- The Washington Times - Monday, August 22, 2005

River of sadness

He wasn’t grief-stricken; he was acting, Joaquin Phoenix said of tabloid reports that he had a breakdown while filming the upcoming Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line.”

Mr. Phoenix banged his head on a bedpost during a scene related to Mr. Cash’s brother’s death, prompting speculation that he was reacting to the 1993 death of his brother, River Phoenix.

The 30-year-old actor told Newsweek he was just trying to get into the emotional state of his character.

“You know, the press has kind of imposed upon me the title of ‘mourning brother’, and because I haven’t been vocal about it, the assumption is that I’m holding onto this [stuff] that’s just not there,” he tells the magazine, now on newsstands.

The late Mr. Phoenix died of a drug overdose outside a Los Angeles nightclub when he was just 23.

“I don’t need to pull from my experience for a character, and I’ve never understood why actors would, except for lack of ability, imagination or research,” Joaquin Phoenix says.

Roller goes to court

Former Bay City Roller lead singer Les McKeown is due to appear in court today, charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. McKeown, 49, who was arrested June 1, was remanded on bail and will appear at Harlow Magistrates Court in Essex, southeast England.

The tartan-clad Bay City Rollers hailed from Edinburgh and were one of the biggest pop bands of the 1970s, with hits such as “Shang-A-Lang” and “Bye Bye Baby.”

Mr. McKeown was arrested as part of a wider police and customs operation in which four other men were also held on drug charges across Britain.

Charm City rollers

A day after opening their “Bigger Bang” world tour at Boston’s Fenway Park, the Rolling Stones announced yesterday they would play Baltimore’s 1st Mariner Arena on Feb. 1.

It will be the band’s first stop in Charm City since a 1969 concert at the Baltimore Civic Center, reputed among longtime fans to be one of the Stones’ best-ever performances. The concert yielded one track for the beloved live album “Get Yer Ya Yas Out.”

Beautiful’ suicides

Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo’s nationalist novelist turned governor, says he has written a film on kamikaze, saying he wanted to show the “beautiful but sorrowful” lives of the suicidal World War II pilots, according to Agence France-Presse.

Mr. Ishihara, known for sharp criticism of the United States and China, said “I Go to Die For Nothing But You” is scheduled to hit movie theaters next summer.

He said the movie is based on interviews with Tome Torihama, a woman who ran a restaurant in Chiran on the southern island of Kyushu, a base for hundreds of the young men who died crashing their planes into U.S. ships.

“The story does nothing to justify the kamikaze but portrays their beautiful, but sorrowful or tragic, adolescence,” Mr. Ishihara explained at a press conference.

Love child?

Courtney Love says — in seriousness or in jest, no one can say — that she’s pregnant with British comedian Steve Coogan’s child.

Mr. Coogan denies the claim. “It’s nonsense,” a spokeswoman for the comic says, according to Ananova.com

But Miss Love told News of the World: “I am pregnant with Steve’s baby, but I’d rather not talk about our friendship.”

Miss Love was ordered into a 28-day rehab program last week, after admitting she used drugs while on probation — her third such violation. She will be sentenced next month.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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