Friday, September 29, 2006

Fatty McFat Fat

Eat, Drink, And Be Merry — Until The Weigh-In
Six-part dramedy, Fat Friends, takes on our obsession with weight loss

On any given day in America, 25% of all men and 45% of all women are on a diet* — so how come we all still feel so fat? BBC America’s new six-part dramedy, Fat Friends, explores today’s obsession with weight loss and all the pain, humor and neuroses that go along with it. Fat Friends focuses on a group of people who meet every week at a diet club, but learn that there is more to life than calories, pounds, and food points.

Fat Friends premieres Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 10 p.m. ET/ 11 p.m. PT.

Who’s who:

Betty (Alison Steadman, Secrets & Lies) is so dedicated to her new lifestyle, that she’s become a finalist for Superslimmer of the Year. She’s excited to see the weight come off and would love some recognition for all her hard work, but her husband begins to feel vulnerable and insecure as his wife’s shape changes.

Betty’s daughter, Kelly (Ruth Jones, Little Britain, Saxondale), is perfectly happy the way she is, but she’s pressured into joining Superslimmers in order to fit into her wedding dress. When she couldn’t find one that fit at the shop, she bought one two sizes too small — with the wedding only six weeks away.

Bus driver Alan (Richard Ridings, The Pianist, Macbeth) has been going to Superslimmers to try and please his wife Liz, who’s constantly nagging him to lose weight. Liz has also had an effect on their daughter Beverly, a rake-thin teenager who eats only yogurt and salad.

Lauren (Gaynor Faye, Coronation Street) fears that her body is getting in the way of her acting career, and she’s starting to fixate on her rear end. She hates to miss her mother’s delicious, multi-course Sabbath dinner, but Her physical trainer boyfriend thinks the treadmill is the answer, but can she ever be thin enough?

High school student Jamie (James Corden, The History Boys) used to be popular with the girls at school, but recently his weight has spiraled out of control and he’s become a target for bullies.

Val (Kathryn Hunt, Reckless) ended an affair with her boss three years ago. Since then, she’s been subconsciously eating and drinking herself out of the rat race and making herself less attractive to the opposite sex. It’s time she reclaimed her body and sex life, but is Superslimmers the way?

Throughout the six episodes there are highs and lows, and not just on the scale. And, the Fat Friends’ wedding finale features a shocking twist for all, especially Betty.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A birth, a death and now a wedding. Star Magazine is reporting that Anna Nicole Smith and her long-time attorney Howard K. Stern (who says he is the father of Anna Nicole's new baby Danilynne) married this morning in the Bahamas. Smith reportedly wore a pink bikini and later changed to a one-piece.

Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection

Seven Hilarious, Unforgettable Classics From The Father of Screwball Comedy
Featuring Four Films Never Before Available on DVD
Arrives November 21, 2006 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment

BeansTalk note: Back in 1981, we were blithely attending USC film school. We went to school with a ton of people who are very successful. Unfortunately, we’re not really one of them. Reminiscences aside, one of the most memorable papers we had to write was on the great Preston Sturges. Everyone else was writing about Alfred Hitchcock. Not that we don’t love the original one-and-only Hitch, but at that time it seemed sort of obvious to write about him. Sturges’ “Lady Eve” remains one of our all-time favorite films. Sturges had a tragic life as we recall, but he would’ve been thrilled that at least three of his films are considered all-time classics.

Anyway, the reason for this entry is because Universal is releasing four of his films on DVD. So there you go.

For the first time ever, seven of the best films created by one of Hollywood’s first auteur directors are available together in Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection, coming to DVD on November 21, 2006 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Preston Sturges’ unique, witty and timeless comedies combine razor-sharp dialogue with laugh-out-loud slapstick to create fast-paced romps that remain as fresh and funny as the day they were first released. Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection captures the comic genius of a pioneering filmmaker with three of Sturges’ best known, most loved madcap comedies, along with four films never before available on DVD. The films boast a pantheon of Hollywood legends including Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck, Veronica Lake, Joel McCrea and Eddie Bracken as well as an ensemble of Hollywood’s best supporting players to create an unforgettable gallery of American rogues and heroes - often in the same character.

Sturges’ meteoric
Hollywood career was fueled by an infinite talent for wordplay, an exuberantly irreverent sense of humor and remarkable insight into the human condition. Romantic without being sentimental, satirical but sympathetic, unpredictable and always entertaining, Sturges’ films sparkle with droll one-liners and clever double entendres characteristic of the Academy Award* winner’s unique filmmaking style. Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection includes his directorial debut The Great McGinty, with which Sturges made Hollywood history by becoming the first writer to direct his own script and winning the first Academy Award given for Best Original Screenplay.

Also included are cinematic gems Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, The Lady Eve, (all of which are on the American Film Institute’s list of Top 100 Comedies Of All Time), Christmas in July, The Great Moment and Hail the Conquering Hero. Perfectly timed for holiday gift giving, Preston Sturges: The Filmmaker Collection will sustain the laughter through every season of the year. The special, seven-disc collector’ s set is priced at $59.98 SRP. Preorder close is
October 17, 2006.

The Great McGinty *
A hilarious political satire, The Great McGinty offers an unforgettable Brian Donleavy as Dan McGinty, a Depression era hobo who sells his vote to a crooked politician - 37 times in the same election. Impressed by McGinty’ resourcefulness, the politico engineers his rise from poverty to power, where he unexpectedly discovers a conscience.

