Fantastic Mr. Mario

Papa Tom Colicchio, a little Colicchio, and Mario Batali at a screening of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox.' Photo: Getty Images

At Tribeca Cinemas yesterday, Mario Batali was impressed with his own cameo in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Batali played Rabbit, a cook, and had two lines. "Wes called me out of the blue and said, ‘Listen, do you want to do this?’ And two weeks later we were taping it," the chef told us after the screening, which benefited his eponymous children’s foundation. "I was in a sound studio on Horatio Street, and Wes was in this fabulous hotel in Paris. He told me what he wanted me to say, and I said it, and it worked." The chef’s confidence was instilled in him by a screen veteran: "Stanley Tucci said I was perfect, and I’m assuming that he probably knows. But I was perfect in a one-line, voice-over kind of way."

Related: See more in our Party Lines slideshow.