Talk About Your Serious Roles

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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We always said foreign policy was sexy, and now here's proof: Angelina Jolie is on the shortlist to join the power wonks at the Council on Foreign Relations, the exclusive New York think tank. The actress was nominated by council member Trevor Neilson, her pal and adviser on political and global matters. "There is no better way for someone who is involved in international relations to build a deep understanding of these issues," he told us yesterday.

Jolie's bid, which required two other letters of recommendation, was approved by the membership committee last week and is now "under consideration," said council spokeswoman Anya Schmemann. If she's voted in at the June board meeting, the 31-year-old Jolie will receive a five-year "term" membership (typical for younger applicants) and join 4,000 deep thinkers such as Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger, Alan Greenspan, George Soros, Barbara Walters and Lisa Ling.

You're asking yourself: Why? Jolie, currently a U.N. goodwill ambassador, can already meet with just about anyone on the planet. (And she's influential enough to have a piece about Darfur published today on The Post's op-ed page.) But at the council, she'll get a crash course in global policy from the experts. "She takes learning about these issues very seriously," said Neilson. And the wonks get a worldwide sex symbol who draws cameras every time she breathes.

We're guessing she gets in.

So Much Hobnobbing, So Little Time

So Vanessa Williams had your typical D.C. day -- you know, dropping by to see Barack Obama, then bumping into Rudy Giuliani at Charlie Palmer's.

"I live down the street from Hillary" in Chappaqua, N.Y., said the actress-singer-mom-of-four, "so I'm just a politician magnet." But no, she's not ready to endorse. "I'm impressed by so many," she demurred in that gracious VIP way.

VIDEO | Vanessa Williams Talks Politics
Williams wrapped up her D.C. day in big style as well, mobbed by fans and friends at a premiere hosted by the Special Olympics (she sits on its board) for her new indie film, "My Brother." She plays the low-income mom of a disabled boy -- a part written just for her, she said. Quite a departure from her comically villainous turn on "Ugly Betty." So, what's harder -- comedy or drama? "What's harder is making bad material work." Alas, ever gracious, she didn't name names.

THIS JUST IN

  •  Amanda Coluccio says that her best friend, "American Idol" contestant and Catholic U student Antonella Barba, posed for some of the PG-13 pictures flying around the Internet (as a present for a boyfriend) -- but not the X-rated shots. "It's not her nose," Coluccio told the Newark Star-Ledger after examining the naughty pix. "She's never had [acrylic nail] tips in her life. She's the least slutty person I know."
  • James Brown is still not buried, but his trustees and partner agreed yesterday to collect DNA samples for a pending paternity battle. Brown, who died on Christmas Day, is sealed in a gold casket at an undisclosed location.
  • The White House has named Coast Guard Adm. Stephen Rochon as chief usher -- apt, since the position requires keeping the executive mansion shipshape. He's the eighth person and first African American to hold the job.
  • To evade detection by terrorists, Dick Cheney parked Air Force Two and flew to Pakistan and Afghanistan in a military cargo plane, the "Spirit of Strom Thurmond." (Make up your own joke. We're busy.)
  • HEY, ISN'T THAT . . . ?

    · Bill Clinton wandering around Georgetown Park mall yesterday with an army of security folk, wearing a nice navy suit. Stepped into a watch store and shook hands with a bunch of people. Just browsing? Unclear, but it was Chelsea's 27th birthday yesterday.

    · Teddy Kennedy continuing Birthday Week festivities at Teatro Goldoni Monday night -- though this time it was apparently wife Vicki's big day. They chowed down on the lobster carpaccio, lobster risotto, foie gras -- and the just-turned-75 senator ordered an extra slice of chocolate cake.

    · Larry King dining and drinking grappa Monday night with AOL rich guy Jim Kimsey at the new downtown restaurant Il Mulino. The CNN talker was apparently seeking world-traveler Kimsey's help in getting an interview with Cuba's Fidel Castro. Better move fast!

    ONLINE DISCUSSION

    Reliable Source Web chat is at noon Wednesdays. Got a tip? Send it to reliablesource@washpost.com.


    © 2007 The Washington Post Company

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