Josh Hartnett brought a little bit of Hollywood to Minnesota to premiere his new movie, "Hollywood Homicide." Hartnett shook hands and signed autographs along the red carpet Wednesday night as he hosted a special charity showing of his film at $35 to $150 a ticket. The crowd outside Megastar Cinemas, overwhelmingly teenage and female, began massing three hours before the star's scheduled arrival. "It's a good turnout," Hartnett said. "Rivaling Hollywood." The event raised money for CornerHouse, a Minneapolis child-abuse evaluation center. The evening netted $75,000, said Amy Russell, CornerHouse executive director. Hartnett, 24, grew up in St. Paul and graduated from Minneapolis South High School in 1996. He co-stars with Harrison Ford in "Hollywood Homicide," which opens June 13.
In preparation for his next role, actor Liam Neeson is studying sex research pioneer Alfred Kinsey. Neeson and members of a film team visited Indiana University's Kinsey Institute this week to view its sex research collections and get acquainted with the Bloomington area, including the Elm Heights house where Kinsey and his family lived. The trip is part of the team's preparations for a film on Kinsey expected to be released next year. Bill Condon, who wrote the screenplay, will direct the film. Laura Linney will play Kinsey's wife, Clara. The university's Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction made its collections available, as it does for other researchers, said Nancy Lethem, director of development. Kinsey collected histories of people's sex lives and published his findings in two groundbreaking and controversial books, "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" in 1947 and "Sexual Behavior in the Human Female" in 1953. He died from a heart attack in August 1956 at 62. Neeson, 51, is known for his work in the films "Schindler's List," "Michael Collins" and "Gangs of New York."
"American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard will record a video for his upcoming single, "Flying Without Wings," in Birmingham this weekend. It will be Studdard's first trip back to his hometown since winning the Fox TV singing competition and snaring a $1 million recording contract with J Records. Roger Ubina, video producer with A Few Miles North Production Company in New York, picked Linn Park for Sunday's video shoot. His application to use the park is being processed by the city, City Council spokeswoman Debra Vance said. Studdard, 25, is expected to perform his single -- scheduled for release Tuesday -- near the fountain area, Ubina said. The video's theme is "Alabama welcoming Ruben home," and Studdard's fans are invited to be a part of the video, he said.
Caroline Kennedy, who's been working as a fund-raiser for the New York City public schools since last fall, said she wants to help create an alumni association and an arts curriculum. "We need to create awareness," she said at a breakfast meeting of the Institute for Student Achievement Tuesday. "The entertainment community wants to help. Businesses want to give. Alumni want to get involved." Kennedy began working as head of the Office of Strategic Partnerships in January and is being paid a salary of $1 a year for her efforts. "I thought it was really something that I couldn't pass up, and I can't think of a more important issue to be working on," she told The New York Times. "Hopefully I have something to contribute here, and the job that I am doing is really to re-engage the city."
Will Ferrell dusted off his George W. Bush impersonation for his Class Day speech to graduating students at Harvard University. The former "Saturday Night Live" star pretended to read a letter from President Bush to the class of 2003. "One of the challenges you will face is finding a job in our depressed economy," intoned Ferrell. "In fact, the chances of finding a job are about as good as finding weapons of mass destruction in the Iraqi desert -- slim and none, and slim just left the building." The 35-year-old actor-comedian also gave the graduates tongue-in-cheek advice about going out into the real world. "I'm sorry, graduates, this is a world where you aren't allowed to use your cell phones on airplanes, in movies or even during elective surgery," he said Wednesday. Class Day preceded Harvard's commencement on Thursday.
"Will & Grace" actress Shelley Morrison, who plays sassy maid Rosario Salazar on the NBC sitcom, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting nearly $450 worth of jewelry. Morrison, 66, was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $300 in Los Angeles Superior Court. "Clearly, a mistake was made," her attorney, Donald Etra, told reporters after the Wednesday hearing. "Ms. Morrison fessed up to that mistake and now she wishes to move forward. I think Ms. Morrison has certainly learned from this experience," he added. "She will never find herself in this situation again." Morrison was arrested April 23 after security guards found her with jewelry from a Robinsons-May department store in West Los Angeles. The district attorney declined to file felony charges because of the value of the items and Morrison's lack of a prior record. Morrison, whose given name is Rachel Mitrani, is married to author Walter Dominguez. The actress also played Sister Sixto in the 1960s show "The Flying Nun" and has appeared in numerous movies.