Christmas in July *
Christmas in July cemented Sturges’ reputation as the master of screwball comedy with an exuberant romance about a naïve clerk who is tricked into thinking he’s won a $25,000 prize. Dick Powell stars as the go-getting guy who takes his sweetheart on an extravagant Christmas shopping trip a few months early, only to see his spending spree turn slapstick when he learns it is all a practical joke.

The Lady Eve

Hollywood icons Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda team up for one of the frothiest, funniest romances to come out of the Golden Age of Hollywood. In a script bristling with rapid-fire dialogue and Sturges’ razor-edged wit, female card shark Eve (Stanwyck) attempts to take a shy millionaire (Fonda) for an expensive ride during a transatlantic crossing. A full house of famous character actors rounds out the crew of this naughty nautical love story, as Eve realizes that her mark may just be the man of her dreams.

Sullivan's Travels
Universally acknowledged as Sturges’ masterpiece, Sullivan’s Travels is both a satire of the movie industry and an odyssey through
America from the bottom up. Joel McCrea stars as Sullivan, the successful director of frivolous Hollywood comedies who disguises himself as a bum to get a first hand look at the struggles of everyday citizens, and Veronica Lake as the small-time actress who falls in love with him. A poignant and funny cross-country journey teaches Sullivan that, in hard times, making people laugh may be the most meaningful thing one can do.

The Palm Beach Story
One of Sturges’ diamond-bright, zany comedies, The Palm Beach Story takes an unhappy young wife (Claudette Colbert) on a train trip to
Florida for quickie divorce from her failed inventor husband (Joel McCrea). When she falls in with a group of rambunctious millionaires, an adorably eccentric mogul (Rudy Vallee) takes a shine to her and won’ t take no for an answer. Her husband, who follows her to Palm Beach to win her back, catches the eye of the mogul’s man-crazy sister (Mary Astor) and the laughs come fast and furious with hilariously pointed one-liners and brilliant comic performances.

The Great Moment *
Sturges takes an unusual serious turn with the story of Dr. William Morton (Joel McCrea), who pioneered the use of ether in 1846. He laces the tale of this unsung medical hero with characteristic humor and insight, as Morton forgoes personal gain to share the first known anesthesia with the rest of the medical community

Hail the Conquering Hero *
Woodrow Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Eddie Bracken) is anxious to serve his country when World War II begins, but his chronic hay fever leads to his humiliating early discharge. Rather than return in disgrace, Woodrow enlists the aid of his military pals to impress his family and girlfriend (Ella Raines). He returns home to find his grossly exaggerated exploits have made him a hometown hero in a cockeyed comic tale of patriotism and pride.

* Never before available on DVD.

Street Date: November 21, 2006
Pre-Order Close: October 17, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Price: $59.98 SRP
Selection Number: 31126
Running Time: Disc 1: 1 Hour, 22 Minutes; Disc 2: 1 Hour, 8 Minutes; Disc 3: 1 Hour, 35 Minutes; Disc 4: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes; Disc 5: 1 Hour, 28 Minutes; Disc 6: 1 Hour, 21 Minutes; Disc 7: 1 Hour, 41 Minutes
Layers: DVD-5 (Single Sided)
Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1)
Rating: NR
Technical Info: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hello Lover.

With all due respect to Carrie Bradshaw and the Christian Louboutin pink marabou slippers she sighed at famously in Sex and the City, BeansTalk breathlessly uttered these words when we met “Olivia.” (above) Olivia and others were launched in the summer of 2006 as part of the new Dikuza line of elegant occasion footwear.

Designer Sandi Cheung of Los Angeles has created a line of bridal and party shoes and incorporates Swarovski Crystals studded on an array of strappy sandals -- the artistic signature of the Dikuza bridal line . Cheung’s added these little jewels to the steel heels which are touted for their strength and durability.

“Design icons like Roger Vivier acknowledge the heel’s role as an element of great beauty and architecture in the overall form of the shoe. The way I handcraft my unusually-shaped heels with Swarovski crystals distinguishes Dikuza’s style and quality from other brands specializing in party and bridal shoes,” Cheung tells BeansTalk.

As BeansTalk has been hitched for longer than we can remember, we were drawn to the party-wear collection from this line. The party line features durable stainless-steel heels, shimmering satins and floral fabrics, and colored beads and sequins.

Although the hues and styles of these sandals could be matched to any evening attire, we have express permission from the designer to wear any of these colorful sandals with jeans. Cheung says wearing a “big event” shoe like “Kei”, pictured, with casual attire, “can make a woman feel powerful, sexy, and feminine.” We sure would.

Kei (retail: $100.00)
Features 4” satin-wrapped heel; satin silver and green base sole;
matching color embroideries, beads, sequins, stones & white crystal
rhinestones on upper.

Olivia (retail: $135.00)
Features 3.25” stainless steel diamante heel; sole has satin silver &
light brown floral fabric; matching embroideries, sequins, beads & one
white crystal rhinestone on upper.

Dikuza shoes ranging in price from $100.00 to $350.00 are available online at and at Style Beverly Hills (310) 274.9391

-- Andrea Goodwin, BeansTalk Associate Editor

Bag It!

