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New & Noteworthy: Ronan’s ready for his close-up

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Eileen Murphy

It seems that plans for the upcoming film biography of Irish pop cuties Boyzone are going full steam ahead, to the delight of 13-year-old girls everywhere. The movie will be " ‘The Commitments’ without all the bad language," revealed lead singer Ronan Keating in his weekly column in the Sunday World. Actually, after deeper reflection, Ro admits that there might be some naughty words flying around. "After all," he notes, "we have been known to swear on occasion." Whatever – let’s just hope the bad language doesn’t come from the critics.

The film will follow the exploits of the Boyz from their humble beginnings six years ago to their present chart-topping success. It will be the story of "five lads from the Northside of Dublin who’ve traveled the world and had a real blast," he promises. The film will chronicle some of the things that have happened to the band along the way that are "just so mad that you won’t believe them," he chuckles.

So, will this be "A Hard Day’s Night" for the 1990s? we wondered. Nah.

"We’re still working on the script for the flick," he writes. You can tell he’s a real insider now because only movie insiders are allowed to use words like "flick." "There are so many stories and we want it to be the real Boyzone, warts and all."

And despite their clean-scrubbed image, there are, apparently, a few dark spots.

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"It will follow the highs and lows," he explains. "There will be laughter and tears. It will show the fun and the fights. It will show our fierce backstage battles over hair gel and acne medication!" (OK, guess which one we made up.) He continued, "By the end of the movie, you will know the Boyz like you’ve never known us before!" To paraphrase a recent Hollywood movie, we can’t hardly wait.

Of course, this isn’t going to be a retread of "Spiceworld," the chilling documentary about those oddly named British harpies. The Boyz won’t be playing themselves. This is serious CIN-EM-AH, and as such, will star serious CIN-EM-AH actors.

Ronan’s hoping that his character will be played by his favorite actor (and ours) Brad Pitt. Beyond that clever bit of casting, he’s at a loss for ideas: "I’ll leave it to the rest of the lads to choose their own favorite actors to play them," he writes.

We’d like to offer our two cents, if it will help move things along and get the movie to our local multiplex that much faster. How about recruiting Leo "Trademark" DiCaprio, Adam "Big Daddy" Sandler, Ben "Watch the Zipper!" Stiller and Ed "I’m Dating Heather Graham!" Burns as the aspiring singers? Their manager, Louis Walsh, could be played by someone classy, like Tom Hanks or Liam Neeson, or perhaps Tom Cruise could reprise his "Jerry Maguire" character. The possibilities, as they say, are endless.

George Michael impersonator off his Tralee?

Honestly, we don’t know what it is they’re getting up to in Kerry these days – that Rose of Tralee festival seems to be driving them all stone mad.

It seems that a singer named Norris Stephens – whose act consists of dressing, sounding and shimmying like pop star George Michael – was in the middle of a performance at the Mount Brandon Hotel in the middle of Tralee – the very heart of the Kingdom! – last Tuesday evening when the crowd got a bit out of hand. The singer, whose resemblance to the former Wham! Star is said to be uncanny, was in danger of being mobbed by the frenzied throng. Luckily for Stephens, he was rescued by a pair of stouthearted gardai, who escorted him from the stage and out of the hotel.

Unfortunately for the cops, Stephens was in high spirits, and in the mood to have a little fun. Recalling Michael’s arrest in Los Angeles last year on charges of lewd behavior, Stephens laughingly pretended to grab each cops in . . . well, let’s just say it’s the place you wouldn’t grab a cop unless you knew him extremely well.

The cops, luckily, were in a good mood, having spent a week looking after beauty queens from all over the world. They avoided Stephens’s rushing hands and roamin’ fingers, and moved him safely out of the venue. And he lived to wiggle his butt another day.

Oasis of calm?

It must get kind of boring for Oasis star Noel Gallagher, being in a major (albeit largely inactive) rock band. OK, so he makes pots of money and drives a fancy car and lives in a mansion. But he’s still human, right? He still has to wax his eyebrows so that they don’t meet in the middle. He’s constantly squabbling with his little brother, Liam. Where’s the challenge?

To liven things up, Gallagher has decided to form a new band called Tailgunner. He plays the drums, but there’s no word on other members. We’re assuming, however, that Liam has not been enlisted to provide vocals because, then, what would be the point of having a new band, eh? Tailgunner starts gigging in the UK next month, and we’ll let you know if there’s any more to it . . .

Bold Spice

Sporty Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm might want to give the salty language a rest, since the band’s target audience is barely out of diapers. But then again, if the athletic singer is trying to change her image from mildly spicy to five-alarm chili, her new single might just work the charm.

After the band’s sell-out tour a couple of years ago, Melanie took up residence in Dublin. While there, she had a fierce row with her (now ex-) boyfriend, which inspired her to write a song. The composition, titled "Going Down," was cathartic, she says. "There was a lot of emotion I needed to vent and this is how I did it. Writing ‘Going Down’ helped get it out of my system."

Melanie has recorded the song as a single, which will be released in October. She’s also filmed a video, which, like any clip worth its salt, is too explicit for daytime broadcast. The music channel will play it only after 7 p.m., by which time, presumably, all good Spice fans are already sound asleep.

So what makes "Going Down" such a hot potato for MTV? Well, we hear that Melanie doesn’t wear too much in the way of clothing in the video. But the thing that really made the censors clutch their pearls was when Melanie stares directly into the camera and yells, "I’m a super[rhymes with rich]! I’m a [rhymes with door]!" And we thought it was bad when the 10-year-olds were singing, "If you wanna be my lover/You gotta get with my friends . . . "


Ed Burns is busy writing a screenplay for Dreamworks Studios, the same company that produced "Saving Private Ryan." The new film will be about Irish cops, a subject he knows a lot about. His father, Ed Burns Sr., was an NYPD sergeant.

U2’s Adam Clayton has picked up a little side work. He’s guesting on Steve Van Zandt’s upcoming album, "Born Again Savage." Anyone familiar with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will recognize the bandana-wearing Van Zandt, aka Little Steven. The singer also organized "Artists Against Apartheid" back in 1986, which spawned an all-star single, "Sun City."

Just in case you thought Boyzone and Westlife impresario Louis Walsh was the only one in the boy band biz in Ireland, you’ll be thrilled to know that U2 have a hand in as well. No, they haven’t been auditioning Clearasil-faced teens for anything. We’ve heard that their management company, Principle, has thrown their weight behind My Town, a Boyzone clone that should be jolting to the top of the pop charts any day now.

My Town has one unique feature, though. Instead of slogging up the Irish and UK record charts first and then trying to make it in America, these boyos are being positioned as an American industry act. They have a $15 million deal with Universal Records, and their debut album will be released in the U.S. first.

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