- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Pitt’s plights

Brad Pitt, 41, took on poverty and AIDS in Africa — and, inevitably, the tabloids — in an hourlong interview last night on ABC’s “Primetime Live.”

“I can’t get out of the press. These people can’t get in the press. So let’s redirect the attention a little bit,” Mr. Pitt told Diane Sawyer in reference to the humanitarian crisis in Africa.

“We have the potential to end poverty [in Africa] in our time. I mean, what is more exciting than that? The potential’s there. We gotta go for it.”

Mr. Pitt separated from Jennifer Aniston in January after 4 years of marriage. Miss Aniston, 36, filed for divorce in March, citing irreconcilable differences.

For the umpteenth time, Mr. Pitt denied rumors that it was Miss Aniston’s refusal to have children that ended the marriage.

“Most of these stories, you get probably 2 percent real fruit juice, and the rest is just garbage with no nutritional value,” he said.

Elvis idols

The Las Vegas museum Elvis-A-Rama has announced a worldwide casting call for Elvis Presley impersonators, according to Agence France-Presse.

The museum will hold a casting call in the desert gambling and entertainment mecca on Aug. 8 and 9 and followed by a series of elimination-round events on four continents in a bid to find the ultimate Elvis tribute artist.

The results will be captured for (what else?) a reality TV show that will crown the top impersonator, who will be rewarded with a lucrative recording contract and a chance to record one of the late superstar’s hits.

“We know there is a lot of young talent out there, and we would like to give them the opportunity to shine, like Elvis did,” Elvis-A-Rama founder Chris Davidson told AFP.

Gang-busters

The Brit-rock buddy band the Jones Gang — featuring Kenney Jones (Faces, the Who), Rick Wills (Foreigner) and Robert Hart (Bad Company) — might have discovered a new way to find a captive audience.

Advertise on airplanes — inside and out.

To promote its debut album, “Any Day Now,” due out next month, the Jones Gang struck a deal that will see its album cover (a hand-drawn portrait of the band done by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood) emblazoned on the fleet of USA 3000 Airlines. The album also will be part of the airline’s in-flight music programming this summer.

Cruise controls

He isn’t the star of the movie. He isn’t even in the movie. But Tom Cruise was the main attraction at Monday night’s Hollywood premiere of “Batman Begins.”

Mr. Cruise arrived with his girlfriend, Katie Holmes (who actually is in the movie), and immediately, the paparazzi pounced, according to Associated Press.

When asked to confirm reports of their plans to marry, Miss Holmes said: “Well, you know, we have to talk about that, together, first. But thank you.”

Get real

You know you’re wondering: What does Nicole Kidman think of Mr. Cruise’s recent exploits?

The ex-Mrs. Cruise had this to say in the July issue of Vanity Fair, referring to high-profile photo ops: “In terms of your life, if you start to exploit it, then what’s real, and what’s not? What’s yours, and what isn’t?”

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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