Julia Roberts Brings Home the Bacon

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Julia Roberts again tops the list of highest-paid actresses

Julia Roberts is the highest paid actress in Hollywood at $20 million per picture. Following her closely are Nicole Kidman at $17 million; Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore at $15 million; Renee Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, and Cameron Diaz at $10-15 million; and Jodie Foster, Charlize Theron, and Jennifer Aniston.

That's a powerhouse group of ladies, and the order may surprise some fans. What you have to remember when figuring out why some are paid more and some are paid less is that these actresses' salaries are paid based on their ability to put butts in seats merely by having their name on the marquee. Even having a mediocre movie release can drive down your asking price on the next flick which is why it's very important to choose scripts and projects wisely when you reach this level.

Julia Roberts has been fortunate in her choices and hasn't had any major flops, so she continues to command the high prices, while others on the list have done some films which are - to be kind - forgettable. It's always interesting to see the annual list - who has moved up and who has lost ground. A prime example is Jennifer Lopez who fell off the list after the infamous Gigli and Jersey Girl and Halle Berry whose star dimmed a little with the failure of Catwoman.

With a brand new round of movies for the Christmas season including Aeon Flux from Charlize Theron, and Rumor Has It from Jennifer Aniston, it's very possible that next year's list could look quite different indeed.

The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of....Cameron Diaz?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Andrews: Diaz would be perfect as Maria

This is why Julie Andrews isn't in charge of casting...At a Q&A, she was asked who should play the role of Maria if Sound of Music is ever re-made. Her answer? Cameron Diaz. Umm...what?

Not that Cameron Diaz can't act, but the fact is that she doesn't sing and if ever there was a role that required singing, the role of Maria would be it. So why was this her choice? You can probably trace it back to Andrews' ongoing complaint that she should have been cast in the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady rather than Audrey Hepburn. In that movie, Andrews did all the singing while Hepburn got the screen time.

The reason that Andrews didn't get cast as Doolittle was simply because Hepburn was simply a more attractive woman. Andrews has always had an overinflated view of her own attractiveness, so it's not terribly surprising she should pick a beautiful ex-model like Diaz to replace her.

All of this is probably moot as there's no reason to ever re-make Sound of Music. And the reality is that Diaz is really too old to play the part of an initiate nun anyway. It just goes to show that there's a reason that actresses act and casting directors cast...

It's Official: Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey Are Over

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Simpson, Lachey officially call it quits

No more denials. No more faking it. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey have announced that they're going their separate ways.

No matter how many times they tried to put a good face on it, when there are persistent rumors that a separation in the wind you can bet that it's just a matter of time before they have to fess up. She's one of the hottest stars on the market today, and he is...umm...pretty much nobody. How long was that destined to last?

If you ever caught an episode of their reality show, it was plain that he didn't respect her as a person. He pretty much regarded himself as a better person than she was, and it always mystified me as to why she would tolerate a has-been treating her that way. Evidently it was just a matter of time until she figured that out too.

Sorry Nick: you screwed up: you might have been tired of being Mr. Jessica Simpson, but given the fact that you haven't done a thing with yourself since 98 Degrees' last album, you're going to have a lot of time on your hands to think about it wasn't that bad after all...

Welcome back to the market Jessica! It's Thanksgiving for single guys indeed!

Britney Spears Baby Photos Hit Newsstands

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Britney's baby photo hits newsstands

After all the hubbub surrounding the supposed theft of the Britney Spears' baby photos, they've been published on the cover of People magazine.

As they were described earlier, the pictures show a happy couple with baby, but as we know: this isn't necessarily the case. The good news for Britney is that she's got her mother around and plenty of money to hire help with little Sean after she gets fed up with Kevin's partyholic lifestyle.

My Wrap on the AMAs

Lots of double winners at American Music Awards

Everyone's going to have their own take on the AMAs, but here's mine:

1) Lindsay Lohan should either stick to the studio where they can electronically treat her voice as they have done in the past, take some vocal lessons or forget about singing all together. She sounded absolutely awful. Only the backup singers covering up her singing made her performance not actually physically painful. She missed most of the notes and her stage presence really could use some work.

2) Hilary Duff looked great and sounded good, but really needs to have a song with more lyrics than just the single line: "The beat of my heart." Honestly I was tired of the song after 30 seconds.

3) Kenny Chesney lost out on Male Country Singer to Tim McGraw after losing out in the CMAs to Keith Urban. If he doesn't think this is related to his marriage problems with Renee Zellweger, then he really doesn't know anything about country music fans. I said a couple of months that his career would pay a price because country music fans take marriage seriously and Kenny evidently did not. It's too bad because if he had then I guarantee he would have been on the podium for both the CMAs and the AMAs.

