Today's News: Our Take


Ex-Top Gun Tom Cruise is returning to the not-so-friendly skies. According to Variety, Nicole's ex has signed on to play Billy Fiske — the first American pilot killed in World War II — in Paramount's The Few. Michael Mann (Ali) will direct. read more


Fifties movie hunk Tab Hunter — best known for his roles in Damn Yankees and Battle Cry — will reveal that he is gay in his upcoming memoir, to be published in 2005. "For anyone curious about my story," the 72-year-old says, "I wanted to be sure that they're getting it from the horse's mouth." read more


Innovative documentarian and notorious Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl died Monday of undisclosed causes in Pöcking, Germany. The actress-turned-director chronicled the 1934 Nuremberg rally and 1936 Berlin Olympics in the influential Triumph of the Will (1935) and Olympia (1938), whose images still resonate powerfully. Her career in post-war ruins, Riefenstahl reinvented herself as a still photographer; a 1993 documentary, The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl rekindled public interest in her exploits. She remained active and outspoken until her death, rationalizing her work for the Third Reich. read more


It's not an Oscar, but this'll have to do: Colin Farrell has been named "best signer" in Autograph Collector's 12th annual poll of celeb autograph givers. The worst? Cameron Diaz. read more


Ellen DeGeneres's talk show got off to a promising start Monday. Based on preliminary ratings, The Ellen DeGeneres Show improved 17 percent on year-ago timeslot averages in 53 metered markets. read more


Simon & Garfunkel's 32-city reunion tour — the duo's first tour in 20 years — kicks off Oct. 18 in Auburn Hills, Mich. Tickets for some of the concerts go on sale Monday. read more

Beyoncé Bends to Temptation

Beyoncé Knowles is only 21, but she's smart enough to learn from the mistakes of fellow songbirds who've tried acting. (Poor Mariah Carey still catches hell for that whole Glitter debacle!) That's why she's been taking small, but juicy roles opposite A-list stars like Mike Myers in Austin Powers in Goldmember and Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Fighting Temptations (opening Sept. 19).

"I didn't have the pressure of carrying the movie by myself," Knowles says of those flicks. "Before I do that, I want to make sure that I know exactly what I am doing."

Speaking of Hollywood heavyweights, the Destiny's Child frontwoman isn't talking about her rumored romance with "Crazy in Love" cohort Jay-Z. Of course, she's more than willing to plug her role in the gospel-infused Temptations. Okay, we'll bite. Why'd she choose this gig?

"It was important for people to know who I am, read more

Sam Rockwell Dresses for Success

Best known from last year's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, indie actor Sam Rockwell always needs a little help from wardrobe to fulfill his thespian potential. For some reason, he donned a shower cap — borrowed from his hotel bathroom — to plug his role as flashy con artist Frank in Matchstick Men (opening Friday). "I do all of my interviews in character," the goofball cracks. In fact, Rockwell credits Hawaiian shirts and silly hats for his ability to shine opposite Nicolas Cage in this film.

"I was going to make [Frank] really sloppy and have stains on my shirt," says Rockwell, who'd hoped for an Odd Couple element to Frank's interaction with Cage's obsessive-compulsive Roy. "And then, [director] Ridley Scott said, 'I want you to look kind of flamboyant, like you spend too much money on your clothes.'

"It's kind of stylish-no-taste," he explains of his on-screen look. "Somehow, those clothes & read more

Ellen Shunned Fish After Nemo

In Finding Nemo, Ellen DeGeneres's memory-challenged alter ego Dory preaches, "Fish are friends, not food." It's a message the rookie talk-show host took to heart. "I [gave up eating fish] for a little while," she tells TV Guide Online. "It was kind of hard — especially [after doing the scene] where the fish go, 'Swim down!' [to avoid getting caught in a fisherman's net].' You don't want fish again after that, [but] then you go have sushi."

Even if Nemo doesn't propel the funny lady hook line and sinker into vegetarianism, DeGeneres insists she's still a changed woman. And judging by the heaps of cash the film reeled in at the box office — Nemo's $330 million in receipts make it the biggest animated movie of all time — it's safe to say DeGeneres wasn't the only person thinking twice before biting into her shrimp tempura.

"Just like Pixar [made people] care about toys [with Toy Story, Nemo read more


Alright, I think I've got my For Love or Money 2 facts straight now — thanks to the hundreds of you who wrote in to correct me (and call me stupid). Okay, so, as I understand it, Erin... oh, I'll just let loyal "Entertainment News" follower Laurie explain it: "Chad actually only received $500,000. Erin gave him half of what he was playing for. She ended up with $1,500,000." Math was never my thing, folks. read more

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