Today's News: Our Take


Claire Danes: Sentenced to Life


Oh, the pitfalls of teen stardom. Sure, you get to mix with beautiful people and earn more pocket money than the average grocery bagger. The trade off? You'll be followed forever by a visual chronicle of your most awkward years. That's the deal for Claire Danes, who now cringes whenever fans approach her to autograph that newly-issued DVD of My So-Called Life.

"I have real fond memories of that time and really terrific associations with the show," says the 23-year-old, who currently plays Meryl Streep's daughter in The Hours. "It was just a very special experience. But my adolescence was very carefully documented. It's not something we like to see... My voice was kind of funny at times, and I didn't know about read more

Nathan Lane Throws a Political Party


Four years after getting booed off stage as the star of the NBC sitcom Encore! Encore!, Nathan Lane is finally ready for his curtain call. CBS has elected the Tony-winner to play a freshman congressman in the midseason comedy Charlie Lawrence. And this time around, Lane insists, he got it right.

For starters, while Encore! cast the openly gay Birdcage thesp as — gasp! — a skirt-chasing opera singer, Lawrence finds Lane in more familiar territory. "He's an openly gay actor who ends up getting elected to Congress," the 46-year-old performer tells TV Guide Online. "I thought this was an interesting venue, to put a gay character into the world of politics."

In addition to starring in the series, Lane also serves as an exec producer and writer. In other words, if Lawrence is a flop, he has no one to blame but himself. "The first time around, I was terribly na&#239ve," he laments of the Encore! deba read more

Busta Rhymes Gets Busted Up!


Busta Rhymes isn't dabbling in movies to add more gangsta glam to his hip-hop lifestyle. Just look at the drab setting of his scenes in Narc, which were filmed in a dirty, hazardous Toronto warehouse in the dead of winter. The 31-year-old star — last seen in Halloween: Resurrection — tells TV Guide Online he truly suffered for his art.

"It was one of the most uncomfortable experiences in my life," says Rhymes, who plays a drug dealer suspected of murder. "The conditions of the environment brought out a lot of natural reactions that I probably wouldn't be able to fake. I'm still new to the acting thing, so I'm trying to develop my skills on those levels where I could be in 100-degree temperature and act like I'm in 100 below."

With the notoriously intense Ray Liotta playing his police interrogator, Rhymes says looking scared didn't take much effort! "[Ray] had some scenes where he had to beat us up in the chair, smack us arou read more

ROOKIE REDUX

Sitcom star Bernie Mac has signed on to play a former baseball player lured out of retirement in the Disney comedy Mr. 3000, Variety reports. Mac's character returns to the game when three of his past base hits are disallowed, dropping him below the 3,000-hit plateau. read more

FASHION GRUMP STRIKES AGAIN

Fussy fashionista Mr. Blackwell has unleashed his "Worst Dressed List" for 2002, and his latest critical spitefest makes Joan Rivers look downright sweet. He calls Meg Ryan a "swap-meet fashion wreck." Scantily-clad celebs also take a hard hit this year: Shakira is labeled "overwrought and underdressed" in "Madonna's old clothes," while Christina Aguilera's "bimbo bombs wouldn't cover a gnat." And as for Kelly Osbourne, she's pegged a "fright-wigged baby doll" in "Ozzy's hand-me-downs." Well, &!$# you! read more

HBO PRACTICES ABSTINENCE

After six years of foreplay, Sex and the City is about to climax. HBO announced Tuesday that the Emmy-winning comedy's upcoming two-part sixth season will be its last. Twenty more episodes of Sex will be shot, twelve of which will begin airing in June, with the remaining eight running in early 2004. In other HBO news, the network has renewed The Wire for a second season and production on the third season of Six Feet Under is currently underway. Additionally, HBO will premiere its new David Milch-produced Western Deadwood in 2004. read more

YOU SAY TOMATO...

Avril Lavigne committed a major gaffe at Tuesday's Grammy nominations announcement. While reading off the nominees for best male rock vocal performance, the 18-year-old Canadian crooner mispronounced David Bowie's name. Instead of calling the veteran rocker Bowie (like doughy), she referred to him as Bowie (like Howie). "I knew that was going to happen," Lavigne later told The Associated Press. "I knew I was going to pronounce someone's name wrong." Raphael Saadiq we could understand, but David Bowie?!?! For a list of the major nominees, click here. read more

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

After starring in a string of shlocky flicks (Maid in Manhattan! Enough!), Jennifer Lopez is getting serious about her film career. The actress-singer is in final talks to headline the big-screen drama An Unfinished Life, to be directed by Cider House Rules helmer Lasse Hallstrom. J.Lo would play a young single mother who is forced to move in with her estranged father-in-law. read more

Christopher Walken: Self-Professed Oddball


Christopher Walken is the first to admit that, well, he's an odd bird. "Sure, I'm a little weird," he confesses to TV Guide Online. "But we're all a little weird." Of course, the 59-year-old Oscar winner's choice of film roles — from a sadistic Italian in 1991's Comfort of Strangers to a menacing angel in 1995's The Prophecy — has only upped his strangeness quotient. Although Walken came back down to earth to play Leonardo DiCaprio's endearingly mischievous old man in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, the onetime lion tamer's head remained in the clouds at the film's recent press junket. Don't believe us? Well, here are four reasons Walken's kooky rep makes total sense. (Warning: This story contains a Catch spoiler!)

1. Walken had no clue that Frank Abagnale Sr. — the real-life character he plays in Catch — actually passed away more than 30 years ago. In fact, Abagn read more

STORK REPORT

Drew Carey Show star Christa Miller, 38, gave birth Friday to a baby boy named William Stoddard Lawrence. It's Miller's second child with hubby Bill Lawrence, the executive producer of NBC's Scrubs. The couple also have a 2-year-old daughter, Charlotte. read more

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