Plus, Monica, Elizabeth Taylor, Drew Carey, John Cusack, Steven Spielberg, and more
LEGAL BRIEF Tommy Lee could be sent to jail again after allegedly breaking his probation by drinking alcohol, prosecutors announced yesterday. According to Reuters, the bad-boy rocker has been ordered to make a court appearance May 31 after he was reportedly seen drinking. Lee, who spent four months in jail in 1998 on a felony spousal abuse conviction (he kicked wife Pamela Anderson while she was holding their baby son), was also sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service. A condition of Lee’s probation was that he would refrain from using drugs and alcohol, so if the former Motley Crüe drummer did drink, he could be given an additional jail term. Lee and his legal representatives could not be reached for comment.
PRO-LIFE ‘N Sync and Monica have joined Wyclef Jean, Destiny’s Child, and Joey McIntyre as participants in the youth HIV prevention campaign sponsored by LIFEbeat, the music industry’s nonprofit AIDS awareness organization. Both ‘N Sync and Monica have taped public service announcements that will start airing this week on TV. LIFEbeat will premiere ‘N Sync’s PSA today on its website, where you can also find video clips of the boy band’s performance at the World AIDS Day concert last December.
AWARDS ALERT Elizabeth Taylor has not one but two honors waiting for her in her native England. First, Queen Elizabeth is to name her a Dame at Buckingham Palace, and then Britain’s Film Institute is to hold a special Diamond Tribute to the 67-year-old actress on May 24. The BFI gala will be an AIDS fund-raiser, Taylor’s most passionate cause. As part of an auction at the BFI affair, Taylor will donate two pieces from her famous diamond collection…. Drew Carey received an honorary doctorate Sunday from Cleveland State University. A Kent State dropout, the comedian told the Cleveland graduates that although he’s a millionaire, ”Things don’t make me nearly as happy as talking and having a beer with my friends. And that’s something everyone can do.” He thanked the University for the honor: ”I’ve always wanted to walk up to women and say, ‘Hey, baby, trust me. I’m a doctor.”’
CASTING The wait is over. Hayden Christensen (Fox Family’s ”Higher Ground”) has signed a deal to star in the next two ”Star Wars” prequels as Anakin Skywalker. Christensen, 19, is a Canadian-born teen actor who most recently appeared in Sofia Coppola’s directorial debut, ”The Virgin Suicides.” Possibly the luckiest young actor in Hollywood, Christensen beat out top contenders Ryan Phillippe, Paul Walker, and Colin Hanks (”Roswell”) for the role. ”Star Wars: Episode 2” starts production in Australia this June. The only downside to playing Anakin is that Christensen had to cancel a Movie of the Week opposite Aidan Quinn. Awwww…. Kate Beckinsale is in final talks to join John Cusack in the romantic comedy ”Serendipity” for Miramax. Peter Chelsom (”The Mighty”) will direct the project, which will shoot on location in New York and Toronto in July. ”Seredipity” follows two college students who meet and fall in love in one night but then don’t see each other until 10 years later when they’re each engaged to others…. Guy Pearce (”Rules of Engagement,”) will star opposite Jim Caviezel in ”The Count of Monte Cristo” for Disney Entertainment. Production starts in Ireland this July for the live-action film based on Alexandre Dumas’ classic novel. Kevin Reynolds (”Waterworld”) will direct.
TV WATCH Former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, who retired in March, will join HBO Sports as a commentator for ”Inside the NFL.” According to the Associated Press, HBO will announce the news at a press conference later today. Within a week of the 38-year-old’s farewell as Miami’s QB, Fox and ABC Sports had considered Marino as a possible on-camera analyst. It’s yet another example of cable besting the networks…. NBC has reportedly paid seven figures for the rights to the novel ”First to Die,” by James Patterson. The Peacock will turn ”Die” — the story of four female best friends who solve murder cases in San Francisco — into a miniseries, tying its May 2001 broadcast date to the novel’s release next April. Patterson is the author of the Alex Cross series, which led to the Morgan Freeman-Ashley Judd thriller ”Kiss the Girls,” and the upcoming sequel, ”Along Came a Spider.”
KID DIRECTORS Steven Spielberg is teaming with the Lego Company to create a digital moviemaking kit for kids. The kit, which would allow children to create and edit their own films, will be unveiled today as the Lego Studios Steven Spielberg MovieMaker. The MovieMaker set, which will retail for $179.99, includes a computer-compatible digital movie camera; Lego props, like buildings, houses, and cars; characters like firefighters, dinosaurs, and other animals; and Lego pieces that can be turned into a camera stand. All of Spielberg’s proceeds from the MovieMaker set will be donated to two of his favorite charities: the Starbright Foundation, which helps seriously ill children, and the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which he started to preserve testimonies of Holocaust survivors.