No matter how much we've heard about "The X Factor" so far, "it's still not enough" for Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul said Sunday on the 2011 Emmys red carpet.
Onetime "American Idol" besties Cowell and Abdul are reunited for the talent competition, newly imported from Britain, which allows singers as young as 12 as well as those in their 50s and 60s, plus groups.
It's a collaborative effort, Abdul said, but "Simon is very clear about his vision for the show ... shall I say, it's charming to see him in his element. He's very happy ... this is very important to him. It's his baby."
"The X Factor," which also features judges L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherzinger, and host Steve Jones, premieres Wednesday on Fox.
Jennifer Aniston looked tan and sleek in Balenciaga at the premiere of "Horrible Bosses" on Thursday at Grauman's Chinese Theatre — a look that served her well in the film, which has her playing a sex-crazed dentist, often wearing lingerie or just a white dentist's jacket and underwear.
The only other person caught onscreen in underwear is funnyman P.J. Byrne, who plays an Ivy League graduate so down on his luck that he convinces the film's protagonists, Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis, that it is better to kill their horrible bosses than to quit their jobs during a recession.
The aforementioned stars jovially ambled down the red carpet alongside their "murder consultant" Jamie Foxx and costars Julie Bowen and Lindsay Sloane, as well as screenwriters John Francis Daley, Michael Markowitz and Jonathan Goldstein, and the film's director, Seth Gordon. (Click the pics for more photos from the red carpet.)
Aniston said her racy role, in which she relentlessly sexually harasses Day, "was incredibly fun to play, especially since it's the kind of role that a guy would normally play."
The screenwriters said they had her in mind when they wrote the role. "Isn't that incredible?" Aniston said. "I love a man with an imagination."
Many questions were asked about the cast and crew's worst bosses, but most refused to answer them since a lot of those bosses are presumably still working — and powerful — in Hollywood. Byrne, however, did reveal a story about a man he called "the starer," who stared at his employees in a really creepy way. But Bateman said he'd never had a bad boss, having been lucky enough to work in film and TV most of his life.
"Obviously I have no complaints," he said. "There are people with real jobs or looking for real jobs."
Foxx said he's a good boss. "There are only a few things that I get particular about." With "songs dropping," Foxx has his plate full writing "Damage Control," a new show for HBO.
Gordon is similarly busy with work on a remake of the 1980s thriller "War Games."
"We're gonna update it," he said. "Politics have changed a lot, technology has changed a lot, hacking has changed a lot."
After the film, folks decamped to SBE's glitzy, nautical-themed Colony for short ribs, truffle mashed potatoes and blueberry martinis. Byrne, palling around with actor Nicholas D'Agosto, whom he worked alongside in the upcoming "Final Destination 5," revealed there that he calls his underwear in the film his "tighty reddies" — and that he may or may not wear said underwear regularly.
Photos: Jennifer Aniston, top, and Jamie Foxx with model Britt Loren, left, at the "Horrible Bosses" premiere in Hollywood on Thursday. Credits: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press, top; Robyn Beck / Agence France-Press / Getty Images.
Tom Hanks arrived at the "Larry Crowne" premiere Monday night on the same powder-blue scooter that his eponymous character rides in the film.
Flanked by a crew of fellow scooter riders, Hanks motored up and down the carpet outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre and out onto Hollywood Boulevard to the delight of a thick row of screaming fans.
"Watch out babies!" Hanks yelled as an emotional woman in jean shorts and a wide-brimmed, fuzzy blue hat broke loose from the crowd of onlookers across the street and ran onto the carpet shrieking, "Tom Hanks!" only to be chased into traffic by security.
Hanks' costars Julia Roberts, Rita Wilson, Wilmer Valderrama, Cedric the Entertainer, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bryan Cranston, Nia Vardalos, Rami Malek, George Takei and more soon appeared on the carpet. The night was warm and balmy, a fact much remarked upon by the attendees, and the mood was light and excitable.
And apparently light and excitable was how things felt most of the time on set, according to Roberts, who said that Hanks, who cowrote, directed and starred in the film, likes it that way, and that his cast's happiness was of great importance to him.
Said Hanks: "The best part about being an actor as a director is when the whole cast comes in for the first time and they are better than you imagined and you can't imagine the film without them in it."
From remarks made by members of the cast, it was clear they were touched to be chosen to be a part of Hanks' latest project, about a Navy veteran who gets unceremoniously laid off from his job at a big-box store and decides to attend community college for the first time. There he meets and falls for Roberts, his speech teacher, along with a scooter-riding crew of free spirits who transform his life.
