- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mr. 3000

In his capacity as half of the rap duo OutKast, he’s known to millions around the world as Andre 3000. Now he’s ready to be known simply as Andre Benjamin, actor.

After a small role earlier this year as gangster in the comedy “Be Cool,” the 30-year-old Georgia boy is starring in director John Singleton’s “Four Brothers” alongside Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Garrett Hedlund.

The main difference between the two mediums, Mr. Benjamin told Associated Press, is “not having control.”

“In music I have control of when I wake up, when I go to the studio and when I turn in an album. … It’s all coming from me,” he said.

“With film, I’m translating what somebody else has written on paper. I’m translating what I think a character is. I’m on a schedule. I wake up early. I’m on a set. … It’s taking direction and taking orders.”

Ready for some football

The Rolling Stones are teaming with ABC and the NFL for a season-long marketing tie-in with “Monday Night Football.”

Footage from the Stones’ concert tour performance in Detroit will be included in “NFL Opening Kickoff 2005,” an hourlong pre-game special airing Sept. 8, AP reports, citing a Monday announcement by the network. The special will run before the season opener between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.

The Stones’ tour opens Aug. 21 at Boston’s Fenway Park, and the band’s new album, “A Bigger Bang,” is scheduled for release Sept. 6. The group will appear at the MCI Center Oct. 3.

ABC will feature music and video footage of the Stones throughout the 2005 season in “Monday Night Football” promotional campaigns and in-game highlights packages.

Jess to the rescue

Before she gets pregnant, Jessica Simpson has things she wants to do, such as … oh, saving the world.

Miss Simpson, inspired after a meeting with actress and humanitarian activist Angelina Jolie, said she wants to do missionary work, visit Third World countries and adopt children.

In an interview with OK! magazine, Miss Simpson said the meeting left her with “an incredible peace.”

Asked about plans to have children with husband Nick Lachey, she said: “If I got pregnant, I’d be ecstatic, but we’re not trying. We’re definitely practicing, though.”

She added, “There’s still so much stuff that we want to do together. We’d still like to do some mission work, visit Third World countries.

“I have this whole plan to save the world.”

A force of one

For those interested in streamlining their “Star Wars” consumption, a one-man show in New York recounts the whole story in less than an hour.

Charles Ross, a 31-year-old Canadian-born actor who has seen “Star Wars” 400 times, admits his show may be a surreal experience for anybody who doesn’t know the three classic George Lucas films as well as he does.

Described as an “entertainingly nerdy show” in a Newsday review, the “One-Man Star Wars Trilogy” — which opened this week — is a fast-paced romp in which Mr. Ross plays every character from Luke Skywalker to Princess Leia, R2D2 to Han Solo.

He wrote the show from memory and has been performing it for three years, starting at small venues and working his way up to a performance earlier this year for 3,500 people at a launch event for the latest “Star Wars” movie.

“I figure if I can perform it more times than I’ve seen the movies, I’ll have exorcised the demons,” Mr. Ross told Reuters news agency yesterday, adding that he has reached about 300 shows so far.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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