- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Listening tour

Brad Pitt spent four days in Ethiopia to “listen and learn” about AIDS in Africa.

The trip was organized by DATA, a Washington-based lobby group co-founded by rock star Bono that campaigns on behalf of Third World trade, debt and HIV and AIDS. Mr. Pitt began his first visit to Ethiopia on Friday and left late Monday night, according to Associated Press.

“It was a listening and learning visit,” DATA (Debt, AIDS and Trade for Africa) spokesman Jamie Drummond said yesterday.

“He was very humble and really interested in the situation here,” said Tsedenia Gebremarkos, an Ethiopian recording artist. “We hope his popularity can raise awareness in the same way we are trying to. We need the support of people like him.”

Bond blow-off

Playing Alexander the Great is enough for Colin Farrell; he’s not interested in 007.

Mr. Farrell poured cold water on rumors that he’ll be the sixth James Bond, joking that he was shocked by fellow Irish actor and current Bond man Pierce Brosnan’s recommendation that he get the job.

“The idea of me playing James Bond got into the press, but it’s not true. I would not like to do it. … They should find someone the audience has no history with,” Mr. Farrell told Reuters News Agency.

Back to school

Ex-Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee said he’s finding college a tough slog.

Mr. Lee, who’s attending classes at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for an NBC reality show, “Tommy Lee Goes to College,” said he loves horticulture but finds chemistry to be unbelievably hard. (We think he may have had some, ahem, practice in the horticulture department.)

Another shock: waking up at 6 a.m. for drum practice with the school’s band.

“This is the total fish-out-of-water experience for me,” the AP quotes Mr. Lee, 42, as saying. “I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. I was busy touring since the age of 17. So this is completely strange and bizarre, but a lot of fun and a lot of work.”

Career ‘Goal’

Soccer superstar David Beckham is set to kick off his film career with a movie trilogy called “Goal!” about a player from Los Angeles who signs up to play for British club Newcastle United.

The Real Madrid midfielder, one of the world’s biggest sports stars, will be joined by teammates Zinedine Zidane and Raul in the $100 million venture directed by Danny Cannon, according to Variety magazine’s Web site.

The movies would mark Mr. Beckham’s first major part in a feature film. He plays himself and will be seen in all three segments of the trilogy.

“It’s no secret that I want to be involved in youth coaching when I finally hang up my boots, and I believe that the ‘Goal!’ trilogy will provide a positive message to kids around the world,” Mr. Beckham told Variety.

At the Copa

The “Copacabana” has a new showgirl.

Songwriters Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman agreed to rewrite the 1978 Grammy-winning song to honor the winner of an auction aimed at raising money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

The winning bid of $150,000 was donated anonymously in the name of Sting’s wife, Trudie Styler.

A new recording of the song will feature the lyric, “Her name was Trudie, she was a showgirl….”

“When Barry and myself wrote this song, we thought it would be a novelty cut on an album. It’s amazing to think of the life this song has had,” Mr. Sussman told AP. “We are happy to do whatever we can to raise money and awareness for a great cause like OCRF.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports

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