Thursday, August 23, 2007; 2:00 PM
When stars shave their heads, couch-jump, commit a fashion faux pas and commit random acts of tomfoolery, washingtonpost.com Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly shares the buzz, offers perspective and provides crucial links to juicy alternate news sources and, of course, takes your reaction in her daily blog.
Join Liz Thursday, Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. ET to gab about the latest celebrity pairings (and splittings), rising stars (and falling ones), and get the scoop on the latest gossip making waves across the Web.
Before she started blogging about celebrities, Liz ran washingtonpost.com's Discussions section, where she enjoyed talking to really interesting people -- including some Post reporters -- on the phone. She still produces both Carolyn Hax's advice discussion and Gene Weingarten's Chatological Humor.
Liz Kelly: Apologies for the tardiness of today's main post -- especially since the burden of content creation is on you. Check it out, though. It isn't too late to give this latest experiment in semi-regular features for Celebritology. Today's is called "Caption This" and will hopefully provide a way for us to add more photos to the blog and capitalize on your creativity. Get crackin' (unless you're Pete Doherty's cat). Fame and celery could be yours for 50 words or less.
It's been an interesting week over in blogland. I'm still intrigued by the results of the Lindsay Lohan privacy poll. We seem to be split right down the middle on whether or no she deserves a break from the paps while in rehab. Of course, the day after the poll we learned that she invited the paps -- or at least OK! magazine -- into her rehab facility for a photo shoot. So, I guess we need to delimit the privacy question to "uninvited paps." Personally, I still think she's fair game if she puts herself out there. She's not unschooled in the ways of the stalkerazzi and could probably manage to lay low if she tried.
I was also interested in the debate that erupted following yesterday's Brad Pitt piece. The general consensus seems to be that he's doing the right thing, but some of us are still smarting from the Aniston split. And, because we're a passionate crew, the debate seems to have spilled over into the comments thread on this morning's mix. Worth checking out if you were following yesterday's back-and-forth.
The Celebritology Facebook group continues to grow. If you haven't joined yet, it's not too late to become a charter member. Why go there when you have Celebritology here? Well, the group is a place where we can grow this conversation on a parallel track and discuss things that don't make the blog -- like how I ended up on CNN Headline News' cutting room floor this week.
What else? It's late August. Is everyone ready for September and the hastening end of the dog days of summer? While visiting Neimans at Tysons Galleria yesterday I was shocked -- shocked I tell you -- to discover a small army of store stylists prepping their Christmas display for a weekend unveiling. I'm so not ready for that.
But for you, always. Let's get started...
New York, N.Y.: Hey, we spotted Megan Mullally on the streets. Is that anything?
Liz Kelly: Depends on where you spotted her and what she was doing, I guess.
Arlington, Va.: Tom Brady is saying the birth of his son is a very joyous, happy situation -- it just seems a little sad that the parents aren't together.
Liz Kelly: Maybe so, but it could be worse. F'rinstance, Tom could be dating Babyface Edmonds's ex, denying the kid is his and demanding a paternity test.
At least Tom seems to be on board with parenting and being a part of this kid's life. No word on how Gisele is reacting, but thus far Tom seems to be conducting himself faultlessly.
Bethesda, Md.: Hi Liz,
Clay Aiken's summer tour just ended, and he picked up some great reviews. Any chance it will turn into a television special? And what do you know about his next album?
Liz Kelly: Well, I have to confess that I'm not much of a Clay Aiken fan or follower, but a quick scan of the Web does reveal mostly positive reviews for the former "Idol" runner-up's latest tour. Good for him. Makes one wonder where Taylor Hicks is hiding himself these days. Anyone know?
As for a new Aiken album (maybe he could call it "Aiky Breaky Heart"?) the most recent reference I can find is a May Jimmy Kimmel appearance where Clay said he was interviewing producers for the project. But if you're really craving some Clay, you might want to try to score tickets to his just announced "Christmas in the Heartland" tour or make sure to tune in when he appears on an episode of this fall's celebrity edition of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?"
