News Roundup: March 8


Top Story

George Clooney is reportedly dating a young actress and bartender he met while working on the set of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind in Montreal, Canada. According to Canada’s National Post, the 40-year-old actor has been meeting Maria Bertrand, 27, at the Globe restaurant, a hot spot for celebs shooting films in the city. However, Bertrand’s agent Cha Cha DaVinci insists the stars are just friends who enjoy being with each other. Bertrand, who has a small part in the movie, was on the set of Dangerous Mind Thursday to shoot a sequence with Matt Damon and Brad Pitt. The film is based on the life of game-show host Chuck Barris, who claimed to be a CIA hit man.

In General

Film critics Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper had planned to review movie trailers at the annual ShoWest conference in Las Vegas but hit a wall because studios wouldn’t give them any trailers. Ebert and Roeper instead griped about trailers in general, saying they were too loud, too long and give out too much about the plot, Reuters reports. Ebert, who recently underwent surgery, also complained about the state of modern theaters, asking, “Is it possible to sell anything at the concession stand that doesn’t kill?”

Audiences will have to wait until next week to watch knee whacker Tonya Harding and presidential scandalmonger Paula Jones duke it out. While the Fox network’s Celebrity Boxing was taped Thursday, the event will not be broadcast until next Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. Also set to face off in the ring are Danny Bonaduce versus Barry Williams, and Vanilla Ice against Todd Bridges.

William Baldwin, Paul Sorvino and Valerie Harper plan to build a movie studio in Trenton, N.J.’s abandoned factories. The three met with state lawmakers Thursday in a bid to gain support for the project, which they say would generate $100 million in taxable revenues and bring hundreds of jobs for construction workers, hairdressers, tailors and dry cleaners.

Glenn Close, Matthew Modine and Stephen Fry are the latest additions to the cast of James Ivory‘s Le Divorce. According to Variety, the film is a comedy about two American sisters confronted with the decadence of French bourgeois society. The film, which begins shooting Monday in Paris, also stars Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson, Stockard Channing and James Waterston.

Former NYPD Blue star David Caruso is leaving what he calls the “cynical, hard-core energy” of Los Angeles for Miami Beach, AP reports. Caruso, who owns a $1 million South Beach condo with his wife, will co-own a clothing and home furnishings store.

The Screen Actors Guild rerun election is heading into its final week, with mud slinging at an all-time high. Melissa Gilbert won the election in January, but a SAG election committee ordered a rerun election when rival Valerie Harper alleged balloting irregularities. Ballots mailed out last month are due back March 8.

Mariah Carey may have found something useful to do with the $28 million pay-off she received from Virgin Records recently. According to Miami’s Power 96 radio station, the currently un-signed singer wants to have a semi-independent subsidiary label of her own. A spokesperson for Carey said she is meeting with a number of labels and looking into a variety of possibilities.

Rumors are circulating that Green Day will induct the Ramones in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 18 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. interviewed Johnny Ramone, who said he would love to be ushered in by Green Day frontman Billy Joe, but nothing has been officially confirmed. Singer Jewel, who may or may not perform, will also be inducting Brenda Lee.