July 15th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Angelina vs. Jennifer, round 18

Poor Jennifer Aniston.  She just can't seem to get out of the shadow of her romantic rival, Angelina Jolie.

Recently, Forbes magazine ranked her as the 8th most powerful celebrity.  Not bad, right?  But then the magazine ranked Angelina #1 (to make matters worse, Forbes said Angelina also edged Jennifer in earnings in the past year–$27 million vs. $25 million).

Now comes a new poll that pits (okay, bad choice of verbs) Jennifer vs. Angelina in a popularity contest.   In the survey, conducted by E-Poll for WEtv network, almost 900 women between the ages of 18-49 were asked who they liked most between Angelina, Jennifer, Paris Hilton, Natalie Portman and Diane Sawyer.

Angelina came in first with 49 percent.  Jennifer ranked second at 36-percent.   At least she beat Paris (6 percent).  

Angie beats Jen in another poll released by Heat magazine (never heard of that 'zine).   This one reportedly asked fans (presumably female)  whose body they envied most.   Angelina came in fifth, Jennifer sixth.  "Transformers" hottie Megan Fox took the top spot.

At least Aniston can take solace in this: Forbes ranked her above ex-husband Brad Pitt on its power list.  He came in at #9, just behind Jen.

July 15th, 2009
05:08 PM ET

Obamas inspire British actor Bill Nighy

I knew who Bill Nighy was prior to meeting him for my interview. The classically trained actor from Surrey, England began his career on the stage. He has taken home plenty of awards for his work. However it is his standout film roles in recent years that have made him more familiar to moviegoers - he appeared in two "Pirates of The Caribbean" installments as Davy Jones.

Bill Nighy

But for me the role that conjures up his image most vividly is his character Billy Mack from "Love Actually." In the film, Nighy unabashedly rolls out his best version of a bawdy rock legend unwilling to let go of the spotlight.

When I stepped into Nighy’s hotel suite at the Ritz Carlton New York, the man sitting in the spotlight only slightly resembled Billy Mack. Nighy, well dressed in a finely tailored suit looked at me from behind thick-framed glasses with a kind smile.

I had a good conversation with Nighy. He was thoughtful and engaged throughout the interview. I asked him how he fits into "G-Force," Disney’s new animated film about secret agent guinea pigs. He told me he fits in quite nicely and is always looking to do different things in his career.

"G-Force" opens July 24th, so you can see for yourself how Nighy fits in as the live action character of Saber.

Towards the end of the interview I asked Nighy; “What inspires you these days?”

“Michelle Obama coming to England and high-fiving a young North London schoolgirl and the look on her face made me cry. I’m inspired by your new, your current President.”

There were a few more things on Bill Nighy’s inspiration list, but the Obamas came in at number one this go round.

What inspires you?

July 15th, 2009
03:05 PM ET

News of the Absurd :: Episode 103

Paul has to head out of town on assignment tomorrow, so this week's News of the Absurd is coming in a day earlier than usual. The topic for one-oh-three: TWITTER! Yes, even NOTA is a part of whatever it is that this Twitter thing is doing to our brains. So, you can follow us at twitter.com/newsoftheabsurd

(But I promise it'll be a huge letdown.)

July 15th, 2009
02:01 PM ET

‘30 Rock’ clown sheds tears for King of Pop

“I cried.” That’s how funny man Tracy Morgan reacted when he heard the news that Michael Jackson had died.

Tracy Morgan

During an interview with Morgan for the new film "G-Force," I couldn’t help but ask him about it - he was sitting across from me wearing a t-shirt with Jackson’s face on it.

I was in the last group of journalists to be filed through Morgan’s multi-camera appointed suite. It was late in the day, so I asked Morgan if he was tired. He said he was feeling good and that he was excited to talk about his new film.

Morgan lends his big voice to one of the tiny characters in "G-Force," a 3-D, live action, animated film in theaters later this month. We talked about the film and his experience on the NBC comedy "30 Rock." I asked him about the pressure of having to be funny on cue.

Then I tiptoed into: “Would you care to comment on the untimely death of Michael Jackson?” When discussing loss, I believe you can never be too careful. Although Morgan was wearing a ‘King of Pop’ t-shirt, I wasn’t sure if he would want to talk about it, but I had a feeling.

Morgan got quiet and looked down. He explained that he grew up with Michael Jackson. He said that no one was allowed to say anything bad about "Mike" in his house. I understood. Tracy Morgan didn’t actually know Jackson personally, he just felt like he did. He spoke for a while, but it was immediately clear just how much Jackson meant to him.

“I know I was this close to meeting Michael Jackson,” Morgan said. “I met everybody in showbiz except for Michael, and I know I was this close. But I can honestly say I think I made him laugh. I’m quite sure I made him laugh. I’m good with that.”

I left the interview hoping that was true.

July 15th, 2009
01:42 PM ET

Emmy nominations: who deserves them?

Nominations for the PrimeTime Emmy Awards are announced Thursday morning, and you can expect to hear a lot of familiar names called out.  Award show seer Tom O'Neil prognosticates that, out of 24 nominees in the four major acting categories, only six nods will go to performers who weren't nominated last year: Simon Baker for The Mentalist, Kiefer Sutherland for 24, Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory, Tara Collette for The United States of Tara, Amy Poehler for Parks and Recreation... and, speaking of new blood, Anna Paquin for True Blood.  All but Sutherland are on new shows, and he missed out last year when the writers' strike did what no TV villain could: knock out Jack Bauer.

Does this mean no one on an existing show is improving at their craft?  Or that Emmy voters are stuck in a rut?  Do you like seeing at least some of the same actors and shows return year after year, as long as they stay at the top of their games, or should they follow the lead of Candice Bergen and Bill Cosby, and withdraw from competition after receiving ample acclaim, opening up the field to new talent?  In short, who should be nominated?

July 15th, 2009
08:52 AM ET

Timberlake creates eco-friendly golf course

The singer bought a golf course a few years back and now the $16 million renovations have been completed. The buildings and field on the Memphis links are reported to be environmentally friendly. Watch more and other Hollywood news in The Buzz:

Filed under: Music
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