By Eileen Murphy
Well, we hear that superstar Mel Gibson will be adding his brand of lethal charm (and those dazzling blue eyes) to the upcoming film, "Million Dollar Hotel."
The movie, which is based on a screenplay by U2’s Bono, will costar covergirl Milla Jovovich, and be directed by Wim Wenders. Ardent fans will recall that the director and the band have been friends for a while. They wrote the song ""Until the End of the World," for his movie of the same name; he directed the video for "Stay (Faraway, So Close)."
The cameras will start rolling in January, and there’s a rumor that Bono will make a cameo appearance in the movie. Although really, he’s rather shy . . .
Speaking of Bono (and, O.K., when aren’t we?) we hear that beleaguered author Salman Rushdie has lived, off and on, at the bottom of Bono’s garden.
According to the Sunday Independent, Rushdie spent a lot of time in a four room gazebo near Bono’s main house in Killiney. Apparently, Rushdie would fly to Ireland, land at Dublin Airport, jump in a helicopter which would deposit him on the beach behind chez Hewson, and just hop over the fence.
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Bono took a number of precautions, including closed circuit television monitoring, bodyguards and electric gates. The neighbors got used to the frequent helicopter landings and went about their business. Rushdie never left the grounds, except before dawn or after midnight.
Everyone involved must be relieved that the Iranians have called off the fatwah, or death sentence, under which Rushdie has lived for the past 10 years. Now Bono can go back to entertaining friends in his gazebo, as he originally intended, and Rushdie can get back to winning writing awards.
It’s raining men (hallelujah!)
Well, summer’s finally over and the frost in on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock, which means, of course, that it’s time for the New York Bachelor of the Year Contest.
The committee is looking for eligible, personable, good-natured, unattached young (and not so young) men to compete for the honor of representing New York at the International Bachelor Festival in Mullingar next summer.
The New York Bachelor of the Year Committee is on a winning steak of sorts – last year’s primo bachelor, Patrick Conway, went on to win the whole enchilada.
All the money raised goes to charity, and the contestants will get to show off their talents in front of a panel of distinguished judges and an appreciative crowd at the Tower View Center. Eligible bachelors (or people who know eligible bachelors) can call Brenda at (718) 204-1870 or Marie and Siobhan at (718) 956-3936.
The deadline for completed applications is Nov. 1, and the contest takes place on Nov. 28. So, c’mon down, guys – let’s see who’s the fairest . . . well, make that hunkiest one of all.
If music be the food of love . . .
Geez, after one lousy Woody Allen movie, Kenneth Branagh is scampering back to his Shakespearean roots. Branagh is set to film three of Wild Will’s comedies, the first of which will be "Love’s Labours Lost."
In an effort to push the envelope a bit, Ken has re-imagined the play as a 1950’s-style musical, in the frothy tradition of Irving Berlin or Cole Porter. No word yet on who’s writing the music, but Branagh has said that "Love" will be his "most accessible film to date."
Mr. "Smartie" pants
Hot new Irish band Picture House, whose debut album, "Karmarama" is topping the charts in Ireland, unwittingly exhibited a bit of major rock star attitude during a recent tour of Germany. When asked to list the "amenities" they required backstage (i.e. food, drink, gir . . er, food, drink) the band jokingly put down "blue Smarties."
Now, for those of you who aren’t up on your rock and roll history, this was a nod to . . . well, let’s let band member Willie Power tell it.
"We did it for the craic because we heard Van Halen used to do it, but we never thought the promoters would take it seriously. We could just picture some poor guy going through hundreds of boxes of Smarties searching for the blue ones.
"Next time we’re going to ask for salt and vinegar chips covered in chocolate," he added. (Well, that should keep the groupies well away!)
Singer Marianne Faithfull, who put down roots in Dublin way before it became a fashionable address for rock royalty, has seen her new album, "The Seven Deadly Sins," climb the classical charts in Europe and America. Now, the legendary singer been invited to perform at the Royal Albert Hall next spring, in a tribute to Kurt Weill.
Faithfull will perform selections from her album, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, on May 14 and 15. For those who can’t make it to London, make sure to pick up the album, which is on the RCA/Red Seal/BMG Classics label.
If we could bottle Paddy Moloney’s energy, we’d make a fortune, move to our own private island and have Brad Pitt fan us while Pierce Brosnan fed us peeled grapes. But enough about our future plans . . .
We hear that Moloney was in New York recently, recording tracks for the Chieftains’ upcoming album, ‘Tears of Stone." The album, which boasts collaborations with female artists including Sinead O’Connor, Joan Osborne and Joni Mitchell, is due out in February. It promises to follow in the Grammy Award-winning footsteps of recent works like "Santiago" and "The Long Black Veil," so one hopes Paddy’s ready with yet another acceptance speech . . .
Moloney has also agreed to contribute some music to the soundtrack of Anjelica Huston’s upcoming film, "The Mammy," which recently finished filming in Dublin. The movie has a family connection for Paddy, since his daughter ‘din, an accomplished actress, appears in the film.
Speaking of soundtracks, Sinead O’Connor is contributing a song to "You’ve Got Mail," a new movie starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. O’Connor will perform a cover of Nilsson’s "I Guess the Lord Must be in New York City." The movie opens nationwide in mid-November.
We hear that actor-turned-author Malachy McCourt, whose autobiographical "A Monk Swimming" is firmly entrenched on the New York Times bestseller list, will be writing a newspaper column.
Those who just adore Malachy’s irreverent brand of humor will be thrilled to know that his by-line will soon be found in the free weeklies Manhattan Spirit and Our Town.
Someone recently did a survey of women in the U.K., to find out what famous man would make the least desirable date. It will probably come as no surprise that Oasis bad boy Liam Gallagher tops the list, followed (closely, we assume) by President Clinton.
Singer Daniel O’Donnell has raised over £400,000 to build an orphanage in Romania. The facility, which will open next month, will be named "Kincasslagh," after Daniel’s home town in Donegal.
If God will send his angels . . .
A charity album to benefit the Children’s Hospital in Dublin’s Temple Street has been released in Ireland, and the artist lineup should be enough to shake the coins out of even the Scroogiest miser.
If you know anyone who’s heading for Ireland (or if you’re in tight with one of our local record distributors), beg, borrow, wheedle or outright demand a copy of "Forgotten Angels." Contributing artists make up a veritable who’s who of Irish music: U2, The Corrs, Van Morrison, Aslan, Brian Kennedy, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Clannad, Finbar Furey, Phil Coulter, Sharon Shannon, Phil Lynott, Hothouse Flowers, Carter Twins, Don Baker, Gilbert O’Sullivan, The Dubliners and Chris De Burgh. New Age superstar Enya didn’t contribute a song, but did donate £10,000 to the childrens’ charity, which represents exactly 10% of their goal.
If and when it becomes available over here, we’ll get you the details.