Imagine our utter delight when this arrived on our doorstep, on Scott Baio's birthday! We love love love it and are carrying it around. It's very stylish and comes in red, white, black and the one we got, silver. The color is great and very versatile. Initially we were thinking we wanted leather, but this one rocks. It's absolutely perfect and despite my first-moment glimpse, doesn't look like a diaper bag! It's one of our favorite gifts.

Check out this bag and more at Bisadora (

Bisadora Nylon Messenger Bag

A user-friendly briefcase with cutting edge style for either a business or casual look. It's designed for easy access into the main compartment. The adjustable strap is generously padded for comfort. This bag is ideal for students and adults with busy lifestyles.
  • Durable high sheen nylon
  • Ergonomic hands-free 28” padded adjustable strap; designed to be worn across the chest
  • Maximum strap drop is 23”
  • Top zip entry to the main compartment
  • Full front flap has a hidden magnetic closure
  • Under the front flap is a clear ID window, two pen sleeves, zipper pocket, and a large slide pocket with magnetic closure
  • Cell phone holder with velcro closure on strap for quick accessibility
  • Exterior mesh water bottle pocket on the side
  • Rip-stop nylon lining
  • Key leash
  • Polished hardware
  • Patented for its unique design
  • 14.5” x 13” x 5”

  • Price: $49.00
    Kutcher in Vacca

    Ashton Kutcher, voice of Elliott, with wife Demi Moore (C), and her daughter Tallulah Belle pose at the 'Open Season' premiere at the Greek theatre in Los Angeles September 25, 2006. Kutcher wore a jacket by Domenico Vacca, wore a light blue herringbone with orange windowpane patterned jacket of 100% cashmere. [BeansTalk note: The jacket is handsome, but as Kutcher has put together this ensemble, he looks like a total goofball. Check out the little hand action in the "family" shot. We're just saying.] REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)

    HGTV's 24-Hour Makeover

    What A Difference A Day Makes For
    Top-To-Bottom Room Makeovers In 24 Hour Design

    Viewers who want to transform an entire room and perform a complete room makeover from top to bottom will now find that it’s all in one day’s work. Designer/host Angelo Surmelis and his team, including carpenter Christopher Ashe and assistant Wanda Colon, will offer tons of time-saving ideas, affordable tips and creative solutions to typical design dilemmas in 24 Hour Design, HGTV’s new weekly series premiering on Friday, October 6, 2006 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

    24 Hour Design series highlights the strengths of Surmelis, a talented designer who is something of a “house whisperer,” with his intuitive sense of what homeowners want and his uncanny ability to enter any room and instantly recognize how to transform it in a timely, yet imaginative, way.

    The series is less about beating the clock and more about what Surmelis calls “Time Savers.” These include a variety of painting shortcuts that maximize the available time and money. In addition, the team keeps costs down by using such tools as pre-pasted wallpaper, which takes half the time and endures just as well or by choosing the less labor-intensive stick-on lighting rather than taking time to install recessed lighting. The show also highlights the many benefits of personalization. Rather than constructing custom-made furniture and accessories, the team finds already-made items and then tricks them out. For example, they add new molding to an armoire or bookcase or modify already-made slipcovers and curtains by adding trim and contrasting fabric accents.

    In each episode Surmelis consults with the show’s featured homeowners and sends them out shopping with $100 and ideas on how to spend the money wisely. In the meantime, he and his crew get to work decluttering, painting, designing and reconstructing the room. Specific projects and creative ideas devised and executed by Surmelis and his team in the series include: the creation of a unique baby changing table that can be used as a regular piece of furniture when the baby grows up; a functional shelf that also serves as a decorative sculpture; a hanging Chinese cabinet that is transformed into a mobile mini-bar cart; and a modern-day shoji screen that is converted into an elegant room divider.

    Each week, homeowners are amazed by Surmelis’s knack for giving them the design features they didn’t even realize they wanted -- and he does it all in 24 hours. What a difference a day makes.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Before we entertain you with the release that accompanies the above photo, let me tell you that we have actually interviewed a Corey. In this case, Feldman. And you know what? He was perfectly nice. At least for the 45 mins. we talked to him.

    The Coreys Are Back!

    A&E Greenlights Two New Original Real-Life Series

    The Coreys: Return of The Lost Boys (Working Title) Explores The Lives Of Best Friends And Co-Stars Corey Haim And Corey Feldman

    'Paranormal U' (Working Title) Chronicles The Exploits Of Penn State Universities Student Run Paranormal Research Society

    New York, NY - September 26, 2006 - A&E Network has greenlit two new original series in the Real-Life franchise The Coreys: Return of The Lost Boys (working title) and Paranormal U (working title), it was announced today by Bob DeBitetto, Executive Vice President and General Manager, A&E Network.

    The Coreys: Return of The Lost Boys and 'Paranormal U are perfect complements to A&E's successful Real-Life series, looking at compelling characters and delving into their lives with unwavering candor and great storytelling," said DeBitetto.

    The Coreys: Return of The Lost Boyswill be an eight episode, half-hour Real-Life series charting the ups and downs of this extraordinary friendship of child stars and best friends, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman.

    Corey Haim and Corey Feldman have one of the most unique friendships in Hollywood history. They grew up together both on and off screen, starring in a string of hit films including "The Lost Boys," "Dream a Little Dream," "Blown Away" and "License to Drive." Between them, they have seen the world, dated scores of starlets, and each have made and lost tremendous fortunes. They have each seen the very highest of highs and the very lowest of lows.

