- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Moving target

Matthew McConaughey has been on what he calls a “grass-roots rock ‘n’ roll campaign” to promote his new action movie, “Sahara,” which opens Friday in area theaters.

The actor has been driving around the country in a pickup truck trailing an Airstream painted with images of the movie, in which he stars with his girlfriend, Penelope Cruz.

Mr. McConaughey told Associated Press that he stopped fearing the public eye years ago.

“When your mom calls you and says, ‘Did you get engaged?’ and I’m like: ‘Mom, come on. Of course I didn’t. I would let you know that before that,’ that pinches a hair,” he said.

“But I woke up about two or three years ago, and I was like: ‘What is it everyone runs from?’ Cameras aren’t guns. They can’t really hurt you.”

Back in the U.S.S.R.

While the younger generation battles to play James Bond, the original big-screen superspy, Sean Connery, has agreed to reprise the role for an upcoming video-game version of “From Russia With Love.”

According to Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Connery will record dialogue for the game, and his likeness will appear as it did in MGM’s 1963 hit movie.

“As an artist, I see this as another way to explore the creative process,” Mr. Connery said. “Video games are an extremely popular form of entertainment today, and I am looking forward to seeing how it all fits together.”

Bond bluffs

Speaking of Bond replacement gossip, the latest operating theory is that Pierce Brosnan, the current 007, plans to stick around.

Sony Pictures bosses want Mr. Brosnan to appear in the remake of “Casino Royale,” plus one more movie after that, an unidentified source told Darkhorizons.com.

“All the stuff we heard about Brosnan being out is just a ploy from both camps,” the source said.

“The mood around Sony is that Brosnan will be back,” the source continued. “Hence the reluctance of the filmmakers to come right out and announce that they have parted ways with Brosnan. Sony [executives] are not in a gambling mood.”

Mona’s new digs

The world can now see the “Mona Lisa’s” smile in a new light.

Experts are saying the 500-year-old painting’s new home — a renovated, airy room in the Louvre designed by architect Lorenzo Piqueras — has brought out the colors Leonardo da Vinci intended for his masterpiece.

“She’s not as dark as we think,” Cecile Scaillierez, a curator at the Paris museum, told Agence France-Presse.

Once on display with numerous other 16th-century Italian paintings, the “Mona Lisa” now hangs alone behind thick protective glass to keep observers at bay.

Reality bites

Lisa Marie Presley released her second LP yesterday and says she’s slowly getting over the hump of coming into her own.

“I had to overcome a pre-speculated idea of me. I had to sort of burst through that and introduce myself, and that was the first hurdle,” the singer told Associated Press.

That likely means no reality show is in the works.

“No way. Never going to happen. It’s been asked. … I turn [reality shows] off; I can’t do it,” Miss Presley said.

“I think I kind of liked ‘Fear Factor’ at first. But it’s gone so far, and you realize, ‘Look what these people are doing for money, degrading themselves for money,’ and that’s just not appealing to me.”

Cry harder

Before Justin Timberlake plays Elton John on the big screen, word has it, he’s being groomed to play Bruce Willis’ son in the next “Die Hard” sequel.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Mr. Willis was so impressed with the “Cry Me a River” singer’s acting chops in director Nick Cassavetes’ forthcoming “Alpha Dog” that he offered Mr. Timberlake the part.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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