Jewish World Review Nov. 3, 2004 / 19 Mar-Cheshvan, 5765
Vote or lie?; Hank Azaria's shrink rap; between Iraq and a hard place; more
So, did they vote?
Or are they gonna die?
The early returns from Sean Combs' mega-hyped Citizen Change campaign suggested that reality television star Paris Hilton and rappers 50 Cent and Ludacris who all appeared in eye-catching posters modeling Combs' "VOTE OR DIE" T-shirts to encourage voting didn't make it to the polls Tuesday.
This column's spot check of voting records in California, New York and Georgia where Hilton, Curtis Jackson III (aka 50 Cent) and Christopher Bridges (aka Ludacris), respectively, maintain residences indicated that they weren't even registered, let alone exercised their constitutional right.
Citizen Change official Alexis McGill Tuesday said that short of bodily hauling celebrities to the polls, the group did everything it could: "Citizen Change contacted every celebrity's representative and was told by each and every one that the celebrities participating in our campaign were registered to vote."
A Citizen Change insider elaborated: "All the celebrities' managers confirmed that they were going to register if they hadn't already. We have to take the managers at their word. We have no business checking up on them especially because none of the celebs got paid."
Hilton's PR rep, Gina Hoffman, had no comment Tuesday, and 50 Cent's flack did not return detailed messages though as a convicted felon and possibly not eligible, he might be off the hook.
Ludacris' publicist Bianca Bianconi said: "I just got off the phone with Ludacris, and he said he absolutely mailed his absentee ballot last week in Fulton County, Georgia."
As for P. Diddy, he did a voting photo op Tuesday morning at Robert F. Wagner Junior High School on the Upper East Side.
HANK AZARIA'S SHRINK RAP
Hank Azaria is bringing a conspicuous asset to his portrayal of a psychiatrist in the Showtime series "Huff": personal experience on the couch.
"I first saw a shrink 15 years ago in L.A.," the actor confided at Monday's "Huff" premiere at the Hudson Theater. "All of a sudden I was getting so nervous for auditions that I could barely speak. It was really becoming a problem."
Azaria continued: "I went to see a shrink for that, and it helped a lot. But other problems came up. Little things like divorce, and friends dying and things like that. It's good to talk to people about the things that make you sad."
Accentuating the obvious, Azaria added: "Hollywood's a very tough place. It messes with your head."
As for his own shrink, "I've seen the guy on and off," he said. "You never stop. It's your own choice, but I got to tell you, I believe that there's no shame in it and it's actually a strength, not a weakness, to talk about what's bugging you. I live in a creative community where we're all kind of half nuts. You're a little bit nuts to not admit that."
What if Azaria had to visit a celebrity shrink? Who would it be?
"I wouldn't want Anne Heche. She'd be a bad choice, because she's crazy," he said. "I'd stay away from the music industry. Ellen DeGeneres (Heche's former girlfriend) would be a pretty decent shrink. Gene Hackman would be like a 'tough love' kind of shrink no nonsense."
But Azaria said he wouldn't cast himself in the real-life role of shrink. "I learned a long time ago not to try to save anybody. Nobody takes advice."
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD: That was George W. Bush surrogate Rudy Giuliani, along with his bride, Judi Nathan, escaping all the noise surrounding Tuesday's balloting with a quiet lunch at a corner table at Nello's. She talked, fork in hand, while he, for once, just listened.
BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE: PublishersMarketplace.com reports that aspiring memoirist L. Paul Bremer III, the former American proconsul in Baghdad, didn't get the big bucks he was hoping for. The book biz tip sheet says Simon & Schuster's Alice Mayhew picked up the Bremer project "in the low end of the significant deal territory." Rival Public Affairs publisher Peter Osnos who'd offered in this column to pay Bremer an economy-sized $75,000 gloated: "Here's a guy who went to Iraq for less than a year, left the place a mess, and now he wants to be treated like a hero."
ACTING SMARTS: Roy Scheider recalls that legendary acting teacher Stella Adler who'd be 100 if she were alive today was interested in much more than technique and performance. "Stella and her ex-husband, Harold Clurman, urged the actor to be a fully rounded citizen," said Scheider, who's on the board of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, which is holding a star-studded fund raising dinner Monday at the Pierre Hotel. "In order to be really, truly imaginative, the actor has to be an intelligent citizen first. He has to study history, study the arts all the arts and an actor can't learn enough. He has to be constantly enlarging himself intellectually. The more he's enlarging himself, the more he's bringing to the roles."
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© 2003, Creators Syndicate