Nov 18, 2010

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

Much to discuss today, and it's all over the map: Eva Longoria split, Harry Potter, Dancing With the Stars -- so enough jibber jabber. Let's get started.

Ryan whatshisname is okay but c'mon Don Draper is waay overdue!

Jon Hamm


Liz and I totally agree.

I watched a wee bit of that People magazine show on ABC last night that allegedly "took us behind the scenes into the selection process." And if the key thing is whose name is on everyone's lips, as managing editor Larry Hackett suggested, then Hamm wins on that count, in my book.

Although I know plenty of people who really like Reynolds, so buzz factor can be hard to judge. Bottom line is it's completly subjective, not to mention a little silly. So we probably shouldn't expend too much energy getting upset about it.

Well, I for one, hope to expend MUCH energy and get way worked up about this. I'm hoping it will burn some calories.

But, seriously, Ryan Reynolds's 2010 buzz factor compared to Jon Hamm? Or even James Franco? Negligable.

So aside from the head-scratcher that someone so clearly anorexic is pregnant, question from one who is in the words business ... why does Rachel Zoe not pronounce the "e" on the end of her formerly-middle-and-current-last name? i.e., "zo" and not "zo-ee" like Zoe is usually pronounced?

Dude, I don't know. I'm thinking this is a tom-A-to, tom-AH-to debate.

Here's to hoping being pregnant will finally teach the woman how to properly eat.

Will their matrimonial hoedown be as big a deal as Chuck and Di - or do people care less about that stuff 30yrs later?

I think people -- especialy the British people -- still care, but a lot has changed in 30 years. As I pointed out in a blog item earlier this week, "throngs" descended on Buckingham Palace when the engagements of Princess Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were announced. This time, as far as I could make out, no throngs. But the couple did -- and continue to -- heat up Internet search rankings.

So will it be as big of a deal? Yes. But we'll  participate in a different way.

Probably the wrong chat, but I'm in a bind. Working mom, two small kids, and I was invited to join a book club.

I've never done this before (I work A LOT) but I understand I am to bring a bottle of wine (yum) and TWO BOOK SUGGESTIONS.

Nothing too heavy or too light. Since I generally spend my nights reading scientific articles or The Adventures of Captain Underpants, I need help. Any suggestions?


PS Jon Hamm is superhot.

Nothing too heavy or too light? That's open to interpretation, isn't it?

You can go the obvious route and suggest Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom," which would probably be a good discussion book and will make you seem plugged-in to the non-Capt. Underpants side of the literary spectrum.

I also rather liked Joshua Ferris's "The Unnamed" -- his "And Then We Came to the End" is even more fabulous. And if you want to suggest a vampire novel with some heft, "The Passage" is great, but very, very long. Not sure if "not too heavy and not too light" precludes books that are 700-plus pages.

Hmm, not too heavy or too light -- John Krakauer is always a good fall back position. He's written on a range of topics, from climbing Everest to the Mormon church in America. Always good reads.

I'm currently reading "Devil in the White City" about the 1893 world's fair in Chicago and the serial killer who used it as his hunting grounds. It was, in fact, recommended by one Jen Chaney and I believe Leonardo DiCaprio just optioned it for big screen treatment.

I am beyond furious about the outcome of Tuesday's Dancing with the Stars! Don't the American people recognize mediocre dancing when they see it? Is the voting less about actual talent and more about making a statement? I hate to think it's true but I can see no other reason for the success of... Kyle Massey.

I know this is shocking, but I believe the voting may not always be about talent.

That being said, Jennifer Grey will presumably carry the day, as I said before this whole contest even got started.

You cannot keep Baby in a corner. When will we, as a nation, finally accept that?

I suppose Hugh Grant proves that the attractiveness of one's partner doesn't mean he isn't going to stray, but seriously how do you even think about cheating on Eva Longoria?

Have you seen Erin Barry? She's not exactly a hag, either.

I was scanning Eva's Twitter account earlier today and noticed that her background wallpaper is still a series of romantic images of her and Tony. Sniff sniff.

Krakauer's first name is Jon.


I mean, thanks.

I don't get the love for Gwynneth Paltrow. I don't dislike her, but I also don't get the obsession. I've heard lots of praise for her performance on Glee Tuesday night and it was average at best. The episode itself was kind of meh. She can't sing very well, and she did no justice to her rendition of "Umbrella". That mash-up at the end of the show would have been awesome had Santana or Rachel sung that part. And pairing her with Rachel for "Nowadays"? Lea Michele could sing GP under the table with half of her vocal chords tied behind her back! I guess that's why they picked a song with less singing and more dancing. Glee needs to get back to focusing on their main characters and storylines and stop sucking up to guest stars.

