Celebrity watch

Posted on 23 Mar 2006 at 7:52pm


Kanye West


Kanye hooks up with gay producer

When rapper Kanye West speaks, people listen.

Whether it’s as the creator of huge-selling hip-hop singles like “Gold Digger” or as an off-the-cuff political spokesperson (In 2005, he publicly chastised the president’s response to Hurricane Katrina and came out against homophobia in hip-hop), the man is leaving his mark.

Now he’s headed to the big screen with gay executive producer George C. Wolfe.

The planned musical feature will incorporate about six writers and up to a dozen directors, each contributing a short film starring West and all linked to a central narrative.

Wolfe is the veteran Broadway producer and director of the Emmy-winning HBO film “Lackawanna Blues.” He’ll oversee the creative process, and West will handle the music.

And now that Three Six Mafia has an Oscar, West’s original music should be a lock for a future nomination.

Faris’ “‘Smiley Face’
“Scary Movie” and “Just Friends” star Anna Faris is so funny that she even brought much-needed moments of ditzy levity to “Brokeback Mountain,” in a minor role as a talkative ranch wife.

And her impressive talents haven’t gone unnoticed by queer filmmaker Gregg Araki. The “Mysterious Skin” director has wrangled Faris and lesbian actress Jane Lynch (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) for “Smiley Face,” a stoner comedy in the tradition of “Up in Smoke,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “Half-Baked.”
Faris plays a slacker who accidentally eats her roommate’s pot brownies, then attempts to maintain herself through a day of crazy misadventures.

Joining the cannabis club will be appropriately enough John Cho, star of “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” yet another modern pot-movie classic. This big-screen bong should hit sometime in 2007.

The legacy of “‘Saint’ Judge
On Sept. 11, 2001, New York City Fire Department chaplain Father Mychal Judge died while ministering to fallen firefighters at the site of the World Trade Center. His was the first death certificate issued for that day, and the openly gay priest’s passing still reverberates for the many who loved him.
Now, a documentary focusing on Judge, “The Saint of 9/11,” has premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Covering his life and death and his at-times controversial status as an openly gay chaplain for the NYFD, the film features interviews with colleagues, friends’ memories and eyewitness accounts of the courageous minister’s final hours.

Look for the film at queer film festivals soon, with a possible theatrical release in the near future.

The Pussycat bunch
They’re everywhere, those Pussycat Dolls from dominating radio with their pop hits “Don’t Cha” and “Stickwitu,” to appearing on TV’s “Las Vegas” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

The six-woman singing group think a more grown-up, more drag-queenish, more sexually in-your-face Spice Girls has a huge young queer fan base, their own lounge at Caesar’s Palace and their own slot on the Black Eyed Peas tour.

But what they don’t have yet is their own TV show.

Well, “Charlie’s Angels” director McG is looking to change all that.
He’s working with the Dolls on shopping a reality series around Hollywood, and the CW, a newly created network, is in talks to sign the group to a development deal.

No word on what the series would entail, but you can bet there’ll be plenty of skimpy outfits and lip-synching.

“‘Housewife’ gossip
If you listen to the gossip mill, then Bree Van De Kamp, the uptight housewife on “Desperate Housewives,” is going to indulge in some girl-on-girl action this season.

Supposedly, the storyline will run threw a few episodes, but “DH” creator Marc Cherry has told E Magazine that he wasn’t planning a lesbian storyline.
Marcia Cross, the actress who plays Bree, is an old hand at lesbian rumors. Last year, word was that she was a lesbian. Cross said that while she didn’t see anything wrong with being a lesbian, she wasn’t one herself. And the gossip died out soon after she got engaged.

If Bree did decide to change teams and find herself a girlfriend, it would be a family tradition, since Bree’s TV son, Andrew, is gay.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 24, 2006.

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