February 24th, 2009
10:55 AM ET

A chat with the new Captain Kirk

As a guy who’s been a “Star Trek” fan since his 1975, building phasers-with-Legos pre-school days, I’m really looking forward to seeing what J.J. Abrams does this May with his take on the famed franchise. I caught up recently with Chris Pine, who plays Captain Kirk in the film. (Kirk is by far Pine's biggest role; previous credits include parts in "Smokin' Aces" and "The Princess Diaries 2.") I asked him if his version of the character resembles the friendly, fun-loving man of action we’re used to seeing.

“I think that with this Jim Kirk you'll get the flavor of the old,” Pine said. “I tried to bring my own take to it and do justice to what Mr. [William] Shatner did before, but you get to see the full spectrum of Jim Kirk. There's the young, bold, brash, cocky [quality] and I think there's a maturity that happens within the arc of the character in the movie that's really fun that I think people will respond to.”

But what about Leonard “Bones” McCoy? I’ve always had a fondness for the cantankerous, mint julep-sipping country doctor. For my money, some of the best character moments of the original series involved him and Kirk. I think my favorite is from the episode “The Immunity Syndrome.” (I told you I was a Trek geek!) Spock is in a shuttle craft trying to escape a giant space amoeba. He’s pleading with them to leave him behind and save themselves. Bones replies, “Shut up Spock, we’re rescuing you!” and both he and Kirk give the absent Spock a funny “so take that” nod.

In Abrams’ film, Karl Urban of “Lord of the Rings” and “Bourne Supremacy” fame is assuming the role made famous by the late, great DeForest Kelley. Pine says Urban was up to the task.

“Yeah, Urban is, oh, he's fantastic. I think when people see what Karl did with the role they're going to be blown away,” Pine said. “I mean, it was a shock when I found out that he was doing it, he's such a great-looking guy. He's such a leading man and to take on this classic character role … he is like the doppleganger of DeForest Kelley. But he brings his own Karl sensibility to it so people will really enjoy it.”

- Douglas Hyde, CNN Entertainment Producer

Filed under: movies • television
February 22nd, 2009
11:59 PM ET

Cheers for 'Milk'

As you can imagine, this party - which has raised over $150 million over the years to fight AIDS - is full of a number of gay men. They, as as well as all the other guests, just screamed with joy when Sean Penn got the Oscar.

One AIDS activist sitting at my table, a man who lives in San Francisco, explained how the production of "Milk" came to the city and engaged the gay community in the shooting of the film, including giving history lessons to those who grew up after the Milk story.

- Sarah Holbrooke, CNN Senior Editorial Producer, at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar party

Filed under: Uncategorized
February 22nd, 2009
11:08 PM ET

Kate's great hair

There are a lot of great-looking people in this room. But one of the most outstanding is Kate Beckinsale, whose hair is absolutely a confection. It's a tower of black glossy curls, and while it has much more volume than her slender face, it all works.

She's sitting at a table that burst into spontaneous applause as Jerry Lewis finished his acceptance speech.

- Sarah Holbrooke, CNN Senior Editorial Producer, at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party

Filed under: Celebrities
February 22nd, 2009
10:50 PM ET

Getting hot in here

The party is in a huge tent - it has "never been air-conditioned," says host David Furnish. It's gotten pretty hot in here. Luckily the portable toilets are just outside where it's considerably cooler - so, as you can imagine, the lines are long.

Among those inside and outside the party: an exuberant Ricki Lake and Elle Macpherson, who was thrilled when Heath Ledger won.

- Sarah Holbrooke, CNN Senior Editorial Producer, at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party

Filed under: Uncategorized
February 22nd, 2009
09:46 PM ET

Meeting Sir Elton

Sir John is making his way around the room with his partner David Furnish and they are personally greeting every one of the 700 guests here. Elton is wearing two diamond necklaces and sunglasses inside but you can still see the sparkle in his eyes.
- Sarah Holbrooke, CNN Senior Editorial Producer, at the Elton John AIDS Foundation party

Filed under: Uncategorized
February 22nd, 2009
08:03 PM ET

At Elton John's party: Stars arrive

Editor's Note: CNN Senior Editorial Producer Sarah Holbrooke is attending the 17th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) Academy Awards Viewing Party at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California. She'll be filing dispatches from the party throughout the evening.

Sharon Stone just arrived with a great structural hair up-sweep and an elegant long black gown. Certainly not sporting anything from the Gap this Oscars. I will try to find out what she's wearing - it's lovely, and so is she.

Three women arriving separately are each wearing cherry-red gowns - different styles but almost exactly the same color. Definitely red is the trend thus far, although of course black dominates.

– Sarah Holbrooke

Filed under: Celebrities
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