Heath has a joker up his sleeve
He set gay hearts a-throbbing the world over with his sensitive portrayal of a lovesick cowpoke in “Brokeback Mountain,” but Heath Ledger’s next role may have him wearing a familiar sick smile.
Well, if you consider a twisted rictus of evil a “smile,” that is.
The Australian hunk is being eyed to play homicidal clown The Joker in the upcoming sequel to last year’s smash hit “Batman Begins.” If Ledger takes the role, he’ll face off against Christian Bale, who will once again don a cape and pointy ears for director Christopher Nolan.
In the meantime, Ledger can be seen in the drug drama “Candy,” and will soon be playing Bob Dylan in queer director Todd Haynes’ eagerly awaited “I’m Not There.”
Look for the as-yet-untitled Bat-sequel to swoop into theaters in 2008.
Lance Bass comes out
Lance Bass, band member of “‘N Sync, says he’s gay and in a “very stable” relationship with a reality show star.
Bass, told People magazine that he didn’t earlier disclose his sexuality because he didn’t want to affect the group’s popularity.
“I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys’ careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything.” he said.
Bass says he wondered if his coming out could prompt “the end of “‘N Sync.” He explains, “So I had that weight on me of like, “‘Wow, if I ever let anyone know, it’s bad.’ So I just never did.”
The singer says he’s in a “very stable” relationship with 32-year-old actor Reichen Lehmkuhl, winner of season four of CBS’ “Amazing Race.”
“The thing is, I’m not ashamed that’s the one thing I want to say,” Bass said. “I don’t think it’s wrong, I’m not devastated going through this. I’m more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life. I’m just happy.”
Michelle Pfeiffer shakes it for “‘Hairspray’
Time for the ongoing “Hair-spray” report, part 17: It takes a whole lot of woman to fill the shoes of Deborah Harry, but the makers of the upcoming film version of Broadway’s “Hairspray” have found her.
Michelle Pfeiffer has been chosen to play Velma Von Tussle, the racist TV-station owner and one-time “Miss Soft Crab” (played by Harry in the 1988 non-musical film) who resists a band of dancing kids and their efforts to segregate a teen dance show in 1950s Baltimore.
The project has gay cred for miles, from John Waters’ original movie, to the queer army behind the Broadway musical, to the new film’s director, Adam Shankman (“The Pacifier”) and executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (“Chicago”). And when Pfeiffer squares off against John Travolta’s Edna Turnblad, it will be a battle of the “Grease” and “Grease 2” stars.
“‘Little Britain’s’ Lucas goes green
British gay comedian Matt Lucas who alongside David Williams is one half of the brilliantly funny duo of BBC America’s hit series “‘Little Britain’ has more on his plate these days than just bangers and mash.
For starters, Lucas will be seen playing Mr. Toad in an upcoming British TV version of the classic book “The Wind in the Willows,” joined by famed Brit character actors like Bob Hoskins and Imelda Staunton.
Lucas and Walliams have also just signed a major, exclusive deal with the BBC that will yield two more Christmas specials, a tour of the United Kingdom and a possible new sketch show that would incorporate some of “‘Britain’s’ outrageous characters such as Daffydd, who’s convinced he’s “the only gay in the village,” and unconvincing transvestite Emily Howard.
“‘Mr. Leather’ documentary finds a home
Ever wonder what really goes down at those annual leatherman pageants? Do the contestants cry backstage and use double-sided tape to secure their outfits?
These questions and more are answered in Jason Garrett’s documentary, “Mr. Leather.” And if you missed it during its engagements at gay film festivals nationwide, Here Films is bringing it to an art-house theater near you.
First-time director Garrett follows nine men through their participation in the 2003 Mr. Los Angeles Leather competition and gives us a peek into their daily work and love lives. The movie also talks to various sexperts, psychologists and doctors about the leather lifestyle and the fetish’s subculture. Look for the chaps-and-harnesses extravaganza sometime in 2007.
Hatch surviving prision
Richard Hatch has been sent to a federal prison in Oklahoma as he serves a sentence for failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on the debut season of “Survivor.”
A federal jury convicted Hatch in January of failing to pay taxes on the “Survivor” prize and other income. He was sentenced in May to 51 months in prison by a judge who said the reality TV star had lied repeatedly on the witness stand.
He had previously been held at the Plymouth County Correctional Faciity in Massachusetts.
Hatch became known on the CBS show as the “fat naked guy” for refusing to wear clothes.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, July 28, 2006.