People talk 4/18/02

Thursday, April 18, 2002

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NEW YORK -- Destiny's Child's new single "Nasty Girl," which chastises scantily clad women and tells them to "put some clothes on," may seem contradictory coming from a trio known as much for their bare midriffs as their soulful sound.

But the group says there's a difference between dressing sexy and dressing nasty.

"A classy girl can wear something classy and still be sexy," singer Beyonce Knowles told The Associated Press on Tuesday night, dressed in a short miniskirt.

"It doesn't mean you can't wear your stomach out or wear a short skirt. That doesn't mean your nasty, because you dress sexy. It's how you carry yourself," she added.

Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams were dressed casually as they celebrated the release of their book, "Soul Survivors: The Official Autobiography of Destiny's Child," at a party in midtown Manhattan. In the book, they discuss some of the turmoil that has engulfed the group -- three former members left under acrimonious terms -- and about their childhood.

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BANGKOK, Thailand -- Location filming on a romantic adventure movie starring Angelina Jolie is scheduled to begin Thursday in northern Thailand.

"Beyond Borders," about idealistic relief workers, is being directed by Martin Campbell, whose previous films include "GoldenEye" and "Vertical Limit." Clive Owen, who most recently appeared in "Gosford Park," plays Jolie's love interest.

Co-producer Lloyd Phillips said Wednesday that about five weeks of shooting in Thailand will wrap up main filming on the movie, which began production in December. Previous shooting was done in Namibia, standing in for Ethiopia, and Montreal, standing in for London and Chechnya.

The film's Thai locations will stand in for Cambodia, the site of an extended humanitarian crisis throughout the 1980s as it struggled to recover from the devastating rule of the communist Khmer Rouge.

Phillips said he expects the film to be released around Christmas.

The story, which covers a 10-year period, takes its protagonists from London to Ethiopia to Cambodia and Chechnya. Jolie plays a married American socialite in London who falls in loves with an idealistic doctor played by Owen.

In real life, Jolie serves as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and has visited relief camps in Cambodia, Pakistan and Africa. The star of "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and her husband, actor Billy Bob Thornton, recently adopted a Cambodian infant.

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NEW YORK -- Kelsey Grammer is taking a second job in television -- as an animated rat.

The "Frasier" star's production company is making a new cartoon, "Gary the Rat," that will debut on TNN next year. Grammer will provide the voice of the lead character.

Gary is described as a New York attorney so evil that one day he wakes up and he's no longer human.

"He becomes the most sought-after lawyer once it is discovered he is actually a rat," Grammer said Tuesday.

The cable network is hoping to launch a prime-time night of cartoons next year. It has acquired the rights to "The Ren & Stimpy Show" and hopes to persuade its creator to make more episodes. Also in production is "Stripperella," a cartoon from "Spider-Man" creator Stan Lee that features Pamela Anderson as a stripper who moonlights as a superhero.

TNN is the former Nashville Network that, since its purchase by Viacom, has repositioned itself as a network for young men. It is debuting two other new series in the fall: "Oblivious," a game show where contestants don't even know they're playing, and "Slam Ball," a basketball game played on trampolines.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Spanish tenor Placido Domingo says he dreams of starring in a film about Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini.

Domingo sees the film as focusing on Puccini's adult life, when the composer wrote his most celebrated operas including "La Boheme," "Madame Butterfly" and "Turandot," which was unfinished when he died in 1924.

"It would take a lot of time," Domingo told a news conference Monday in the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo. "That is why I think about whether to do it or not."

Domingo said he has a heavy schedule this year, including a June 27 concert of The Three Tenors with Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti before a World Cup event in Yokohama, Japan.

Domingo was in Santo Domingo for a performance at the National Theater.

NEW YORK -- Television's best-known interviewer once had to wait until the fourth question to talk.

When Barbara Walters was paired with Frank McGee on the "Today" show in 1971, McGee insisted -- and NBC management agreed -- that he would ask the first three questions in any hard news interview before Walters could talk, she said.

When McGee died of cancer in 1974, NBC talked to Walters about who would be named as the show's new host, and she corrected them: "Co-host."

"Since then, every woman on morning programs has been a co-host, and more power to them," Walters said Tuesday at a luncheon held by the American Women in Radio and Television.

Walters said she once asked to do a news special on the feminist movement and was told bluntly that no one would be interested.

She endured another unpleasant pairing with a male co-host, Harry Reasoner, on "The ABC Evening News" before reaching her prime as an interviewer on the network.

"I had the opportunity to do the most important thing, and that was prove myself to myself," she said. "It has been, for me, a career beyond my dreams."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Gray Davis' appointment of actor Clint Eastwood to the state Park and Recreation Commission was approved by the Senate Rules Committee.

Approval by the committee on Monday sent the nomination to the full Senate. Davis named Eastwood, a former mayor of Carmel, to the panel last November.

The nine-member commission shapes policies for more than 260 state parks, from Hearst Castle to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The panel meets about six times a year in different areas of the state.

Commission members are unpaid and serve four-year terms.

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