Celebritology Live: Plastic Surgery; Questions for Kate Walsh; Gratuitous Russell Crowe Mention
Thursday, March 27, 2008; 2:00 PM
When stars shave their heads, couch-jump, spend countless minutes in jail, commit a fashion faux pas and/or other random acts of ego-inspired inanity, washingtonpost.com Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly is on the job. Every weekday, Liz 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 LIVE 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.
In her pre-celeb obsessed days (as if!), Liz ran washingtonpost.com's Discussions section, where she enjoyed talking to really interesting people -- sometimes even Post reporters -- on the phone. She still produces both Carolyn Hax's advice discussion and Gene Weingarten's Chatological Humor.
Liz Kelly: Afternoon everyone. Welcome back to the party. I'm fighting off a wee spring cold, so make sure to grab some of the hand sanitizer on the way out.
Let's jump right in...
Sean John P Diddy Puff Daddy Combs: Not a big fan of his, but I am fascinated by this story. The L.A. Times falsely accused him of murder! Please discuss, wise Celebritologist.
washingtonpost.com: L.A. Times Apologizes for Rapper Story (Post, March 27)
Liz Kelly: I'm fascinated, too. Apparently the L.A. Times was hoodwinked (no pun intended) by some guy who produced phony FBI documents that suggested Diddy had some advance knowledge of an attack on Tupac.
I don't know much about the reporter, Chuck Philips, but he is a past Pulitzer winner. They don't give those things out as party favors, so my guess is that he got taken in, but good. Maybe the guy was selling him something that he really wanted to believe was real or maybe it was just that good.
You have to wonder, though, why it was so easy for The Smoking Gun to prove them false. I mean, doesn't the LA Times have a legal department vetting this stuff, too?
Anonymo, US: I saw an ad for a diet system the other night, and remembered this little item from a family member who happens to work (at a high level) for that diet system: part of his job is to read People and Us Magazine, and reach out to celebs who have gained weight to ask them to be spokespeople. The company reaches out by sending a gift basket. Can you imagine how the celebrity feels the day they get that basket?
Liz Kelly: My first thought was that I'd be buried beneath a mountain of gift baskets. My second was that I would really love to talk to your family member. Care to put me in touch?
Did you catch the celebrity's father blogging in today's WaPo?: Robert Thurman: "China Needs the Dalai Lama":
China Needs the Dalai Lama (On Faith, March 26)
The Post reports that "Robert Thurman is professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University and President of Tibet House US," but fails to mention that he's also the father of Uma.
Liz Kelly: I missed that. Thank you for pointing it out. Incidentally, it's a piece worth reading. And I wouldn't be surprised if we hear a lot more from celebs about Tibet in the coming week. It's been a favored cause of many -- not the least of which being the Beastie Boys -- in the past.
Alexandria, Va.: Puzzle me why celebrities go to quack plastic surgeons when they have all the money in the world to hire the best ones that Beverly Hills has to offer.
Liz Kelly: Because they too are prey to wanting to believe that there's such a thing as a shortcut -- a cheaper, quicker, more potent fix to save the one asset they've been conditioned to value the most: their looks.
And they just have so much more money than the rest of us. So while we may get taken in by things like Ephedra or the Atkins diet, they can use their considerable resources to scratch that itch in way more dangerous or ridiculous ways. F'rinstance, having leeches bleed you via the belly button.
Career paths: Monitoring celebrity weight gains for your job. Hmm. I guess it would be a growth industry.
Liz Kelly: Bah-dah-bump! Give the man a cigar.
Chevy Chase: Are there any women in Hollywood who are older and have not had any surgery? I was just curious what a beautiful older woman is supposed to look like. Thanks.
Liz Kelly: Well, unless someone comes out with medical records proving that she has never been under the knife, it's hard to tell. There are degrees -- everything from a full on overhaul (think Joan Rivers) to a discreet touch up here and there (think pretty much everyone else).
But, as ably illustrated in this iVillage gallery, plastic surgery isn't just used by aging women -- it's used by young women (think Ashley Tisdale or Ashlee Simpson) and even men (hello, Michael Jackson). It's a full on epidemic.
Washington, D.C.: Do we have actual confirmation that Angelina is having twins? I know it seems to be The Thing to say about celebs, but I don't recall seeing it confirmed. Please to clarify. Thanks!
