"You have to try to understand where people are coming from. This has always been an issue in our society. A white person can play Cleopatra, even though Cleopatra was a North African woman, who in reality had coffee skin. But that's not sellable in Hollywood. So you get Elizabeth Taylor with purple eyes. There's always been a lot of tension in the African-American community about Hollywood being a whitewashing machine." Zoe Saldana is trying to understand why her casting as jazz great Nina Simone has been met with so much opposition because she's not black enough.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell faces seven years in jail after being charged with assault in a New York Court - but she insists she is being "extorted".
Campbell denied hurling a mobile phone at her assistant on Thursday, insisting the charges were "falsely" brought against her as revenge for sacking the employee earlier on Thursday.
She says, "I am fine. The police have been really nice. It won't be the first time I have been extorted."
The incident occurred at 8:00am on Thursday, when the 41-year-old aide was allegedly fired and then struck on the head with an object after Campbell accused her of stealing a pair of jeans. The alleged victim received four stitches to the back of her head.
Campbell was arrested at her home and taken to the Midtown North Precinct in New York City, according to entertainment website TMZ.com.
The judge at Manhattan Criminal Court put up bail of $3,500 and demanded Campbell appear in court again in June on the single charge of felony assault. She has also been banned from contacting her alleged victim.
It's not the first time the catwalk queen has been accused of throwing phones at her assistants: in 2000, the model pleaded guilty to hitting former assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone and was ordered to take anger management classes.
Another former personal assistant, Simone Craig, claimed Campbell threw a mobile phone at her in 2001. The British beauty denied the claim and no charges were filed.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been arrested in New York City for allegedly assaulting her assistant.
The incident occurred at 8:00am on Thursday where the alleged victim, a 41-year-old woman, was struck in the head with an object, allegedly thrown by Campbell.
The woman had a laceration on the back of her head and was taken to nearby Lenox Hill Hospital for stitches.
Campbell was arrested at her home and taken to the Midtown North Precinct in New York, according to entertainment website TMZ.com.
A representative for Campbell released a statement saying, "We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning. We are confident the courts will see it the same way."
In 2000, the model pled guilty to hitting a former personal assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone and was ordered to take anger management classes.
In 2001, another former personal assistant, Simone Craig, claimed Campbell threw a mobile phone at her. The British beauty denied that claim and no charges were filed.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
The Magdalene Sisters, British director Peter Mullan's pointed depiction of an abusive Catholic convent, won the Golden Lion for best picture Sunday at the Venice Film Festival. Earlier this week, the Vatican denounced the film, which depicts young women being imprisoned and tormented in convents for often-preposterous reasons, including having been raped. According to The Associated Press, Mullan told audiences, "As regards the film, it's not just about the Catholic Church and how they oppressed young women in Ireland. It's about all faiths, all fundamentalist faiths, that believe they have the right to oppress young women." Other winners included actress Julianne Moore, who took home best actress for Far From Heaven, and Stefano Accorsi, who won best actor for A Journey Called Love. Andrej Konchalovsky's House of Fools, a drama about a psychiatric institution on the Chechen/Russian border whose inmates are left to cope on their own after the staff flee from the war, won the Jury Grand Prix.
Jerry Lewis collapsed backstage at a London theater shortly before he was due to take part in a benefit show and was taken to an undisclosed London hospital, the BBC reports. The 76-year-old comedian has been plagued with health problems since the 1980s, including prostate cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and spinal meningitis. In an interview with the UK's Daily Mirror published Monday, Lewis was quoted as saying that the pain had been so agonizing that he had contemplated suicide. "In April it got so bad that it forced me to get a gun and seriously think about putting it in my mouth," he said.
Patty Duke remained hospitalized Friday and was listed in fair condition at the Kootenai Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, after suffering a concussion and skull fracture when a horse she was spraying with fly repellent apparently knocked her down, the AP reports. Her husband, Michael Pearce, said he heard a thump and a cry from his wife after he left her in the barn to spray the 2-year-old filly. Duke won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1963 for The Miracle Worker.
The AP reports an Oregon couple who purchased the childhood home of former Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain last month for $42,500 has put it up for auction on eBay with an opening bid of $200,000. The couple says they had no idea it was Cobain's house when they bought it. Cobain lived with his father and stepmother in the turn-of the-century home, valued at $52,660 in 2000, from age 11 to 15. As of Sunday there had been no bids. There's still time to submit yours--the auction ends Sept. 15.
Director James Cameron debuted part of Ghosts of the Abyss Friday at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in Goleta, Calif., the AP reports. Ghosts, an underwater documentary on the sunken Titanic, was shot in 3-D using a lightweight camera designed by Cameron, his brother Mike and cinematographer Vince Pace.
