|Fri, 28 Mar 2003|
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Famous? Why not get married (again)…
By Trixy Honore
What’s with Christina Ricci and one-word movie titles?
The raven-haired actress will soon be starring in werewolf flick ‘Cursed’, directed by horror-master Wes Craven, and (as you may well have heard) she’s currently playing Charlize Theron’s lover in ‘Monster’. Well, I guess the titles are punchy and to-the-point, and I’m certainly not complaining: ‘Cursed’ is looking very promising — especially as the movie sees Craven back with writer of the fab ‘Scream’ trilogy Kevin Williamson.
Skipping on from a horror pic to a rom-com flick…. Bet you’ll never guess who the latest romantic comedy star is! Would you believe it’s Mr Muscle himself Vin Diesel (‘xXx’)?
He’s segueing from hard-living hero to a giant, well, Giant — a New York Giants football player, actually. The film’s called, um, ‘NY Giant’, and in it Diesel plays a louty sports star forced to take etiquette lessons to clean up his act. He and his prissy manners teacher don’t rub each other up the right way initially, but in a shock twist they land up falling in love!
Speaking of bad: The US attack on Iraq has been termed a war of the rich by many, but there are plenty of not-so-hard-up stars coming out against it — amongst them Heath Ledger (‘Ten Things I Hate About You’, ‘A Knight’s Tale’, ‘Patriot’). When the bombardment of Baghdad began the Australian heartthrob said: "I think John ‘Coward’ [Howard — the Australian Prime Minister] should just grow up. He’s so subservient to this guy [George Bush] and they’re sending 250 000 troops over there — why should we send our 2000? It makes no difference."
But the attack (technically the US hasn’t actually declared war on anyone since World War II — not on Vietnam, Korea, Nicaragua, Haiti, etc…. but that’s another story!) is making a difference to some — even in the insular world of Lala Land. The release date of the new Meg Ryan movie has been pushed out, for one.
Ryan stars in the boxing comedy (now there’s a combination!) ‘Against the Ropes’. "Our campaign was poised to go on air and we became concerned that our message would be lost amidst the current war coverage," explains Paramount Pictures spokesperson Nancy Kirkpatrick. One media campaign ousts another….
The usual media circus surrounding Hollywood’s biggest night of the year — the Oscars — was toned down somewhat, but the attending stars weren’t hesitant to express their views.
Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins were seen flashing peace signs as they arrived at the Kodak Theatre and there were many peace pins visible on some very expensive outfits.
But the Iraqi conflict wasn’t the only big Oscar night upset: there were quite a few surprise wins — amongst them Eminem’s Oscar for Best Song (for ‘Lose Yourself’ from his movie ‘8 Mile’). Actually, it was so much of a surprise that it caught even the winner off guard. Marshall Mathers hadn’t bothered to trek to Hollywood and get spruced up for the big event, so the song’s co-writer Luis Resto accepted the award alone.
And when Resto called Eminem at his home in Detroit after the ceremony, he discovered that the Academy Award-winning rapper had been fast asleep! "It wasn't out of any disrespect. We just didn't expect to win," explained Resto. Feel free to wake me up with an Oscar anytime!
‘The Pianist’, too, confounded all expectations to become the night’s second big winner, after ‘Chicago’. I was dumbfounded to see my favourite win in the Best Actor category — I was holding thumbs of course, but I never thought Adrien Brody would actually walk off with the little bronze statuette! And more than a few jaws dropped at the announcement of Roman Polanski’s win for Best Director. ‘The Pianist’ director was, of course, not on hand to receive his Oscar, as he faces jail time if he ever sets foot in the US again, owing to a statutory rape conviction.
He was reported to be absolutely thrilled about his shock win. I don’t doubt it — that shiny little Best Director statuette is one of the few bright spots in Polanski’s quite unbelievably tortured life. As a child in Poland he lived through the Nazi holocaust without his parents — they were both sent to a concentration camp, where his mother died. Then in the late 1960s he moved to Hollywood, but the land of dreams was nothing but a nightmare for Polanski, whose young, pregnant wife Sharon Tate was brutally murdered by the Charles Manson gang in 1969. (See iafrica.com’s profile, "Polanski: Hollywood exile with a troubled past")
Said Brody of acting in the movie that won him and Polanski their Oscars: "My experiences of making this film made me very aware of the sadness and the dehumanisation of people at times of war and the repercussions of war. Whoever you believe in, whether it’s Allah or God, may he watch over you and let’s pray for a peaceful and swift resolution."
His impromptu speech got a standing ovation from the star-spangled Oscar audience. But his turn on stage wasn’t entirely serious — he also managed to snog Halle Berry while he was up there!
Also having a tongue-in-cheek Oscar moment was Catherine Zeta-Jones, who remarked of her Best Supporting Actress statue: "I’ll be putting this one in the middle of my husband’s two Oscars, but a little bit in front of his!"
