Leonardo DiCaprio, who has not given a sit-down TV interview since 1997, had a one-on-one with Barbara Walters in an interview set to air Friday on 20/20. DiCaprio has two high-profile films coming out next month, including Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York and Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can--and shares the interview with Spielberg and his Catch Me co-star Tom Hanks. According to People.com, Walters asked DiCaprio what early stardom had taught him about success, to which the heartthrob replied, "Not much," then explained: "I think ultimately success is good. Failure not so good…" He griped to Walters about how the media sometimes portrays him and added, "But on that same token, I'm not going to sit here and say that I am not completely grateful and feel completely blessed for everything that's happened in my career." That's the spirit, Leo.
Guess she can't have her cake and eat it, too. Madonna borrowed money from strangers in a London restaurant to buy a piece of cake for her son, Reuters reports. Madonna was in the restaurant with her husband, Guy Ritchie, their son Rocco and her daughter Lourdes when she told two sisters that she had forgotten her purse. The women did not recognize the singer but gave her a two-pound coin to help cover the tab. Reps for Madonna said the sisters would be sent CDs and a check to cover the loan.
Danny Glover has started a three-day visit to Trinidad to film an upcoming TV program on HIV-AIDS and children, a U.N. spokeswoman told The Associated Press. The 55-year-old actor will host the first of 10 episodes of the Hot Spot series, slated to begin airing in January on the Showtime cable network.
The live-action/computer-animated feature version of Garfield has sunk its claws into a director. Peter Hewitt, who most recently directed the children's pic Thunderpants, will helm the project, with scribes Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow penning the screen adaptation, Variety reports.
The Jodie Foster-helmed Flora Plum is being dusted off after being shelved two years ago, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Set in the 1930's, the film revolves around a circus "freak" who takes pity on a penniless waif and sets her on the course to stardom, but finds himself falling in love with her. Ewan McGregor, Meryl Streep and Claire Danes will star in the project, with production set to begin in either fall 2003 or January 2004.
Speaking of Leo, DiCaprio will star in The Good Shepherd, Robert De Niro's second turn as director, Variety reports. The film, written by Forrest Gump scribe Eric Roth, charts the history of the CIA through the Cold War. DiCaprio will play James Wilson, a character modeled in part on former CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton.
Primetime reality romance has proven more attractive to audiences than ladies in scanty panties. The AP reports ABC's The Bachelor trounced CBS's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in the ratings last night as some 26 million viewers tuned in to find out which lucky lady Aaron picked in the two-hour Bachelor finale, versus an unexpectedly low 10.5 million for the lingerie show--which came in third even behind The West Wing. No doubt NOW is happy to hear it.
MTV is planning a Snoop Dogg variety show. According to the AP, the pilot for Snoop's half-hour program, title Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, will mix sketch comedy with music and man-on-the-street bits. The show is scheduled to air Monday at 10:30 p.m. EST.
Bill Maher has found a new home on cable. AP reports that starting Feb. 21, Maher will host a yet-to-be-titled late-night talk show on HBO airing once a week for 20 episodes. Maher's last show, Politically Incorrect, ran on ABC from 1997 until it was canceled last May.
Charity has a posthumous friend in (the recently deceased and ex-Beatle) George. The George Harrison hit "My Sweet Lord" is on sale in record stores again starting today, this time with proceeds going to charity. (The last time the song was released, in 1971, the proceeds benefited George.)
The lucky charity is the Material World Foundation, which Harrison set up in 1973 to help agencies that help poverty stricken children worldwide get, um, er, materials.
Hollywood heartthrob Tom Cruise (Vanilla Sky) revealed to Entertainment Tonight that he'd love to marry again, though there are no plans to marry current flame Penelope Cruz; loves being a father, though there are no plans to father a child with current flame Penelope Cruz; and that he is again talking to ex-wife Nicole Kidman, though there are no plans to talk with current flame Penelope Cruz--which makes you wonder how Terrific Tom spends his time with the sultry Latina star.
Robert Redford (Spy Game) didn't stop at unveiling movies at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Redford also announced a new fund for documentaries, aided by a $4.6 million grant from George Soros, and a new cable TV network devoted to nonfiction film. Now if only Redford can find viewers devoted to nonfiction film...