Methinks: I didn't know there was a facebook group. Awesome.
Liz, when is your book coming out. What did you REALLY think of Perez Hilton?
Liz Kelly: Book -- as soon as I think of something to write about that isn't outdated the minute the ink dries.
Durham, N.C.: What does Lionel think of Nicole's pregnancy and her impending nuptials?
Liz Kelly: Well, Nicole and baby daddy Joel Madden talked about this a little bit in their Diane Sawyer interview a couple of weeks ago. Nicole said Lionel told her he was glad that Nicole would now be able to experience all the ups and downs of parenting to which she subjected him. Lionel also recently told paps he was very happy about the pregnancy.
And we know it is effectively impossible to lie to the press, right?
Cardiff, Calif.: Liz, do you think Tom Cruise will ever 'come out'? There is so much speculation about him being gay and his marriages being shams, and unlike Jodie Foster, who keeps her private life private, Tom Cruise actively courts media attention. Would it really make a difference to his career (especially given what he's done to his career himself the past few years) to come out?
Liz Kelly: Well, assuming Tom Cruise has anything to come out about, I would say that's his decision.
I have nothing but sympathy for anyone who lives a lie and is unable to come to terms with his true self, but I am also no supporter of the Perez Hilton school of outing celebrities.
Would it make a difference to his career? It might. Bankable gay leading men are practically a non-existent species in Hollywood. Sure, there's Ian MacLellan and Rupert Everett, but neither of them made Forbes's list of top-paid Hollywood actors and I suspect they aren't turning down a lot of offers to lead summer blockbusters. So, ya, if one of film's most-cash-makingest actors had a secret like that, he might indeed be worried about what that news might mean for his career.
Of course, one could argue that some leading men have enough money already and should just do it, but again, it's a personal decision.
Washington, D.C.: I watched the video of you and Perez Hilton late-night earlier this week, while drunk. Does that make me a bad Celebritologist fan, or just a tad squiggy?
Liz Kelly: Well, did you get drunk specifically to watch the video? If not, I think you're okay.
Washington, D.C.: Liz, I think your poll regarding celebs and privacy during rehab was quite intriguing. On the one hand, several of them do go into rehab/vacation/hiding with real ambition to be rehabilitated. On the other hand, several are doing it just for the publicity (like that guy from "Grey's Anatomy" who went to rehab for being a racist...umm, yeah). In LiLo's case, she's such an attention grabber that she's just using rehab as another photo op, IMO. I feel bad for her fellow rehabbers. They didn't sign up for that.
Liz Kelly: She is, but I think there's a third reason some celebs go into rehab as well and I cynically suspect Lindsay of this motive:
To look repentant and give every impression to DAs and judges that you are trying to rehabilitate yourself so they will go easy on you when it comes to charges/sentences.
And I'm really interested in the fact that Lindsay has welcomed OK! magazine into her rehab experience. That's actually reading like a somewhat desperate measure for someone who considered herself such an A-list actress that she once said she only wants to work on "important" films. So, Vogue, Elle, even People would be expected. But OK!?
The downs of parenting : Hopefully he isn't wishing she'll find out what it's like to have a drug addicted child.
Liz Kelly: I think he was referring more abstractly to the emotional roller coaster aspect of parenting. Not being a parent, I haven't experienced it. Tho I will cop to my fair share of causing anxiety for mom and dad.
Liz Kelly: I'm sure you all realize, like astute producer Rocci, that I meant "Ian McKellan" above.
Salt Lake City, Utah: Hey Liz,
All the Ethan Hawke talk reminded me of a dispute I had with my college roommate about him when the movie "Reality Bites" came out -- she thought he was the greatest thing ever, and I insisted he was a sleaze. Ha!
But that got me thinking -- I did love the movie (even had the soundtrack) back when it came out. I was a sophomore in college, and it seemed so deep. I haven't seen it in ages though, nor do I have any desire to, I think because I can sense that it wasn't all that great and that my 30-something self would be a bit embarrassed that it meant so much to me back then.
