Thursday, September 6, 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, Sept. 6 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: Afternoon.
So, Jerry Lewis -- that icon of American humor who, it turns out, is not only beloved in France -- once said "I've had great success being a total idiot." I couldn't agree more, but that particular quote also applies to yours truly for yesterday unintenionally putting out a hit on Lewis. Again, apologies. It's Lewis's career behind the mike that needs to be put out of its misery, not the man himself. My foot is almost gone from my mouth, but I'm still a bit sore. My foot is almost completely free of my mouth at this point, but my pedicure is ruined. Oh well.
Moving right along... Today I am beaming thanks to Gene Weingarten's bonus dispatch in this morning's Mix. Not only is it a reasonable facsimile of that breathless 50's-era Hollywood rag reporting, it is also a handy bit of condescension about a world for which Gene couldn't give two figs. My favorite line: "It was the meeting of the two famous titans of fame." Cracks. Me. Up.
What else? Whoopi and Sherri are in at "The View." Nicole Kidman is dropping bomb shells all over the place. And I, for one, can't wait for Sunday evening and Britney's show-opening VMA performance.
For the hibernating "Lost" fans out there, Jen Chaney this morning sent me the this link that is particularly funny for those of us who spend way too much time analyzing the show.
Let's get started...
Indy, Ind.: I'm not quite sure what "Brad Pitt losing his looks" references (not being much of Brad fan anyway), but for my money, Robert Redford is one of the sexiest men on the planet PRECISELY because he looks so gnarled and goes about his life unabashedly so. I think Tom Berenger is headed that way, too...sexy in an unapologetically decrepit sort of way.
Liz Kelly: Brad told the press gathered at the Venice Film Festival this week that now that he's reached his 40s he feels he's falling apart and losing his looks. Whatever.
But I'm so on board with the sexy gnarled vibe. Scott Glenn is another who has always had a broken-in attractiveness.
Boston, Mass.: What's the appropriate baby gift for your new boyfriend's baby with a recently broken up with girlfriend? I speak, of course, about Gisele, Tom Brady and Bridget Moynahan. Awkwaaard...
Liz Kelly: Apparently it's a baby jumper that says "Supermodel."
Seriously, I read somewhere that Gisele had one delivered to Gisele. Yech.
I am normally cynical about such things: but hearing that Jenna Fischer and her husband are splitting up makes me sad. That and Effie Barry.
Liz Kelly: Yes, it's a sad day. Luciano. Effie. These things tend to come in threes. Who will complete the trifecta?
Washington, D.C.: Who the hell is Sherri Shepherd?
More importantly, why do I care? I have a JOB. I can't watch the View, and probably wouldn't even if I did spend my days on the couch eating bonbons.
I guess I care because you care. I hate to feel left out when it comes to the things that are important to you...
Liz Kelly: She's an actress. She's been around. She's no great shakes. She's on a par with Joy Behar and Hasselbeck. And, believe me, I don't care -- I'm just passing along the news.
Show of hands -- who does actually watch "The View?" I read that Whoopi's debut had something like 3.6 million watchers and I instantly thought "Who the heck is watching that?"
Lunch with Gene: Sunflower is great, but you need to go more expensive for that lunch Gene owes you. Perhaps you were not aware that Maestro has a vegetarian tasting menu? The chef just left, but I assume they haven't changed anything yet. Keep us posted. Perhaps a Date-Lab-like column is in order, complete with photos?
Liz Kelly: Oh my god. No, I did not realize that. This is a fabulous idea. I give the date a 4.5 out of 5 already.
Anonymous: Get a life for pity sake. There is more to life than just good looks. How about purpose and ethics?
Liz Kelly: Right you are. For the remaining 48 minutes of the chat we will be discussing Brad Pitt's purpose (eye candy) and ethics (remain eye candy for as long as humanly possible).
Nic Kidman Urban: Did she or did she not have a miscarriage after she and tom split? Wasn't there some talk of that?
Liz Kelly: The miscarriage was while she was with Tom, not after. Unless she had more than one, in which case I'm all ears.
Laughing here: "Russell Crowe, the moody Hellion of Hollywood for whose manly bulges The Celebritologist would happily disrobe..."
