- - Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lady Gaga weighs in on Winehouse death

There is a fine line between honoring the dead and using tragedy to draw attention to yourself. Has Lady Gaga crossed it?

All last week, the Grammy Award winner mourned publicly for fellow songstress Amy Winehouse, who was found dead in her London apartment July 23.

In a Rolling Stone interview, she spoke about the impact the “Rehab” singer’s death had on her.

“It really affected me quite deeply,” Lady Gaga said. “Isn’t it strange to say ‘She is,’ and now I have to say ‘She was?’ I’m just really glad that we got to admire her and tell her how much we loved her when she was alive. I hope she knows now in Heaven, where she is, how much we all loved her.”

Lady Gaga brought up Winehouse again Monday during a taping of “The View.”

“I’m just so devastated,” she said. “And so sad. I really couldn’t speak for 48 hours straight. I was in such shock.”

This isn’t the first time the “Monster” singer conveyed her sorrow at a fellow pop star’s untimely death. In a 2010 Larry King interview, she said it was difficult to talk about how she was going to open for Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour, because it was “personal,” and then went on to discuss it.

“Michael’s death was devastating for me regardless of whether or not I was supposed to go on tour with him,” she said.

In both instances, Gaga expressed sadness for losing a great source of inspiration. She also seemed to blame the media for the destruction of her colleagues.

Of Winehouse, she said, “She’s really special. She just gave me a lot of hope and she deserved a lot better than what people gave her. And I hope that the world learns a lesson from this. I really hope they do. Because it’s not her lesson to learn - it’s the world’s.”

Jenna Fischer film funny, in a ‘Juno’ kind of way

If you can find humor in a sea of tragedy, you can overcome just about anything. That’s what Jenna Fischer (“The Office”) does in “A Little Help,” a new “dramedy” about loss, single parenthood and what it means to be a family.

Although comedies such as “The Hangover” and “Hall Pass” can inspire knee-slapping laughter, “A Little Help” amuses because of its realness, said Austin Wintory, the film’s composer.

“The movie is actually kind of quite funny, but in a very real way,” Mr. Wintory told the Daily Caller. “It’s not like a comedy like ‘The Hangover,’ but it’s a comedy like ‘Juno’ or ‘Sideways’ where it creates these glimpses of real life that are funny because you watch it and feel like, ‘Oh God, I’ve been there,’ or ‘My family is like that.’ It’s funny but also poignant and touching.”

“A Little Help,” which opened in theaters July 22, is the story of a dental hygienist named Laura (Miss Fischer) and is set during the summer of 2002. Although she never gets drunk, Laura enjoys her alcohol, perhaps because it eases the pain of having a cheating husband and rude 12-year-old son, Dennis (Daniel Yelsky).

As if life isn’t enough of a struggle, Laura’s husband dies suddenly from a heart abnormality, leaving her to comfort their surly child. The plot is complicated when Dennis lies to classmates and says his father died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Laura lets it slide, but continues to strive for family normalcy and stability.

Regardless of the subject matter, “A Little Help” isn’t totally sad, Mr. Wintory says.

“It’s really not a full-on drama because it’s just kind of absurd, but in a very, very real way, not some kind of over-the-top way,” Mr. Wintory said.

Mr. Wintory coordinated the film’s score with Jakob Dylan, son of legendary singer Bob Dylan. Sony/Columbia released the soundtrack July 19; Mr. Wintory and singer Celeigh Chapman teamed up to write track six, “I’m Lucky.”

“I had fun writing kind of a weird little score and I got to write an original song, so I was very excited when [the movie] finally made its way into the world,” Mr. Wintory said.

Baldwin insults blog commenters

The Huffington Post has become a de facto blog haven for celebrities, but does that mean these famous folks can say whatever they want to about the site, its readers or the brand itself?

Veteran HuffPo blogger and “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin seems to think so.

Mr. Baldwin expressed dissatisfaction with reactions to his article on the debt deal on Sunday and tweeted, “The reading comprehension level of the HuffPo comments folks is alarmingly low. I mean, downright awful.”

A day earlier, a PETA representative tweeted a link to Mr. Baldwin’s HuffPost piece about the debt deal, “It’s Time To Suck It Up And Pay Our Bill.” Mr. Baldwin is a longtime PETA spokesman.

This was not the first time the “It’s Complicated” actor has blasted HuffPo on Twitter. Last month, the comedian published a similar tweet in the aftermath of what appeared to be a fairly negative response to one of his blog entries.

“A lot, a real lot, of sanctimonious d-bags on HuffPo,” Mr. Baldwin tweeted shortly after his article on Rep. Anthony Weiner’s Twitter photo scandal appeared.

“My thought on Weiner is that he is a very busy man,” Mr. Baldwin wrote. “Like most, although not all, politicians, he probably spends a great deal of time going to meetings, raising campaign funds and seizing upon every opportunity to remind people of how great he is as a public servant and a human being. It’s exhausting.”

Although HuffPo did not respond to requests for comment about its policy on bloggers and contributors publicly condemning the site in some fashion, PETA said it hoped Mr. Baldwin would not disparage the animal rights organization.

“Alec is a vehement opponent of cruelty to animals and known for speaking his mind, and pretty much everyone joins him in being concerned about the low standards of education and public discourse currently seen in this country - but I do hope he exempts my blog posts on the Huffington Post site from his criticism,” PETA founder and President Ingrid Newkirk told the Daily Caller.

Compiled by Laura Donovan and Nikki Grey 2011 the Daily Caller.

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