    Now, it's 20 years later. After years of living the life of a crazy bachelor, Corey Feldman has got his life on track, married the love of his life, Susie, and settled down. They lead a peaceful zen-like existence in a picture perfect white picket fence community. This suburban domesticity is shattered when due to extenuating circumstances, Corey Haim moves in with them. It doesn't take long for Susie and Corey to learn that two is company and three is definitely a crowd.

    The Coreys: Return of The Lost Boys is produced by RDF USA ("Wife Swap") for A&E. Greg Goldman, Scott Carlson, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman will serve as executive producers. Nancy Dubuc and Robert Sharenow are the executive producers for A&E.

    Paranormal U will be a thirteen episode, half-hour series chronicling the extraordinary life of Penn State University college student Ryan Buell and other members of one of the first university sanctioned Paranormal Research Societies (PRS) as they seek to find the truth behind terrifying real life mysteries. In some ways, the members of PRS are your basic college kids - dealing with the problems of school, dating, and finding their way in the world. The difference is that these students are drawn to examining "other" worlds as well -- working on cases that include poltergeists, hauntings and the darkest areas of the unknown. Each week, they are contacted for help by outside parties ranging from The Catholic Church to ordinary families who are terrified by unusual events in their homes.

    Julie Andrews Honored: 2006 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award

    43rd Annual Accolade to be Presented During the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Simulcast on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007

    The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) announced that Julie Andrews, who for more than a half-century has been a beloved and much-honored stage, film, television and recording star, as well as a celebrated author and dedicated goodwill ambassador, will receive the Guild’s most prestigious tribute—the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. Andrews will be presented the Award, given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” at the 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, which premieres live on TNT and TBS Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT and 6 p.m. MT.

    In making today’s announcement, Screen Actors Guild President Alan Rosenberg said, “Julie Andrews is a woman of great generosity, creativity, courage, elegance and wit. She embodies and transcends the memorable roles she has created. Julie has been a positive presence in my life and continues to inspire multiple generations. I believe it is exceptionally significant to be recognized by people who do the same work you do. Julie seems genuinely touched and thrilled to be receiving an award from her fellow actors. I have assured her the honor is ours.“

    Julie Andrews was already a Broadway legend when she made her feature film debut in 1964’s “Mary Poppins.” Her iconic performance in the title role of the magical nanny brought her an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe® and a BAFTA Award. The following year, she earned a second Oscar® nomination and won another Golden Globe® for her unforgettable portrayal of Maria Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.” She received her third Academy Award® nomination and won another Golden Globe® for her “dual” role in 1982’s “Victor/Victoria.”

    Today’s young film audiences may be more familiar with Andrews as a queen trying to train her teenaged granddaughter to be a princess in “The Princess Diaries,” and its sequel, “The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement.” Andrews also voiced the character of Queen Lillian in the summer 2004 blockbuster hit “Shrek 2,” and she is currently reprising her role in “Shrek 3,” due out in the summer of 2007.

    Andrews’ other motion picture credits include “The Americanization of Emily,” “Hawaii,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Star!” “Darling Lili,” “Torn Curtain” and “10,” to name only a few.

    Julie was born and raised in England, where she first came to fame as a young musical performer on stage and on radio. She was still in her teens when she made her way across the Atlantic and to Broadway, where she made her debut in 1953 in the musical “The Boy Friend.” She went on to create the role of Eliza Doolittle in Lerner and Loewe’s Broadway musical “My Fair Lady” in 1956, which became an instant classic and the longest-running musical of its day. Andrews won a New York Drama Critics Award and garnered a Tony nomination for her performance. She received another Tony nomination in 1961 when she originated the role of Queen Guinevere in the Lerner and Loewe musical “Camelot.” Thirty-five years later, Ms. Andrews returned to Broadway to star in the 1996 stage adaptation of “Victor/Victoria.” Her career came full circle last year when she directed a revival of “The Boy Friend,” which toured throughout North America.

    Andrews has also been honored for her work on television, beginning in 1957 with her Emmy®-nominated performance in the title role of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “Cinderella.” She later won an Emmy® for her own musical variety series, “The Julie Andrews Hour,” and also earned Emmy® nominations for “Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center,” with her close friend Carol Burnett; her appearance on “The Andy Williams Show”; and her performance in the special “Sounds of Christmas.” Andrews’ more recent television work includes “Eloise at the Plaza” and her Emmy®-nominated performance in “Eloise at Christmastime.” She also re-teamed for the third time with James Garner in the telefilm “One Special Night, starred opposite Christopher Plummer in the CBS live production of “On Golden Pond” and hosted the Emmy®-winning PBS series: “Broadway: The American Musical.”

    Already an accomplished best selling author (“The Last of The Really Great Whangdoodles,” “Mandy,” “Little Bo,” “Dumpy the Dump Truck”), Andrews has joined talents with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, to pursue the publishing of books committed to stimulating a sense of wonder in children and young readers. The Julie Andrews Collection, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, was launched in October 2003 and has released 22 books to date. The Collection includes newly discovered authors and re-purposing books out of print. The “Dumpy the Dump Truck” franchise is currently being readied (with the Sesame Workshop) as a television series for PBS, with an initial launch in 2007. Andrews and Hamilton’s most recent novel, “The Great American Mousical,” was released earlier this year to superb reviews and within one week became #7 on the New York Times bestseller list for children’s books. This whimsical tribute to Broadway is serving as inspiration for a newly built revival of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade of the Parade’s historic “Storybook” float, which will carry Andrews and Hamilton in this year’s 80th Annual parade on Nov. 23.

