After much speculation as to what role, if any, Madonna will have in the next James Bond film, it has now been reported that the Material Mom will play a fencing instructor in Die Another Day. According to the fansite CommanderBond.net, Madonna--who will also perform the theme tune for the movie--recently filmed her cameo role at Pinewood Studios near London. The scene in the film involves James Bond dueling villain Gustav Graves and takes place at the Blades Club in London. Die Another Day director Lee Tamahori has previously revealed that Madonna was having Versace design a dress especially for her work in the film. The film, which stars Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry, is scheduled for release Nov. 22.
Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell married 33-year-old ballet dancer Charles Askegard July 4 on a beach in Nantucket, Mass., after an eight-week courtship. After the vows were said, Bushnell ran across the sand and leapt at Askegard, who caught her and held her above his head, The Associated Press reports.
The British tabloid Daily Mirror has begun its appeal against supermodel Naomi Campbell's successful High Court legal battle. Campbell won her breach of confidence and invasion of privacy case against the paper in March after it published a picture of her leaving a London Narcotics Anonymous meeting last year. But the Mirror's lawyer argued that people like Campbell, whom he described as a role model, should be exposed if they present an image that is based on lies, Reuters reports.
Richard Widmark, one of the few remaining actors from Hollywood's golden era, says Marilyn Monroe was difficult to work with, Reuters reports. The 87-year-old actor, who starred in Don't Bother To Knock with Monroe 50 years ago, told Monday's Daily Telegraph, "I liked Marilyn, but she was God-awful to work with. Impossible, really. She would hide in her dressing room and refuse to come out."
Colin Farrell, who co-stars in the sci-fi thriller Minority Report, will star in the big-screen adaptation of the '70s cop show S.W.A.T. for Columbia Pictures, Variety reports. Farrell will join Samuel L. Jackson, who signed on in the leading role in May. Scribe David Ayer, who penned The Fast and the Furious and Training Day, will write the script. Clark Johnson (HBO's The Wire) is set to direct.
Malcolm in the Middle star Jane Kaczmarek is in final negotiations with Regency Television to up her per-episode salary to about $100,000 in the show's upcoming fourth season and $150,000 in the 2003-04 season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new contract also includes a retroactive element giving her a salary bump to about $85,000 per episode for the 2001-02 season. The studio reportedly gave the cast salary bumps last fall but held off on full-blown contract negotiations until the show was sold in syndication.
After living in the United States for 10 years, rocker David Bowie said he would never live in his native Britain again because of the news media's obsession with celebrities and the invasion of privacy it brings, the AP reports. Bowie, who was in London promoting his new album Heathen, also criticized the music style of pop diva Kylie Minogue and chart topper Robbie Williams, saying, "You can't get away from that when you hit the shore, so I know all about the cruise-ship entertainment aspect of British pop."
The week's best and worst on the small screen:
A belated "Survivor"
CBS announced Tuesday that Survivor: Africa will debut an entire month after the Eye Network's fall lineup premieres. While CBS executives attribute the delay to "turnaround time," they're forgetting something fairly important: Friends (competing with Survivor at the 8 p.m. Thursday timeslot) will have already attracted a loyal following by mid-October, especially with the Monica-Chandler nuptials keeping viewers abuzz.
Last winter's debut of Survivor--during Friends reruns--was brilliant. This fall, don't expect the reality show's ratings to be as stellar as the previous two installments. NBC's execs are shrewd. They'll find a way to keep viewers onboard.
Calista gets "Scary"
Actress Regina Hall is perfectly happy as a regular on Fox's Ally McBeal. She's also perfectly happy with insulting the show's star, Calista Flockhart, in a major motion picture. Hall currently stars in Keenen Ivory Wayans' Scary Movie 2, in which she battles a living skeleton she nicknames "Calista." Gotta love that. Thank god there are still people in Hollywood with a sense of humor.
Conan's racial woes
Late last week, Conan O'Brien apologized to the press for a comment made by one of his guests during a taping of his late-night talk show. The comment, uttered by comedienne Sarah Silverman, involved the racial slur "chink"--referring to the Chinese. Silverman is yet to apologize for the comment, so NBC and Conan felt it was up to them to put out the PR fire with their public statement. While the comment may have been out of place, it isn't Conan's burden to bear--it's Silverman's. Conan should be completely off the hook here. Ever hear of another NBC late-night program called Saturday Night Live? Racial slurs are commonplace on SNL, and the show runs before Conan's 12:30 a.m. slot. Rest easy, Conan. Silverman can apologize if she wants to, but you're in the clear.
"Wing"ers hold strong
The four Emmy-nominated actors from NBC's The West Wing who threatened to quit the show if contract negotiations were denied returned to work last week to continue production. The dispute remains unsettled--Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff and John Spencer still make $30,000 per episode, though they claim they were promised a major pay hike if the show entered a third season (which it has). Nevertheless, the foursome continues their struggle with Warner Bros. as production moves on. Note to Warner Bros.: Pay 'em whatever they're asking for. They're good. Otherwise you'll end up with Pauly Shore as Press Secretary.
"Resurrection" retains its quality
Last season, viewers who watched Showtime's Resurrection Blvd. probably did so with a wince on their face, awaiting the next instance of something cornball and cliché. This season, however, the show has maintained a level of quality, that's, quite frankly, shocking. The balance of drama and comedy thus far has been superb, and the performances seem to be getting better. Young star Marisol Nichols shined in a recent episode in which she stumbles through an alcoholic stupor to realize she's given her virginity away. On Tuesday night's episode, the only major character on TV who has never spoken a word--Ruben Santiago (Daniel Zacapa)--finally broke down in a fit of anguish in a crowed L.A. intersection. Good stuff. Keep it up, Showtime.