Not quite as lucky as CZ-J is her ‘Chicago’ co-star Renee Zelwegger — who lost the Best Actress Oscar to Nicole Kidman (just too many great female performances this year), and isn’t having much luck on the man front either. Despite all her recent cryptic comments about her feelings for George Clooney the two of them still don’t look any closer to actually getting it together.
And in case you thought all your dating woes would just dry up if only you were a movie star — I have to tell you, even the stars struggle. Renee says she was reeling them in back in the days when no-one knew how to pronounce her surname properly. But now they know the name, they’re just not saying it: "Now, nobody asks. I don’t know why. I don’t say, ‘Excuse me, I was wondering, has it crossed your mind to invite me to lunch? And if not, why not?’. I really don’t meet people. And when I do, they don’t really talk about normal stuff." I’m sure. By the way, would you mind taking a quick look at this script I’ve written?
Still, seems Renee might not be as lonesome as all that…. She was reportedly kept company ’till 4am, at the Mirimax post-Oscars bash, by TV-millionaire Michael Edwards-Hammond.
"He was telling everyone how he believed she should have won it [the Best Actress Oscar] because she is such a talented actress," the UK’s Daily Sport quotes an fellow partygoer as saying. Apparently the couple also spent a weekend at Renee’s LA home recently, not to mention they were spotted snogging at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Could it be she’s managed to meet someone after all?
One poplet who looks as if she’s putting her love worries behind her (wouldn’t hold my breath, though!) is — believe it or not — Britney Spears. She rumoured to be have been dating hot MTV-Asia VJ Mike Kasem for the past few weeks. And it seems Kasem is a good, wholesome, clean-living influence on Brit. Since hooking up with him Britney’s reportedly cut back on her partying, and Kasem is said to be keen for Britney to give up drinking entirely.
"Britney's a super talent and my son thinks she's a great girl," said Mike’s Dad Casey Kaseem to a UK tabloid.
Then there’s another (somewhat older) celeb, who’s never had any trouble finding a partner. In fact, Billy Bob Thornton has found the woman he wants to marry — for the sixth time!
Thornton told US Weekly that he’s engaged to model Danielle Dotzenrod, whom he’s been dating for six months. Billy only recently split up with fellow Tinseltowner Angelina Jolie after two years of marriage — actually, their divorce isn’t even final yet. But though Billy’s five-times bitten, he’s still not shy of marriage. He’s even gone out and bought his model fiancé a huge three-carat diamond ring worth well over $1 million (that’s R8 million plus).
Hope this one lasts!
J. Lo — another big fan of marriage — is making sure everything’s to her liking before walking down the aisle for the third time. Seems she’s now got Ben Affleck learning her native tongue, Spanish. But it’s no problem for Affleck: he’s reportedly quite adapt at languages and picking it up fast. I wait with baited breath to see what’s next for lucky hubby number three!
On to another great fan of wedded bliss — many-times-married Elizabeth Taylor. This screen legend, with a career spanning six decades, has decided to retire from acting to concentrate full-time on her Aids activism.
"That will be my swansong on the stage," said the two-time Academy Award winner to Access Hollywood about her last Oscars appearance. "I've retired from acting; it doesn't really interest me that much anymore. It seems kind of superficial, because now my life is Aids, not acting."
In the end, though, she didn’t actually make it to the Oscars for her ‘swansong’ — she told the ceremony’s producers that she felt "saddened" by the Iraqi conflict and that it would have been "tasteless and inappropriate" for her to attend.
But let’s not forgot those less fortunate than Billy, J. Lo and Liz… because some celebs aren’t blessed with quite as many spouses — in fact, some have all kinds of trouble finding a man who isn’t already married, like Monica Lewinsky.
Who knows, though; maybe she’ll be able to nab a nice guy on her new reality TV show (yes, yet another one!). Since her career in politics went down the tubes Lewinsky has been designing handbags — now she adds TV host to her résumé.
Her show kicks off next month and is entitled ‘Mr Personality’. In it, the guys have to impress a female contestant using just (you guessed it) their personalities — their looks are only revealed at the end.
Hey, it sounds like it could be fun, and it can’t be worse for her career than her last boyfriend was….
Nicholas Cage and Bruce Willis have a fair number of ex-marriages between them, but lately those woes have been somewhat overshadowed by having their identities stolen! Nic Cage was impersonated by one of his own assistants, who’d been making endorsement deals in Cage’s name. The fake Bruce, on the other hand, got involved in an internet romance with Tennessee songwriter Marria Willard, posing as the ‘Die Hard’ star.
Willis is suing the impostor in the LA Superior Court and has made it pretty clear that it wasn’t him online — but Marria is having none of it: "At first I didn't believe it was him." Good work Marria. But then, she says, "He revealed things only Bruce Willis would know." Um, yes. I can only say that it pays to be ultra skeptical when dating super-stars online….
And with that sage piece of advice I leave you, dear readers. But next week I’ll tell you about J. Lo’s horror as she watched $1.5 million go down the plughole, and, if you thought Trekkies were the most enthusiastic TV-show fans on the planet, just wait ’till you hear what some ‘Buffy’-lovers have been up to!
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