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The hot hot hottest name in Hollywood right now is Charlize Theron, the South African-born star who won the Golden Globe as best actress for “Monster” and is the favorite to win an Oscar as well. Charlize has two new movies practically at the ready and producers are frantically trying to get them finished and out as soon as possible. One is “Head in the Clouds,” a sweeping romantic drama co-starring Penélope Cruz and Stuart Townsend, in which Charlize plays Gilda Bessé, a pleasure-seeking photographer living in Paris during the Thirties who gets caught up in pre-World War II political turmoil. The other is “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” in which she plays the British comedian’s second wife, Britt Ekland. The movie — with Geoffrey Rush playing Sellers and also starring Emily Watson, Stanley Tucci, John Lithgow and Stephen Fry — was set to premiere at Cannes this spring. But the real Ekland is very much alive and causing the movie’s producers to pull out their hair and grind their jaws. Ekland is so worried about how she’ll turn out in the picture that she has asked her lawyers to examine every single thing she says. “I want to make sure every word my character says in that film is accurate, otherwise I shall spew.” Ekland is not happy with the biography by Roger Lewis that the film is based on, nor is she jumping up and down with joy about the casting of Charlize. “This actress is 6 feet tall, I am 5 foot 5. She is 27, I was 20 at the time. It is nonsense.” True, Charlize doesn’t look a thing like Britt, but isn’t that where acting comes in? She didn’t look like the serial killer she played in “Monster,” either.
Can you believe Britney Spears has her sights set on Broadway and is considering the role of Eliza Doolittle in a revival of “My Fair Lady?” The pop-star will have to work with a dialect coach in order to rid herself of her southern accent and replace it with a cockney one, which will then have to be replaced with a proper English speech pattern. Britney is also hoping to follow in the footsteps of her dear pal Madonna and Halle Berry and become a Bond girl. She is aiming for the next one, probably Pierce Brosnan’s last turn as 007, due in 2005. She’s even having meetings with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli trying to convince her that she should play the sexy villain. Of course, there are those who think it will never work out. But she could wind up singing the theme song, couldn’t she?