In general, I agree that Glee should focus more on its storylines and less on all the stunt casting.

But I am afraid I'm in the praise camp re: this week's episode. I haven't been very excited about this season -- I have found that nearly all the episodes excel in the "meh" department -- but this week's was more entertaining than most.

I thought Paltrow's character injected some liveliness into the show, and I loved the self-mockery. (The Mr. Schu Journey lines made me laugh, and so did the notion that Paltrow and Lea Michele are very similar.)

While Michele may have better pipes , I thought Paltrow did a great job. Her dancing during the "Chicago" number was probably the weakest part -- she looked a little awkward a couple of times but not glaringly enough to detract.

The main thing was that Paltrow seemed to be genuinely enjoying herself, and that enjoyment was infectious. Maybe I'm alone in this, but that's how I felt.

Anything by Michael Chabon, especially The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, and Two Gentlemen on the Road. Julia Child's My Life in France Anita Diamant's The Red Tent If you go with Liz's suggestion of Jon Krakauer, I vote for Into Thin Air.

I second the Chabon. Good suggestion.

Anything by Lorrie Moore. Who also lives & teaches in Madison, so a local author for you, too.

Oh, awesome suggestion. I absolutely love her, especially her short stories. Good call.

Liz, have you seen this? I'd like a word with his agent please. And what's the latest on the Rachel Weisz situation?

Actually, we wrote about that -- "Cowboys & Aliens," that is -- earlier today. It's looking like it actually has the potential to be pretty good.

I never paid much attention to her before this week but she is a very striking young woman. I love her sense of style and would love to have her wardrobe. He's cute too and I am glad he didn't wait until he was 40 like Prince Charles to announce an engagement to a 20 year old.

Indeed, she is striking and I think she'll be getting a lot more attention from this point on. As for her sense of style, I just published a blog post about the dress she wore for the engagement announcement. It sold out of London's Harvey Nichols in 24 hours.

I've accused my husband on a few occasions of being "strange" because he's read the Harry Potter books a million times, and he once convinced me to wait in line with a bunch of tweens at midnight during our vacation so he could buy the latest Harry Potter book release. After learning about this Harry Potter fan, though, I think my husband seems mostly normal. At least hubby doesn't dress up like Harry and carry a wand.

At the Deathly Hallows screening the other night, I definitely saw some wizard wear. I'm not as passionate about Potter as those people are, but I relate to their devotion.

If they ever make a "Lost" movie, I'm totally coming dressed as the Smoke Monster.

The best thing about that Harry Potter superfan (the one in the vid included in this morning's Mix) is his chosen career field. One Celebritology reader -- who I won't out without her permission -- did a bit of digging and found his bio. He's apparently a budding fashion designer. This from a guy who has three-months-worth of Harry Potter clothing which, at least based on the vid, looked like typical fan t-shirts and not, as one would expect from a designer, something a bit more elaborate.

The success of Glee proves that Cop Rock was 20 years ahead of its time.


What they needed was Sue Sylvester on Cop Rock. Then Steven Bochco just might have had something.

If a facebook campaign can get Betty White on SNL, can we try one to get Jon Hamm his belated but completely deserved Gosh-He's-Ever-So-Dreamy title next year?

Heck yes, we can! Hamm has worked years to perfect sexiness. We must work to make sure he gets his just due next year.

Liz, I am sure you agree.

Oh, wholeheartedly. Though I have a feeling Jon Hamm -- that's Jon without an "H" in case anyone is keeping track -- doesn't care about it as much as we do.

First off, I love Christian Bale and have since "Empire of the Sun". I even like "Newsies!" (so sue me) I think Bale is fine to do Q&As and also fine to keep as much of his life private as is possible. I've held that he's as underrated an actor that's out there and part of that probably comes from not allowing himself to be over-exposed, part of it comes from being choosy about the roles he takes. I am a freelancer and have interviewed many egomaniacs (pro athletes) and find that a straight on Q&A often offers the best glimpse readers will ever get of that person. I run my tape (or digital recorder these days) and let them go to it. The truth has a way of getting out there.

Like you, I absolutely adore Bale and agree that he hasn't earned the level of praise he deserves.

As I said in my post, I think it wouldn't kill him to be a bit more laid-back about the whole interview thing. But I also get where he's coming from re: maintaining his privacy.

