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STALLONE is proudly telling interviewers of the fine
performance he gave when talking his way out of a
speeding ticket. ``I was driving to the set of Rambo
III in Arizona,'' he reminisced recently. ``I was
doing 145 in a Porsche. I'm flooring it. ``A cop pulls
me over at gunpoint. So I yelled, `Officer, did you
see them? Did you cut them off? There are about eight
guys with guns chasing me. I was running for my life'.''
Stallone said he then begged the officer to take him
in, saying: ``They're out to kill me. I think it's
a radical group that's against Rambo.'' He said the
officer told him: ``Don't worry, Rocky, we'll protect
you.'' Then they escorted him to the state border.
original stars of 1995's Desperado are returning for
writer-director ROBERT RODRIGUEZ's sequel, Once Upon
a Time in Mexico. ANTONIO BANDERAS, QUENTIN TARANTINO
and SALMA HAYEK will be joined by a strong cast of
co-stars including JOHNNY DEPP, WILLEM DAFOE and MICKEY
ROURKE. The story, which is loosely based on SERGIO
LEONE's classic spaghetti western The Good, the Bad
and the Ugly, begins filming in Mexico this week.
Rodriguez reportedly hopes to keep the budget to less
than 20 million by shooting on a tight schedule and
using digital camera equipment.
RUSSELL CROWE is so deeply into the schizophrenic
character he plays in his latest film that he is carrying
the traits into his private life, says his co-star,
the British actor PAUL BETTANY. Bettany plays Crowe's
best pal in A Beautiful Mind, the true story of Nobel
Prize winner JOHN NASH. He tells the New York Daily
News: ``He's possessed by this man who was very uncomfortable
in his skin. So he constantly rips at his own skin.''
Crowe ``loves doing the tics of a schizophrenic, like
repeating the last word of a sentence'', adds Bettany.
``For instance, if you say, ` Would you like a cup
of coffee?' he will say, `Coffee'.'' A Beautiful Mind,
which also stars ED HARRIS, is being filmed in Princeton,
RYAN is considering taking the real-life role of female
boxing manager JACKIE KALLEN in the film biography
Against the Ropes. SANDRA BULLOCK was originally in
the line for the role of the woman who steered super-middleweight
JAMES TONEY to a world boxing title, but the project
has been in limbo for several years. Now it is back
in development at Paramount with a new script by Save
the Last Dance screenwriter CHERYL EDWARDS.
director CHRISTOPHER NOLAN has given his star AL PACINO
the weekends off from filming the thriller Insomnia
to allow him to return home to see his newborn babies.
Every Friday Pacino flies back from the Vancouver
set to be in Los Angeles with his wife BEVERLY D'ANGELO
and their four-month old twins for their 11pm feeding,
reports a source. Then he rises before dawn on Mondays
to rush back to the film, which co-stars Oscar winner
HILARY SWANK and has another month of shooting.
BO DEREK is going back in front of the cameras for
a role in The Calling, the film biography of the controversial
faith healer and evangelist Rev Leroy Jenkins. She
joins FAYE DUNAWAY in Ohio where director DAMIAN CAPA,
who also stars as Jenkins, begins filming shortly.
One of the highlights of Jurassic Park III will be
a ferocious fight between a T Rex and a spinosaurous.
Weighing 12 tons and stretching 44ft in length, it
will be the largest life-size animatronic character
in motion picture history. ``The actors don't have
to act being afraid - they are afraid,'' says special
effects wizard STAN WINSTON, who created the robotic
dinosaurs in all three Jurassic Park films. ``For
a machine that powerful to get out of hand for a moment,
which it can do and has done, is v ery dangerous.''
Director JOE JOHNSTON, who has taken over from STEVEN
SPIELBERG, tells USA Today: ``The reason I wanted
to see these two dinosaurs fight is it's what I remember
as a kid. ``Every dinosaur movie made before 1960
had a big dinosaur fight and we haven't seen that
lately. I thought it would be great, with computers,
to see what these guys can do.''
more than a decade of false starts, a film adaptation
of JACK KEROUAC's beat novel On the Road is finally
on its way to the screen. JOEL SCHUMACHER has agreed
to direct from a script by novelist RUSSELL BANKS
and he has just begun casting the project. The opera
director PETER SELLARS had originally planned to direct
it, with JOHN MALKOVICH starring after first presenting
it on stage, but sources say his script was unsuitable
years ago FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA agreed to direct, with
ETHAN HAWKE and BRAD PITT playing the hard-partying
beatniks Kerouac and NEAL CASSADY, but he had to drop
out and the project languished until now. CBS TV network
executives have some serious decisions to make before
the cast of the Tony nominated Broadway musical The
Full Monty performs on the prime-time broadcast of
the awards ceremony on June 3. The cast will be performing
the show's big production number, Let It Go, which
ends with them fully naked on stage. ``Were not actually
sure how to shoot it,'' said a CBS representative.