"It was a blessing, a privilege and an honor," to work with Hanks, said Valderrama, who played Dell Gordo, the wisecracking head of the scooter crew.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays Valderrama's good-intentioned girlfriend, echoed the sentiment, saying she grew up watching Hanks and Roberts in movies and that at first it was totally surreal to find herself working with them. But she soon felt at ease thanks to Hanks, who she said never failed to crack a joke.
"It's a privileged life, it's a lovely way to make a living," Mbatha-Raw said of acting.
Speaking of making a living, Hanks said he hoped that the film resonated with people going through hard times during the recession.
"It's a tough time, but we're going to be OK," said Hanks. "Things are going to change. Fight the cynicism."
"Larry Crowne" opens Friday. Click the photo above or this link for a gallery from the red carpet.
The final night of Los Angeles Film Festival got off to a hectic start Sunday as Katie Holmes, Guillermo del Toro and diminutive star Bailee Madison walked the red carpet for the world premiere of "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark."
The film, which Del Toro described as a Gothic tale like the kind he loved in his youth, focuses on young Sally, who comes to live in a spooky mansion that her father (Guy Pearce) is renovating with his new girlfriend (played by Holmes). Sally, played by Bailee, begins hearing voices in the basement and before long is being terrorized by ancient, evil creatures that feed on children's bones and teeth.
Given the film's extra-creepy factor, it's easy to wonder if 11-year-old Madison needed special coaching to get through the scary stuff, but Del Toro said no.
"She's a 4-by-4. She's an ATV," joked the producer, who'd thought he would need to help her through. She did just fine on her own, he said.
Young Bailee, who walked down the carpet with the poise of a 25-year-old, said she was "looking forward to being scared because I wanted to show the audience what it felt like."
And she had lots of room to do just that. Although the film was directed by Troy Nixey, it was co-written and produced by Del Toro, who said he relishes writing strong roles for women. In the case of Sally, he said, "she's actually the most adult character in the film."
Holmes was glad that the film dealt with more than fear.
"This film has great characters and a great family drama happening outside of the scares," she said, "which only increase the scares."
The audience at the premiere got more than on-screen scares: During a particularly suspenseful scene, the theater's fire alarm went off and everybody had to leave the building. Thankfully, it was a false alarm and people were allowed back in to watch the rest of the movie.
Ryan Gosling, the charismatic star of the film "Drive," which premiered at the L.A. Film Festival on Friday night, appeared on the red carpet in bright red socks 15 minutes before the film was scheduled to screen. Flanked by "Breaking Bad" star Bryan Cranston, "Mad Men" dream girl Christina Hendricks and a very content Albert Brooks, Gosling owned the evening.
But the film, for all of the hype and critical praise surrounding it, proved that there is no such thing as going it alone. "Drive" took a village of talented actors and a Danish director almost as strange as the film, which reveled in cartoonish violence that transported the audience to a brutal L.A. dreamscape rooted in the lush landscape of MacArthur Park and the sullen stagnancy of Valley strip malls.
"I feel like a car kind of puts you under a spell," Gosling said. "You get into it and you get out, and you don't really remember ... the whole process of driving. And movies do that too."
The dark, moody film comes to the festival with a good deal of critical success, including promising early buzz from the film festival in Cannes.
"Knowing this director's previous work I was so excited by him and what he's been doing that I expected this was what he would produce," Hendricks said of the film.
Brooks, who was on a book tour when the film debuted at Cannes, said he'd heard stories of a 13-minute ovation. "I thought, geez, I'd like to be there. I'd like to see what that feels like," he said. And although he says he didn't exactly know the movie was going to be so special when he was involved in shooting, he wasn't surprised by the hype.
Danish director Winding Refn said his favorite part of making the film was that each night after shooting he would have Gosling drive him to Hollywood's 101 Coffee Shop where the two friends would eat pie. Winding Refn has no license to drive, so he would rely on Gosling for transportation.
Transportation issues notwithstanding, he did make it to the premiere's after-party on the rooftop of the Standard hotel in downtown L.A., where revelers enjoyed an open bar and nibbled on ahi tuna skewers and mini sliders while chatting about all things cinematic.
Jack Black described what it was like to find his "inner panda" at the "Kung Fu Panda 2" premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Sunday morning. Amid a carnival on Hollywood Boulevard that resembled an inflatable Shanghai, with an endless McDonald's breakfast buffet, Black displayed his animated Zen alongside co-stars Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu and James Hong (who was wearing a handmade noodle-bowl hat).
Also on the carpet: Brad Pitt, Dennis Haysbert, Danny McBride, Jean-Claude Van Damme, composer Hans Zimmer, screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, and director Jennifer Yuh Nelson.
The sequel to the popular animated film, about fat kung fu panda prodigy Po (Black) from a noodle-making family, delves deeper into the cuddly hero's psyche and into adoption themes, which resonated with Jolie (tigress) and her family, many of whom are adopted.
