The Lazy Genius Collective

Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't.

Be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't.

The Celebrities I'd Invite Over for Dinner

Tis the season of hosting parties and going to parties and wanting to leave parties. Cheers.

Can we dream up a really baller one? With famous people as guests because obviously? You decide: super casual, frilly and formal, someone else cooks, you cook, whatever. And you can invite anyone you want. This is serious business. Get to it.

I've given this question a lot of thought over the years (not a typo), and my list will never be final. But if we all waited for things to be perfect, we'd die still waiting. So here you go.

Clockwise from the left in case you're my mom and don't recognize some people:
Emma Watson // Seth Meyers // Tina Fey // Matt Damon // Rosario Dawson // Conan O'Brien // me // Benedict Cumberbatch // Meryl Streep // Tom Hanks // Emily Blunt // John Krasinski

My Celebrity Dinner Party Requirements

1. Accents

British accents are my favorite, and if there was another seat at the table, I'd add an Australian Hemsworth. But Emily, Emma, and Benedict are perfectly acceptable. And I put the most important accent right next to me at the table so that he'll make quiet, clever comments that only I can hear. And then I'll DIE. 

2. Clout

If the loudest, funniest person at your table thinks they're the top dog, you're in trouble. (cough) Conan (cough). You need someone who can center the group, quietly commanding respect without being a jerk about it. For that, we need the most loved and revered actor and actress of this generation who also happen to be very funny. Welcome to my home, Tom and Meryl. I've been waiting for this day. 

3. People Who Ask Good Questions

Seth wins at this. And I've seen enough interviews (my priorities are great don't judge) of with all of these people to know that they actually have a good sense of when to dig a little deeper into story and how to ask a question without being rote or annoying. People who ask good questions? Essential.

4. Rapport

Whether your party is real or imaginary, you can't be the only glue that holds your guests together. Everyone needs to be connected with at least somebody at the table, and this table has plenty of good ones. 

  • Emily and Meryl starred in The Devil Wears Prada and Into the Woods.
  • Matt and John were in Promised Land.
  • John and Emily are married.
  • Tina and Seth were on SNL.
  • Conan has interviewed almost all of these people, some multiple times with real developed friendships.
  • Benedict and Meryl were in August: Osage County.

You get the idea.

5. Hot Dudes

Benedict is my number one. Can I just have dinner with him, wait never mind. But if I added my other top guys alongside (James McAvoy, Chris Messina, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine... anyone named Chris is NOT ALLOWED), I'd be rendered lifeless. Death is only appropriate at dinner parties when you're playing that murder mystery game, and even then it's a tossup. So we pepper in hot men but not ones that will kill me - Matt, John, and Seth. Amen. 

6. Smart People Who Are Funny

Rosario Dawson is super smart. So is Emma Watson. Seth is quietly intuitive and articulate, and you forget that he's almost more smart than funny. Matt is majorly into social justice and philanthropy. Meryl is, well, Meryl. But all of these folks have tremendous senses of humor. Again, you need both, but not everyone can run the comedy show all the time. 

7. Funny People Who Are Smart

This is my most important category, solo dinner with Benedict Cumberbatch not withstanding. I love someone with humor and brains, and Tina and Conan have both in spades. Without them, I would postpone the party in a second.

8. People Who Give Thoughtful Answers

All of them. Every single one.

Joaquin Phoenix might be a fun guest for three minutes before everything turns quiet and awkward. Johnny Depp is supremely interesting, but he's quiet and reserved and people wouldn't know when he was done talking because of all the pauses and scarf adjustments. Inviting a vault over for dinner just doesn't work. Fill your table with people who are generous with themselves. That's how great dinner parties - and relationships - happen.

Are you embarrassed at how much thought I've put into this? I'm not. It's how I do Friday, y'all. Stress=RELIEVED.

Tell me about your imaginary dinner party, please!