"Online curiosity collecter," Twitter power user, and sometime Gawker contributor Katie Notopoulos (pictured right) will be joining BuzzFeed as a senior editor in two weeks, working with managing editor Scott Lamb to bring her ongoing documentation of the weird, stupid, gross and hilarious on the internet under the BuzzFeed banner.
To your left, witness Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar in happier times at the 2006 launch party for Behar's book, which was for some reason entitled Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog. Sadly, peaceful scenes like that may be few and far between now, thanks to constant on-screen warring and, most especially, backstage battle royales. Yesterday, we brought you word from a Defamer operative about a behind-the-scenes fight between Behar and Hasselbeck that went down after cameras for The View stopped rolling. Now, another tipster has written in to corroborate the account, as well as add new details:
A lot of fighting happened in front of the cameras on today's heated installment of The View, but according to a tip we just received from a Defamer operative, it was nothing compared to what went on after the show was over. Our tipster says that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was upset that Joy Behar has been using The View to tout Behar's upcoming stand-up performance, and the conservative co-host demanded equal time in a confrontation that got ugly:
When we heard the news that MTV mainstay TRL was headed for that great cancellation box in the sky, we decided to get some inside scoop from one of the people who knew it best: former MTV VJ Dave Holmes. The music buff first appeared on the channel as the runner-up to Jesse Camp on MTV's 1998 Wanna Be a VJ contest, but he outlasted the offbeat Camp and hosted multiple shows on MTV, eventually ascending to his own major place in the TRL firmament. So what does Holmes make of the cancellation — and the current state of MTV in general? Lauren Conrad, you've been warned:DEFAMER: How did you hear that TRL was going off the air? DAVE: I think I saw it on, like, Huffington Post or something. There wasn't a 3am phone call or anything like that. DEFAMER: How did you feel when you heard the news? DAVE: I hadn't watched [TRL] in a long time, but it was kind of a bummer, you know? It was a funny show where a lot of people who I still work with got their start. It'll be missed. DEFAMER: Had you heard any rumors about its demise? Did you see this coming? DAVE: I'm a little bit out of their demographic right now, so I hadn't heard anything. I check in every now and then, but I don't recognize a soul who's on it anymore. Damien [Fahey] does an awesome job, but I have no idea who the artists are at all. Like, I don't get Tokio Hotel. I don't understand why they're trying so hard to get them into them in the running. But yeah, I kind of thought that it might be coming. In 1999, 2000, there were a few huge stars. Now, there are a ton of semi-big stars. There's nobody that every thirteen-year-old girl can agree that they love, that they'd skip school and hop on the train and stand in Times Square to look at through a window. DEFAMER: But what about a show like 106 & Park, which I think is still BET's highest-rated show? How can a music video show like that succeed while TRL is cancelled? DAVE: Yeah, I don't understand how it doesn't make sense to at least keep it on. I mean, it's MTV's last music show, it's like their little clubhouse. It seems like the kind of thing they would want to keep going on forever, but then, what do I know? I mean, I just saw my first episode of The Hills last night, so what the fuck do I know?
When you think of opera, be honest, you start to nod off a little bit. Well, David Cronenberg is about to change all that. The director who made the more watchable of the two Crash movies has turned his 1987 cult classic, The Fly, into a full-blown opera. It's getting its US premiere this weekend at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and, for some reason, Cronenberg agreed to tell Defamer all about it. Join us after the jump as the notoriously oddball auteur opines on everything from the Oscar race to who's freakier, him or David Lynch.
Take a good look at that Tropic Thunder poster. Go past the glossy, airbrushed photos of the film's many stars, past the lush jungle setting, past the fiery explosions, and you might notice something. See there? Down at the bottom? It says "Screenplay by Ben Stiller & Justin Theroux, and Etan Cohen." Sure, other more "legitimate" media outlets may give all the ink to those first two dudes, but here at Defamer we like to dig a little deeper. Just who is this Etan Cohen fellow and how did he get roped in to working on the biggest comedy of the summer? Stick around after the jump to hear one of Hollywood's newest writing stars dish the dirt about meeting Tom Cruise for the first time, what it feels like to suddenly have people kissing your ass, and why you shouldn't be offended by all that Simple Jack stuff.
