REEL DEALS In what Vanity Fair magazine calls ”a rare and unguarded moment,” an interviewer actually got Tom Cruise to gush over Penélope Cruz, his ”Vanilla Sky” costar and offscreen girlfriend. ”As a person and on film, she invites you in, and she’s incredibly romantic, and yet, real, you know?” he says in the latest issue. ”I thought, My God, I’m your boyfriend. You’re my girlfriend!…Cruise and Cruz!” The actor continued to refuse, however, to dish about his divorce from Nicole Kidman. ”She knows why and she is the mother of my children and I wish her well. I don’t care if it piques people’s interest. Honestly, people should mind their own damn business and get a life of their own…. My personal life isn’t here to sell newspapers.” How about magazines?
One of these days… Nathan Lane is going to star in a biopic about Jackie Gleason. Called ”To the Moon,” the story of the ”Honeymooners” star doesn’t have a date or a director yet, but it’ll be produced by Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella. ”Jackie Gleason has been a huge influence on me since I was a child,” Lane told Variety. ”The thing that gets to me about him is that despite the bravado of his public persona and the broad hilarity of some of his comedy, there remains a tremendous amount of sadness and vulnerability in his eyes. Hopefully we will explore that in the film.”…
The latest hip-hopper to hop to the big screen is Eve. She’ll be one of four stars of the comedy ”Barbershop,” which begins shooting Jan. 15. The rest of ”Barbershop”’s quartet is Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, and Anthony Anderson.
”Big Trouble,” the Tim Allen comedy initially slated for a September release that was one of the first movies postponed after the Sept. 11 attacks, finally has a new release date, April 5, 2002. Disney is apparently no longer squeamish about scenes involving a nuclear bomb smuggled aboard a jetliner. Still, it’s probably never going to be an in-flight movie.
SOUND BITES As the USO prepares to send stars overseas to boost military morale, it’s not all going to be old-school, Bob Hope-style entertainment. (Though Wayne Newton will headline a tour in February or March.) The organization is teaming up with MTV for a New Year’s Day concert, ”For the Troops: An MTV/USO Special,” which will star Jennifer Lopez, Kid Rock, and Ja Rule. The program will show the musicians visiting an unnamed military base abroad and chatting with the troops before they perform. There will also be interviews with young men and women in uniform about how their lives have changed in recent months.