    Andrews received her honors as a Dame of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on New Year’s Eve 1999 for Lifetime Achievements in the Arts and Humanities. For her exemplary achievements in the performing arts and American culture, she was named a 2001 Kennedy Center Honoree.

    As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) for 15 years, Andrews traveled as an advocate for women’s human rights and economic security. With her husband, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Blake Edwards, she is a founding board member of Operation U.S.A., which has provided privately funded worldwide relief and development assistance since its inception in 1979.

    Andrews and Edwards, who have been married for nearly 37 years, have five children and seven grandchildren.

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    “Celebrity Duets:" Cheech Marin And Jai Rodriguez Eliminated

    Lucy Lawless, Alfonso Ribeiro and Hal Sparks to Perform on the Season Finale, Part 1 Thursday, September 28, Winner Announced on the Season Finale, Part 2 Friday, September 29, on Fox

    Cheech Marin and former fan-favorite Jai Rodriguez were eliminated Friday evening from Celebrity Duets on Fox. Marin and Rodriguez’s experience in the celebrity singing competition came to an end when host Wayne Brady announced that they had received the fewest viewer votes after Thursday’s performance show.

    Actress Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Battlestar Galactica”), actor/director Alfonso Ribeiro (“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “All of Us”) and actor/comedian Hal Sparks (“Queer as Folk”) remain in the competition and will perform on part 1 of the season finale Thursday, Sept. 28 (9 to 10 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed) on Fox.

    After the live performance episode, viewers will vote for their favorite celebrity singers, with the Celebrity Duets champion announced live on the one-hour season finale, part 2, Friday, Sept. 29 (9 to 10 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. The winning celebrity will emerge from the competition in perfect harmony, and a $100,000 cash prize will be donated to the charity of his or her choice. Wayne Brady is the host and David Foster, Marie Osmond and Little Richard are judges of Celebrity Duets.

    Electra Loves Dinnigan

    Carmen Electra poses for photographers as she arrives to US Weekly's Hot Hollywood: Fresh 15 event, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006 in Los Angeles. Electra was one of the magazine's picks for fifteen of Hollywood's hottest young stars. Electra wore a Collette Dinnigan dress, a cream romantic lace halter neck blouson dress. This is the fifth time this year she’s worn one of has walked the red carpet in one of Collette Dinnigan’s designs, to a red carpet event. (AP Photo/Rene Macura)
    Click the above image twice for full size





    Libretto & Direction by Julien Nitzberg / Music & Musical Direction by Roger Neill
    Casting Dir. Meredith Robinson / Co-Produced by Amit Itelman, Artistic Dir. of the Steve Allen Theater / Produced by Rorry Daniels

    Friday, September 22, 2006

    Did you know that it's also Bilbo's and Frodo's Birthdays? It is!!

    Happy Birthday Scott Baio!!!

    Happy Birthday, too, to the late Eric Von Stroheim, Joan Jett and Debby Boone (pictured here), and for their images to be left to your rembrances and memory: David Coverdale of WhiteSnake, Paul Le Mat of American Graffitii, Catherine Oxenberg of the reality show "I Married A Princess," Tom Felton (Malfoy in the Harry Potter films), "Cheaper by the Dozen" mom (but not a mom in real life), Bonnie Hunt, "Hey Mickey!" Toni Basil, skater Tai Babalonia, and finally, Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde (we love her sad song "Joey").

    Seeing Double

    Rachel Griffiths and Christina Applegate showed up at the same event in the same dress.

    (left) Rachel Griffiths arrives at the 13th Annual Premiere Women in Hollywood in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006. Griffiths is wearing Suzanne Felsen jewelry; 18K Yellow Beryl Briolette Earrings With Fringe visit (Fashion Wire Daily/Maria Ramirez) Actress Christina Applegate arrives for the Premiere Women in Hollywood dinner in Beverly Hills, California September 20, 2006. Applegate wore the same dress design as Australian actress Rachel Griffiths to the event. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

    ghd celebrates pink power in 2006

    This September, ghd kicks off its “power of pink” campaign with a limited-edition original ceramic styling iron in one of the season’s brightest colors -- sizzling hot-pink! – along with an exclusively-designed, super-stylish heat-resistant wrap.

    The strong hot-pink look has been introduced to complement the “power of pink” campaign designed to highlight the strength of women through a disease that touches all women, in some shape or form, and remove all preconceptions that breast cancer leaves women powerless.

    ghd has chosen Young Survival Coalition (YSC) as their charity of choice to align with due to the enormous amount of women under 40 who have been touched by breast cancer. Young Survival Coalition (YSC) ( is the only international non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the concerns and issues that are unique to young women and breast cancer. In support of , Young Survival Coalition (YSC), ghd is donating $15 per styling iron sold through the end of October, 2006. The pink iron retails for $215

    To further support its commitment to this cause, ghd will also launch its first-ever national “power of pink” day on October 14th, 2006 when salons and consumer alike will be urged to stand behind the “power of pink” and act with a social conscious towards the battle against breast cancer. ghd-approved salons across the nation will be hosting “power of pink” events, including parties, cut-a-thons, curl-a-thons, and more to support the YSC.

