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the women of cult television

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bacall unimpressed by beckinsale

24 february


• "ava was ravishing"

Kate Beckinsale failed to captured Ava Gardner's "ravishing" quality in The Aviator, according to Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall.

The 80-year-old Bacall was more convinced by Cate Blanchett's performance of her close friend Katharine Hepburn in the Howard Hughes biopic.

Bacall says, "I thought the actress playing Ava Gardner less successful. Ava was ravishing."

Of Blanchett, who she chatted to about Hepburn, she adds, "Cate Blanchett didn't look like Kate, but she captured her - her energy and vitality." back to the top

carrey, jolie for romantic comedy?

23 february


• couple "would like" to work together

Jim Carrey and Angelina Jolie could star in a romantic comedy for Universal Pictures, Variety reports.

The stars have not yet signed up for the film, but it's reported that they would like to work together.

The as yet untitled movie was written by Gina Wendkos, who wrote Coyote Ugly and the Princess Diaries films.

The movie has been devised to play to Carrey and Jolie's strengths and Variety says they are interested in the project. back to the top

jessica alba: no more sleeping around

22 february


• no problem being with a guy just for sex

Jessica Alba is through with actors and sleeping around.

The Dark Angel star was only 18 when she got engaged to her co-star Michael Weatherly. When that didn't work out, Alba tells Cosmo, she decided never to date an actor again.

She admitted she went through "a wild period" after that. She said she had no problem being with a guy just for sex.

But now, she said, she thinks she's found "the one." His name is Cash Warren and he's not an actor. back to the top

rose mcgowan: turning over a new paige

22 february • teen hollywood


• "i'm pretty okay if it ends this year"

She's that gorgeous red-head, uh now brunette witchy sister Paige on Charmed, now entering its seventh season on The WB. Perky, flirty Rose McGowan (pictured at the I Heart Huckabees premiere) joined the show when the oldest Halliwell sis Prue, played by Shannen Doherty, left...uh died and she's been a welcomed addition as she "orbs" in and out of trouble and tries to make a go of the local Magic School.

A true rolling stone with a European childhood that saw the actress travelling almost non-stop, Rose landed in Seattle for high school and started an unexpected film career where you might have first seen her as one of the kids freaked out in the original Scream. After cutting the 150th episode cake at a celebration on the Paramount lot, Rose curled up in a big lounge chair on the Halliwell house attic set to chat with Teen Hollywood to chat with them about changes in her life (she both welcomes and hates them), joining the show mid-stream and her fave episode. Picture a dark ponytail and a little vest over jeans.

TeenTelevision: Does it feel like your first day was yesterday or years ago?

Rose: Both. It feels like my tired side says 5,000 years ago, and my fun side says it feels like the blink of an eye.

TeenTelevision: There's a chance that the show could end this May. How do you feel about that?

Rose: Well, I'm pretty ok with it if it ends this year, because I've always done movies and I have kind of a gypsy thing that I love doing in life and I miss that greatly. But at the same time I've really, really grown accustomed to being with these people. I've never been around the same people for this long ever in my life, including my family. So it's been a very bizarre but really cool experience. It's taught me a lot of discipline actually.

TeenTelevision: How has the show changed your life on a personal level?

Rose: It's made me feel old, old before my time. No. It's probably caused more personal growth than I would of thought. And when I say it's given me discipline, I'm an extremely undisciplined person. I mean if I didn't like something I would move. If I didn't like a city I would just leave. (Doing the show), I suppose in a way is really more adult. It's more like my sister, she would do her homework on time, I just wouldn't. Now with different interpersonal relationships, knowing that if you don't get along with someone you're still there the next day to work it out. Don't take anything from that. I'm talking about people from the prop department or something like that.

TeenTelevision: Would you want to move back to Europe?

