Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

KAREN BUTLER, United Press International


Tough guy actor Vin Diesel said he loved the chance to show his sensitive side in the new drama, "A Man Apart."


Noting he made the film right after he shot "Fast And The Furious," but before it came out and transformed him into a major Hollywood player, Diesel told reporters in New York he relished playing a character "who is truly in love."

"I mean, truly in a perfect marriage," explained the 35-year-old native New Yorker. "And I liked that this character Vetter was forever juggling between the desire to be violent, the desire to express his frustration in violence, and the ever constant search for meaning in a world without the one person he so much loves."

Asked by one nosy reporter if he feels it is important to experience that kind of love in his own life to convincingly convey passion on screen, Diesel replied: "I don't know that you necessarily have to have had such a perfect marriage.

"In the same way, I don't know necessarily if you have to kill someone in order to play that part of the character. I think what we do as actors is we find traces of the character's characteristics in our own personality and then amplify it for the role."


"A Man Apart," a thriller about a Drug Enforcement Administration agent whose wife is killed during a botched hit, is in theaters now.


Newly published letters suggest an intense flirtation existed between legendary author Ernest Hemingway screen siren Marlene Dietrich.

Full of innuendo, the correspondence reveals a relationship full of passion, despite the claim by their descendants that it was only platonic, reports London's Daily Telegraph.

"Would certainly like to see some psychonalayzermaru (sic) start to straighten out you and me for example," the author wrote in one letter. "He better get his couches insured."

Hemingway went on to inquire: "What sort of cigarette you smoke in picture so I can get a package and roll them up and put them under my armpit. That's the only way I like tobacco really. But I guess it wouldn't go good in the ads."

Signing himself "Papa", Hemingway admitted: "I love you too, you beauty, indestructible."

Despite the steamy prose, Dietrich's grandson, Peter Riva, denied there was anything more than friendship between the two.

"Personalities like that are ablaze," he told the Telegraph. "They tend to do everything in a fiery fury. Since they weren't going to become lovers, they become absolute, steadfast friends."


The liaison is documented in 30 letters, telegrams and a Christmas card written between 1949 and 1959 and donated to the John F. Kennedy Library. The archive's full contents will be made public in 2007.


Three animated action films by Hayao Miyazaki are coming to DVD next week.

Featuring an all-star vocal cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, the late Phil Hartman, Matthew Lawrence and Debbie Reynolds, "Kiki's Delivery Service" is the heart-warming coming-of-age tale of Kiki (Dunst), a spunky 13-year-old witch who makes deliveries for a local bakery on her magic broomstick with the help of her hilarious talking cat (Hartman).

"Castle in the Sky" takes the audience on a fantastic journey to a mythical "retro-future" full of amazing landscapes and wonderful flying machines. The adventure begins when a young boy named Pazu (Jason van der Beek) sees the beautiful Sheeta (Anna Paquin) descend from the sky wearing a mysterious crystal, one that allows her to float in the air. Sheeta can't remember the crystal's secret, but it becomes the target of a band of rabble-rousing sky pirates led by Cloris Leachman. It's not long before sinister agents are after them as well, along with the villain Muska (Mark Hamill). This marks the first time the film is released in English.


"Spirited Away," which won the Oscar last month for best animated feature, is the story of a 10-year-old girl, Chihiro (Daveigh Chase) who follows her parents (Michael Chiklis and Lauren Holly) into a seemingly abandoned amusement park. When night falls, Chihiro finds herself whisked away to an utterly fantastic place where spirits are real.

The three films, which were all huge hits in Japan, will be released on DVD and VHS in the United States on Tuesday. All three feature soundtracks in both Japanese and English.


Those who missed seeing 2002's Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films while they were in theaters will get to view them at home this summer.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment says it will release on DVD and VHS "Gangs of New York" on July 1, "The Quiet American" on July 15 and "Chicago" on Aug. 19, while "Frida" hits video stores on June 10.

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