    For this year’s inaugural “power of pink” campaign, ghd has aligned with Leah Wood, musician/model and daughter of the legendary Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, and Kimberly Stewart, model and daughter of Rod Stewart, as its Rock Royalty spokeswomen. Both women are strong, beautiful, feminine and support all things girl-power, making them the perfect alliance for ghd’s “power of pink” effort.

    Leah Wood says: “I am very excited to be supporting ghd’s ‘power of pink’ campaign this year, and what a reason for doing it! I'm very proud to be involved and I urge women of all ages to support the charity by buying the gorgeous ghd iron, be breast aware and, most of all, be proud of what you are – a beautiful, strong woman.”

    ghd ceramic styling irons and hair beauty products are available through approved ghd salons nationwide. Call 877-ghd-angel (443-2643) or visit to locate your nearest ghd salon.

    Robbie Coltrane Returns in Cracker: A New Terror

    “Great characters never die… Robbie Coltrane returns to the role he made larger than life, in many ways.” New York Times

    The multi award-winning crime drama, Cracker, returns with a hard-hitting, topical storyline set in the post 9/11 world, starring Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter, GoldenEye, Ocean’s Twelve) as criminal psychologist Dr. Edward ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald. When an American is killed in a Manchester comedy club Fitz sets out on a murder investigation rooted in global terrorism, the conflict in Northern Ireland and one man’s inner demons. Cracker: A New Terror premieres Monday, October 30 at 9:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 p.m. PT.

    Fitz and his wife Judith (Barbara Flynn, The Forsyte Saga, Hornblower) return to the UK from Australia – where they have been living for the past 10 years – for their daughter’s wedding.

    That evening, as Fitz gets re-acquainted with family and the city of Manchester, elsewhere, Kenny (Anthony Flanagan, Shameless), a troubled ex-soldier turned cop, is hitting the bars on a destructive drinking spree. Tormented by his experiences as a British solder in Northern Ireland, Kenny is haunted by the ghosts of his comrades and feels their deaths are seen as insignificant since 9/11 and the War on Terror.

    Later that night he finds himself at a crowded comedy club where a young American is delivering a politically charged routine that finally makes Kenny snap. At the end of the act he follows the comic into a downstairs bathroom and clinically murders him.

    With police questioning and background checks on the audience at the club failing to produce any major leads, and with intense media scrutiny growing, the police are under increasing pressure to get results. Furthermore, it emerges the victim’s mother is associated with a highly connected American, Harry Peters (Demetri Goritsas, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) with the power to pull strings in high places.

    In a bid to turn the investigation around the police call on Fitz who leaps at the chance to prove he’s still got what it takes to get inside the mind of a killer. With his help, detectives deduce that there was another person in the bathroom who was certainly the last to see the victim alive.

    As Fitz begins work on the investigation, the stakes continue to rise as the killer strikes for a second time – this time the victim is Harry Peters. As Fitz builds a profile of the killer, he becomes increasingly suspicious of Kenny – a policeman in the very squad investigating the murder. In an emotionally powerful interrogation, Fitz uses his most provocative tactics to crack Kenny, forcing him to confront his inner demons, deep sense of loss for his buddies killed in action and simmering resentment towards the War on Terror for rendering the loss of life in Northern Ireland insignificant.

    Writer Jimmy McGovern says: “Robbie had always been keen to do another Cracker and I just needed to find a good story. Years of research in Northern Ireland for Sunday, made me think about things I had never thought of before. I was the child of an imperial power in a part of the world that had been devastated by that power. I realized that it’s easy to be Irish and patriotic – you’ve been suppressed by the British for years. But being British, how do you deal with being part of that oppression and colonialism.

    “When 9/11 happened, the American funding for the IRA dried up which meant that 30 years of war in Northern Ireland was suddenly forgotten. When the world’s attention moved from Northern Ireland to Afghanistan and Iraq, many of the British soldiers who died and fought in Northern Ireland wondered what they’d fought for.”

    Cracker: A New Terror also stars Richard Coyle (The Libertine, Coupling), Lisa Eichhorn (The Talented Mr. Ripley, King Of The Hill, Law & Order), Leo Gregory (Stoned), Kieran O’Brien (Band Of Brothers) and Nisha Nayar (In America, Doctor Who).

    A director’s cut of Cracker: A New Terror will premiere on BBC America On Demand on Monday, October 30 at midnight. It will be available on Comcast and Time Warner.

    For up-to-the-minute information on BBC AMERICA, forthcoming U.S. premieres, art work and news from the channel, log on to

    Cast And Production Credits

    Fitz Robbie Coltrane

    Kenny Archer Anthony Flanagan

    Katy Fitzgerald Stefanie Willmore

    Elaine Archer Andrea Lowe

    Judith Fitzgerald Barbara Flynn

    Detective Saffron Saleh Nisha Nayar

    Daniel Archer Joel Davies

    Amy Archer Charlotte Forsyth

    Jake Archer Nathan Tunnah

    Detective Walters Richard Coyle

    Detective McAllister Rafe Spall

    Mr. Thorpe Andrew Norris
    Jean Molloy Lisa Eichhorn

    Harry Peters Demetri Goritsas

    Writer Jimmy McGovern

    Director Antonia Bird

    Producer John Chapman

    Executive Producer Andy Harries

    Robbie Coltrane

    Robbie Coltrane is one of the UK’s leading stars of television, film and theater. Following five successful years in live theater, Robbie made an early impact on British television’s fast-developing alternative comedy scene of the early ’80s. His credits include 13 star appearances in the cult Comic Strip productions and he was awarded the Peter Sellers Award For Comedy at the 1991 Evening Standard British Film Awards for his contribution to film comedy and for Nuns On The Run.

