Celebrity gossip, sightings in and around Connecticut in October – CT Insider

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Kelsey Grammer dines at TAO Asian Bistro & Lounge at Mohegan Sun on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Marc D’Amelio, Heidi D’Amelio, Charli D’Amelio, and Dixie D’Amelio attend the 10th Annual LACMA ART+FILM GALA honoring Amy Sherald, Kehinde Wiley, and Steven Spielberg presented by Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for LACMA)
Actor Matt Damon, left, and wife Luciana Barroso attend the premiere of “The Last Duel” at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in New York. 
Kelsey Grammer being spotted filming a new Lifetime movie at Mohegan Sun and Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon dining at nearby Westchester, N.Y. topped Connecticut’s star-studded news in October.
Here are some of the Hollywood sightings and murmurings that happened in and around Connecticut in October:
Actor Matt Damon, left, and wife Luciana Barroso attend the premiere of “The Last Duel” at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in New York. 
Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon, his wife Luciana and their children were seen having dinner at Truck in Bedford, N.Y., in October. The actor and his wife purchased an $8.5 million estate on Clinton Road in Bedford Hills, N.Y. last June.
– Susie Costaregni
Kelsey Grammer filming scenes for “The 12 Days of Christmas Eve” at Mohegan Sun on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022.
Emmy award-winning actor Kelsey Grammer was spotted at Mohegan Sun in early October after filming scenes for an upcoming Lifetime movie at the casino. In a picture posted to Facebook by Mohegan Sun, Grammer can be seen enjoying a meal at TAO Asian Bistro & Lounge. 
According to a spokesperson from Mohegan Sun, Grammer was filming scenes for the Lifetime movie, “The 12 Days of Christmas Eve.”
– Andrew DaRosa
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Marc D’Amelio, Heidi D’Amelio, Charli D’Amelio, and Dixie D’Amelio attend the 10th Annual LACMA ART+FILM GALA honoring Amy Sherald, Kehinde Wiley, and Steven Spielberg presented by Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for LACMA)
The first family of TikTok — Marc, Heidi, Dixie and Charli D’Amelio — decided to buy a house in their home city of Norwalk. A search of the city’s land records shows that the family purchased a condo for $1.2 million in March 2022. 
“We’re surrounded by all these affluent towns, and sometimes the schools get a bad rap. When we had the opportunity to move to Westport or Darien, we came back here to Norwalk. I’m loyal in that way,” Marc D’Amelio told UConn Magazine.
– Nicole Funaro
 