Rose: You can still like America and not be here. Ideally I'd love to spend time in both. And it's funny when I was little in Italy the only thing I'd said I wanted to be was a Contadina which is basically an overweight older woman that dressed all in black and had chin hairs and was kind of a peasant. I don't know about that but it would be lovely for me to relearn Italian really, really well. I spoke three different dialects, and I think it tends to come back to me pretty quickly, and I could do some Italian films, that'd be an amazing life.

TeenTelevision: Are you the kind of person who likes to move from project to project?

Rose: I'm absolutely that person. When I was in regular school growing up I still managed to go to ten different schools in eleven years, even if it was like for two weeks or a month, whatever it was. My family, if there was a problem, we'd just leave.

TeenTelevision: So you thrive on change?

Rose: No, actually the funniest part is I'm terrified of change but I love it at the same time. I'm terrified of heights, but I've jumped out of planes three times, and I go on roller coasters although I hate them. I also hate being scared of something. It pisses me off. So I try to master that, even if I'm terrified and it's kind of the same approach to life. but with that said, the last three years I've moved and sold houses three times. It's the only thing I can change so I've moved all around the city.

TeenTelevision: What's the smallest sort of thing that would get you to pick up and move your life?

Rose: Fights with neighbours, no. I don't know, it's totally personal. I get kind of a strange feeling like 'Okay I'm done'. But what's been great about this show is that I think to a pretty major extent, it's taken a lot of that out of me. Other than buying and selling houses.

TeenTelevision: What was it like when you first came on the show. Was it difficult back then?

Rose: Well, you know, my sisters and I had four, and three brothers are my best friends. So what I've brought to this part mostly is just a fierce protectiveness. To me it was a just another job and I didn't even actually give it much thought. I realised later that it was a lot harder for the other people, even for the crew, it was a lot stranger and not really knowing what to expect. So in that way it was kind of a slower road to hoe so to speak. Just kind of quietly growing a friendship instead of an immediate attachment, and that's been really interesting.

TeenTelevision: Do you have a favourite episode?

Rose: I think the film noir episode, which we did not long ago, is absolutely my favourite. I think everything kind of came together. We had a great director, a great script. The director had done a lot of movies with kind of these gangster characters, the great faces that you see in movies. He called them in and we had Joe Kennedy Senior's limousine where he used to have affairs with Gloria Swanson in the backseat, and things like that. It was great being shot in black and white, I loved that. That was my favourite.

TeenTelevision: Are you very image conscious?

Rose: It's funny. People will say, if I have a pimple "Oh don't worry. It won't show on camera." I don't care about camera. I care about real life. I hate looking bad in real life. I do work out a lot but it's not some maniacal thing. I basically had to wean myself off peanut butter. I was up to a jar every three days.

TeenTelevision: If you were really a witch, what powers would you want?

Rose: I would have the exact power that I have, which is orbing. I mean reappearing and disappearing, I could go to Zurich and take all the money out of the bank vaults, although I think it's probably all in computers. I could travel anywhere and seriously go to Paris for lunch and that would be I think the ultimate power ever.

TeenTelevision: Do you have input with the producers when you don't like something written for Paige?

Rose: Oh, I've hated things, and I've been very vocal. I'm 'are you serious that I have to be a wood nymph and dance around a tree? I will kill you'. So what I do is I just put my hair over my face and just scowl all the way through it, which they can't see. There's some things where definitely I'm mortified, but other things are super fun and ridiculous. So it all kind of balances out.

TeenTelevision: What kinds of things are super fun and ridiculous?

Rose: I liked playing Snow White. Although I'm terrified of being in a closed space and I was in a glass coffin. I didn't like that, and the air was running out. You know just fantastical things, working on wires, spinning around in the air. It's not in your daily job description for most people. For a while I was like "Okay, no more ridiculous outfits, I just can't take it." But now sometimes I kind of miss them.

TeenTelevision: What's the weirdest fan experience you've ever had?

Rose: Weirdest? Probably a 65-year-old cab driver stopping the car and turning around to hug me in New York.