Also at Sundance, Jennifer Aniston (TV's Friends) is trying to shed her goody-goody image with a small-budget, low-profile (probably not for long) film entitled The Good Girl. The title is ironic, as Aniston's lead character is a woman trapped in a childless marriage who has an adulterous relationship with a younger man. Is art imitating life? Gossip writers in Hollywood can only hope.
Noah Wyle (TV's ER) doesn't stop at acting on a doctor show; he's a big fan of NBC's new comedy Scrubs, also a doctor show. According to The Associated Press, Wyle called Scrubs "very funny," which makes that one person in the U.S. who thinks so.
The producers of Ally McBeal will stop at nothing to lift their sagging ratings, including bringing in some outside star power. Jon Bon Jovi joins the cast tonight and Christina Ricci will guest star in a five-episode arc later this season. Of course, the only real way for Ally to get higher ratings is to rename the show ER.
From the David vs. Goliath Department: The Palm Springs International Film Festival debuted this weekend, with India's Monsoon Wedding getting the coveted opening screening. The few guests in attendance were heard saying, "I don't think we're in Utah any more."
Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) failed to appear last month in a Monmouth County, N.J., court in connection with a probation violation, leading the judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest, TheSmokingGun.com reports. Since Mewes was bright enough to hide his heroin in his sock (which the police found, leading to his probation), New Jersey authorities figure he's bright enough to find the county courthouse. The jury is still out on that one.
Adam Ant, famous in the 1980s for a couple of seconds with a couple of completely forgettable hits, has been charged with assault and possessing a firearm after a dust-up in a London pub on Saturday. Ant's planned comeback tour will now include a stop at one of the UK's finer penitentiaries, where the rock star will have a captive, if not enthusiastic, audience.
It's taken ABC more than two years to replace Hugh Downs on 20/20, but John Miller--whose claim to news fame is that he interviewed everybody's favorite terrorist Osama bin Laden in May 1998--is now poised to join Barbara Walters as co-host of the news show. The show is also moving back to Friday nights, where ABC--fast becoming America's fourth network--is hoping the show can draw at least as many viewers as the numbers in its name.
For those of you scoring at home, or even if you're by yourself, former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Keith Olbermann is returning to CNN (where he worked in the 1980s) as a contributor to NewsNight with Aaron Brown. Olbermann is also returning to ABC (whose parent company, Disney, owns ESPN), at least on radio, with two new shows, "Speaking of Sports" and "Speaking of Everything."
Well, we still have death and taxes. After 42 years and 17,162 shows, The Fantasticks has seen the curtain drop for the final time at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village. As reasons for the closure, the producer cited rising costs, new theater owners and the fact that everyone in the eastern half of the country has already seen the show.
Aurelie Brun, who was stripped of her Miss Loire-Forez title and disqualified from competing in the Miss France competition for being too short, has accused the recently crowned Sylvie Tellier of not measuring up to the 5-foot-7 height requirement, either, PageSix.com reports. Brun's statements once again prove the old adage, "Hell hath no fury as a short Frenchwoman scorned."
You can just imagine the meeting of NBC executives as they contemplate making a dent in the game-show-fueled ABC juggernaut: "What can we do to really lay the 'Smackdown' in the ratings? Who or what is big enough, tough enough, 'electrifying' enough to send Regis Philbin into the kitchen to open up that fridge and pour himself a nice tall glass of SHUT-UP JUICE?!"
The answer? "Freaks and Geeks" is back Mondays! And The Rock is hosting "Saturday Night Live"! Who is The Rock, you ask? He is only the World Wrestling Federation's "People’s Champion," as well as the self-proclaimed "most-electrifying man in sports entertainment." (Duh.)
Back to those guys in a second. But, first, in the action-packed TV week ahead, we also get: Cody Gifford! Yes, you’ve been hearing about him for years, and now is your chance to finally get to see little Cody struggle to entertain you (with an assist from mom Kathie Lee, of course). Cody co-stars with Mom and 'N Sync heartthrob Justin Timberlake in ABC's "Wonderful World of Disney" TV movie "Model Behavior" (7 p.m. EST/PST on Sunday). Just to recap then: The stars of this film are (a) a singer/talk-show host; (b) her child; and (c) another singer. So at least the acting should be first rate. Kathie Lee, by the way, plays an overbearing stage mother. You know that’s so funny, and yet so disturbing at the same time, we’re just going give it a no comment.
