The Absolutely Fabulous star was enjoying a meal with her comedy sidekick Dawn French in the early 1990s when the five budding pop stars approached them.
The girls excitedly told Saunders they were about to hit the big time, but she dismissed their optimism and was left red-faced months later when she saw the band on TV performing debut hit, Wannabe.
Saunders, who is currently promoting her Spice Girls-inspired West End musical Viva Forever!, tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I actually met them before they were famous. I was in a restaurant with Dawn and in came these five overexcited little girls with braided hair - they came bounding over to us saying, 'Oh my God, French and Saunders,' and told us they were going to be the next big girl group. I thought 'Please, of course you are!' and then suddenly they were on TV and I thought, 'Doh!"
The actor plays a police officer in new drama End of Watch and he went through some intense training for role, including patrolling the mean streets of South Central Los Angeles with local cops.
He also agreed to be subjected to a shot from a Taser gun to gain first-hand experience of how the weapon works, but he regretted his decision.
Gyllenhaal tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "The police offered us the chance to either be pepper sprayed or Tasered. We are actors and not the sharpest tools in the shed so we decided to go for quick and painful rather than long and painful.
"I was an idiot and there was no logical explanation why we did it but I think experiencing things does influence the realism in the movie. It felt terrible. They said they would do it for five seconds and I was screaming like a child pretty quickly. It felt like it was forever and it lasted a second and a half!"
The Charlie's Angels beauty reached the milestone in August (12) and on a night out to mark the occasion, she shared dinner with the Top Gun actor and fellow Hollywood stars Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.
As the clock struck midnight, the four screen stars posed together for photographs as a keepsake - but their fun moment unwittingly sparked frenzied speculation of a new romance.
A representative for Cruise spoke out in September (12) in a bid to silence the rumour, and now Diaz has joined her pal in denying they are in a relationship.
She tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I happened to bump into Penelope Cruz, Javier, Tom and his son in a hotel and joined them for dinner. At midnight I said, 'I'm 40' so we took pictures and then said 'Goodnight, see you later, blah, blah, blah' and I haven't seen him since. But the next thing I know, apparently I am dating him and it's full on and he is coming after me."
Diaz has been single since splitting from baseball star Alex Rodriguez last year (11), and Cruise's divorce from Katie Holmes was finalised in August (12).
The Hollywood action man, who is now separated from his partner Maria Shriver, has revealed he travelled to Mexico in 1997 to undergo open heart surgery and he planned to keep it from his wife by pretending he was on holiday.
He made the revelation in his new book, Total Recall - My Unbelievably True Life Story, and opened up about his desire for secrecy during a recent interview on U.S. news show 60 Minutes, saying, "(My doctor) said, 'Your wife is pregnant, what do you mean you are not going to tell her?'... I told him,: 'Here is the plan, I am going to have the heart surgery, you do it quietly, no one knows about it, we do it at six in the morning. Four days later I am out of here and I go to Mexico and I will tell Maria I am down here, a little busy and I am on vacation, when I come back I'll be tanned and no one will know.'"
Schwarzenegger now reveals he just didn't want to admit his health crisis news to anyone.
He tells British TV host Graham Norton, "It was totally crazy but I live in denial a lot of the time and if I put it away I don't have to deal with it and it doesn't exist. Having to have heart surgery was such a shock and I didn't want to talk about it.
"If I had told my wife she would want to talk about it every day, her mother would want to talk about and then Uncle Teddy would want to talk about it and I didn't want to talk about it all."
However, The Terminator star eventually had to tell Shriver about the operation after his doctor warned him he would be left with a noticeable scar.
He adds, "I had a plan to have it done and then tell my wife I was on a business trip, until the surgeon said, 'I am opening up your chest, you will have a huge scar and it's impossible to hide something like that' and I said, 'Ah yes, maybe you're right.' So I told her."
The Graham Norton Show interview will air in the U.K. on Friday (19Oct12).
