Here's what the cast of ''Friends'' is up to this week
WISE GUYS Chandler Bing may have issues with his dad — you might too if your dad looked like Kathleen Turner — but Matthew Perry apparently does not. According to trade reports, Matthew and John Bennett Perry are in talks to costar in the movie ”The Beginning of Wisdom,” which would shoot next spring after ”Friends” wraps. The movie is about a widowed ranch owner and his son whose lives are changed by a freewheeling young woman named Star. The Perrys have played father and son before, in ”Fools Rush In.” Producing the movie is Franchise Pictures, which made Matthew’s modest hit ”The Whole Nine Yards” and is producing that movie’s upcoming sequel.
‘QUEEN’S’ SPLEEN Matt LeBlanc’s ”All the Queen’s Men” opened in limited release on Oct. 25 and earned some of the most hostile reviews any of the Friends’ film efforts have received since, well, LeBlanc’s ”Ed.” In ”Queens,” LeBlanc and transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard play Allied spies who dress as women to infiltrate a German factory, so few critics could resist calling the movie ”a drag.” Many singled out LeBlanc, with Roger Ebert calling him ”criminally miscast” and the New York Post’s Lou Lumenick saying he makes a ”spectacularly ugly broad.” In the Nov. 8 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Owen Gleiberman gives the movie an F. Hey, it could have been worse; the filmmakers could have cast Joey Tribbiani.
LORDS OF THE RINGS You won’t see it in the U.S., but overseas, jeweler Silvia Damiani has launched a print ad campaign with understated black-and-white closeups of Jennifer Aniston wearing a matching gold-and-diamond bracelet and necklace, the New York Post reports. The campaign is part of the settlement the jeweler made with Aniston and Brad Pitt after the couple threatened to sue for $50 million last winter. The company had allegedly violated an agreement with the Pitts and was selling ”Brad and Jennifer” knockoffs of the couple’s custom wedding bands. The terms of the settlement called for Pitt to design a line of jewelry and for Aniston to model. No word on how much Damiani paid the pair for their services.
Not that the couple is exactly hurting for money, not with Pitt’s eight-figure movie fee and Aniston’s $1 million-per-episode salary. So they could afford to chip in a $5,000 donation last week to a struggling theater in Pitt’s hometown of Springfield, Mo., albeit two years after the Springfield Little Theatre sent them a fundraising letter, the Associated Press reports. Blame the delay on Pitt’s brother, Springfield businessman Doug Pitt, who says he’s deluged with solicitations for his brother and that he filters most out and forwards the rest to Brad only when he sees him in person. ”It’s not uncommon for that kind of stuff to sit in my drawer,” Doug tells AP. Better late than never, say theater staffers, though they may be disappointed that Brad and Jen didn’t accede to the rest of their request: come to Springfield and do a benefit performance of ”Love Letters.”
CHECKING IN David Schwimmer already has a new sitcom lined up after ”Friends” ends this season, according to the Hollywood Reporter. However, he’ll be behind the camera this time for the untitled NBC show, about an interracial couple who divorces but is stuck running a hotel together. Schwimmer, who has directed some episodes of ”Friends” and a barely distributed Miramax movie, 1998’s ”Since You’ve Been Gone,” is in talks to direct and coproduce the show. He’ll have some guidance from master sitcom director James Burrows, who has also worked extensively on ”Friends,” and whose company Three Sisters Entertainment is developing the new series.