News Roundup: April 4


Top Story

Woody Allen‘s new comedy Hollywood Ending will open the Cannes Film Festival on May 15, and the veteran American director will be attending the festivities for the first time. Other Allen films, such as Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters, have been shown at the festival but the usually press-shy Allen has never made an appearance.

“Over the last few years, they have invited me so many times that I now want to offer them something in return: I will therefore come personally to present my film Hollywood Ending, which I think will be perfect for the event,” Allen said in a statement, Reuters reported. The film stars Allen, Tea Leoni, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, George Hamilton and Treat Williams.


The employees of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno got a nice surprise before Monday’s taping: $1,000 for each year he/she worked on the show, Variety reported. Leno just wanted them all to know how much he appreciated them. That’s mighty nice of him. The show will celebrate its 10th anniversary May 23 and NBC is airing a special one-hour special April 30 at 10 p.m.

Want to know even more about “Ginger” Spice, aka Geri Halliwell? Yeah, well, neither do we, but apparently someone does. Britain’s Mirror reported she has signed a deal to write a second autobiography for $719,000, detailing her life after leaving the Spice Girls. Her first book If Only, talked about her childhood and her years with the girl pop band.

Casting Call

Robin Wright Penn has joined Robert Downey Jr. in the film The Singing Detective, with producer Mel Gibson also taking a small role. The film, a remake of the popular BBC television mini-series, centers on a invalid (Downey) whose sickly hallucinations have him creating an alternative reality where he is fighting Nazis in the 1940s.

Matt Damon going on stage. The handsome actor be performing in the London West End production of This Is Our Youth, along with fellow actors Casey Affleck (what? No Ben?) and Summer Phoenix. This threesome will be taking over from Anna Paquin, Hayden Christensen and Jake Gyllenhaal on April 22.

Tube News

The CBS Survivor team want to use Thailand’s Tartutao Islands for the next series, despite some resistance from environmentalists, who claim TV production may further disrupt the region’s ecological system. Several environmental groups blame the 1999 film The Beach, which filmed on a Thai island, for causing extensive damage there. The Thai government, however, has told Reuters they are in the final stages of approving CBS’ request.

Michael Nader, who played the suave Count Dimitri on ABC’s All My Children for nearly 10 years, is suing ABC for breach of contract. The actor has been off the show since February 2001, when he claims in his suit he became ill and needed medical treatment. His suit alleges that ABC refused to allow him to come back to work and would not let him out of his contract. Nader was also sentenced to three years probation for possession of a controlled substance in May 2001.

Music News

Heavy mental rocker Ozzy Osbourne and President George Bush will dine together. Apparently, the president has become a big fan of the MTV reality show The Osbournes, which follows the lives of Osbourne and his family, and wants to meet the singer. Ah, to be a fly on the wall at that meeting.

In the latest on the air rage trial of R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, prosecutor David Bate is claiming Buck is lying about what happened to save face. Hmmm. Is there any other reason to lie? Buck has maintained his innocence, blaming a bad reaction from a sleeping pill and several glasses of red wine. He does not recall his alleged actions.

French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion has still got it. Her newest album New Day Has Come sold more than half a million copies its first week in the stores, shooting it to No. 1 on the charts. Well done, Celine.


Country singer Garth Brooks and R&B king Stevie Wonder will be honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame at their induction and awards ceremony June 13. Wonder will be receiving a lifetime achievement award, while Brooks will pick up the Hitmaker Award.

Remember Bob Newhart? The Kennedy Center hasn’t forgotten the TV and film comedian; they’ve awarded him their fifth annual Mark Twain prize for American humor. Newhart told the Associated Press, “Mark Twain once said, ‘It is strange the way the ignorant and inexperienced so often and so undeservedly succeed when the informed and the experienced fail,’ which is certainly true in this case.”

The irreverant Laugh-In hosts Dick Martin and the late Dan Rowan finally get their own stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 80-year-old Martin accepted the honor Tuesday (Rowan died in 1987), and on hand were Laugh-In castmates Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Gary Owens and Jo Anne Worley.