Thursday, November 29, 2007; 2:00 PM
When stars shave their heads, couch-jump, commit a fashion faux pas and or 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 every Thursday 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.
Did everyone catch yesterday's chat with Jim Gaffigan? If not, I strongly advise reading the transcript (an hour from now). Mr. Liz and I have tickets to see him tonight and I am just beside myself at the idea of being in the same room with his paleness.
Some food for thought: Over the holiday weekend, I saw "No Country for Old Men." Besides the fact that it almost killed my Javier Bardem crush (that page boy 'do was just too too) I was struck by how well native Scot Kelly McDonald delivered her lines in a perfect Texas drawl. Then, coincidentally, I ran across this list of bad movie accents. And, based on the list, I have to wonder -- do international actors do a better job of imitating American accents than American actors do of affecting a out of country speech patterns? Think of the regrettable Julia Roberts/"Mary Reilly" fiasco or the distracting Keanu Reeves as surfy-dude-sounding Jonathan Harker in "Bram Stoker's Dracula."
Is it really that hard? I mean, if Madonna and Gwynnie can do it, why can't Kevin Costner? Maybe it is tougher for some? Super-Thetan Tom Cruise reportedly doesn't even try to sound a bit German in the upcoming "Valkyrie," tho all of his co-stars did.
Also, I couldn't find any good reason to include this link in the blog, but I must share it. You can thank me later.
So, let's talk about accents (bonus points for typing in dialect), K-Fed's parenting skills, your lunch, my tea, Jim Gaffigan and whatever else is on your mind.
Breaking Stories: But will Canada Take Her Back Department:
Pam Anderson Talking Retirement (People, Nov. 29)
Life is not Fair Department:
Brad Pitt Vows: No More Nude Scenes (People, Nov. 29)
Liz Kelly: Well, I'll believe that (The Pammy story) when I see it. Is it just me, or does she look like a body builder in that accompanying photo?
As for Brad, fine if you don't want to bare your bum on screen anymore, but don't say you're doing it for your kids.
New York: Kevin Federline in Details? Please. If you are going to choose a "celebrity," why not choose Brad Pitt for this category?
Jeez, why are Fed's 15 minutes being extended?
Liz Kelly: As many commenters have pointed out in the blog, I think the fact that he isn't failing spectacularly has been a pleasant surprise. It's like expecting your kid to get a D in algebra, then feeling a small tinge of pride when he comes home with a solid C.
Status quo seems to work for K-Fed.
Washington, D.C.: Jim Gaffington led off with my stupid question!
This was the highlight of my pathetic little life. Unless, of course, you post this.
Liz Kelly: I guess this is just your week. Don't say washingtonpost.com never did anything for you.
Monkey County: LOVE the tattoos! They are a little new-skool for me (mine are all abstract designs), but the workmanship is very good. If it is a cover-up, I can't tell.
I guess I have to relate this to a celeb somehow...Your tattoos are more beautiful than Britney Spears' tattoos.
Liz Kelly: Thank you. I'll include this because of the Britney Spears reference. I'm hoping to jump on the one-upping Brit bandwagon with K-Fed.
I don't want to spend too much time on the tattoos, but will say that earlier this week when Gene linked to the pic on my tattoo artist's flickr page, she was flooded with rude comments. So I'm kind of loathe to point folks there again. I get that tattoos aren't everyone's bag, but I don't get anonymous name-calling. Just ain't cool.
So, to avoid a repeat, here's what I'll do. I'll take a pic and repost next week. K?
Arlington, Va.: Regarding bare male buns. I have developed a theory that whenever a movie is rated PG-13 because of nudity it involves a male butt scene. Just trying to be helpful.
Liz Kelly: Thanks, I think. I'm trying to remember what rating "A Room with a View" -- featuring some frontal male nudity -- earned. It may have been "not rated." Hmmm.
The way to go with male porn is clearly the Mr. Darcy/wet stockings route.
Arlington, Va.: Bad accents -- Don Cheadle in Ocean's 11-13. As much as I love the guy, he can't do cockney.
My personal pet peeve is bad NYC accents. People, if you need to do a NYC accent for a movie, alls you gots to do is study Bugs Bunny.
Liz Kelly: Good point re: Don. Reminds me of one American who did a great cockney accent. Hint: He'll no longer bare his bum on screen.
