- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 18, 2004

‘C’ actor

When asked to grade his own performances, two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks said he has never been better than average.

“I would give myself a ‘C’ in every movie I’ve ever been in. I’m the least objective human being to look at my own work,” he told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival, where “The Ladykillers” is competing forfor the Palme d’Or best film award.

The trip to the French resort was Mr. Hanks’ first.

Reuters News Agency reports that a Chinese journalist stood up with a giant poster of Mr. Hanks posing alongside a slobbering dog for his 1989 film “Turner & Hooch,” universally considered one of his worst efforts.

“I have no recollection of that film. Which one is me?” Mr. Hanks said. “Was it a comedy? I think that’s still being debated in cinemas throughout the world.”

‘Easy’ does it

Neo-soul singer Ricky Fante, a native of Southeast Washington, found himself in a little hot water recently, thanks to a huffy Jon Tiven, co-writer with Wilson Pickett of a song called “It Ain’t Easy.”

Something called “It Ain’t Easy,” credited to Mr. Fante and a team of collaborators, turned up on the 26-year-old’s debut album “Rewind,” and it sounded a little too much like the Pickett original.

“It’s real obvious to anyone hearing it that they stole my song,” Mr. Tiven told Entertainment Weekly magazine. He pleaded his case first to Fox News’ Roger Friedman, a rabid fan of soul music who helped produce the D.A. Pennebaker documentary “Only the Strong Survive,” which chronicled singers such as Mr. Pickett.

Mr. Fante’s label, Virgin Records, responded by holding back “Rewind,” which had been scheduled for release next week, until July, as well as giving Mr. Tiven and Mr. Pickett songwriting credits and royalties.

“This happens in our business all the time and has been resolved,” the label said.

More politics, please

Talk at the Cannes Film Festival has been dominated by politics, but actor Sean Penn still thinks there aren’t enough filmmakers tackling current events.

Labor protests by entertainment workers and hotel staff have dogged the French Riviera resort, and on Monday, Michael Moore introduced his anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11,” one of a slew of films with political themes, Reuters reports.

Mr. Penn, an outspoken critic of the Iraq war who paid a high-profile visit to Baghdad, said, “I don’t think there is any art that doesn’t respond to the times, and I don’t frankly think that there’s enough political films here or anywhere.”

Prom king

Students at Pennsbury High School near Philadelphia had a surprise guest at their prom — singer John Mayer.

The three-song concert happened Saturday thanks to class president Bob Costa’s lobbying and Michael Bamberger’s book “Wonderland,” a year-in-the-life look at the seniors at the Fairless Hills, Pa., school and their quest for a personal appearance from the hunky singer-songwriter.

Mr. Mayer’s publicist found out about the students and the book and arranged for the surprise show, according to the Associated Press.

“Go be amazing people, and I’ll see you again,” Mr. Mayer told the students.

When doves cry

The co-owner of a Woodbridge, N.J., ice-cream shop is serving up ice-cream flavors honoring Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

Ed Dubroski Jr., who owns the Country Cow Creamery along with his sister, Jenn — sent an e-mail in January to the Osbournes offering to design an ice-cream flavor in Miss Osbourne’s honor.

They said yes, with one request: Make one for Mr. Osbourne, too.

The result: Ozzy’s Carnivorous Carrot Cake, a cinnamon-spice ice cream with carrot cake in hazelnut liqueur, AP reports. Death by Sharon is a deep, dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate fudge and bits of chocolate brownie soaked in Godiva liqueur.

Yummy. Wonder how the new flavors would taste with Mr. Osbourne’s favorite delicacy — live dove?

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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