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Thompson on Hollywood

Bound for Glory's Carradine Sings, Attacks Wexler, Talks Cocaine

My old EW colleague Chris Willman posted a long detailed account on Facebook of a night at the Aero in Santa Monica with Bound for Glory cinematographer Haskell Wexler and stars David Carradine and Ronny Cox. The Depression era movie marks one of Carradine's best performances, as Woody Guthrie; he appears to have been quite feisty at the Q & A session, to say the least.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2009 8:55 AM
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More: Obit, Celebs

Jolie Rates on Forbes List

The most remarkable thing about the top-ranked players in the Forbes Star Currency list (which measures power, money and fame) is that Angelina Jolie competes head-on with Johnny Depp, her partner Brad Pitt, and Will Smith. It helps that she nabbed an Oscar nom for Changeling. But she's ranked so high because of Wanted. She nabbed $15 million to anchor that movie, because she's an action star, the first ever to compete on a level playing field with her male peers. The studios will even give Jolie a role written for a man: she replaced Tom Cruise in Phil Noyce's upcoming studio thriller Edwin A. Salt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2009 8:06 AM
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Bale Says Sorry on KROQ

PR 101 dictates that when you mess up bigtime, you apologize, in the most public forum possible. So Christian Bale called Friday morning to give an interview to L.A.'s genial drive-time duo Kevin and Bean on KROQ-FM, so that he could explain his profane outburst on the set of Terminator Salvation back in July. He wasn't trying to get cinematographer Shane Hurlbut fired, he told them. They kept working that day, he said, and for another month, in fact: "We have resolved this completely."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 7, 2009 2:19 AM
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Bale has "Moment" on Terminator Set

"It was just a moment," insists the first assistant director on Terminator Salvation. He's talking about an explosion of F-bombs directed by Christian Bale at his cinematographer during filming last July. The guy had walked through a scene. Stars are under huge pressure when they're shooting, especially when they're carrying a big tentpole Terminator movie. Clearly, though, Bale has a temper, as we know from his blowup last year at London's Dorchester Hotel.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 4, 2009 2:27 AM
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Twilight: What's Next for Rob Pattinson?

Brit actor Robert Pattinson's life changed the instant Catherine Hardwicke cast him as Edward Cullen, the vampire lover in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series."How old are you?" asks Bella (Kristen Stewart), a new student at Forks High. "17," he says. "How long have you been 17?" "A while."Pattinson has seen the way women react to him as Edward at Comic-Con and festivals. (They tend to scream.) In this flip-cam interview, he talks about how tricky it was to play this kind of swoony leading man, figuring out the makeup, his music, his upcoming films Little Ashes and How to Be, and the new movie he starts in January, playing Dennis Hopper's grandson in writer-director Brian Horiuchi's L.A.-set multi-generational marriage drama Parts Per Billion, also starring Olivia Thrilby and Rosario Dawson. Hollywood is sending him scripts, but everyone it seems, is waiting to see how Twilight fares when it opens November 21:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 9, 2008 5:31 AM
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Brad Pitt Shoots Angelina Jolie, Up Close, for W

Brad Pitt makes his photography debut at W Magazine this month, which assigned him to take up-close-and-personal shots of mama Jolie with her kids. It was a brilliant idea and will be hugely successful. The intimacy of the shots is something that would be difficult for any outsider to achieve.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2008 4:26 AM
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Cruise's Star Status in Flux

Clearly, Tom Cruise is not the mega-star he was when MGM chairman and CEO Harry Sloan gave him and then-partner Paula Wagner a piece of United Artists. Now he has the flop Lions for Lambs behind him and Bryan Singer's tarnished Valkyrie looming ahead--the film that looks like more of an expensive art house play than a commercial one. And having lost his partner Wagner last week, Cruise now runs UA alone (with ongoing help from hard-charging MGM prexy Mary Parent).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2008 5:33 AM
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Incredible Hulk: Setting the Record Straight

The real question when looking at The Incredible Hulk--given all the sturm-and-drang in the media about Edward Norton--is what did he contribute to this movie?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 13, 2008 5:53 AM
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Cyrus Reps Make Big Misstep

What were they thinking? Vanity Fair can shoot 15-year-old Disney pop star Miley Cyrus in a silk bedsheet if they want to. Clearly, mighty star photographer Annie Leibovitz was persuasive; Cyrus thought she was participating in something "artistic," she told People.com, adding that from now on she would "trust my support team."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 28, 2008 5:51 AM
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Leatherheads: Clooney Goes Retro

George Clooney is the sort of movie star who gets to do what he wants, especially if he's willing to direct himself. In this case the period football comedy Leatherheads had been languishing on the shelf at Universal for decades, and was going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh at one time. Clooney's version is a sweetly daffy valentine to classic Hollywood screwball comedies, Coen brothers comedies and romantic comedies. Clooney stars as a handsome over-the-hill football player who's pretty smart but gets beat up on the playing field and takes plenty of pratfalls and romances a wise-cracking reporter (Renee Zellweger).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2008 4:45 AM
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