Liz Kelly: No, of course not. Unless you see Angelina confirm this news to Anne Curry on "The Today Show," all we have is speculation -- which is why you haven't seen much news of Angie's pregnancy in Celebritology and what we do have is confined to the Rumor Mill.
Tibet: Where is Richard Gere when the Dalai Lama needs him to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity?
Liz Kelly: Oh, he's around. According to this site, he talked Tibet with Wolf Blitzer a couple of weeks back.
N Va.: So Ryan Phillipe doesn't like to see photos of ex-wife Reese with her current beau Donnie Darko...ummmm...wasn't Ryan the one that got the divorce ball rolling with his affair with the Ozzie actress?
Liz Kelly: That's what some tabloids claim, but who really knows? And is it any of our business?
Excuse me. I must be sicker than I thought.
I meant to say: Funny you should mention this. I recently heard a great hour-long interview of Ryan on the Howard Stern show and he told Howard that the split had been coming for some time. That he and Reese spent a lot of time apart and that on a very basic level their personalities were too different to find a happy middle ground.
Now, was he BS'ing for Howard and smiling to himself about Abbie Cornish? Maybe. He seemed like a well-adjusted guy and primarily interested in how his kids fare in the wake of the split.
Anonymous: Losty lost lost lost. LOST.
Just a daily dose of LOST since there's no Friday chat.
Liz Kelly: Jen Chaney, everyone!
Cap Hill: It seems the Hollywood baby boom has slowed. Could this be attributed to the writers' strike being over.
Liz Kelly: Slowed?! No way -- we've got Angie on a slow boil. Not to mention Nicole Kidman. Tori Spelling expecting again. Laila Ali just announced she's preggo. Jamie Lynn Spears and her love child. Those are just off the top of my head.
Twins: We haven't even had confirmation that they are having a another baby. Although that is hard to deny at this point in time.
Liz Kelly: Oh, come on. The woman is clearly with child.
Demi and the Leeches: Is this the most absurd thing ever? I mean, really. Is there no end to celebs indulging their megasized vanity?
(I hope not because then we'd have nothing to talk about!)
Liz Kelly: Short answer: No.
Mid-sized answer in the form of a question: Are stars really vainer than the rest of us or is it just easier for them to indulge their insecurities?
Speaking of Lost: There isn't a new episode tonight right? When can we expect another new one?
Liz Kelly: April 24th. "Lost" will return, but at 10 p.m. ET, for five more episodes.
More celebs mentioned in today's Post political reporting: Well, It Did Happen to Somebody Post)
"If you've ever wondered how many male interns work for Congress, just show at up at today's event on Capitol Hill featuring actor Kate Walsh. Every last one of them will probably be there.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America is hosting a forum billed "Private Practice Star Kate Walsh Talks About Sex on Capitol Hill: Actor Leads Congressional Briefing on Real Sex Education."
...Walsh, a star of "Grey's Anatomy" and its spinoff, "Private Practice," is lobbying for Planned Parenthood's mission to end federal funding for abstinence-only programs. She's also scheduled to attend Planned Parenthood's D.C. awards gala tonight with fellow TV and silver-screen celebs Blythe Danner and Suzanne Whang, all three of whom serve on the group's "board of advocates."
Liz Kelly: Actually, I'll be sitting down with Kate this evening for a quick interview. So if anyone has any burning questions -- send them along.
Reese and Ryan: In interviews Reese gave during the marriage, she said she and Ryan underwent couples counseling at least a couple different points in their marriage. Plus, theirs was a shotgun wedding, so didn't have the most promising of starts.
Liz Kelly: Right re: counseling. Also, they were like 21 when they married. Who knows what she (or he) wants at 21?
Twin births: Considering twins are normal in only about 1 in 90 births, how is it that so many celebs are having twins? Has anyone asked said celebs if they are taking fertility drugs which increases the probability of multiple births?
Liz Kelly: No. But fertility treatment is a pretty normal go-to option these days for couples having trouble reproducing. I don't see where this is a big deal.
The Wire, Baltimore: We just saw on this past season of The Wire how excited newspapers can be to sell a story. I'm not surprised about the L.A. Times at all. It sounds great to say that Sean Combs knew of the murder and check it later.
