In Hollywood, there's safety in pairs. Stars couple up with eachother constantly (TomKat, Brangelina, Ellen and Portia, Jay-Z andBeyoncé, et al.) in a quest to find a partner to tackle the publictumult of Tinseltown. Who else but another celebrity can relate to thedrama of navigating Los Angeles' paparazzi traps or being busted byPerez Hilton looking "shiteous"?
Flying just below the radar of the super-duper famous, DannyMasterson and Bijou Phillips are nonetheless the epitome of theHollywood power couple. Between them, they make movies, record music, DJaround the planet, model, own trendy restaurants with other celebs,throw parties and lead a fabulously cool life that makes us mere mortalsgreen with envy.
Danny wears waistcoat by Rag & Bone, shirt by Conference ofBirds, pants and tie by Band of Outsiders and vintage belt fromScreaming Mimi's.
Danny and Bijou fell in love four years ago, at a celebrity-packedpoker tournament in Las Vegas, where they were seated next to each otherat the card table (Masterson is a hardcore poker player). "I was askinghim for advice," Phillips remembers, over lunch at the The Waffle onSunset Boulevard. Her voice is girlish and chipper, and at 28, Phillipsstill looks weirdly like a teenager. "Every guy at the table wasflirting with me but Danny. He wasn't laughing at my jokes. I was like,who is this Danny Masterson and what does he think he's doing?" Phillipshad just gotten out of a long-term relationship with Sean Lennon and isthe type of girl who's used to being hit on. "We started texting thatnight," she continues. "We've been together four years. It's been reallycheesy and peaceful. There's no craziness or neediness. It's the way itshould be."
Masterson and Phillips didn't want to be interviewed together, so Imeet Masterson two days later. He's lounging on a big chair in thedimly-lit lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel, where he hosted a live jazzparty at the hotel club, Teddy's, the night before. The first time hemet Phillips, he tells me, was at a party he threw in Sunset Plaza.Phillips was 15 years old, a notorious media wild-child, vamping inCalvin Klein's infamously pulled "kiddie porn" billboards and having herdisco-pades reported on Page Six regularly. "I had only known her as thelittle crazy girl," Masterson says with a sly smile. "After Vegas, andtalking to her a few times, I was shocked by how unbelievablyintelligent she was. She knew every book I had ever read. I was like,this girl is amazing."
Recently, the couple finished three movies together, among them Made for Each Other in which they star with Masterson's youngerbrother Christopher and their close friend Lauren German (probably bestknown for her role as the hitchhiker in the 2003 remake of The TexasChainsaw Massacre). They filmed the indie last August in a big housein Connecticut. "That's the way to do it," says Phillips. "If you'regoing to make movies and get all your friends in it, it's awesome."
The two will also star together, along with Ving Rhames, in actorBlair Underwood's upcoming directorial debut, The Bridge toNowhere. Phillips plays a prostitute who falls in love with herpimp, played by Masterson. "It's not easy," Masterson laments aboutacting with his girlfriend. "We have different work styles. When I'm atwork, I'm working and when she's at work, she still sort of wants to beboyfriend and girlfriend. I'm like, we can chat later. I found myselfbeing a bit rude to her. I felt like an asshole. It was fun at one timeand then it became more and more difficult, to the point where now wehave decided to never ever do scenes together. We can be in a movietogether, but not in the same scene."
Masterson's been acting professionally since he was five years old.As a child growing up in an Irish family in Long Island, he did hundredsof commercials for brands like Hostess and Tang. "I loved Tang at thetime," he adds. "I ended up projectile vomiting it for hours. You'resupposed to spit it out. I didn't really have sugar as a kid in my houseso it was like a fucking field day." Masterson starred on That '70sShow for eight years, although he claims to have only watched theshow about 15 times. He's still tight with fellow '70s alum AshtonKutcher, with whom he co-owns the popular restaurants Dolce and GeishaHouse. "I see Kutcher every Sunday," he says. "We're part of the samefantasy football league."
Since That '70s Show, Masterson has morphed into a mini-mogulof hip. He just opened a new restaurant (with celebrity partners MarkRonson and Steve Aoki), a sleek Korean barbeque in Hollywood calledShin. In October, he debuted Confederacy, a massive, high-end clothingstore and hangout space in East Hollywood, with uber-stylist IlariaUrbinati running the show. And he's making movies like mad, the latestbeing the big budget Yes Man with Jim Carrey.
Opposites attract when it comes to Masterson and Phillips' favoriteways to let loose. Masterson is all about poker, a game Bijou tells meshe finds "boring, boring." Their house has a " giant poker room and artgallery, with a 50-inch TV and a bar," boasts Masterson, who alsocollects guns. "I have lots of guns. I go to firing ranges all the time.It's so much fun." Phillips drives daily to a stable in Burbank, whereshe keeps two horses. "It's my favorite thing," she raves of riding. Onthe back of Phillips' Dodge Ram a bumper sticker announces: "My horse ismore pampered than my boyfriend." Phillips says her love of horsesinspired her vegan diet. "I have horses and they don't eat meat. I likethat we have that in common. I could feed them my sandwich and they'd betotally fine." Meanwhile, Masterson tells me he's allergic to horses.Phillips has to wash her hands vigorously before returning home from thestable. "She'll give me a hug and I'll start itching on my neck," hesays. "I am very allergic to fucking animals." And Masterson is novegan. "Danny eats meat. He almost only eats meat," Phillips laughs."We're totally yin and yang."
Life with Masterson has visibly mellowed Phillips. Her calm demeanoris far from that of the hyper It Girl I first met in New York over adecade ago. Phillips readily admits that she's changed a lot. "I'mdefinitely more mature. All that weird stuff you have as a kid, whereyou overanalyze every situation, I don't have that stuff anymore. Andthat's a blessing. I don't wonder what people think about me. That'spart of growing up. You finally know who you are. I wouldn't go back toanywhere below 25 if you paid me."
It's hard not to mention that both Masterson and Phillips are devoutScientologists. At one point, Phillips goes off on a long tangent aboutthe dangers of psychiatrists medicating patients for depression oranxiety. "My grandparents didn't take any pills and they were fine. Justbuck up and get over it. Stop being such a fucking pansy," she says, herbird-like voice taking on a deeper tone. I ask Masterson if Scientologyhelps him be successful in Hollywood. "The definition of Scientology is'the study of knowledge,'" he explains carefully. "Obviously, the moreknowledge you have in a given field, such as life, the more confidentyou are as a person. I don't feel any pressure from Hollywood at all.It's 80 percent a community of artists creating art -- there's no pressuremaking art, it's a necessity."
Later in the week, at Shin, the couple sits around a table with apack of friends. In L.A., people often describe places as having "a NewYork vibe" and the scene at Shin has an urban edginess. "We're NewYorkers living in L.A.," Bijou says. "I think New Yorkers do things alittle bit better. I bet if you looked at New Yorkers in relationshipsas compared to people from L.A. in relationships, New Yorkers have morelong-term relationships." As they leave, they hold hands. Mastersonalways drives the car, tonight it's his 1970 Porsche 911S. "He's Irishand stubborn," Phillips says. It's a perfect starry L.A. night, and loveis in the air.
Makeup by Amy Chance forChanel/celestineagency.com * Hair by Johnny Stuntz at PhotogenicsBeauty Smashbox
(Danny) Hair: John Frieda Frizz-Ease * Fragrance: Gucci byGucci
(Bijou) Hair: Sebastian Professional Whipped Crème *Foundation: Chanel Lift Lumiére * Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast * Lipcolor: Maybelline Superstay in Strawberry * Fragrance: Daisy MarcJacobs