Celebritology Live

Oct 11, 2012

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

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Hi, guys. Chat's going to be delayed for another couple of minutes while I finish a blog post. Promise to be with you momentarily...

All right, I'm done and ready to chat. Sorry, everyone. Blogging alone ain't as easy as it looks...

So this week, we learned that Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, and Christian Bale (along with Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, and Cate Blanchett) will all be the new Untitled Terrence Malick Project. Somehow, the Internet did not explode. I suppose the question is whether it will explode when one or more of them are left on the cutting room floor...

You know, I really should follow up on this. That is an exceedingly high level of hotness in a single film.

Does anyone think this might have to do with Danny possibly having a drinking problem? A while ago he did that famous limoncello-soaked interview, and that was not the only oddball public thing he did at the time.

I suppose it's possible, though there is no reason to think that's what caused the separation. Until one of them talks about it we won't know. All we can do is speculate.

It's sad, that much is clear.

Even though the adorable Uggie is retired, he has a new book out about his life and loves.

I have been meaning to try to get my hands on that book and haven't yet. I love Uggie as much as the next person -- well, probably not as much as Sarah Anne Hughes -- but the book things just seems silly. But also great fodder for another in Celebritology's sadly limited book club guide series.

So with the news of Bieber being related to all other Canadian celebrities can we safely assume their relatives were are all really brothers and sisters at one point?

Yes. And Bob and Doug McKenzie are their two uncles, and their parents are Bryan Adams and Anne Murray.

Man, I don't get to make nearly enough Anne Murray references in this chat.

What do you think of Adele's theme for "Skyfall"?  I liked it. Best Bond theme post-Shirley Bassey (who set the standard) is the Scorpio theme sung by Sally Stevens for "The Simpsons" episode "You Only Move Twice."  What they both have in common is that the song focuses on the main Bond villain.

I liked the Adele song, too, although it's not a song I feel compelled to listen to over and over again. But as a Bond theme, I definitely like it.

"Goldfinger" is an apt comparison, although that one is still the best. Hmmm ... possibly a Friday list?

Jen, just wanted to say - what a lovely essay on E.T. I wanted to give you a hug because it was wonderfully written. I know some people don't think the same about the movie, but that's fine. I just wanted to say I still love this movie and it makes me cry every time. I haven't seen another movie since that resonated with my childhood memories.

Aw, thanks. I accept your virtual hug. Appreciate the kind words.

Do you mean that you love Sarah Anne more than you love Uggie, or that she loves Uggie more than you do?

I should probably clarify: I meant that she loves Uggie more than I do. But I do love Sarah. Miss her every day, especially on days when I can't do enough blogging and the chat's running late because of it.

I've read this week that Danny was a serial philanderer, using his power as a producer and director to attract women.

I have no idea if that's true. Although I did see him at a party once -- at Comic-Con, I think? -- surrounded by a bunch of women. He wasn't doing anything wrong at all, just talking. But I remember thinking, "Dang, DeVito!"

Anyway, as I said before: this is all just speculation at this point unless one of them decides to share their marital issues with the public at large. And I'm not sure why they would.

What about Paul McCartney and Wings? Tom Jones? Actually, anybody but Nancy Sinatra.

Carly Simon, "Nobody Does It Better." That's a pretty great one, too.

Oh, and let us not forget "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton. In fact, why don't I just mess up the rest of your day by inserting it firmly into your ear drums right now?

It's a beautiful moment when a young person today realizes there was actually a major motion picture titled "Octopussy." I just had it the other day.

I feel like this is a story I would like to hear, if it's suitable for work.

If you have this person's reaction in GIF form, that would be even better.

Led a tumultuous, colorful life. But I don't recall her ever getting into a domestic cat fight with her mum.

Me either. But that doesn't change the fact that Lindsay Lohan relates to her and therefore, is her. At least for Lifetime movie purposes.

They had a nice retrospective about ET in EW last week. Just thought you might want to know.

Thanks. I have the issue and still haven't had a chance to read it. My stack of magazines and books that I need to get to is ludicrously high right now.

Am I the only person on earth who just doesn't care? I just don't understand why most people want to know if so-and-so is dating Ms. such-and-such, or why some married couple broke up. Seriously, why do people care?

I think there's an innate human desire to know who is dating who or who broke up with who, whether those details involve celebrities or people in your office or random people who live down the street. It's why we gossip, and cave men and women gossiped and dinosaurs, presumably, gossiped in their own, T-Rexy way.

It's none of our business obviously, but in terms of the famous people element, we think of celebrities as people we know. The ones who have been married seemingly happily for a while -- like DeVito and Perlman -- we root for because we want them to be happy. That gives some people hope that marriages can survive the greatest of odds, those great odds being a life led in Hollywood.

