Idris Elba recalls COVID struggle while filming ‘The Harder They Fall’

Battles on the Western front

Lately making a Western in our rough tough wild West seems not so good an idea.

Idris Elba started one in New Mexico during early stages of the pandemic. He arrived on set of “The Harder They Fall.” Hugged cast members Regina King, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, Delroy Lindo.

Then, his test came back. And he fell hard.

“Second day after I landed and met everyone, I’m told I had COVID. This was at our very beginning. I e-mailed each cast member and I was like, ‘Man, what do I say? I’m sorry.’ We were all terrified. There were unknowns at this juncture. Everyone wrote back, ‘Dude, I have your back . . . just chill . . . you’re going to be all right. Don’t worry.’

“I got emotional because I thought I was going to die.

“My daughter’s 19. In this film, she saw historical figures, stories about black folk she never knew existed. Now we’re teaching the world history they might never have known.”

B’day tunes ring loud

May Pang, once John Lennon’s lover, had her 71st birthday at Chris Noth’s Cutting Room. The music jam began at 8 p.m. It’s probably still on.

Maybe 300 rock ’n’ roll eaters, none familiar to me: Blue Oyster Cult’s Joe Bouchard, Albert Bouchard, Alice Cooper bassist Dennis Dunaway, former Billy Joel drummer Liberty Devitto, another drummer Chris Parker, the Yardbirds, Happy Together Tour musician Godfrey Townsend, Benny Harrison, Chris Palmerini, Kenny Forgione, Pete Santora, Mike Fornatale.

May Pang, over food from Mr. Chow’s: “I miss John every day.”

True blue?

Doddering dud Biden can’t even grab a minion to attend his public drooling. Only the missus in another awful flower-printed dress, his businessman brother and that son Rembrandt. How could this have happened to the greatest country on Earth? Even Obama called him — and I saw this quote — an “eff up.”

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden leaving the White House to go to the CNN Town Hall on October 21, 2021.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden leaving the White House to go to the CNN Town Hall on October 21, 2021.
EPA/Oliver Contreras / POOL

Conservative “talk radio” dominates today’s airwaves. Cable news and Fox News double MSNBC and CNN viewers. It’s growing with Fox Corp’s Fox News, Newsmax, the Daily Wire and Glenn Beck’s Blaze. Coming is the Trump Media and Tech Group featuring new Web site “Truth Social.” Tottering doddering Biden may soon need to lean — even if it’s to the right. 

Play & politics

Halloween. The McKittrick Hotel’s grabbed “The Woman in Black,” London’s play about ghosts in a pub, through Jan. 30. Guests get fed British crisps and Scotch eggs. Not exactly what Elvis Sumberac of Canaletto serves but, listen, the tasties are free . . . OPEN mouths in DC mumble that a half dozen GOP members of Congress may be corralled before the Jan. 6 Commission. Some names begin with “B,” some “G.”

Forget what this world’s coming to. Here’s what it is NOW!

Phone rings. Angry voice. No ID. Just the shout: “The connection isn’t clear. Fix it!” . . . Minutes later a recording about my car in trouble because of the brakes. That car I sold six years ago. Next an e-mail from some unknown about an event unknown to be in some unknown basement apartment in a section even robbers avoid.

And an invite to meet the fabulously exciting author of “Confessions of a Vegas Showgirl” at the cash-only club Don’t Tell Mama. The author’s G-strings got glued on in 1970.

Also: If anyone wants anything it requires dialing 27 numbers. Then push 1 or push 2. Then there’s the recording in Urdu. Then, before you get through to a real human they’ve moved. And only a voice in Bangladesh responds.

May the phone company start sending my bill in Arabic. I mean, why not? I don’t understand what I’m paying for anyway.

Seems like it’s only in New York, kids, only in New York.

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