The Fix

Dylan McDermott to face off with James Spader, and Brad Pitt goes on health kick. Plus: Is Tom Cruise threatening another lawsuit?

Salon Staff
April 20, 2004 1:10PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:

Still practicing: Dylan McDermott is going to return to "The Practice" next month and face his replacement, James Spader. The men will spar during two episodes in May. (TV Guide)

Cruise in the news: Tom Cruise is reportedly threatening to sue the British paper the Independent for reporting that he had sessions with drama coach Susan Batson during work on "Eyes Wide Shut" to "give a convincing sexual performance" in the film. His lawyers -- who maintain it was Nicole Kidman, not Cruise, who worked with Batson -- have demanded a retraction. (IMDb)


Method withdrawal: To play the role of Achilles in "Troy" Brad Pitt had to buff up, so he gave up smoking and went on a health kick. Said Pitt, "The withdrawal was so hard that I was ready to kill -- which was actually helpful for the role I was playing." (Sky News)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On
Ever wondered where Puck is now? See him and other briefly famous reality-TV names when tonight's "Biography" (8 p.m. ET; A&E) takes a look at reality stars. In advance of Secretaries, er, Administrative Professionals Day, enjoy one or more of the following: "Working Girl" (8 p.m. ET; AMC), "Nine to Five" (10:30 p.m. ET; AMC), "Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary" (8:30 p.m. ET; Cinemax).

-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Leg loss: The "Doonesbury" character B.D., a soldier fighting in Iraq, will have his left leg amputated in this week's strips. Creator Garry Trudeau says he's hoping to illustrate the sacrifices that soldiers in Iraq are making every day. "It's a task any writer should approach with great humility, but I think it's worth doing," Trudeau said. "We are at war, and we can't lose sight of the hardships war inflicts on individual lives." (Associated Press)


The S-word? The FCC, hot to banish the F-word from the airwaves in any context, may next turn its wrath on the word "shit." And the man whose complaints about Howard Stern helped prompt Clear Channel to dump the shock jock is at the helm of the crusade. Lawyer John Thompson has reportedly filed a complaint with the FCC about last week's edition of "60 Minutes," in which, he contends, singer Mary J. Blige said the word "shit" under her breath. (Broadcasting & Cable)

New Ben: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony still have yet to publicly acknowledge their couplehood, but they keep showing up places together. J.Lo was at the L.A. premiere of Anthony's new film, "Man on Fire" (though she was careful to arrive 15 minutes after he did, they left together and were later spotted "all over each other" at a restaurant), and he was right there with her at her "Inside the Actor's Studio" interview and at photo shoots for Marie Claire and InStyle. (Rush and Molloy)


Peeved at Powell? A "D.C. insider" denies reports that Secretary of State Colin Powell is in hot water with President Bush for talking to Bob Woodward for the scribe's new book, "Plan of Attack." "Powell is totally supported by the president," the unidentified Beltway source tells Page Six. "Not only did the president authorize Powell to speak to Bob Woodward, he encouraged him." (Rumors are even afoot that Powell may replace Dick Cheney as Bush's veep at some point.) But Powell is in trouble with the people over at Pottery Barn, who apparently object to his characterization of the situation over in Iraq as "the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it." The retail chain's spokespeople insist that at their stores, the customer is never charged for unintentional breakage. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Wonking the Wonkette: The New York Times Sunday Styles article on Ana Marie Cox's D.C. gossip blog,, may seem like old news to some, but debate about it is still raging on Slashdot. Apparently, Wonkette publisher Nick Denton's comment that online "standards of accuracy are lower" has touched a raw nerve. (Slashdot via Romenesko)

-- Amy Reiter

Salon Staff

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