"I saw it with all my children ... and they just loved it," she said. "Nothing was surprising to them, it just made them feel good that Po was also like them."
Black, on the other hand, was content to simply goof around. Striking kung fu pose after pose and waving amiably at fans lined up along the carpet, he joked that working in 3-D for the film was no different than his everyday life.
"I guess I'm always in 3-D," he said. "We're in 3-D right now."
The last to wander amiably down the carpet was a very jovial Hoffman (Shifu), who revealed that he had a hard time finding the requisite inner peace required to make the movie until he had to go to work after having a root canal.
"I finally found inner peace," he said. "Not from the root canal. From the drugs."
At "The Hangover 2" premiere, Crystal the capuchin monkey was the first celebrity to head down the carpet Thursday outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre, perched atop her trainer's shoulder and dressed in a Barbie-pink couture gown by Deb Scott with a smart string of pearls. Jumping around impishly, she was greeted with screams of, "Oh my God! Look! Too cute!"
That was pretty much the identical reaction that Bradley Cooper received when he first appeared on the carpet, only to leave it to run up and down Hollywood Boulevard -- there's a picture down below -- past a thick line of ecstatic fans.
Soon, and perhaps for different reasons, it was also the type of reaction that costars Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis got as they strode down the carpet alongside Mike Tyson, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong and franchise newcomers Mason Lee and Jamie Chung.
As Hollywood premieres go, this was a big one, with all of Hollywood Boulevard between the Roosevelt Hotel and Hollywood and Highland closed off for a carpet that ran half its length. It became impossible for bypassers to walk the street, and the stars arrived so late that most of them were rushed past half the press line to get into the theater at 8 p.m., already a half an hour past the planned start time.
Also spotted: Sean (Diddy) Combs, Alyssa Milano, Robert Downey Jr., Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell and Jordin Sparks.
With the leading men doling out plenty of bro-pats and hugs, jokes ricocheted around the boulevard. There was speculation about whether Crystal could beat up Po in "Kung Fu Panda 2" (this weekend's other big premiere), with Jeong saying he was placing his bets on the monkey.
"I'll take the monkey, man! Monkey, monkey, monkey!" he chanted.
There was also plenty of buzz about how "The Hangover 2" creators could possibly come up with a second part to a conceit that was based on the day after a substance-induced group blackout. Co-writer Craig Mazin said it was indeed a tough challenge.
"All we knew from the start was that we wanted to be in Bangkok," he said of the sequel, which picks up with the Wolfpack in that notoriously wild city for Doug's wedding, where a supposedly mellow pre-wedding brunch goes terribly awry.
"The thing about 'The Hangover' is that it's always about the day after," Mazin said, "so the first thing we had to figure out was if someone should be missing."
One thing not missing at the premiere? A powerful sense that Warner Bros. Pictures has another big summer hit on its hands.
"The Hangover 2" opens Thursday, ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
-- Jessica Gelt
Top photo: Ed Helms, left, and Ken Jeong at "The Hangover 2" premiere with Crystal the capuchin monkey. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press
Right photo: Robert Downey Jr. greets "The Hangover 2" star Bradley Cooper at the premiere. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press
Left photo: Bradley Cooper, right, runs down Hollywood Boulevard outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre to sign autographs for fans. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press
A grown man cried after failing to nab Johnny Depp's autograph along the 2,700-foot-long black carpet that lined Main Street in Disneyland on Saturday, leading to the world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stanger Tides," which also stars Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush.
Nearly 25,000 rabid fans had waited, some for up to 10 hours, to catch sight of stars such as Depp, Cruz, Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Jodie Foster, Martin Short, Teri Hatcher, Kirstie Alley, Joey Lawrence, Cat Cora and more as they arrived at the premiere over a period of two hours Saturday evening. (Click the pics to see more photos from the black-carpet premiere.)
Depp came last, wearing an oversized black and white suit and skipping the press line in favor of the fans. But as women screamed and little girls broke into tears, the scene became too intense and Depp's three large handlers pushed him down the carpet, away from the man whose lower lip first quivered, then gave way to hiccuping sobs of disappointment and frustration.
Such was the passion surrounding the screening — the world's first outdoor 3-D premiere — of the fourth installment of the popular "Pirates" franchise, where premiere attendees paid $1,000 a ticket to eat wild salmon and sit in an outdoor theater constructed in New Orleans Square facing a giant screen on Tom Sawyer Island. (Proceeds were donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.)
Also spotted: Cast members Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Keith Richards with his wife, Patti Hansen, plus Vanessa Hudgens, Steven Tyler, Eva Longoria, Natalie Maines, Chelsie Hightower, Ashley Tisdale, Cheryl Burke, Eliza Dushku and Emma Roberts.