What's funny is the Q&A format was probably the best way to present that Esquire story after all. The back-and-forth between the two of them was fascinating. I like Q&As, too -- as evidenced by the number of them we do in Celebritology -- but there are also times when the more traditional prose route works better. And it should be up to the writer to make that call.

Ok, so Ryan Reynolds was named Sexiest Man of The Year. Wasn't his spouse also awarded something recently? I can't quite remember.

Nice try. Sadly, Producer Paul is in training for a new tool we hope to wield here at The Post that will ensure our utter domination of both print and online news, so he can't post the pic of ScarJo you're angling for.

I have generally been thrilled with the reduced (or alternatively, more sophisticated) autotuning on Glee. It has so far this season sounded like they are actually singing, not just corrected by a machine. (Let's celebrate REAL talent!) And Then... They bring on Gwyneth, who is autotuned to all heck and sounded like Sue Silvester in Vogue from last season. It was terrible!!! I agree with the other poster, let's showcase that ACTUAL talent on the show like Lea and Matt and Chris and quit with the casting stunts.

OK, clearly I watched a different show. Or I was in such a bad place by the time I watched my DVR'd episode of Glee at midnight on Tuesday that I was willing to like anything.

But as I said before, I do agree in general about the stunt casting. There's more to come this week, in the form of Carol Burnett.

Ah, okay. I thought he had a closet full of Hogwarts uniforms.

The only evidence of non-T-shirt Harry Potter wear I saw were his cape, glasses and wand.

Hi - I think the People mag Sexiest Man award to the Green Lantern just goes to show that Movie Studio Publicity Machines are massively more influential than the publicity team at AMC. But, I wonder - did anybody shoot their tv when Reynolds won?

Perhaps so.

Reynolds isn't so awful, it just didn't feel like the buzziest choice. Especially since the first thing I thought when trying to figure out who they'd choose was: they'll probably choose someone like Ryan Reynolds.

I am interested to hear from the pro-Reynolds-as-Sexy-Man camp, though. Make te argument. Convince me.

I'm still waiting for Kanye West to come out in defense of Jon Hamm. "Excuse me, but..."

It can be pronounced both ways--Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren pronounces her first name "Zo" also.

I'll take your word for it. Does this mean I can also pronounce Toe as Tow-ee? As in "I have an ingrown nail on my big tow-ee."

Why does *everyone* keep forgetting the "Conjunction Junction" snippet. Clearly within Gwynneth's wheelhouse -- she kinda' "chantreused" it (if I can verbify that noun) -- and it was actually more within the (alleged) plotline than most of the "we now take a break to provide you a Broadway number" songs. Clearly the highlight that no one wants to remember.

That was fantastic. Thanks for the reminder!

I'm sorry, perhaps because of her image, there is something delicious about watching Paltrow act like a goofball. (Please also see her attempt to impersonate Mary Todd Lincoln.)

Gold, people. Gold.

"The only evidence of non-T-shirt Harry Potter wear I saw were his cape, glasses and wand."

No. Gene would have been wielding an oosik, not a wand.

Jen Chaney writes: Maybe I'm alone in this, but that's how I felt. You are SO not alone. I thought it was the best episode of the season, and one of my favorites of the series. It was just a lot of fun.

Yay, someone's on my side! Thanks. I need at least one person per chat to agree with me about something. Thanks to you I have met my quota.

Loved it, I mean I read it every couple of months loved it. Was lucky enough to get the recommendation from a co-worker in 2003. The next by the same author, "Issacs Storm" didn't read as well, but didn't have a killer either. Well, other than the hurricane. But I'm a sucker for history, with all its gory details. Also, Bill Bryson's books are good for book clubs. People love or hate them which spurs discussions and they run the gamut from "too light" to "too heavy".

Wait -- you re-read it every couple of months? Are you the world's biggest "Devil in the White City" fan? Do you have a youtube vid to prove it?

I read Devil in the White City for a book club and agree it's a great choice, even though I only read it once.

I can, however, dress in Devil in the White City T-shirts for three straight months without having to do laundry.

Actually, Prince Charles was about 32 when he announced his engagement to Diana, who was 19 at the time.

Indeed, Charles was 33 -- if I did the math correctly -- when he and Diana married.

Cop Rock couldn't have worked because they were composing their own music and they had no distribution Hello iTunes. And for the book club: always recommended is Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods".

Ah, good point. Yes, that's where they made their mistake: they needed more Journey and Queen on "Cop Rock."

And amen on "Walk in the Woods." A wonderful book, and one that made it even more clear to me that there is no way I will ever walk the Appalachian Trail.

