- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Pie-tasting

Danny DeVito now knows where to get the best homemade pies in the country.

Mr. DeVito, part of Tim Burton’s new ensemble fantasy “Big Fish,” recalled during press roundtables this past weekend his warm welcome to the film’s Alabama locale.

“I had the quintessential [Alabama] experience,” he said of the location shoot. “I just had my bags settled into the room, and the doorbell rings. There’s a man and a woman standing there with a hot pecan pie. ‘Hi, y’all,’ he said.”

The gift proved the first of many baked goodies bestowed on him.

“Once you get that pie right, you wanna keep making that pie,” he said.

Cool, calm Jacko

Contrary to tabloid reports that Michael Jackson had a nervous breakdown on his flight of reckoning from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara, TV’s “Entertainment Tonight” says the singer was perfectly calm.

“On the flight, he appeared very relaxed,” an “Entertainment Tonight” spokeswoman said, based on 50 minutes of taped footage from a camera on the private plane on which Mr. Jackson flew to California.

Several of the show’s producers viewed the tape, but they would not speculate on where it came from or who made it available to the press.

The leaked footage, meanwhile, enraged Mr. Jackson’s attorney, Mark Geragos, who sued XtraJet, the charter company that he claims covertly installed two cameras in the plane’s cabin.

“ET” aired a segment on the tape Tuesday night.

The Jackson camp’s reaction is somewhat strange, given that the tape seems to paint the singer in a sympathetic light.

A collected Mr. Jackson “drank what looked like a soft drink, ate a snack and flipped through some magazines,” the source said.

Mr. Geragos spent much of the trip using the in-flight phone, according to the “ET” source, at one point having what appeared to be “a very animated conversation.”

Traveling with Mr. Jackson were a female makeup artist and several members of his security team. None of his three children was on board.

Dim Britney

No one expects young pop stars to be rocket scientists, but Britney Spears has taken the deer-in-the-headlights intelligence quotient to a new level.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Miss Spears called Australian superstar Kylie Minogue and Mexican singer Paulina Rubio Spanish.

Speaking to a Spanish journalist, who asked her whether she liked Spain’s music, Miss Spears replied: “Yes, I really like it. From Paulina Rubio to Kylie Minogue,” the Chronicle reported.

When she was told that Miss Minogue is Australian and Miss Rubio is Mexican, she tried to paper over her gaffe by adding, “I still think they’re great.”

Miss Spears also demonstrated her knowledge gap last month, according to the Chronicle, when she said she was influenced by Indian spiritual traditions.

When asked if Hinduism was one of them, she asked, “What’s that? Is it like Kabbalah?”

‘Passion’ suit

Mel Gibson is incensed at the New York Post for screening a pirated copy of “The Passion” and then turning the viewers’ reactions into a negative story, according to the Internet Movie Database.

The paper showed the movie, due out in February to coincide with the beginning of Lent, to a panel that included a rabbi, a priest, a theologian, the Post’s film critic and randomly selected readers.

Hollywood studio chiefs have described the screening as a “violation almost beyond words” and “a complete lack of compassion for artists,” the Web site reports.

Mr. Gibson is reportedly considering suing the paper within the next few days.

The Post is unapologetic. “With so much attention and controversy surrounding this film, we feel this is a legitimate news story,” it said.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff, wire and Web reports.


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