4) If you're going to feature Gwen Stefani as a performer, either let her have her own time or give her more than one line to repeat over and over again during Pharrell's performance. It was like they needed a place to stick her, so they could tout her performance in the ads promoting the show. It certainly wasn't the kind of performance that her fans had a right to expect.

5) It was definitely country music's year at the AMAs with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban performing and Sugarland taking the New Artist award. It's a growing part of the music scene, and if you still think country music is about hound dogs and sad drinking songs then you haven't been paying attention.

6) The rap music on display was terrible. I've heard better raps from street kids backed up by nothing more than their buddy beat-boxing. Rap only becomes music when the rhymes actually meet up with the rhythm: otherwise it's just bad grammar school poetry. Run DMC? Hardly...More like Run Away....

7) Cedric the Entertainer was not entertaining. I hope they don't make the mistake of asking him back. Hosting isn't an easy task, but it was evident that he's not really cut out for the job.

8) What was up with Katherine Heigl wearing the overcoat on stage? Yes, I know it was part of the outfit, but if your dress doesn't look good without the overcoat it's time for a new fashion choice.

9) Favorite couples of the evening: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith of course. I liked his attempt to be subtle about the "negativity" in rap: it wasn't subtle but I'm glad he made the point, and Jada - as always - looked incredible. (Tim McGraw also made a subtle dig at the "thug" mentality of too many rappers when he pointed out that he was glad to be a part of country music where the performers showed respect for each other.) Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra having their anniversary moment when they came on to present was nice too.

10) Mariah Carey...Mariah, Mariah, Mariah...someone needs to help her with her fashion choices. She's not the waif she was when she first hit the music scene and trying to squeeze into a dress that's too small isn't an attractive sight. Also, try to wear a bra next time Mariah. I could elaborate, but let's just say that some women look better without them and some women look better with them, and Mariah's one of the latter.

11) The Rolling Stones and The Eurythmics...For a show that's trying to appeal to the 20-somethings, could they have dug any deeper into the past for your show topping acts? You can't be "hip" and "cool" and trot these folks out. Annie Lennox was over the top with her performance - her voice is still great, but it was obvious she was trying too hard and their target audience was on the grade school playground when those songs were hits. And the Rolling Stones? Someone needs to roll them away and let them gather some moss for a change. They may still be touring but they haven't hit the charts in a long, long time. Their fan base is their age. I don't think there are many dorm rooms around the country with Mick Jagger adorning the walls...As a side note, and it's not their fault, but the sound quality was so bad that the performance was barely audible so that didn't help either...

And that's what I think about that...

Warren Beatty Not Likely to Be Governor

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reiner, Beatty lag in California poll

It just goes to show you that just because you're famous doesn't mean that you're popular. Warren Beatty is viewed, even by his fellow Democrats, in the net negative. In political terms, that's deadly. It's hard enough to get members of another party to vote for you, but if you can't even get your own people to go your direction then you might as well hang it up and go home.

Sorry Warren: no matter what political pretensions you might have had, the people are speaking and they're saying to stick with show business and keep your political opinions to yourself...

Is Felicity Huffman Oscar Material?

Felicity Huffman is sitting pretty

USA Today has a very flattering article on Felicity Huffman and her catapult into stardom after many years of hard work.

I have to confess that she is one of my favorites for two reasons: 1) she's a very talented actress and 2) her awesome relationship with her husband William H. Macy which is the model for what Hollywood marriages should be. Both have been unselfish in their careers, taking turns in the spotlight to keep the relationship strong and take care of their children.

Is her performance in Transamerica Oscar-worthy? I haven't seen the film, but it is the kind of "message" movie that Oscar voters seem to gravitate toward so even though it's likely to have very few rear ends in theaters it's entirely possible that we'll see Huffman up on the stage on Oscar night.

Whether she is or not, she's definitely a talent and you'll be doing yourself a favor to catch up with whatever project she gets involved with....

Christina Aguilera Has What a Girl Wants

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Aguilera, music exec reportedly tie knot

...that is, if girls want a big diamond ring, a designer wedding gown, and a wedding in the Napa Valley...

Christina Aguilera got married this weekend to Jordan Bratman, a music executive whom she has been dating for some time now.

It had been widely rumored that this would be the big weekend for the couple, and it looks like the rumors were right (for a change).

Hopefully the marriage will be a positive influence on Aguilera. Her "X-Tina" days, which turned off many fans, may well be behind her. I, for one, thought it was a distraction from her amazing voice. She might have sold a few records based on the slutted-up image, but her voice is definitely the best of the crop of pop singers that hit the market a few years ago: Britney Spears, Jesica Simpson, and Mandy Moore and, of course, Christina Aguilera. So I thought that trying to compete with them on the sexual side was never going to be her key to long-term fame and fortune.

She's gone back to focusing more on her voice and less on her body, and hopefully that was due, in some way, to the influence of Bratman. If that's the case, this may be a marriage that has some legs...

