Celebritology Live: Scarlett Johansson's photos, Michaele Salahi's 'kidnapping', and more.

Sep 22, 2011

Join Celebritology blogger Jen Chaney to gab about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

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Plenty to discuss today: the whole Brad Pitt media blitz (as well as "Moneyball" itself, which is quite good), more Emmy Awards rehash, our feelings about the fall TV season thus far and some particularly ick-ay new reality shows, among other things.

I also want to kick off the chat with a question: how are we feeling about the morning mix lately? I know it's not what it used to be back in the halcyon days of the blog, when two or three posts a day was the norm and the mix was sort of Celebritology's centerpiece.

But do you still like having it? Is it useful?

Curious to hear your thoughts. All right, let's chat.

Is it just me or did it make it worse with his line about finding a good mother for his kids?

Yeah, it was confusing.

My best guess as to what he was trying to say was that the quote about Aniston was extracted from a larger conversation about his marriage to Jolie. So out of context, it sounded worse than it worse. But the mom comment out of context of that larger context just sounded odd.

It's a shame he said what he said and this whole thing has become such an issue because it's distracting from "Moneyball," which is a great movie. And Pitt's very good in it. But he needs to be more careful. Surely he knows that anything he says about his marriage to Jennifer Aniston, even peripherally, is going to become a headline.

I am so sick of seeing things about them! Is it possible to have a Kardashian free day like the one that was done for Paris Hilton a couple of years back? I count that as the end to hearing about her everyday. (Except of course for today's item that her probation is over.)

I have not written about the Kardashians in several days. References to them cannot be erased from the Internet, of course, but since the wedding, our Kardashian coverage has "carmed down" in Celebritology.

Of course, the E! special is coming up, which means there will be fresh attention paid to them again. And, accordingly, you'll probably be feeling ill.

I am creeped out by the fact that Paul McCartney is marrying his new wife in the same place he married Linda. Is he trying to recreate what he had with Linda? I hope not. That was a once-in-a-lifetime pairing.

I can see why some would consider it creepy.

I saw it as a positive sign. His marriage to Heather Mills clearly did not turn out well and their wedding was a big, somewhat extravagant affair. Having an intimate, low-key wedding at the same place he married Linda, suggests McCartney has a better sense of perspective this time and, perhaps, he even sees it as a way to honor his previous marriage.

The fact that Nancy Shevell also wants to marry in that venue speaks highly of her, it seems to me. She understands the history there and respects it.

I don't know, that was my take. I can totally understand the creepy argument, too.

but I am here instead of studying. D'oh.

Is your test about Brad Pitt and the various things he has said about Jennifer Aniston? If so, stay here. You will ace it.

Starts my day off right everyday! Can't live without it.

One pro-Morning Mixer. Thank you for your vote, sir or madam.

Remind me not to read Brad Pitt interviews anymore, either. He is too cool for school.

He seemed almost panicky -- or at least quite uncomfortable -- about hearing Lauer re-read those quotes. He clearly feels bad about what he said, whether it was misinterpreted or not. And hearing it again was just too much.

Man, when was the last time a story in Parade was this controversial? This might be the biggest interview coup of Dotson Rader's life.

Do you think he was mostly just doing a "Joaquin Phoenix" act until recently?

No, I honestly don't. Maybe during portions of the Torpedo of Truth tour he was maintaining the persona he had previously established. That seems possible.

But initially, I think all of his neurons were not firing properly.


After all the Emmy success, I thought last night's debut was pretty meh. And I loved this show in past. I also don't like the new Lily - maybe I just don't like change?

Change is the worst.

Well, the new Lily thing is weird because all of a sudden the kid is four and speaking in full sentences but two years clearly have not passed in the Modern Family universe. It's not unprecedented for a sitcom to suddenly age a kid, but for one that is supposed to be based in documentary-style reality, it feels a little strange.

I thought the dude ranch first half was average, but the second half-hour was better. I laughed out loud twice -- first at the scenes of Cam coddling Lily and second when Ty Burrell said "Is that Footloose?" when Cam started playing "Let's Hear it for the Boy." Perfect delivery of that line.


Any thoughts about the Gary Busey/Ted Haggard swap? Is Gary Busey married to an actress?

I honestly am not sure what Busey's wife does. I am sure that the whole idea of that wife swapping show makes me want to take 76 consecutive hot showers, then douse myself in lye.


I like the Morning Mix. I tend to click the "Full Monthly Archive" link and then the month I want; that way I can view a long list of the headlines and comments in one fell swoop.

OK, more pro-mixers. Thanks for the feedback, this is helpful.