TeenTelevision: When the show does end, how would you like to see the story wind up for your character?

Rose: (frowning) I don't know how I'd want the story to end for my character because that kind of makes me sad actually. I'm sure there would have to be a scene where we'd be crying, which I don't think would be hard to do. It makes me very sad to think about.

TeenTelevision: What scares you about the possible end of the series?

Rose: Change. It's just weird, but then I'd be real happy in about a week because I'd get to sleep in. Any job I've ever had, even if I hated it, it would be like 'Oh my god, I have two weeks left!' When I was done I would always have a weeklong depression, where you're all sad about it. Granted this one's probably gonna last longer.

TeenTelevision: You're in a TV movie about Elvis. Tell us about it.

Rose: I'm excited about that. I get to go to New Orleans, the end of February. It's with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers who's dreamy and a really good actor, Randy Quaid, who's great and Cameron Manheim, she's playing Gladys; she's a kind of genius. It's wonderful because I get to be Ann-Margret and I have red hair, blue eyes and a tan, so you really couldn't get farther away from Paige, which is excellent.

TeenTelevision: Have you met the real Ann-Margret?

Rose: No, but interestingly enough Billy Zane, who's guest starring now on Charmed, is going right after this, I think next week to do a movie with her. I told him to say Hi for me, but she hates seeing herself on screen. She's never seen herself on screen, she's never watched any of her movies. So I don't know how she will react to someone playing her, I would find it strange, but maybe in a car wreck sort of way. Now I'm even more nervous.

TeenTelevision: Do you have to sing and dance for this movie?

Rose: I don't know if I have to sing, but I do have to dance which will be great. It's like pieces of Viva Las Vegas, which is kind of hot. Except for she had this horrible tendency for wearing turtlenecks and tights, just tights. Like could she have a skirt? No skirt. So that will be embarrassing. I'll feel a little bit like I'm missing something.

TeenTelevision: Do you have a best or worst Valentine's story?

Rose: I was proposed to on Valentine's Day so I suppose that would be the best, and I suppose dumping someone on Valentines Day. I don't know if that would be their worst or my worst but I felt badly. back to the top

holly marie combs: "charming" new mom

15 february • teen hollywood


• "it's changed just about everything about my life"

She's one of the "Charmed Ones", three good Wiccan sisters who battle demons while still trying to lead semi-normal lives.

New mom Holly Marie Combs mirrors her character Piper Halliwell by creating a family although Holly doesn't have a White Lighter for a hubby or two magical boys to raise. She has one boy, Finley Arthur Donoho, born last April and a "normal" hubby David Donoho who was a crew member on her Charmed set.

When Teen Hollywood visited Paramount Studios earlier this month to celebrate the 150th episode of the series as well as the release of the DVD of the first season's episode, [they] got to watch Holly showing off Finley in "mom-mode" and as a sexy third of the successful sister trio when she helped fellow actors Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan cut a huge celebration cake.

After the cake munching, the press got to chat with the cast on Halliwell Manor's attic set, although they were warned not to get any cake crumbs in the Book of Shadows.

Teen Hollywood interviewed Holly, who walked in wearing jeans, a black tank and brown jacket and carrying a big vanilla latte which she explained that she needed as the sleep-deprived mom of a 10 month old.

TeenTelevision: What has having a baby done to change you?

Holly: It's changed just about everything about my life. It definitely puts everything in perspective. Things that were so important to you mean absolutely nothing and the status of his diaper means absolutely everything.

TeenTelevision: What is it like looking back on the season one shows that are on the DVD?

Holly: You know, in some respects, it seems just like yesterday and in other ways it seems like a lifetime ago. I remembered all my dialogue and now there have been so many shows, I look back and I go, "I have no idea what I'm going to do next. I have no idea what I'm going to say next." I'm like wow, that was a long time ago. But it's a testament to the show itself. It's been fun and it's flown by.

TeenTelevision: Is it a different dynamic today with Rose instead of Shannen?