Shania Twain is Canada's Finest

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Shania Twain receives Order of Canada

Congratulations to Shania Twain!

This is the kind of legacy that every celebrity should be striving for. If you reached the pinnacle of your career, would you rather be known as the one who screwed it up by overindulging or the one who receives your country's highest honor because of the inspiration you provide to young people and your humanitarian work?

That's a pretty easy answer, but yet far too many celebrities choose the first path and not the second...sad but true...

Madonna's 'Frozen' Frozen

Friday, November 18, 2005

Songwriter wins case against Madonna

It's not a good day to be Madonna. She lost a plagiarism case in Belgium where it was determined that the song 'Frozen' was lifted, in large part, from a song written five years earlier by a pretty much unknown songwriter. The judge ordered that the song can no longer be sold or played in Belgium, and that's probably just the first step.

The money in the marketplace is in the U.S., and this is probably the precursor to the filing of a lawsuit here which would impact the sales and play of the song - as well as the 'Ray of Light' album on which it appears.

Madonna has the right to appeal the case though it's unknown whether or not they'll do that, but if the verdict stands she's going to owe this guy a serious amount of cash - not to mention the damage to her reputation.

I wonder what Kaballah has to say about stealing lyrics????

New York City Goes Country

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lee Ann Womack is queen of CMA awards

The article crowns Lee Ann Womack "Queen of CMA Awards" because of her three wins, but while those awards are nothing to sneeze at the Big Three awards at the show are always: Female Vocalist, Male Vocalist, and Entertainer of the Year awards and none of her wins were in those categories.

Gretchen Wilson took home the Female Vocalist honors while Keith Urban did the same for the Male Vocalist and the much-coveted Entertainer of the Year.

Urban's win in the Entertainer of the Year category was somewhat of an upset with many expecting Kenny Chesney to take the award, but the biggest disappointment of the evening probably belonged to Brad Paisley who had six nominations but ended up the evening with zero wins.

When Plastic Surgery Becomes Defamation

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stone settles lawsuit with plastic surgeon

Sharon Stone was so upset at the implication that she had plastic surgery that she was willing to go to court over it. A Beverly Hills surgeon was evidently using a photo of her in his advertisements - with the implication that he had done work on her. But Sharon was having none of it...

I understand being upset with the doctor using your face in his advertisements without your permission - especially if you've never had any work done. But I don't think that in this day and age having plastic surgery done counts as defamatory. Half the actresses have had implants, and a good portion of the other half have had other procedures like lip collagen, botox, liposuction, facelifts, etc. The ones who haven't either will as they get older or are saving up to have it soon, so the mere implication that surgery was done is pretty much meaningless.

I'm glad the suit was settled and that a couple of worthy children will get some free surgery out of the deal, but Sharon really needs to turn down her hypersenstivity chip just a tad. Forcing him to stop using the ad was all that was really necessary, the rest was her being sensitive about the fact that she's approaching 50. Relax, Sharon, we all know it, and for a woman your age, you've definitely got it going on. Suing doctors isn't going to turn back the hands of time....

Mariah Carey Cleans Up

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mariah Carey wins big at smooth Vibe Awards

To any who doubted if Mariah Carey's comeback had legs only need to check out the results of this year's Vibe awards: Artist of the Year, R&B Voice of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Album of the Year. That doesn't leave a whole lot of territory uncovered and certainly made her the envy of every artist in the room at the ceremony.

Congrats to Mariah for a successful year that has culminated in last night's awards. Good for her...and good for her long-time fans...

Gene Simmons' Bragging May Cost Him

Judge allows lawsuit against KISS' Simmons

KISS lead singer, Gene Simmons, landed himself in some hot water when bragging for VH1 about all the women he's been with. Turns out that one of those women didn't appreciate the way she was portrayed and has sued him for defamation.

Like it or not Gene, you can't talk trash about your groupies, show their picture on TV, and expect to get away with it scot free. Let me say that I don't have a lot of sympathy for any groupie: if you throw your self-respect out the window for the chance to sleep with a rock star, don't come crying to me later that he doesn't respect you. But on the flip side, if you are trying to impress everyone with your sexual conquests, I don't want to hear it when one of those conquests gets upset about it.

If Gene is smart, he'll settle out of court with this woman because the law is on her side. He trashed her reputation and the use of the photo isn't protected when you're using it to do so. Sorry Gene, time to open the wallet and shut your mouth...for a change...

No Celebrities for Ashlee Simpson

Friday, November 11, 2005

Ashlee Simpson: I want an average Joe

So you say you've got yourself a crush on Ashlee Simpson, but figure there's no way she could go for a regular guy like you? Think again.

She says she doesn't want a rock star or actor, she wants someone from outside showbiz to date instead. I'm not sure how she's going to meet that special someone given that she's not exactly accessible to the average person on a personal level, but hey, maybe you can drop her a photo and a little personal note....Who knows?