The trailers for Hope Springs might lead you to believe it's a romantic comedy about a couple trying to jumpstart their sexless marriage but it causes more empathetic cringing than chuckles. Audiences will be drawn to Hope Springs by its stars Meryl Streep Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell and Streep's track record of pleasing summer movies like Julie & Julia and Mamma Mia! that offer a respite from the blockbusters flooding theaters. Despite what its marketing might have you believe Hope Springs isn't a rom-com. The film is a disarming mixture of deeply intimate confessions by a married couple in the sanctuary of a therapist's office awkwardly honest attempts by that couple to physically reconnect and incredibly sappy scenes underscored by intrusive music. Boldly addressing female desire especially in older women it's hard not to give the movie extra credit for what writer Vanessa Taylor's script is trying to convey and its rarity in mainstream film. The ebb and flow of intimacy and desire in a long-term relationship is what drives Hope Springs and while there are plenty contrived moments and unresolved issues it is frankly surprising and surprisingly frank. It's a summer release from a major studio with high caliber stars aimed squarely at the generally underserved 50+ audience addressing the even more taboo topic of that audience's sex life.
Streep plays Kay a suburban wife who's deeply unsatisfied emotionally and sexually by her marriage to Arnold. Arnold who is played by Tommy Lee Jones as his craggiest sleeps in a separate bedroom now that their kids have left the nest; he's like a stone cold robot emotionally and physically and Kay tiptoes around trying to make him happy even as he ignores her every gesture. One of the most striking scenes in the movie is at the very beginning when Kay primps and fusses over her modest sleepwear in the hopes of seducing her husband. Streep makes it obvious that this isn't an easy thing for Kay; it takes all her guts to try and wordlessly suggest sex to her husband and when she's shot down it hurts to watch. This isn't a one time disconnect between their libidos; this is an ongoing problem that leaves Kay feeling insecure and undesirable.
After a foray into the self-help section of her bookstore Kay finds a therapist who holds week-long intensive couples' therapy sessions in Good Hope Springs ME and in a seemingly unprecedented moment of decisiveness she books a trip for the couple. Arnold of course is having none of it but he eventually comes along for the ride. That doesn't mean he's up for answering any of Dr. Feld's questions though. To be fair Dr. Feld (Carell) is asking the couple deeply intimate questions so if Arnold is comfortable foisting his amorous wife off with the excuse he had pork for lunch it's not so far-fetched to believe he'd be angry when Feld asks him about his fantasy life or masturbation habits.
Although Arnold gets a pass on some of his issues Kay is forthright about why and how she's dissatisfied. When Dr. Feld asks her if she masturbates she says she doesn't because it makes her too sad. Kay offers similar revelations; she's willing to bare it all to revive her marriage while Arnold thinks the fact that they're married at all means they must be happy. Carell's Dr. Feld is soothing and kind (even a bit bland) but it's always a pleasure to see him play it straight.
It's subversive for a mega-watt star to play a character that talks about how sexually unsatisfied she is and how unsexy she feels with the man she loves most in the world. The added taboo of Kay and Arnold's age adds that much more to the conversation. Kay and Arnold's attempts at intimacy are emotionally raw and hard to watch. Even when things get funny they're mostly awkward funny not ha-ha funny.
The rest of the movie is a little uneven wrapped up tightly and happily by the end. Their time spent soul-searching alone is a little cheesy especially when Kay ends up in a local bar where she gets a little dizzy on white wine while dishing about her problems to the bartender (Elisabeth Shue). Somewhere along the line what probably started out as a character study ended up as a wobbly drama that pushes some boundaries but eventually lets everyone off the emotional hook in favor of a smoothed-over happy ending. Still its disarming moments and performances almost balance it out. Although its target audience might be dismayed to find it's not as light-hearted as it would seem Hope Springs offers up the opportunity for discussion about sexuality and aging at a time when books and films like 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike are perking up similar conversations. In the end that's a good thing.
The Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games are always a reflection of the country hosting them. Two years ago in Vancouver, we got technological marvels and a peek into the First Nations people of Canada. Four years ago in Beijing, we got a billion dollar spectacle fueled by thousands of people beating on drums and operating those amazing boxes. You thought the ceremony was run by machines, but it was really run by China's largest resource: people. So, what can we expect from London? Something based not on the colonialism that overtook the globe last century, but something based on their most popular exports: music and culture. Yes, it appears as though both James Bond and Voldemort will be in attendance. God save the Queen.
Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, who was tapped to direct the $42 million spectacle, and other organizers pleaded for participants to keep mum about just what is going to happen on Friday, July 27, at 9 PM (which airs in the U.S. on NBC starting at 7:30 PM). However, with countless actors, dancers, technicians, and nearly as many feverish journalists looking for a scoop, it seems like we know most of what is going to happen during the ceremony, if preliminary media accounts (especially a rather detailed one by the Associated Press) are to be believed.
If the journalists are right, the show will start off with chimes from the world's largest bell followed by a short film in which James Bond (played by Daniel Craig, but sadly not in his little blue bathing suit) will be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. A stuntman playing Bond will either parachute or be lowered into the stadium carrying the Olympic torch. (It would be awesome if he passes it off to Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Sean Connery, but I'm not holding my shaken martini.) Then there will be a recitation of speech from Shakespeare's The Tempest (possibly by Kenneth Branagh) that talks about the show's theme, "Isle of Wonders."
There will also reportedly be a performance of the William Blake poem "Jerusalem," a well-known national song in the U.K. The performance will depict the idealistic idyll of the British countryside both past and present, including a mosh pit at one of their notorious music festivals. That will give way to depiction of the other side of England: the dark factories and mines. Reports of chimney sweeps and miners going into the stadium make it sound like an number out of Mary Poppins (just wait for her) or Billy Elliot: The Musical. There will supposedly be a huge set of the River Thames and scenes from British history, including the founding of the British national healthcare system (and with Michelle Obama in attendance, will this be a nod to Obamacare?) and the import of Caribbean workers to the isle.
It's been widely speculated that there will be a scene featuring many popular characters from British literature, which will culminate in a battle between Harry Potter villain Voldemort and the infamous supernanny Mary Poppins, who seems to have sprouted even more magical powers since we last saw her on film. Oh, the British do know how to make something campy and fun. In fact, I honestly believe they invented campy and fun. Not only should it be on full display, but the Brits should get a gold medal for camp as well.
The whole performance will reportedly conclude with Paul McCartney leading the crowd in a sing-along version of "Hey Jude," which will be easy for every human on earth with a radio and a pair of ears, even if they have no idea what the words exactly mean. In fact the entire musical set list (which will be remixed by the duo Underworld into a continuous track) was leaked to the press. This 80-plus song list, which is what will play mostly as the athletes from around the world are entering the stadium, includes British acts from Led Zeppelin to Handel, from Amy Winehouse to the theme for the BBC News, and includes many popular acts like David Bowie, Muse, Blur, Eric Clapton, The Who, Rolling Stones, Duran Duran, The Clash, and (a bit controversially) the Sex Pistols. Sadly, the Spice Girls aren't on the list, but I'm going to keep pretending that doesn't mean they're not going to "Zig a Zig Ah" their way onto the field.
As for the final part of the ceremony, when the Olympic cauldron is lit and the Queen declares the games open — well, that is just about the only thing that is being kept a secret. Celebrity soccer — oh, I'm sorry, football — star David Beckham has been hinting about his role in the ceremony, and will allegedly be the last person to bring the Olympic torch into the stadium, though not the one to light it. That honor usually goes to a past or present Olympian (Beckham was not tapped to play footie with the British team in competition this year). Some say Muhammad Ali, who lit the cauldron in 1996 at the Atlanta games, will be involved somehow, since he's been in London with Beckham, but that seems unlikely since the boxing legend is an American. Maybe they're going to let "the colonies" get in on the action.