Holly: I don't know. It kinds of seems the same kind of dynamic. We were three women thrust into this atmosphere where we kind of have to band together and get through the day and I think we still do the same thing, although I have a few less wrinkles in that pic [on the DVD cover].

TeenTelevisoin: You said you got up at 4am? How do you do it, get up at 4 to take care of the baby?

Holly: Let's see. Last night I went to bed about midnight, baby woke up at 2.30, my husband got home at 3.30, baby woke up again at 4.30 and I got up for good at five. So there's no telling what I'm going to say today because I really don't have all my faculties.

TeenTelevision: How do you work?

Holly: It's weird. When you become a mom you just learn how to function sleep deprived and you do get used to it. I came back to work when he was three months old and the first few months were rough. And then somehow you learn to exist on no sleep. And now when he does upon occasion sleep through the night, which is like a full six hours, you're pretty sure he's suffocating. So you don't sleep anyway.

TeenTelevision: Do the other girls feel like aunties?

Holly: They do. I'm sure you saw a little bit of them fighting over who's going to hold him. And somehow he always comes back to me with lipstick all over him. So he's either going to be very in love with women when he grows up or he's going to be gay. He's going to be a cross dresser.

TeenTelevision: So Alyssa and Rose play with him?

Holly: They take him in the makeup trailer and do bad things to his hair. The girls gave him a mohawk the other day. So I can’t let him out of my sight for very long.

TeenTelevision: Do you take him with you pretty much everywhere?

Holly: I do because, thank God, he's such a good traveller. He adapts so well. He can pretty much sleep anywhere. I was very, very worried about him having a normal kind of life and being comfortable and not carted around everywhere, but he's so good. We went on location to Las Vegas with my husband and we'd go out to the casino and he thinks there's just a lot of people in the living room. Like, wow, it's kind of loud and there's a lot of people here today.

TeenTelevision: Can you see yourself just being a full time mom?

Holly: My son is my number one job but I don't know if I could ever stop doing my day job. My husband and I have actually talked about me retiring. I'm like, "whoa, I'm 31, let's not say the R word". But I don't think I could. If I wasn't working here, I'd probably be working somewhere else.

TeenTelevision: Was it a help that your character Piper has kids on the show?

Holly: Well, I kind of got to experiment and learn how to do things with my TV babies. And thank God I could hand them off at the end of the day when they got cranky, you know, so I wasn't terribly comfortable with kids before I had to work with our babies because I just had never been around them. I didn't have any younger baby sisters or brothers. So they were my guinea pigs and they were very patient with me and they were very good to me and thankfully I'm very adept at mothering now. I've got my TV babies and my real baby and I'm just surrounded by babies all day long.

TeenTelevision: You also have pets at home. Who takes care of them?

Holly: Well, that was part of the problem last night. I actually got home at 10 but I didn't get in bed 'til 12 because I fed animals for about two hours last night.

TeenTelevision: How many?

Holly: Oh, my goodness. I have five dogs, two of them are my husband's so I don't take account of them. I only have three personally myself but we have joint custody of the other two. Let's see, three cats, four rabbits, I had to get rid of the turtle when we had the baby, you know the salmonella thing, so he went to a nice big pond in my friend's backyard. Four horses and two birds. I think that's everything.

TeenTelevision: Any idea why the show has lasted so long?

Holly: You know, it surprises me every day but at the same time, I think if it ended tomorrow, I'd be just as surprised. It's been part of my life for so long and I've kind of grown up on the show. It's been an emotional roller coaster for me, it's been a professional roller coaster. On the show I met my husband, I got married, I had a baby. And it was a major part of my 20s.

TeenTelevision: How long could you play the same character?

Holly: That's not difficult for me to do. I think my character's changed very much from the beginning and has kind of compressed into a whole new person, just like normal people on a day to day basis go through life changes. Characters do too. I don't think you should ever get in a rut because no person is the same every day.

