Yoko Ono has turned down all but one or two requests for the rights to record John Lennon’s “Imagine” for promotional purposes. But she will let Amnesty International use her husband’s peace anthem for free in a two-year human rights education campaign that begins Dec. 10. Under the direction of composer Hans Zimmer, a children’s choir will record the song as a single later this year for use in a music video and public service announcements. Longtime Amnesty supporter Gabriel Byrne secured the rights when he met Ono at a party about six months ago. The Irish actor got the idea to use a children’s choir after hearing a stirring rendition at his niece’s graduation. ” ‘Imagine’ is a prayer for world peace,” says Ono, who must approve the final recording. “It will mean so much to today’s world for children to sing this song to us.”
Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise aren’t the only Hollywood stars who perform real-life heroics in their spare time. On July 27, at an intersection in L.A.’s Silverlake neighborhood, Brad Pitt saw a woman driving a Mercedes make an ill-timed left turn, get clipped by an oncoming SUV and keep on going. While the people in the sports utility climbed out, Pitt, in a black Mercedes SUV, took off after the woman and pulled up alongside her car to speak with her. Although she wasn’t hurt, the driver seemed to be in a state of shock, so Pitt encouraged her to return to the intersection. He then followed the woman back to the scene, where she exchanged information with the other driver. Pitt stayed long enough to make sure everyone was all right before hopping back into his Mercedes, declaring, “That’s enough drama for one day.”
Kevin Costner is back in the saddle. For the first time since winning dual Oscars for 1990’s Dances with Wolves, Costner is starring in and directing a western. It’s a drama about cattle drivers called Open Range and costars Annette Bening and Robert Duvall. The film, which is currently being shot on the Stoney Indian Reservation in western Canada, has a modest $23 million budget, which is why the three stars had to take reductions in their usual fees. The shoot has been a family affair. Bening, who has already completed her role, had her four children with her, while Costner’s children are frequent visitors to the set. The highlight for the kids? Seeing real cowboys in action at Calgary’s famous Stampede rodeo in July.
Supermodel Heidi Klum certainly has her share of male fans, but on Aug. 16 she’ll also capture some mail fans when the Caribbean island of Grenada releases six $1.50 stamps with her photo on them—an accolade usually reserved for dead celebrities. A flattered Klum is delighted, especially because her father, Gunther, a retired perfume executive, is a stamp collector.