- The Washington Times - Monday, November 29, 2004

Martian invasion

Watch out for some familiar faces — and maybe a few aliens — in the central Virginia countryside.

Scenes for the extraterrestrial-invasion film “War of the Worlds,” directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, will be shot in the Shenandoah Valley, according to an area tourism official.

Jean Clark, tourism director for the Rockbridge County area, said she didn’t know exactly when or where the movie would be shot in the valley. “I know they’re shooting something,” she told Associated Press.

Miss Clark expects filming in the area to wrap before year’s end.

Movie publicist Deborah Wuliger said production support people have been in the area to prepare for filming.

When scouts came in September, they looked at parts of Augusta County, near Staunton and Waynesboro, according to Sergei Troubetzkoy, Staunton’s tourism director.

Au naturel

Jamie Lee Curtis confessed that the bikini scene she had to do for her hit Christmas movie was somewhat “humiliating.”

She told AP Radio that she didn’t “pack it on” like fellow actress Renee Zellweger for her role in “Bridget Jones.” It’s her body in “Christmas With the Kranks,” and that’s how she looks.

Miss Curtis said she told the cameraman to forgo the “pretty lights” and go for some “really nasty lighting.”

The 45-year-old actress came out against plastic surgery two years ago, saying she had tried liposuction and Botox, to little avail. Now she’s trying to project a positive image of her natural body, she said.

New sweet home

Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd arrived on Harley motorcycles at the opening of the newest House of Blues in a renovated storefront in Cleveland Sunday night.

More than 2,000 fans turned out for the gala opening, AP reports. Mr. Belushi and Mr. Aykroyd arrived wearing black leather coats and escorted Mayor Jane Campbell into the concert-and-restaurant complex.

In honor of Mr. Belushi’s late brother John Belushi, the pair performed as the Blues Brothers, wearing black suits, white shirts, black ties and black fedoras for the evening’s finale, which included the blues classic “Sweet Home Chicago.”

Jack of trades

Kenny Rogers may know exactly when to “fold ‘em,” but when it comes to career choices, he has several aces up his sleeve.

The country singer is adding interior design to his resume of music, photography and fast-food franchising.

The Fort Wayne, Ind. Journal Gazette reports that Mr. Rogers is about to begin an interior design venture with Home Depot, a move he says will keep him creatively satisfied and in the public eye.

While music is his first love, the singer says, in the event that part of his career dries up, he has “many other interests.”

Two of a kind

It’s a girl — and a boy — for actress Julia Roberts and cinematographer husband Danny Moder.

Miss Roberts gave birth to twins Hazel Patricia Moder and Phinnaeus Walter Moder Sunday morning at a Southern California hospital, publicist Marcy Engelman said Sunday.

According to AP, Miss Roberts, 37, was confined to bed last month after experiencing a series of early contractions and wasn’t due until early January. Miss Engelman said “mother and babies are doing great” but didn’t release the twins’ weights or other details.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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