``But we're figuring it out right now.''
singer GENE SIMMONS wants MIKE MYERS or KEVIN SPACEY
to star in the film he is developing about record
executive NEIL BOGART, who died of cancer in 1983
aged 39. ``He was a modern day PT BARNUM,'' said Simmons,
whose band Kiss was the first act Bogart signed to
the Casablanca label he founded and who has delivered
a first draft of his script to Paramount. ``He was
the first grown-up who said to me that I was capable
of a lot more in my life than just drooling blood
and sticking my tongue out on stage.'' Bogart bucked
the psychedelic musical tide of the late 1960s and
struck gold by releasing a string of so-called ``bubblegum''
singles by such groups as Ohio Express. He was also
responsible for the 1975 disco explosion after persuading
record stations to play the 16-minute version of Love
to Love You by the then unknown DONNA SUMMER.
NORTHAM had to don a wig for the first time for his
role as a Victorian poet in writer-director NEIL LaBUTE's
Possession - with surprising results. ``I suddenly
realised that I looked like NEIL DIAMOND and I got
faintly hysterical,'' he tells Premiere magazine.
``It was quite a good moment when I sang Sweet Caroline
to Neil on the set and he joined in.'' Based on AS
Byatt's 1990 Booker Prize-winning novel, Possession
stars Northam and JENNIFER EHLE as lovers. Their romance
is tracked 150 years later by a British academic,
played by GWYNETH PALTROW, and an American scholar,
played by AARON ECKHART.
CUMMING and JENNIFER JASON LEIGH moulded the characters
in their film The Anniversary Party on actors and
actresses they knew - and then cast them in the film.
``We moulded each character specially for the actor
we had in mind,'' said Cumming, who, with Leigh, co-wrote
and co-directed the fil m. ``We wanted the movie to
have a kind of biting humour, so we wrote for the
people we know in the voices we know so well,'' said
Cumming, who is in Los Angeles for the film's premiere
The cast, all of whom are friends with whom they have
worked before, includes KEVIN KLINE, PHOEBE CATES,
GWYNETH PALTROW and JOHN C REILLY.
Pop star BRITNEY SPEARS has refused to say if she
has broken her pledge to remain a virgin with her
boyfriend. The 19-year-old singer had said she wanted
to refrain from sex until her wedding night, but she
has found it ``hard'' to do so, according to American
magazine US Weekly. Spears is dating JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE,
a member of US boy band N Sync. And the star, whose
career started as a presenter on America's Disney
Channel, has admitted to underage drinking. Most US
states ban people under 21 from buying or obtaining
alcohol, but Spears admitted she liked cosmopolitan
and Midori sours cocktails. ``I like the sweet drinks,''
she said. ``But I don't always like the way I feel
the next day.''
When he was asked to reprise his starring role as
Dr Adam Grant in Jurassic Park III, actor SAM NEILL
hesitated at first. He admits: ``I had to give it
a bit of thought. You don't necessarily want to repeat
yourself. ``But then, you have to bear in mind, you
never really get a character right the first time.
I thought maybe I could do a little more with him.''
New Zealand-born Neill was planning to take some time
off to spend with his family after filming finished,
but instead was offered a script he couldn't resist
Submerged. This made-for-TV movie is based on a real-life
deep-sea rescue of a trapped submarine crew in 1939,
and has its TV debut this month. Now Neill is off
again, heading for Canada, where he's co-starring
with ROB LOWE in a crime movie called Framed. It is
set in what Neill refers to as ``the money-laundering,
bank-robbing world of contemporary New York and the
SHARON STONE's failure to show at the Cannes Film
Festival this year has fuelled rumours that her career
is in decline. She swapped the French Riviera for
a week in Los Angeles after producers pulled the plug
on her big comeback film Basic Instinct 2. The sequel
was beset with clashes over casting - most notably
which male lead was to star opposite Stone - and the
original director was replaced with JOHN McTIERNAN.
and comedian STEVE MARTIN is flying high in his new
career as Oscar-host. He has just has a got a new
dining room to seat 10 and a new master bedroom with
a marble bathroom. But all this has been installed
not in his Hollywood mansion, but on his private jet.
Angels star CAMERON DIAZ may soon be sending boyfriend
JARED LETO to the devil. While the actress was in
North Carolina shooting her new picture The Sweetest
Thing, rumours of an affair surrounded actor Leto,
her boyfriend of over a year. If true, Diaz is likely
to take the news hard, friends reveal. The blonde
beauty really wants to get married and settle down.
After breaking up with actor MATT DILLON, Diaz had
confided that she really thought Leto was the one.