Liz Kelly: Well, but this is the L.A. Times -- they get plenty of legit, fully vetted scoops. Why risk the paper's reputation on one story? It just isn't worth it.
Angelina Pregnant: Liz Kelly: Oh, come on. The woman is clearly with child.
I don't know. I just had a sandwich, some chips and a cadbury caramel egg, and I look like that too. Maybe she's been having too many Easter treats.
Liz Kelly: Now, now. What that woman is sporting is no rumored baby bump. It's a full on science project.
Alexandria again: RE: quack plastic surgeons. Okay, but as you said, their looks are their number one asset in their business, so one would think they'd make sure they are going under the knife with a vetted plastic surgeon. You'd think this is one area where they wouldn't want to take a short cut, get a quick fix.
Liz Kelly: You'd also think Richie Sambora would know better than to drive drunk with his daughter in the car. But, no.
Silver Spring, Md.: I was actually impressed with The Post for not introducing Robert Thurman as Uma's father. In the first place, he is well known in his own right. In the second place, it would be like bookending Angelina Jolie's op-ed with "The author is a crusading actress who stole Brad Pitt and makes both genders drool."
Liz Kelly: Right. Good point, Silver Spring. But here in Celebritology land, we don't mind knowing that the guy is related to Uma, she who is enlightened enough to have kicked Ethan Hawke to the curb.
Reston, Va.: So, I've missed the last two live chats and in reading the transcripts I've have multiple moments where I think "Oh, I need to respond to something Liz just wrote," only to have my moment robbed by the memory that I'm not chatting live. And here I am, chatting live and I got nuthin. Sigh. Happy Spring.
Liz Kelly: Same to you, Reston. Your moment will come.
Question for Kate Walsh: Why does she sound so bored in that Cadillac commercial?
(Oh wait, did you want a polite question?)
Liz Kelly: Well, there's always a tactful way:
"What was it like shooting the Cadillac commercial and, pardon me for asking Ms. Pretty Lady, were you anesthetized at the time?"
See, isn't that better?
Random question: Liz, are you still taking that krav manga (sp.?) class? My kickboxing studio offers it and I'm on the fence about whether it try it...it is waayy expensive.
Liz Kelly: Krav Maga. No, I wimped out on it. A little too aggressive ultimately. I think what sealed it for me was having my bare foot squashed by a guy pushing 250 pounds. My pinkie toe was black and blue for weeks.
D.C. all the way: Oh wise celebritologist Liz,
Do you think the dust up about Heath Ledger's will is going to turn into a full on sand storm? Or will Michelle's father who has some legal issues is going to back down?
Liz Kelly: Remains to be seen. It could be a full on sand storm, but if it does it'll end up in a court room at some point and there's nothing like the slow churn of the legal system to take the head of steam off a story.
Alexandria, Va.: Tom Cruise and his Stepford Wife have been so very quiet recently...what do they have up their Scientology sleeves I wonder? He tends to not stay out of the spotlight for very long, often with a faux pas of his making..
Liz Kelly: Well, did you read this morning's Mix? There was an utterly unsourced story in the Rumor Mill claiming that poor Katie is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The reason being that she can't keep up with her neurotic husband and the demands he makes of her to stay thin and continue projecting a specific image.
Re. Celebs and plastic surgery: I was looking at the iVillage thinger -- wow I must say that Pam Anderson used to be naturally pretty. Now she looks horrible. Why would someone make themselves look uglier?
Liz Kelly: I thought the exact same thing re: Pam Anderson. And it reminded me of the sad saga of poor Jennifer Grey's face.
Tell Kate Walsh: Her Cadillac commercial turns me on -- and I'm a happily married heterosexual woman. No way does she sound burned. I want a Caddy, baby.
Liz Kelly: I'll let you tell her that yourself.
Real Housewives, N.Y.: Liz, I wish we were friends in real life because I have so much to talk about re: RHNY and none of my actual friends watch the show. How terrible is Alex?! I can't decide if I hate her or think she's the saddest person in America (both?)
Liz Kelly: They're none of them prizes, those women. Alex has a severe case of misplaced values. Her husband is a huge metrosexual (not that there's anything wrong with that) and she has doomed her children by giving them pretentious names (Francois and I forget the other one). In an episode I watched last night, one of the other housewives asked Alex if Francois had a nickname that he could use so as not to be teased when he starts school. Alex replied, straight-faced, "Frahhhhnc." I mean, may as well go with Francois if that's the only other option.
