ROLL CALL: Madonna’s Eye Contact & Seacrest’s Cry Attack

Your Daily Dispatch of Celebrity Shenanigans by Tommy Vergason

July 10, 2007

EYEING A RUMOR: While rumors often surface of celebrities demanding that people avoid eye contact with them when they’re working, it’s not often that one hears of a star preferring that the opposite occur. Such was the case in a report involving Madonna, who was said to demand that “eye contact must be maintained at all times” by reporters looking to interview her at this weekend’s Live Earth event in London. The LONDON MIRROR claimed that interviewers were told by Madonna’s handlers that they should “never look down to check notes — all questions must be memorized or the interview will be terminated.” According to their report, questions asked of Madonna were only to pertain to Live Earth, and not about her personal life. MSNBC’s JEANNETTE WALLS followed up on the report by putting in a call to Madonna’s rep. “She did not want to do any interviews, which I told the Live Earth folks from the start,” said the rep, adding that she didn’t know about any backstage demands.

WEEPY WEDDING FOR RYAN: Ryan Seacrest had something in his eyes this weekend — tears. PEOPLE reports that the KIIS FM radio host admitted to crying as he and other guests watched Eva Longoria and Tony Parker take their first dance together at their wedding reception on Saturday. Seacrest told listeners yesterday that the newlyweds danced to Peter Gabriel’s cover of the Magnetic Fields song, “Book of Love,” at the French castle where the reception was held. “[They] were just staring at each other,” Seacrest reportedly said. “Then Tony dipped Eva right then and there, pulled her back up and gave her a kiss.” Seacrest, who was reportedly standing with fellow guests Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Jessica Alba, teared up at the beautiful moment. “They are smiling and I am a disaster,” he is quoted as saying.

THE CLOCK STOPS TICKING: Has the FOX show “24” run into a disaster of its own? TV GUIDE’s MICHAEL AUSIELLO reports that production on the show’s 7th season has been delayed for roughly three weeks due to the entire planned storyline having to be scrapped and started over from scratch. According to the report, the time-out was called after the network rejected a costly plan to shoot a number of episodes in Africa. Producers reportedly briefly toyed with the idea of finding a location in LA that could sub for the continent, but they ultimately decided to come up with a new storyline altogether. “I don’t know what’s going on over there, but they’re going crazy,” actress Mary Lynn Rajskub reportedly told Ausiello. Rajskub, who plays Chloe O’Brian on the show, reportedly added: “We usually start [back up] at the end of July, and I don’t think we’re starting until a couple of weeks into August now. It’s kind of exciting, because I think [the postponement] means that they’re really having to dig in there and come up with new stuff.” A 20th Century Fox spokesperson declined to comment.

A ‘BIG’ PIECE MISSING FROM ‘SEX AND THE CITY?’: The devout fans of “Sex and the City” are finally getting their wish, as the big-screen follow-up to the HBO series is virtually a done deal with New Line Cinema. All four of the principal actresses have reportedly signed on to reprise their roles for the film, which is said to begin shooting this Fall. Noticeably absent from negotiations so far, however, is actor Chris Noth, who played “Mr. Big” on the show. Noth’s manager told THE NY DAILY NEWS yesterday, “we are waiting for an offer still, and hope schedules can be worked out.” But fans shouldn’t get too upset yet — according to the NY DAILY NEWS, sources who have read Michael Patrick King’s “Sex and the City” screenplay confirm that Mr. Big is part of the story. After all, Big finally told Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradsaw “you’re the one” in the series finale, following six seasons of on-again/off-again romance between the pair.

PRIVATE PARKER: Sarah Jessica Parker talks about her relationship with her real-life “Mr. Big,” husband Matthew Broderick, in the new issue of ELLE magazine. Actually, she talks about NOT talking about her relationship: “It’s not hard to be a private couple,” Parker reportedly says, adding that she and Broderick learned long ago to avoid walking the red carpet together at events. “That’s where they get you,” she is quoted as saying. “Suddenly it becomes, ‘Oh, when are you guys going to have another baby?’ We try not to talk about the relationship. It’s not that we’re not proud; it’s just — that’s the kiss of death.”

KIDMAN HEADS TO ‘MONTE CARLO’: Nicole Kidman has signed on to star in and produce a new romantic comedy called “Monte Carlo,” VARIETY reports. The film, directed and written by Tom Bezucha (“The Family Stone”), is an adaptation of the Jules Bass novel, “Headhunters.” Kidman will reportedly play one of three Midwestern schoolteachers who ditch a disappointing no-frills holiday in Paris and pose as wealthy women vacationing in Monaco. There is no word yet on further casting, or an expected shoot date. Kidman will next be seen with Hugh Jackman in Baz Luhrmann’s epic, “Australia,” opening next year.

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