TV personality Lara Spencer attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 28, 2016, in Hollywood, Calif. This week she was seen shopping on Greenwich Avenue.
Greenwich resident and ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer was seen at a preview event at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream in Greenwich in early October.
 – Susie Costaregni
Writer Shonda Rhimes speaks on stage during the Getty Images session at the Cannes Lions 2019 : Day Four on June 20, 2019 in Cannes, France. 
Creator of “Grey’s Anatomy” Shonda Rhimes purchased a Westport mansion previously owned by Melissa & Doug toy company founders, Melissa and Doug Berstein. The Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 11 that the toy company founders sold the home for $15.75 million, and the New York Post reported three days later that Rhimes was the one who bought the property in a private sale.
– Nicole Funaro
The main house in “The Watcher” on Netflix is located in Rye, N.Y.
Netflix’s new horror limited series “The Watcher” from writer/director Ryan Murphy was released Oct. 13, and despite the show being based in New Jersey, many of the filming locations are in Westchester County, N.Y.
– Joseph Tucci
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 18: Writer Veronica Roth arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Divergent’ at Regency Bruin Theatre on March 18, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
“Divergent” author Veronica Roth stopped by Fairfield University’s Regin A. Quick Center for the Arts in October to discuss her latest novel, “Poster Girl.” The mystery novel is about a woman’s search for a missing girl after the collapse of the dystopian regime.
The No. 1 New York Times best-selling author is known for the popular young adult trilogy “Divergent,” which was voted as teenagers’ favorite novel in a 2012 survey and was adapted into a successful movie series, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet.
– Abby Weiss
CELEBRITY JEOPARDY! – Quarterfinal #3: Constance Wu, Ike Barinholtz and Jalen Rose On the last quarterfinal round of the Celebrity Jeopardy! season, celebrities Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) and Jalen Rose (ESPN sports analyst) test their knowledge while battling for the final spot in the Semifinal round, SUNDAY, OCT. 9 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (Tyler Golden/ABC via Getty Images) MAYIM BIALIK
One of the “Celebrity Jeopardy!” questions that stumped all three contestants in early October was about the Nutmeg State. 
The clue, read by host Mayim Bialik, was “Yankee Magazine says this New England state is known for chowder, old money & being the home of TV’s Gilmore Girls.” 
ESPN Sports Analyst Jalen Rose incorrectly guessed “What is New England?” and Actress Constance Wu hesitantly answered “What is Massachusetts?” “The Mindy Project” actor Ike Barinholtz declined a chance to guess and said he’s never seen “Gilmore Girls.”
– Abby Weiss
“The Good Nurse,” which was filmed in multiple Stamford locations, premiered on Netflix on Oct. 26. 
Filming took place on Morgan Street near the Glenbrook neighborhood to film hospital and medical scenes. Scenes of Amy Loughren’s home (Jessica Chastain) were filmed in a house in the Waterside neighborhood of Stamford.
Filming also took place in parts of Norwalk.
– Amy Coval
Jacques Pepin in his Connecticut kitchen.
The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival’s 10th anniversary Gala took place in early October at Abigail Kirsch at The Loading Dock in Stamford and honored celebrity chef Jacques Pepin.
Other celebrity chefs, including Michel Nischan of Wholesome Wave, Rocco DiSpirito, Maneet Chauhan, Bun Lai, Mary Giuliani and Spike Mendelsohn were spotted during the gala.
– Susie Costaregni
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 04: Hasan Minhaj performs onstage during the 13th annual Stand Up for Heroes to benefit the Bob Woodruff Foundation at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 04, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation)
Comedian Hasan Minhaj called Greenwich “’Get Out’ white,’” referencing the 2017 Jordan Peele film, during a Netflix special that came out in early October. The Academy Award-nominated movie follows a Black man who (spoiler alert) discovers his white girlfriend and her family secretly transplant their brains into the bodies of Black men to take advantage of their physical attributes.
Greenwich consistently is ranked among the wealthiest cities in the country. What’s more, the average home value pushes $2 million. It’s also got a reputation for lack of ethnic diversity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Greenwich is nearly 77-percent white. 
– Daniel Figueroa IV
The poster “The Owl House’s” season 3 premier, “Thanks to Them.”
Creator of Disney’s “The Owl House,” Dana Terrace, spoke about the show’s final season and its ties to Connecticut in October.
The fictional Connecticut town of Gravesfield, main character Luz Noceda’s hometown in the show was partly inspired by Connecticut’s history of “haunted” events (like the Hartford/Connecticut witch trials), abandoned buildings and old graveyards as well as Terrace’s own experiences in the state.
– Joseph Tucci
(Featured L-R) Jaeden Martell as Craig, director John Lee Hancock and Donald Sutherland as Mr. Harrigan in Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. Cr. Nicole Rivelli/Netflix © 2022
Stephen King Netflix movie, “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” was filmed in Connecticut and premiered on Oct. 5. 
Norwalk was transformed into the fictional small town of Harlow, Maine, including Lockwood-Mathews Mansion in Norwalk which served as Mr. Harrigan’s library. The film stars Jaeden Martell (as Craig) and Donald Sutherland (as Mr. Harrigan.)
– Andrew DaRosa 
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 21: (L-R) Angie Teodora Dick, Skyler Caleb, Woodrow Wilson Hancock III, James Zimbardi, Niesha Guilbot, Anthony C. Ferrante, and Dee Wallace attend the 1091 Pictures’ “Nix” press line during 2022 Comic Con International: San Diego at Hilton Bayfront on July 21, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
New Haven native and actor James Zimbardi’s most recent project, “Nix,” has officially landed on streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video and received a small theatrical run, including showings in his hometown of New Haven.
Aside from acting in the film, Zimbardi is responsible for writing and producing alongside fellow co-stars Skyler Caleb and Woodrow Wilson Hancock III, and director Anthony Ferrante. 
The film is a psychological horror movie rooted in Germanic folklore that follows a family whose sanity begins to unravel after a mysterious tragedy. The movie stars Zimbardi alongside Dee Wallace (“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Cujo”) and Michael Paré (“The Virgin Suicides,” “Traded.”)
– Andrew DaRosa
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 09: Joaquin Phoenix, winner of the Actor in a Leading Role award for “Joker,” poses in the press room during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rachel Luna/Getty Images)
Executive producer of “Joker,” Richard Baratta, hosted a question and answer session at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Oct. 13, revealing some behind-the-scenes details from the film involving Joaquin Phoenix and his on-set antics.
At the end of production, Baratta recalled that Phoenix gifted crew members a ledger  —  similar to what his character used in the film to write jokes — with funny messages written about them addressed to incorrect names. The message always ended with, “I think we’re going to have to reshoot the movie because of [the department he was writing to].” The producer said his event at the Ridgefield Playhouse was the first time he publicly shared that story.  
– Joseph Tucci
 
AUSTIN, TX – APRIL 28: Chef Lidia Bastianich talks during the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival at Auditorium Shores on April 28, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)
Person to Person, a nonprofit provider of essential services for people in need in Fairfield County, hosted its Transforming Lives Luncheon late October at the Greenwich Country Club, featuring Emmy-winning chef/author and Greenwich resident Lidia Bastianich. Aux Délices owner Debra Ponzek, a James Beard Award-winning chef and cookbook author, moderated the conversation with Bastianich.
– Susie Costaregni
Greenwich resident, journalist and author Joan Lunden was seen shopping at CVS on West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich in late October. 
– Susie Costaregni
Andrew DaRosa is a web producer and reporter with Hearst Connecticut Media Group.
Andrew is an award-winning journalist and holds a degree in digital journalism from Fairfield University.
When he’s not writing, he is spending time with his dogs or going to see live music.
Leeanne Griffin is the food and consumer reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, handling coverage of restaurant openings and closings, trends, events and general news about CT food and beverage businesses.
She’s been working in Connecticut news for more than 15 years, most recently as the food and dining reporter for the Hartford Courant. A native of Worcester, Mass., she holds a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University.

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