22 November 2005
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Clooney Denies Bush Attack in New Film
Hollywood star George Clooney
has rubbished claims his latest movie is a veiled attack on President George W Bush
- but refuses to apologize for the film's politically sensitive themes. Syriana
- a political thriller focusing on the oil industry - has sparked controversy for its sympathetic portrayal of two Pakistani boys who become suicide bombers, but Clooney is adamant their story must be told. And he is disgusted by claims the film, in which he plays a CIA agent, singles out George Bush for criticism, arguing it is an attack on "the system" rather than a particular person. He says, "There are going to be people who will be very angry at the idea that we took a couple of suicide bombers and showed how they could be formed, instead of just categorizing them as evil. I'm an old-time liberal and I don't apologize for it. With Syriana we're going to get beaten up politically in some places. Fair enough, because we've taken a stand. It is not an attack on the Bush administration but it is an attack on the system that has been in place for 60 or 70 years - oil always being at the center of it."
Pastore Pleads Guilty to Attempted Assault
Former The Sopranos
star Vincent Pastore
has finally had the opportunity to plead guilty to attempting to assault his ex-girlfriend Lisa Regina
in April. The actor's case was delayed after a disagreement over what type of anger management course was suitable for the volatile actor. But yesterday's proceedings saw Pastore ordered to perform 70 hours of community service, attend six months of therapy and pay a $190 fine as part of his conditional discharge. The 59-year-old made a plea bargain with police after the incident, in which Regina was punched in the back of her head. When asked by the judge yesterday whether he intended to hit his ex, Pastore admitted, "Yes, I did." The actor played gangster Salvatore Bonpensiero, or Big Pussy, on the hit TV show.
Bisexual Rumors Flatter Gyllenhaal
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal
is flattered by rumors he is bi-sexual, even though he insists he is only attracted to women. Gyllenhaal, who plays a homosexual cowboy in new movie Brokeback Mountain
alongside Heath Ledger
, has never had a gay experience - but he isn't afraid of the possibility of having a sexual relationship with another man. He says, "You know it's flattering when there's a rumor that says I'm bisexual. It means I can play more kinds of roles. I'm open to whatever people want to call me. I've never really been attracted to men sexually, but I don't think I would be afraid of it if it happened."
Banks' Emotional Goodbye to Her Modeling Career
Supermodel Tyra Banks
had an emotional family reunion on her US talk show last night when her mother surprised her to mark the end of her career as a model. Banks staged a special show to pay tribute to her years as a top model, featuring highlights from her last catwalk appearance - a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show earlier this month. And then she invited her mother, Carolyn London, an occasional guest on the show, to quiz her about her career. But London had other ideas - she'd invited her daughter's family and friends to join her on the show. Banks was so overcome with emotion as her father, brother, grandfather, grandmother and numerous friends walked out onto the studio stage, producers had to cut to commercials. There were more tears at the end of the program as stars like Seal
, Ricky Martin
and her one-time rival Naomi Campbell
sent the model good luck wishes and she debuted images from her final catwalk session, which will air on the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in America on December 6. She said, "I can't believe that I'm finally doing this but it's time for me to hang up my wings and me hanging up my wings does signify me hanging up my entire modeling career."
Director: "Clinton & Jackson Cost 'Casanova' a Fair Rating"
Movie-maker Lasse Halstrom
blames Bill Clinton
and Janet Jackson
for the fact his new Casanova
epic has been rated strictly by US censors. The Scandinavian director insists attempts to clean up the media after Clinton's romance with Monica Lewinsky
and Jackson's breast-baring scandal at the 2004 Super Bowl have cost harmless films, like Casanova
, the chance to get fairer ratings. He says, "Casanova
is 'R' rated, which is such a stupid American thing. From my experience (with Cider House Rules
), I had to cut out thrusts between Tobey Maguire
and Charlize Theron
; a half a thrust is OK for PG-13. It's crazy. For this film, I think the Motion Picture Association of America had a problem with the under-the-table scene (in which an underage teenager frolics with Casnova Heath Ledger
during a ball). So it got an 'R', which is a pretty dramatic decision and the wrong one. It made this whole thing escalate after Clinton and (Janet) Jackson showing one tit at a football game. Had this film been made a few years ago it would've been rated PG-13."
'Rush Hour' Returns
, Jackie Chan
and director Brett Ratner
have signed up to make a third Rush Hour
movie. After years of negotiations and speculation the trio will team up again for Rush Hour 3
, with a fourth film still to be determined. As part of the deal, funnyman Tucker will earn $20 million for signing up and a further 20 per cent of the gross. Chan will pick up $15 million and 15 percent of the gross. Rush Hour 2
was a global smash hit, raking in over $320 million. Shooting on the third film will begin next summer. It's expected to hit cinemas in the summer of 2007.
Hoskins Makes Naked First
Hollywood veteran Bob Hoskins
appears naked on screen for the first time in new British film Mrs. Henderson Presents
. The 62-year-old actor, who stars alongside Dame Judi Dench
in the bawdy theatre story, was not ashamed to bare all and is keen to repeat his strip-tease again. He says, "I had no qualms about taking my clothes off as it's essential to the plot and it's in a scene where virtually everyone else is naked too. It was only when we were preparing to strip off that I realized I was the only old wrinkly and that the rest were much younger. But it didn't bother me that much and I would happily strip off again."
Dylan Student Poetry Auctioned
Handwritten pages of Bob Dylan
's student poetry have fetched a staggering $78,000 at a Rock & Pop Memorabilia auction in New York - the highest bid to date for the legendary singer/songwriter's material. Yesterday's sale at Christie's also marked the earliest Dylan memorabilia ever to go under the hammer. The rare manuscripts, which make up 16 pages, date from his student days at the University of Minnesota. A Christie's spokesperson says, "While some of the poems are rooted in his daily university life and reference his Jewish heritage with Yiddish phrases, the wit and irony pervasive in his later songwriting are already evident." The verses were purchased by an anonymous private European interest. Eric Clapton
's Fender composite Stratocaster electric guitar, circa 1959, was the second biggest sale of the day, reaching $36,000.
Ono: "Chapman Tapes Are Macabre"
's widow Yoko Ono
has attacked US broadcaster NBC for choosing to mark the 25th anniversary of her late husband's murder with the broadcasting of an interview with his killer. Chilling recordings of Lennon's assassin Mark David Chapman
describing the late Beatle's death on December 8, 1980 are to be aired on television in Britain and America next month. The tapes, recorded in the early 1990s by Chapman's biographer Jack Jones, trace the killer's disturbing "compulsion" to murder the hitmaker. Ono's spokesman, Elliot Mintz
tells the New York Daily News, "The timing of this is macabre. She thinks it's outrageous. We're not going to learn anything new from him. NBC granted an assassin's wish. It sends out a message to other disturbed people that killing is a way to fame."
James Bond Aston Martin Up for Auction
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The Aston Martin driven in three James Bond movies will go under the hammer at an auction in Phoenix, Arizona, on the January 20 next year. The silver 1964 DB5, which featured in Goldfinger
, is expected to raise over $1 million. One of four cars built especially for the 007 films, the car's ejector seat has been replaced with a regular passenger seat, but its twin machine gun headlights, wheel mounted tire slashers, oil slick ejector and revolving number plates all come as part of the deal. Gangster Al Capone
's 1928 Cadillac will also be up for sale at the auction, as will Hank Williams Jr.
's 1964 Pontiac Bonneville.