TeenTelevision: You and husband Leo on the show have had a rocky relationship.

Holly: Yeah, I think she's been dumped by Leo more times than any character on television. I'm really beginning to take it personally. That relationship has been so complicated and so up and down, I can't say that I can relate to it myself, so I can't really think of an outcome. But I know that the audience and our fan base very much wants Piper and Leo to be together, so depending on how long we have with the show, we will map out the course

Yeah, I think she’s been dumped by Leo more times than any character on television. I’m really beginning to take it personally. That relationship has been so complicated and so up and down, I can’t say that I can relate to it myself, so I can’t really think of an outcome. But I know that the audience and our fan base very much wants Piper and Leo to be together, so depending on how long we have with the show, we will map out the course of that relationship accordingly and I think we have to give the audience what it wants.

TeenTelevision: Will the show still have name bands playing at your club P3?

Holly: Yes, but that's another thing that got too expensive. We do. The bands are kind of something that happen if we have money left over, and we don't always have money left over.

TeenTelevision: Have you learned anything from your character Piper?

Holly: I don't know. The character and I both went kind of through emotional up and downs together, and a lot of her dealing with Prue's death was me dealing with Shannen's departure and we're very similar. It's tough to keep the line between your character and yourself very clear and distinct sometimes, especially when you've been doing it for seven years. I'm very proud of my character, the way that she's matured and where she came from and she was a very hyperactive, worrisome, very unsure of herself woman and she's matured into this self confident mother that is very suddenly headstrong. And she's evolved a little bit to be more like Prue which was kind of by design, when I became the oldest sister, and she'll most likely end up some version of Prue.

TeenTelevision: What can we expect from the 150th episode?

Holly: Gosh, I have two words. Julian McMahon. I keep telling people he's coming to give me hell. Which I appreciate very much and we'll be very happy to see him. He adds an energy to the set that is just unlike anybody else. He's so much fun to work with.

TeenTelevision: Did they ask you to do a commentary for the DVD?

Holly: You know, they didn't ask us to do one. I think we would have gladly done one because it's so far removed from our memory banks, if we sat down and actually watched it, we'd be like, "Oh my God."

TeenTelevision: What has been your favorite episode?

Holly: What did we call my Camelot episode? Sword in the City, which I liked very much because I got to do a lot of the swordplay and stuff like that. I didn't get to do as much as I liked because it was just about the time of that episode that I found out I was pregnant. So they had to be a little careful with me, although they did stab me. We had a great guest star, Edward Atterton. When we have guest stars like that, it just makes our jobs 1,000 percent easier because they're so wonderful. back to the top

"fantastic four" forsakes the fourth

9 february


• "we are not running from 'war of the worlds'"

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fantastic Four will no longer celebrate the Fourth of July will its nationwide debut.

Instead, the sci-fi superhero film has shifted its release date from Independence Day to the following Friday, 8 July.

There is some speculation that the change stems from the big-name competition from the Tom Cruise-starring remake of War of the Worlds, which opens the previous Wednesday, 29 June.

"We are not running from War of the Worlds," responds Fox president of distribution Bruce Snyder. "This [new] date just works better for us."

Fantastic Four centres on space travellers who develop strange powers after being exposed to comic radiation. Making up the titular quartet are: Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards (Ioan Gruffudd), who can bend or elongate any body part; Invisible Girl (Jessica Alba), who has the ability to disappear; Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), aka The Human Torch, who can bend fire to his will, including bursting his body into flame; and Ben "The Thing" Grimm (Michael Chiklis), a rocky misshapen monsters with tremendous strength. Their nemesis is Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon), who sports a faceplate and body armour to cover his scarred features and body.