Do you have any movies in that category?
Liz Kelly: Yes. In reverse order based on stage of life:
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I like this game. Anyone else?
Bethesda, Md.: Have you heard what the name is for the Bridget Moynahan-Tom Brady baby boy?
Liz Kelly: Not yet. I'm guessing Gisele is out. It is a boy, after all.
I'm guessing Celebrity Baby Blog will be one of the first to post it, though, so I continue to check. Which turned out to be a good thing, because it led me to this photo of Nicolas Cage with his child bride and oddly-named son.
Confession-ville: Okay, I'll admit it. I really like Mandy Moore. I caught the end of "Saved" the other night, and following it was "I Am Mandy Moore," which basically followed her doing promo for her new album. She was really funny, and smart, and said f--- a lot. She didn't seem crazy or drunk or mean or self-involved. And she might actually be able to write a song. I totally like her in that, we could hang out and drink wine and talk about what idiots guys are and debate the relative merits of our favorite Joni Mitchell records, kind of way. Like I just want to invite her over to hang out and eat nachos with me (I think she might actually eat them, too!). Is it just me?
Liz Kelly: I liked "Saved," too. But not sure it was solely because of Mandy Moore's participation. That movie even made Macauley Culkin look good.
I don't follow Mandy too closely, but she's moved into dangerously cheesy territory with movies like "American Dreams" and the dreaded "Because I Said So."
Tempering that, of course, is a smart turn as Vincent Chase's ex on "Entourage."
Arlington, Va.: Are Beyonce and Jay Z ever gonna tie the knot?
Liz Kelly: Your guess is as good as mine. They seem very happy, so why mess with success? Everyone caught the link to the Beyonce wardrobe malfunction I posted earlier this week, I hope.
Fairfax, Va.: Why does Jennifer Lopez think we care about her anymore?! She's just a washed up diva. Beyonce has surely taken her place and is even on her way out. Unless she promises to sing and dress up like Selina, I am so not interested in her concerts.
Liz Kelly: Okay, this has to be in response to the photo that's been promo'ing the chat on the post.com homepage all day -- a pic of Jennifer and hubby Marc Anthony. Why? Don't ask me, I just work here.
I would hardly call her washed up, tho.
Alexandria, Va.: Do you have a link to the Perez Hilton interview?
washingtonpost.com: Perez Hilton Video
Liz Kelly: There you go. Thanks Rocci.
Fairfax, Va.: A question about your polls -- are people able to vote as many times as they want, or is there only one vote per user? Knowing this would greatly influence how much I believe the results.
Liz Kelly: There should only be one vote per user. I believe the polling software puts a cookie in your browser. Of course someone could probably circumvent that by clearing one's cookies (not to be confused with losing one's cookies) or using a different browser or different computer.
It's not a scientific poll, but it's the best we can do right now.
Cardiff, Calif.: In an article about celebrities' vacation homes I read that George Clooney is "beloved" by the folks around Lake Como where he has his villa. That wasn't always the case, was it? I thought they didn't want him there at first? Perhaps, like the rest of us, they just find George totally irresistible.
Liz Kelly: If I recall correctly -- and it's entirely possible that I don't -- he alienated some locals early on by trying to snap up as much property as possible near his villa. Of course, now that greedy developers have moved in hoping to build condos and what not around the lake, they're glad to have George as an ally in the fight against that development.
Bethesda, Md.: Taylor Hicks has extended his current tour several times, and he sold out two nights at the Birchmere this spring.
I think the "Idolettes" find their place in the world of entertainment, maybe not in the recording studio, but on stage. The live interaction with audiences suits many of them. Fantasia has gotten raves on Broadway, for instance.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for the update.
Silver Spring, Md.: Celebritology admission: I have tickets to see Mandy Moore at the Birchmere on Sept. 11. I got the tickets because I like Rachael Yamagata, who's opening, and don't completely hate Mandy Moore's new single, but I'm secretly hoping this will be like when I went to see Justin Timberlake at the 9:30 club, everyone mocked me, then suddenly he became cool again.
