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The Sydney Morning Herald: national, world, business, entertainment, sport and technology news from Australia's leading newspaper.

Sydney party for Zeta-Jones

Christine Sams
March 3, 2008
Entourage ... Catherine Zeta-Jones and crew will be here for three

Entourage ... Catherine Zeta-Jones and crew will be here for three days.
Photo: Getty Images

Catherine Zeta-Jones might be an Oscar-winning screen icon but she is more than happy to take a hands-on approach with fans during her visit to Sydney.

Zeta-Jones, who will be here next Monday, has indicated she is more than happy to meet fans when she appears at a red carpet premiere at the State Theatre.

The stunning star, who will be travelling to Sydney with a small entourage that includes her publicist and personal hair and make-up artist, will be in Australia for three days. Her husband Michael Douglas is not expected to accompany her on the short promotional tour.

Members of the public are being encouraged to head down to the State Theatre to cheer her on for the launch of Death Defying Acts, which also stars Guy Pearce. (Pearce will not be at the event because of filming commitments elsewhere.) The film, which was directed by Gillian Armstrong, centres on a story of famous escape artist Harry Houdini and a dangerous love affair.

Another star at the red carpet event will be Saoirse Ronan, the child star from Atonement, who was nominated for an Academy Award this year.

Somewhat appropriately, the stars will attend a VIP after-party at the Zeta Bar at the Sydney Hilton (surely they're loving the name connection, given Zeta-Jones's megastar status).

Zeta-Jones, who has not travelled to Australia before, is due to arrive here next Sunday before a promotional onslaught on Monday, which includes a major press conference on Monday morning and the red carpet premiere that night.

Apart from hectic promotional duties, Zeta-Jones is hoping to see a few local sights.

"Hopefully if the weather's fine we'll be able to whiz her around the harbour or something," said a spokesman for the team organising the visit.

The Death Defying Acts premiere takes place at 6pm next Monday night.

Keanu heads back

Best film news of the week ... word has it Keanu Reeves will be back in Sydney next month as part of a promotional tour. Reeves, who made The Matrix films in Sydney, is expected to be the guest of honour at a red carpet event in mid-April.

There is no word on whether he'll be back on his motorbike in his spare time, wheeling around town and leaving local women in a tizz.

Amy rings in a new gig

When the film Closing The Ring is released on Thursday, Sydney singer Amy Pearson will feature as a key voice on screen.

Pearson, who grew up in Birmingham but has lived in Sydney for four years, sang the theme song for Mischa Barton's character in the film.

Pearson has already performed the song Lost Without Your Love at the film's British premiere but this week she'll be busy touring the country with Trinny and Susannah. She has been booked to perform a couple of songs at each of their appearances during their Australian visit.

Oscar is a dream come true

Surely the coolest thing to come out of this year's Academy Awards ceremony was the win for Once, with musicians (and stars of the film) Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova each taking home a golden statue for best original song.

If you haven't seen the movie or heard the soundtrack, it's really worth making the effort.

This was one of the best films released last year and Hansard, who toured to popular acclaim here with the Frames is one of the most modest, but incredibly gifted, Oscar-winners on the planet.

When I spoke to him during his last Australian visit, he gasped at the notion of being considered for the Oscars (he doubted the fact he would even attend, let alone win one), saying it felt like a far-off dream.

After all (as Hansard said in his Oscars speech) the film Once was made on a handheld camera for $100,000 - a long way from the multimillion-dollar studio films being churned out in Hollywood.

Seeing Hansard and Irglova win their Oscars was proof that fairytales can happen.

Source: The Sun-Herald
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