• U.S.

People: Mar. 5, 2007

4 minute read
Rebecca Winters Keegan


Michael Gambon plays an 18th century British abolitionist in the new film Amazing Grace and Dumbledore, the headmaster, in the Harry Potter movies

What do you think of the quiet way the abolitionists got the job done?

It’s a bit of a thriller, isn’t it? Will they succeed?

What’s with the powdered wigs?

God knows. Gentlemen wore them. It was a sign of a rebel to take it off. My character takes his off quite a bit.

You’re a theater actor. How has playing Dumbledore changed your fan base?

I was in the makeup chair recently, and someone brought in two kids. I peeled the beard off, and they started crying. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

What do you make of Daniel Radcliffe’s stage debut in Equus?

He’s growing up. He’s a proper theater actor now. He’s naked in this thing, so all the girls will go out and see it. I’d be frightened running around the stage with nothing on at all. When you stop running, one thing keeps moving. I bet he didn’t think of that.

I hear you used to carry around a picture of Robert De Niro.

I wrote on it, “I love working with you, Mike. You’re the greatest. Much love, Bob.” He didn’t write it. I wrote it, to make my friends jealous.

Did you show him when he directed you in The Good Shepherd?

I’ve got a real picture of him now. He wrote, “Happy Birthday, Michael.”

Why are British actors better at awards-show speeches than Americans?

Preparation. They’re arrogant enough to believe they’re going to win.

Ever wondered how life would be different had you been cast as James Bond?

I’d be in a private jet. I went up for it years ago. I’m a friend of the new James Bond, Daniel Craig. I played his dad in a play in London. All his talent, I taught him. He should be giving me some money. He’s the best Bond ever. He looks like he really could kill you. In real life he’s a softie.


RAY LIOTTA plays a lotta bad fellas in the movies. But over Presidents’ Day weekend, the tough-guy star of Goodfellas and Smokin’ Aces and the voice of vice from the video game Grand Theft Auto had a real-life run-in with police. After crashing his silver Cadillac Escalade into two parked vehicles in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Liotta, 52, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He posted $15,000 bail, then was released and ordered to appear in court March 19. The movie mafioso’s arrest is just the latest DUI among the rich and famous: Nicole Richie, Saturday Night Live’s Tracy Morgan, Haley Joel Osment and Mel Gibson were all charged after teetering roadside recently. Gang, when you can afford a limo, party night’s the time to use it.


At the age of 25, BRITNEY SPEARS has already given the world plenty to gawk at, from her undulating teenage navel to her impulsive 55-hour first marriage to her unconventional parenting techniques with her second hubby, a back-up dancer. Spears’ recent post-divorce wild-child phase has escalated from pantyless cavorting with Paris Hilton to a self-administered buzz cut at a beauty salon in California’s San Fernando Valley. Between one-day dips in and out of rehab facilities in Antigua and Malibu, Calif., Spears also got new tattoos–a cross on her hip and red-and-pink lips on her wrist–and partied pitiably in a blond wig. Meanwhile, the proprietors of the Tarzana, Calif., salon where she shaved her head have put Spears’ locks up for sale on the Internet for $1 million. This is one party that really needs to wind down.

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