The date change will now pit Fantastic Four against the big-screen remake of Bewitched, which stars Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Roll Bounce will replace Four in its original release date as counterprogramming for War of the Worlds. (On the subject of which, am I the only person who wished they'd kept with the late 19th century Home Counties setting of the novel?) back to the top

keira gets doubled for "domino" dancing

9 february


• "unless your bum looks like that, don't show it on film"

According to the Daily Mail, Keira Knightley has opted for a body double for the lap-dancing scenes in her upcoming film Domino. The paper reports a "source" on the production saying, they "had an audition, I was in an office and women came in and started stripping. They had fantastic bums and it's at that point that you go, 'OK, unless your bum looks like that, don't show it on film.'" Keira eventually gave the OK for a former ballerina from Romania, Roberta Lorince, to be her stand-in.

According to New magazine, when asked what she's prepared to show on the big screen, Keira exclaimed, "you're not going to see my arse! The top half is fine, but the bottom half isn't."

Nevertheless, she has filmed some raunchy scenes for The Jacket, which she recently promoted at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. "When I read the script, the character was different from anything I had played before and was just really, really exciting," she explained. "It was kind of the first time I had done a nude thing. But it was cool. It was only John [Maybury, the director], the cameraman and the focus-puller there, so there were only three people." back to the top

kate gets it all off her chest

6 february • sydney morning herald


• kate beckinsale is bored with questions about boob implants - believing in yourself and your subject are what really matters

Kate Beckinsale is looking intent and talking earnestly about her breasts. Fullness, shape, but not cup size. It's a conversation that guys who admired her in a nurse's outfit in Pearl Harbor or a peasant blouse in Van Helsing might try to keep going just for the hell of it.

But Beckinsale has a point to make. About a year ago - just after director Martin Scorsese cast her as 1950s screen queen Ava Gardner in his Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator - she decided to stack on about 12 kilograms. It was about authenticity. Movie divas weren't anorexic in those days; they were full-figured women and Gardner, once dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world, was all woman in the finest tradition of the hourglass figure.

"So much for suffering for my art," Beckinsale said. "Suddenly I was reading this stuff about 'has she or has she not had a boob job?' I didn't see that coming. I had just got married so I suppose they scrutinise what your breasts are doing for signs of pregnancy or eating disorders. I've decided to make a rule and limit my conversation about my own breasts to my husband and my child so, I guess, I'm making an exception for you.

"But I simply put on 20 pounds. Women were a lot more voluptuous in those days. Take a look at Ava in her films. So my boobs grew and so did my arse - but no one was asking me whether I got arse implants. And I haven't, by the way, and I didn't get boob implants, either." So, she's got that off her chest. Which is a good thing, actually, because there is a lot more to Beckinsale's evocation of Gardner than her cleavage. The Aviator is a rich film and Beckinsale's sassy portrait of Gardner gets overlooked because of Cate Blanchett's showy take on Katharine Hepburn.

Unlike Blanchett, who has a resume studded with portrayals of real people, playing Gardner was a first for Beckinsale. And she was anxious about capturing the movie legend's ticks and quirks when comparisons were merely a "play" or "pause" button away on DVD.

"I think impersonation is what you've really got to resist," she said. "I think it's soulless and empty. The work and the research, the accent and mannerisms, is very much before you start shooting. When the cameras are rolling then it's about the script. I don't think people want to see a Saturday Night Live sketch about me playing Ava Gardner. Possibly they do but not in a Martin Scorsese movie. I'm sure there are lots of people who think I look nothing like her." The film is not as explicit about Hughes's sexual relationship with Gardner as it is, for example, about the one between the aviation and movie pioneer and Hepburn. Gardner herself was coy on the subject and the third-party accounts are split on the question.

"She says she never had a sexual relationship with Hughes," she said. "But he did spoil her. He made these grand gestures that made her feel very special. And, God knows, I hate to be the one who disbelieves an actress when she said she didn't sleep with somebody. It's against my religion. After all that stuff about whether or not I had plastic surgery, I would have felt disloyal if I didn't take her at her word."

Screen sirens who everyone else thinks they have the inside dope on - be it their suitors or surgeries - are obviously something of a pet cause for Beckinsale.

