Dustin Hoffman's performance in Wag the Dog earned him an Oscar nomination, but offscreen the father of six has been pretty successful as a matchmaker. Hoffman's costar Kirsten Dunst, 15, tells us that at Wag's Los Angeles premiere in December, Hoffman asked her to pose for a few pictures with his teenage son Jake, prompting Dunst to quip, "He wants me to be his daughter-in-law!" Maybe father knows best, because Dunst and Jake are now dating. "The best thing," adds a source close to the actress, "is that Jake is 16. So he can drive."...

Gila Lane is a photographer on the horns of a dilemma. In 1989 she took pictures of a Beverly Hills high school student who aspired to become a plus-size model. "She wasn't confident enough to wear a swimsuit, but she did wear a tank top," Lane recalls. "I felt she had potential. She seemed very comfortable before the camera." According to Lane, the magazine BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) showed some interest, but the subject apparently didn't like the way she looked in the photographs and abandoned her modeling ambitions. That would have been the end of the story—until Zippergate broke and Lane caught a glimpse of Monica Lewinsky on TV "I said, 'Oh, my God, that's the girl who wanted to be a model!' " says Lane. The catch? Though Lane has the photos, she can't sell them without Lewinsky's permission—which isn't likely to come any time soon....

The centerpiece of the plot of Titanic was that whomping huge blue-diamond necklace Kate Winslet's character wears in the film. Although the movie gem was fake—cubic zirconium gold to withstand the wear and tear of shooting—its designer, Asprey jewelers of England, recently decided to create the real thing. They searched collections around the world but couldn't find a rare blue diamond large enough. So they settled on a 165-carat Ceylon sapphire the size of a golf ball. The Asprey necklace, worth $3.5 million, will be auctioned at the Princess Ball, honoring the late Princess Diana, on March 21 in L.A....

In an interview airing March 1 on MTV, Madonna reveals that she took her daughter Lourdes, 16 months, to see her first live concert last fall. And the music that Lourdes was exposed to at this delicate, formative stage? Fleetwood Mac. "She was very enthusiastic," Madonna says. "She was on my lap clapping her hands." Lourdes's nanny also came along for the fun. "It's my nanny's favorite group, so it was kind of a present for [her] too."...

Little-known Oscar fact No. 1,147: Even if they don't leave the Academy Awards with a gold statuette, presenters and Oscar-night performers still bring home a basket of goodies that make that Monday night seem a bit like Christmas. Last year, for instance, party favors included a trip to a Mexican resort, a custom-made Sulka shirt, a pair of Hush Puppies shoes, a variety of pricey liquor, Hermès perfume, a Harry Winston silver champagne cork, Christofle champagne flutes, and a session—cost to normal mortals: $300—with 1997's Oscar hairdresser Cristophe.

  • Contributors:
  • Hugh McCarten.