You don't think mimicking Bugs is laying it on a bit strong?
M Street NW, Washington, D.C.: Amanda Lepore? You're sure that's not Courtney Love?
Liz Kelly: Well, my first thought was that it was Dolly Parton -- as mention in Monday's main post, she was looking really... umm... different in last week's Thanksgiving Day parade. Seriously, if I had been one of the kids on that float, Dolly's proximity would've been enough to give me nightmares.
You forgot to mention...: ...Jim Gaffigan tickets at ticketmaster.com
(no, this isn't Jim)
Liz Kelly: Silly me. Thanks.
Stand,IN: A former colleague, this was years ago, had a crush on Kevin Costner. She went to a Costner movie expecting to ogle from the rear a naked Kevin. She was upset to find that Costner did not do the nude scene. Instead, the studio used what my colleague called a "stunt butt."
I think viewers will be seeing many more stunt butts in Brad Pitt movies.
Liz Kelly: I was just talking to someone last week who has a friend who is a male body double. I believe he will be standing in (or laying in or whatever) for Ben Affleck. Which means it could be pretty much any guy in a 50 mile radius of any major university in the country.
Washington, D.C.: I think Arlington is right about the PG-13 and male nudity bit. I read somewhere that they have worked out an informal code. For example, in a PG-13 you can only use the F-word once. My sig other and I keep making bets as to when in the movie it gets used.
Liz Kelly: Here's an MPAA FAQ purporting to detail how movies achieve a particular rating. I don't have time to read, so perhaps someone out there can do so and give it to us in a nutshell.
Actually, wasn't there a documentary in the past year or so claiming to "out" the MPAA ratings board? Anyone see it?
Upper Marlboro, Md.: Pam Anderson's retirement? From what?
Liz Kelly: Well, you've got me on that one.
I beg to differ: Madonna CAN'T do a British accent. What's worse is that she actually tries (too hard) to adopt a British accent in everyday speech. Ugh. It's forced, unnatural, and painful to listen to. At least -- as far as I know -- Gwyneth limits her accents to movie roles.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for writing in. My reference to Madonna and Gwynnie was a TOTAL tongue in cheek jab at their utterly laughable faux British accents.
Reminds me of a cousin of mine from Philadelphia who went to school down in Alabama. When in Philly, she sounded normal. But the minute she set foot back below the Mason-Dixon line she was all "garsh darn" and "yee-haw" twangy. So annoying.
McLean, Va.: Mel Blanc claimed that Bugs Bunny was a cross between a New Jersey and Bronx accent. Which means that in addition to saying "youse" he probably maintained the ludicrous notion that "what" rhymes with "squat."
Liz Kelly: Yes. I have heard the same. Also that he had a secret addiction to plain hot dogs and milk chocolate.
Alexandria, Va.: Re: bad accents -- I'm always amazed by the fact that 3 of the actors on "Without A Trace" are not Yanks (Anthony LaPaglia and Poppy Montgomery are Aussies and Marianne Jean-Baptiste is a Brit). They all sound pretty good, though Marianne's English accent does slip back in every now and then.
Liz Kelly: And let's not forget Hugh Laurie, who plays that irascible junkie on "House." He's British, yet does a great average American dude voice.
Atlanta, Ga.: Absolutely the worst thing is a poorly done Southern accent. I'm not a fan of the real thing but a bad one is awful. Most of the southerners in the movie "Gettysburg" including Martin Sheen's scenery chewing version of Robert E. Lee, sounded ridiculous. If you can't do a southern accent, don't play a southerner. End of Story.
(This theory works well for most accents/dialects.)
Liz Kelly: I haven't seen "Gettysburg," so I'll take your word for it.
Arlington, Va,: Okay, so I can't find out where to comment on the blog part, and I really need your help! I live in Arlington and the Backstreet Boys are coming here to Clarendon Ballroom -- however I am not 21! And I am absolutely their biggest fan. I know that you're not a boy band fan Liz, but I was wondering if you could tell me any info about their arrival/hotel/restaurant or could possibly help me catch them before or after the show? It would mean the world to me, and I cannot believe they are coming to my HOMETOWN! Thanks!
