- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Big British bucks

Agence France-Presse

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was the highest-earning woman in Britain during the year through September, earning eight times more than Queen Elizabeth II, according to a survey published in the Sunday Times of London.

The D strikes


With tongues planted firmly in cheeks, the members of Tenacious D announced Monday that they had begun a 45-day hunger strike.

In a satirical move to promote the DVD “The Complete Masterworks,” released yesterday, Jack Black and Kyle Gass threatened to climb into a 7-by-3-by-7-foot glass box 50 yards above Times Square — a la illusionist David Blaine in London — at the intersection of 45th Street and Broadway, where they would remain for the length of the strike.

Mr. Black said the strike would end early on one of three conditions: if “The Complete Masterworks” goes platinum, if “hunger is solved” or if there is peace in the Middle East.

The duo made the announcement dressed in silver-and-white superhero costumes with the letter D covering their barrel-shaped chests, white gloves on their hands and white capes tied around their necks.

When the pair were asked the longest duration either had gone without sustenance, Mr. Gass replied that one time, he had gone eight hours between meals. Mr. Black said he once slept for 12 hours, effectively spending 13 hours between meals.

“It’s gonna test our will, but I feelconfident we’re gonna make it,” Mr. Gass said.

Ashton overexposed

Internet Movie Database

Ashton Kutcher’s very public profile has cost him a role in an upcoming Steven Soderbergh movie, film insiders say.

The 25-year-old actor, who, notoriously, is dating 40-year-old Demi Moore, reportedly was approached by the director with a view toward being cast in one of his soon-to-shoot projects.

But according to sources at Mr. Soderbergh’s production company, Section Eight, the filmmaker was unsure if Mr. Kutcher “was up to par professionally” for the job.

Mr. Kutcher reportedly read from a script for HBO’s “K Street” as an audition for one of six upcoming Soderbergh projects and was told he was being considered for the heartthrob in one of them.

In return, sources say, Mr. Soderbergh asked that Mr. Kutcher shun the celebrity spotlight. A source explains, “Steven told Ashton, ‘If I see you pose for the cover of one more magazine or photographed at one more party, I’ll take you off the picture.’ Steven made it clear he wanted to work with an actor, not a party boy.”

Posse shelved

Associated Press

An FYE music store in Cheyenne, Wyo., temporarily pulled the music and other items produced by the shock rap-metal group Insane Clown Posse after the suicide of a Casper teenager.

Insane Clown Posse’s songs have violent lyrics peppered with expletives. They offer graphic images of murder and other violence and lash out against society.

Howard and Mari Fochtman of Casper are the parents of the teen who committed suicide last month.

They expressed concern about what they regard as the group’s deeply negative message, worrying that the lyrics encourage listeners to believe no one cares about them except other Insane Clown Posse followers.

Mr. Fochtman said Insane Clown Posse did not kill his son. “I won’t stand for somebody saying I said that,” he said, “but it did not do him any good.”

Mr. Fochtman said he believed the group’s music and lyrics were a catalyst and that other parents should be aware of the group.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from wire and Web reports.

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