People talk 10B

Sunday, November 3, 2002

Julia Roberts goes to Yale to shoot movie

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The stately halls of Yale University got a shot of Hollywood glamour this weekend with Julia Roberts in town to shoot scenes for her new movie, "Mona Lisa Smile."

Yale stands in for the Massachusetts campus of Wellesley College in 1953 for the movie about an art history professor, played by Roberts, who helps young female students find themselves.

Shooting will take place in a Yale classroom, library and art museum. -- From wire reports

The movie also stars Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rapper Eminem says he worked up to 16 hours a day to get details right in "8 Mile," a movie based loosely on his troubled youth.

"I'm like, yo, watch my facial expression here, it's not the greatest in the world," Eminem said in Sunday's edition of The New York Times Magazine. "Every time I felt like I wasn't believable, I took notes and I brought them to Curtis (Hanson, the film's director)."

The 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, said he worked six days a week, 13 to 16 hours a day, on the set of the movie that tells the story of a Detroit youth who dreams of being a hip-hop star. "8 Mile" opens Nov. 8.

"I wanted to make a movie that every kid who went through anything similar to this can relate to. This was my whole life," Eminem said.

The rapper says he has no plans to act in films again, and after "8 Mile," he even has trouble watching movies.

"It's because I'm looking for continuity and looking for mistakes," he said. "The guy's shirt's a little wrinkled and you cut back and it's the same scene and his shirt's not wrinkled. You drive yourself crazy with it."

LONDON (AP) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela, an admirer of Princess Diana's humanitarian work, paid respect to the late royal by laying a wreath at her family's country home, Althorp House.

Mandela had lunch Friday with Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, and local dignitaries before laying a wreath of white lilies and pale blue flowers on her grave, which is on an island in a lake on the family estate in Northamptonshire, north of London.

Wearing a gold patterned shirt with a dark overcoat, Mandela walked with the aid of a stick across a short pontoon bridge to Diana's final resting place.

Diana met Mandela during a visit to South Africa in 1997.

After her death in a car crash that year, he paid tribute to her as one of the "best ambassadors for Great Britain."

The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund said last month that Mandela wanted to "pay a personal tribute to Diana as a person, and her humanitarian work ... particularly in combating the stigma of HIV/AIDS and bring neglected issues to public attention."

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Australia was abuzz with speculation it may soon get a princess when pictures of a Sydney woman and her boyfriend -- Danish Crown Prince Frederik -- appeared in a newspaper.

The tabloid Daily Telegraph claimed the photos it published Saturday of the couple at a friend's wedding were a "dress rehearsal" for royal nuptials.

Rumors have been circulating for months that the prince and Mary Donaldson will soon announce their engagement.

Donaldson, 30, was a bridesmaid at the wedding Friday of her close friend Kylie Matthews and Welsh financial adviser Anthony Jones.

Frederik, 34, and Donaldson were among guests at the ceremony at St. Mark's church in the upscale suburb of Darling Point and were later taken by boat over Sydney Harbor to the reception.

Frederik was introduced to Donaldson by Spanish Crown Prince Felipe at a reception in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics when he flew out to support the Danish sailing team.

At the time, Donaldson was working as an accounts manager for an advertising agency. She later joined a Sydney property group.

BOSTON (AP) -- Tim Robbins is doing his part to help buy Christmas presents for children in state care.

The actor and director handed a $11,000 check Friday to the Children's Holiday Gift Fund, run by the Social Services Department, on behalf of nonprofit organizations that helped raise the money.

The fund buys gifts for children with disabilities who are in state care and don't have families.

Robbins, director of "Dead Man Walking" and star of "The Shawshank Redemption," was in the Boston area shooting the movie "Mystic River."

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The American Film Institute is talkin' to you, Robert De Niro.

The organization's board of trustees selected the 59-year-old star of "Taxi Driver" and "Goodfellas" Friday to receive the 31st AFI Life Achievement Award.

De Niro is set to accept the honor June 12 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, site of the annual Academy Awards.

"In a career that includes over 60 motion pictures, De Niro's sense of commitment to the character -- both mentally and physically -- has changed the way we look at an actor's contribution to the art form," trustee chairman Howard Stringer said.

De Niro won a supporting-actor Oscar in 1975 for playing young gangster Vito Corleone in "The Godfather Part II" and a best-actor Oscar in 1981 for his portrayal of boxer Jake La Motta in "Raging Bull."