Hip-hop sensation Lil' Kim will be making her big-screen debut in the urban Western indie Guns and Roses, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Directed by Higher Ed's Jean Claude LaMarre, the film, set in the 1800s, follows the journey of five female outlaws who are fighting to avenge the murder of one of their own. It also stars singer Bobby Brown, LisaRaye, Monica Calhoun, Marie Matiko and Louis Mandylor.
Madonna's Maverick Films is developing a TV movie with VH1 called How to be the Perfect Latino Popstar, a Pygmalion story set in the world of Latin music, Variety reports. Maverick partners Madonna and Guy Oseary will executive produce the movie, based on a script by Laura Angelica Simone.
Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was being treated in a Hamilton, Ontario, hospital Sunday for an undisclosed ailment, the AP reports. Lightfoot was rushed to a hospital in Orillia, 50 miles north of Toronto, on Saturday night shortly before he was set to perform at a concert promoting his latest album, A Painter Passing Through. He was later airlifted to Hamilton. Lightfoot, 63, and his wife have asked that no more information be given out at this time.
Summer's almost over, so Hollywood's dumping its trash.
Serving Sara, Simone and Undisputed arrived in theaters Friday after enduring production or release delays, which hardly inspires much confidence in their ultimate fates. Accordingly, none of these three new offerings stands a chance of dethroning xXx at the top of the box office. That task lies with fellow holdover Signs. They also won't help reverse a five-week slide in box office takings vs. the same time last year.
Matthew Perry's latest attempt to become a movie star should register the biggest debut simply because the broad comedy opens the widest. Hitting 2,000-plus theaters, Serving Sara stars Perry as a process server who agrees to help Elizabeth Hurley extract revenge against her former business partner. Early reviews confirm that Perry and Hurley are not Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.
Perry's not had too much luck whenever he's ventured off without his sitcom Friends. Almost Heroes ($6.1 million total) and Three to Tango ($10.5 million total) both tanked. The Whole Nine Yards raked in an acceptable $57.2 million mainly on the strength of Bruce Willis' participation--perhaps that's why Perry's so eager to make the sequel. It also doesn't help that this Midnight Run wanna-be will likely see a regurgitation in stories about Perry's personal problems. He held up production of Serving Sara in 2001 while he checked himself into rehab.
So Serving Sara will have to hustle hard and fast to match the $9.7 million debut of another Perry romantic comedy, Fools Rush In, but it won't come close to exceeding its modest $29.2 million total.
Robert De Niro enjoyed huge success when he poked fun at himself in Analyze This and Meet the Parents. Now it's Al Pacino's turn to reveal his comedic side. Rather than send up his tough-guy image, Pacino instead bites the hand that feeds him with the Hollywood satire Simone, directed by The Truman Show scribe Andrew Niccol.
If The Truman Show offered a tragicomic look at reality TV, Simone provides a hysterical look at how easy it is for Hollywood to manufacture a superstar. In this case, Pacino is the has-been producer who creates a computer-generated actress in order to revive his flagging career. An unsuspecting world falls in love with Simone, initially to Pacino's glee, then to his consternation. Catherine Keener, Jay Mohr and an unbilled Winona Ryder co-star.
New Line originally scheduled Simone for an Oct. 12, 2001, release, but pushed it back to this summer for fear it would lose out to stiffer competition. The smart, sophisticated and sharply written Simone deserves better than a late-summer slot, which is tantamount to a fate worse than death. Simone, which will vie mainly for adult audiences at its 1,700-plus theaters, also faces the severe disadvantage of being about the movie industry. Audiences usually reject such films, perhaps because they read and hear enough about Hollywood news and gossip that they have no desire to see films about the moviemaking process. The rare exception was last year's America's Sweethearts, which earned $93.6 million thanks to a cast that included Julia Roberts and Billy Crystal.
Pacino's star still shines bright--Insomnia clocked up $66.8 million earlier this summer--but Simone will do no better than his 1996 flop City Hall, which opened with $6.7 million and closed with $20.2 million.
Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames prepare to beat the living daylights out of each other in Undisputed, director Walter Hill's thriller about two incarcerated boxers determined to settle once and for which one of them is the greatest.
Snipes enjoyed his biggest hit of his career earlier this year with Blade 2 ($81.6 million), but Miramax is showing him little respect. Miramax scheduled for March 8, two weeks before Blade 2's March 22 release. Miramax wisely delayed Undisputed, first pushing it back to October before bumping it up to August in place of They. But Miramax bows Undisputed in just 1,100-plus theaters, which severely limits Snipes from doing knockout business.
Undisputed will do a little more than half the business of Snipes' much-maligned baseball thriller The Fan, which opened with $6.2 million and struck out with $18.5 million. That will come as another disappointment for Hill, who removed his name from his last film, Supernova, and saw it implode with just $14.2 million.