I don't really have anything to add, I just wanted to see that in print again. How are you going to get back at your special Eastern Market correspondent?
Liz Kelly: Well, I spent a good portion of the morning trying to convince Weingarten to get a tattoo. Thus far he's hiding his fear of the tattoo gun behind some lame-o BS about not wanting to mar his body at his advanced age.
Baltimore, Md.: I read Jodie Foster's interview in Entertainment Weekly and, in many ways, it was a stunner. I can't imagine another movie star proudly proclaiming his or her atheism in a national publication. And that was only one of the straight shooting comments.
But what I don't understand is why Foster, an enormously bright and accomplished actor, now only makes variations on "woman in peril" films. The Panic Room, Flight Plan and this new effort The Brave One (about a gal who turns urban vigilante) just seem to be unworthy of her talent.
Any theories Liz...chatters?
Liz Kelly: That was an amazingly candid article. I love how Foster, who has been notoriously guarded about her private life, feigns surprise when confronted with that fact.
The dichotomy you point out is interesting, though, and I noticed it myself while reading the article. Not only does Foster -- who as you say is bright and accomplished -- make a career built on several variations of chicks-in-peril-flicks, she also suggests that perhaps these movies are more worthwhile than those of her contemporaries who concentrate on romantic comedies. I'm a big Jodie Foster fan, but I'm not sure "Panic Room" and "Flight Plan" are doing much more for society than "Legally Blonde" when it comes right down to it.
The other odd statement I took away from the article was Foster's stance on violence and gun use in her movies. She seems to agree that there might be something wrong with the message in a movie like "The Brave One" where her character is basically transformed into a gun-toting killing machine and goes so far as to say she thinks "The Brave One" is a misleading title because solving one's problems with guns ain't brave. She says she's rabidly anti-gun, but doesn't see her movie as glorifying gun violence. Okay.
There were a few other awkward moments in the interview. I can't seem to find it online right now. (Rooooooccccci?) Oddly, she came off to me like someone who seemed unused to press interviews and hadn't really thought her answers through.
Now, since we're talking Jodie Foster, I have to add that she stars in one of my favorite movies, "Contact."
Shepherd Park, Washington, D.C.: Russell Crowe? Really? I mean he has manly bulges and all that, but isn't he a bit of a jerk?
Liz Kelly: I can't really explain it. He's not my usual type. But something tells me he knows how to treat a woman, which may or may not involve him acting like a jerk, and that a woman might like it. And, yes, Mr. Liz is aware. He knows my "Master & Commander" DVD ain't all about a love of the Patrick O'Brien novels.
Gene would be proud...: ... because I took an hour out of my morning schedule to listen to the public radio tribute to Luciano Pavarotti on "Performance Today"? Do you know of other broadcast tributes to Pavarotti that will be aired?
Liz Kelly: I don't. But you might want to go back and read the transcript of Tim Page's 1 p.m. discussion all about Pavarotti.
Broken-in attractiveness: Mark Harmon.
Liz Kelly: Interesting. Not bad.
Anonymous: I've worked at home for the last nine years and have NEVER seen "The View."
Liz Kelly: Thank you. I've worked at home for the past two years and love working without the TV on. Funny -- I worked in newsrooms for years with several competing TVs and was not bothered at all. Now it distracts me to no end.
Russell Cro, WE: I'm with you on the Russell Crowe thing -- not at all my type in real life, but I can picture being swept off in his arms...
Liz Kelly: See, I was going more for a pushed-up-against-the-wall kind of thing.
Arlington, Va.: I heard Nicole Kidman had one during the filming of Moulin Rouge.
So, have you watched the Hills yet? Every week I try to ignore it, and yet I find myself catching one of the nine times it is on that week.
Liz Kelly: No. Sadly, I haven't succumbed to "The Hills" yet though I want to.
I am, however, stil avidly following "Rock of Love." Which brings me to...
Are you still watching Rock of Love?: There's no point in discussing why someone would get a name tattooed on their neck (!) of someone they aren't even dating. The damage is done.