He had Oscar nominations for "The Deer Hunter," "Awakenings," "Cape Fear" and "Taxi Driver," in which his disturbed vigilante stares down his own mirror reflection and repeatedly taunts, "You talkin' to me?"

Last year's AFI honoree was Tom Hanks, and other previous winners include Jack Lemmon, Alfred Hitchcock, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier and Clint Eastwood.

On the Net:

American Film Institute Web site:

LONDON (AP) -- Michael Gambon has received an honorary doctorate in art from the University of Greenwich in south London.

The Irish-born actor, who has appeared in films including "Gosford Park" and "Charlotte Gray," recalled performing frequently at the local Greenwich Theater early in his career.

"I'm just overwhelmed," the 62-year-old said Friday.

Jane Longmore, head of the university's School of Humanities, said Gabon, who was knighted in 1998, has remained modest, despite his critical acclaim.

"He is amazed that he still has a job and considers himself lucky to have made a living from acting," she said. "To others this is no surprise -- he is a prodigious talent with enormous creative energy."

Gambon won an Olivier Award -- London's nearest equivalent to Broadway's Tony -- for his role in "A Chorus of Disapproval."

He's now starring in "A Number," the acclaimed play by Caryl Churchill.

Earlier this year, he played President Lyndon Johnson in the HBO movie "Path to War."

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Is there another "Urban Cowboy" craze in the making?

Twenty-two years after its release, the John Travolta movie that sparked an '80s cowboy craze is being distributed on DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment. And previews begin Tuesday at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami for "Urban Cowboy: A New Musical."

The large-scale stage production, which will play through Dec. 1, includes the mechanical bull made famous by Gilley's, Mickey Gilley's former nightclub in Pasadena, Texas, which served as the film's backdrop.

"Today when you see these young country acts wearing cowboy hats, that came from the 'Urban Cowboy' craze," the country singer said.

Gilley said he's grateful for his involvement in the movie.

"I thank John Travolta every night before bed for keeping my career alive," he said this past week. "That film had a huge impact on my career, and still does."

The DVD, which was released this fall as part of Paramount Home Entertainment's 90th-anniversary celebration, includes outtakes of Travolta and co-star Debra Winger dancing as well as rehearsal footage of them on the mechanical bull.

On the Net:

Coconut Grove Playhouse Web site:

HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) -- Actress Diana Darrid, mother of actor Michael Douglas, said she'll marry retired U.S. government official Donald Albert Webster in December.

The ceremony will take place Dec. 28 at the 18th-century Old Devonshire Church in Bermuda, the 79-year-old Darrid said by telephone last week from her home in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Webster, a 72-year-old widower, once served as Treasury chief of staff under President Nixon.

The couple met at a party in Washington, D.C., in 1999, hosted by a mutual friend to introduce Darrid's memoir, "In the Wings."

"There were about 50 people there," Darrid said. "So I didn't remember meeting him at that time."

They met a second time at a Washington Press Club event for authors.

Six months later, Webster wrote to tell her he would be visiting California and asked if they could meet for dinner.

"We did, and it progressed from there bit by bit," she said.

Darrid said that while she was filming "A Few Good Years" in New York last summer with her ex-husband Kirk, son Michael and grandson Cameron, Webster stayed behind in California "taking care of the dogs."

"We were calling each other every day and we pretty much decided, 'By God, it's just about time to get married."'

This will be her third marriage.

CULVER, Ind. (AP) -- Actor Hal Holbrook reminisced with students as he returned to Culver Military Academy, joking that they have it easier than he did while attending the school in the 1940s.

Holbrook, who has performed his one-man stage show, "Mark Twain, Tonight," more than 2,000 times since its 1954 opening, visited as part of Culver Academy's Montgomery Lecture Series.

"You've got it easy here," the 77-year-old actor said Monday. "You've got girls." Culver Military Academy didn't admit girls when he attended.

Holbrook, who was named the school's first "Man of the Year," graduated in 1942. He participated on the cross-country team and was a boxer.

Culver also was where he discovered acting. However, Holbrook said he turned to drama only after failing algebra. He said he needed extra credits to graduate and was told drama wouldn't involve any homework.

"I had no choice," he said. "I gotta become an actor. After a couple of sessions I really enjoyed it."

Holbrook starred in the '90s TV series "Evening Shade."

His films include "Magnum Force," "Wall Street" and "The Firm."

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