Oscar winner and singer Jamie Foxx has offered to rap a song as former U.S. leader President Bill Clinton in return for donations to the University of California's Promise for Education campaign. Precious star Monique and Beach Boy Mike Love have also offered treats to students to raise cash for the six-week initiative.
At the Toronto International Film Festival, Harvey Weinstein entertained audiences at a screening of his documentary 12.12.12, about his Hurricane Sandy benefit concert. Weinstein gossiped about the stars who were performing at and even called out Jimmy Page for refusing to reunite with the other members of Led Zepplin despite personal requests from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But by far the weirdest story he told was about Kristen Stewart.
Weinstein doesn't explain why Stewart was at the event, but says she caught the eye of a "Prince of an Arabian country" who requested a "sit down" with her. Stewart agreed, and had a 15-minute conversation in exchange for $500,000 in cash. While we're all for raising money for charity, and are sure Stewart is too, isn't there something really... off about this? For one, it doesn't really seem to jibe with her usual "I'm too awkward to live" protestations. For another, it's dangerously close to Lindsay Lohan territory. Granted this was to benefit victims of a hurricane and not to take a private jet to a film festival, but still.
Also, Weinstein's words are cringeworthy: "She said 'How much?' My kind of girl." Uh, okay, that might be funnier if Weinstein didn't spending an inordinate amount of time with his arm around really skeeved out 20-something actresses. We all remember Jennifer Lawrence's jokes/cries for help as she picked up award after award for her performance in The Weinstein Company's Silver Linings Playbook. Which poses an interesting question: Why is Harvey Weinstein so keen to tell the public that Robsten-breaking, middle finger-flipping Kristen Stewart is a generous and chairtable soul? Just self-aggrandizing publicity for the documentary? Or does he see her as the next target of his Oscar-generating machine of a movie studio? If so, selling your celebrity to the highest bidder should not be a prerequisite for success, even highly strategic success like Oscar campaigning.
So run, KStew, run! Run to college and maybe a money managing seminar so you are never obliged to do anything for Harvey Weinstein again!
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Rapper The Game has vowed to give away $1 million (£666,670) of his own money by Christmas (Dec13) to help those in need. The Dreams hitmaker came up with the selfless plan on Tuesday morning (10Sep13) while on tour in Australia, and he has since started a new Instagram.com photo blog to document his acts of generosity, which he has branded "The Robin Hood Project".
On the page, The Game reveals that he has taken to handing out cash to those he meets on his travels, and he has shared a series of pictures of his generous moments online.
Explaining his motive for the charity drive, he writes, "The other day I posted this pic of an African child I met in Australia playing outside the grocery store. His story of his families (sic) hardships & struggles to get away from the terror they left behind touched me so I gave him what I had on me... Which was an Australian $20 bill.
"As the days passed, I thought about him over & over & over & the only thing that bothered me about that night was that I didn't have more on me to give him at that time. For some reason I just didn't bring more money from the hotel. Since I can't shake that feeling... I have decided to give $1,000,000 to people I come in contact with around the world everyday until Christmas.
"Don't even know if thats (sic) possible but I've set my heart on trying!!! I've created a new account specifically for those who would like to FOLLOW @therobinhoodproject & support me on this journey."
The Game is known for his acts of kindness - he left a $6,000 ($4,000) tip for a waiter after dining out on Easter Sunday (31Mar13).
Simply put, movies like One Direction: This Is Us, Katy Perry: Part of Me, and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never are exercises in narrative futility. These movies are made too early in the careers of these musicians, when people haven’t quite settled where to place them in history.
These autobiographies are just filled brimming with self-importance, while constantly reminding their targeted audience just how “accessible” or similar they are to you and me. It’s fairly obvious that these movies are nothing more than a cash grab. So why produce a biopic, when simply casting these musicians in a fictionalized version of themselves will suffice? Surely a band such as One Direction has a large enough devout following to make any movie starring them a guaranteed hit. Even a band as hugely influential as The Beatles weren’t as self-aggrandizing as today’s lot to make a movie about their “journey” to The Ed Sullivan Show.
Justin Bieber is probably a prime example as to why producers look to make these movies so early early. Imagine trying to work his latest public flubs into that movie’s narrative of the young, aspiring YouTube star who works himself to the top by selling out Madison Square Garden (filling a venue with a capacity of 20,000 isn’t that hard, considering that it’s in the biggest city in America). It’s hard convincing parents to allow their kids to watch an inspiring tale about a musician who gets caught with marijuana, pees in a janitor’s bucket, and flips off a portrait of a former president.
One other thing that makes these musical autobiographies such egregious attempts for a fast buck are that they’re in 3D, as if the movie wasn’t unnecessary enough as it is. Now matter how you slice it, Katy Perry’s much photographed cleavage won’t be any more real behind a pair of 3D glasses than a teenage girl's daydream of running her fingers through Harry Styles’s hair. It’s bad enough children have to drag their parents into the theaters without charging them an extra $10 for a 3D experience.
Let these young musicians earn their stripes to become worthy of a feature-length autobiography. Wait a few years to ensure they won't become corrupted by fame and fortune. Celebrity worship is already at a tipping point in this country without dragging ticket holders to the theaters to watch a bloated two-hour puff piece in 3D. Listen to their music or watch them live for the real experience because that is where the real magic happens.
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Pop star Prince was left red-faced on Friday (23Aug13) when he forgot to stock up his wallet with cash and was unable to pay his bill at a top New York restaurant. The Purple Rain hitmaker headed for a meal with a pal at chef Michael White's Costata eaterie but when it came time to settle the bill, he realised he had no money with him.
