Former Giants star turned Today show commentator Tiki Barber and his twin brother Ronde turn 34 today. Russell Crowe is 45. Nightlife impresario Jason Strauss is turning 35. Francis Ford Coppola is 70. John Oates of Hall & Oates is 60. Michael Dorf, the founder of the Knitting Factory and City Winery, is 47. Islanders head coach Ted Nolan is 51. Renowned French chef Joel Robuchon is 64. British journalist Sir David Frost is turning 70. Bill Bellamy is turning 44. And Jackie Chan celebrates his 55th birthday today.
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The prospect of Francis Ford Coppola imposing a "sex change" on Javier Bardem had us a million ways of excited (and just a little faint) today — and then we read the fine print. It turns out the director decided during rehearsals for his upcoming film Tetro that a woman would be a better mentor to his title character, played by Vincent Gallo. "As I read and reread (the script)," Coppola told The Hollywood Reporter, "I felt that the interaction between the two characters would be far more intriguing if they were of the opposite sex." Of course, the casting of Spanish actress Carmen Maura had nothing to do with Bardem reportedly "becoming unavailable" while keeping himself open for the Rob Marshall musical Nine, which shoots this fall. A similar scenario arose earlier in preproduction when Coppola, reportedly wanting to "go skeevy" with his lead, instinctively replaced Matt Dillon with Gallo. Either way, we think he's earned the benefit of our doubt. [THR]
In GQ, Francis Ford Coppola speaks truth to scene-chewing-actor power by lamenting how the careers of once-hungry artists Al "Two for the Money" Pacino, Meet the Fockers star Robert DeNiro, and Jack Nicholson (still kind of awesome) have turned out: "I met both Pacino and De Niro when they were really on the come," Coppola tells GQ's Nate Penn. "They were young and insecure. Now Pacino is very rich, maybe because he never spends any money; he just puts it in his mattress. De Niro was deeply inspired by (Coppola's studio American) Zoetrope and created an empire and is wealthy and powerful.Nicholson was — when I met him and worked with him — he was always kind of a joker. He's got a little bit of a mean streak. He's intelligent, always wired in with the big guys and the big bosses of the studios. I don't know what any of them want anymore. I don't know that they want the same things. Pacino always wanted to do theater ... (He) will say, 'Oh, I was raised next to a furnace in New York, and I'm never going to go to L.A.,' but they all live off the fat of the land." [Rush & Molloy]
Filmmaker and winemaker Francis Ford Coppola lost 15 years worth of data when thieves broke into his house and stole his computers. Luckily, copies of the script for his next film were saved elsewhere. "If I could get the backup back, it would save me years [of] all the photographs of my family, all my writing." Sorry, Francis, maybe next time, instead of expanding your wine cellar, you might think about investing in some offsite backup solutions. [BBC News]
Francis Ford Coppola's Argentine office was looted by armed bandits, who made off with a computer containing the screenplay for an upcoming Matt Dillon project that doesn't sound very interesting. There's a bad indie movie premise in here somewhere, to eventually be titled Robbing Coppola. [CNN.com]