By Tony Rizzo
Alec Baldwin, who “rocked” the 2009 Oscar Awards with Steve Martin and “rolls” every week on “30 Rock,” is taking singing lessons for his role in “Rock of Ages.” The movie version of the hit Broadway musical also stars Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough and Mary J. Blige. Alec says he’ll do his own singing but adamantly stresses, “I draw the line at doing ANY dancing.” (Even with Julianne Hough? I guess we’ll never see him on her show “Dancing With the Stars”!)
Lea Michele sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” on “Glee” and is the front-runner to fill Barbra Streisand’s shoes in the musical “Funny Girl,” which is headed for Broadway. Streisand, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Fanny Brice, was quoted as saying, “My niece got a DVD of ‘Funny Girl’ and asked why I was singing a song from ‘Glee’!!” Lea’s stage experience in “Ragtime,” “Les Miserables” and “Spring Awakening” on Broadway will come in handy. She’s currently shooting Garry Marshall’s latest film, “New Year’s Eve,” playing a backup singer for Jon Bon Jovi.
And speaking of “New Year’s Eve,” what an all-star cast: Ashton Kutcher, a man who hates New Year’s Eve; Robert De Niro, a man dying in a hospital; Katherine Heigl, a caterer working on New Year’s Eve; Michele Pfeiffer, a frustrated executive secretary tackling unfulfilled resolutions; Jessica Biel, a woman giving birth; Hillary Swank, a producer of a Times Square New Year’s Eve show; and “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara and SNL’s Seth Meyers as expectant parents. Plus Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Sienna Miller, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alyssa Milano, Ice Cube, Josh Duhamel and Ryan Seacrest, as himself! Most of these stars will have quick, funny cameos or else the film would have to be six hours long. It will be a lot like Marshall’s (of “Happy Days”/”Laverne & Shirley” fame) “Valentine’s Day.” We’ll see it Dec. 9.
The multi-talented Tom Hanks is at it again, writing (with “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” star Nia Vardalos), producing, directing and starring in “Larry Crowne”. He’ll reunite with his “Charlie Wilson’s War” co-star Julia Roberts, along with Vardalos and “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston. The last time Hanks directed a film by himself was the 1996 movie “That Thing You Do.” “Larry Crowne” is due for release July 1.
It will be hard for him to top his “Toy Story 3,” the highest-grossing film of 2010, but Hanks — who won back-to-back Oscars for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump” — can do anything. With a career like his, all we can say is (t)hanks for the memories!
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© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.