We'll have to wait until Friday to find out who it really is (wouldn't it be great if for no good reason it was Graham Norton or Russel Brand or Danger Mouse?) but maybe it's better that at least one thing should be a surprise.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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The pair teamed up for the 1988 movie, about two long-lost siblings, and DeVito was keen to work on a follow-up 15 years later - but Schwarzenegger torpedoed the proposal as he was running in the election for Governor of California.
DeVito admits the snub sent him into a spiral of despair and he became convinced his pal's political ambitions were "the stupidest thing in the world".
He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "He became governor of the state of California. I pitched the idea of Twins 2 to him way back then but he told me he was running for the candidacy and I thought that was the stupidest thing in the world.
"I was depressed, not because I thought it was ridiculous and how could this guy run the state, but because I was thinking how much money is this going to cost me if he didn't do the movie. Turns out I was right (about the governorship), it was a disaster!"
The Harry Potter actress left the hip-hop star speechless within minutes of beginning their interview on The Graham Norton Show when she admitted she was transfixed by him.
Margolyes told him, "I'm just fascinated by you because unfortunately, I don't know many black people, except in showbusiness - and that's what's so nice... I don't know much about rappers, you're the first one I've actually talked to."
The audience gasped but the Black Eyed Peas star appeared to take her comments in good humour, telling her, "I'm the first rapper and black dude you kicked it with," before teaching her the meaning of the slang words 'homeboys' and 'old school'.
Margolyes later heaped praise on will for his charity work, insisting, "You're fabulous, you really are... You're making a difference, and that's what we all want to do in our lives. How unexpected that this rapper would do this!"
The episode aired in the U.K. on Friday (22Jun12).
Funnyman Russell Brand flew into a rage during a U.K. TV interview after he was quizzed about his split from Katy Perry.
The British comedian was promoting his new movie musical Rock Of Ages on The Graham Norton Show when the Irish host asked him about his failed marriage.
Brand looked into the audience at his mum Barbara in the front row, then turned to Norton and accused him of making her tear up.
He ranted, "My mum is here. She got upset when you dragged up my marriage. I saw her cry, Graham. That's the reality because it's real people, Graham, that's my real mum. I have come here to promote a film and you made my mum cry. I don't see you as that sort of person Graham."
Norton insisted, "I don't see myself as that kind of person," and explained that it would have seemed "weird" not to ask about Perry as she had been a guest on the show last week (07Jun12).
Brand retaliated, "Will people sit and think, 'Oh, that's odd.' What I would have done, mate, in your position is come up to me before the show and gone, 'Listen, it's a bit odd that your ex-missus was on last week. I might mention it, is that OK?' But in all of the chatting and the research backstage, no one mentioned it."
When Brand finally chatted about his failed union, he said, "Some human beings get married and hopefully it works out for them and maybe it won't. If people get divorced, maybe that is a sad thing."
The heated exchange was edited from the episode when it aired on Friday (15Jun12).
Charlize Theron's baby son Jackson "freaked out" when she took him on a commercial airliner for the first time — because the six-month-old boy is already accustomed to private planes and first-class travel.
The Oscar-winning actress has previously told how she jetted around with the world with Jackson from the moment she adopted him, as she was in the middle of her hectic promotional schedule for Snow White and the Huntsman.
It means the tot has already visited Japan, Spain, France and Germany in his young life — but his jet set lifestyle has had an unexpected consequence.
Monster star Theron tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "There has been a lot of travelling and stuff and he came with me on tour and did the whole of Europe and Japan. We were really spoilt and went everywhere by private jet. I want to keep him humble so I told this newborn, 'This is not the norm' — and he did great until we took the first commercial flight and he just freaked out!"
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