People: Feb. 26, 2007

4 minute read
Rebecca Winters Keegan


If you’re not busy filing paperwork to claim paternity of Anna Nicole Smith’s child, then you clearly have time for this week’s pop-culture quiz.

1) Tom Cruise’s next film project teams him up with:

A) Ben Stiller, in The Hardy Men, an action-comedy based on the Hardy Boys mystery novels B) Andy Serkis, in Xenu Day, a family fantasy film by L. Ron Hubbard C) Johnny Depp, in Pirates of the Caribbean 4–Search for the Hot Booty D) Helen Mirren in The Charles and Camilla Story, a romantic comedy

2) Grumpy Russell Crowe recently gave the boot to:

A) His facialist, for overexfoliating his delicate dermis B) The risqué cheerleaders for his rugby team, because, he said, they distract from the game C) His personal trainer, for yelling “Who’s the Gladiator?!” after each set of chin-ups D) His buddy Ron Howard, who keeps begging him to bring chips and guacamole to poker night at Tom Hanks’ house

3) Human-rights activists and military interrogators met with the creative forces behind 24 to ask them to:

A) Screen next year’s season premiere at Gitmo B) Let Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer have a hobby–say, boccie–to show the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance C) Make their torture scenes more authentic D) Cast Carmen Electra as a CTU agent ANSWERS: 1) A; 2) B 3) C


The Grammy Awards served as more than a shiny gold attaboy! from the music industry for some artists this year. Shunned by Nashville since 2003, when lead singer Natalie Maines told a London crowd, “We’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas,” the DIXIE CHICKS collected five Grammys for their unrepentant single Not Ready to Make Nice and their album Taking the Long Way. While accepting the Best Country Album award, a vindicated Maines said, “To quote the great Simpsons: Hah-hah!” LUDACRIS, meanwhile, wryly thanked two VIP hip-hop critics when he won Best Rap Album for Release Therapy. “Special shout-out to Oprah, special shout-out to Bill O’Reilly,” the rapper said. “I love ya!” Jimmy Carter, at the center of a controversy over a book on Israel, tied for Best Spoken Word Album. Carter did not attend the ceremony. Perhaps he couldn’t think of a suitable cartoon to quote.


It took only 371 years, but hey, who’s counting? Harvard University has named its first female president, DREW GILPIN FAUST, 59, a Civil War scholar and dean since 2001 of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Faust, whose mother once warned her, “This is a man’s world, sweetie, and the sooner you learn that, the better off you’ll be,” ascends to what is probably the most influential job in higher ed. After former Harvard president Lawrence Summers caused an uproar two years ago by suggesting genetic gender differences may explain why few women attain top science jobs, he asked Faust to head an effort to recruit, keep and promote women at Harvard. Evidently Faust took that assignment to heart.


Mark Wahlberg is nominated for an Oscar for The Departed; HBO’s Entourage, which Wahlberg produces, is loosely based on his life

How did a youth of crime inform your work in The Departed?

I had a lot to draw upon. There’s a fine line between cops and crooks in Boston. Guys I got in trouble with went on to become cops. Through the movie, I was able to close the door on that chapter of my life.

Your favorite Boston slang?

Dirtball or maggot. With the accent, they’re Boston insults.

Weren’t you acting when you were rapper Marky Mark?

I was acting well before that. I’ve always been a con artist, trying to talk my way out of trouble–or into it.

How realistic is Entourage’s depiction of actors’ extravagant spending?

The first purchase I made when I got a check for $100,000 was a Mercedes for $100,000. I didn’t have money left over for insurance and gas.

Who’s in your entourage now?

The new entourage is my girls, a nanny, a diaper bag. You’re supposed to grow up and become responsible.

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