By William Horn
Assistant Entertainment Media Director, GLAAD
Will Howard Hughes be Played Bi Leo?
Gossip columnists worked double time this week when news broke that Leonardo DiCaprio had renewed his interest in portraying tycoon Howard Hughes. The mystery now is whether or not Charles Higham's book Howard Hughes: Secret Life will be the source for the script. Higham contends that Hughes was bisexual, carrying on affairs with Hollywood elite including Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant. DiCaprio would be directed by friend Michael Mann, who directed Heat and The Last of the Mohicans.
|| Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach , due out this winter
The Titanic star has played gay once before -- in 1995 he portrayed French poet Arthur Rimaud in the 19th Century period piece Total Eclipse, in which he had an affair with poet Paul Verlaine.
| Jay Mohr (right) played gay with Scott Wolf in the 1999 release Go Now Mohr moves on to television to play a ruthless movie producer.
The pilot for the new comedy Action is already generating a stir in Hollywood, a full two months before its premiere. This week's TV Guide includes an article by J. Max Robins on the series' controversial and racy content and on the buzz it's generating in some of Hollywood's most exclusive power circles.
The show stars Jay Mohr as Peter Dragon, a foul-mouthed, vicious and ruthless movie producer. GLAAD has seen the hilarious, obscenity-filled pilot, in which Mohr meets his new girlfriend/muse, the hooker with a heart of gold, played by Illeana Douglas.
Action also includes studio head Bobby G., who's out of the closet within private circles but has a very public (arranged) marriage to Dragon's ex-wife. We see a lot of -- almost all of, in fact -- a freshly showered Bobby when he and Dragon butt heads at a beach house Christmas party.
Robins reports that while the characterizations are by no means likable, some of Hollywood's biggest names have claimed that they are the inspirations for these characters. We're not sure how much of the pilot, which is being circulated throughout Hollywood, will need to be edited for primetime TV. Action is set to air at 9:30 PM on Thursday nights this fall on FOX.
Elton Singing the Blues: Rock legend Elton John has reportedly asked for a $40 million loan to pay off debts he has accrued. Estimates put his holdings at over $250 million, but the openly gay rock star reportedly spends tens of thousands every week.
Yearwood Plays Gay: Grammy-winning country stars Trisha Yearwood and band The Mavericks performed a benefit concert last month for a local Nashville makeup artist recently diagnosed with cancer. The event made headlines since it was held at The Connection, a gay bar in conservative Nashville, Tennessee.
Previous Entertainment Features from the GayToday Archive:
Review: Swing Kids
Review: There's Something About Mary
Star Wars: The Legend Continues
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Official Site
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Parker Joins Scream Team: Indie princess Parker Posey has joined the cast of Scream 3, which begins production this summer. She will join newlyweds Courtney Cox and David Arquette, and director Wes Craven. Openly gay Kevin Williamson, who developed the film franchise and wrote the first two installments, has turned over the film to another writer, since he is busy preparing for the release of his directorial debut Teaching Mrs. Tingle and the premiere of his new ABC television series Wasteland.
Meanwhile, many are using the "R"-rated movie as a national test case for carding minors who try to see the animated feature without a parent or guardian.
| Big Gay Al returns in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park Shocker: It seems audiences are not the only ones shocked by the kids in South Park this summer -- critics have generally given the animated film positive reviews. The Hollywood Reporter called it, "hilarious, uncensored and charming in its delectably ham-fisted way," and Entertainment Weekly gave it an "A-."
Janis Joplin Bio in Pieces: After numerous production set backs, the planned Janis Joplin biopic Piece of My Heart by Lakeshore Entertainment and Paramount has now lost its director Gary Fleder. The project, plagued by delays over song rights and a competing script, at one time had Melissa Etheridge attached to portray the singing legend.
Outfest Kicks the Closet Door Open July 8: Los Angeles' lesbian and gay film festival, Outfest, kicks off Thursday, July 8 with the foreign film Show Me Love. The festival's closing night feature on July 19 will be the premiere of Trick at the newly reopened Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
Defying Gravity Falls To Earth: The independent feature Defying Gravity, the story of two closeted fraternity brothers coming out after a vicious gay bashing, will soon have sneak peaks in both New York (July 9) and Los Angeles (July 7).
Legendary Producer Carr Dies: Stage and film producer Alan Carr died this week at the age of 62. Carr won a Tony for his stage version of La Cage aux Folles and brought Grease, Grease 2 and Can't Stop the Music to the big screen. Famous for his elaborate parties, famous friends and embroidered caftans, Carr will live in infamy for producing the 1989 Academy Awards telecast in which Rob Lowe and Snow White performed "Proud Mary."
You Don't Say?
"Being openly gay in public life is itself a political statement. It's relevant to changing laws because half the reason the laws haven't been changed is the public at large isn't aware that gay people exist because we've been encouraged for so long to stay in the closet and be quiet about ourselves and not to cause a fuss."
- Sir Ian McKellen in the June 28, 1999 Sydney Morning Herald
… Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Tea With Mussolini both have lesbian content.
… Edge of Seventeen, Hard, Finding North, Get Real and An Ideal Husband are all open in limited release.
… Adam Sandler's Big Daddy includes a gay couple and The General's Daughter has gay content.
… South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut includes the return of Big Gay Al and the coupling of Saddam Hussein and Satan.
Opening this Weekend:
… Spike Lee's Summer of Sam includes gay content.
… Defying Gravity opens in select cities later this month.
… Trick, co-starring Tori Spelling, opens in limited release later this month and though out the summer.
Saturday, July 10: New episodes of Rude Awakenings, starring Sherilyn Fenn, Lynn Redgrave and Rain Pryor--who portrays a lesbian (Showtime, 10:00PM EST/PST).
Saturday, July 10: New episodes of Showtime's comedy series Beggars and Choosers. Tuc Watkins portrays Malcolm Laffley, a closeted gay television network executive (10:30PM EST/PST).
Sunday, July 11: New episodes of HBO's Sex and the City, which includes Stanford (Willie Garson) the gay pal of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) (9:00PM EST/PST).