EXCLUSIVE: UPDATE, 1:08 PM: The language will probably not be R-rated but looks like Vancouver’s favorite son is also going to be mixing with President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at tonight’s White House shindig. Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively are among the guests attending the state dinner Thursday, I’ve learned.
This comes after we already revealed earlier today that Saturday Night Live chief and Toronto-native Lorne Michaels has a seat at the dinner.
Vancouver-born Reynolds, who made the Marvel blockbuster in his home town last year, isn’t the only Western Canadian who’ll be a guest under the Executive Mansion roof tonight either. Edmonton-born Michael J. Fox and wife Tracey Pollen, who was born in Long Island, are also going to see POTUS and the PM. Retired NBA star Grant Hill and his Winsor, Ontario-born singer-songwriter Tamia will be there too, sources tell me.
(2:18 PM – The White House has released the official list and all Deadline’s scoops are on it. No studio heads are attending but among the corporate CEOs and media types from the likes of NPR and Reuters, Mike Myers as well as former Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh will be there too. Both of the thespians are from our norther neighbor.)
PREVIOUS, 10:31 AM: The tenth state dinner of the Obama administration tonight will see Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau breaking bread and sampling some canapés with Saturday Night Live’s long term boss. Toronto-born Lorne Michaels will be among the top Great White North expats joining the recently elected PM and President Barack Obama at the White House, sources tell me.
Having left Canada back in the late 1960s, SNL creator Michaels actually steered the debut of the show back in 1975 when current PM Trudeau’s father Pierre was Prime Minister of Canada. The late night show was then called NBC’s Saturday Night. It changed its name to Saturday Night Live in 1977. Except for 5-years in the 1980s, when the elder Trudeau was finishing out his last term, Michaels has run SNL since it premiered.
Michaels is no stranger to hanging with the Executive Branch – at least not lately. He and Tina Fey were joined by Vice-President Joe Biden at an advance screening of their pic Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in D.C. last month. I also hear that MPAA chief Chris Dodd, who hosted that February 23 screening, will likely be attending the soirée tonight too.
While a full guest list has yet to be released by the White House, tonight’s black tie event will likely be a far cry from the last state dinner the Obama put on. Last September, Hollywood heavyweights of Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos and DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg were in the house with the Chinese President. Exclusively revealed by Deadline, that guest list was all about, to quote a certain GOP contender’s huge bestseller, the art of the deal with access and more to the world’s biggest market on the media mogul’s trigger fingers. Tonight, even if Drake, Seth Rogen, Justin Bieber or Calgary-born Sen. Ted Cruz, don’t show up, seems to be about good neighbors.