I really don't understand the vitriol centering around these three people. Seriously? Brad and Jennifer were married, had a lot of media attention on them as individuals and as a marriage, he felt trapped, had an affair, left the marriage and is now in a committed relationship with Angelina. I don't see how this makes anyone a monster. I regard affairs as a symptom of a deeper relationship problem anyway, maybe one that would have just continued to fester and perhaps driven one of them to substance abuse? Yes, extrapolating the hell out of the situation, but CARM. DOWN. I think Brad Pitt made complete sense in the interview, and I wish everyone would just take a breather (and maybe look at their own marriages...?)

When Pitt and Aniston got married, they seemed like this golden, adorable and perfect couple. Obviously a large part of that perception came from our projections based on photographs of them looking super-pretty together.

But we, the public, liked the idea of them. I also think Angelina Jolie -- whether based in reality or not -- represents the ultimate sexy, intimidating woman. Your worst nightmare as a wife is for your husband to fall for a woman like that.

All of this is a long way of saying that all the drama and emotion that triangle still stirs up, six years after the divorce, says more about our projections, insecurities, uncomfortableness with cheaters, etc. than it probably does about the specific individuals involved.  But hey, that won't stop us from talking about it. Or failing to carm down.

Tell me about these. Thanks!

I already mentioned the wife swap show. Courtney Stodden's potential reality show, if it happens, is another. I don't think I could abide that much glossy-lip-pursing on a television series.

That - and he was on a major drug and alcohol bender.

Well, that was my diplomatic way of saying that. But yes.

I've read the book six times. love it. Can't wait for the movie. But my baseball player husband has done nothing but pooh-pooh the very idea of the movie and is convinced that it's going to be terrible and wildly inaccurate. Do I beat him over the head and drag him along anyways?

He thinks it's going to be wildly inaccurate because it won't get the book right? Won't get baseball right?

I have not read the book so I can't speak to how spot-on it is in that regard. But it's well-written, entertaining and very well acted. Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt are a weirdly perfect duo. (By the way, you all heard about Pitt's Wham! pranks, right? Whatever you may think about what he says in Parade magazine interviews, you have to admit that's genius stuff right there.)

Do we get to talk about TV here? Good, bc I need to agree with the poster who had the MF meh feeling. I felt lukewarm about the ranch episode, except that everything Phil says or does is right and good. But overall, I felt there was too much overt product placement (Hemispheres magazine on the United plane, Jackson Hole t-shirt on Luke); stupid and uncharacteristic story line w/middle daughter and that kiss (where did they find such a terrible, terrible actor to play that boy? and why didn't she slap him and read him the riot act and perhaps report him to an adult for kissing her like that?); weird Cam and Mitch dynamic--do they even like each other?; and overindulging of stereotypes. Second one was better, if a little shrill, and again the Cam/Mitch relationship seemed not very warm or supportive. The other couples get annoyed with each other but you can always feel the love--Gloria and Jay in particular are great about that. And if C and M are doing a domestic adoption and are making an album to appeal to a birth mother (I did love the pop-up album), how can they be certain they'd be getting a boy this time? Not sure you can pick gender in those situations, but perhaps you can. Anyway, seems odd.

We get to talk about whatever you'd like, my friend.

I agree with much of what you said. The Alex-kisses-Vinnie-Delpino plotline was highly random.

And re: Cam and Mitchell, I thought they sniped at each other slightly less. They even put their arms around each other at one point, which was a step in a warmer direction, at least. But in general -- yes, they do seem to argue more than they do anything else. That's one of the nitpicky problems I have with Modern Family, that sometimes the humor dips into predictable, too sitcommy territory.  Most of the time I find it quite funny, though.

Sad to hear about the break-up of R.E.M. It made me go back and reminisce on the good old days. I remember that I was first exposed to them from 90210 since "Losing My Religion" was playing in the backgroup. Those were the days.

I was very sad, too. I suspect I'm a tad older than you because my first R.E.M. exposure was to "Can't Get There From Here."

I haven't bought an R.E.M. CD in several years -- I think the last one for me was "Reveal" -- but there was something nice about knowing they were still doing their thing. In terms of Gen X alt rock, they are an institution.

I heard Driver 8 on satellite radio last night and felt a definite pang of sadness.

You wrote:" the quote about Aniston was extracted from a larger conversation about his marriage to Jolie." His MARRIAGE to Jolie? Slip-up, or are you holding on to some BIG gossip you're not sharing...?

I'm so glad you guys are here to catch my slip-ups.

You're quite right, they are not married. It's very easy to forget that given their established family unit.