For all the talk about Sir Ben Kingsley's sex scenes with Penelope Cruz and Patricia Clarkson, the new film Elegy arguably features an even more up-front intimacy between the Oscar-winner and Dennis Hopper — Kingsley's sidekick in academia who counsels him through an intense romantic relationship with an ex-student (played by Cruz). We won't spoil it for you; let it suffice to say the role is Hopper's latest in a marathon of work that has seen three films released this year and finds the 72-year-old halfway through shooting Starz' adaptation of the Paul Haggis film Crash. We tracked Hopper down this week to run through Elegy, Crash and the 50-plus turbulent years that preceded them — all in five convenient questions (and a few surprisingly candid replies) after the jump.D: So did you actually call Sir Ben Kingsley "Sir Ben" on set? DH: I did. Absolutely. With pleasure. D: Yet the viewer gets the sense you have the mandate to continually bust his balls, even off-camera. You also share a fairly shocking moment near the end of the film. What was your relationship like? DH: It was all written, really. It was a wonderful relationship that seems very real and honest; you can tell the two men really loved each other and respected each other. I think that my character realized that as professors at the university, Sir Ben was probably a little smarter, a little brighter, a little more removed — but certainly not as worldly as my character, who is advising him on having an affair with a younger woman. My character has had many affairs. It's the one moment my character has an up on him. In my career I never had a part that was really seemed like a real person — the emotion, the give and take between Sir Ben and myself were very honest, I thought. D: Your career is endlessly fascinating: You acted alongside James Dean twice; obviously there's Easy Rider; you've appeared opposite three Oscar-winners in as many films this year alone. Do you ever take stock of how many Hollywood storylines your work intersects? DH: Yeah, sort of. But not really. I think of my career as a disappointment most of the time. After Easy Rider and The Last Movie, not directing anymore was a really devastating affair for me. And for the last 16 years, trying to direct movies and not getting financing has really been very hard on me. I really want to direct. I know that through the years I've been very fortunate to act; Blue Velvet was wonderful. Apocalypse Now. But if you still always think about directing movies, it's a chore. And I had to take a lot of bad movies at times. Out of 150 movies that I've been in, there are maybe 20 that are really good movies. D: You've also got TV behind you and in front of you, including an cable adaptation of Crash. It's obviously a pretty polarizing film; will the series follow that same vein? DH: Well, you'll remember that that was three different stories that sort of all come together in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is still the basis of where it's all happening, though we're shooting in Albuquerque. The writers are the same — Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis — but the characters are all different. I play a Phil Spector-type music mogul whose always trying to look for the next big move. He's hired a 22-year-old driver from Watts who wants to be a rap star. Their relationship is totally bizarre. But it's wonderfully written and I'm having a good time. D: But does the world really need 13 more hours of Crash? DH: These are different characters. But why do they need it? Why does the world need entertainment at all? Do we need TV? We have it. And we do have series, and they're usually 13 in the first run. This is going to be a good 13. I love it because I've never seen such incredible language, and the things you can do on cable television now you can't even get away with in movies. We had an orgy the other day. For me it's a joy.
Ever wondered how the hacks at Worst Website In the World TMZ craft their stories? No? Too bad, because I'm going to tell you anyway. A concerned tipster has directed our attention to a humble site called the Courthouse News Service, a place where lots of pdfs of legal documents can be found and original reporting is filed. TMZ, god bless 'em, has been stealing from them for months. Basically they'll pepper up a CN story with some truly shitty writing, slap their large watermark on public documents that CN just happens to always have attached to their posts, and sometimes even dare to call the post an "Exclusive." Evidence is after the jump.
Silly Kirsten Dunst. Temporarily living outside of her natural celeb-friendly West coast habitat where any late-night messiness is handily kept on the DL by celebrity-catering club warlords, the recently rehabbed star is currently staying in New York while filming All Good Things. And the many sightings sent in by helpful Manhattanites haven’t exactly painted Dunst as the soberific poster child perfected of late by Miss Lindsay Lohan. The NY Post chimes in today reporting that Dunst continued her boy-crazy habits of yore by making out with the DJ at the celeb-infested Beatrice Inn two nights ago. But a Defamer tipster had the pleasure of spotting Kirsten last night at the same bar, and rather than cozying up to the same DJ, the actress spent the entire night flirting, following, and eventually frisking another Beatrice regular: that talented thespian, Josh Hartnett. Details on what our tipster witnessed, and which Olsen twin watched the romance blossom from afar, after the jump.
