The Cosby Show Reunion, NBC’s two-hour special airing on May 19, features clips and taped interviews with all of the show’s now-grown child actors except Lisa Bonet, who played daughter Denise during the sitcom’s 1984-1992 run. The reason, according to an NBC spokeswoman, was the actress’s “busy schedule.” But Bonet, 34, wrapped her last project, the A&E TV movie The Lathe of Heaven, a year ago. What gives? “The whole experience and energy behind it felt disingenuous and motivated by corporate profit,” says Bonet, who decided the artistic merits of the show didn’t measure up and turned down the network’s offer. “I was not feeling the love. It was a take-it-or-leave-it, with-or-without-you offer, and I felt devalued and disrespected.” Well, her character always was a free spirit.
After Tom Cruise saw five minutes of IMAX’s latest film, Space Station 3D, at a private screening in L.A., he happily signed on to narrate the documentary (opening April 19) about the building of the International Space Station. To help him prepare for his work earlier this year, NASA arranged for the star to ride in the space shuttle. Okay, so it was only the simulator at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, but he sat in the commander’s seat and flew a simulated launch and landing with NASA astronauts. I’m told Cruise, a licensed pilot, did a commendable job.
The set centerpiece of Ben Affleck‘s latest movie, Changing Lanes, is his sleek law office lined with ultrahip artwork. The production designer, Kristi Zea, assembled a remarkable collection of art for the film, including works by such esteemed artists as Alex Katz, Mark Rothko and Andreas Gursky. Turns out they’re fakes. After paying $1,500-$3,000 to “rent the likeness” of the pieces from an artists’ rights group, Zea hired experts to make reproductions. The copies were so good that Affleck wanted to take one piece home, but all the work had to be destroyed in accordance with the wishes of the artists or their estates. For one Antony Gormley sculpture, filmmakers had to videotape its destruction—done by running over the piece with a truck—and mail the tape to the artist.
Being a CBS star has its perks—especially if you’re a golf fan. Since the network televises the Masters Golf tournament every April, it has given a number of coveted tee times in the Monday outing to media members who cover the event at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club. This year CBS president Leslie Moonves invited Ray Romano, Kevin James and Craig T. Nelson to fly from L.A. to Georgia aboard the network’s private jet. After watching the final two rounds on Sunday, the fortunate foursome teed up together the following morning. With a bet over who would pay for the caddies at stake, Romano shot 106 to James’s 97. Says Romano: “It cost me $300 and about a million dollars in pride.”