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3 items from 2000

Gene Hackman Writes Novel

18 July 2000 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Veteran actor Gene Hackman is taking a break from the big screen - to become a "respected man of letters". The Superman (1978) star has finished his debut novel Wake of the Perido - but says that he is unlikely to take up an offer of writing a sequel and giving up acting for good. The book co-written with underwater archaeologist Dan Lenihan, is a adventure story cast on the high seas. Hackman says, "I said what the heck, why don't we write a novel about pirates, which fascinated me as a kid." But the Hollywood hardman reveals that there was room for improvement in the book - it needed more tension. He explains, "The premise of the novel sounds like a recipe for losing a friend, but we got along great. Maybe it would have been a better book if we'd fought more!" »

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Christopher Reeve: Please Don't Shake My Hand

9 June 2000 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Paralyzed Superman (1978) star Christopher Reeve is fed up with people trying to shake his hand. Reeve, who has been rendered motionless from the neck down since an accident in 1997, says he's infuriated by the number of people who still expect him to shake their hand when they meet. He says, "People often stand next to my shoulder when I meet them and, of course, I can't see them. Also, a lot of people still reach out to shake my hand. It's an automatic reflex, but I just wish that able-bodied people would be more thoughtful when they meet someone who is disabled." Reeve adds that, if you do meet him, the most important thing to remember is eye contact. He says, "The thing to do is step forward, make eye contact, and then touch the right hand without trying to shake it... If someone feels uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong in saying so, but I think they should just realise that we are not frightening. That it doesn't hurt to touch us." »

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Christopher Reeve Campaigns For Embryo Research

25 April 2000 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Christopher Reeve has written an essay in America's prestigious TIME magazine arguing that a federal law banning government funding of research on human embryos should be lifted. Superman (1978) star Reeve, who was paralysed from the neck down in a 1995 horse-riding accident, says researchers believe they can use cells culled from embryos to make body parts or find new therapies for diseases. But government funding is difficult to find because of opposition from anti-abortion forces. In his essay, Reeve says the government should put an end to the debate, as it's wasting life. He writes, "While we prolong the stem-cell debate, millions continue to suffer. It is time to harness the power of government and go forward." Reeve is not the first celebrity to use the magazine as an outlet for a campaign - in the last issue, LEONARDO DiCAPRIO contributed an essay on the environment to coincide with EARTH DAY 2000. »

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