Will 'Bond' actor's kissbecome infamous?
VENICE, Italy -- No doubt there are plenty of on-screen kisses in store for Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. But none will be more talked about than the one that premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Craig plays one of the men who brutally murdered a Kansas farm family in "Infamous," which examines Truman Capote's emotional journey into the minds of two killers that formed the core of his true-crime novel, "In Cold Blood."
An attachment grew between Capote and confessed killer Perry Smith during the long periods the author spent in Kansas teasing out their story, and in a pivotal moment, the two men kiss.
"I never dreamed I'd kiss James Bond," quipped Toby Jones, the British actor who plays Capote. "Now that I've done it, I say I hope I'm just the first of many."
Director Douglas McGrath said Craig was not a recognizable screen presence to most moviegoing audiences when he cast the 38-year-old actor for his movie, which also stars Sandra Bullock.
"That isn't going to be the case in [a few] weeks," McGrath said.
Craig missed Thursday night's premiere, reportedly to finish work on the Bond picture, "Casino Royale," due out in November.
While the Bond movie will enjoy a much wider release, McGrath said the close timing is good for both films -- and a good opportunity for audiences to see what Craig is made of.
"For people to see Daniel as Perry Smith, a low-class, uneducated, vile misfit, and then to see him as James Bond ... it offers an immediate comparison and shows what kind of range he has," McGrath said.
"Infamous" was shown out of competition in Venice. The movie was in production just a bit behind last year's "Capote," which examines roughly the same period of the author's life.
McGrath said the studio held his film back so the two movies would not get in each other's way.
Jazz musician getshis casino gig back
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. -- Pete Fountain will return to performing at a casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this fall.
The casino, known as Casino Magic before it was battered by Hurricane Katrina, is reopening as the Hollywood Casino. Fountain had packed the casino's Oak Royale room every Tuesday and Thursday before the storm.
John Jagunich, the casino's general manager, said "everybody went wild" when Fountain's return was announced at the pre-opening party Wednesday night.
The 76-year-old jazz clarinetist, a New Orleans native, lost his $1.5 million house in Bay St. Louis, as well as his gold records, memorabilia and 10 musical instruments when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast last year. His New Orleans home also was damaged but has been repaired.
His wife, Beverly, told The Sun Herald newspaper that Fountain, who underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery in March, has suffered with a lingering bout of shingles, a painful skin infection, throughout the summer.
"The bypass was a breather," she said.
On Thursday, Fountain said he was pleased to be back at the casino and, "I don't even feel the shingles."
He will perform at the Hollywood Casino starting in mid-October.
Penn National Gaming Inc., the casino's parent company, renamed the property as "Hollywood" to bring it in line with one of its brands. The "Magic" name was acquired when the company bought the Bay St. Louis property from Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.
The casino has 20 table games, just over 900 slot machines and a six-table poker room. It is located temporarily on the ground floor of the casino's hotel. Penn National Gaming has plans to build a new casino. Its gambling barge was heavily damaged and will be dismantled.
Simpson struggles with'Today' show performance
NEW YORK -- Jessica Simpson sang for the first time since injuring a vocal cord a week ago, but only made it through one song before her voice cracked.
Simpson croaked her way through "I Belong to Me" on NBC's "Today" show Friday morning, but when it came time to hit a high note on "With You," her voice cracked. She paused for a moment and said, "All right, I tried that one," before finishing the tune.
"That had to be the most nerve-racking thing you've ever done in your life," said "Today" co-host Matt Lauer.
The 26-year-old singer tried to soothe her voice with a concoction that Lauer described as "gnarly looking." Simpson said her vocal coach had made the "nasty" mixture.
"I busted a blood vessel in my vocal cord," she told Lauer. "Next time I sing, I'll be singin' my booty off."
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