Today's News: Our Take


Jet Li's Hero Worship


With more than 30 movies to his credit, it's safe to say that Jet Li isn't an on-screen novice. But his latest movie, Hero, was a bit of a departure for the popular action star. It's the first time he's appeared in a movie where the martial arts take a backseat to the drama. "This film isn't just action, action, action," Li explains to TV Guide Online. "It uses martial arts to tell a story that teaches that violence is not the only solution."

That's not to say that Hero (now in theaters) is completely devoid of the awesome fisticuffs fans have come to expect from Li. In fact, it contains some of the most spectacular martial-arts battles ever captured on film, including a balletic sword fight over a lake and a showdown that takes place amid hundreds of swirling, golden leaves. As usual, Li was very involved in the choreography of the sequences — and he's got the bruises to prove it.

"Of course I get hurt," he laughs. "I also hurt other pe read more

END QUOTE

"My act is going to run out fairly quickly. There's no question of that." — Simon Cowell, predicting the demise of his own celebrity over the weekend at the International Television Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. read more

SAD NEWS

The music world is mourning '80s pop star Laura Branigan, who died Thursday of a brain aneurysm at her home in East Quogue, N.Y. She was 47. The four-time Grammy nominee, best known for her 1982 smash "Gloria," reportedly had been complaining of headaches in recent weeks. read more

COUNTRY KUDOS

Alan Jackson nabbed a field-best seven nominations for the 38th annual CMA Awards, including entertainer of the year and best male vocalist. Album of the year nominees include Toby Keith for Shock'n Y'all, Brooks and Dunn for Red Dirt Road, Kenny Chesney for When the Sun Goes Down, Gretchen Wilson for Here for the Party and Brad Paisley for Mud on the Tires. Big deal. Hose 'em down and quit your whining. read more

Kelly Osbourne's Dramatic Life

It's tough to come of age on TV, much less to do it on a reality series that follows you and your foulmouthed family 24/7. But that's just what 19-year-old Kelly Osbourne did on MTV's The Osbournes. Now, the reformed wild child (so reformed in fact that, prior to our interview, she grimaced and asked for water after mistakenly sipping from a mixed alcoholic drink) takes on scripted television. Once again, she's coming of age — this time playing the sweet, sexy and self-assured Deborah on ABC's new teen soap, Life as We Know It (debuting Oct. 7).

TV Guide Online: Was it hard to move from reality to scripted drama?
Osbourne:
Um, no. It actually was not. I was really shocked at how easy and how natural it came to me, and how much fun I had doing it. So I'm really excited.

TVGO: After your MTV antics, did you have to win over the cast to respect you as an actress?
Osbourne:
No. We were instantly friends.

TVGO: It seems read more

HEY YA — THAT WAS BORING!

With four Moonmen apiece, OutKast's "Hey Ya!" and Jay-Z's "99 Problems" were the big winners at last night's so-tame-it's-lame MTV Video Music Awards. Other winners included Usher, Beyonce, No Doubt and — yippee!Maroon 5. Leading the loser parade were Kanye West, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, all of whom went home empty-handed. Actually, Brit didn't even show up, so, technically, she's a winner. read more

SHORT CUTS

A&E is producing a two-hour movie based on Sen. John McCain's autobiography, Faith of My Fathers.... ABC is developing a series for Disney Channel phenom Raven Symone. read more

Practice Star's Maternal Instinct


Where has Kelli Williams been since she exited The Practice last year? After learning she was one of six pink-slipped series regulars — including her TV hubby Dylan McDermott — the actress focused on motherhood.

"I had my third child four months after I left The Practice ," she says. "So I got to spend a ton of time with my kids [Kiran, 6, Sarame, 3, and Ravi, 1]. I worked a little bit, but it wasn't a priority to me. I just wanted to not have to go to work, be with the kids and look for something for this TV season."

By the way, she's past feeling bitter about losing her signature role as lady lawyer Lindsay Dole. "Things have a way of working themselves out," Williams shrugs. "It's never fun to be let go from a job. They say you should experience that once. It's all good in the course of life, even when it's hard. I went back and directed an episode with James Spader and my own cast mates, which read more

BUSTED

Actress Rosario Dawson (Men in Black II) was among 500 activists arrested over the weekend at an anti-Bush rally in New York City, the setting of this week's Republican National Convention. She was booked on a number of charges, including resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, blocking traffic and endangering the welfare of moviegoers by making Josie and the Pussycats. read more

WHAT MARITAL STRAIN?

Soccer stud David Beckham and his Spice Girl wife, Victoria, are expecting their third child in March. The couple's marriage hit a rough patch last April when former personal assistant Rebecca Loos claimed she had a 10-day affair with Beckham. And by "rough patch" I mean they went and made a baby. read more

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