Movie stars invade Washington!
September 25, 2008

Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin

POSTED September 26, 2008 | 12:05 AM
Celebrity s

We had trouble keeping up with all the celebs in town over the past couple days. First up was Brigitte Nielsen, who appeared on Capitol Hill at the annual Prism Awards, which honors "the accurate depiction" of substance abuse and mental health issues in entertainment. Nielsen, of course, has been reality TV gold, appearing in "The Surreal Life," "Strange Love" and, most recently, "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."

Yes, she's that tall. And that blonde. When she took the stage, she thanked Dr. Drew Pinsky (who received an award but was not present on the Hill) for his help in overcoming her addiction. She also credits the United States with giving her an extra boost. "I made a good decision [when] I left Europe to come to this amazing country," she said.

Also on hand: "Knots Landing" alum Michele Lee and Andrea Bowen of "Desperate Housewives."

Meanwhile, across town at the Four Seasons, Cheryl Hines ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") was the guest of honor at United Cerebral Palsy's gala. She's a UCP board member because, as she told Yeas & Nays, she has a nephew with the disease.

In what she called her first foray into celebrity lobbying, she spent Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill talking to Reps. Donald Payne, Jim Delahunt and Alan Boyd about funding research and treatment. "I have to pick and choose my words a lot more carefully than at our neighborhood poker game," she joked.

As for celebrity activism, she said "celebrities are people too. They're entitled to their opinions. ... Sometimes they know what they're talking about; sometimes they don't."

She's getting ready to shoot a new ABC series, "In the Motherhood," with Megan Mullally and Chelsea Handler, as well as another season of "Curb," which she's excited about. "I actually cried on the way home" from the last episode, she confessed. "I thought, 'This is how my career is going to end, with Larry living with someone else -- Vivaca Fox."

In other celeb news: *Is kid Actor Dakota Fanning under some kind of threat? It certainly seemed that way as she got off the plane at Dulles airport on Wednesday night. Fanning was met by a security detail eight men strong, say our sources, and they stayed with her all the way through baggage claim and into her waiting car, which brought her to the Ritz Carlton downtown. Fanning, along with co-stars Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson, were in town for Thursday night's screening of their new film, "The Secret Life of Bees."

*Speaking of screenings, a few blocks north, a different contingent of stars screened their movie Thursday night. Renee Zellweger, Harry Connick, Jr., Amy Madigan and Amanda Bynes appeared at a reception at the Historical Society of D.C. to show their new Lifetime Network film, "Living Proof," which is about the development of the breast cancer drug Herceptin. Zellweger produced the film, while the others are among the stars.

*Former Rep. Charlie Wilson, who inspired "Charlie Wilson's War," held a town hall meeting with Rep. Jim Moran in Arlington on Wednesday. A Moran spokesman said they had about 1,200 attendees, and had to turn away another 5-600 at the door.

*Music producers Quincy Jones and Pharrell Williams gave a presentation on the importance of music and education Thursday morning at the Levine School in Southeast.

*And NASCAR driver Kyle Petty was among those at the Paralyzed Veterans of America gala at the National Building Museum on Thursday.