People talk 01/13/03

Scorsese recreated New York in Rome for film

ROME -- An unabashed admiration of Italy prompted Martin Scorsese to use a Rome studio to recreate New York City of the 1860s for his immigrant epic "Gangs of New York."

"I cannot express in words the impact and the appreciation I have for Italian cinema and Italian culture, and so it only seemed natural to ... work here in Rome," he told reporters Saturday.

Scorsese and "Gangs" star Leonardo DiCaprio returned to Italy to attend a gala showing of their movie, which also stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz.

The set at Cinecitta studios helped create an atmosphere of old New York despite being a continent away from the modern city, DiCaprio said.

"We were very much cocooned in the environment of Cinecitta and these four square blocks that were recreated for us," he said. "I can't tell you how tremendously it helped us as characters feeling a part of that time -- at times it felt like we were literally transported back into a different era."

"Gangs of New York" opened in the United States last month.

Rehn to star in ABC's 'The Bachelorette'

RADNOR, Pa. -- Trista Rehn says she and "The Bachelor" Alex Michel corresponded for months after he rejected her on the ABC reality show last spring.

Rehn, now the star of ABC's "The Bachelorette," tells the Jan. 18 issue of TV guide that Michel called her and she wrote to him even though Michel had picked Amanda Marsh as the winner on "The Bachelor."

Rehn says Michel told her "that he thought he had made a big mistake. He'll probably deny that he said it, but that's the reason I continued to correspond."

Michel declined comment to TV Guide.

Rehn says she ultimately decided against a relationship with Michel because he was still publicly linked to Marsh, her family didn't like him, and ABC offered her "The Bachelorette."

Last week's debut of "The Bachelorette," which pairs Rehn with 25 men to find her one true love, drew 17.4 million viewers to win its time period.

"I thought it would be great for a woman to make the decisions," she says.

Norman Lear receives religious freedom award

RICHMOND, Va. -- The man who brought Archie Bunker into America's living rooms has been honored for his sponsorship of a traveling exhibit on the Declaration of Independence and his longtime support of civil liberties.

Television producer Norman Lear is the recipient of the 2003 National Award from the Council for America's First Freedom, based in Richmond. The group presented the award Sunday at its annual National Religious Freedom Day commemoration.

During the 1970s and '80s, Lear produced several TV comedies -- among them "All in the Family" with the Archie Bunker character, "Maude" and "The Jeffersons" -- that featured a strong element of social commentary.

Ginsburg to be awarded Brandeis medal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be honored next month by the University of Louisville's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law for her past work promoting civil liberties and gender equality.

Ginsburg will receive the Brandeis medal, an award given to those who reflect Justice Louis Brandeis' commitment to individual liberty, concern for the disadvantaged and public service.

She co-founded the Women's Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and won several key cases against gender-based discrimination during her time with the ACLU.

Ginsberg also taught at Rutgers University and Columbia Law School, where she was the first female full professor. She was named to the high court in 1993, after serving as a federal appeals judge for the District of Columbia.

Past Brandeis Medal recipients include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Harry Blackmun and Sandra Day O'Connor, civil rights attorney Morris Dees and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

-- From wire reports