Today's News: Our Take


Pottymouthed Actor's Up in Smoke


Profane trash talk comes as naturally to Next Friday star Mike Epps as breathing. So co-starring in the gospel-infused movie The Fighting Temptations (opening Sept. 19) proved quite challenging for him.

"This is the first movie that I've been in that I haven't cursed," Epps admits. "In all the other movies I've been in, I've cursed a hundred miles an hour.

"I can remember the first scene that I was in," he adds. "I must have said 'M.F.' three times before [Temptations director] Jonathan Lynn had to stop me and say, 'This ain't that movie, Mike.' I was like, 'Okay, let me get the vocab right.'"

While filming his next project, Resident Evil: Apocalypse (due out in 2004), Epps got right back into his bad habits. "They wrote a read more

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

A memorial mass was held Wednesday in North Hollywood, Calif., to remember legendary entertainer Bob Hope, who died on July 27 at age 100. Among the 900 guests in attendance were President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, former first lady Nancy Reagan, as well as actors Mickey Rooney, Kelsey Grammer, Barbara Eden, Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter and Tom Selleck. read more

NEW EDITION, SAME SONG

Bobby Brown will spend nine more days behind bars for violating his probation from an earlier drunken driving arrest. The jail time will be followed by 60 days of house arrest, a judge in Decatur, Ga., ruled Wednesday. "I apologize for being back in your court and taking your time," Brown told the judge. "I have no reason; I am a human being." According to reports, wife Whitney Houston showed up midway through the hearing and was scolded for using her cell phone in court. (Bad diva!) Asked what she thought of the ruling, Houston allegedly said, "It's not right, but it's okay." I'm sorry, but that joke never gets old. read more

EARTH'S IDOL

American Idol is going global. According to USA Today, Kelly Clarkson will face off against Idol champs from around the world — including the first winner of U.K.'s Pop Idol — in a two-hour special to air near Christmas. The winner will be announced the following week, but viewers cannot vote for their countrymen. No fair! read more

AMERICAN TRAGEDY? HARDLY

Here's something to sing about: Fox is sparing us another round of American Juniors. The network has officially taken the planned second edition of its summer reality dud off the fall schedule. There's no word on what will replace the show, but anything will be a marked improvement. read more

OH, BEHAVE!

Actor-turned-California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger once engaged in a group sex act with a woman and several fellow bodybuilders, according to a 25-year-old interview that has been regurgitated on the Internet. In the August 1977 issue of Oui magazine, the Terminator admitted to smoking "grass and hash," hanging out with "entertainers, hookers and bar owners," and participating in an orgy at Gold's Gym in Venice Beach, Calif. The entire, XXX-rated story can be found at TheSmokingGun.com, but I suggest you proceed directly to the bottom of page 2 — that's where all the naughty stuff is. read more

SEND IN THE CLONES

Buoyed by the hit single "Frontin," The Neptunes Present ... the Clones entered Billboard's album chart at No. 1 with 249,262 copies sold. Jessica Simpson's In the Skin, meanwhile, debuted at No. 10 with sales of 64,000 units. read more

JIMMY SMITTEN WITH TV

Star Wars bit player Jimmy Smits is heading back to the small screen in search of another meaty role. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the L.A. Law/NYPD Blue alum has inked a deal with Warner Bros. Television to develop a series. Speaking of Smits, here's a juicy little tidbit: The actor was reportedly offered the lead role last year in CSI: Miami, a part that ultimately went to Smits's NYPD Blue predecessor, David Caruso. read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews is relocating from New Jersey to California to cover the ongoing recall election madness. From Sept. 1 through the election on Oct. 7, the show will broadcast live from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. In the meantime, go read that spicy story about Arnold — now! This column will be here when you get back. read more

BLURRING THE LINE

The CIA is making a play for Alias spybabe Jennifer Garner. According to Reuters, the government agency has approached the actress about appearing in an official recruitment video geared to university graduate students. Chase Brandon, a film industry liaison for the CIA, says, "We feel that Miss Garner, both in character as agent Sydney Bristow and as herself, embodies the intelligence, enthusiasm and dedication that we're looking for." Plus, she's hot! read more

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