- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2004

‘Passion’ in song

There’s still a lot of passion for “The Passion of the Christ.” The DVD version of Mel Gibson’s blockbuster is due Aug. 31. And on the same day comes “Passion of the Christ: Songs,” a set inspired by the movie and performed by artists such as Fugees alum Lauryn Hill, ex-Creed frontman Scott Stapp and the Christian metal band P.O.D.

“My kids think these guys are cool, so they must be,” Mr. Gibson says. “It means a lot to me that this group of artists dug my film and all wanted to contribute a song.”

The movie “is the real deal — brutal, honest, touching,” says P.O.D. lead singer Sonny Sandoval.

Adds Miss Hill: “The film was a visual representation of what life is supposed to be for the people of God. A sinless man willingly gave himself up so that others might be saved.”

Frozen ‘Nemo’

Fans itching for more “Finding Nemo” will be able to find their favorite clown fish this winter — on ice.

Pixar’s animated underwater adventure is being converted into a “Disney on Ice” production with elaborate costumes and choreographed routines inspired by last summer’s runaway hit.

“This is completely unlike any other show,” costume designer Scott Lane told Associated Press.

Mr. Lane turned the movie’s computer-generated character lineup into an above-water, 145-piece costume extravaganza featuring fish, sharks, jellyfish, pelicans and turtles.

“Finding Nemo” begins its 13-city tour Sept. 3 in Lakeland, Fla., and will stop in Richmond before closing in December.

Mum’s the vote

Tom Cruise says he respects the right of entertainers to participate in politics — but as for his political preferences, his lips are sealed.

“Politics is something that is very personal to me,” Mr. Cruise said in Mexico City while promoting his latest movie, “Collateral.” “I am not going to comment publicly [on] who I’m going to vote for.

“I don’t want what I say to become a political football,” he said.

Family reunion

Bread, not bones, was broken when some of the cast and crew of “GoodFellas” reunited for a traditional sit-down dinner Monday night at a Los Angeles restaurant.

Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino and real-life mob informant Henry Hill — whose gangland experiences inspired the story — dined on baked ziti, swapped stories and sang Italian opera songs to celebrate the DVD release of Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed mob flick.

According to AP, many hadn’t seen each other since they shot the movie 15 years ago.

Mr. Sorvino, who played gang boss Paulie Cicero, said he desperately wanted the role but played hard to get with director Mr. Scorsese.

“I think Marty had me in mind for it early on. So I said, ‘I don’t think the money is quite right,’” Mr. Sorvino recalled. “He said, ‘I’ll take care of that.’ And after I walked out, I thought, ‘I’ve just hoodwinked the greatest director in the world.’”

Mr. Scorsese, tied up with his Howard Hughes biopic, “The Aviator,” didn’t attend.

‘Charmed’ lives

Nick Lachey admits he had a crush on Alyssa Milano, and the “Charmed” actress is more than flattered. She thinks “he’s hot.”

Mr. Lachey told “Access Hollywood” that he had to spill the beans about his former crush to avoid the humiliation of having her find out from someone else. (Mr. Lachey plays Miss Milano’s love interest in an upcoming six-episode arc on the WB show.)

“The first day I came, I said, ‘I’m just going to tell you right now that your poster was hanging in my locker. Because you’re going to hear about it, and I don’t want to be embarrassed later on.’”

The feeling is mutual, Miss Milano said.

“His eyes are like lavender,” she said. “I can’t even look at him when I’m working with him.”

Asked if his pop-star wife, Jessica Simpson, would have a problem with his on-screen lip lock with the “Charmed” star, Mr. Lachey said: “I’m in the clear here because when she did ‘That ‘70s Show,’ she had to kiss Ashton [Kutcher]. They did, like, five takes of the scene, so I got a free pass on the kiss thing.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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