Rosie O'Donnell, right, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck
Just because Rosie O’Donnell isn’t on "The View" this morning, don’t think she’s just going away.
Rosie is about to go on a rock tour. She’s joining pal Cyndi Lauper on a series of dates beginning next week. The pair have been friends for a while, and Rosie has even considered producing rock icon Cyndi’s show for Broadway.
Last week, Rosie even put up video montage on her blogsite to the recording of Lauper’s “Sisters of Avalon.”
The dates on the Lauper tour were always planned, but once Rosie knew she was leaving "The View," she added some more.
As for O’Donnell’s departure from "The View," those close to her say she knew the party was over last Wednesday, the day ABC did a split screen between her and Elisabeth Hasselbeck as their on-air fight raged without commercials.
Rosie even says in a new video on her blog that she knew that was the moment she was finished. “It turned into 'The Jerry Springer Show,'” says a friend on the video with her.
In fact, the crazy stuff that happened on "The View" on Wednesday — a wild interrupted fight between Rosie and Elisabeth — could easily have been stopped if the show’s director had simply gone to commercial. But it didn’t happen, and as shown in YouTube clips, the situation quickly got out of hand.
Rosie, insiders say, blames Barbara Walters’ producer Bill Geddie for not halting the action. Sources refer to Walters as Geddie’s “hand puppet.” When things got tense last week, insiders say Geddie went into Walters’ office “and filled her head with stuff from tabloid TV.”
“Barbara thinks it’s a game,” the source concluded.
So that’s it for "The View": three weeks of Barbara, Joy Behar, pregnant Hasselbeck and guest hosts. Three weeks may not seem like a long time, but that’s 15 one-hour shows with no lead panelist.
As for O’Donnell: She never called the U.S. troops in Iraq terrorists. But what she did question was the ongoing body count of Iraqi civilians in a war they did not initiate. She may not have worded it elegantly, but the meaning and intent were pure Rosie. She was speaking up for the little guy.
Here’s a story from the Cannes Film Festival that you haven’t heard yet. Graham King, the Oscar-winning film producer of "The Departed," "The Aviator" and "Gangs of New York," was mugged at the Hotel du Cap during the first week.
King didn’t want his name in this story, but news of it leaked out as the week went along. King was renting one of the free-standing villas outside the Hotel’s main gate.
According to King, thieves broke into the villa on the festival’s opening night. When the producer and his staff arrived home from the premiere, they were pepper-sprayed in the eyes. The criminals made off with everything, including laptop computers and passports.
The Hotel du Cap is a beautiful, famous resort for the very rich. But it also has a reputation for trouble. In years past there have been stories of “inside jobs” and thievery of all kinds. One reason is that the Hotel used to require cash only or wire transfers, and no credit cards.
“Locals would hear so and so was coming, and they’d arrange to hijack limos coming from the airport,” recalls one long-timer.
These days, the Hotel takes credit cards for the bar and restaurant but still requires bank transfers for an entire stay prior to a guest’s arrival.
This year, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Harvey Weinstein, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brett Ratner and a huge number of producers and actors stayed there. The Hotel also hosted parties for Vanity Fair, De Grisagono and the private “Ocean’s Thirteen” dinner.
Since you and I will never get to stay at the Hotel — this is where Johnny Carson and Bill Cosby used to vacation — check out a great little movie by Henry Jaglom called “Festival in Cannes.” You get to see quite a bit of the grounds, including the fabled bungalow area.
Before I left for Cannes, a friend sent over a DVD screener of “Memories of Tomorrow.” This exceptional Japanese film stars Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe as a 50-year-old master of the universe who’s diagnosed with onset Alzheimer’s.
As always, Watanabe gives a dead-on super performance; he’s so good, you want to follow his story to its conclusion. Watanabe is known to American audiences for his work in “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “The Last Samurai.” What’s interesting about his career is that, like Djimon Honsou, he’s a non-American who is warmly welcomed in domestic films with rave reviews and awards. If Watanabe were American, he’d be a top leading man. He just gets better and better. ...
The 2007 Cannes jury did just as predicted and spread their awards among many films. Julian Schnabel, the famous painter and one-time enfant terrible of the art world, won Best Director for his third film, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” It’s a richly deserved prize. As I said last week, actor Matthieu Amalric will get an Oscar nomination for his work when the movie is released this fall by Miramax. …
Just catching up with last week’s installment of "The Sopranos" in anticipation of the upcoming series conclusion. Following Tony’s suffocation of Christopher, the next episode concerned AJ’s attempted suicide and hospitalization, as well as Tony’s unguarded semi-public attack on a thug who harassed Meadow.
James Gandolfini does his best work in this episode, and again, his scenes with Lorraine Bracco are all Emmy-worthy. David Chase has set Tony up for a great tragedy in the finale now that the sociopath gangster has lost nearly everyone around him: his son, nephew, uncle, mother and protector (Johnny Sack). Tony has been whittled down to a stand-off with the New York mob, with no one left to mediate. It’s not going to be pretty. …
Finally: Warner Music Group starts the week off with a very low stock price ($16.48) and no chance now of merging with EMI Music. Last week, WMG was happy to sell 625,000 copies of Linkin Park’s new CD. It was an impressive debut, but whether it can hold up is anyone’s guess. Linkin Park, of course, was developed under the prior Warner regime, not the current one.