The real question is, what is she going to get to cover it up once they (inevitably) don't end up together? Here's what I've got so far:
or perhaps most fittingly,
3. FaB retard
Any other ideas? If reality TV stars can't count on us in a time like this, when can they count on us?
Liz Kelly: Okay, Heather grosses me out. She hit the wall sometime in the late 80s, I think. She may have a bod, but that face, that tan, that hair, those clothes. Yech. Not that the rest of them are much better, but I'd almost rather have Lacey win than Heather. Though I'm starting to think what's-her-face with the pink hair will win.
Re: the tattoo. Bone-headed move. I'm guessing she made sure (off-air, of course) that the tattoo could easily be morphed into something else -- a butterfly, a heart, a bulls-eye, whatever.
Jodie Foster: Haven't read the article yet but clearly she's trying to play non-victim female roles. In "Flight" and "Panic" she's the one who comes out swinging. So, regardless of the larger implications about violence, her choice of this new role is consistent with those in her most recent films.
That said, I hope she branches out into other types of films. She's too talented to keep on with the pistol-packin' mama schtick.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. I'd like to see her return to stretching herself as she did with roles like "Nell" (no laughing) and "Little Man Tate." Both of which were her projects -- meaning she produced and/or directed, I believe.
She mentioned in the article that she's having a hard time getting another labor of love project off the ground, so maybe she's trying but keeps being thrust back into the same mold by Hollywood.
I would love to see her try some indie roles, tho. Something soft and quiet. She's got a fabulously expressive face which is often wasted in these femme-action movies.
D.C. all the way: Okay, my friends laugh at me for this but I think Morgan Freeman is sexy. I can't put my finger on it but seeing him makes me smile and I'm 29.
Robert Redford on the other hand is not at all easy on the eyes, it's a bit painful really.
Liz Kelly: I have to agree with you re: Morgan. And he's got a fabulously melodic voice.
Broken-in attractiveness: Cheryl Hines, Christine Baransky, Lisa Kudrow
Liz Kelly: Speaking of Cheryl Hines, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" returns Sunday night to HBO. Yay. Hopefully Brit's VMA performance will be over by then.
Just wondering...: Liz:
If you had a Larry Craig-like story on, say, one of the candidates for president -- would you break it ?
Liz Kelly: You got something for me or is this a continuance of the ethics theme from above?
Me either: I am a stay-at-home mom, and the only time I watched "The View" was on YouTube to watch the catfight that got Rosie kicked out. And even that wasn't worth it.
Liz Kelly: Another non-Viewer.
Alexandria, Va.: Hi Liz!
Love the chats. Anyway, I'm addicted to TV and am wondering which new TV show you're eager to see. Also, which network is going to come out on top this season? NBC seems to be making a comeback.
Liz Kelly: Actually, I'm looking forward to trying the new "Bionic Woman" on NBC. I've heard zero good or bad buzz about it, but am interested in seeing how they update the show. I was a big fan back in the '70s. I belonged to the Bionic Woman fan club and had some kind of Lindsay Wagner doll that had panels that opened in her legs to reveal circuit boards. I was like 6.
Broken In...: Ed Harris
Please, please do a date lab with Gene.
Liz Kelly: Ha. We'll see what Gene says.
Kidman 101: Nicole Kidman had two miscarriages. One early on in her marriage to Tom and then after the divorce she found out she was pregnant and miscarried. I'm not sure if she knew she was preggers before or after Tommy initiated the divorce.
Liz Kelly: Thanks, prof.
Washington, D.C.: Hi Liz - A question about you if I may. As an online producer, do you have, or even need a background in either journalism or computer programming/operations? It seems like one might benefit from both. Thank you.
Liz Kelly: Yep, most washingtonpost.com producers and editors come from traditional media backgrounds. If you're interested in a more specific answer, e-mail me a more specific question at email@example.com.
From last week, D.C.: So... what was the result? Did anyone, in fact, find a man on the Metro sans pleats?
Liz Kelly: Since I work from home I didn't take part, but I'm wondering if anyone else tried this challenge on for size. Bluto?
