Wanna get up close and personal with some of your favorite stars? Wanna know what they’re up to these days and what they’re saying? Then you’ve come to the right place …
Ashanti’s Key To Success Is Her Faith …
If R’n’B diva Ashanti has learned anything about getting a career off the ground, it’s that success isn’t Always On Time.. The sexy singer says she watched three record deals fall apart in nine years before she hit it big. And she says the reason she never gave up on her dream is because the man upstairs never gave up on her.
“For me, I always put my faith in God. You know and everything happens for a reason. You know, timing is everything and at that point it just wasn’t my time. And now I’m thankful for it. Back then, when I looked and I was sitting at home watching cartoons all day and nothing is going on, it didn’t seem like that. But now everything was well worth it. I try and speak to God every chance I get. You know, I prey to him and I thank him for all the blessings on my travels, my family, for the success, for surrounding myself with positive people and just launching my career. Because without God I definitely wouldn’t be here at all.”
Nia Vardalos: The Big Fat Greek Wedding Is Safe!
Although we still haven’t figured out the actual Greek translation for, ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding is now the most successful independent film of all time,’ we do know this, the $5 million kooky comedy has grossed in the neighborhood of $150 million worldwide! The film’s star and writer, Nia Vardalos, admits early on, before she made her movie deal with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, she always worried that some sinister screenwriter would steal her idea.
“I was so worried that someone was going to steal it because I was doing it on stage – some people wouldn’t sign in when we asked the audience to sign in – just because we were looking for their last names so we could count how many Greeks versus non Greeks there were. Some people wouldn’t sign in and we were like ‘Why?’ Then someone pointed out that those were writers from – I don’t want to say the name – sitcom that two of my actor friends had just guest starred on, you know what I mean? So, I was like oh my god I’m completely opening myself up to the city of stealing!”
This Ice Doesn’t Melt …
Ice Cube is the ultimate can do guy; he’s a successful rapper, actor, screenwriter, director, record producer, movie producer, CEO – and he’s been around the hood more times than you can shake an NWA platinum CD at. Cube says, when it comes to his longevity, he’s been there, done that…and he’s here to stay.
“It feels good to still be around this long. You know, only a few of us have been around this long and still have the respect you need to keep going in this business. It feels good. I’d rather be on this side of it than being a young MC’er – you know what I’m sayin’? They’ve just kind of had their little flame and it’s gone. So I feel like I’m lucky … “
Samuel L. Jackson Is a Back Row Man …
The next time you go to a Samuel L. Jackson movie and you notice a strange guy incognito, sitting in the back row – guess what? It could be Jackson! The actor admits he likes to see his movies on the big screen, and he says it’s not just the movie he’s watching.
“I go to the movie theaters a lot and watch the movies that I’m in and I sit in the back of the theatre and pay my money to go in so I can be part of the box office take. I sit in the back of the theatre and it’s enjoyable to hear audiences talk to the screen when I’m doing something.”
Sandra Bullock says, “What ever George wants, George gets!”
“I’m a huge fan of George Lopez!” And, she should be, she put his ABC sitcom on the map. The actress – turned – TV producer says working with Lopez is “fantastic”, as longs as the comedian gets his own way!
“I had no idea what I was getting into, but George Lopez being such a talent and deserving of his shot on TV – and he’s stood up to the plate. He’s fantastic. We wanted to do a Latin based show and we had an idea and when we saw George we said ‘our idea is stinky – George is much better.’ His stand-up far surpasses what we could have come up with.”
Susan Sarandon Says Hang In There Girls …
Great roles for woman in Hollywood are as endangered as the Northern Spotted Owl. So what’s an actress to do when she reaches the ripe old age of thirty and wants to tackle something meatier than “the blonde girlfriend?” Oscar winning actress Susan Sarandon says, “Hang in there.”
“If you just get real and you tell stories that are truthful and that people care about, you’ll break-up all those demographics because life is much more creative than anything that we happen upon. Drama doesn’t happen just when you’re twenty-four. You know, there are other things happening.”
Denzel Washington —To Play? Or, not to Play? That is the Question!
Now that DENZEL WASHINGTON finally has his Best Actor Oscar, any chance he’ll return to the stage anytime soon? “It’s a hard call,” says the former drama teacher who once played Malcolm X on Broadway inWhen The Chickens Came Home To Roost. Although DENZEL admits the idea of hitting ‘the boards’ again – either on Broadway or in London – is a good one, the thought of leaving his family for that long isn’t. [26 SECONDS]
“I really do want to try to get back on stage. I’ve been asked to and I want to, absolutely. You know it’s just a matter of scheduling. The problem by going to London is that I can’t get home. I always try to come home every weekend. But with eight shows a week you can’t do it. So that’s stopped me from doing anything in London or in New York – but maybe I’ll get a chance to do something.”
Nicole Kidman —You think I’m good now? Just wait ’til I’m 85!
For all the glitz and glamour that comes with being an international superstar, NICOLE KIDMAN says there is more to life than being famous. The former Mrs. Tom Cruise, whose been working non-stop for the last few years, says she’s on a mission to squeeze all that she can out of life. [28 SECONDS]
“There’s so many more things that I want to do when I’m, if I live to be 85, if I am 85 and I’m on my death bed or whatever, I want to be able to look back and say I didn’t just act, I lived, I traveled the world, I learned to speak Italian fluently, I’m a great cook, I was a great mother, you know, there are so many other things that I want to be able to say … “
Gwyneth Paltrow — Gwen tunes the tabloids out.
GWYNETH PALTROW says if you’re not careful, the tabloids can make you crazy! Case in point, after SHALLOW HAL one New York paper wrote she’d packed on so many pounds, she’d soon resemble her porky character from the movie. Yikes! “And if I did,” says the statuesque actress? “Why should it matter?” [27 SECONDS]
“You know, if you let yourself be driven crazy by this kind of scrutiny and the things people say you could develop insecurities about anything. I of course have insecurities already being a woman – based on physical things that I wish were different or whatever. But I have to sort of tune it out a little bit because people do write things that you think ‘Is that really true? Am I actually fat and have I gained weight?'”
Josh Hartnett —Josh Tells Lookie-Lou’s
To Stay Away
Got a crush on hunky JOSH HARTNETT? Thinking maybe you’ll cruise his house and see what he’s up to? Well, it’s fine with me, but think twice before you do. The BLACK HAWK DOWN star, who lives in Minnesota – which is about as far from Hollywood as you can get – says, “When I’m home I better be left alone, so beware.” [24 SECONDS]
“I don’t really go to the spots the paparazzi and autograph hunters are. I see them very rarely and so I can deal with it, you know. If I went to like Hollywood type parties a lot and all that kind of stuff, I’d probably go nuts – but I don’t do that. So unless people decide to follow me back to Minnesota – which would be their own loss because my friends and family would destroy them.”