February 20, 2004
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
R&B singer Ashanti took on a new language for her first movie, Bride & Prejudice – the upcoming Jane Austen-meets-Bollywood musical from director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham). “I play an Indian songstress, and I sing in Hindi and in English,” says the 23-year-old Grammy winner. “My Hindi part was: ‘Payal bajake, ghungroo bajake/ Tujhe divana kari de ga,’ which means, ‘My little anklets, the bells ringing and the electricity in my eyes will make you crazy.’ ” After leaving the film’s Goa, India, set, Ashanti enjoyed luxe accommodations during an overnight stay in Bombay. “I stayed in President Clinton’s suite at this incredible hotel on the beach,” she said. “And when I went inside, they put the red dots on our foreheads. It was cool.”
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
How are Kate Hudson’s motherhood skills? We asked an expert – an 11-year-old. Actor Spencer Breslin (with his younger sister, Abigail, 7) reports that when their film, Raising Helen, wrapped up, Hudson offered to take the children to FAO Schwartz as a treat. “Abby got sick and couldn’t go, so Kate picked her out a baby (doll) at the (store’s) adoption center,” says Breslin. “I think she’ll be a great mom.”
Star Jones had a pretty good feeling that her beau, Al Reynolds, was going to pop the question during the NBA All-Star game in L.A. last weekend. So why did she look so shocked when it happened? “I had a feeling I was getting engaged, but when halftime came and went, I got worried,” Jones tells us. “Al got up to go to the restroom and I – being the control freak that I am – patted down his jacket that he left behind trying to feel for the bulge of the ring. When I didn’t feel anything, I thought maybe it wasn’t going to happen. What I didn’t know was that Al knows me so well, he gave the ring to NBA VIP Coordinator Marion Harvey to hold at the beginning of the game!”
CAUGHT IN THE ACT
• Owen Wilson, enjoying a weeklong vacation at the Shore Club in Miami Beach after the premiere of his movie The Big Bounce. The blond star strolled along Lincoln Road and took in a late movie without being detected by paparazzi.
• Seal, also in Miami, performing at Rumi Restaurant and afterward enjoying creme brulee with friends at the Delano Hotel’s Blue Sky pool bar.
• George Clooney, lunching with a friend at Hamburger Hamlet in L.A.
• Chelsea Clinton and longtime boyfriend Ian Klaus, celebrating Valentine’s Day in a luxury suite at Montreal’s Hotel Gault and enjoying a romantic dinner at famed celeb hangout Buonanotte. “They were completely humble, and obviously in love,” says our spy.
Reported by: SONA CHARAIPOTRA, MARK DAGOSTINO, SEAN DALY, KATHY EHRICH and KWALA MANDEL