A member of Prince's security team eventually explained the embarrassing mishap to the restaurant manager, who agreed the singer could settle the debt the following day, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
Pop superstar Beyonce spent more than $2,000 (£1,444) on fast food dinners for her entourage prior to her performance at a British music festival over the weekend (17-18Aug13). The singer headlined Virgin Media's V Festival in Chelmsford, England on Saturday night (17Aug13) and placed a massive telephone order with a local takeaway joint.
The bill from the Nando's restaurant, which included 48 whole chickens, 28 platters of wings and 48 portions of fries, came to more than $2,000 (£1,444) and was paid for in cash.
There is nothing dirtier than money.
I'm not speaking proverbially here. This is no tirade about the "root of all evil" or the insatiable hunger pangs of human greed. Money — the bills and coins that you carry around in your wallets (or, if you're like me, airtight baggies) — is sanitarily reprehensible. Germs flyin' out the wazoo. So that is why, my dear friends in modern fiction, I implore you: stop rolling around in it.
Last night, on the latest episode of Breaking Bad, a stalwart fellow we know only has Huell satisfied an apparently longstanding desire and took a quick breather atop a monstrous mound of cash stowed away in his client Walter White's top secret locker unit. Any hot-blooded working stiff can sympathize: you see a ton of dough, you want to just dive right in. Do the ol' Scrooge McDuck (a reference Huell's compadre Kuby makes during the scene) and really feel the riches painting your skin. But if you're, once again, like me, that last phrase probably made you want to vomit.
Take a dollar bill out of your pocket. Not even the crumpled one with the coffee stains and the six-digit phone number scribbled on the back — the most presentable excuse for legal tender you have on you. Take a second to think about where you got it — the bowling alley? The compost depot? The T.G.I. Friday's? No matter where it was, odds are it has passed through the hands of thousands (and that's being humble) of other people before you. People who bite their nails, clutch subway poles, groom warthogs professionally, and give massages to particularly swarthy members of organized crime rings. By the time this dollar bill lands in your palm, it has traces of everything from lice to cocaine to livestock pheromones to human blood coating it that inimitable shade of green.
Of course, we live and function in a capitalistic regime. To forego use of tangible currency would be as crazy a notion as not keeping the latest issue of Wild Boar Weekly in the waiting room of your warthog-grooming salon. As such, we must handle money. But that doesn't mean we have to roll around in it!
No, Huell, you don't have to sprawl atop Walt's collection of ill-gotten gains. No, Scrooge McDuck, you don't have to take daily dips in an ocean of gold coins. No, Demi Moore. You don't have to cake your bedspread in the treasures of prostitution while you celebrate your newfound fiscal fortitude. Quite frankly, you're the one I'm most disappointed in.
Take heed, all. Resist the urge to flounder about in tainted notes of trade. It might seem like a cheap thrill, but at the expense of your health. And money can't buy health.
Well, I guess it can... and if you've got enough of it to roll around in, you're probably pretty set on medical insurance... still. Don't do it. It's gross. You should all be ashamed.
I'm talkin' to you, Demi.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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Actress Teri Polo is facing a hefty tax bill after U.S. authorities filed a lien against her. The Meet the Parents star is said to owe around $122,000 (£81,333) in allegedly unpaid taxes dating back to 2011, according to TMZ.com.
Officials at America's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filed a lien against her earlier this year (13) in a bid to recover the cash.
Polo was previously in trouble with the tax office in 2009 when she was accused of falling behind on $433,736 (£289,157).
Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer saved her new independent movie from disaster by investing her own money and convincing her wealthy friends to hand over their cash after the project fell into financial difficulties. The Help star plays the mother of a young man shot dead by police in Fruitvale Station, which is based on a true story, and she was so determined to get the project off the ground, she offered to pay her own hotel bill to save money.
Director Ryan Coogler says of Spencer, "She was 110 per cent in... She was like a battery that got hooked up to the film, and she took it into hyperdrive... She has the most intense team mentality. She said, 'Put that money on the screen. I'll put myself up (in a hotel).'"
When the film lost a large portion of its financing, Spencer handed over her own cash and started making phone calls to her friends, urging them to invest in the project.
She tells USA Today, "I shamelessly started calling my friends I knew had deep pockets, friends in which 25 grand wouldn't hurt. And I kicked in some of my own, I didn't want any of Ryan's vision to be sacrificed."
Bosses at music streaming service Pandora have fired back at accusations they are trying to cheat musicians out of cash after the members of Pink Floyd urged their peers to beware the online company's new bid to reduce royalty payments in a newspaper article. Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason took aim at Pandora executives in a USA Today op-ed piece earlier this week (beg24Jun13), accusing them of attempting to trick artists into supporting their campaign to scale down costs.
The trio criticised music company bosses for lobbying lawmakers in the U.S. Congress to pass the Internet Radio Fairness Act, which would potentially reduce royalty payments to songwriters and performers by as much as 85 per cent.
A previous attempt to push for the bill failed last year (12) after 125 artists, including Billy Joel and Rihanna, joined forces to sign an open letter urging Pandora chiefs to drop the drastic plan.
However, the Pink Floyd stars claim the firm's heads have employed more sneaky tactics this time around, allegedly getting big names to support a petition which makes no mention of the pay cut and instead states: "We are all fervent advocates for the fair treatment of artists."
Criticising the wording of the new campaign, the rockers wrote, "Fine print is one thing. But a musician could read this 'letter of support' a dozen times and hold it up to a funhouse mirror for good measure without realising she was signing a call to cut her own royalties to pad Pandora's bottom line."
But the company's chiefs have now responded to the Pink Floyd attack, insisting the the rockers have been given "badly misleading information".