But only a few years ago - when she was a pretty young English actress best known for costume dramas - the whole idea of generating her own little media frenzy seemed remote. And she wasn't a bombshell in the Ava Gardner tradition nor, for that matter, the updated Angelina Jolie one.

It started to change when Beckinsale did two big blockbusters - Pearl Harbor and last year's Van Helsing - and took up, and then married, her hunky young director on 2003's Underworld, Len Wiseman. It thrust Beckinsale into the headlines because, although never married, she had been with fellow actor Michael Sheen for eight years. Sheen, also in Underworld, is the father of her daughter Lilly, now 5.

With Wiseman, Beckinsale traded solid, suburban life in London for a surfside one among the rollerblades in Los Angeles. Suddenly the English rose was the Californian wild flower with a paparazzi posse.

While she's happy to laugh off the hoo-ha of making Pearl Harbor in 2002, Beckinsale is not sure that Van Helsing was a great choice either for her career or her privacy. At one point today she describes the movie, in which she co-starred with Hugh Jackman, as a "career killer".

"I've always tried to do different things, but unfortunately the last different thing I did, Van Helsing, kind of exploded into this new whole deal that I am not comfortable with," she said. "Van Helsing was like doing a panto, a panto with millions of dollars behind it. It was so obvious to me in hindsight that it wasn't my sort of thing. I probably should not have done it and I feel bad saying that because I loved all the people I worked with.

"The idea of becoming famous for something I didn't really believe in was a very weird experience.

"It all happened around the same time as I got married, which was probably bad timing, but it just made me think the whole fishbowl thing had got worse since Pearl Harbor."

In fact, Beckinsale admitted she was having a mini existential crisis. She'd like to do meatier stuff - maybe a play in London where her friends and family are - although she's more than happy to suit up again as the alpha woman action hero in Wiseman's Underworld sequel.

She readily admitted that, on the totem pole of plum film roles, she comes in somewhere south of people like Blanchett and Kate Winslet so she might not get offered the best movies: "I'm only 30 so I don't have to keep acting. I've started inquiring about medical school ... seriously ... I could do it.

"I've been joking to journalists today that the next time they meet me I might have to finger up their bums. It's a great way to make an interview go really quiet."

Perhaps that's why people keep switching the conversation back to her breasts.

• flying high on homage to a siren

The Aviator touches on Howard Hughes's relationship with three screen sirens of the mid-20th century: Jean Harlow (briefly portrayed by Gwen Stefani), Katharine Hepburn and Ava Gardner.

As Hepburn, of course, Cate Blanchett is Australia's main Oscar hope this month and she puts in a stellar performance.

But he task was made easier because Hepburn's persona is so indelible. On the other hand, people recall Gardner's name from films such as Mogambo and On The Beach and flings with big shots like Frank Sinatra, but her image is less distinct.

"Basically, she never thought she was a particularly good actress but she wanted to get better at it," Kate Beckinsale said.

"It seemed like she was very brave and bold in her life. I really liked that assertive quality that she had. She came across as very demanding, pretty tough, fiery and passionate but you never get the feeling that she was bitchy. She was what they called in those days a 'dame'.

"So I wanted to do her justice. There have been some major books written about her and I read a lot and watched her films. But I ... started to concentrate on the one that Marty [Martin Scorsese] wanted me to use to get her accent and her look, and that was Mogambo." back to the top

kirsten dunst responds to "witch" claims

5 february


• "she was a cold, curt, nasty little witch"

Kirsten Dunst has slammed film-maker Vincent Gallo's remarks about her, after he attacked her for pulling out of his controversial flop film Brown Bunny.

The Spider-Man actress was set to play Daisy opposite Gallo in the 2004 drama and decided against the role at the last minute, leavin Gallo's ex-girlfriend Chloe Sevigny to take her place and infamously perform oral sex on Gallo in the film.