Liz Kelly: Well, never say never. She may well become cool. After all, we just learned that Taylor Hicks sold out the Birchmere. And I happen to have first-hand knowledge that the Birchmere does seat more than five people.
Alexandria, Va.: Embarrassing movie pick: Flashdance
Liz Kelly: Okay, just for clarification's sake -- we're talking about movies that we thought rocked at the time but are pretty sure won't have held up over time, right?
Flashdance certainly fits in that category for me. Along with the attendant ripped-up sweats look. Yeesh.
Columbia, Md.: I have read comments that many famous male actors are really small when you see them out. Sean Connery once said most American actors are midgets. Which male actors have you met who were much smaller than you expected?
Liz Kelly: Hmm. Well, my experience for some reason has been more on the distaff side of the aisle. I was taken aback by how small both Virginia Madsen and Fergie (BEP's, not UK's) were in person. And it wasn't just that they were thin -- but diminutive, as if they were scaled down to 60 or 70 percent of a real human's dimensions.
On film Madsen looks like a normally proportioned woman. So if she's 70 percent size in reality, how paper-thin must Keira Knightley or Mischa Barton be in real life?
As for actors, I have no inside peeks. Just the same rumors we all hear about the small stature of folks like Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.
Alexandria, Va.: I was on vacation at the time and I'm not computer savvy enough to figure out how to search. Was there any news while David Beckham was in town?
Liz Kelly: He shopped at Pentagon City and went out to a nightclub where he was made the object of much gawking.
Washington, D.C.: A friend of mine mentioned that the Backstreet Boys were on a local radio station this morning. She said they "wanted to be closer to their fans" so they gave our their phone numbers. While this seems pretty much impossible to believe and of course rooted in some kind of marketing ploy, what is the story with them as of late? New album? New tour? Have they been doing anything news worthy lately?
Liz Kelly: Well, if by newsworthy you mean new album and new tour, then yes, they have. I wasn't a Backstreet Boys fan the first time around so I can't say I've paid their comeback much attention. They were always kind of a B-level 'N SYNC anyway, right?
Nick Carter had a reality show last year with his siblings. There ends the extent of my knowledge.
Washington, D.C.: Hey Liz, What's your verdict on The Hills? Have you caught an episode yet? (I hope so!)
Liz Kelly: Well, since last week's poll was inconclusive (basically a three-way tie) I decided that I would remain ambiguous for now about "The Hills." So, no, I haven't watched.
But I did read a long EW article about the show. Baby steps.
Reston, Va.: So, I just On-Demanded The English Patient, first time re-watching it since it came out in the 90's. Is it totally wrong to find Ralph Fiennes hot, given his bent for playing evil or narcissistic characters? My Ralph-jones went so far in the '90s that I watched him on Broadway in Hamlet, and worked my little research-driven fingers to the bone finding his big-shot agent's HOME phone number in London and trying to meet him backstage. He even makes Lord Voldemort...well, not hot, but alluring?
Liz Kelly: No, I don't think Ralph's tendency to play dark characters should preclude you from crushing on him. He's got something, no doubt about it. My crush, tho, has been tempered a bit by his tendency to get himself involved in dubious sexual scandals -- f'rinstance his tryst with a Qantas Airlines flight attendant earlier this year.
Tiny humans:: Joan Jett is the tiniest adult person I've ever seen. I was amazed. Very short and very petite.
Liz Kelly: Another. Thanks.
Richmond, Va.: Hiya Liz,
I lurv the Lost, and miss it dearly. I'm looking forward to coming back and reading about what my favorite Celebritologist thinks of it. But I also lurv the Heroes. Have you caught any episodes? Sorry if you've answered this before... I vote for "Heroes" discussions on Tuesdays this fall!
Liz Kelly: Oh, speaking of "Lost" -- before I forget:
There have been some casting moves made recently. Planet Lost has the latest on the addition of Ken Leung (who played Jr. Soprano's rage-a-holic roomie on the last season of "The Sopranos") and Lance Reddick (of "Oz" and "The Wire") fame. And rumors about two more casting possibilities.
