- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Penn to attend

New York Post

Sean Penn definitely will attend this year’s Academy Awards, his publicist has confirmed to the New York Post.

Mr. Penn, 43, who has never been to the Oscars despite three previous nominations, “wants to stand up for ‘Mystic River,’ ” his representative said.

Still, the actor, who plays the father of a murdered girl in the film, already may have ruined his chance to win because he was a no-show at the Golden Globes, Hollywood insiders note. Academy members also might vote against Mr. Penn because they don’t want to hear the actor expound on his prewar visit to Iraq as a guest of Saddam Hussein’s.

Purr-fectly fine

Associated Press

Halle Berry was taken to a hospital after colliding with a piece of set equipment while filming a running scene for “Catwoman” but is back at work, production spokesman Joe Everett says.

The accident was quite minor, Mr. Everett said Tuesday, denying reports that the Oscar-winning actress was hit in the head with a microphone boom and spent six hours in a hospital waiting room in Vancouver, British Columbia, where “Catwoman” is in production.

“She had to maneuver past a piece of equipment, a set piece, and she didn’t quite run past it, but she’s just fine,” Mr. Everett said. “She was taken to hospital Saturday night, treated and released and was at work again Monday morning.”

Miss Berry broke her arm last year while shooting “Gothika” in Montreal and injured her eye on the set of “Die Another Day.”

Wright follows Day

The Washington School of Ballet, an institution with an international reputation, is changing directors. Mary Day, who founded and will have directed the school for 60 years by the time she retires in June, is being succeeded by Rebecca Wright.

Miss Wright, a former soloist with American Ballet Theatre, also has a record as an educator, most recently as artistic director of ABT’s summer training programs, which occur in five locations around the country. Before joining ABT, Miss Wright was a principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet during what often are called its golden years, 1966 to 1975. While there, she originated roles in several Gerald Arpino ballets. She will assume the directorship in August.

— Jean Battey Lewis

Weiland’s woes

International Herald Tribune

Scott Weiland, former frontman for the Stone Temple Pilots, has been ordered to return to a live-in drug detoxification center in California after leaving early.

Mr. Weiland, 36, was ordered to report to the facility in October after pleading no contest to heroin possession. A Superior Court judge learned that he had left the center after a month and ordered him to return. He is eligible for release in June and must participate in a six-month follow-up. If he leaves the center again, prosecutors will seek a warrant for his arrest, Launch Radio Networks reported.

Mr. Weiland recently was let out for a day to complete a track on the debut album for Velvet Revolver, due out April 27. In a separate case, attorneys for Mr. Weiland entered an innocent plea for the rock star’s misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, stemming from his arrest in Hollywood in October. He is due back in court on that case Feb. 5.

Clash of the titans

Internet Movie Database

Britney Spears stunned her Pepsi commercial co-stars Beyonce Knowles and Pink when she stormed out on them following a bitter row with the Destiny’s Child beauty.

The pop trio — who are featured as scantily clad gladiators in the soft drink promo — stood united during the ad’s premiere in London Monday but later had a heated confrontation at the city’s Nobu restaurant, according to Britain’s Daily Star tabloid. Although event organizers reportedly tried to keep the warring threesome apart, the singers sat down for dinner together at the plush eatery — until Miss Spears ran out just 10 minutes into the meal, the Internet Movie Database reports.

“It was ridiculous. Pepsi forks out millions to get this supertrio together for an advert, and they can’t even be civil to each other for the duration of a meal,” an unnamed source told the IMDB. “Beyonce was sniping at Britney, who was giving as good as she got. Pink stonewalled the pair of them. It looked like it was going to turn nasty; then Britney stormed out with a face like thunder.”

Farrell’s ‘Great’ denial

Internet Movie Database

Actor Colin Farrell has shunned reports that the homosexual elements in his new film “Alexander” will dominate the plot.

Director Oliver Stone has included details of the Macedonian warrior Alexander the Great’s bisexuality in his movie, but Mr. Farrell, who plays the title role, insists such references are only minor to the story. He claims Mr. Stone was keen to portray the historical figure accurately and didn’t want to ignore facts surrounding his sexual antics. “There was no term for it then; it was just part of the culture,” the Internet Movie Database quotes Mr. Farrell as saying.

“What happened was older men, 50- to 70-year-olds, used to spend the evening with younger men and impart their knowledge to them, and then they’d go to bed together. It’s not a gay film, it’s not a straight film — it’s just a story.”

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

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