Gallo told the New York Post, "I called her and told her that I was displeased that she had abandoned me on the day she was supposed to film. She became another person. She was a cold, curt, nasty little witch of a brat on the phone."

Dunst's agent has slammed Gallo's comments, claiming the actress quit the production after she realised it didn't conform to Screen Actors Guild (SAG) guidelines.

Her agent says, "Gallo can say anything he wants. She did nothing wrong." back to the top

"pirates" sequel gets name

5 february


• but no title yet for #3

In a conference call to investors, Disney studio chairman Dick Cook has revealed that the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean sequel will be called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and will open in the summer of 2006, followed by a third film the following summer. The two sequels are being shot back to back.

In Dead Man's Chest, Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow, who owes a blood debt to the legendary Davy Jones, ruler of the ocean depths and captain of the ghostly Flying Dutchman. The sequel will also bring back Orlando Bloom as Will Turner and Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann.

Jerry Bruckheimer will again producer, and Gore Verbinksi is back to direct. Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Alex Norton round out the cast. back to the top

heigl series gets name change

5 february


• "grey's anatomy" no longer

It appears that Grey's Anatomy, ABC's mid-season series starring Katherine Heigl has been renamed once again.

Previously known as Under The Knife and Surgeons, the series is now set to air as Complications. Katie stars as intern Isobel "Izzie" Stevens, one of a group of first-year surgical interns at a hospital in Seattle. back to the top

aid working jolie loses interest in film work

3 february


• "i'm having trouble going back to work"

Angelina Jolie has insisted she is only carrying on as a film star to finance her aid work around the world.

The Oscar-winning star has found her forte as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and says she loves nothing more than travelling around the world with her son on her charity missions.

Jolie, 29, said after attending the World Economic Forum in Switzerland: "After a few months off, I'm having trouble going back to work because I'm finding that my time at home with my son and taking him around and travelling to UNHCR programmes or other parts of the world is just more fulfilling and more interesting to me and I know is more important.

"I can't find anything that interests me enough to go back to work. I'm not excited about going to a film set. At the same time I know that by doing a film and making money and remaining in the public eye, I'm able to fund more programmes and I'm able to bring more attention.

"So I know I have to do both. But it is hard to go back to work. We need the political will, and that often comes from the will of the people." back to the top

keira knightley round-up

3 february


• knightley's shoe obsession

Keira Knightley is fascinated with buying shoes - even if she can't wear them.

The 19-year-old actress can't bring herself to leave a pretty pair behind - starting an artist's collection of shoes that don't fit.

She says, "I recently saw shoes that were a size too small. But I loved them so much, I still bought them.

"They're now artwork on my mantelpiece and doing just fine."

keira at sundance

Meanwhile, Keira got an escort from Oscar winner Adrien Brody at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday 27 January. Keira, who is about to turn 20, had jetted into Park City, Utah, to promote their new film The Jacket.

While she was keeping The Pianist star company at the prestigious festival, Britain's hottest young actress was also letting her opinion be known on some of her other co-stars and showbiz friends. Apparently Keira says many simply aren't manly enough to make the grade.

Asked about Leonardo DiCaprio, Keira said, "no, he's not a manly man. He was a pretty boy early on, but now he's growing something more interesting."

Keira described wrinkly rock and roll veteran Mick Jagger as "very, very, sexy," adding, "so is Clive Owen and so is Viggo Mortensen."

But her Pirates of the Caribbean co-star Orlando Bloom could likewise do with a bit of toughening up: "He's not a manly man. He's not quite a pretty boy either. He's in between, I'd say. But Brad Pitt, I think, has grown into a manly man and you've got George Clooney, who's really manly."

As to whether she has a favourite silver screen hunk, Keira confessed that Spooks star Matthew MacFadyen, who co-stars with her in Pride And Prejudice, would be her number one choice. "It was great working with him because he's one of the few manly men," she enthused. "I mean, you can't take your eyes off him. He's not a pretty boy - he's a man!" back to the top