Liz Kelly: Right you are, the Boys will indeed be making an appearance at Clarendon Ballroom tomorrow night. They'll be headlining the latest Hot 99.5 Little Black Dress Holiday Party (the same party Perez Hilton and Good Charlotte headlined back in August).
No idea where the the guys will be hanging while in town, other than the Ballroom. I can say that when Good Charlotte's Joel Madden and girlfriend Nicole Richie hit town for this event, they holed up in Georgetown -- tho I'm fuzzy on whether at the Ritz or the Four Seasons.
Your best bet might be hanging outside tomorrow night's event, though they'll likely usher the Boys in the back door. I was at the Good Charlotte event and, trust me, you're honestly not missing much beyond an overcrowded, sweaty room.
Bad Southern Accents: Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown. Whenever she says a word with a long "i" in it, she tries to make it sound "Southern." Otherwise, no accent at all. They filmed a lot of the movie in Kentucky. She couldn't have found people to talk to?
Liz Kelly: That Kirsten Dunst. Such a bad actress, yet she gets the work.
East End: Liz:
Mr. Jolie wasn't doing a Cockney accent in "Snatch," in was a Tinker (Irish Nomad) accent.
Liz Kelly: Well, close enough. He still did a passable job of it. I could nary understand a word 'e said.
So, no one writing in dialect? Shucks.
"This Film is Not Yet Rated": 2006 film by Kirby Dick (great name!) It was nominated for an Academy Award -- lost to F9/11.
Liz Kelly: Ah yes, thank you!
A Room With a View: ...was not rated. I'm sure they knew Julian Sands's naked scamper was bound to present issues.
And guess what? The movie's over twenty years old. Sigh. Tell the young'uns to put it in their Netflix queue -- it's good.
Liz Kelly: Ah, Julian Sands. Now there's a blast from the past. He was kind of an "it" boy there for a while in the late '80s. "Room with a View," "Arachnaphobia." What in the world has become of him?
Secret addiction to plain hot dogs and milk chocolate. : Do you mean milk chocolate on hot dogs? Or just addications to both separately?
Liz Kelly: Well, you didn't hear it here, but I do know of one Post columnist who dips hot dog chunks, fondue style, in chocolate milk.
In defense of Pam A: She's a vegetarian, and a leading celebrity backer of animal rights. In my book, that's vastly preferable any day to the greatest Oscar winner in a fur coat or leather!
Liz Kelly: Consider yourself heard.
Speaking of veggies...
From one vegetarian to another: Hey Liz, have you checked out the new(ish) Sunflower Vegetarian restaurant in Falls Church, at Seven Corners? I had a great lunch there the other day.
I hear people with pet-themed tats get a discount.
Liz Kelly: Yes, love Sunflower. It (and the original in Vienna) is one of my faves. You can't fail to be happy in that place. I love the little piggy calendar on the front desk.
RE: however I am not 21! And I am absolutely their biggest fan.: Wow, even at 21 I think one would be a little too old to admit to being their biggest fan. This is a true fan.
Liz Kelly: But this gal? guy? is not 21, though I don't think 21 would be all that unusual for a Backstreet Boys fan. Their golden era was, what... six or seven years ago? That would make this person someone squarely in their tweener demographic who "grew up" with them.
Ould-Way Ig-Pay Atin-Lay Ork-Way?: Irsten-Kay Unst-Day's oice-vay is-hay annoying-hay anyway-hay, o-say I-hay on't-day ow-knay if-hay it-hay ade-may a-hay ig-bay ifference-day.
Liz Kelly: As Buckwheat would say: O-tay.
Reese "the chin" Witherspoon: Will someone PLEASE tell me what cutie pie Jake sees in Jay Leno chin, jacked up shape (she has a pooch belly, NO behind whatsoever and bony legs and ankles) Reese? Ugh
Liz Kelly: Well, this presupposes the fact that we buy their relationship at all.
That said, you sir or madam are smoking the crack. Reese is adorable. Speaking of southern accents, hers is killer (and natural). I'm not the biggest Reese fan, but did love her in one of her earlier works "Freeway," in which she plays a kick-butt fugitive who encounters a very scary Keifer Sutherland.
Carlisle, Pa.: Liz,
If you please, may we hear your thoughts on Britney's latest display -- X-rated store thieving, etc., 12 hours late for work. How long will this continue? You are a Celebritologist so you must have some insight.
