Gov. Iceman? Kilmer ponders political run
Santa Fe, N.M. — Holy hornet’s nest, Batman! The New Mexico governor’s mansion?
Fresh from the inauguration, actor Val Kilmer is pondering running for governor in 2010, when two-term Democrat Bill Richardson will be forced from office by term limits.
“I’m just looking for ways to be contributive,” Kilmer told The Associated Press on Thursday. “And if that ends up being where I can make a substantial contribution, then I’ll run.”
But there’s no decision yet.
“It’s really day to day,” he said over tea at a local restaurant.
Kilmer, 49, grew up in Los Angeles but has called New Mexico home for more than two decades. He’s currently registered as a Democrat and said he cast a ballot for Barack Obama from Bulgaria, where he was filming.
A Kilmer candidacy could throw a monkey wrench into the well-oiled Democratic machine of Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who’s already running for the job.
Kilmer’s screen credits include Batman in “Batman Forever” in 1995, brash fighter pilot Lt. Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky in the 1986 hit “Top Gun,” and rock icon Jim Morrison in the 1991 Oliver Stone film, “The Doors.”
Simpson forgets lyrics, fights tears at show
Grand Rapids, Mich. — A bizarre 38-minute set by opening act Jessica Simpson inadvertently stole the spotlight from headliner Rascal Flatts in a show at the Van Andel Arena.
The Grand Rapids Press said Simpson forgot her lyrics, struggled with her ear monitors, mumbled through songs and fought back tears during Thursday night’s performance.
At one point, the 28-year-old singer-actress asked her backing band to start over on one song, and she forgot the words to another.
“Jessica had an off night,” Cindi Berger, a representative for Simpson, said Friday. “She’s a perfectionist, and wanted to start some of the songs over. She always wants to give her best performance to her fans.”
Simpson apologized to the supportive audience of about 9,000 by mouthing the word “sorry” on two large video screens.
While introducing her last song, Simpson said she sometimes feels like quitting. She appeared to be wiping away tears after finishing the song and walking off the stage.
Christian Bale says rant ’inexcusable’
Los Angeles — Christian Bale says he acted like a “punk” and that his profane tongue-lashing on the set of “Terminator Salvation” was inexcusable.
In Friday remarks on a Los Angeles morning radio show, Bale said he never intended to get physical with cinematographer Shane Hurlbut. He also said he was likely channeling too much of his character, John Conner.
Bale also told the “Kevin and Bean” show on KROQ 106.7 that he and Hurlbut reconciled and worked together for another month following the tirade.
The outburst, which occurred last year on the set in New Mexico, was posted this week on the celebrity gossip site TMZ. It has become an Internet sensation, inspiring a music remix, spoofs, and punch lines for the “Kevin and Bean” show.
Hudson plans ’surprise duet’ at Davis party
Beverly Hills, Calif. — Days after her triumphant return to the spotlight with her Super Bowl appearance, Jennifer Hudson is booked for Grammy-related events, including a party honoring music mogul Clive Davis.
The singer rehearsed for today’s party on Thursday night, singing her hit “Spotlight.” Hudson and Davis embraced during the rehearsal.
Davis said Hudson specifically asked to be included in the evening, in which the Recording Academy is honoring the legendary music producer and executive.
“Very touchingly, she called me when she read of my lifetime achievement award, (and said) that she wanted to be part of it, that she wanted to come back with her musical life, so, of course, that is touching,” he says. He added that Hudson will also be performing a surprise duet “that people won’t see elsewhere.”
Hudson is up for four awards at the Grammys and will also perform on the Sunday broadcast.
Other performers at the Davis party will include the Kings of Leon and Whitney Houston, who is expected to release her long-awaited comeback album this year.
James says she mocked Beyonce for laughs
New York — Etta James says she was joking when she said she “can’t stand Beyonce” and would “whip” the singer for performing James’ hit “At Last” at an inaugural ball for President Barack Obama.
The 71-year-old singer tells the New York Daily News she “didn’t really mean anything” by her remarks at a concert last week.
James says: “Even as a little child, I’ve always had that comedian kind of attitude. ... That’s probably what went into it.”
Even so, James says it stung that she wasn’t asked to sing her most famous song on the historic night.
James says she liked Beyonce’s version but thinks she could have done a better job. She says it’s “a shame to say that.”
Beyonce portrayed James — and sang the 1941 song written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren — in the film “Cadillac Records” last year.
Beyonce’s spokeswoman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.