Also, what is with that nutty-eyed blond pushing her kid into an acting career. I hate these people.
Angie's bump: Honestly, I expect to see her on Ashton Kutcher's new show any week now, pulling the pillow from under her shirt and telling the world how fun it is to fool the press.
Liz Kelly: I doubt Angie would lower herself to help Ashton Kutcher score a ratings coup.
Punk'd: How do we know the leeches aren't a result of the hoax show that Demi's husband is working on? That was my first thought when I saw the headlines: prank.
Liz Kelly: Do you think David Letterman would allow himself to be used like that? Also, Demi mentioned that she'd brought along pix but they had been censored by the producer. So I'm thinking it's real.
Famous last words, right?
15th and L: Can we talk about Russell Crowe? Absolutely anything works for me.
Liz Kelly: Sure. How 'bout that moment in "L.A. Confidential" when he realizes that somewhere there is a woman in distress and he crumbles the back of a chair with his bare hands.
Honorary Mayor of Hollywood?: Just heard on the news that Hollywood's planning to name a new Honorary Mayor, in the wake of Johnny Grant's death a couple months ago. And one of the contenders is Laugh-In's Gary Owens. I think he'd be perfect, especially presiding over all those Star-in-the-Walk-of-Fame ceremonies.
Liz Kelly: I dunno. I was thinking Mayor McCheese. He hasn't been doing much lately.
Randoms: Liz, I'm meeting my Ph.D. adviser for the first time tomorrow. He's an old southern man...and I'm afraid this east coast girl won't have much non-academic stuff to talk about. How should I break the ice?
Liz Kelly: You'll be fine. All elderly Southern academics are a bit eccentric. You'll probably have more in common than you realize. Remember, Truman Capote was from Alabama.
GASP! HORRORS!: Kate Walsh is 40! I though our celebrity culture has successfully brainwashed us into thinking that anyone over 24 belongs in assisted living!
Liz Kelly: Right -- though remember the show that gave Walsh her biggest break "Grey's Anatomy" is produced by a woman.
Baltimore, Md.: Spencer Pratt has an advice column? His girlfriend Heidi has released another single? Really? I don't recognize this country.
Liz Kelly: And the season opener of "The Hills" broke ratings records. Who are you people?
Kate Walsh: She sounded bored because she never opens her mouth more than an inch wide. What is it with her and the actress that plays Juliette on Lost? They both purse their lips/arrange their face in a very unnatural way -- it's really weird! Is it because they think it narrows the face? They're both inordinately attractive -- I don't get the contortions.
Liz Kelly: I get what you're saying. There's a hint of Victorian repression that surrounds the mannerisms of both Walsh and Elizabeth Mitchell. Like at some point these women are going to bust out of their prim shells, throw caution to the wind and go wild.
Did you catch Judy Greer on Letterman last night?: Judy Greer ("Miss Guided," Ashton Kutcher's new sitcom project) comes across as an adorable, quirky and (still) unspoiled midwesterner.
Liz Kelly: Yes, and that show isn't half bad. And it features one of my favorite SNL alums, Chris Parnell.
Tibet: Do you think the recent activity there will bring about a reemergence of the Beastie Boys? I'm not talking the "Intergalactic" 'Boys, I'm talking Paul's Boutique level. (sigh)
Liz Kelly: Oh, I dunno. Musicians grow and change. And the Beasties are still working. But we can hardly expect them to remain frozen in time just because we like to shake our rumps.
By the way, Paul's Boutique is just about my favorite Beasties, too.
Aging Celebs: Actually, I was just thinking about this 'cause I saw some TV preview starring Anjelica Houston. And my first thought was, "WOW! She looks so old!" But then as I watched her acting I thought good for her! She was so wonderful in all those Wes Anderson films (Royal Tenanbaums, Steve Zizou). She wears her age well, even though the severe Cher-hair needs to go.
Liz Kelly: Good point -- Angelica does come off as a woman who wears her age well.
