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Billy Crudup Charms During TropFest NY

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Oct. 1 2008, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

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While Julianne Moore stays locked inside her VIP suite, The Hills star Whitney Port causes a Britney Spears-style frenzy when she enters TropFest NY, the world’s largest short film festival held at World Financial Center Plaza in NYC. She flips her blonde mane as she saunters away from the melee. A camera crew captures her every move.

Billy Crudup is remarkably relaxed and friendly when he arrives. “Hey, how’s it going?” the ex of Mary-Louise Parker and Claire Danes begins. Donning a flannel, the handsome devil who is judging the festival doesn’t have all the answers, but at least he’s nice about it – even if he doesn’t want to go there.

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“What surprised you about your Public Enemies costar Johnny Depp?” I ask.

“I actually didn’t work with him,” he responds. “Most of my stuff was with Christian Bale because I played J. Edgar Hoover and Christian Bale played Purvis, the FBI guy who got Dillinger. I wasn’t involved with Depp.”

OK, well what about Christian Bale?

“He played Agent Purvis, the guy who catches Dillinger. Basically I sat behind the desk and gave him orders. It’s a very small part. The story is really about Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.”

A-ha. Since TropFest is imported from Australia, what does Billy like to do when he’s Down Under? “I’ve never been to Australia. I have been to New Zealand but I’m learning that that’s not Australia.”  

Luckily, Delta Goodrem is Australian and she’s here to usher in the NYC version of her country’s famed festival. She recommends visiting Torranga Zoo in Sydney and taking in Ayers Rock in Alice Springs.

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She coos with delight when I tell her Olivia Newton-John sang her praises this summer. The duo recorded Right Here With You for ONJ's Celebration In Song CD, which also includes duets with Keith Urban, Richard Marx and Jann Arden. Proceeds benefit The Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre.

“Ohh! We always call each other up if we’ve got charities coming up, and say ‘can you help me out here?’” Delta, 23, who battled Hodgkin's Disease at 18, tells me. “She’s beautiful. She’s been a wonderful guiding light to me.”

We hear Josh Lucas is on deck at the afterparty. He’s always a good time.

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