LOS ANGELES – Despite being genetically blessed with classic beauty and a unique sense of old Hollywood glamour, Charlize Theron chooses time and time again to play characters that are anything but gorgeous and refined.
We watched her kill her way to an Oscar as a hooker in "Monster," conquer the working-class coal miner in "North Country" and now Theron is back in "Sleepwalking" as a negligent, down-and-out mother who abandons her daughter and is the product of an abusive father.
But it turns out the South African-born actress could not care less about her appearance, on-screen or off.
"At the end of the day, it isn’t about what I physically look like — it comes back to storytelling. If I can find a good story, [that] is all that matters; I don’t judge a character on what I physically look like," Theron told Pop Tarts. "I really don't care about appearance; that is so secondary to everything else that's more important in life."
Charlize also offered insight into how she has managed to be so successful in the cutthroat arena of show business.
"You are the driver of your life. You have to be responsible for the choices that you make and the life that you live," Theron said confidently.
But despite dabbling in modeling and dancing before finding her true passion as an actress, Charlize is quick to dismiss reports that she loathed the days she spent primping and posing for photographers.
"I am definitely still passionate about all those art forms. The correlation between all of them is storytelling — these were all different venues [in which] I could execute storytelling," she said. "That's how my life will always be; at the end of the day if it doesn’t have an element of storytelling, I won’t be creatively satisfied."
Speaking of seeking satisfaction, it seems Charlize's naughty little habit left lots of press people twiddling their thumbs.
"There have been quite a few smoking breaks," an insider whispered to Tarts.
Paris Hilton and Heidi Montag Are, er, 'Acquaintances'
Paris Hilton and Heidi Montag share a few basic commonalities: reality television, record deals, blond hair and partying skills. But when it comes to friendship, it seems the bond just isn't there.
Both Hollywood hotties spent the weekend in their home-away-from-home, Sin City, as professional partygoers, but before their big nights out, the girls weren't exactly talking.
Hilton and her new Good Charlotte beau, Benji Madden, hit up the chic eatery Company American Bistro on Friday evening, insisting on their very own specifically prepared menu of big-eye tuna, butter lettuce salad and sliders.
But Tarts has been told that across the hall, Heidi and Spencer Pratt were canoodling in a booth over matzoh ball soup, oysters, scallops, steak and lobster.
"They glanced over at Paris and Benji a number a times," a fellow diner told Tarts. "Both parties knew each other were there."
Upon leaving, we're told that "The Hills" duo put on a funny little act of "pretending" to only just notice their Tinseltown counterparts.
"Heidi and Spencer said a really quick hello, but it was very brief and very awkward," added our source. "It looked very fake."
According to a close Hilton pal, the two blondes are "acquaintances" and have never considered being each other's "friend."
Later, Heidi and Spencer got down and dirty at LAX (thankfully, Heidi didn't do any singing, although she did invite strangers onto the stage).
Meanwhile, the romance between Hilton and Madden rocked on at PURE, where the two decided they wanted some early bedroom action. We're told the couple escaped to one of the plush VIP beds where they talked intimately until the club was cleared.
With "The Hills" heartbreakers back in Hollywood, Hilton and Benji boogied into LAX on Saturday night to celebrate the rock star's birthday. Perhaps his Aussie ex-girlfriend Sophie Monk never danced for her former fiancé, because Benji reportedly looked "gobsmacked" when Paris presented him with a big birthday cake followed by an impromptu "super sexy" dance performance.
Taking a slightly more low-profile approach, Nicolas Cage was spotted by our spies slumming at the swanky new club The Bank at The Bellagio. However, the married actor made it clear he was off-limits.
"A bunch of cute girls were hanging around him, but Nic was very well-behaved," said our source. "He made sure to show his wedding band."
K-Fed Is Trying to Be Britney
Well, adopting her spending habits, anyway.
Pop Tarts was present in the courtroom Monday morning as attorneys for Britney Spears and Kevin Federline fought over how much the pop princess should pay Mark Vincent Kaplan (who represents K-Fed).
Kaplan insisted that his bill to Brit is at a value of $405,000; however, her new lawyer, Stacy Phillips, argued that her client need dish out no more than $150,000 to $175,000 for his "excess paperwork" due to Spears' "difficulty" in cooperating throughout the custody battle.
Phillips brought to light some interesting spending habits Federline has acquired, which could give his spa-lovin' former flame a run for her money.
"Mr. Federline recently tipped $2,000 for a $360 restaurant bill," Phillips told the commissioner. "If he can afford to tip like that, he can afford to put that money into his lawyer's pocket."
Apparently, the "rapper" also rang up a $20,000 bill at a jewelry store, allows his ex Shar Jackson and his bodyguards to use his credit cards and expenses almost everything as "business" rather than "personal."
Spotted or Snapped a Star? Got a Good Scoop? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.