I'm so glad I don't have to constantly answer questions about my former relationships that ended years ago.

Yes, it's the price of being non-famous.

I liked both episodes, though I did like the second half hour better. I do like the new Lily, I think it has the potential of some plots....she did throw Cam under the bus by telling Mitchell they went shopping to get "matchy hats".

Yeah, having her talk adds a new level of potential shenanigans to the proceedings.

Since we (the royal we) seem to be such a forgiving nation, do you think that we'll forgive Charlie Sheen for all of the drama that went on just a few months ago? I mean, I know he didn't actually harm any of us, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for the people he was maligning. Can he redeem himself or are we just waiting for him to go off the deep end again?

I think in time, he can be forgiven.

Jon Cryer already forgives him for calling him a troll.

Chuck Lorre, on the other hand? That's another story.

Oh, is this a Disney movie? Does the movie version of Billy Beane end up having a wild affair with Pocahantas?

Great. You just spoiled "Moneyball" for everyone.

That is so true about our own insecurities and projections being the center of a lot of the chatter about Jen/Brad/Angelina. I know that I see Angelina as a "man-eater" with her talons out for fresh blood and no female friends -- the kind of woman I definitely avoid, and would never leave my husband alone with her (although if he succumbed, that says more about him than her). I think it is worth mentioning, however, that Brad and Jen clearly did love one another for a long time and presumably had some very happy times before they broke up. I also think it is worth mentioning that what we want in life can change. Brad must have wanted what Jen had at one point, and then he appeared to change and want something else. Maybe Jen did too, who knows!

Very true.

And who knows if Jolie is really a maneater who has no female friends? Again, that's just a perception, which it's totally your right to have.

Have to say that I have no idea who Courtney Stodden was/is. Am I just totally out of touch with "reality?"

This is Courtney Stodden.

I am sorry that your brain now holds this knowledge. Nothing will ever be the same for you again.

For speaking up promptly re Jamey Rodemeyer's most tragic suicide. I'm (theoretically) old enough to be Gaga's granny, but I just treasure her more every day, no matter how wacky her costumes.

As over-the-top as she may be, that story is proof that she and her fans definitely do some good.

Aren't they common law married by now?

Good question.

Celebritology readers-who-happen-to-be-attorneys, what's the verdict on this?

Why don't you take your horse and ride off into another chat? People get excited/involved in the idea of celebrity lives because it's fun. Sometimes it's taken a bit too seriously, sure, but I think even you are guilty of that.

Wait, who do you want to ride off on a high horse? Me or another chatter?

I totally recognize that people enjoy speculating about that relationship. I also think it's interesting to analyze what makes us do that.

I always liked the band because they gave me something to relate to in first grade when our teacher had us share whether our initials spelled something or not. The band and rapid eye movement -yippee!

Okay, do you all want me to feel completely elderly today?

Sheesh. R.E.M. in first grade....

when he stops making a habit of hitting women. Until then he will continue to make my hackles rise.

Absolutely. I mentioned in my post that he needs to stop that misogynistic behavior in addition to the drug abuse, etc.

I don't understand why getting married the same place as where one married a previous wife should creep anyone out. I married my first and third wives in the same place, although I did use a different Elvis impersonator to officiate.

I understand Paul McCartney also will be married by an Elvis impersonator. What a coincidence!

Does this mean that Biebs and Selena are also common law married?

Well, they are the new Brangelina, as noted in the morning mix.

Work has been awful this week, so I'm am very much looking forward to seeing Brad on Ellen when I get home...he's so dreamy. Please tell me I'm not alone in that if I don't start watching stuff on my DVR it may explode?!? and the new episodes just started on Monday!

My DVR is quite full as well. I always forget how drastically a full stream of new television shows messes with my schedule.

How am I supposed to get anything done when there's so much TV to watch, I ask you?

Remember the whole back and forth about Michaele Salahi having MS? Whatever happened with that? Seems as though the exhaustion would interfere with her nightly touring with Neal Schon. What a wretched human being.

I do remember that. Weirdly, neither she nor anyone else seems to be talking about that right now.

Maybe because running off with the dude from Journey is enough fodder to land a new reality show deal.

A reality show featuring the 51-year-old and 16-year-old? Not only is that just beyond disgusting in and of itself, but now they are saying they will be "very, very, very open" about their lives (OMG) and nothing is off limits (even bigger OMG)??? What has happened to our culture that this is not only acceptable, but desirable TV viewing? Help ...

Reality TV has long thrived on the biggest train wrecks it can find.

