“NEED. GOODWILL. Adaptability. Commitment.”
Those are the four vital qualities that Hollywood appreciates in Tom Cruise. And that’s why, at 49, the actor has four big studio films arriving over the next 18 months, including his latest “Mission: Impossible” and the musical, “Rock of Ages.” (He’s also in talks with Warner Brothers for a sci-fi flick, “We Are Mortals.”)
The Hollywood Reporter declares that Cruise “still matters” to the industry. You bet he does! Even those of his films that are considered “minor,” like “Knight and Day,” turn out with a $200 million worldwide gross.
He is considered “flexible” in his negotiations, realistic (he took only $5 million for “Rock of Ages”), is still a charmer, personally, and as THR points out: “Cruise has always understood what a movie star is and how he is supposed to play that role … he is a constant, enthusiastic campaigner for his own stardom.”
Oh, and before you say, “How egocentric and unattractive that sounds!” let me assure you, that was as good a description of … Katharine Hepburn as I’ve ever read. Of all the great, long-lasting ones. What — you think it’s an accident that careers go on and on? Elizabeth Taylor might have had an inherent, inborn sense of drama, but she also knew how to keep herself in the public eye, make smart deals, and remain “Elizabeth Taylor” for as long as she could.
And macho John Wayne loved being a star, and he knew how to remain a star. It’s hard work, for the star and for those who work behind the scenes, burnishing the image.
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SHIRLEY MACLAINE (speaking of somebody who knows how to stretch out a career) will be the 40th recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award. A gala event in June, at the Beverly Hilton in Hollywood, will fete this Oscar-winning actress, bestselling author, perennial free spirit and a woman who is sure her past lives were just as interesting as the current one.
In accepting her AFI honor, Miss MacLaine joins the likes of Fred Astaire, Bette Davis, Billy Wilder, Lillian Gish, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro, Elizabeth Taylor, Alfred Hitchcock, Mike Nichols, Barbara Stanwyck and Shirley’s very own baby brother, Warren Beatty.
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I am all for the Wall Street — and other similarly-named protestors — who are complaining about the entitled 99% and the rest of us 1%-ers!
But they desperately need a leader, a theme that is exact, and some kind of forward-thinking statement about what they are hoping to accomplish.
And, I am wondering where they are going to gather when the November weather turns into — well, yes, November weather?
I did get a kick out of Glenn Beck saying such protestors would come and drag him and his betters out in the street and kill them! (I guess he was thinking of the French revolution, but even totally disaffected and disillusioned Americans haven’t quite perfected the guillotine yet. And we are mostly still law-abiding.)
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Loved loved loved my pal Linda Stasi and her review of “The Rosie Show.” If you’re not reading the New York Post, here’s Linda, who welcomed Rosie back on the air and spoke frankly. Linda reminded us of how Rosie more or less was hoist by her own petard in the past: “It didn’t even matter that Rosie O’Donnell, once TV’s reigning Queen of Nice, had publicly morphed into the Queen of Seriously Nasty and probably should have been fitted for a plus-size straight-jacket at her wildest.”
Linda went on to say: “But I, for one, am tired of the same middle-aged smug men and 30-something skinny women who think that saying four-letter words means they’re hilarious, dominating talk shows. When Rosie’s on, she actually is hilarious. Welcome back.”
The interview that “Nightline’s” Cynthia McFadden did with Rosie just before the new show bowed took things even further. The network anchor wanted to know if Oprah had come to see Rosie to check on the “crazy” factor. Rosie said she guessed so and that she had passed the test. She even evidenced love for Barbara Walters after she screwed up the latter’s property “The View.”
Rosie is unpredictable and all too human. She’s a star who had twinkled, gone out and been relit by the passage of years. Very talented and smart on her feet. I loved “The Rosie Show.”
I would never have personally selected the British weirdo Russell Brand as my one and only opening guest. But even he redeemed himself on this outing by offering roundabout humane philosophies that sound right in the end and showing himself to be a mensch and human being working with older women recovering from addictions.
I see, once again, we have to trust Rosie O’Donnell to do the right thing! She is all too human and riveting not to go along with.