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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 09/ 4/2010

Celebritology Weekend: George Clooney's Metro station movie; Kat Von D and Jesse James make it official; Jerry Lewis has words for Lindsay Lohan

By Jen Chaney

Three celeb-centric stories on our radar this weekend...

In addition to his Oscar-winning acting skills, George Clooney man can wear a tux well. (AP)


A movie named after a Metro station: George Clooney has settled on his next directing gig and it’s a political drama entitled “Farragut North.” New York Magazine’s Vulture blog reports that Clooney is in the midst of assembling the cast, which currently includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti. The Academy Award winner announced three years ago that he intended to adapt “Farragut North” -- an off-Broadway play about dirty nomination tricks, written by former Howard Dean campaign staffer Beau Willimon and, yes, named after that K Street-adjacent stop on the red line. According to New York Magazine, he plans to start shooting in February. But the real question is: will we see Mr. Clooney and co. shooting scenes here in Washington, especially given the actor-filmmaker’s fondness for D.C.? We sent an e-mail to Clooney’s publicist and asked that very question, but did not hear back before press time. Trust us, though, this won’t be the last time we ask.


Von D and James, officially a couple: The rumors of a romance between Kat Von D, star of TLC’s “L.A. Ink,” and Jesse James -- now-former husband of Arlington native and America’s sweetheart Sandra Bullock -- are no longer rumors. While appearing at the Thursday night opening of Wonderland, her new West Hollywood art gallery, Von D confirmed that the two are in a serious relationship to various media outlets, including People magazine and Access Hollywood. (When a People reporter asked Von D if James -- who also has hosted a couple of his own reality series -- was the one, she said, “I believe he is, so yeah.”) Definitive verification of the blossoming bond between Von D and James comes two months after he and Bullock finalized their divorce, and two weeks after she announced on Twitter that “Yes, Jesse and I are dating,” then promptly deleted the tweet.


Lewis has words for Lohan: Labor Day weekend is synonymous with Jerry Lewis, the veteran actor and comedian almost as well known for his long-running telethon to benefit muscular dystrophy (which, for the record, will take place on Sunday and Monday). But Lewis has captured more attention this particular holiday for some comments he made about the just-out-of-rehab Lindsay Lohan while speaking with a reporter from the syndicated celebrity news show “Inside Edition.” “I’d smack her in the mouth if I saw her,” he said. “I would smack her in the mouth and be arrested for abusing a woman!” Just in case further clarification was needed, Lewis added: “I would say, ‘You deserve this and nothing else’ -- whack! And then if she’s not satisfied, I’d put her over my knee and spank her.”


Pop Culture Pulse: Natalie Portman

The Academy Awards don’t take place until February, but, if buzz out of the Venice Film Festival is to be believed, we’ve already got our first nominee for best actress. That’s Natalie Portman, whose performance in “Black Swan” -- director Darren Aronofsky’s ballet thriller, which premiered in Venice earlier this week -- has been trumpeted as Oscar-worthy by numerous critics and bloggers. (The Times of London called Portman’s work “astounding,” while The Hollywood Reporter described her portrayal of an addled dancer as “a bravura performance.”) Of course, awards season has barely even begun. Translation: expect more richly ladled dollops of praise for more films and actors in the trophy-anticipating months ahead.


Poll of the Week:

With the summer movie season now officially over, we asked our readers which of the top 10 blockbusters made for the best filmgoing experience. Their responses as of press time:

(At press time, responses for films besides “Inception," “Toy Story 3” and “Salt” all fell below the 5% mark, though we must note that we were surprised that 2% of you actually voted for “The Last Airbender.” We had no idea that M. Night Shyamalan participates in our non-scientific online polls.)


You Said It: A selection of notable reader comments from the past week...

Headline:Hollywood Reporter reveals names of people who turned down ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ from Sylvester Stallone to Ann Coulter to Condoleeza Rice

Comment: “Ann Coulter wouldn’t make it past the first time her dance partner told her to step to her left.” — northgs

Headline:Paris Hilton has been banned from the Wynn properties in Las Vegas

Comment: “This must be one of the very few occasions when Paris Hilton has found herself in a no-Wynn situation.” — byoolin1


This is an online version of the Celebritology column that appears in print in Saturday's Style section.

By Jen Chaney  | September 4, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Celebritology Weekend  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: In honor of 'Going the Distance,' we ask: Can real-life couples do big-screen romance?
Next: Charges dismissed in John Travolta extortion case; Paris Hilton spends Labor Day in Hawaii; Kara DioGuardi leaves 'American Idol'


Hey thanks for the Comment props, but that line was byoolin's, not mine. I cannot take credit for the master's work.

This must be one of the very few occasions when Paris Hilton has found herself in a no-Wynn situation.

Posted by: byoolin1 | September 2, 2010 8:51 AM

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | September 4, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to Clooney's film. The subject matter and the cast sound promising indeed.

Posted by: asoders22 | September 4, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

As for Jerry Lewis: Yes, right, violence from an old man would certainly be good for Lindsey Lohan. Disgusting thing for him to say.

Posted by: asoders22 | September 4, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Thanks td_in_baltimore! I made the correction.

Posted by: Sarah Anne Hughes | September 4, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Just what we need, Mr. Lewis: another celebrity making light of violence against women. You'd smack Linday in the mouth? You'd be in jail, and sued. You could say her parents should have disciplined her more, but this, advocating violence, is beyond a fun celebrity gossip item. I'm no fan of either of these jerks.

Posted by: Sutter | September 5, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Jerry Lewis' warped sense of justice. I am sorry but there is a sense of entitlement that these young women have and have no sense of reality. He is correct I think that you could get a better answer from some snails that the brain trust that is Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton...

Posted by: sunnyside1 | September 5, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

What's a "dirty nomination trick"?

Why do the French love Jerry Lewis?

How can a blog have "press time"?

Posted by: kabuki3 | September 6, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

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