News Roundup: Sept. 4


Top Story

Gwyneth Paltrow says her comments in Now magazine about the British dating scene were misunderstood, and she wants to set the record straight. According to The Associated Press, on Tuesday Paltrow told reporters at the Deauville Festival of American Cinema in France–where she is promoting her film Possession–that she was simply commenting on a “sociological difference between English dating and American dating.” Paltrow went on to say that she adores Britain and British men. The British tabloids had a field day with Paltrow‘s “Casanova moan” that Brits don’t seem to ask one another out on dates, rallying in defense of the beleaguered British man. “Sorry, Gwyn, but you nasal, gum-chewing U.S. girls are frighteningly sexless and just plain dull,” London’s The Daily Mirror retaliated. Paltrow had better make nice: The 29-year-old actress recently bought an apartment in London and will begin filming a biopic of American poet Sylvia Plath there this fall.


Madonna is stepping up the PR-controlled interviews to promote her upcoming romantic drama Swept Away. The film, directed by her husband, Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), is already receiving bad word of mouth. But in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine released Tuesday, Madonna said she and Ritchie have vowed to ignore critics. “I’d like it if people liked it. But I’m not going to slit my wrists if they don’t,” she said. “Especially because it’s a labor of love between me and my husband.” Yes, she actually described the feature film as “a labor of love.”


MGM is giving Reese Witherspoon a cool $15 million to reprise her role as Elle Woods in the sequel to last summer’s surprise hit comedy Legally Blonde. According to Variety, the studio has set July 2003 as a bow for Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. The project is now out to directors.

Maggie Gyllenhaal has joined the cast of Mona Lisa Smile for Revolution Studios and Julia Roberts‘ Shoelace Prods., according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film, set in 1953, centers on a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley who accepts a teaching post at an all-women’s college. Recent additions to the cast of the Roberts starrer include Julia Stiles and Kirsten Dunst.

Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney will produce a new film written by David Mamet about gangster John Dillinger, Variety reports. Kimberly Peirce is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to direct the project.


The Rolling Stones kicked off their Licks tour Tuesday night at Boston’s Fleet Center. According to Reuters, over half the show’s music was drawn from the band’s heyday of the late ’60s and early ’70s, with the Stones performing hits including “Honky Tonk Women,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Brown Sugar” to 16,000 roaring fans. The Stones will play some 40 shows across North America over the next five months.

Musician Moby reacted to Eminem‘s aggressive behavior at the MTV Video Music Awards last week on his Web site. “The truth is I honestly, in all sincerity, thought that the whole Eminem thing was done in some semblance of humor until Eminem called me a pu— (that was off camera) and then threatened to beat me up,” the electronica star said. “I think that Eminem is talented and interesting, but I’m kind of stunned at the anger that he has for me, seeing as I’d never met him up until that night.” Late Night With Conan O’Brien character Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, who also got caught up in the melee, added on his Web site, “I would like all of you to know that I am fine, that the scuffle at the MTV awards involving Eminem, Moby and Eminem‘s trusty friend who threw my pooping paper in the air did not result in permanent injury.”