Leo: I hear from your Reliable Source colleagues that Leo DiCaprio is in town shooting a movie. Wasn't he the mover and shaker behind "11th Hour" the most recent entry into the "You're All Gonna Die Due to Climate Change" film festival? I don't think it made much of splash.
Liz Kelly: Yes, apparently his movie release met with a resounding thud. At least he's out there trying, though.
And, re: the movie, you must've missed today's special dispatch all about the filming at Eastern Market. Go check the blog.
Boston, Mass.: I got to meet both Mark Harmon and Kevin Costner during the 2000 All Star Game in Boston. Mark Harmon took my breath away. Broken in good looks? Oh yeah, and tall, and sorta dark (salt 'n' pepa, actually.) Costner was very friendly but surprisingly short.
Liz Kelly: Interesting. Thanks.
I never would have figured Kevin Costner as short. Goes back to our conversation of a few weeks back re: actors being mini-people who merely appear average-size on screen.
Broken in attractiveness: Barack Obama. And I think HE knows how to treat a woman. Michelle is a lucky woman.
Liz Kelly: Okay, here's one I didn't expect.
One of the 3.6 million: who watched Whoopi's debut. I was stuck at home sick all day, so it was Whoopi or Rachel Ray reruns. She actually was pretty good. Danny DeVito was a trip -- brought a bottle of Limoncello that is his own label and told the "View" ladies that his last visit was an inspiration for him to make money. DeVito Plug-A-Thon.
Liz Kelly: That Danny DeVito, so funny in "Twins."
Virginia resident : First, I love this chat! Thank goodness there are other people out there who love the celebrity dish as much as me!
Second, I saw yesterday that on Whoopi's View premiere, she made comments in defense of Michael Vick because he's from the south (Newport News) and we apparently have relaxed morals around here so we can't be held accountable for what we do. I'm from the tidewater area, as is he and I have to tell you, her opinion offended me and my family. Has there been any sort of backlash for Whoopi and the View?
Liz Kelly: Hey there, lots of tidewater-area folks have reacted similarly to Whoopi's contention that Michael's "deep south" upbringing led to his bent for animal cruelty. I guess Whoopi doesn't realize that PETA is based in Norfolk.
Brit's VMA Performance: Okay, I am nervous for her. Have a sinking feeling the performance is going to get polite, maybe even not so polite, applause and that's it. Or that something will go wrong with her, ahem, 'backing vocals' and it will be a disaster.
Ahh! There is so much more to worry abut than this! Like whether Brange are really on the rocks or not...
Liz Kelly: Well, I'm not sure how much attention will be paid to her song and her singing ability since she's reportedly prepared a magic extravaganza orchestrated by Criss Angel that will have her appearing and disappearing in mirrors around the stage.
This promises to be even more entertaining than the time she performed with an albino python.
Such a quality musician, that one. Keeping it real, she is.
Brambleton, Va.: Brad Pitt is actually whining about losing his looks? Puh-lease. I wish I was as ugly as Brad Pitt.
Be honest Liz -- does the Hollywood press corps collectively roll their eyes when self-absorbed celebs like Brad Pitt utter such outlandish statements?
Liz Kelly: I can't speak for the Hollywood Press Corp, but I'm trying to get an answer from someone much more qualified.
Liz Kelly: Okay, mission accomplished. Zap2It.com TV critic Rick Porter, who spent the past several years in the Hollywood press gaggle says:
"In my experience, we entertainment journalist types have pretty good poker faces. But oh yeah -- on the inside, our eyes are rolling."
John Cusack: John Cusack says he has only made 10 good films, despite spending over 25 years in the film industry. Hmm, Grosse Pointe Blank, Grifters, John Malkovich, Say Anything, maybe the new one Grace is Gone?
Liz Kelly: Well, looking at his IMDB page, I might have to agree. I'd forgotten about "America's Sweetheaerts" and "Conair." Oh, and, ugh -- "Serendipity."
But for the rest of the good ones. How bout:
Shadows and Fog
Better Off Dead... (sure, it was '80s teen comedy, but it was good)
OMG -- Just spewed Diet Coke on keyboard...: Laughing so hard reading your "up against the wall" Russell Crowe line.
"Craggy" good looks apparently work for Heidi Klum -- don't you just 'wonder' how Seal got those facial scars?
