- The Washington Times - Monday, December 19, 2005

Cruise’s crash course

Long before he was hopping on couches and giving lectures on psychiatry, Tom Cruise’s faith in Scientology took shape in the late 1980s and early ‘90s at a secretive Southern California desert compound that catered to his needs around the clock, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“I was there for eight years, and nobody stayed long at all, except for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman during that period,” Bruce Hines, who left Scientology in 2001 after three decades in the church, told the Times.

Mr. Cruise reportedly stayed at the resort for weeks at a time, arriving by car or helicopter.

Love loss

Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo is continuing his celibacy even though he has met his self-declared deadline of two years.

“It’s been two and a-half years now, actually,” Mr. Cuomo tells Blender magazine in its latest issue. “The vow is over, but I wanted to keep cruising.”

Even though he’s in a rock band — where celibacy is a notoriously difficult vow to maintain — Mr. Cuomo says he has managed the task with ease.

“Abstinence doesn’t require as much self-discipline anymore,” he says. “We never had any serious groupies, anyway.”

London calling

Woody Allen says he loves London’s famously dreary weather and its residents’ ever-expressive slang.

“I let the cast improvise a lot, especially with the slang, where they would say ‘g and t’ for gin and tonic. I wouldn’t say that,” Mr. Allen said at the British premiere of his new movie, “Match Point.” “I would say ‘dicey’ when they would say ‘dodgy.’ I learned a lot.”

“Match Point” charts the fortunes of an Irish tennis pro, played by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, in the company of an upper-crust English family.

“The weather was absolutely superb for photography,” Mr. Allen said, according to Associated Press. “Gray skies photograph beautifully; the light it casts is very soft.

“Filming in New York can be so hot in the summer, but here it was perfect for my melancholy spirit.”

Marketing ‘Munich’

Steven Spielberg hired one of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s key aides to tout “Munich” in Israel, the BBC reports.

The film, about the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad’s retaliatory response to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games, opens in the District Friday and in Israel next month.

According to the BBC, the Sharon aide, Eyal Arad, arranged an advance screening in Tel Aviv for the widows of the murdered athletes.

“We are talking about a film that has generated a lot of interest,” he said. “Naturally, that sort of interest can entail some negative reactions as well as positive reactions.”

“Munich,” which stars Eric Bana, has stirred controversy among former Israeli intelligence officers. Avi Dichter, a retired head of the Shin Bet intelligence service, said, “There is no comparison between what you see in the movie and how it works in reality.”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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