Also, I read the transcript from yesterday's book club chat. You certainly were a big help! Seriously, that was a funny read.
Liz Kelly: Ya, I apologize for yesterday's book chat. I had a hard time mustering the motivation to read Hawking. Sosumi. I'll get back with the program for our next book, "A Wrinkle in Time."
I'm glad you asked about Brit. I considered writing a longer post about her for the blog this week as she seems to be reaching yet another insanity spike again. I didn't, so we can talk about it here.
Has she reached bottom yet? Every time I think she has (partying with Paris, the MTV Awards humiliation, losing her kids) she does something to undercut herself even more. I have to wonder if she's going to snowball with this stuff as we get further into the holiday season. I believe a judge ruled the kids will spend Christmas with K-Fed and I don't think she's on the best of terms with her folks at this point, so that has to be weighing on her.
The Hustler store undie incident really is another in a long line of cries for attention, like shaving her head earlier this year. She's cracking up in such a public way.
The irony here, of course, is that her album is a success by most measures. It's a hit and people who I trust musically are calling it decent. She's filmed a video for the second single yesterday. It's interesting that she's able to walk this very thin line between her public persona (crazy train) and her professional image (hit maker).
What does it say about us?
Re: Reese: Bony legs and ankles and no butt whatsoever make me very jealous. I'd take that description any day.
Liz Kelly: Seriously.
GG: Can you start Celebritologizing on the cast of Gossip Girl? Please tell me you've been watching...
Liz Kelly: I haven't yet, but I will. I only hear good things about GG and need to get my non-bony butt in gear and watching.
Bad accents -- Don Cheadle in Ocean's 11-13. As much as I love the guy, he can't do cockney. : That was cockney!? I've watched all three of those movies thinking he was trying to do Aussie!
Oh, two of the leads on Brothers and Sisters are great at masking their accents - Rachel Griffiths is Australian and Matthew Rhys is Welsh. Every now and again you can pick it up on Rachel...if you're looking for it.
Liz Kelly: Same with Emily Mortimer in "Lars and the Real Girl." Fabulous actress, but every now and then that English way of pronouncing vowels just crept through.
Aaaaas Yyyooouuuu Wwwiiiiiiisssshhhh!: Since we brought up Kevin Costner and bad accents it makes me think about Carey Elwis making fun of it in Men in Tights which makes me think about The Princess Bride and my crush on him I've never really gotten over. Yummy!
Liz Kelly: Thank you. I loved that movie. And Cary Elwes. I started nursing my crush on him when he co-stared with a 15-year-old Helena Bonham Carter in "Lady Jane." Swoon.
That movie, though. So good. So clever. Every bit of it was pitch perfect... from the pacing to the casting of Andre the Giant.
True story: When the movie came out, I was an idiotic teenager. A friend and I snuck in to Falls Church's State Theater (which was then a 99 cent movie house) to see it. We were immediately busted by a pimply-faced usher who gave us a well-deserved tongue lashing for being so cheap as to try to sneak in to a 99 cent movie. We paid up, found seats in the back and proceeded to laugh for the entire hour and a half of the movie.
And men wonder why women are so insecure about their appearance: When we have a culture where people feel free to say this:
Reese "the chin" Witherspoon: Will someone PLEASE tell me what cutie pie Jake sees in Jay Leno chin, jacked up shape (she has a pooch belly, NO behind whatsoever and bony legs and ankles) Reese? Ugh
...about a MOVIE STAR who's the epitome of glamour, and yet she's STILL not good enough? "Ugh" is right.
Liz Kelly: Yep. Well, remember, this is the same culture that names barely legal Hayden Panattierre as the GQ "Obsession" of the year.
Re: Great Fakes: I was absolutely floored not too long ago to hear Christian Bale at some awards show and find out he's a Brit! I don't know why, but it totally blew my mind; I would have sworn he was American from his movies, many in which he's played an American (at least the ones I've seen him in).
Liz Kelly: Yep, total Brit. I think, seriously, that many people assume he's American because of one of his early roles in "American Psycho."
Can we just talk about Star Jones?: Just because?
She never ceases to get me riled up. I saw a clip of her interviewing Amy Winehouse's high school principal...? This is "news?" More to the point, I'm just so over her new weirdly proportioned thin body, and her head that threatens to crush her neck at any moment.
