LIZ SMITH: Anne Hathaway represents ...

The Anthem for One Billion Rising.
Anne Hathaway representing One Billion Rising ... Don’t count out “Gypsy" for Barbra ... Over at Disney ... Can Zucker save CNN?
by Liz Smith
Friday, December 7, 2012


“AT THIS stage in my life — and this moment will not last forever — me walking my dog is news ... I don’t fall out of nightclubs. I don’t have photographers catching me spending untold amounts on a handbag. Of course, in the court of celebrity, if you try to be serious, you may look like a fool.”

That’s Anne Hathaway in Glamour, explaining how serious she is about representing One Billion Rising. (This is a global awareness action in which one billion people — women who have been raped or beaten worldwide — are encouraged to walk out of their jobs for a day, Feb 14, 2013 V-Day, and dance.) Serious stuff, and although it is unlikely all abused women can partake in this event, it raises awareness of the issue.

Of course, not everything Anne says to the magazine is so heavy. She is on the cover, looking radiant in a little tank top and short shorts. Inside, she is seen dancing in a gorgeous yellow gown. Anne still sports the short haircut she had for her role as Fantine in “Les Miserables.” Though it is less a ragged hack job now. More pixyish. Very early Audrey Hepburn. And hello, Hollywood — if anybody could play the late icon, Audrey, it is Miss Hathaway.

Without the long locks that came to define her onscreen, Hathaway says, “People are warmer to me.” Being so shy, there were days she would pull on a hat and sort of hide behind her hair. “I can’t do that anymore, because I am all face. I have to be me all the time!” (Everybody certainly seemed quite warm to Hathaway at the special NYC screening of “Les Miserables” last weekend. She was beaming for hours. Shy or not, she knows how to work a room and charm strangers.)

P.S. Speaking of “Les Miserables,” the current New York magazine — the Culture issue — presents its picks and predictions for Oscar. They cite “standing ovations” at early screenings of “Les Miz” and confidently assert it will take Best Picture. Unless “Lincoln” does. (I say watch out for Ben Affleck’s “Argo” in the Best Picture category. Hollywood loves a comeback, and Affleck has come back with a vengeance.)

As for Anne Hathaway, New York mag opines: “Pack up this category and put it away, because Hathaway has it in the bag.” Of course, there’s also Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook” and Rachel Weisz in “The Deep Blue Sea.”
THE TRAILERS for the Barbra Streisand/Seth Rogan comedy “The Guilt Trip” don’t look very appetizing, but La Babs has more than that bit of fluff up her sleeve.

Streisand continues apace with her plans for a movie remake of “Gypsy.” According to Time magazine, she has her eye on Lady Gaga to play the fabled ecdysiast, Gypsy Rose Lee. (Barbra will interpret the Medusa of all stage mothers, Mama Rose.) Conventional Hollywood wisdom continues to say “don’t dress” for this event. Oh, please, conventional Hollywood wisdom insisted Streisand herself could never become a movie star.

Of course she did become a movie star, and in doing so, transformed what show biz thought of as a “leading lady.” So many beautifully unusual-looking actresses owe their careers to Streisand; you don’t have to look like an eight by ten glossy to be “The greatest star.” So, don’t count out “Gypsy.” Barbra gets what she wants.
OVER AT Disney, the newest girl being groomed for stardom is Bridgit Mendler. Fans of Disney TV shows, know her as the star of “Good Luck Charlie” and also her stint as David Henrie’s vampire girlfriend on “Wizards of Waverly Place.” She is pretty and charming, but her big talent is singing. She really can sing, unlike some who are all auto-tune.

Disney Touchstone is considering Mendler for a romantic comedy about a young woman who becomes the CEO of a major record company — sort of a female version of Clive Davis. It is tentatively titled “Breaking Records.” There’s also another script being pitched her way, about an alien teen, who visits earth under the alias of being a suburban Valley Girl. (Look, it’s Disney. They’re not casting her in “Madame Bovary.”)

But these young people promoted by the giant Mouse Ears, often become very big stars — Miley Cyrus ... Justin Timberlake ... Britney Spears ... Christina Aguilera. And who can ever forget buxom Annette Funicello, who was not allowed to wear a bikini in her famous beach movies? (Uncle Walt finally consented to a modest two-piece.)

In any case, Bridgit Mendler, who is not known for any excessive habits, seems to be next in line.
MAYBE THE new head guy at CNN will help that floundering network? Can it ever be what it was under Ted Turner? Probably not, back then CNN was the only game in town. But for sure Jeff Zucker can do something? I liked him at NBC.

It was appalling the other day to watch a five minute “comic” segment about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy and her hospitalization for severe morning sickness. What on earth is funny about that?

What was worse was cutting back to the anchors, who continued to joke about Kate’s situation. You’d think the young female anchor might have been less jolly, but she went right along. Would everybody think it was so amusing if Kate miscarried?

This sort of “levity” has played a part in ruining CNN’s reputation.

Good luck, Mr. Zucker.

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