Sources are telling us this afternoon that the executives at MTV have decided against returning to Las Vegas, the scene of the 2007 Video Music Awards, for the 2008 incarnation of the show. Instead, this year's VMAs will be broadcast live on September 7 from the Paramount Pictures Studio in Los Angeles. While one source told Defamer that it was a case of "been there, done that", a separate source told us that the "very chaotic" proceedings last year had something to do with the decision not to return to The Palms Hotel in Vegas (where, you'll recall, a clearly out-of-shape Britney Spears nearly killed her career with a zombified rendition of "Gimme More").
If you happened to miss the two dozen or so reminders that your humble, athletically-ungifted Defamer editor would be a featured guest on Dr. Drew Pinsky's radio show this past Friday, we've collected some of the highlights for your listening pleasure. (Before you judge our performance too harshly, you must consider for a moment how nervous we were to be in the presence of the man who taught us everything we know about the relative riskiness of the fringe sexual practices that defined much of our experimental late-20s.) Drew surprised us right off the bat by opening up the floor to our own questions. We took the bait and started grilling him about his recent feud with Tom Cruise and the first word from the set of Celebrity Rehab 2.
Immediately after our exclusive story that executives at Sony attempted to squash an MSNBC.com story about Will Smith's alleged involvement with Scientology ran last night, Defamer received an email from the MSNBC.com news team stating the following: "We have now heard from Sony - furious that someone at msnbc.com is claiming that they asked us to kill the piece." Shortly thereafter, they updated their original story to include a denial that they had ever been contacted by Sony. As any faithful entertainment news follower is well aware, it is standard practice for media big guns to play the denial card as soon as any poor press hits. However, it is important to note that we here at Defamer are standing by the accuracy of our item; we will not be pressured into pulling it down.
Defamer has learned that executives at Sony tried to have an MSNBC story outing Will Smith as a closeted Scientologist killed. With the Smith tentpole Hancock slated for a July release, execs are clearly worried their big summer blockbuster will turn into another Mission:Impossible 3 conundrum, when Tom Cruise's anything-but-glib antics spurred petitions against the film and damaged the film's B.O. on both the domestic and international fronts. In an effort to prevent a similar shitshow come July, our source claims Sony forced a denial statement out of Smith after MSNBC stuck by their original story:
The Church of Scientology has a long history of harassing those individuals who dare question their controversial doctrines. While they mostly utilize legal channels to do so, there have been more than a few whispers over the years that they sometimes deploy members of the church to do the harassing in person (the most recent example being Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake, the couple whose mysterious dual suicides were recently chronicled in the pages of Vanity Fair). Now author Ian Halperin, who infiltrated the Church and wrote about in a book called Hollywood Undercover, has drawn so much attention from Hubbard's mobsters that the scribe has been forced to go into hiding. Defamer received communication from Halperin late last night regarding threatening phone calls he had just received, phone calls that prompted him to get outta Dodge for awhile:
Is Scientology just a fancy term for reparation therapy? That's what investigative journalist Ian Halperin, author of books on Kurt Cobain's death and the underbelly of the modeling world, is claiming in his new tome, Hollywood Undercover, out today. After claiming to be a gay actor afraid that revelations of his homosexuality would ruin his career, the Church took him in, promising they could "cure him of his sexuality through auditing,"or, you know, asking him to pay up. We asked Halperin if he had any dirt on the usual suspects (Tommy C. and Johnny T., natch), and learned way more than we wanted to. Hear why Travolta remains a smiley scientologist out of fear, why bisexual Anna Nicole Smith refused to join the tribe, and details on founder L. Ron Hubbard's proven contempt for these "sexual perverts" after the jump.
Well, in case you hadn't heard the news, we got hit with a copyright infringement notice from the Church Of Scientology earlier today. Frankly, we've been too busy watching repeat after repeat of Defamer's appearance on The Today Show this morning to pay it much mind. After all, that's what they pay lawyers for, right? Anyhoo, we managed to get our paws on another outtake from the DVD from whence the "Freedom Medal Of Valor" speech came*. In it, Tom Cruise helps explain how he saved America after 9/11 ... without even asking for permission!
Dying to watch the poorly edited yet highly scandalous Tom Cruise indoctrination video but don't have nine minutes to kill? We understand. That's why we put intrepid Defamer videographer Molly McAleer on the case, and the 108-second compilation clip she turned in is bound to have the SPs roaring in the aisles (or, more accurately, cowering in a corner somewhere). We've gone through the tech and run our PTSSP drills, now it's your turn.