Sharon Stone....Songwriter?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stone cowrites song for Katrina victims

Sharon Stone has taken up a new hobby/career it seems. She has co-written a song titled "Come Together Now" to benefit Habitat for Humanity and a charity for terminally ill children that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Most remarkably, the song has some serious vocal talent giving it voice. No less than the likes of Celine Dion, Wyclef Jean and more than a dozen other singers take part: quite a feat for a fledgling songwriter.

I have to wonder how much of the song was actually written by Stone and how much was done by the other noted songwriters with whom she shares the credit, but it's certainly a noteworthy achievement for worthy causes nonetheless...

Britney Spears Wins One...Finally

Britney Spears Wins Copyright Lawsuit

After a long string of negative press, Britney Spears finally has reason to celebrate seeing her name in the headlines.

It's not a huge deal because the case was suspect from the beginning, but it's much better to be a winner than a loser whenever the courts are involved.

I have a feeling that this may be the best headline she can hope for until she dumps her loser husband: ever since the two of them hooked up, her headlines haven't exactly been the stuff of a pop star's dreams...

Jessica Simpson Sticks to the Script

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Jessica Simpson won't talk about Nick

Want to know the latest about the marriage between Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson? How about her recent confession to seeing a therapist? How about her recent trip to Africa? How about the price of tea in China? Evidently pretty much everything is off limits when you interview Simpson these days unless you want to ask about her latest money-making venture: her line of clothes.

The article gives a pretty good blow by blow of how things are really done in Hollywood with publicists, agents and other handlers tightly scripting "interviews" with celebrities. I'm not really trying to single out Jessica here, I just think it's a good inside look at what happens when you try to get real answers to the day's events from "the horse's mouth" as it were...

Federline Cheated with Britney Spears

Monday, November 07, 2005

Federline ex: He cheated on me with Spears

Given what we know about Kevin Federline, is it really any surprise that when he began dating Britney Spears he was still hooked up with Shar Jackson?

Bottom line: he's a scumbag along for the ride with Britney as long as she's willing to let him stay on...always has been, always will be...

Felicity Huffman Crosses the Line

Big change for Huffman

...the gender line that is...Felicity Huffman's new role is just about as far away from her role on Desperate Housewives as you can get. She's starring in "Transamerica" - the story of a transsexual named (ironically) Bree struggling to raise a child.

Huffman and husband William H. Macy have to be just about the most talented acting couple in America. Both have taken such a variety of roles that I would be hard-pressed to name a more talented pairing today. Any ideas?

Kim Cattrall Get Serious About Sex

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Kim Cattrall is still talking about sex

If you thought Kim Cattrall's sexual escapades ended with Sex and the City then her new book, Sexual Intelligence, is going to be quite a surprise.

She says the book explores sex throughout history including a trip to Cyprus where the Greek goddess Aphrodite is purported to have sprung from the waves. With yet another book in the works, a 26-year old boyfriend, and other plans in the works, Kim Cattrall certainly has to rate as the busiest of the Sex and the City quartet since the HBO series came to an end...

50 Cent Not the Racist Kanye West Is

50 Cent Disagrees With Kanye West

African-American entertainers by and large either have been silent or in support of the racist comments made by Kanye West on a benefit in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but 50 Cent has spoken up to disagree with him.

To refresh your memory, West said that this country was set up to deny black people help in times of crisis and that President Bush hates black people. At last, 50 Cent has spoken up to disagree saying that he believes everyone did his or her best which is a lot closer to the truth than the racist stuff that West was spewing. I won't rehash the multiple levels of ignorance that West displayed about everything related to that disaster, but I'm glad that 50 Cent has at least had the courage to stand up and say it's not true...

Jamie Lee Curtis - Ex-Actress

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Curtis says she's passing on acting work

Jamie Lee Curtis is saying that she is "no longer [accepting] acting work" which will, no doubt, be a disappointment to fans of her work as an actress. She says she's looking to spend more time raising her children and writing children's books instead.

Do I believe that's her entire motivation? Yes and no. The maternal urge is certainly an admirable one: focusing on your children is important once you've made the decision to have them, but...Do I believe that if she were collecting Angelina Jolie-style paychecks for taking those acting roles that she would be making the same decision? My guess is no.

She's at a point in her career where the roles aren't optimal, and she's accumulated enough money that continuing to work as an actress is optional. So her choice is to take secondary roles in secondary films with the attendant small paychecks or do something she enjoys, so it's not exactly the Mt. Everest of decisions to be made if your children are at all a priority in your life.

That being said, everyone deserves the chance to do that at some point in their lives, so I'm glad for her that she has the freedom to do that....Don't be surprised to see her on the screen in the future though if the right role comes around...

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