Archive for Monday, July 31, 2006

People in the news

July 31, 2006


Blaze damages Bond set

London - A large fire seriously damaged the British set of the latest James Bond movie Sunday, caving in the roof of a sound stage transformed into a replica of Venice for the production of "Casino Royale."

Pinewood Shepperton, the studio complex where the fire erupted, said filming for the Bond production had been completed.

The cause of the fire was unknown. Three people who had been inside Pinewood Studios, about 20 miles west of London, were not hurt.

The Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said several cylinders of flammable gas exploded during the blaze, which took eight fire engines to extinguish.

Television footage showed a thick cloud of black smoke rising from the building. The building's roof burned and at least partly collapsed.

"Casino Royale" is the first Bond film featuring actor Daniel Craig in the title role, replacing Pierce Brosnan.

Sticking up for the Chicks

New York - Willie Nelson says the Dixie Chicks "got a raw deal" from a disapproving public following their criticism of President Bush.

"I think the fact that they were overseas and onstage had a little bit to do with it because you're speaking to other people about our business," the 73-year-old country crooner said in an interview in this week's Time magazine.

The trio caught harsh criticism after lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience in 2003 that the group was "ashamed" Bush was from their home state of Texas.

Nelson said he was surprised his remarks about Bush a year earlier during an overseas news conference didn't incite a similar controversy.

"I said 'He's not from Texas and he ain't a cowboy, so let's stop trashin' Texans and cowboys.' It got a little chuckle, but I didn't get run out of the country," Nelson told the magazine.

Cocktails and communism

Hong Kong - Chinese actress Gong Li said Colin Farrell, her co-star in "Miami Vice," taught her how to drink beer but she introduced him to a stronger drink, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Sunday.

Gong plays the Chinese-Cuban lover of a crime lord in "Miami Vice," and Farrell is an undercover detective who has a relationship with her. "Miami Vice" reprises the iconic 1984-89 TV cop show of the same name.

Gong, 40, said Farrell showed her how to drink beer, while she "taught him how to drink mojitos," a combination of rum, lime and soda served with a sprig of mint.

She said she went on a research trip to Cuba to learn about the Chinese community in the communist country, which she said was much like China in the 1980s, the paper reported.

"But Cubans are always very happy, even if they don't have too much money and their houses are worn down. Still, they are joyous people. In contrast, people in China in the '80s were more repressed emotionally," the paper quoted her as saying.


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