Do you watch this show? I haven't watched this week's ep yet and I'm not all that enthused about it so far. I will give ANYTHING from the house of JJ a chance (huge Alias, Lost and Fringe fan and didn't hate Alcatraz and the one with the spy couple), but this one's just not doing it for me. What say you?

I watched the first episode and a half and could not get into it. If it's improving, I would try to jump back in, but it just didn't grab me.

I also love Abrams but didn't like "Revolution" much (at least not so far) and never got into Alcatraz either.

They had the best Bond theme song, The World is Not Enough. I am also partial to Duran Duran's a View to a Kill. Madonna's was the worst, and another one I can't stand is Sheryl Crowe's, which was not actually originally meant to open Tomorrow Never Dies. K.D. Lang's song, Surrender, was supposed to be the theme song, but got moved to the end credits because it wasn't thought it would be commercial enough, but it is the far superior of the two.

I think the video for "A View to a Kill" is certainly the best music video for a James Bond theme ever made. I'm also partial to it because I won a copy of the soundtrack  by being the seventh caller to Q107 back in 1985.

I wasn't sure why David Arquette and Courtney Cox would either, but they DID. In spades!

Fair point. Man, they really overshared after they split.

A View to A Kill was a pretty darned good post-Basey Bond theme!

The pro-Duran contingent is out in full force. Viva LeBon!

I drove by Sony Pictures just in case I could report any celeb sightings. Sorry to say, nothing exciting happened. But people drive slower than molasses in LA and I'm starting to think it's because they're trying to spot famous people.

I have not noticed the slow driving in L.A. during my visits, aside from when there are traffic back-ups.

In any case, thanks for trying to spot some celebs for us.

I have watched every episode, but I'm about to quit it. It is like a bad scy-fy original movie. The lead actress is abysmal, with only one facial expression, the dialogue is simplistic and predictable, the exposition is clunky, and the narrative illogical and contradictory.

So Bella's dad isn't saving the project in the acting department? Oh well.

Did anyone watch "Nashville" last night? What did y'all think of that?

Liz, you scream each time Duran Duran doesn't get their due, but you don't think they have the best Bond theme ever? It was the only one that was a real hit. And the way Simon hits those notes. Oh my. ;-)

Okay, A. I'm not Liz. She left the company close to two years ago now.

B. I just gave them props.

C. I love View to a Kill but as an objective human being, I still think Goldfinger is better. I cannot let my Duran biases cloud my judgment.

You, LiLo, are NO Elizabeth Taylor!!!

Well, let's just wait and see "Liz & Dick" before we make that statement. I'm honestly trying to approach that movie with an open mind, as much as I can.

Interest in this on the part of the public was pumped up by the studios starting about 90 years ago. In the heyday of the studio system--the 30s and 40s--studio publicists would arrange highly visible "dates" for starlets they hoped to make into stars--"So and so is shown entering the Brown Derby with Van Johnson. Do we hear wedding bells?" These faux romances were also used to hide sexual persuasions, with lesbian actors "hooking up" with their gay male counterparts so the studios could dodge uncomfortable questions. It was the industry that taught us to do this, folks. We're just doing what is now ingrained in our Celebritology DNA.

Great point, although I would say that no one would have cared back then, even, if there weren't some instinctive curiosity about other people's love lives.

But still, absolutely, yes. Well said.

And as for this studio manipulation of our emotions, this is still totally happening. I direct your attention to Pattinson/Stewart, ladies and gentlemen.

I was a counselor on a teen tour many many years ago and when we were in LA they were the celebs we ran into. I think cheers was even still on...SO - they were the NICEST people ever. Rhea was just fine with us bothering her, and taking pictures, and all.

That's nice.

I have an explanation. This is the dawn of the Kristen Stewart era. From now on, all young actresses will aspire to have a single facial expression in honor of their Twihard idol.

I think Stewart is better in other movies  than she is in Twilight. In "Adventureland," for instance, I found her much more believable and nuanced.

That said: Hee hee. That's funny.

Woody Allen's parody of "Casino Royale" contained Dusty Springfield singing Burt Bacharach and Hal David's masterpiece "The Look of Love," which has become a pop classic. May we please count that as a James Bond song, too?

Hmmm ... technically it doesn't count. But I will take this under consideration if/when I do that Friday list.

Lurrrrvvvved Connie Britton on "Nashville" last night, even though a lot of the men looked too much alike, leading to viewer confusion at that late hour.

The stuff with Britton's dad and her husband was bit fuzzy for me. But agreed, I like her enough to keep watching.