I've got "A Walk in the Woods" on my GoodReads reading list. I hope to get to it after "Devil in the White City." As long as "The Passage" doesn't beat it to the punch.

1) Buried, where he spends much of the movie in a coffin underground, is his version of James Franco's 127 Hours. 2) He seriously recited the Green Lantern oath to a thrilled little boy at Comic-Con and it was totally charming. 3) Instead of having a blowout public fanfare wedding, he and ScarJo got married at an eco-resort in Canada with just family and a few friends. 4) He doesn't take himself too seriously, presumably being the youngest of four brothers quelled any of those impulses. 5) He was Van Wilder.

I'm sure he's a great guy. And I kind of liked him in "Adventureland." That was him, wasn't it? But I'm sorry. He's no Jon Hamm.

Meaning that while I'm sure Mr. Reynolds is swell and all, this was not his year. Or shouldn't have been.

Okay, those are all good points. The reciting of the oath thing made a lot of people get super mushy-gushy at Comic-Con. I also like that he doesn't take himself too seriously. And, having met him very briefly at the Oscars earlier this year, I can personally attest to his handsomeness. (He happened to be talking to Bradley Cooper at the time, so there was an excessive level of handsomeness in the same spot.)

Anyway, point is, this is not a matter of not liking Reynolds, just thinking, as Liz said, that Hamm might have deserved it more. In addition to all the things in his favor, Don Draper has become this icon of male sex appeal. And that's all Hamm's doing.

so it seemed like he was 40. Actually, I think that Prince Charles was born 40. He still looks the same. His sons have certainly eclipsed him in the looks department.

Yes, funny how Prince Harry looks just like that nice polo player Diana befriended.

Actually, In a Sunburned Country about Australia is my favorite Bryson book, although I love A Walk in the Woods. And I even liked the one on scientific history which is a great one to show how science really works and that the truth comes out in the end (although the "right" person may not get the credit).

Forgive me, I haven't yet read any Bryson. Is he anything like Paul Theroux, who also writes a lot of travel-centric books? I loved his "Great Railway Bazaar" and SUPER-loved the one about the South Pacific. It was something like "Adrift in Oceania."

What happened to him? I loved him when he was a bad boy. Now he's all touchy feely and I think I feel a little nauseous.

I posted a similar sentiment to Facebook yesterday after watching his G-rated appearance on "Ellen." The guy is nothing without his bad-boy mystique. Again, though, this is coming from a woman who admits to crushing on dirtbags.

Honestly, I never got the attraction to Russell Crowe. But I do think he's a fantastic actor.

This is interesting, though, in light of the Christian Bale conversation. We make fun of actors when they go into fits of anger, but when they play ultra-nice, we complain that they're boring. How can they win?

I think we should all just listen to this Kid Cudi song that kicks off with a Christian Bale rant. Oh, and the rant is decidedly NSFW, so take care.

MORIARTY!!! How about that conclusion to SH last week. I finally watched it. Wonderful.

Oh, yes. YES! It was fabulous. I won't go into detail because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't yet watched. But, suffice to say, Robert Downey Jr. can just sit down and move on to a different project. He's been out-Sherlocked.

I am heartbroken that only three episodes were filmed. I hope they manage to shoot a few more before Martin Freeman is called away on Hobbit duty.

Sorry, but after talking to my mother and hearing her tell me how much she liked that nice "Forget You" song and explaining how much it sucked compared to the original, I'm kind of over it all.

Well, in fairness to Glee, the Forget You version had circulated on the radio long before they Gwyneth-ed it.

That said, I agree. That song works far better with expletives.

I'd take Ryan R over Jon Hamm, sorry he's more my taste and have you seen his abs, they are nutz.

Well, if it's abs you're after, why not pass Hamm and Reynolds and go directly to The Situation?

Nick Nolte won in 1992.

I know, that kind of made me laugh the other day just because I was imagining his mug shot on the cover of People with Sexiest Man Alive scrawled across it.

That said, there was a time when Nolte was considered somewhat sexy. As we have with Mickey Rourke, people seem to have forgotten it, though.

No, sorry, Jen -- but I will never forget sexy Mickey Rourke. He's one of my dirtbag heartthrobs. I'm talking "Rumblefish" era Rourke.

But getting back to Gibson -- I used to find him so attractive and charming. From "The Bounty" all the way through "Braveheart." But after the DUI and the Oksana and the vitriole that spews from that guy's mouth, I just don't even see him as the same person anymore. Which is how I reconcile still enjoying his earlier work.

