Daniel R. Coleridge with Michael Ausiello


X-Men Stud Plays Gay


Just before filming X-Men 2, James Marsden — otherwise known as "Cyclops" — shot an unusual little indie film called The 24th Day. Currently in theaters, it stars Felicity's Scott Speedman as a vengeful man who kidnaps his former one-night stand. Speedman's character blames Marsden's for infecting him with HIV — and threatens to kill him if his suspicion is proved true. Critics have generally trashed Day, though more due to its controversial premise than the actors themselves. Still, we have to ask: What made these guys stick their necks out?

"Neither of us had really gotten the opportunity to dig in and do something intense," Marsden tells TV Guide Online. "Even if it was in an independent film that maybe no one would ever see, we both had that hunger to show that we are capable of doing more than just Felicity or Ally McBeal or X-Men. The roles called for this really raw intensity." read more

Will This Idol Go to War?


You've seen American Idol semifinalist Joshua Gracin salute Simon onstage, so you know he's a Marine. But what happens if the U.S. declares war on Iraq, and the 22-year-old lance corporal is called into active duty?

As Gracin explains to TV Guide Online: "What the producers said is that if I happen to be called to duty during this show, then next season for American Idol 3, I would be able to come right back and pick up in the same position I left off at."

Why, that's mighty patriotic of 'em. But is he hoping Uncle Sam's call doesn't come in? "My mindset is, I'm ready — 100 percent ready to go at any time," the Oceanside, Calif., native says. "I'm a Marine first; that's what I signed up for. I knew that when I tried out for AI2 that it could happen. So, I'm totally 100 percent ready to go if I get called."

What does he think the odds are? "I have no idea," Gracin shrugs. "It depends on what happens [in I read more

Lord of the Rings: Snubbed by Oscar?


Wow! A sweeping 13 Academy Award nominations went to that glitzy showbiz sass-o-rama, Chicago! As the song goes, they had it comin'. Grizzly Gangs of New York also managed to loot itself 10 Oscar nods. But somma dese other mugs was robbed, see? Here, we ask our experts — Entertainment Tonight and Hot Ticket film buff Leonard Maltin, TV Guide Online movie critic Maitland McDonagh and Tom O'Neil, author of Movie Awards and host of awards website GoldDerby.com — to judge who Oscar dissed and missed at 5:38 am/PT on Monday morning. The golden boy must've been in dire need of a cuppa joe to forget these folks. . .

"It's always interesting when a best picture nominee doesn't get a best director nomination," Maltin says, "and that's what happened to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers read more

Gwyneth's New Role Stirs Scandal


Fresh from last year's literary romance, Possession, Gwyneth Paltrow is set to play another tortured poetess, Sylvia Plath. The BBC has budgeted $11 million for Ted and Sylvia, which will dramatize the life of Plath, best known for her affecting novel, The Bell Jar. The biopic is expected to cover her famed marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes, as well as her 1963 suicide.

The upcoming project has Plath's daughter, Frieda Hughes, in a rage. Thus, she's penned a protest poem entitled "My Mother," to be published in the March issue of Britain's Tatler magazine. "My buried mother / Is dug up for repeat performances," Hughes vents in her verse. "Now they want read more

Gunfight Blazes in New Grisham Film


Hopefully, fans of novelist John Grisham won't mind that Runaway Jury — the latest flick adapted from his legal fiction (due later this year) — plays musical chairs with social issues. In the works since 1997, Jury's story has gone from a courtroom battle over tobacco (as in the book) to gun control. That's a hot-button issue for actor Bruce Davison, who co-stars with John Cusack, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman in the film.

For the role of attorney Derwood Cable, Davison had to set aside his strong anti-gun sentiments to defend the gun manufacturer being sued. "It certainly goes against [my p read more

The Ring Sequel's Mystery Plans!


Hey, fans of The Ring: Is it just us, or have you also regarded your TV and VCR with mild distrust ever since that ghastly little girl crawled out of the screen and literally scared folks to death? Well, boo! TV Guide Online has the latest scoop on The Ring 2. Our preliminary advice to moviegoers? Like mama always said, don't sit too close to the tube...

First off, what will the sequel be about? "We have to figure something out quick," admits Walter Parkes, the producer behind last fall's blockbuster thriller. "Truthfully, the most interesting story to tell on The Ring is a prequel. I would be fascinated about how that little girl came into this world, what those parents thought they were getting and what they got — and what they got rid of!

"So," he continues, "just from a screenwriting point of view, I'd say that's the story to tell. The producer in me is worried about a prequel. Just because, has there ever been a read more

WB Star Seeks Interracial Love


Fans of the fluffy What I Like About You — airing Fridays at 8 pm/ET on the WB — can't help but wonder: Will Holly (Amanda Bynes) ever hook up with skater boy Gary (Wesley Jonathan)? They'd be so cute together! A WB rep says "there are no plans for romance between the characters," yet Jonathan thinks there will be a love match for the teen twosome.

"Not because [the show] told us anything," he tells TV Guide Online, "but it's my experience just being in the business. You can only write about so many things for so long... Eventually, they'll probably try to move into that romance thing, and then pull it back and toy with that. That's my opinion."

An optimistic Jonathan feels anything is possible, especially considering how What I Like cast against type by selecting a black actor to play Gary. "In the [audition] breakdown, it said any ethnicity," he says. "In my opinion, it was a white role because of the way it was written out read more

Directed By... Denzel!


Biopics are fertile ground for Denzel Washington, whose Hurricane, Malcolm X and Remember the Titans all were well received by moviegoers. Next up, he stars in Antwone Fisher — opening Dec. 20 — which also marks his feature directorial debut. Penned by Antwone Fisher himself, it tells the ex-naval officer's tale of enduring child abuse, mismanaging his anger and searching for his birth mom. How did Washington juggle helming duties and his role as Fisher's Navy shrink?

"He is such an incredible actor, so when he goes to direct actors, he's an actor's director," Joy Bryant — who plays Fisher's girlfriend, Cheryl — tells TV Guide Online. "He knows about the process so well. He knows how to bring a lot out of you and [how] to tel read more

Ally Alumna's New Female Trouble


Actress Julianne Nicholson is tired of playing "not a girl, not yet a woman" roles on TV. In 2000, she was the psychic college coed on NBC's satisfyingly spooky but short-lived series, The Others. Then, she did 11 episodes of Ally McBeal as junior attorney Jenny Shaw — sort of a younger Ally clone. Now, she's finally "grown up" as pediatrician Jules Keating on CBS's Presidio Med (debuting tomorrow at 10 pm/ET).

"Even in Ally, [my character] was a grown up," Nicholson tells TV Guide Online. "She was a lawyer... but it was still sort of under somebody's wing, making mistakes." In Med, she says, "I feel like a grown up. [Jules] is there, she's doing her stuff — it's not goofy, it's not silly. You're saving babies' lives. It read more

Idol's Paula Abdul: Forever Your Girl?


Don't call us "Cold Hearted Snake," but American Idol's producers will need to "Rush, Rush" to replace Paula Abdul if she doesn't return as a talent judge next year. Is she coming back? As Paula tells TV Guide Online: "It all depends on if Simon and I get back from our honeymoon on time." (For the record, only Simon is signed on for season two.)

All jokes aside, fellow judge Randy Jackson wants the current Coke-guzzling panel kept intact. "I do think it's important," he says, "because I think the public relies on a chemistry that they know. We've hit a groove now. It's like somebody having a hit song and saying, 'Uh, no, I did a hit pop song, but I want to play folk music now. Why do you change something that's working?" That said, may we suggest a few critical contenders, just in case P read more

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