Entertainment news for the week of December 17, 1993
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Depp, and Robin Williams made headlines this week
A CLEAN BREAK: Most health clubs frown on one-day memberships, but when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver dropped in at the Bally’s Scandinavian in West Palm Beach, Fla., the club made an exception. Manager Sky Lawton says the couple, who were staying nearby for the Thanksgiving weekend, sweated through a complete weight-training circuit before doing leg lifts and abdominals. Schwarzenegger even imparted some advice. ”He told a member on the rowing machine that his lats [latissimi dorsi muscles] were well-developed, but he should try pulling from a different angle,” says Lawton. The management was also impressed with Ah-nuld’s gym etiquette. ”Every time he finished with a machine, he got a little paper towel and wiped off the equipment,” says Lawton. ”That’s rare.”
— Melina Gerosa
RED-CARPET TREATMENT: Is Johnny Depp becoming the Robert De Niro of his generation? For his latest role in Paramount’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, the actor — who plays the title character, a caretaker to his 600-pound mother, his two sisters, and his mentally retarded brother — underwent some impressive physical changes. Not only did he dye his naturally dark brown hair a shocking shade of orange, but he also had his teeth bondedso that he would have the perfect snaggle-toothed grin. ”He based the character on the brother of his childhood best friend, who had red hair,” says a Depp spokesman. ”He saw Gilbert as this guy who wouldn’t really care what he looked like.”
— Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
WHITE STUFF: The time — 6 p.m. The place — Rexall’s Square Drug inLos Angeles. The scenario — Wheel of Fortune‘s Vanna White, who has sold more than $20 million worth of Perfect Smile tooth whitener on an infomercial, walks in and proceeds directly to the dental-hygiene aisle. The letter turner then reads the ingredients listed on the back of the toothpaste boxes. So, which brand did Vanna buy? ”None,” says a clerk. Guess she was just brushing up on the competition.
IN THE NAME OF…OSCAR: What’s Bono‘s 1994 New Year’s resolution? To take the year off from music and study acting. So says the singer’s friend, director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot). ”We talk about scripts a lot,” says Sheridan, who would have cast the singer in his new film, In the Name of the Father, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, if U2 hadn’t been on tour. (Bono did write three songs for the soundtrack.) The director isn’t sure the singer will find what he’s looking for: ”I’ve told Bono that he’ll miss the applause, but he says he can live without the cheering. For a few months at least.”
— Cindy Pearlman
NO JOKER: It sounds as if Batman III has finally found its villain (#190, Oct. 1). Robin Williams has been telling reporters that he’s eager to play the Riddler in the planned 1995 sequel. ”I loved Batman when I was growing up because we didn’t have Barney then,” says Williams. ”I am just waiting to see the script, and if it’s right, then I’ll sign on.”
COS AND EFFECT: Bill Cosby made friends — and enemies — while filming one of his new mystery movies for NBC, at Manhattan’s Bromley apartment building last month. ”We couldn’t believe how rude he was,” says a doorman. Staffers concurred that Cosby refused to acknowledge their greetings — much less their presence — choosing only to deal with residents, some of whom were gallantly escorted out by the Cos himself between takes. ”He was very, very friendly,” says one resident. Bromley manager Jerry Peterson, however, recalls asking Cosby if he could take a photograph, but the star tersely replied, ”I’m studying.” Adds Peterson, ”He’s nothing like he seems on TV.” A Cosby spokesman denied the allegations.
— Meredith Berkman