    As a straight actor, Robbie earned his first BAFTA nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Danny McGlone in UK television’s Tutti Futti. Robbie’s towering performance in Cracker has helped earn the series numerous awards including two Bafta Best Drama Series Awards and a Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama. Robbie’s portrayal of Fitz has been recognized with three Bafta Awards for Best Television Actor in three consecutive years, a Silver Nymph Award for Best Actor from the 1994 Monte Carlo Television Festival, Best Television Actor at the 1993 Broadcasting Press Guilds Awards, Royal Television Society’s 1994 Award For Best Male Performer, Fipa’s Best Actor Award and A Cable Ace Award for Best Actor In A Movie or Mini-Series. His other television roles include appearances in The Planman and the final episode of Frazier.

    Robbie’s prolific career also spans some 44 films, including Nuns On The Run, Golden Eye, The World Is Not Enough, From Hell, Ocean’s 12 and Harry Potter.

    Jimmy Mcgovern

    Creator and writer of Cracker, Jimmy McGovern, is regarded as one of the most important TV and film writers to emerge from Britain in the past 20 years, and is known for creating challenging, thought-provoking and award-winning dramas.

    In addition to eleven episodes of the internationally-acclaimed and multi-award-winning Cracker, he has written feature films Liam and Priest, as well as The Street, Hillsborough and Sunday for television.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Right at this VERY Minute, Paris Hilton is at Hamburger Hamlet in Hollywood

    She's sitting -- if you're facing the bar, to the far right of the bar. She's with two skateboardery kind of guys and she looks very similarly to how she does in the above photo, like she's going to a photo shoot. She has that black band thingy in her hair. So there. Go get her! Ruff!

    Bindi Sue Irwin And Millions of Others Bid Steve Irwin Goodbye

    Her father loved animals. Steve Irwin loved them so much he named his first child, daughter Bindi, who was born in 1998, after his most beloved croc and his staffordshire mix dog (actual name Sui).

    And while Steve Irwin's shoes may be hard to fill, and expectations very high, Bindi, 8, demonstrated an amazing amount of confidence and poise as she delivered a speech celebrating her father at his memorial service at the family home/business, the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland.

    The memorial, held on 20 September 2006, may have been attended by 5500 people, but estimates put the viewing audience at 300 million, worldwide. The shouts of love and encouragement as Bindi took the stage might have intimiated the boldest of children, but this daughter of Irwin, took to the stage, prepared and smiling. When she finished, there was a nearly deafening roar and she instantly received a standing ovation.

    BeansTalk hears from a well-informed Australian journalist who knew Steve Irwin (our new friend Jenny Cooney Carrillo) that Bindi will go back to work in two weeks, to complete the series her father was working on when he died -- it was always planned for the two of them, and she will continue. Bindi and the Croc Men was just one of the shows in which she participated. At the Zoo, the daily storytime at 10 a.m. includes stories of Bindi's Animal Adventures.

    When BeansTalk first saw them, in person, it was at the Hollywood premiere and party for Steve and Terri's 2002 feature film, Crocodile Collision Course.

    Most exciting for BeansTalk was when the chairman of the board, not-quite-yet five-years-old got to stand next to Steve Irwin (in the men's loo at Hollywood's Cinerama Dome!) Bindi and her folks were riding high atop an elephant, not unlike the one she's patting in the photo above (that photo was taken during her dad's memorial, too).

    Hopefully, it will be Irwin's legacy of conservation and wildlife preservation that people will remember -- and continue.

    Steve Irwin may have two biological sisters, but it was Wes Mannion (see left with the Irwin family in a Crocodile Hunter/Australia Zoo gallery shot, and then, right at the memorial with Terri and Bindi) who was his little brother. Wes even resembles Steve, doesn't he?

    On Steve's website for Australia Zoo, he chronicled, in the "Good Old Days" pages, how Wes came to into his life when he was still a little boy. Wes spent his childhood and teenhood learning from Steve and Steve's dad Bob Irwin, who also considered Wes another son ("Dad and Mum loved Wes like my little brother and in no time at all, he was allowed to feed the freshies from the fence." was the caption accompanying a photo from the mid-1980s). Mannion has worked at the zoo his entire adult life.

    Steve Iwrin posted this caption for the above photo, on his Australia Zoo website: Easily the biggest jolt to the Zoo happened in the mid-80s when this young bloke rocked up with his Dad, desperate to work here. Enter young Wes Mannion. Wes has always been a very close friend of Harriet’s.

    Terri Irwin's obviously inconsolable grief at the memorial was all the more poignant because her brave poise it seemed to this viewer as obvious concern for the emotional state of Bindi and Bob as though Mummy wouldn't want them to see how profoundly upset she was -- provided some of the most powerful moments of the memorial service held 20 September 2006.