Well, except for this one person who posted the question to your chat. That person's innate human desire to know is being suppressed or didn't develop properly due to some childhood trauma, disease, malnutrition, or perhaps something their mother smoked during pregnancy.

Some people honestly don't care about that stuff. It's fair.

Similarly some people really don't care about politics, which is hard for some Washingtonians to grasp but it is true.

YES!! That song is amazing! That's my second favorite Simpson's song behind the one for the Softball episode.

Oh, I'm sharing that now. Too appropriate given what a big day this is for baseball playoffs.

I think my favorite "Simpsons" song might be the Monorail ... or possibly the theme from "Streetcar! The Musical."

Or it might be this.

Man, this might be another Friday list...

Even in my Duran-induced teenage lust, I knew that video was bad. Recently, John Taylor confirmed it in an AV Club article.

No. No. I hate to disagree with John Taylor, but I loved that video. I mean, the effects are ridiculous -- the part where a blind Andy Taylor makes Nick Rhodes explode with his accordion is just one example -- but I still love it.

"Bon. Simon LeBon."

So. Good.

Just read on the AP that Tom Hanks is heading to Broadway next year in a posthumous play by Nora Ephron. They were still in negotiations at the time of her death. It's about the NYC journalist who interviewed assault Haitian-born victim Abner Louima.

Saw that just now, too.  Will explore further after the chat ends.

Woah. Um yeah, I guess I'll check with my mother on whether she sucked down any reefer while I was in utero. Seriously?

Okay, that was a little harsh.

If you don't care, it's cool. It's your right, my friend.

Of course, because you haven't yet mentioned "Who put the Spring in Springfield!"

There's that and also...

No, the stone mason one is the best.


And no one has even mentioned anything from the Sherry Bobbins episode.

Man, this could be a long list.

Am feeling violated that ANY politician would sully that beloved slogan from "Friday Night Lights" for partisan gain.

It's not surprising. And no unprecedented for pop culture to be used for politican gain. Every song choice, for example, does that a little bit.

But as I said in my post this morning, "Friday Night Lights" took such pains to go against the grain of the stereotypes about Texans' political views, that it is a little bit more troublesome than other pop culture references might be.

But I always liked the "Michael Jackson" song for Lisa's birthday. That was such a sweet episode. Happy birthday Lisa!

Oh, I love that one. If I remember correctly, that's not actually MJ singing even though he did the character's voice in the rest of the episode. I believe he actually wrote the song, though.

I wasn't making fun of you, poster. I was making fun of Jen saying it's an innate human desire. And even that was supposed to be funny, not harsh. If you knew me personally, you'd know. But of course, if you knew me personally we would be having this conversation over a couple glasses of wine, laughing.

There would be so fewer misunderstandings if we did this whole chat in person, with wine. That's true about so many things.

Anyway, we're all good, y'all. Now let's embrace in the name of the non-partisan Friday Night Lights.

My family enjoyed Nashville, even though none of us like country music. Connie Britton was great; even Hayden Panetierre was good (and thoroughly hateable), but the biggest reaction was when we realized that the hunky, ex-alcoholic, still-in-love-with-Connie Britton was no other than Chip Esten from Drew Carey's "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Yes! He was on "The Office," too. I never thought of him as hunky until last night. He was awfully purty in that scene where he and Britton were standing on the bridge.

Is Celebritology also going to be switched to the "new" look? Please say no.

I believe that is the plan. If you object, write to your Congressman.

Just kidding. You can write to me -- jen.chaney@wpost.com -- even though I have no control over the situation.

I do think the new layout will make it easier to see everything being posted during the day. Right now the blog cuts off after five posts and the archives links are the worst.

Grew up and did us all proud. (and he and Matt Damon are still besties.)

Yes, he certainly did.

And on that pro-Affleck note, I must sign off.

Programming notes: "Walking Dead" resumes Sunday and I wrote a review, which should appear on the site tomorrow. I'll also be recapping as per the past couple of seasons.

If that wasn't enough "American Horror Story Version Nun.0" starts next Wed.as well.

And of course, we'll be chatting again next Thursdayat 2. Be here, won't you?

Thanks again for your questions and comments and great Bond/Simpsons songs. All suggestions currently under consideration for future Friday lists.

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
Jen Chaney anchors The Washington Post's Celebritology blog, The Post's online window into the world of pop culture and celebrities. She also frequently writes about entertainment trends, filmmakers and other Hollywood-related matters for the print edition of The Washington Post.

A Post staffer for more than a decade, Jen also can be seen reviewing movies on WETA's "Around Town," where she is one of the show's regular film critics. Last year, she contributed a series of essays to the book, "The Friday Night Lights Companion."

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

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