ROLL CALL: Reese’s Remade Role & ‘Dancing’s’ Backstage ‘View’

Your Daily Dispatch of Celebrity Shenanigans by Tommy Vergason

May 31, 2007

A BACKSTAGE ‘VIEW’: While the pressure is finally off for the “Dancing With the Stars” finalists, some of them were unwittingly thrown into a tense situation last Wednesday, when they were among the scheduled guests on “The View” the day Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck got into their infamous shouting match. Dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy reportedly tells PEOPLE of his time backstage waiting out the argument, along with dance partner Laila Ali and fellow “Dancing” stars Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson. “All four of us were at a loss,” Chmerkovskiy reportedly said. “It was a straight-up brawl.” While he admits that people backstage were giggling at first when the two co-hosts started arguing, he soon realized that it was getting intense on stage. “It was like a domestic dispute, like relatives fighting,” he reportedly said. “We came to their house and we were witnessing something a little embarrassing. It was really uncomfortable.” Despite the awkward situation, Chmerkovskiy and Ali performed their dance without incident. “It was like nothing had happened,” he is quoted as saying. “I thought, great, this must be a normal day at ‘The View.’”

More Celebrity Scoop After the Video!

ALL WASHED UP: Another former “Dancing” star is making a new television appearance…in the shower? E! ONLINE’s MARC MALKIN reports that “Dancing With the Stars” Season Two champ Drew Lachey is hosting an upcoming MTV show called “Shower Power,” in which contestants are judged on their singing prowess while in the shower. Singer Mya and “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy” culture expert Jai Rodriguez have reportedly been signed to be the show’s judges. “I had tears coming down my face, clutching myself laughing,” Rodriguez reportedly said of the show’s preliminary tapings to Malkin’s associate Matt Donnelly. “[Some contestants] thought they should be wearing a thong, and they shouldn’t have,” Rodriguez reportedly said. “It’s that kind of thing.” For contestant submission guidelines, MTV.COM has the details — just remember to keep it clean: “Nudity or sexually suggestive content will not be accepted,” the rules state. “Feel free to wear a bathing suit or other clothing (be creative!).”

CANNES: NOT JUST FOR MOVIE DEALS: An unknown British singer is reportedly getting her big break in the recording business — not for singing in the shower, but rather because she sang for George Clooney and other A-listers at a benefit dinner in Cannes last week. REUTERS reports that 18 year-old London waitress Victoria Hart is in line for a multi-million dollar record deal, after performing at the “Ocean’s Thirteen” benefit for Darfur at the Cannes Film Festival. Her performance in front of Hollywood stars including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Clooney, who reportedly described her as “simply lovely”, won her international acclaim and now major record labels EMI and Universal are reportedly battling to sign her. “We’re getting very close — a deal is not far away at all,” Hart’s agent Lynne Pearson reportedly told Reuters. “It’s always very difficult to talk about specific figures, but it will be a very big deal when it is announced.” Hart, a part-time jazz singer, was recommended by a “friend of a friend” for the high-profile Cannes gig, according to REUTERS.

JEN THROWS THE BOOK AT RUMORS: Jennifer Aniston’s publicist is denying a report that Aniston is writing a tell-all book divulging the details of her four-year marriage to Brad Pitt and their 2005 divorce, reports USMAGAZINE.COM. According to the report in US, The latest issue of Star magazine dedicates its cover to the story titled “Finally! Jen’s $5 Million Tell-All!” and reportedly quotes sources telling the magazine, “Jennifer Aniston is finally ready to pour her heart out and bare the intimate details of her charmed but troubled life in an explosive tell-all book.” Aniston’s rep tells US that the story is untrue, reportedly stating: “Jennifer has no plans to write a book. She is not looking to write a tell-all. She has no interest in it.”

CLASSIC, BUT CONTEMPORARY: Hollywood has a long-standing interest in remaking classic films, and two announcements have been made about new ones being developed with big names attached:

VARIETY reports that Universal Pictures will develop a remake of the 1939 comedy “Midnight” as a starring vehicle for Reese Witherspoon. The film is reportedly being scripted by Michael Arndt, who won the Oscar for “Little Miss Sunshine.” The original movie has “long been one of my favorite films, and it is easily one of the best comedies of the ‘30s,” Arndt reportedly said. “Being given the chance to update the film with Reese in the lead is simply a dream come true.” In the original, Claudette Colbert starred as a destitute young woman in Paris who becomes a pawn when a wealthy man tries to get rid of the gigolo wooing his wife. A start date for filming has not been nailed down, as Witherspoon is reportedly deciding between several films for her next slot.

“The Women,” another classic film from 1939, is being remade with an all-star cast and writer/producer Diane English, creator of “Murphy Brown.” Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Jada Pinkett Smith, Debra Messing and Candice Bergen have either signed or are near committing to star in the ensemble dramedy, reports VARIETY. Like the original film starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell, the remake will follow a group of female friends’ reactions when the one they envied most discovers her husband’s cheating on her. The film, which is being co-produced by Mick Jagger’s Jagged Pictures and Inferno Entertainment, is reportedly scheduled to start shooting in August.

‘SPEED RACER’ GETS HIS WHEELS: And finally, USA TODAY provides a first look at the Mach 5 car appearing in the upcoming film adaptation, “Speed Racer.” The film, directed by the Wachowski Brothers (“The Matrix” trilogy) is based on the popular 1960s Japanese cartoon about the adventures of a racing family and its pet chimpanzee, Chim Chim. The film’s star, Emile Hirsch, reportedly says of the unveiled Mach 5, “My first thought was, ‘Yeah, they got the car right.That’s one of the best things about the show, so it was always going to be one of the most important parts of the movie.” The film, opening next May, also stars Christina Ricci and Matthew Fox.

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