England gets me, why can’t you America??



Observations: Professional party blagger

By Arifa Akbar

He is the man who has infiltrated 1,001 Hollywood parties. Evan Matthew, a Beverly Hills-born über-blagger, has spent a lifetime gatecrashing the hottest gatherings across the world – most recently the Venice Film Festival’s opening night reception at the Excelsior hotel, where he ate a lavish dinner alongside the likes of Claudia Schiffer, Tilda Swinton and the Coen brothers.

I saw him sauntering through the beachside venue, throwing nods of mutual recognition to Hollywood royalty before he landed at my table. Having been born on the wrong side of the tracks, he worked as a reporter for Star magazine before realising that he had a Midas touch for blagging. The turning point came when he duped the security fortress of the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party some years ago with a fake entry badge that he made himself.

A career in A-list gatecrashing followed, then a documentary by American film-makers, and now, so adept is he at the big blag, Matthew is apparently bringing out a book in November that will reveal all his secrets. The blag, he said, consists of a well-fitting tux, lots of charm and very little else.

So, was I going on to the Coens’ after-party? he enquired. I am sure he would have been very happy to escort me there, had I had a formal invitation. When he realised that I was not the hot ticket he had hoped for, he glided away, showering me with his effortless brand of Californian charm as he went.


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