Liz Kelly: Dude, that's totally news in the world of Celebritology. Did the principal say anything interesting or was it just a rehash of the letter she wrote the Daily Mail last week?
Lakewood, Colo.: Thee questions: First, what is it about "House" the character that appeals to women? My wife and daughter love that show (though not so much this season), but to me, Dr. House is such a louse that his diagnostic skills don't come close to making up for his obnoxiousness. Women seem to love him, though -- the bad boy/wounded soul paradigm? Two: where in the world did the word "skeeve" come from, as in "skeeved out"? It seems to be pervasive in Wapost chats...and finally...how come when I hit the back button after looking at something on the main Washington Post web page, it always goes back to the screen from November 24?
Liz Kelly: 1. I don't know re: House. I don't get the attraction myself.
2. A little quick googling reveals that "skeeve" is a bastardization of the Italian word "schifo", meaning disgust. Molto bene!
With the pig-Latin posting, the Amanda Lepore photo: and the hotdogs being dipped in chocolate, I've got a headache, nausea and dizzyness.
Liz Kelly: Rock on. If we were any kind of site, we'd get some anti-seasickness medication ads up on this page stat.
Re: AW's principal on Star Jones...: rehash of the letter. She basically called Amy "special" like 150 times, e.g. she was a special young lady, with such a special talent... like Garland or a Minnelli. AHHH!
Liz Kelly: I'm not sure I'd want to be special like Liza Minnelli is special. It does not mean what I think she think it means, if you get my meaning.
Cary Elwes: Wait a minute, he's not British? Am I really ignorant? Or is it a reference to Robin Wright-Penn's accent?
Liz Kelly: No no, Cary is most definitely British. The earlier chatter was just free associating!
Re: But this gal? guy? is not 21,: Yeah, I totally read that one wrong. Oops.
Liz Kelly: No prob.
Well, remember, this is the same culture that names barely legal Hayden Panattierre as the GQ "Obsession" of the year. : I'm so glad I'm not the only one squicked out by this. She turned 18 like 3 seconds ago. I also don't get the hulabaloo about this girl. She's young, she's cute, she's on a TV show...okay. I don't understand the obsession thing.
Liz Kelly: Well, young and cute seems to count for a lot with many admirers of the fairer sex. Those two qualities, in fact, were the main things men seemed to find attractive about Britney back in the day.
Mens Wear Dept, Tysons Corner, Va.: The comments about Reese make me realize why many women heart Gene. To him, every woman, regardless of appearance, is hot.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. So, fess up -- which mens Wear Dept. and are you chatting on company time?
Washington, D.C.: Okay, I know he makes your loins burn and all, but in "Cinderella Man" I thought that Russell Crowe's obvious effort to sound American distracted from his performance.
Liz Kelly: I'm sorry. I disagree. Russell can do no wrong. Witness his amazing North Jersey accent in "American Gangster."
A Wrinkle in Time - by Madeleine L'Engle: Isn't that a kids' book?
I remember it was VERY good and I just planned to give it to my 10-year-old nephew for Christmas, but aren't we carrying the Harry Potter adults reading kids books thing a bit far?
Liz Kelly: It is a kids' book -- or Young Adult. Some of the best books out there are kids books, tho. Like the inspiration for the upcoming "Golden Compass" movie, Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, "The Diary of Adrian Mole," etc...
House: I'm female too and don't get the fascination with Hugh Laurie (House) either.
I do like some of the Scots, though, like Ewan Macgregor!
Liz Kelly: Thanks for weighing in. I was with you on Ewan Macgregor until the unfortunate Star Wars incident. Ya know, his career was totally smoking until he starred in those movies. Now he's got to prove himself all over again.
List idea!: Have we done a top 5 list on the childhood/teenage crushes we had on actors? We should! Say maybe list the actor and name of the movie/TV show that inspired said crush?
Liz Kelly: Hello friday list. If you want to be credited as the inspiration, send in your name!
Best evs future celebrity marriage:: Amy Winehouse and David Gest!!!!!
Liz Kelly: Okay, so we started with one scary image and end with another.
I need to dash to start prepping for tonight's Jim Gaffigan show. I'm thinking some Kleenex and Depends and I'll be good to go.
See you here next week and tomorrow in the blog for a rip-roaring Friday List.
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