    Look at the touching way Bindi is holding and looking at her mother in the image, left. It's completely heartbreaking. Loss of a beloved is always a tragedy for the family and friends, but when it's someone like Steve Irwin, who impacted the world with his message of conservation and wildlife preservation, everyone grieves.

    (left) The outside of the Australia Zoo, the day after Steve Irwin's death. Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo began as a Beewah reptile road stop by Steve's father and mother.

    Steve Irwin and his enthusiasm and passion found nearly instant success on Animal Planet, and as the world discovered him, he suddenly became as equally popular in his native land. He used the money he made on the television series and specials to improve the zoo, and buy conservation land.

    The photo on the left is reminscent of the front of Buckingham Palace, covered in floral memorials, after Princess Diana died. When the memorial service was over and Steve's truck was driven off the zoo property, that indelible image reminded some of when Diana's hearse drove towards Althorp.

    Most Irwin memorial photos by photographer Steve Holland.

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006

    Look At Moie, Foxy!
    The Best Show You’re Not Watching

    We were so happy to stumble upon (thank you, DVR, our devoted boyfriend) the popular Australian comedy series “Kath & Kim.” The series, which ran for 24 episodes (and that translated into three seasons), featured a “capper” of a telefilm “Da Kath & Kim Code” in 2005. From 2002 to 2004, our research tells us that “Kath & Kim” was the absolute smash of Aussie TV.

    Websites, like the well put-together began popping up, and soon costume parties were full of folks dressing up like the mother/daughter duo, Kath & Kim. On their official website, they proudly put pics of look-a-like fans.

    The series is set in the suburbs of Melbourne and if you look, even closely, you might think you were somewhere in Orange County, in Southern California (the real O.C. not the one on television).

    In the first couple of episodes, audiences were introduced to Kath a 40-something suburbanite who wholly embraces her 1980s-era wardrobe (think: big shoulder-pads, high-waisted white pants and bright, bold floral patters).

    A single mom (husband Gary Poole of Gary's Pools ditched her at Kim’s birth), she and her daughter share a kind of close bitchiness that makes for plenty of laughs. For her part, Kath is upbeat and dedicated to fitness.

    Kim, on the other hand, is married to computer sales clerk Brett, and is blithely full of herself. Brett, she says was drawn (how could he not be?) to her “unnatural beauty.”

    It’s the sharp wit or writer/stars Gina Riley (Kim) and Jane Turner (Kath) and the infusion of the family’s perennial malapropisms that further storylines and always elicit a chuckle.

    Each week, Kath does this thing where she says to Kimmy, “Look at Moie! Look at Moie!” Granted, the Aussie accents are very thick and the humor is sometimes so regional, it floats above our tiny heads. Thankfully, there’s enough that we “get,” that we’re always happy when a new episode airs.

    The one thing that we SO don’t want to see is an American version. We guarantee you that it will not work.

    Brett’s long suffering is tolerable because despite the fact that few might blame him, he was unfaithful to Kim, who thinks she’s the hottest. The Yummy Mummy – speaking of that, Posh Spice (aka Victoria Beckham) was just named the Yummy Mummy of the year -- Kim says, looking at a photo of Posh, that she couldn’t tell if it was her or Posh, they look so much alike.

    Kim’s wardrobe is a weekly treat, too. While her mum is fixated on high-cut leotards over thick tights (as she aerobicizes, a real passion for her), and the rest of her big-buttoned, high- waisted style, Kim dresses as if she were a 13-year-old who leaves the house in one outfit and switches on the bus – and she’s always wearing the latter.

    Kim favors tops that are cropped just above her ample waist, and pants low enough for her butt crevice to peek out. She gives the muffin in muffin top.

    Meanwhile, Kel, Kath’s husband, her “hunk of spunk” as she’s so fond of calling him, is the local sausage king. He’s incredibly well intentioned, even though he always sports a greasy comb-over. Poor Kel! Prior to his marriage to his “foxy lady,” Kath, he was engaged and left at the altar four times – each time his affianced left him for his “best friend” Sandy Freckle! Kel confesses about his time in the navy, his love of Barbara Striesand and proudly carries “man bags.” Kath loves that he’s in touch with his feminine side.

    Sundance has just finished airing the U.S. premiere of Season 2 (but there are many opportunities to see the show still).

    Season 2 ended with Kim giving birth to her daughter, Epponnee Ray (the list of names that are suggested, as Kath, Kim, Sharon, ect. labor to find a proper name is hilarious; if we can find it, we’re printing them here).

    The photo on the right is from the first season, when Kath and Kel married. Kim, of course, was in the wedding party. You must see this episode, if only to see the back of Kim's dress and what happens to Kath and the horse-drawn carriage she worked so hard to hire for the service.

    Here’s how Sundance Channel describes Kath & Kim on their website:

    Suburbia, class and reality TV are among the targets served up for satirical laughs in Australia's most successful comedy series. The daily lives of Kath (Jane Turner), a fortysomething empty nester, and her spoiled daughter Kim (Gina Riley) are chronicled cinéma vérité-style by an unseen film crew. Joining them are Kath's randy new partner Kel (Glenn Robbins), a butcher who prefers to be called a "purveyor of fine meats" Brett (Peter Rowsthorn), Kim's long-suffering husband; and Sharon (Magda Szubanski), Kim's "second-best friend."

    Sundance Channel first airs Kath & Kim on Fridays at 9 p.m., but there are repeats throughout the week.