James Gandolfini is threatening to not show up for Season 5 of "The Sopranos," which is supposed to start filming March 24. He's upset that HBO gave series creator David Chase a raise without telling ol' Tone. Gandolfini reportedly gets $400,000 for each episode of "The Sopranos" -- compared to, say, the $800,000 Ray Romano gets for each "Everybody Loves Raymond." But Ray doesn't get to go to the Bada-Bing! (Guardian)
This might send Tony back to Prozac, but speaking of money, we hear cutie pie Renée Zellweger made $10 million for "Chicago," Irish brawler Colin Farrell made $2.5 million for "Minority Report" and will make $8 million for "S.W.A.T." (due in August), and buff gal Sarah Michelle Gellar made $6 million for "Scooby-Doo." (People) Just try not to think about it, big guy.
Bill Kristol looks tired. Defending George W. Bush on Fox News after his lackluster speech Thursday night, the normally articulate propagandist admitted the president needed to reassure Europeans he's not galloping wildly off to war without them. "If the president went out there with three words it was: 'Don't be a cowboy.'" He did quickly recover. "Not a cowboy. Not a cowboy." Get some rest, Bill. It could be a long war.
Tom Shales suggests that our fearless leader "may have been ever so slightly medicated" last night during his press conference. Calling Bush "foggy" compared to his impassioned tone during the State of the Union address and citing his "languid pauses," Shales says it wouldn't be the first time a U.S. president had taken a pill. (Washington Post)
Well, if Bush was on something, that might explain why veteran Washington reporter Helen Thomas was dissed. The Press Corps queen has been asking questions of presidents since JFK and last night she got snubbed for the first time. Come to think of it, maybe she was ignored last eve because she has been known to ask about how the president could consider slaughtering innocent Iraqis in a quest for oil, or because of her comment in January that Bush was "the worst president in all of American history." (Washington Times)
Unless a last-minute deal is reached, the show probably won't go on as usual tonight on Broadway -- the musicians have gone on strike. But there is one show you can still see no matter what: "Cabaret" operates under a special contract because it is being produced at the former Studio 54 disco. Does this mean you have to be more than cool to get tickets? Great-gam gal Bebe Neuwirth showed solidarity with the musicians, saying that actors should consider walking out too. (NY Newsday)
Wanna watch Opie make a movie? Ron Howard is auctioning a day on the set of his new flick "The Missing" starring Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett to raise money for the Greenwich High School PTA. You can also bid on a tour of the MTV studio in NYC or sports memorabilia signed by Derek Jeter. Howard says he hopes his set visit will bring in at least $125,000. We hope that includes lunch. (Yahoo News)
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