Metallica members kvetch in Playboy, Jermaine Dupri serves three days in jail, and more

By Sandra P. Angulo
March 06, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

PRE-OSCAR PRIZES ”Gladiator” and ”Traffic” each racked up one more prestigious award. On Saturday night, the Roman epic’s producers Douglas Wick and Branko Lustig won the Producers Guild of America’s highest honor: the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award. The ”Gladiator” duo beat the producers of ”Almost Famous,” ”Billy Elliot,” ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and ”Erin Brockovich” at the 12th annual Golden Laurel Awards in Los Angeles. The producing prize foreshadows a Best Picture win at the Oscars.

One day later, ”Traffic” picked up another pre- Oscar trophy: the Writers Guild award for best adapted screenplay. Stephen Gaghan won at the Sunday night ceremony for his adaptation of the British miniseries ”Traffik.” He bested the writers of ”Chocolat,” ”Crouching Tiger,” ”High Fidelity,” and ”Wonder Boys.”

In the best original screenplay category, Kenneth Lonergan won for the sibling drama ”You Can Count on Me.” The writer – director was up against Cameron Crowe (”Almost Famous”), Susannah Grant (”Erin Brockovich”), Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy (”Best of Show”), and Lee Hall (”Billy Elliot”).

SOUNDING OFF Metallica don’t need to worry about Napster ruining their careers, but they should be wary of each other. In the upcoming issue of Playboy, separate interviews with the band members reveal that singer James Hetfield is a homophobe whose range is limited; drummer Lars Ulrich once had a problem bathing and isn’t exactly an expert drummer; and everyone was horrible to bass player Jason Newsted, who left the group in January. Playboy conducted the interviews in November 2000.

”To this day he is not Drummer of the Year. We all know that,” Hetfield said about Ulrich. As for Ulrich, he thinks Hetfield is homophobic: ”I think homophobia is questioning your sexuality and not being comfortable with it.” According to Reuters, only guitarist Kirk Hammett seemed comfortable with his bandmates, admitting he had never hit anyone else in the group — apparently something the others can’t say.

JAILED Someone give rappers a break. Rapper – producer Jermaine Dupri served a three day jail sentence in Fayetteville, Georgia, for missing jury duty two years ago! Dupri, the CEO of So So Def Records, turned himself in Thursday night at the Fayette County Jail and was released Sunday. Dupri was ordered to spend three days in jail for missing three days of jury duty in March 1999. Hey, at least his crime didn’t involve a shootout.

MORE AWARDS Emmy winning actress Megan Mullally will receive the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s Creative Integrity Award for her role as Karen on ”Will & Grace.” According to the Associated Press, a center spokeswoman said: ”Megan’s participation has certainly served as an empowering role model. She is in one of the most successful television shows on a major network that has enhanced the visibility of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.”

REEL DEAL The Farrelly Brothers will write and produce a big screen update of ”The Three Stooges.” No, it isn’t a biopic akin to the made for TV movie on ABC last year, it’s an actual update, à la ”Charlie’s Angels.” Peter and Bobby have yet to decide whether they’ll also direct the Warner Bros. comedy, but they’ll start writing the feature after making ”Shallow Hal” for Fox. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio plans to release the update summer of 2003. Why, soitenly!

CASTING George Clooney</b has signed on for a supporting role in the comedy he's producing with Steven Soderbergh (”Welcome to Collinwood”) for Ohio based filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo. The film has been touted as an American ”Full Monty” starring Sam Rockwell (”Charlie’s Angels”), Luis Guzman(”Traffic”), and Isaiah Washington (”Romeo Must Die”). Shooting starts in late March.

Billy Bob Thornton will star in the drama ”Behind the Sun” for writer – director Robby Henson (”Pharaoh’s Army”). The film, which starts production March 24 in Louisiana, follows an intolerant sheriff, rejected by his peers, who takes refuge with the disenfranchised whom he claimed to despise.

Dustin Hoffman is in final talks to star in the drama ”Baby’s in Black” opposite Susan Sarandon. Hoffman and Sarandon will play the parents of Jake Gyllenhaal (”October Sky”), a young man grieving the death of his murdered fiancée. The Disney picture begins shooting in April.

DESIGNER Jennifer Lopez has signed a deal with Andy Hilfiger, Tommy Hilfiger‘s younger brother, to create her own clothing line. According to the New York Post, J.Lo’s deal is with Andy Hilfiger’s new company, Music Entertainment Fashion Inc., the newspaper announced Sunday, quoting a source close to the deal.

On the record, of course, Lopez’s spokesman Paul Wilmot declined to comment and Hilfiger was reportedly traveling and unavailable for comment. No word yet on whether the new clothing line will specialize in women with, um, extra curves. Sean ”Puffy” Combs, Lopez’s ex, has his own menswear line called Sean John. Anything he can do, she can do better