And the "Lost" book club continues to thrive. Our discussion of this month's selection "The Wizard of Oz" will be next Wednesday.
Silver Spring, Md.: "They were always kind of a B-level 'N SYNC anyway, right?"
Oh, them's fightin' words. For sure. But seriously, at the time I liked the Backstreet Boys and somehow never quite noticed N SYNC. Yet in the long run, it's the N SYNC boys we hear so much about. What is with that? Was my finger just not on the pulse of boy-band-dom? (This is entirely possible, and come to think of it, not necessarily a bad thing.)
Liz Kelly: Rut roh Please remember that I was not a boy band fan. In fact, if you asked me my favorite boy band song I would probably name the SNL parody "**** in a Box." So cut me some slack.
We hear more about the N SYNCers because JT is one of the hottest musical acts around. Lance Bass came out very publicly and Joey Fatone totally won us over with his "Dancing With the Stars" performance (he's now lined up to work the red carpet for TV Guide Channel).
For the Backstreeters -- what have you done for me lately?
Calgary, Canada: How is your Bernese Mountain Dog? Both mine are fine, thanks. They are the celebrities of the canine world, don't you think?
Liz Kelly: Actually, the Bernese is my brother's dog -- so I guess that makes it some kind of canine niece? He's fine. I think it's safe to say he weighs more than Angelina Jolie now. They are the old money of the canine world, I'd say. Quiet, unassuming, solid as diamonds.
My pup is a mutt who resembles a yellow lab. She's a spaz.
D.C. all the way: I've been out of the country for the past few days. What was the last word on The Hills coverage?
Liz Kelly: We had a perfect split -- so I'm still undecided.
Portland, Ore.:: What's Gerard Butler up to these days? Isn't he filming Guy Ritchie's new movie in London, also starring Thandie Newton? Any other Gerry news worth mentioning?
Liz Kelly: A quick check of IMDB shows that Gerry has several movies in production -- no doubt a result of his success as "300's" leading man. One of those movies is in fact Guy Richie's latest film -- "RocknRolla" -- which co-stars Thandie Newton, Jeremy Piven and Ludacris, among others.
Calgary, Canada: Did you know that the Daily Telegraph called Beckham "the idle idol" when he didn't play in the first five Galaxy games?
Liz Kelly: Love the British papers. My favorite from today was "Doherty's Kitty a Crackhead."
Virginia: Liz, are we to blame faulty polling software or ballot stuffing in the absolute ties in both of the polls? Or are we as Celebritology readers really that indecisive?
Liz Kelly: Well, I'm no polling expert, but I believe you may just be that indecisive. Now if you ask me the same question a month from now with four more perfectly split polls, I will wonder.
Richmond, Va.: Um, but what about Heroes?
Liz Kelly: Oh -- sorry -- I don't watch. I should, I know.
Terrible movies: I just caught Footloose on VH1 recently. Holy horribleness. Best bad part: After all the kids were too shy to dance at the party, it turns out they're all good enough to be PROFESSIONALS. Who knew those crazy kids had it in them? My husband calls this class of films "activity movies." Snowboarding, baseball, dancing. They are DREADFUL. I still love Singles, but I hated the hell out of Reality Bites.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for weighing in.
Tiny celebs: I saw Amy Winehouse at BWI a couple weekends ago, I guess leaving the Virgin Fest, but before the big rehab breakdown. Once you got over the distraction of her HUGE hair and drunken eyeliner application, she seemed incredibly skinny in person.
Liz Kelly: Ya, she looks incredibly unhealthy in photos lately.
Washington, D.C.: Americathon staring John Ritter. Of course, alcohol may have been involved.
Also Silent Running. Much more evocative when you are twelve.
Liz Kelly: Americathon? Ha. Thank you for that nugget.
D.C. all the way: On Kal El Cage. I've got to say the boy's name is not odd. However, Nic Cage's wife does look mighty young in that pic.