Facing three uncompetitive new releases, Vin Diesel's xXx could be the first film since Black Hawk Down to rule the box office for at least three weekends. The noisy spy thriller, directed by Rob Cohen, dropped 50 percent in its second weekend, from $44.5 million to $22.1 million. That's the same as Diesel and Cohen's The Fast and the Furious, which tumbled 49 percent in its second weekend, from $40 million to $20 million. xXx, however, has made $88.9 million total through Tuesday vs. The Fast and the Furious's $84 million ($86.6 million) during 12 days in release.
xXx stands to make $13.5 million this weekend should it follow The Fast and the Furious's third weekend fall of 38.7 percent. Regardless, xXx will cross the $100 million barrier this weekend and end up with a total just a tad north of The Fast and the Furious's $144.5 million. xXx also is the only film with the potential to achieve blockbuster status until October's Red Dragon.
Diesel's extreme sports-driven spy, though, does face a credible threat from hostile extraterrestrials.
Signs' endurance puts it in a strong position to challenge xXx for box office supremacy. M Night Shyamalan's creepy sci-fi thriller lost just 34 percent of its audience in its third weekend, from $29.4 million to $19.3 million, for a total of $154.9 million through Tuesday. Signs recovered nicely after tumbling 51 percent in its second weekend following its $60.1 million debut.
Mel Gibson should walk away from Signs with his first $200 million smash. Signs also should surpass What Women Want's $182.8 million by Labor Day to become Gibson's biggest earner.
Blood Work, though, won't make Clint Eastwood's day. The intriguing thriller, marred only by its obvious ending, dropped 34 percent in its second weekend from a lowly $7.3 million to $4.8 million. With $16.3 million through Tuesday, Blood Work will exceed True Crime's pitiful $16.6 million but barely make more than 1990's underachieving The Rookie ($21.6 million total).
The waves proved too rocky for the spunky ladies of Blue Crush to negotiate, as the teen-oriented surfing drama opened below expectations with $14.1 million. That paves the way for a second-weekend tumble of around 50 percent. With $17.5 million through Tuesday, Blue Crush should hit the shore with about $40 million.
Blue Crush fared better than The Adventures of Pluto Nash, which opened with a career-low $2.1 million for Eddie Murphy. Warner Bros. kept the sci-fi spoof on the shelf for more than one year and did little to promote its long-delayed release. This is shaping up to be a bad year for Murphy, who already stumbled in the spring with Showtime ($37.9 million total). Murphy desperately needs November's I Spy to reverse his flagging fortunes.
Murphy's fellow ex-SNLers fared somewhat better.
Mike Myers' Austin Powers in Goldmember eased by just 33 percent in its fourth weekend, from $13 million to $8.7 million, after experiencing huge losses in its second and third weekends. Goldmember has $186.3 million through Tuesday vs. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me's $173 million ($174.4 million) through 26 days in release. Goldmember, which could hit $200 million by Labor Day, will make enough people horny to surpass Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me's $206 million total.
Dana Carvey's comeback vehicle Master of Disguise fell a respectable 38 percent in its third weekend, from $5.1 million to $3.1 million. Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams caused untold damage to the family comedy, which suffered a disturbing 59.3 percent in its second weekend after a $12.5 million opening. With $31.2 million through Tuesday, Master of Disguise represents the best showing yet for a Carvey solo venture.
Spy Kids 2 is showing better resilience than the fading Stuart Little 2, which has just $57.7 million through Tuesday. Spy Kids eased by 34 percent in its second weekend, from $16.7 million to $11.5 million, for a $48.7 million total through Tuesday after 14 days in release. Conversely, Spy Kids had $56.6 million ($61.9 million) during the same period. Spy Kids 2 won't match its predecessor's $112.6 million, but its should reach a sturdy $80 million with some ease.
Tom Hanks benefited the most from the lack of interest in the new wide releases. Road to Perdition declined by just 10 percent in its sixth weekend, from $4.2 million to $3.8 million. With $91.1 million through Tuesday, Road to Perdition could become Hanks' sixth consecutive film to cross $100 million by as early as Labor Day.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, executive produced by Hanks, expanded in its 18th week from 723 theaters to 1,060 theaters. That resulted in an 82 percent jump in business, from $3.1 million to $5.7 million, its best weekend yet. The art house sleeper has a staggering $54.6 million through Tuesday.
The art house also seems the destination of choice for adults looking for films of some substance.
One Hour Photo, starring Robin Williams, debuted Wednesday in limited release. The thriller is the third this year to feature Williams as a bad guy.
Possession, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart, opened with a solid $1.5 million at 270 theaters. The romantic drama will expand in the coming weeks.
The Good Girl soared by 454 percent in its second weekend, from $151,642 to $840,660, as it widened from four theaters to 60 theater. Jennifer Aniston's excellent reviews are clearly luring audiences. Perhaps Matthew Perry might consider asking Aniston for some post-Friends career advice.