January 24, 2000

There’s Something About Heather

Could it be that the kings of gross-out comedy are now higher up in the Hollywood pantheon than serious thespian Robert De Niro? Starlet Heather Graham recently passed on DreamWorks/Universal’s De Niro vehicle Meet the Parents, instead joining Peter and Bobby Farrelly (of There’s Something About Mary fame) on their new project, titled Say It Isn’t So. According to industry insiders, Graham’s decision was influenced by her determination to become the next Cameron Diaz. To that end, she first fired her decade-long reps at CAA and hired Diaz’s managers at AMG. Then she blew off the Raging Bull in favor of the filmmakers with the raging hormones. “What actress would give up the opportunity to work with De Niro?” asks one high-powered West Coast manager. “It’s a strange choice.” A rep for Graham confirmed that she passed on Parents but maintains it was because the role wasn’t enough of a stretch. “How many times can you play the beautiful girl next door? The Farrelly brothers’ script is too funny to turn down,” she says. “If I were an actress, I’d want Cameron’s career, too.”

Harper’s Bizarre Promotion

It seems the gang at Harper’s Bazaar – edited by Kate Betts since the death of Liz Tilberis – couldn’t wait to put the past behind them … so they simply altered it. The revamped fashion mag, which hit stands with the February issue last week, recently replaced its classic 135-year-old logo with a trendy new one in the hopes of pulling in younger readers. But not content to focus only on its future, Bazaar is now doctoring its past – changing the title typeface on the covers of old issues appearing on the pull-out subscription cards. The magazine went so far as to replace the logo on the July 1999 memorial issue to Liz Tilberis with the new logo. Andrea Kaplan, executive director of marketing and communications for the magazine, defends the recherché revisionism: “The covers chosen for the reply card are the most popular issues. We think Liz would have been proud that her tribute was such a big seller.” But former Bazaar staff members are said to be fuming over what they see as a Stalinist-type manipulation of the past. “It’s tasteless,” says one Tilberis-era employee. “They can do what they want with their own issues, but going back and tampering with Liz’s legacy – especially her tribute issue – is way out of line.”

Fans Freak Over Show’s Fumble

Staff members at NBC’s Freaks and Geeks could use a few lessons in e-mail etiquette. In a last-ditch effort to save their show from the programmer’s ax, co-creators Judd Apatow and Paul Feig sent out a mass e-mail to over 1,000 visitors to the Freaks Website, begging them to watch the show and save it from cancellation (NBC has since requested four new episodes). But a careless employee failed to hide the huge recipient list when sending the letter, which resulted in supporters’ being bombarded with a staggering ten-page e-mail – including the Web address of every Freakin’ fan. The troops were not amused. Many who received the massive missive are annoyed because a few people on the list continue to use it for their own mass mailings, while others expressed outrage at the privacy violation. As one exasperated supporter wrote to the site: “I love the show, but no show is worth supporting if your e-mail address is going to be sent out and used by others.” When the error was discovered, Feig insists, “we felt terrible. The mistake happened because an assistant came in to help us on the weekend. He didn’t know how to work the list.” Sure, blame it on the assistant – and by the way, what’s his e-mail address?

A Killing For Sopranos Fans

Clothing from the hit HBO show The Sopranos went on sale last week – for a steal. Friends of the cast and crew eagerly grabbed gobs of low-priced goombah goodies at the first-season-wardrobe sale, held at Long Island City’s Silvercup Studios, where the series is shot. “I can’t believe you’re selling my clothes for $5 apiece!” a smiling James Gandolfini bellowed to costume designer Juliet Polcsa when the star learned of the giveaway. Among the deals was a stylish turquoise pantsuit worn by actress Edie Falco, one of Tony Soprano’s bathrobes (which sold for ten bucks), and even dental-floss lingerie worn by the family’s favorite strippers, the Bada-Bing girls. But Sopranos producer Ilene Landress suggested the pickings might be grander at Sex and the City’s sale. “Their wardrobe sale had fancy designer dresses. We have golf shirts and jogging suits,” she quipped. Landress says many of the items are duplicates bought for scenes that got a bit, well, messy: “When we shoot a guy, we may buy six sweatshirts. If we only bloody up three of them, then the other three go on sale.”

Additional reporting by Lauren Bass and Suny Sehgal.

January 24, 2000