Liz Kelly: Surely you jest. He's named after Superman.
Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: Movies that rocked then but I'm guessing wouldn't hold up:
St. Elmo's Fire (Graduating from college changes EVERYTHING and unless you're in a quarter-life crisis by 23 there's something wrong with you.)
Footloose (They just want to dance! Why can't you understand that?)
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (She just wants to dance! Why can't you understand that? Wait, did I already do that one?)
American Anthem (Wayne Gretzsky's wife Janet plays an Olympic gymnast, and I now realize she was playing the oldest-looking teenager, ever.)
Liz Kelly: St. Elmo's fire. The shot of Rob Lowe playing a sax with a tie wrapped -- Karate Kid style -- around his head is enough to put one off solid food.
Loved "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Ahhh, when SJP was still kind of quirky.
Small Celebs: I guess I always knew that Paul Simon was very small, but seeing him once with his identical twin brother who is just as teeny tiny was somehow very unnerving. It seemed impossible that there could be two of them!
Liz Kelly: Thanks...
Heroes Casting: For the Heroes fan --
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) is going to be on the show for 13 episodes (I think it was in a Morning Mix)...
Liz Kelly: Yep.
Appleface, Calif.: Liz, what's up with people like Lara Flynn Boyle and now Heather Locklear? I've noticed recently that their cheeks look HUGE. Have you noticed other celebs with that same weird appleface look? Do you think it's implants, Botox Gone Wild, or something else? LiLo looked the same way in her final movie, so I'm wondering if it's alcohol-related.
Liz Kelly: I will have to check this out. I must confess I hadn't noticed.
Washington, D.C.: Hotel queen and tax evader Leona Helmsley died of heart failure, according to news coverage. Heard any follow confirming she actually had one?
washingtonpost.com: Hotel Mogul, 'Queen of Mean' Leona Helmsley (Post, Aug. 21)
Liz Kelly: Nice.
Unpopular opinion?: I'd been reading the stuff about Amy Winehouse and her song Rehab, but it wasn't until last week that I realized that this is the same song that I dislike enough to turn the radio channel every time I hear the "noooo, nooo, nooo."
Ditto the suicide song. It's not that I dislike that style of music, it's that those particular songs annoy me.
Liz Kelly: I hear you. I love Amy's music, but that song's not a favorite of mine either.
St Elmos' Fire: Was a pretty stupid movie. Everyone in the group of friends was a different stereotype.
Liz Kelly: Really? In a cheesy '80s movie?
Activity movies: Funny category.
My favorite sub-genre of terrible movie is unlikely-things-inner-city-kids-are-good-at. All those movies where some (usually white) person goes to the hood and teaches the underprivileged kids to dance/ play chess/ appreciate poetry/ do advanced math...
Liz Kelly: Ooooh, that's good. Reminds me of one of my favorites: "The Last Dragon. Kung-Fu, Vanity and Berry Gordy make a suprisingly good combo.
About Amy Winehouse hair: Can you give the scoop on that do?
Is it real?
A family of marmots strung together?
Its just bizarre.
P.S. I bet she has bad breath.
Liz Kelly: Extensions and falls.
I bet you she has bad teeth.
Tiny people: I don't know if she's still a celeb or not since she's been AWOL for years, but Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star would fit in your pocket.
Liz Kelly: That is small.
This is the moment: Let's watch David Hasselhoff's performance from the America's Got Talent finale
America's Got Talent: David Hasselhoff (YouTube)
Liz Kelly: I've saved the best for last. The chat may be over, but we can all repair to YouTube now to watch this fine performance together.
See you here next week, tomorrow in the blog and all the time on facebook.
Cap Hill: Not to get too PC, but saying inner city kids are 'unlikely to appreciate poetry or play chess' is a little bit offensive.
Liz Kelly: No, you're right. That is offensive and totally untrue. And, turns out my movie doesn't even fit in that genre. I'm not sure of what movies do.
I guess my movie is more of a '80s Kids Buck All Probability to Come Out on Top movie.