- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Character conscience

Agence France-Presse

Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage yesterday said he wants to encourage greater public understanding of obsessive compulsive disorder in his new film, “Matchstick Men” directed by Ridley Scott.

He persuaded Mr. Scott to allow his character, a small-time crook named Roy, to have a nervous tic in the movie, which premieres at the Venice film festival.

“The main thing I wanted to do with Roy was not to exploit or ridicule anyone with this condition,” Mr. Cage told a news conference in Venice.

“I never wanted to make his condition funny. I wanted to present the character with love so that anyone who would see this person, would at some point eventually get beyond the tics and see the heart of the man,” he said.

Mr. Cage, who won an Oscar for “Leaving Las Vegas” in 1995, said he consulted a Hollywood stunt-man friend with the condition to help him perfect the part.

“My hope is that after increasing some awareness of this condition, you might go to a grocery store and see somebody who might be tic-ing and you wouldn’t take it personally. You might understand him.”

Danner ditched

New York Post

Gwyneth Paltrow’s mom is having a bad year.

Actress Blythe Danner, whose husband, Bruce Paltrow, died last year, was set to play Charlie Sheen’s mother in the new sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” But according to Hello! magazine, tensions grew when Miss Danner started “suggesting” changes to scenes. Days later, Miss Danner was fired.

“Blythe is a wonderful actress who was put in a part that was not a good fit for her,” the sitcom’s producers told Hello!

McFerrin joins faculty

Don’t worry, Georgetown University students, be happy. Bobby McFerrin, the Grammy-winning vocalist and conductor, will join Georgetown’s faculty this fall as the Father Royden B. Davis Visiting Professor of the school’s newly created Program in the Performing Arts. In November, the classically trained Mr. McFerrin, who sang the theme to “The Cosby Show,” will also appear in several poetry and vocal workshops that will be open to the public.

Is it a date?

ETOnline.com

ETOnline, citing the New York Post, is reporting that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have set a wedding date.

The couple will marry Sept. 14 in Santa Barbara, Calif., says ETOnline, quoting the newspaper account.

The exact location is a big secret. According to the New York Post, there were no written invitations; guests were informed by phone.

They’ll learn the location of the ceremony the day before the event, ETOnline reports.

Babs nabbed for Bravo

New York Post

After 10 years of trying, James Lipton — who has interviewed dozens of the biggest movie stars for his long-running “Inside the Actors Studio” show on Bravo — has landed his biggest “get” yet: Barbra Streisand. Mr. Lipton, who interrogates his subjects in front of his students at the New School, broke the news Sunday night at Nick and Toni’s in East Hampton to the table where Hamptons publisher Jason Binn and his fiancee Haley Lieberman were dining with “Sex and the City” producer Darren Star. The interview will be taped in the next few weeks. At the next table was hunky Hugh Jackman, who will open soon on Broadway in “The Boy From Oz” playing Liza Minnelli’s former husband,Peter Allen.

Cops come-a-callin’

Billboard.com

Authorities in DeKalb County, Ga., say they are looking for Jagged Edge member Kyle Norman after they found two guns, 13 pounds of marijuana and about $6,000 in the singer’s home.

Deputies searched Mr. Norman’s Decatur home Thursday morning and reported finding the drugs, cash, a 9 mm handgun and an InterTec .45-caliber handgun.

Deputies arrested seven men who were inside the home. They did not find 27-year-old musician.

Jagged Edge’s next album, “Hard,” is due out Oct. 14 on the Columbia label. The single “Walked Outta Heaven” is No. 20 on Billboard’s Hot R&B;/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

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