Today's News: Our Take


Julianne Moore: A Big-Screen Betty Crocker?


In one of a number of heartbreaking vignettes in the Golden Globe-nominated feature The Hours, downtrodden 1950s housefrau Laura Brown (Julianne Moore) decides that the way to her man's heart is through his stomach. Unfortunately, she quickly discovers that baking him a birthday cake isn't as easy as pie.

As a matter of fact, shooting the scene was no cakewalk, either, even with a number of cooks in the kitchen. "We had lots of discussions about what the bad cake should look like versus the good cake [that Laura eventually produces]," Moore tells TV Guide Online. "And [there was talk like], 'Don't be too ridiculous about how bad the bad cake is,' because I make cakes, and I know what a bad cake looks like. I also know what a good cake looks like. They have this thing called the crumb layer, so the first time you ice it, you get a lot of crumbs in it. The next layer of icing covers the crumb layer.

"But," she adds, "I said, 'Laura wo read more

Scoop! Chicago's Missing Sequence


From "All That Jazz" to "Razzle Dazzle," Chicago is bursting at the seams with memorable songs. One number you won't be hearing in the long-awaited film adaptation, however, is the second-act showstopper "Class." A duet between jailhouse boss Mama Morton and scheming showgirl-turned-convict Velma Kelly (played in the movie by Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones respectively), "Class" always brings down the house with its ribald observations about modern society's lack of... well, class. So why did director Rob Marshall drop the tune from the pic?

"We did shoot it," Marshall tells TV Guide Online, "and we actually put it in a test screening." Unfortunately, he explains, the song hurt the film's pacin read more

DID YOU KNOW?

Los Angeles Lakers superstar and recent TV Guide cover boy Shaquille O'Neal married his longtime girlfriend Shaunie Nelson at a top-secret ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday. The couple currently are expecting their third child together. read more

AWARD-WORTHY BID

And the Oscar for most stubborn citizens goes to... New Yorkers! With the 2003 Academy Awards just three months away, a group of Gotham media giants is renewing its attempt to move at least part of the ceremony to the Big Apple, Variety reports. The committee — which includes Miramax co-chair Harvey Weinstein, actor Robert De Niro and director Spike Lee — is expected to send a letter to the Oscar brass outlining its proposals by next week. Last summer, the group tried — and failed — to move the entire show to New York. read more

Billy Elliot Returns... on Crutches!


Jamie Bell — best known for his breakthrough role as a ballet prodigy in Billy Elliot — may not do any dancing in his latest film, Nicholas Nickleby, but his talent for fancy footwork once again takes center stage. Based on Charles Dickens's classic novel, the flick finds the now-16-year-old Brit playing Smike, an abused orphan who's weighted down by a severe limp. As Bell explains, the character's disability required him to return to the dance studio.

"A choreographer worked with me for about two weeks," he tells TV Guide Online. "It was actually quite nice to get back into the flow of working my body, warming up and exercising. I wanted to get [the limp] right to make it look as fluid and natural as possible — because this is so read more

DON'T MESS WITH DIRTY HARRY

Clint Eastwood has filed a $10 million libel lawsuit against author Patrick McGilligan and publisher St. Martin's Press over an unauthorized biography the actor says portrays him as a wife-beater, atheist and coward. The book, Clint: The Life of a Legend, was released in the U.S. in August. read more

CLARIFICATION

Don't believe all those Matt Damon wedding rumors. According to the actor's spokesperson, the Good Will Hunting hunk is not engaged to buddy Ben Affleck's former personal assistant Odessa Whitmire. "He is dating Ms. Whitmire," the rep said. "But he is not engaged." read more

DAMAGE CONTROL

Fresh off of his frightening Primetime Live appearance, Bobby Brown will guest-star on an upcoming episode of Fox's Cedric the Entertainer Presents playing Ike Turner. Producers are touting Brown's stint as the singer's "first post-interview performance." In other words, expect to see lots of sweat. read more

CUE THE VIOLINS

Eminem's The Eminem Show sold more than 7.4 million copies during 2002 to rank as the year's top CD. But that isn't necessarily music to Slim Shady's ears. "It's almost to the point where I truly believe I may be getting too big for my own good," the rapper tells the Detroit Free Press. "When everyone loves you, who's left to hate?" (And you thought you had problems?) read more

FILM WORLD MOURNS

George Roy Hill, the Oscar-winning director who helped turn Paul Newman and Robert Redford into one of Hollywood's most popular buddy combos with The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, died Friday at his home in New York City of complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 81. "He was the best friend that anyone could have: friend, mentor, enemy," Newman said. "He gave everyone a hell of a ride. Himself included." read more

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