DALLAS DISCUSSION: Sheilds and Cogill chatted at the Meyerson on Tuesday. Kristina Bowman

Brooke defends Leibovitz

‘Lipstick Jungle’ star visits Big D, sticks up for classy Miley Cyrus photo

On Tuesday, Nov. 25, Brooke Shields visited the Meyerson Symphony Center for the Brinker International Forum. The "Lipstick Jungle" star was pinch-hitting for Hilary Swank, who was scheduled to attend the cultural program, but had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict.

Charming and drop-dead gorgeous, Sheilds sat down for an interview session with WFAA’s Gary Cogill. Cogill did a terrific job weaving the discussion through her beginnings as the pre-teen who got deflowered in Louis Malle’s 1978 "Pretty Baby" to her postpartum drama with Tom Cruise.

Modest and unabashedly goofy, Sheilds, a Princeton alum, often surprised her audience with insightful observations.

Cogill also mentioned her "Hanna Montana" acting credit. She played Hannah’s deceased mom in a dream flashback episode. Sheilds was only 15 when her controversial "nothing gets between me and my Calvins" campaign, and she defended lesbian photog Annie Leibovitz’s portrait of Disney star Miley Cyrus that appeared in April’s’ "Vanity Fair" and caused a moral furor.

"I thought Annie Leibovtiz’s photo was beautiful," Shields said. "To me, it wasn’t provocative at all. I just think there was just a desire for sensationalism."

On April 28, 2009, Brinker International is bringing Diana Ross to Dallas.
Van Sant tests out the Electric Kool-Aid

Hot on the heels of the mainstream-flavored biopic "Milk," Gus Van Sant seems eager to get back to his favorite kind of filmmaking — the sort that takes a walk on life’s wilder side — with a film version of Tom Wolfe’s 1967 book, "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." And few groups of American artists were wilder than the Beats, one of whom — Ken Kesey — undertook a now-famous cross-country road trip with his group of "Merry Pranksters." Along the way, LSD was taken in serious amounts, and mind-expansion ensued, eventually resulting in the writing of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest." "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black is reportedly handling script duties, but no casting announcements have been made. But what actor in his right mind would "just say no" to something that sounds this much fun?0

Roland Emmerich envisions ‘2012’
Some gay guys obsess over art or music or fashion. Director Roland Emmerich seems to enjoy freaking out over the end of the world.

After directing little movies like "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow," he’s taking on another cataclysmic disaster movie titled "2012."
What’s it about?

Well, all the man in charge will say is that it’s some sort of natural disaster and that the ancient Mayan calendar predicts the end of Earth life in about four years. Spooked yet? So is his cast: John Cusack, Thandie Newton, Amanda Peet, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, Chietel Ejiofor and Oliver Platt, among many others.

No word yet on whether or not the title actually means the number of actors involved, but the film is already hotly buzzed about and due sometime in 2009. That might give everyone the time to find a blueprint for escape, should the entire planet actually blow up then, after all.

Sharon Gless ‘Free’ to love ladies
Let’s say you (guiltily) watched "Queer As Folk" and secretly wished she would be your personal P-FLAG mom, one who always told the bawdiest jokes right alongside your gay BFFs. Or, like guest star Rosie O’Donnell, you wanted Sharon herself in the more "Let’s Get Physical" way.

Well now, the gay rights advocate and "QAF" alumna will play an openly lesbian woman in a time when that sort of thing just wasn’t done out loud, in the indie feature "Hannah Free," which finds two mid-20th-Century women, once-intimate friends who’d gone their separate ways, falling in love all over again against the backdrop of history. In production now, audiences will be free to see Hannah sometime in 2009.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 28, 2008.
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