Actress Michelle Williams is seriously thinking leaving New York, specifically Brooklyn, three months after the tragic death of Heath Ledger.
The prying eyes of paparazzi and tabloid press may have finally pushed her to the decision. Since Ledger's death on Jan. 22, Williams has not been able to spend a peaceful moment in her own neighborhood with toddler daughter Matilda.
The former "Dawson's Creek" star and Ledger had been beacons of light for their Brooklyn neighborhood, where they blended in easily. I recall a movie premiere a couple of years ago when Ledger was extolling the virtues of outer-borough living to new neighbors Emily Mortimer and Alessandro Nivola.
But Ledger moved out last year and returned to Manhattan, leaving Williams and their daughter behind. Since he died, Williams has been stalked and hounded on a regular basis. Inappropriate and rude? Certainly. But on a real level, it's no way to grieve.
Ironically, Williams' career is going great guns right now. Her Charlie Kaufman film, "Synecdoche, New York," premieres in Cannes next month. She's currently shooting "Shutter Island" with Martin Scorsese.
But don't expect her to give any interviews or do any press concerning Ledger. At Monday night's premiere of "Made of Honor," she came to support pal Busy Phillips, who played Audrey on "Dawson's Creek." But it was the lowest-key appearance ever, as Williams was cloaked in black and wearing a low-slung cap.
Veteran TV and movie actor Jason Beghe wants his records back, and I do not mean "Dark Side of the Moon" or "Aqualung."
On Monday night, Beghe — whom this column told you all about in his exit from Scientology after nearly 14 years — posted a message on a public forum at OperationClambake.com. He wants returned to him the mountains of folders, files and tapes that were compiled about him by the sect. So far, they’ve refused.
Herewith is that message:
"One week ago, I contacted The President's Office at The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International and asked for their help in getting my folders returned to me. The Press Office artfully refused to directly respond to my request. So, I wrote a letter to David Miscavige but, when I tried to route it to him through the proper Church communication system, it was refused.
"As the Church of Scientology carefully monitors all anti-scientology websites, I am posting the letter here, on xenu.net, to assure that it be received by the C of S. A transcript of the meat of the letter is as follows:
"This letter shall serve as a formal request for the prompt delivery of all my PC, pre-OT and ethics folders to me. I am also demanding any and all videos of sessions (both auditing and ethics) that were recorded of me. As I am no longer a parishioner of The Church of Scientology, no Organization or entity affiliated with the Church has any reason to further maintain them.
"Please send to me all the requested folders and videos at the above address as soon as possible. I will be happy to pay for any administrative, shipping or messenger fees that are incurred while facilitating this request. The above contact information is current.
"Thank you for your prompt handling of this matter.
"Sincerely, Jason Beghe"
Since Beghe was close to Miscavige and to the people in Scientology but can’t get any answers from them, here’s an idea: Maybe Oprah Winfrey can ask Tom Cruise about all this during one of their two-hour-long interviews in the next week. Winfrey has the rare access and enough power to be able to confront Cruise head-on and ask some important questions.
Indeed, Cruise and Beghe are linked on YouTube, thanks to each of their Scientology videos. A couple of different humorists have spliced together Cruise’s promo interviews supporting the sect and Beghe’s exit interview, for better or worse.
OK, so: "Made of Honor" is a chick flick that opens Friday starring Patrick Dempsey of "Grey’s Anatomy" and Michelle Monaghan, whom we just saw in the outstanding indie film "Trucker."
Yes, it feels like a really good inverted remake of "My Best Friend’s Wedding" with a couple of exceptions: Dempsey and Monaghan are so good it doesn’t matter, and the screenplay is surprisingly funny in places where you don’t expect it to be.
This presents a welcome problem this weekend: "Iron Man" is the guys’ movie, "Made of Honor" is for the gals. You know what? See both.
That Monaghan is good enough to fill Julia Roberts’ shoes (she’s sort of Julia crossed with Demi Moore) is no surprise. She’s on her way up.
But the really good news is that Dempsey, who’s 42 and is playing maybe 30 here, completes the circle of his career. He’s back, he’s a leading man, and he’s got the stuff to keep making hit films once "Grey’s" codes out.
How nice for him. I remember running into Dempsey in London about 10 years ago. His career was adrift. He’d worked a lot starting when he was 18, but very little of it was memorable. Does anyone recall him playing a pizza delivery boy who slept with his customers in "Lover Boy?" Kate Jackson played his mom. It was terrible. Every so often he’d get one great gig, but there was no momentum.
Now Dempsey has lots of momentum. In "Made of Honor," as in "Lover Boy," he’s cast as the ladies’ man. Only this time his character, Tom, is a wealthy inventor. (I think he makes those cardboard coffee-cup holders.) The script is literally written for Dempsey, who gets to play the protagonist in what is really a woman’s film.
He is so charming, and has so much chemistry with Monaghan that you can’t help but like all of it against better judgment. There’s nothing like a big studio comedy when it works, and this one works.
First up, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, who was the star attraction at Monday night’s annual We Are Family Foundation gala at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Micky fronted Nile Rodgers and Chic, played "I’m a Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" to a room full of boogie-ing, twisting, frug-ing adults, including Deepak Chopra (in a Nehru jacket), DJ Donna Cruz, songwriter/fundraiser Denise Rich and dozens of record company/media types.
The evening’s honoree was Patti LaBelle, who reunited with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx to rock out on their 1975 hit, "Lady Marmalade." ...
There’s another Mickey, with an "e." She's the 23-year-old dynamo daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler who is going forward full-force with her acting career. Mickey Sumner is her name and don’t forget it. She looks more like a young Meryl Streep than Streep’s actress-daughter, Mamie Gummer.
She’s also very talented. Her mom and film-student brother, Jake, were in the standing-room-only audience on Sunday night at Anthology Film Archives to see a 30-minute short narrative film Mickey co-starred in with Corey Sullivan called "The Escapists," directed by Andrew Gori. (Sting had already left to begin rehearsals with the Police in Canada for the last leg of their tour, but he’d attended a private screening earlier.) She got raves.
I’m telling you, watch out for this family: Joe leads rock group Fiction Plane, Kate is already acting, Jake has just finished his first screenplay, and 17-year-old Coco is a fledgling rock star. She’ll play at the Rainforest Foundation fundraiser on May 8 at Carnegie Hall along with some other famous kids: Ben and Sally Taylor, whose parents are Carly Simon and James Taylor. ...
I received a press release Monday. This is what it said:
"THE TING TINGS ARE COMING TO NEW YORK CITY ON JUNE 18 & 20!!!!
"The Ting Tings' incredibly infectious track "Shut Up And Let Me Go," from their debut We Started Nothing, is featured in a new ad for iTunes & Apple. The ad premiered last night during Desparate [sic] Housewives, you can check it out here."
OK, this is the most annoying, awful piece of pop junk I’ve heard in years. If the NME really did call the Tings Tings the most exciting new band of the year, then it must be shut down. It’s not the NME of my youth, that’s for sure. It’s truly the "enemy."
Is the current generation really going to get all its hits from iTunes commercials? If so, music is truly dead and Apple really did kill it. Folks, you must ignore all of this synthetic-jingle-based derivative music. Turn off all electronics (even this computer). Open a book. Please.
And yeah, not sure if they’re Disparate Housewives. That’s a show I’d like to watch!