All right, that’s it. We’ve had it with campy and/or insipid made-for-TV movies. This week the Channel Surfer goes highbrow. And it all starts at 8 p.m. EST/PST on Sunday, when the Discovery Channel premieres the intelligent and thought-provoking documentary "Raising the Mammoth," which we have been repeatedly assured is in no way associated with the adult-film industry. The doc is about an amazing scientific discovery -- the first-ever, fully intact Woolly Mammoth, found frozen in the ice of Siberia just a few months ago. They raise it up, thaw it out, and you can actually smell the musky scent of Mammoth fur. Well, you can’t smell it because it’s on TV, but the scientists could. Mmm … mammoth fur. …
Well, that was draining. OK, let’s get back to the campy and/or insipid made-for-TV movies. Aaron Spelling’s "Satan’s School For Girls" premieres (and not a minute too soon) Monday at 8 p.m. EST/PST)on ABC. Shannen Doherty (who is, coincidentally, an actual graduate of Satan’s School for Girls) stars along with former "Charlie’s Angel" Kate Jackson. This movie is a long overdue remake of the 1973 demi-classic. Jackson was in the original, which was also scripted by Spelling. Does this mean he’s finally run out of ideas?
NBC’s February ratings stunt of replacing one of the better shows on TV with a low-rated game show was a rousing un-success. But the sweeps are over and, "Freaks and Geeks" (8 p.m. EST/PST on Monday) is back, baby! We know this thing's ratings were about as lousy as "Twenty One's," but we still like it and don’t want it to die, so let us fill you in. No show on TV captures its subject matter better than "Freaks and Geeks." Each little moment seems to carry the weight of the world, but by the end of an episode, nothing has actually happened. In other words, it’s exactly like high school! The show has a fine pedigree, executive produced by Judd Apatow ("The Larry Sanders Show"), but it’s not quite like anything you’ve seen before (outside of real life). It’s funny, though not likely to make you fall off the couch from laughing, and it’s poignant, though not likely to make you cry. It’s a lot like just hanging out with friends in somebody’s basement. But in a good way.
How many times can we use the word "Smackdown" in one column? And can it ever really be enough? WWF femme fatale Chyna invades NBC's "3rd Rock from the Sun" on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST/PST. Another William Shatner guest spot last month did very little to change the sinking ratings of this still pretty funny show. Maybe a special guest appearance by a giant hot babe who frightens men will be the right formula. Question: Do they ever have just regular episodes of this show?
If anyone out there is interested in having ABC’s best sitcom, "Sports Night," come back next season, now is the time to watch it. The cast recently grabbed the cover of TV Guide on account of they belong to "the best show you're not watching." That’s great publicity, but if a ton of people don’t get curious and tune in to watch this week’s new episode (9:30 p.m. EST/PST on Tuesday), it could also be the kiss of death. If you haven’t seen "Sports Night," it’s funny and smart and different. That "smart and different" part is probably why critics love it, but it’s also probably why it’s taking audiences so long to figure out what to do with it. Which is strange because you never hear people saying, "Forget smart and different -- give us dull and typical!" But then again, if nobody is saying that, then how can you explain …?
"Son of the Beach," (10 p.m. EST/PST, on Tuesday on F/X). The idea here is to do "Baywatch" as a comedy by removing David Hasselhoff and putting a pasty white guy in his place. Two questions spring immediately to mind: (1) Isn’t David Hasselhoff already a "pasty white guy"? and (2) You mean "Baywatch" isn’t a comedy? "Son of a Beach" is a Howard Stern production, so expect to see a lot of surgically amplified girls in swimsuits (again, have you seen "Baywatch?") and fart jokes. Stern can be really funny when he’s doing the comedy, but what is a show that has all of the Stern style but no Howard going to be like? "Son of the Beach."
