Top Story: Walker 2 Furious at Diesel
The Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker admitted he was initially angry when Vin Diesel decided to pull out of the sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious. “I thought we were partners. It hurt my feelings,” Walker told Teen People magazine in its May issue. “But once I stepped back, I realized that I couldn’t take it personally–it’s all about business.” The Associated Press reports Diesel chose not to do the sequel when contract negotiations went sour. Walker reprises his role as Brian O’Conner, an undercover cop who infiltrated a Los Angeles drag-racing ring in the original 2001 film but who was stripped of his badge and must redeem himself by investigating street racers in Miami. 2 Furious opens June 6.
Cruz Sues Australian Magazine
A little of her boyfriend Tom Cruise‘s lawsuit mania has rubbed off on Penelope Cruz. AP reports the Spanish actress is suing the Australian magazine New Idea, claiming an article they wrote about her relationship with Cruise “contains a number of false and defamatory statements,” her legal firm Gadens Lawyers said in a statement Tuesday. “Ms. Cruz seeks substantial damages and is confident that legal proceedings will vindicate her reputation.”
Will & Grace Gets Material Girl
Madonna has agreed to play Karen’s (Megan Mullally) new roommate on the April 24 episode of Will & Grace. Show producer Tim Kaiser told TV Guide the pop diva was resistant to appear on the hit NBC show at first, saying she didn’t even own a TV, but Kaiser said the Material Girl agreed once he promised her she wouldn’t have to play herself (his wooing her with dozens of English roses probably helped, too).
Heidi Fleiss is Free and Clear
Probation for former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss ended Tuesday, City News reports, and she now plans to become “a force to be reckoned with in publishing.” Fleiss–who left prison in 1999 after serving two years for money laundering, tax evasion and attempted pandering–made it through the final two years of supervised release with no violations. She is planning on publishing five books, including two relationship handbooks for men and women.
Beau Bridges Starred
Beau Bridges finally got his own Hollywood Walk of Fame star Monday, right next to his brother Jeff and late father, Lloyd, AP reports. “Thanks to my family and friends and for those who I don’t know, thanks for coming to be a part of this magnificent tradition,” the 61-year-old actor said. “This is very important to me.”
Rivera Admits His Carelessness
Geraldo Rivera apologized for his conduct last week, admitting he did break one of the military’s rules for journalists when he outlined planned troop movements in the sand. AP reports the Fox News Channel correspondent, who has been transferred out of Iraq into Kuwait, gave his apology Sunday night. “I’m sorry that it happened and I assure you that it was inadvertent,” Rivera said. “Nobody was hurt by what I said. No mission was compromised. I should have been more careful.”
Toby Keith Tops Country Music Video Awards
Toby Keith’s heavy-handed patriotic anthem “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)” won three awards at the Country Music Television’s 2003 Flameworthy Video Music Awards Monday, including video of the year, AP reports. The song and video rallies around the troops and warns terrorists that the U.S. means business. Other winners included Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and Faith Hill.
Role Call: Video Game Comes Alive, Off-Broadway Play Akimbo Goes to Screen
Video game connoisseurs can get excited–the popular game Dead or Alive will get a big-screen treatment, described by The Hollywood Reporter as Charlie’s Angels meets Enter the Dragon. The film follows four female fighters who are invited to a world fighting tournament on an exotic island…In more adaptation news, DreamWorks Pictures acquired the off-Broadway play Kimberly Akimbo to make into a feature film. Set in suburban New Jersey, the story centers on a teenager with a rare condition that causes her body to age faster than it should. When her family moves away from their town under dubious circumstances, Kimberly is forced to re-evaluate her life while juggling a hypochondriac mother, a drunk father, a dishonest aunt, her own mortality and the possibility of first love.