Daily Insider

12/12/2003 10:12AM

December 15, 2003
MENA'S WISH LIST
All actress Mena Suvari really wants for Christmas is a litter of kittens. "I was really hoping that my cat was pregnant, but she's not," the American Beauty star said at a recent charity event in Hollywood. In case Suvari, 24, and husband Robert Brinkmann, 42, are still not proud parents by the time Santa arrives, she has come up with a sensible backup request: "A Chanel watch and lots of diamonds."

SAND, FOG AND SNOW
It might have been cold and snowy outside, but it was all sand and fog inside New York's Maritime Hotel when the cast of The House of Sand and Fog gathered for a cocktail soiree before the movie's premiere. Jennifer Connelly, Sir Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard and Shohreh Aghdashloo beat the weather with hors d'oeuvres such as brie-and-apple dumplings, skewered shrimp, thinly sliced beef and turkey sausage, while the DJ spun re-mixed Christmas carols. Later, Connelly said the mood on the set was upbeat, in spite of the dark nature of the film (opening Dec. 26), in which she plays a recovering alcoholic evicted for not paying her taxes. "It was a pretty comfortable sort of set," she said, adding that her husband, Paul Bettany, and son Kai often came to visit.

CELEB BLACKJACK WINNERS
American Pie star Shannon Elizabeth and her actor husband, Joseph Reitman, raised more than $40,000 at a star-studded fund-raiser they threw for Animal Avengers, their charity to help unwanted pets find homes and receive free vet care. Among the celebrity blackjack dealers at the casino-themed event, called "Luck of the Paw," were 'N Sync's Lance Bass, Macaulay Culkin, Cris Judd, Six Feet Under's Eric Balfour and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air alum Alfonso Ribeiro.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT
Spotted recently:
Anna Paquin, shopping along Montreal's trendy St. Laurent Boulevard. She stopped in to browse at the Mosquito clothing store and ended up spending almost $1,000 on shoes (two pairs of Adidas running shoes, one white pair of Hills high tops and a pair of Mary Janes); casual cotton tops by Los Angeles designer Ella Moss; Paper, Denim and Cloth low-waisted boot-cut jeans; and a whole range of gear by Britain's Penguin.

Quentin Tarantino, holding court with friends over drinks on the couches at the Chateau Marmont on L.A.'s Sunset Boulevard.

Poppy Montgomery, getting a new 'do from stylist Frank Galasso at Frank Studio in Santa Monica. The Without a Trace star also picked up a bottle of Frank.Studio Beach Spray and cologne by Apothia for Fred Segal.

Written by: SEAN DALY
Reported by: SEAN DALY, MOLLY LOPEZ, KC BAKER, EILEEN TRAVERS, ELIZABETH LEONARD and AMY GURVITZ

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