College basketball's so-called March Madness explodes into your living room starting at noon EST on Thursday on CBS. This a good thing, if you like basketball. If you don’t, well, it’s going to "explode into your living room" anyway, so you’d better Scotch Guard the furniture.
One of television’s classiest news personalities classes things up a little more this week, as Barbara Walters squeezes extra mileage out of the JonBenet Ramsey murder case on "20/20," with an exclusive interview with JonBenet's parental units John and Patsy Ramsey (10 p.m. EST/PST on Friday on ABC). Not to undermine what will undoubtedly turn out to be a fine hunk of journalism, but shouldn’t that film clip of that poor little kid parading around in a pre-school beauty pageant be enough to lock up her parents?Just a thought.
And … "Finally, The Rock has come back … to New York City!" Look for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" to get a ratings boost as WWF superstar and best-selling author (really) and "People’s Champion" The Rock hosts the venerable sketch-comedy show (11:30 p.m. EST/PST on Saturday). Also of note on this broadcast, NBC reports that "rock legends AC/DC will make their network television debut as the musical guest." Wasn’t it Confucius who said: "There will come a day for all people, when a band that was cool when they were in junior high school will be referred to as a 'rock legend,' and they will know that life is truly short." Yeah. Life is short, people. Life is short.
Oh, and one more thing we almost forgot to say …
The Golden Globe nominations are coming! The Golden Globe nominations are coming!
Thursday at 5:19 a.m. PST, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will begin announcing the nominations for the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards, to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Jan. 21.
But before the nominations are made official, we at Hollywood.com take a stab at who the odds-on favorites will be for nominations in some of the major categories for motion pictures.
So without further ado, here are our picks as sure bets for nominations:
Best Motion Picture -- Drama
"Almost Famous" "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" "Gladiator" "Erin Brockovich" "Traffic"
These are the likely five, although "Dancer in the Dark" could sneak in there.
Best Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy
"Billy Elliot" "Chocolat" "Chicken Run" "Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas" "Wonder Boys"
Although it wasn't a commercial hit, don't count out Neil LaBute's "Nurse Betty."
Best Actor in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Russell Crowe -- "Gladiator" Willem Dafoe -- "Shadow of a Vampire" (possible supporting actor category, though) Tom Hanks -- "Cast Away" Geoffrey Rush -- "Quills" Kevin Spacey -- "Pay It Forward"
This is one packed category. Javier Bardem, already a critics' winner, could be in the race for "Before Night Falls." Other possible nominees include Denzel Washington for "Remember the Titans" and Matt Damon for "The Legend of Bagger Vance."
Best Actor in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy
Jamie Bell -- "Billy Elliot" Jim Carrey -- "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Robert De Niro -- "Meet the Parents" Michael Douglas -- "Wonder Boys" Donal Logue -- "The Tao of Steve"
Best Actress in a Motion Picture -- Drama
Joan Allen -- "The Contender" Bjork -- "Dancer in the Dark" Helen Hunt -- "Pay It Forward" Laura Linney -- "You Can Count on Me" Julia Roberts -- "Erin Brockovich"
Best Actress in a Motion Picture -- Musical or Comedy
Juliette Binoche -- "Chocolat" Brenda Blethyn -- "Saving Grace" Helen Hunt -- "What Women Want" Kirsten Dunst -- "Bring It On" Renee Zellweger -- "Nurse Betty"
Best Actor in a Supporting Role -- Motion Picture
Aaron Eckhart -- "Erin Brockovich" Philip Seymour Hoffman -- "State and Main" Samuel L Jackson -- "Unbreakable" Gary Oldman -- "The Contender" Joaquin Phoenix -- "Quills"
Don't be surprised, though, if Benicio Del Toro picks up a nod for "Traffic." Other possible contenders: Haley Joel Osment in "Pay It Forward" and Phoenix for "Gladiator."
Best Actress in a Supporting Role -- Motion Picture
Ellen Burstyn -- "Requiem for a Dream" Judi Dench -- "Chocolat" Frances McDormand -- "Almost Famous" Julie Walters -- "Billy Elliot" Kate Winslet -- "Quills"
Another packed category. McDormand could be nominated for her work in "Wonder Boys." And don't discount this year's breakout It Girl, Kate Hudson, in "Almost Famous."