9 items from 2009
Hugh Jackman insists he can't win when it comes to rumours about his sexuality - because he isn't gay, but doesn't want fans to think there's anything shameful about same sex couples.
The Australia star has been dismissing the reports for years - and simply wishes they'd go away.
He addresses the ongoing saga in the upcoming issue of Parade magazine, stating, "I’d be happy to go and deny it, because I’m not (gay). But, by denying it, I’m saying there is something shameful about it, and there isn’t anything shameful."
The married father of two adopted kids only hears the rumours about his sexuality when he's in America: "The questions about sexuality I find more here in America than anywhere else, because it’s a big hang-up and defines what people think about themselves and others. It’s not a big issue in Australia." »
Luhrmann approached the divas and asked them to participate in the big musical production number he staged at the 2009 Oscars, according to website GoldDerby.com, but they both turned him down.
Sources tell the website Streep was asked to stand up from her seat in the audience and "belt out a few bars" of Mamma Mia! while Streisand was reportedly asked to appear onstage to sing Somewhere from West Side Story.
Streep declined the offer immediately, but Luhrmann even went to Streisand's home in Malibu, California in a bid to woo the singer/actress.
The source explains, "She dropped out at the last moment."
Luhrmann declined to comment about the report. »
And the pair joined forces for a night of sing-a-long fun during a break in their hectic schedules.
Jackman's representative says, "Hugh was there celebrating completion of his promo tour for Australia with director Baz Luhrmann and friends. About 1am, the cast of Twilight came in and they all joined in." »
But the high profile stars and huge budget failed to impress film experts - who gave the movie a lukewarm reception upon its release last November.
However, the negative press failed to discourage consumers heading to theatres across Australia - putting it just behind Crocodile Dundee as the country's second biggest earning movie, taking in A$36,786,730 (U.S.$23,528,302/£16,596,280).
Twentieth Century Fox representative Marc Wooldridge says, "The on-going box office success of Australia has been outstanding, and a unique testament to the way the film has been embraced by this country."
Australia has grossed almost $200 million (£142 million) worldwide to date. »
Fun-loving Oscars host Hugh Jackman has given pal Nicole Kidman a pass at the Academy Awards - he won't be poking fun at her. The actor, who teamed up with Kidman in Australia, insists the actress can rest assured she won't be facing any embarrassment at the Oscars - because he knows she'll be mortified if he picks on her.
He explains, "Nic is notoriously shy... At the (2004) Tonys, Nicole was sitting in the front row, and she looked up at me and mouthed, 'Don't you dare!'"
But Jackman insists other stars should be prepared to take the stage at the Oscars - and play along with his pranks.
The star, who famously performed pelvic thrusts on a red-faced Sarah Jessica Parker when he hosted the Tony Awards, tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "I do love things going off script. I hope there'll be some spontaneity. If people know what to expect, then your party's dead." »
Kidman was recently quoted as saying that she "can't look at this movie and be proud of what I've done", adding that she couldn't "connect to it emotionally".
But the actress is adamant her comments, in an interview with Sydney radio station 2day FM, were taken out of context - because she was actually referring to her whole body of work, claiming she can never bear to watch herself onscreen.
A representative for Kidman tells Australian newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald, "It is quite ridiculous for anyone to believe the reports if they listened to the actual interview. It's hard to believe some of the world's media have fallen for it." »
The star appears opposite Hugh Jackman as British aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley in the movie, but Kidman admits she feels no pride for her work - because she "couldn't connect emotionally" to her character.
And she was so appalled by her own acting when she saw the film in full at its November premiere in Sydney, she and husband Keith Urban took the first plane out of the country so she didn't have to face the criticism.
Speaking recently on Sydney radio station 2day FM, she said, "I can't look at this movie and be proud of what I've done.
"I sat there (at the premiere) and I looked at Keith and went 'Am I any good in this movie?' But I thought Brandon Walters (an 11-year-old Aboriginal boy) and Hugh Jackman were wonderful. It's just impossible for me to connect to it emotionally at all.
"We ran because I didn't want to read anything. I didn't want to know." »
The film, based on British author Danny Wallace's novel, follows Carrey's character as he challenges himself to say "yes" to everything for an entire year.
Adam Sandler's family fantasy-comedy Bedtime Stories made its debut at number two, taking $2.79 million (GBP1.86 million), while Animated movie Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa shot back up a place from four to three after making $2.49 million (GBP1.66 million).
Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman's epic Australia fell to fourth with $2.26 million (GBP1.51 million) in revenue, while vampire love story Twilight rounds out the top five with $2 million (GBP1.37 million). »
Hugh Jackman keeps to a strict diet of protein and vegetables and exercises six times a week in a bid to maintain his muscular physique.
The Australia star, who was voted People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in November, works hard to keep himself fit - and restricts his food intake to ensure he keeps his body in shape.
Jackman says, "I get up at 4am and eat egg whites, then every three hours after that. I have a combination of protein or steamed vegetables and brown rice. Then after midday, no rice or carbohydrates. It's just vegetables and meat or fish.
"I'm not going to live this way for the rest of my life. I do have treats, I love dark chocolate, beer and red wine. I love going out for dinner and do cheat sometimes."
And the star is just as tough with his exercise regime as he is with his diet.
He adds, "I train for an hour and a half a day, five days a week - weights, treadmill, rowing, everything. Then I do what my trainer calls 'a play session' on the sixth, which previously would have killed me in itself." »
9 items from 2009
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