Oh, and...Daniel Craig. I know he's probably 5'2" but that's going to be some kind of broken-in yummy in a few years.
Liz Kelly: Seriously. Daniel Craig has got craggy down to a science.
Bionic woman: Oh! I had one of those action figures too! I forgot all about her. I wonder if eBay still has them.
Liz Kelly: I also had this Cher doll that had blond and black hair. You spun her scalp to switch between the two. Also, you could pull her hair and it would grow really long. Then you just pushed a button on her back and -- whoosh -- the hair was sucked back into her skull. I miss that thing.
D.C. all the way: Yet another non "The View" viewer, on the days off there are tons of shows I'd rather watch. Heck, Ellen is or was on at the same time.
Although I have gotten into Big Love. Albie(sp?) had his dad arrested. It's getting good but I sense that I've missed a lot of stuff in between. Do you watch?
Liz Kelly: I love "Big Love." Unfortunately the episode where Albie had pops (Harry Dean Stanton) arrested was the season finale. So we're all out of love (hehehe) until at least next spring.
Interesting sidenote. The guy who plays Albie, Matt Ross, also penned a movie with "The Office's" Rainn Wilson called "Renaissance Men" that sounds hilarious:
Wilson and Ross will play losers (Wilson claims he can't write about winners) who think they've killed their community theater co-star and so hideout at a Renaissance fair. Wilson describes it as, "a bit like We're No Angels, only funny." He also claims that Renaissance fairs are fascinating because, "everyone has been to one, but no one really knows what makes them tick."
Here's more info.
"But oh yeah -- on the inside, our eyes are rolling.": That's got to hurt.
Liz Kelly: Okay, I don't think Rick meant that literally.
Richmond, Va.: After Jerry Lewis made his slip, I had to wonder about this recent influx of verbal diarrhea from celebrities.
Are celebrities saying more stupid stuff than they did, say, 20 years ago? Are we just catching it more? Or are we more easily offended?
Liz Kelly: All of the above, I'd say.
Los Angeles, Calif.: With Jodie Foster the "awkward moment" these days comes when anyone mentions that "Glass Closet" story in "Out" magazine.
And having been in Russell Crowe's presence as a professional journalist I can testify to the fact that yes, he IS a jerk.
I've been covering show business for eons and the number of highly-paid actors and artisans who genuinely enjoy themselves and are willing to say so can be counted on one hand.
As for Bradd Pitt's looks, if he's lost them I'm more than willing to head a search party. (Hubba-Hubba!)
And what about that John Barrowman?
Liz Kelly: Thanks for weighing in, LA. I like to think Russell's jerkiness is just his tough Aussie veneer.
Re: Barrowman. I'm assuming you're referring to the recent interview in which he revealed his leather-assisted fantasies. Muy caliente.
Broken In...: Harrison Ford! He must be the king of broken-in attractiveness...
Liz Kelly: Enh. I'm over Harrison.
Cusack : Oh, I fell in love with him after "The Sure Thing." I was young, though. I also liked "Pushing Tin," only because it gave an interesting look inside the life of air traffic control.
Liz Kelly: I dunno. I was too distracted by Angelina and Billy Bob in "Pushing Tin" to actually pay attention to the plot and characters. What a waste of Cate Blanchett.
Arlington, Va.: For the person looking for Pavarotti tributes, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer will be running something on his life and legacy tonight!
Liz Kelly: Thanks Arlington.
Just beyond puberty: I need a really good make-out flick for this weekend -- any advice? I heard "Once" was good...
Liz Kelly: I've heard great things about "Once," too. But Weingarten saw it last week and HATED it.
Fine as a box of (really old) Wine: Liam Neeson...and I'm 24! He's so good and I never hear any perverted stories about him, vis-a-vis Ralph Fiennes.
Liz Kelly: You say that like it's a bad thing.
Brad Pitt looks like a monkey: And he gets more simian-looking with age. That is all.
Liz Kelly: Alrighty then. Maybe that's what he meant by "deteriorating."
Celebrity dolls: Your Cher doll sounds perfect. They should reissue it as a Britney doll...press a button, and it wanders around with no pants on and shaves its head.
