STALKERS who shadow stars have sent shivers down the spine of Hollywood. Many celebrities have decided to hit back, stocking homes with ammunition and hiring security personnel to bolster their safety. Sharon Stone, who honed the bedroom skills of a generation of men in Basic Instinct, is now paying the price for her permissiveness on screen. She had a man following her wherever she went. Though heís now cooling his heels in jail, Sharon has a gun in her bag for future stalkers. Oscar winner Julia Roberts too has been receiving letters from a pervert, who has outlined a fantasy with the star.
Roberts is taking no chances and carries a .35-calibre Smith & Wesson. Sometime back, actress and pop star Cher began receiving death threats from a wacko. Heís in police custody but sheís got a gun licence and has hired the best security in business. Her explanation is simple, "Iím a celebrity. There are times when people come up to me and start getting smart. Naturally, I want to have a gun to protect myself!"
In koo-kooís nest
Remember Koo Stark, the walking wet dream of the eighties? The star who created a worldwide commotion by courting Prince Andrew and almost marrying him is in the news again.
Like her sensational contemporary, Pamella Bordes, Koo too has also become a freelance society photographer for various magazines and is frequently seen walking in and out of newspaper offices.
Her high connections recently came in handy when she got into a brawl with an interior decorator who she charged was demanding $ 250,000 to refurnish her swank New York penthouse while what he had done was worth no more than $ 100,000. Such was the glare of publicity that the poor man has almost been driven out of business. Kooís strategy was simple. She went to the newspaper offices and told them her side of the story. And none of the paparazzi wants to annoy her considering the fact that Koo is said to be doing tantalising series of her high society friends which everyone wants to grab as they are rumoured to be steamier than Pamela Andersonís pictures.
Nifty at sixty
The bald-pated Danny DeVito, considered to be one of the sexiest men in Hollywood, loves attention. Thatís why he was such a charmer at his 60th birthday recently. The event was celebrated at DeVitoís Pacific Palisades House; he had kept the plates hot for his topline guests. On the list were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas and Bruce Springsteen. There were some welcome surprises for the guests too. One was the song that Springsteen had written for DeVito.
Later, the birthday boy and
Schwarzenegger put together a song íní dance sequence. Apart from a
study in contrast, it was doubtlessly the scene stealer of the evening
and a reminder of the times they did that delicious comedy, Twins.
Some predict it is going to be the biggest hit ever putting in shade films like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. Critics, however, are cynical about its box office fortunes.
But one man who is going ahead the zeal of a missionary is actor-director Mel Gibson whose new film about Christís last 12 hours, The Passion, is the most ambitious project heís ever undertaken.
The movie will feature two dead languagesó-a dialect of Latin and Jesusís native Aramaic and there will be no subtitles. The star cast is hardly known and Gibson himself is not acting. This is his first directing job since winning multiple Oscars in Braveheart in 1995. Though no Hollywood studio has evinced interest in distributing the film, Gibson is confident things will work out fine.
He confesses, "Most studios think Iím a nut to put out a film in a language no one understands. I think Iím a genius. I want to give viewers a visual experience". The verdict will be out when the film is released early in 2003 ó that is, if he finds a distributor!
What keeps Dolly Parton going strong even at 55? Ask the gutter press about the voluptuous singer-actress of films like 9 to 5 and The Best Little WhorehouseIn Texas, and youíll know. Like all shrewd stars, she believes that any publicity is good publicity.
Some years ago, the tabloids had gone to town, saying that she had undergone an operation for breasts reduction. Later, she screamed that she had had her breasts enhanced with implants. And now comes the news from the same confused newshounds that her implants are leaking and have become life-threatening.
Dolly, of course, laughs it away, saying that she hasít "sprung a leak" though she did have her breasts lifted after an illness. "This thing with me and the tabloids has been going on for years," says Parton. "And it hasnít always been bad. Theyíve kept me going between bad records and great movies. So a little breast-beating is not bad!" Dolly does keep abreast of journalists!
Melanie Griffith gets her kicks in real life by kicking bad habits. She had a drinking problem once but she surprised friends when she announced she had thrown the bottle out of the window.
Next came cigarettes, and her decision to quit could not have come a day too soon, for everyone had thought her lungs had been covered in black. Lately, she has given up on coffee after a doctor warned her that excess caffeine has never been known to do anyone any good. The woman who was almost inseparable from her coffee cup says, "No coffee. Iíve now switched to herbal tea and Iím looking younger than ever before". Would stars like Jennefer Love Hewitt and Jennifer Lopez take a lesson for their senior colleague?
ó Newsmen Features