We'll see if anyone actually picks up the Stodden show and whether anyone watches it. I am not sure there will be as much interest in watching the two of them as there is in snarking about them online. I could be wrong. I hope I am not.

Has there ever been a marriage/love triangle more beaten to death than Jen-Brad-Angelina? Sheesh -- enough already. There have been plenty of "scandalous" Hollywood breakups (Steven Speilberg-Amy Irving-Kate Capshaw, Julia Roberts-Danny Moder-Vera Moder, just to name two triangles) and nobody talks about them anymore. Yet anything Brad, Jen, or Angie says brings their whole triangle up again!

I guess Liz Taylor/Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds was pretty busy and for a lot of the same reasons I mentioned earlier -- perceived golden couple split up by the ultimate seductress. Pitt/Aniston/Jolie is the modern equivalent.

Another vote for "Morning Mix." I realize the Post is only interested in drawing as many clicks as possible to Celebritology pages, since that brings the largest advertiser revenue. But at some point doesn't a law of diminishing returns start to set in if we potential clickers just get so frustrated with the items being split up over so many pages that it becomes too much of a chore to check them? Another argument in favor or "Morning Mix" is that it facilitates thread-weaving!

Let's say that we haven't had diminishing returns yet. My goal is to keep all readers happy as much as possible -- those who like the mix as well as those who want to read a ton of separate stories in more detail.

I wish the Morning Mix was more of a watercooler for comments the way it used to be. I miss that.

New Lily came about because the twins who played old Lily started not liking acting and were clamming up on camera and becoming agitated. Lily was always supposed to start talking last season but because of problems with the twins it didnt happen so the character probably seemed younger than they really intended. The twins have now retired and are perfectly happy 3.5 year olds and replaced by new Lily.

Yeah, I had read about the agitation but didn't realize they wanted Lily to start talking last season.

It was just a jarring transition in the first episode. By episode four or five, I am sure I will be used to it.

I know we have to preface everything we say about her or her husband now with "if this is real and not a stunt"... But, Tareq seems really controlling and cold. I think if my husband ran off like this and I truly loved and cared about him, I think I'd be really worried about his mental health and doing what I could to make sure he was okay. I wouldn't be out their telling everyone how slutty he was acting. No wonder she wanted to get away. Maybe she just needs to have a little fun away from the jerk of a husband she has.

Again, if he weren't being a donkey about it, then less interest and no reality show. Or less fodder for TMZ, who seems to have the market cornered on all Salahi goings-on.

Where do I go to sign up to be famous for being famous?

I believe the place you want to go to is called the Internet.

But the Wham pranks from Brad Pitt - implying that Jonah loves Wham -- are a totally obvious projection of Pitt's own Wham-love!! Are you with me on this? (Take another look at that pic of Jonah & Brad as Wham -- Brad is/was a total Wham-wanna-be -- no?)

The prank was quite elaborate for someone who doesn't have a solid knowledge of Wham! The only thing that would have made it better is if the Wham! Rap had been involved somehow.

The ick factor has definitely set in for me now - I do think I was better off not knowing who she was but now that I do, I can so totally avoid watching any reality show they might have. Thank you - I think.

You're welcome -- kind of.

Forgive Charlie Sheen? Please. His peccadilloes will be forgotten in a New York (or should I say Hollywood?) minute. Exhibit A: Roman Polanski!

I don't think Polanski's peccadillos have been forgotten. Forgiven by some, sure. But not forgotten. If they were forgotten we wouldn't still be talking about them.

Liz Taylor / Eddie Fisher / Richard Burton?

I think the Taylor/Fisher/Reynolds one is a better analogy because people felt so bad for Debbie Reynolds at the time.

When you talk about someone "breaking up" an established couple is the proper way to show that in print with the new woman or man in between the established couple. For example, is it Jen-Angelina-Brad or Brad-Angelina-Jen or Brad-Jen-Angelina. I think there needs to be an established print format for something as serious as this.

All right, I'll get the Post Stylebook writer on this ASAP.

Most states don't have it. I live in one that does (and am an attorney); you have to meet several criteria; Brangelina doesn't (for one thing, they're not holding themselves out to be married).

So there's your answer on Pitt and Jolie. Not married on any level.

All right, kids, I have to get back to the important work of blogging about stuff. Thanks for all your great questions, comments and thoughts on the morning mix. Let's reconvene next Thursday at 2, shall we?

See you.

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
An accredited Celebritologist, Jen focuses on pop culture news and trends in the entertainment world.

In addition to overseeing movie content for the Post's Web site, she also writes regularly about film, DVDs and stars of screens large and small.

When she isn't blogging or at the movies, she's ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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