File under good sports: Maria Sharapova took the big prize at Wimbledon, but the 17-year-old Russian tennis phenom isn’t letting fame go to her head. She showed up as scheduled for a kids’ tennis clinic in New Haven, Conn., this week, and spent two hours in the blazing heat helping 100 kids learn the basics of tennis. “When I make a commitment I stick to it,” Sharapova tells us. “Most of these kids never played before so it was great for them to pick up a racquet at such a young age. I love giving back to kids.” Sharapova’s newfound celebrity hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing, however. “It’s been crazy, I’ve had photographers all around me and people driving behind me and following me, which is very unusual, but that’s the way it’s going to be. I want to be a tennis player, but to achieve what I want to achieve, these things will happen, and if you don’t like it, just don’t win. It’s simple.”
In the Pink
So why did Paris Hilton choose pink as the theme for the Hamptons launch party for her new record label, the aptly named Heiress Records, last weekend? “It was my favorite color as a little girl,” she tells us. Fair enough. At the party she even sipped pink drinks, made from a combo of raspberry vodka, Cointreau, Sprite and a dash of cranberry juice – and if that isn’t sweet enough for you, there was pink cotton candy spun to order all night. As for the record label itself, its inaugural release, titled Paris Is Burning, will come from the heiress herself. Along with tunes penned by Hilton, it will feature a few covers, including Kim Carnes’s ’80s hit “Bette Davis Eyes.” We can hardly wait …
Memories of Marlon
Matthew Broderick shared with us his memory of the first time he met the legendary Marlon Brando, who died July 1 at age 80. While rehearsing for the 1990 film The Freshman, “I said, ‘Who’s playing the Marlon Brando part?,’ and (director Andrew Bergman) said, ‘Marlon Brando,'” Broderick recalls. “I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not true.’ And he said, ‘No, no. It’s really him.'” As for Broderick’s impression of the enigmatic star: “Even at that first rehearsal day, he knows how nervous people are about meeting him, but he was in such a great mood that day. He was very funny, and very curious about everybody else,” Broderick says. “If you brought up anything, he would show interest in it.”
We asked funnyman ANT from NBC’s Last Comic Standing (real name: Anthony Kalloniatis) for his quick takes on a few hot topics.
• Kerry/Edwards: “Bad hair. Kerry needs the Fab Five, stat. John Edwards I want to date.”
• Terror alerts: “What do they do, they take a box of Lucky Charms and pick a color? Today we’re in green clover alert!”
• Martha Stewart going to jail: “So happy that the government diverted millions of dollars from terrorism to convict a woman who didn’t do anything but lie. I should so be in prison right now.”
• Fahrenheit 9/11: “Amazing. Can I give two words? Propaganda.”
• Tori Spelling’s wedding: “Nose job. That’s the only way she nabbed herself a man. Big nose = single. Small pretty nose = gorgeous husband. Oh, and I just got a nose job.”
• Britney’s engagement: “Three months and it’s over.”
Look for ANT next on VH1’s series A2Z, beginning July 12.
• By DIANE HERBST, COURTNEY HAZLETT and MARK DAGOSTINO