Hollywood tightens belts (and eats less) during recession

Martinshorttomhanks Even Hollywood stars -- Tom Hanks, Martin Short, Bruce Vilanche, Jay Leno, Christine Lahti and Helen Mirren --  were talking about the recession at the recent 2009 Backstage at the Geffen fundraiser, honoring Leslie Moonves, president and chief exec of CBS, and Rita (Mrs. Tom Hanks) Wilson.

"We're using a family loofah now," Martin Short joked with The Dish Rag. "We used to have individual ones.  Not anymore."

He added, more seriously, "Whether you have to cut back or not, it almost seems inappropriate to spend incorrectly. It's kind of icky to ignore what's going on. There's no one not affected. Who are we kidding?  Some of the richest people I know have said, 'Whatever you had, you have 30 percent less.' It affects everyone we know. If you had a thousand dollars and a solid job, you wouldn't spend that thousand now. You'd wait. Or you wouldn't go on that vacation or buy that watch, and that's what people are doing."

"However," he adds, "I just have this feeling that it's all going to get better soon." His guesstimate?  "October 2009." Now that's optimistic.

Comedy writer Bruce Vilanch is also cutting back big time. On food!

"I lost 77 pounds, so I'm cutting back," Vilanch told The Dish Rag. "The pasta industry took a direct hit when I had lap band surgery and decided to lose weight. I feel like I've done my part. I've got to get pants that fit. I'm terrified to get them. I like everything falling off of me."

"Right now I've just been wary of anything that's extra," actress Eva La Rue from "CSI" told DR. "Anything that I had planned with the yard or garden and decorating, all those projects are hold. What I'm trying not to cut back on though is charitable contributions.  The people that need it the most are going to get hit the hardest."

Anyone got any suggestions on how Hollywood should start cutting back? Let's give these folks some real common-sense economizing tips.

Drive your own limo? Mow your own lawn? Cook your own meals? How about doing a few loads of laundry? Shop at Target?

Related recession posts:

Julia Roberts is confident Barack Obama can fix the recession.

Photo: Martin Short and Tom Hanks at the Geffen fundraiser. WireImage

Reporting: Leah Sydney

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