THE FACELESS DETAILS
NEW YORK– It took several hours every day to transform Gary Oldman into a faceless victim of Dr. Hannibal Lecter for the movie thriller "Hannibal."
Oldman sat for five hours a day having makeup and prosthetics put on him for the role of multimillionaire Mason Verger, and another hour and a half to take it all off. But the actor described the experience as being "strangely uh, liberating."
"You would think that you would be restricted with all of that stuff. But if anyone's worn a mask at a Halloween party, you feel uninhibited, like no one can see you.
"I have patience," he told reporters recently. "Some actors can't bear it, you know. But if you're gonna sign up for this, you're playing a guy who's had his face removed, you know once you sign up there's gonna be makeup involved." (AP)
NEW PRESIDENT, NEW TARGET
LOS ANGELES– Timothy Bottoms played Texan Sonny Crawford 30 years ago in "The Last Picture Show" and again in 1990's "Texasville." Now he's playing the most powerful Texan in the world.
Bottoms has been cast as President George W. Bush in Comedy Central's new show "That's My Bush!" the cable channel said Monday. The sitcom, from "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, debuts April 4.
"That's My Bush!" will offer a glimpse inside the White House while spoofing television comedies.
Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox said Bottoms was chosen for his acting skill and his physical resemblance to the president. His version of Bush won't be as over-the-top as Will Ferrell's portrayal on "Saturday Night Live," though.
"This is really a satire of the American sitcom," Fox said. "They're making George out to be this wonderful, likable guy, as most sitcom stars are."
Bottoms, 49, most recently has appeared in a recurring role on drama "Gideon's Crossing" on the ABC network. (AP)
SCHUMACHER, STREETS AHEAD
KERPEN, Germany – Formula-1 champion Michael Schumacher got a street named after him Monday in his hometown of Kerpen, near Cologne.
The Michael Schumacher street leads to his go-cart circuit: "When I drive to my cart track in the future, seeing my name on the street sign will be a nice feeling," the Ferrari driver said.
About 200 fans welcomed Schumacher before the city hall, where he signed Kerpen's golden book. (AP)
IT’S NO COUNTRY STROLL
LOS ANGELES – Eric Heatherly has wanted to be on stage since he was a kid. Now that the singer-songwriter has released his debut album, "Swimming in Champagne," he's finding that being a country music star is harder than he ever dreamed.
"It's triple the work," he says, laughing during an AP Radio interview. "You know, it's not at all what I thought it was gonna to be. It's really excruciatingly hard."
But Heatherly says he doesn't mind the work because of the way he was raised.
"It's just adrenaline. It's waitin' 10 years in Nashville to get this CD out and finally gettin' some momentum and a hit record and not wanting to stop," says the 29-year-old from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
"And my work ethic that my dad and my mother put into me growing up, it's like, if you don't do it right, don't do it at all." (AP)
DON’T MAKE A DATE
BOMBAY, India – A right-wing party leader described Valentine's Day as a "Western craze" and asked party workers Monday to disrupt celebrations planned in India's largest city.
Bal Thackeray, a powerful local politician who heads the Shiv Sena party, asked activists to stage demonstrations outside pubs, clubs and colleges that plan to organize celebrations on Valentine's Day.
"What is this Valentine's Day and who brought this Western craze here, which is alien to our culture?" Thackeray said in Monday's edition of Saamna, or Confrontation, a newspaper published by the Shiv Sena.
He warned that party workers would protest if any "indecent programs" were held on Valentine's Day, Wednesday.
In a conservative country like India, the sexes are typically segregated and, therefore, meeting in a pub or at a party to celebrate love, would be considered indecent. The party also objects to the exchange of cards and gifts on Valentine's Day.
But in Bombay, India's financial and film capital, and in other large cities, dating is common and is increasingly gaining social acceptance. (AP)