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First Impressions
For his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins perfected many creepy idiosyncracies, including Lecter's distorion of the word "chianti" and his unblinking delivery. Jodie Foster's character was particularly unnerved by Lecter's mockery of her West Virginia accent. But Julianne Moore, who replaced Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling in Hanibal, was equally unnerved by Hopkins' antics away from the set. One day the actress was dismayed to learn that her veteran co-star had taught someone else to do an uncanny impression of the famously chilling slurping sounds which Lecter makes, for example, after describing his consumption of the "census-taker." Who was it? Cal, Julianne's three-year-old son! ["Tony would go, 'Cal do this—Pffft, pffft, ...
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What Jude Law's Toddler Found at a Birthday Party
In October 2002, a spokesman for Jude Law and Sadie Frost told the British press that "no serious harm" had come to the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Iris after she attended a children's birthday party, held in a room which had been used as a bar and lounge the night before. The problem? Iris had found half an ecstasy tablet on the floor, and eaten it. [After Iris was released from the hospital, Law and Frost called themselves "the luckiest parents alive."]
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When George Bernard Shaw Was Asked To Cut Saint Joan
Rehearsals for the American premiere of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan went swimmingly—until it was found to be some three and a half hours long. Shaw received a cable requesting that he cut the play so that suburban visitors could catch the last trains home. Replied Shaw: "Begin at eight—or run later trains."
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Garry Shandling & the essence of a turtle
Garry Shandling: "I didn't dream about being a turtle [in Over The Hedge]. I wasn't sure I wanted to do it... Someone actually asked me if I was capturing the essence of a turtle. And I said, 'Well, the test will be when other turtles see the movie!'"
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Adrian Boult - Two Piccolos
One day during his tenure as conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Boult was informed that, due to budget constraints, a certain piece scored for two piccolo players would have to be performed by a soloist. Despite Boult's vehement protests, his supervisors remained resolute. Finally, an irate Boult took his complaint to the head of the department, Charles Carpendale, who—torn between his respect for Boult and his reluctance to overrule his colleagues—pondered for a moment before proposing a compromise: "How about using one piccolo," he suggested, "and placing it closer to the microphone?"
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Woody Harrelson & Sean Penn:
"Here [on the set of The Thin Red Line] occurred one of the most terrifying events of Sean Penn's life. On a break from filming, in Australia, he found himself suddenly seized at gunpoint and used as a human shield against the police. Shouting 'Don't shoot! It's alright, man, calm down!' he found himself forced out into the street where he found cameras whirring and his co-star Woody Harrelson doubled over with laughter. "Penn did not forget the trick. Later, the pair of them driving through the outback, he pretended the car was stuck. Harrelson got out to push and Penn took off, leaving him there in the middle of the night with no food, no water and no way ...
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Extreme Sportsman?
Late in life, former Russian statesman Boris Yeltsin developed a curious method of high speed stress-free entertainment. "I especially love driving down a hill directly at a tree and swerving to one side at the last moment," he explained. "That's my way to relax." What sort of driving was Yeltsin referring to? Why, golf buggy driving, of course. [In a classic episode of "The Simpsons," Homer takes a breathalyzer test at Moe's tavern. As he blows, his alcohol level passes from "Tipsy" and "Soused" to "Stinkin' Drunk" and—at the top of the range—"Boris Yeltsin."] [At the turn of the millennium, a Chinese man began offering himself as human "punch-bag" to stressed-out patrons in Chengdu's bars and discos. His price? 50 ...
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James Thurber - Funnier In French
James Thurber was once approached at a cocktail party by a female admirer who declared that his work was even funnier in French. "Yes," Thurber replied, "I always seem to lose something in the original."
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Al Pacino's Stage Fright During American Buffalo
When Al Pacino played the role of Teach in a Broadway production of David Mamet's 1975 play American Buffalo, he reportedly had stage fright so bad that he vomited before every show. According to actor Sam Rockwell, "He'd eat some pea soup just so he'd have something to vomit." [Though Pacino was the first choice for the role in the film adaptation, he did not respond in a timely fashion and the role was given to Dustin Hoffman.]
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Tribhuvan International Airport
Nepal Airlines Solves A Flight Delay
In 2007, when a Nepal Airlines Boeing 757 developed technical problems, the plane was fixed and resumed its flights—after two goats were sacrificing on the runway to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god.