Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  Dec. 19, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Former child star Adam Rich has been arrested in California for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Best-known for his role as Nicholas on "Eight Is Enough," the 34-year-old has battled drug and alcohol use for years.

Police say he was arrested early Wednesday morning after he nearly hit a California Highway Patrol car while driving in a lane of Interstate 10 that was closed for maintenance.

This is not Rich's first brush with the law. Nearly a decade ago he pleaded no contest to felony burglary and drug charges after he allegedly stole a drug-filled syringe from a hospital and broke into a pharmacy.


A wisdom-spouting tree and a deranged ex-Hobbit are just two more reasons to see "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."

In addition to winning performances, action-packed story lines and spectacular special effects, the sequel to last year's blockbuster, "The Fellowship of the Ring," also boasts two new fascinating, computer-generated characters --Gollum, Frodo and Sam's conflicted guide, and Treebeard, a gigantic walking arbor that carries Pippin and Merry and ultimately helps them save the day.

"We made a decision way back at the beginning that Gollum would have to be a completely digital, computer-generated character," director Peter Jackson told reporters in New York. "He had to be so thin and emaciated. We wanted him to be non-human. But we also made a key decision at the beginning that we wanted to cast an actor to play Gollum, in the sense that an actor owns the character. Just in the sense that Elijah Wood owns Frodo and Viggo Mortensen owns Aragorn, we wanted an actor to be responsible for Gollum. And so we found this wonderful British actor Andy Serkis. Right at the beginning when we first met him, we said: 'Now look, Andy, we'd love for you to play Gollum, except you're never going to be seen in the films. You're going to have to work for like three years, but no one is ever going to see your face.'"

Jackson said after Serkis agreed to the deal, he recorded the character's raspy voice and shot the scenes with Serkis acting opposite Wood and Sean Astin.

"Then what we would do is we would paint him out of the scene," Jackson explained. "We would leave Elijah and Sean in, obviously, and we'd paint Andy Serkis out, then we would put our computer-generated Gollum over the top of Andy.

Treebeard, on the other hand, is a combination of puppet and computer-generated image, voiced by John Rhys-Davies, the Welsh actor who also plays Gimli the Dwarf in the film.

"(Hobbits) Dominic Monoghan and Billy Boyd ride on the puppet's shoulders (throughout most of the film), then we replace the puppet's face with a computer face. And obviously for the wide shots he's a CG creature," Jackson revealed.

"The Two Towers" opens in theaters Thursday.


Playing the only female lead in a gritty Martin Scorsese epic might sound uncomfortable to some actresses, but not "Gangs of New York" star Cameron Diaz.

"It's really, really easy to be the only girl on the set," the actress told United Press International. "It's not a difficult job at all. You get the compliments flying your way. The camera guys are like: 'Thank God you're back. If I had to look at another bruised and beaten bloody man through this eye hole, I was going to kill myself.' They're happy to see you. They're happy to hear your voice. They're happy to see the corset. They're happy to, oddly, see a girl that doesn't have her top off. It's not too hard. And everybody is so awesome. We have such a great time, and everybody was enjoying themselves and working hard."

Diaz, who is best known for her goofy, comic turns in "Charlie's Angels," "There's Something About Mary" and "My Best Friend's Wedding," shows her dramatic side in "Gangs." She plays a 19th century pickpocket, the ward of gang leader Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day-Lewis) and love interest of Bill's rival, Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio.)

"Gangs of New York" opens Friday.


With a name like Halle Berry it is little surprise the Oscar-winning actress loves to celebrate Christmas.

Asked to describe one of her best holiday memories, Berry told reporters in Los Angeles: "One of my favorite gifts, and I got it three years in a row, was a Baby Alive."

"So, the first year, you get this food to feed it. I ran out of food and started feeding the baby grits. About a month later, Baby Alive has maggots coming out of her mouth. So, we had to throw that Baby Alive away. So, the next Christmas I wanted another Baby Alive. That year, I feed her oatmeal. Same thing happened. So, the third baby, my mother said, 'If you feed that baby grits or oatmeal, no more Baby Alive," she explained.

Maggots aside, the "Die Another Day" star declared, "Christmas was always a great time."

"I grew up with a single-parent family, so we didn't always have a lot of money, but my mother, she must have spent the entire year saving up for Christmas because I felt on Christmas that we were rich because we always got everything we ever wrote on our list to Santa," she added.

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