Plastic Surgery: OK, Michael Jackson does look weird now, but I want to remind everyone that his skin color is the result of vitiligo. Look it up if you haven't heard of it, but for a non-painful, non-fatal disease, it can really ruin a life. For a black person, the only options are black makeup for all exposed skin, or just bleaching everything to match. I saw a book by a TV reporter who has vitiligo, and dealing with it takes a lot of energy from him.
Liz Kelly: Oh, okay. Thanks for that clarification.
Baltimore, Md.: I can't believe I'm defending plastic surgery, but it strikes me that that ivillage gallery is a little unfair -- a lot of those "before" and "after" pics were taken several years apart -- and who knows if Farrah Fawcett looks terrible because of her surgery or her cancer.
Also, while fertility treatment is an individual decision, I wish more celebrities would talk about it, or acknowledge the expense, side effects, failure rate, etc., etc.
Liz Kelly: Good point on both counts, Baltimore.
Washington, D.C.: Katie Holmes: I cut and pasted this directly from the link supplied on your blog:
"Sources tell Star magazine that the former Dawson's Creek star regularly suffers from splitting headaches which leave her seeing spots and feeling faint -- caused by a new-found dieting obsession as she's positioned as a chic fashionista and a lack of sleep."
Katie Holmes is being "positioned as...a lack of sleep?" Wow! She's no longer even a carbon-based life form.
Liz Kelly: Well, I'm guessing there was some accidental rearranging of that sentence on some poor editor's part. I'm guessing it was meant to read:
"...caused by a lack of sleep and anew-found dieting obsession as she's positioned as a chic fashionista."
Omaha, Neb.: How long do you think it will take for Heidi and Spenser to go away? I've never seen "The Hills" and yet I deeply loath both of them. I mean really, what kind of unabashed egoist do you have to be to ask for clones of yourself to model your clothing line. Gak.
Liz Kelly: Old stars (even dim ones) never really fade away. They just do reality TV.
Kate Walsh: "Like at some point these women are going to bust out of their prim shells, throw caution to the wind and go wild."
That's totally the appeal. That and the crinkles around her mouth. And the diamond earrings she wore in surgery on Grey's. She's just smokin'.
Liz Kelly: Ya, guys deal that repressed sexpot thing.
Portland, Ore.: Liz,
I have tickets to see Bon Jovi at the end of April. My sister and cousin and I even have matching "Mrs. Bon Jovi" T-shirts to wear. Two questions: have you heard how long Richie will be in rehab? Also, if the concert is canceled, can you think of a reasonable replacement activity where Mrs. Bon Jovi T-shirts would be welcome? If it helps, we will be in Orlando.
Liz Kelly: I'm sure there are plenty of appropriate places to wear your "Mrs. Bon Jovi" t-shirts in Orlando. I believe there's a Medieval Times restaurant in nearby Kissimmee. Their shows have a lot in common with Bon Jovi: Lots of overblown stage antics and big hair.
Does everyone remember the old Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at a Bon Jovi concert clip? If not, it's worth googling. But, take car, some parts contain NSFW language.
Washington, D.C.: Michael Jackson and vitiglio: I would buy that answer if it weren't for the fact that Mr. Jackson also managed to go from a full, broad nose to a tiny point somewhere in the middle of his face. His jaw line was also dramatically reshaped. You can't look at pix of him at 10 and at 30 and think they could possibly be the same person.
Liz Kelly: Right. Sure, maybe has vitiligo, but that doesn't explain the utter reshaping of his bone structure.
Not a question but...: I think Kate Walsh is the most attractive woman in television. Hands down. And not out of a politically correct..."thank god there's one attractive woman over 25" kind of way, she is just smokin'. I am a hetero-female, and if there were more Kate Walshes, I would watch a LOT more TV.
Liz Kelly: Well, I'll pass that along to her tonight.
But now I'm worried -- am I going to be struck mute in her presence by her stunning beauty and poise?
Katie's splitting headaches: I've read that leeches are good for that. Or do Scientologists not believe in using them, either?
Liz Kelly: But can you apply a leech to a leech?
Celebrity gazing: I see that Ashlee Simpson and Ben Affleck have been invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner. (WHY?) Does that mean you will be covering the event?
Liz Kelly: From your lips to my boss's ears.
And on that note, I'm out of here. I have much prepping and plucking to do before facing Kate Walsh in the interview chair tonight.
Until next week...
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