We’ve heard about actors having to peel away all the layers to get to the heart of their performance, but Jessica Alba is bringing new meaning to the concept for her role in the movie Sin City (due next year). “I play a stripper,” she tells us. “I’ve been going to strip clubs and seeing about what to do. … I’m trying to figure out the performance. (Strippers are) so, like, skanky, you know, it’s just about getting a tip and doing a lap dance, but (my character) does a performance, so I have to go hit up some drag shows or something.” So, what can we look forward to in Alba’s striptease? “My character has chaps and a lasso, but I’m not going to be naked – no nudity,” she says (sorry, guys). And no choreographer, either. Director Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids) “wants me to just feel the music,” says Alba. “So I’m going to be in my hotel room (on location in Austin) with chaps trying to figure out what to do.”
Even celebrities sometimes get starstruck. P. Diddy himself was “knocked out” when he discovered who was in the audience watching his performance in A Raisin in the Sun: his all-time hero, Muhammad Ali. The legendary fighter, wanting to surprise the cast of the Broadway revival, didn’t let anyone know he was coming to the play. So when he went backstage quietly afterward, a very surprised Diddy nearly fell on the floor. “History just keeps being made at this show, both onstage and now backstage,” said Diddy.
Actor-writer-director Edward Burns says his new film, Looking for Kitty – about a Manhattan investigator helping a man from upstate New York search for his missing wife – is really a tribute to New York. “It sort of is a love letter to the little slices of New York,” he tells us. “The characters in the film experience both the lonely and exciting aspects of the city.” So what does Manhattan mean to Burns? “Manhattan is home,” he says, the “only city in the world worth living in, the center of the universe, the island empire.” Well, all righty then.
Trivia question of the day: What do stars like Madonna, John Travolta, Jamie Lee Curtis and Will Smith have in common? They’ve all authored children’s books. And the latest celeb to join their ranks is Whoopi Goldberg. “I’m doing three books,” Goldberg tells us. “One on manners, one on the art of passing the air and the other on a girls’ ballet troupe.” Hmm, one on manners and another on passing gas? Stay tuned. Or not.
• By MARISA LAUDADIO, MARK DAGOSTINO, MOLLY LOPEZ and SANDY POSNAK