Liz Kelly: Oooh, you've got something there. It would have to be a talking doll, too. "Ding dang, y'all!"
Craggy men: Sam Elliott.
I had an early Malibu Barbie with Kung-Fu grip (well, that's what it was called on the GI Joes -- not sure what they called it on Barbie). I seem to recall that the Six Million Dollar Man doll had a very weird bionic eye that looked like it had been shot out with an arrow...
Liz Kelly: I had that Six Million Dollar Man doll, too, but can't remember his eyes.
I also had the Charlie's Angels dolls and the Charlie's Angels dollhouse -- which was like some kind of weird house cantilevered on what was supposed to be a tree trunk.
Only 8 minutes till I can hit up eBay.
I'm with you with Harrison Ford: He was my number one actor who I would dump my boyfriend for. But then I realized I was the age of his kids and that would be gross.
And then he started dating Calista Flockhart, who is just 2 years older than me.
But Sean Connery on the other hand...
Liz Kelly: Enh. Now talk about someone who is utterly full of himself.
Now Michael Caine on the other hand...
Barack Obama: How could you not expect it. He is hot!
Liz Kelly: Because this crowd is more about Brad and Denzel, if you get my point.
Silver Spring, Md.: The suit I am wearing today, and wore on the Metro, has no pleats.
My other suit does, but they are mini-pleats.
Liz Kelly: Mini-pleats? Please. Let's call a pleat a pleat.
Kennebunkport, Me.: Liz:
In the absence of any really juicy celebrity news (Leo, Beckhams, hoo humm) -- can we politely ask for some wild unsubstantiated rumors from you or about you? Thanks.
Liz Kelly: You can ask.
Non-pleated man: I see one every day. A few years ago, I convinced my husband to give up on the pleats.
Liz Kelly: Way to go. Think of the fabric that could be saved if pleats were eliminated.
Anonymous: Ed Burns for a rough and ready lover ?
Liz Kelly: Hahahaha.
Bionic Huhhhhh?: "Lindsay Wagner doll that had panels that opened in her legs to reveal circuit boards"
...care to clarify? re-phrase?
Liz Kelly: On the outside of the legs there were little doors that opened to reveal what was meant to represent her bionics. In reality they were stickers with drawings of wires and circuits.
Rock of Love: This is my No. 1 guilty pleasure! I am personally cheering for Jes (what's her face with the pink hair) HOWEVER, she's just 23 and I think she can do better than Bret! But, out of the bunch, she's the best and least crazy! Could Lacey be any more of a backstabbing you know what?!
Liz Kelly: Of course she can do better than Bret. Luckily this is all a sham, just like "Flavor of Love." None of these girls will really end up with Bret. We're all just suspending disbelief because of the entertaiment value.
DC all the way: I don't know that he's broken in looking but Denis Quaid is still a hottie.
Liz Kelly: Agreed.
"Once": Whatever you do, don't go to "Once" if your date is Gene.
Liz Kelly: Good advice. Thanks.
great dolls: You can keep your generation's Cher doll and her adjustable hair....I'll keep my Growing Up Skipper who sprouted ladythingies when you twisted her arm. I tried twisting my own arm at the time....I guess it worked, albeit 40 years later.
Liz Kelly: Ha! I forgot about that. You could just keep twisting that poor girl's arm around and around and around. That awful clicking noise as she grew. Man. What a memory.
AUGH! Free association time: For some reason this opened up a neural pathway to "Land of the Lost." Chaka!
Brittney Doll: The Brittney must have orange fingers from Cheeto's! And have a "kung fu grip" for her mini bottles of drink...of course it would come with an assortment - Red Bull, Coffee, Bourbon....
Liz Kelly: Maybe we need to do Britney as a Mrs. Potatohead.
Okay. Since I can't seem to break the mental grip of '70s-era toys I think it is is time for me to say goodbye. I will now sip my tea and remember a kinder, gentler September. Maybe the '76 bicentennial summer -- when the Sit-and-Spin was always rocking and the Slip-n-Slide was always ready to save us from the sticky heat.
Till next week...