- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 23, 2006

Out of action

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio suffered a minor leg injury while filming in Mozambique, his publicist said Saturday.

The accident happened Friday on the set of “Blood Diamond,” Ken Sunshine said in a statement. He provided no details.

Mr. DiCaprio “received medical attention and was back at work” Saturday, Mr. Sunshine said.

As a precaution, he was flown to the Nelspruit Medi-Clinic in neighboring South Africa for X-rays, the Johannesburg-based newspaper the Citizen reported. He was accompanied by a medic and bodyguards, the paper said.

Hospital officials were not immediately available to comment.

“Blood Diamond,” a Warner Bros. Pictures action drama directed by Edward Zwick, went into production in South Africa and Mozambique in February.

Set against the backdrop of Sierra Leone’s bloody civil war, it tells the story of a South African mercenary, played by Mr. DiCaprio, and a local fisherman who join forces to recover a rare pink diamond.

The film also stars Academy Award-winner Jennifer Connelly as an American journalist and Djimon Hounsou as the Sierra Leonean fisherman.

Bare rights

Bill Paxton, who stars in the polygamy drama “Big Love,” says baring his bottom on the HBO show is a form of “equal opportunity with showing the skin.”

“For too long, women in film and TV have been expected to show all, while men are always covered up,” the 50-year-old actor tells People magazine in its May 1 issue.

Mr. Paxton plays Bill Henrickson, a Salt Lake City merchant who has three wives and seven children, on “Big Love,” which has been renewed for a second season.

“I’m not trying to burden the American public with my butt, but you’ve got to be equal opportunity with showing the skin,” he tells the magazine.

Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin and Harry Dean Stanton also star in the series.

Saving wildlife

Actress Bo Derek, who keeps Iberian horses and German shepherds at her home in California, is the government’s newest advocate for wilder sorts of animals.

At an Earth Day ceremony at the State Department on Friday, Miss Derek was named a special envoy on wildlife trafficking. The department’s new Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking is enlisting help from other countries to fight an estimated $10 billion annual black market in wildlife and wildlife parts, second only to trafficking arms and drugs.

“I’m very excited. I think I’ll learn as I go exactly what my role will be,” Miss Derek said. “We are at a critical time where we’re just about to lose control over our wildlife and their habitats. … But it’s not hopeless. And I think that’s what appeals to me also.”

Miss Derek, best known for the 1979 movie “10,” has escorted bachelor Joshua Bolten, the new White House chief of staff, to Washington social affairs. She campaigned for President Bush in 2000 and 2004 and attended both GOP conventions.

In 2002, she published her autobiography, “Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses.” She also speaks for the National Horse Protection Coalition, fighting slaughterhouses that kill horses for human consumption.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire and staff reports.

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