She’s New York’s most visible Ping-Pong propagandist, but it’s Oscar week, so Susan Sarandon is spreading the word in L.A. The SPiN NYC investor was holding court at the Mondrian, where the club—which, by the way, is looking to open an L.A. branch—was hosting a party with Herbalife. “Ping-Pong has a very, very wide demographic. And it’s the only sport where little girls can beat grown men,” the actress offered. As for helping focus frazzled brains, she said, “It’s even supposedly better than crossword puzzles.”
Trendy, supposedly therapeutic—it goes without saying that the game’s got a celebrity following. Josh Brolin lurked near the tables on the Mondrian’s pool patio, while an Entourage crew scouted the setup space for a future episode. Later on, Jamie Foxx came by to show off some of the skills that have made him the rumored king of Ping-Pong’s big-name enthusiasts—a crowd that also includes George Clooney, Sean Penn, and Ed Norton.
The game has a foothold here—less clear is whether Tinseltown is ready for the harsh realities of competitive Ping-Pong. As Sarandon pointed out, “It’s not like basketball or football, where you know immediately that you suck. You really can delusionally think that you’re pretty good—and then suddenly, you get killed.”
Turns out Marc Jacobs isn’t the only one who’s been house-hunting in the West Village. At the after-party for last night’s Paramount Pictures and Cinema Society-sponsored screening of The Lovely Bones, Courtney Love told us a new place is on her Christmas list, too—not for herself, but for her daughter. “I’m getting my child a mortgage,” she said. “She split time between New York and L.A. growing up, but she’s a New Yorker. It’s a house in the West Village, which is all she wants in life.” Good to know young Frances Bean can knock on Marc and Lorenzo’s door for the proverbial cup of sugar, but as for Love herself, she’s hitting the road: “I gotta go on tour,” she said. Well, she’ll have a place to crash in New York, at least.
Meanwhile, Susan Sarandon—who plays a whiskey-swigging, chain-smoking grandmother in the film—made a recent real-estate deal herself: The actress is one of the backers of the recently opened SPiN Ping-Pong club, though she’s the first to admit she’s not yet a pro. “I’m not good. I’m more of a propagandist than a player,” the actress admitted. Others have apparently been less modest. “I’d like to see George Clooney play Jamie Foxx, because they both think they’re really good. Ed Norton has also said he’s really good,” Sarandon said with a sly smile. Now there’s a tourney we’d line up to see.