It's not even a matter of not thinking he's attractive. We are talking about SEXIEST ALIVE. Not, nicest or cutest or sweetest or doesn't take himself serious-est.


Let's stay focused here, people. Niceness does not win you sexy points.

Well, unless we're talking nice as in, "Hey, nice [insert favorite body part here]."

When we vote for Jennifer Grey as often as Sarah's fans vote for Bristol. Vote early, vote often, as they say in the Windy City!

Now I feel compelled to watch "Dancing" in its entirety this week. Do you see what you people are making me become?

the best discussions my book club were about books where men wrote about female characters--The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was one of them.

Another terrific suggestion. Well done.

on "Glee," but I really couldn't. She let herself look silly and the lighting at one point was so poor that I could see actual wrinkles. Plus, she is talented, darn it. I came out of it kind of liking her.

Another person who is pro-Gwyneth. And they said it could never happen in Celebritology.

Yes ... we ... can!

Indeed. We can. I love Gwyneth and I'm not afraid to let the world know. She's my insouciant heroine!

Call me crazy (or biased), but I don't recall this kind of backlash against previous SMA winners. Not because Ryan isn't awesome, but that Hamm is awesomer. It's not just Don Draper. It's Jon Hamm's john ham.

I love the outrage on this. What upsets us more, Hamm not getting Sexiest Man or the possibility of Palin winning DWTS?

Tough call, right?

Any word on whether any Lizards have taken up the challenge to write a novel during the month of November? What about JeLi, since Celebritology-world is just chock-a-block with juicy material?

I heard from one reader who is NaNoWriMo-ing.

I intended to do but I haven't written a single word. So I'm thinking I won't be able to write 50,000 in the days that remain.

Hobbit duty? He wasn't in LOTR. I must be behind the news on this.

Yes, sadly -- or gladly depending on which project you like more -- Martin Freeman (aka Dr. Watson) has been picked to play Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming "Hobbit" film.

Ryan Reynolds is a boy, I'm sorry. Then again, to my mind Johnny Depp will always hold that title.

If Ryan Reynolds is a boy, then what does that make Taylor Lautner? An embryo?

I don't view Johnny Depp as a perpetual boy-man. He's no Ralph Macchio. And I'm not really getting that vibe from Ryan Reynolds, either. Sure, everyone looks like a boy standing next to Jon Hamm, but Reynolds is more of a lumberjack frat bro than an out and out boy.

I can't believe this discussion has gone this far.

I LOVE vampires and I HATED the passage. I read the whole thing on vacation this summer waiting and waiting for it to get good. And it never did. and then it didn't really end, just set up a sequel. So I lugged that huge book around for a whole vacation and didn't get any resolution except for the knowledge there would be a second book. (so, in case you were wondering, I don't recommend it)

Well, it's not vampire-y in the traditional way. The emphasis is on the people surviving in this new landscape, not on the vamps themselves.

I love it, just wish it wasn't taking me so dang long to finish.

Reportedly new episodes of "Sherlock" will begin filming in the spring. YAY!!!


I'm surprised I didn't see any mention in the Post of 3 Glee cast members hosting the Antidefamation League's Concert Against Hate at the Kennedy Center this past Monday. I went and got to meet them afterwards, including Max Adler, who plays Karofsky of the now-famous kissing scene last week. Nice guys, inspiring show.

Well, an event's press is only as good as its publicist and -- Jen, correct me if I'm wrong -- but I don't remember gettting any advance word on what sounds like a great event. Maybe the tip went to the Reliable Sourcers who, at least earlier this week, were both on vacation.

George Clooney and Mark Harmon should have permanent "Sexiest Man Alive" emeritus status.

Wait. Everything was fine until I read the words "Mark Harmon." Then I heard a sound like a needle scratching across a record in my brain. I mean.... really?

Um, excuse me, Liz. Did you or did you not see "Summer School"?

Well, I was going to invoke "Summer School" in support of my case <i>against</i> Harmon. But apparently he's got one stalwart supporter. I'm sure Erik Estrada has his superfans, too.

Okay folks, that's it for today. No chat next week because we'll all probably be eating turkey (or a reasonable fascimile) around this time next week.

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.

Celebritology Live Archive
Liz Kelly
Accredited Celebritologist Liz Kelly monitors the ups, downs and in-betweens of the stars. She is uniquely qualified to write this blog because of her alarming interest in celebrities and pop culture -- and because Sandra Bullock, Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty attended her high school (not at the same time, but still...)
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