smith in "I, Robot," Bridget has been mostly MIA since giving birth a year ago to John, her boy with Brady. In addition to "Bunker Hill," the actress will be appearing on upcoming episodes of ABC's "Eli Stone." Through her publicist, Moynahan declined to talk to us yesterday. Wahlberg, of course, is busy at the moment with the New Kids on the Block tour, which is working its way west. (Donnie, Joey, Jordan, Jonathan, and Danny did their thing in Minneapolis last night.) Wahlberg, whose memorable small screen credits include "Runaway" and "Boomtown," told us yesterday that the pilot will be filmed in December, one day after the New Kids tour concludes. "We're trying to do it all in Boston," Wahlberg said in a text message. "That's the goal." And asked about Moynahan, Donnie sounded delighted. "Bridget is a talent. She's perfect."

He's a winner with grace
Boston Conservatory alum and choreographer Thang Dao was in the Big Apple last week to pick up a $10,000 choreography fellowship at the Princess Grace Awards. On hand to celebrate: Prince Albert II of Monaco, Mariska Hargitay, Bebe Neuwirth, Placido Domingo, actor Jim Dale, Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, and Glenn Close. Dao, in the middle of creating a new work for the conservatory, said in an e-mail yesterday he's still buzzing from Close's speech to the emerging artist award winners. "It's inspiring and energizing to see someone like herself be so humble and honest."

A ball had by all
The Best Buddies Ball, held the other night at the home of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver in Potomac, Md., attracted a few familiar faces. In addition to founder Anthony Kennedy Shriver, the VIP crowd included Bobby Shriver, Boston sports agent Brad Blank, Robert De Niro, actress Thora Birch, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson, Marcia Brady's alter ego Maureen McCormick, Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, Miss USA Crystle Stewart, and jazz man Kenny G. We're told the evening's auction featured several big-ticket items, including a 2008 Audi S8, which was customized for - and driven by - Pats QB Tom Brady. No wonder the event raised over $3 million.

She displays style
In just four short years, society gal-turned-designer Tory Burch has become a style icon, her gold, double T logo a mainstay for the chic set. Burch swings through town tonight for a fund-raiser at Saks Fifth Avenue from 6-8, where she'll preview her holiday and resort collections to the ooohs and aaahs of her fans, we're sure.

You talk about being a working mom, getting a divorce, and that not having the perfect life is something women can relate to.

Well, I think just working and being a mom is one thing that a lot of my friends have been experiencing. [It's] a challenge every day, and it's not easy, but it's doable and that is something that I'd like to try and get across to all women.

Neon orange has always been a big color for you. What's your attachment to that color?

Since I was little, I have loved orange and it is my favorite color . . . for as long as I can remember, I knew that if I ever started a company I knew orange would be a part of it no matter what it was.

Have you been to Boston before?

I'm really familiar with Boston. One of my brothers went to Boston University Law School and my step-daughter graduated from Boston University last year.

You've been known to have a slightly defensive take on the word "socialite." Why not embrace the word and show the world that it can stand for something else - not just someone who lunches about town and plans her outfits for the evening?

I think my defensiveness has been overplayed. And c'mon, part of my success was because I was involved in charities. But there is a derogatory notion applied to that word. . . . When you think about a socialite, you think of a lady who lunches and goes to get her nails done and that's it. Now that I'm a designer, I hope that is what people call me.

Reinhardt on the mend
Doug Reinhardt knows Tom Brady's pain. Just before the Orioles spring training this year, "The Hills" hottie and baseball prospect tore both his ACL and MCL, and has been slowly recovering ever since. "It's a brutal surgery," said Reinhardt, Lauren Conrad's ex. "I hope [Brady] recovers soon. I feel bad for him." Reinhardt still goes to physical therapy, before attending classes at Pepperdine, filming for the "The Hills," and working on his two business ventures - real estate investor and head of a mobile marketing company. But he really pines to be back in the game by next spring as a free agent. "Baseball is my first true love," he said. "Who knows? Maybe it will be for the Red Sox . . . that's a dream." Reinhardt is expected to party at The Estate on Saturday.

More Tomlin
Lily Tomlin , who seems to have taken up temporary residence here, toured Fenway Community Health's new home at 1340 Boylston St. The comedian is the honorary national cochair of Fenway's "10 Stories Capital Campaign" and was joined by generous donor Joanne Herman and her partner Terry Fallon. . . . Godsmack's Sully Erna and his wife dined at Via Matta the other night, as did Sox brass John Henry and Tom Werner.

You can bank on her
Dubbed "Fall's First Lady" by Entertainment Weekly, Pittsfield native Elizabeth Banks is showing up everywhere. Monday, she was the lady in red at the premiere of "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," one of two new movies she stars in. (The other is Oliver Stone's "W.," in which Banks plays Laura Bush.) Not just another pretty face, Banks is also a producer, and her first film is "The Surrogates," the sci-fi thriller that was shot in Boston over the summer. "I don't want to be perceived as an actress with vanity projects," Banks told Sci Fi Wire about producing. "I really want to be perceived as a legitimate producer, and one of the best ways to do that is to not act in the movies you're producing." Starring Bruce Willis, "The Surrogates" is based on Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele's graphic novel about a futuristic society in which people use robotic stand-ins to live their daily lives.

Globe correspondent Erica Corsano contributed. Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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