With this latest film poised to reach summer audiences, talk of the "Pirates" team making one or two more has swirled, and McNally, who plays Gibbs, Depp's trusty first mate, said that that was indeed quite likely, "There's definitely a feeling that we've got some more to explore. I would say definitely one more," McNally said.
Meanwhile, McShane, who plays the fearsome Blackbeard in the film, joked that he is so good at playing villains because he is a really good guy. He also took time out to explain why, in the modern day, people don't use the word "villain" anymore. "We call them 'complicated people.' " he said.
And Claflin, who plays a missionary who falls in love with a mermaid (mermaids are one of the most compelling aspects of the new film), said he was just trying hard not to float away with all the excitement surrounding the film. "I can't quite believe that I'm here. I can't believe my feet are still on the floor. It's a real honor," he said, staring around the chaotic carpet in amazement.
Tensions ran high as the screening, which was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m,. didn't roll until 9:15, and parents, many dressed as pirates according to the invitation's mandate, smoothed the hair of fussy little ones. Then, before nearly 10,000 park lights were turned off for the show, it began to rain.
Disney, it seemed, could control everything but the weather. A low-grade sense of panic set in amongst the crowd as fans pulled the blankets on the backs of their seats fast around them. It would continue to mist throughout the screening, but it never became a downpour.
Besides, the watery night was appropriate for a film that takes place on the high seas in a swashbuckling plot about Captain Jack Sparrow's (Depp) mad dash to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. The adventure puts him in close quarters with his former nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa (Rush), and a former lover, Angelica (Cruz), while pitting him against the heartless Blackbeard.
When the film concluded, fireworks burst in the rain-smudged sky above the screen and the park remained open until 1 a.m. so that grown men and women could play.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" opens in theaters May 20.
Top photo: Before the Disneyland world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," producer Jerry Bruckheimer, left, director Rob Marshall and actors Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Ian McShane, Keith Richards, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey and Sam Claflin took the stage. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.
Right photo: Actresses who play mermaids arrive for the world premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland. Photo: Mike Nelson / European Pressphoto Agency.
When Jake Gyllenhaal stepped onto the red carpet at the Cinerama Dome for Monday night's premiere of his new sci-fi thriller "Source Code," a girl across Sunset Boulevard who had shimmied up a tow zone sign shrieked, "Jaaaaaake! I wanna have your baby!" A few people on the press line, including at least one man, nodded in agreement.
Because Gyllenhaal, flanked by "Source Code" co-stars Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright and Michelle Monaghan, was the man of the hour. In the film, he plays Air Force Capt. Colter Stevens, who is on a top-secret mission to save Chicago from a dirty bomb by going back in time -- via a parallel universe called the Source Code -- to discover who blew up a Chicago commuter train (the first in a series of planned terrorist attacks). As a result, he must relive the same eight minutes leading up to the bombing over and over again.
"I found it really freeing," Gyllenhaal said of the experience of acting inside a deeply warped space/time continuum. "A lot of times you stay within the structures and confines of the reality that you're aware of, and in this your imagination could run wild."
He also said that one of the fights in the movie was a real fight. "Duncan [Jones, the director] said, 'Just go for it.' " The fight he's talking about takes place on a train platform and it does look pretty raw.
Monaghan, dressed in a slim, white dress, said that acting out the same eight minutes over and over was a real challenge. But the highlight was working with her talented colleagues, especially Gyllenhaal.
"He's an amazing, seasoned pro," she said. "And he didn't disappoint. He's smart and charming and funny."
Speaking of funny, director Jones, jolly and sporting a fuzzy beard, said that everyone had an enormously good time working on the project.
"We had Jake, who has a very good sense of humor, and Russell Peters, who is obviously very funny, and Michelle Monaghan, who's a good laugh too," he said. "So we were having a lot of fun on the set."
Peters' sense of humor made a star appearance on the red carpet too. The Canadian comedian is one of the key players in the film but was not on the media tip sheet. So journalists, not immediately recognizing him, were not asking him for interviews, which was clearly driving him nuts.
"Where am I?" he asked, playfully grabbing a reporter's tip sheet and looking it over. "Nobody knows who I am! You know what I'd do? I'd go back eight minutes in time and make 'Access Hollywood' talk to me, and then I'd go back another eight minutes and put myself on this tip sheet!"
The F-word achieved a bit of respectability this award season, going undercover as in the title of Cee Lo Green's Grammy-nominated hit, "Forget You," and starring in a key scene in "The King's Speech." But it took Melissa Leo to unforgettably turn it back into the F-bomb at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday night.
Overwhelmed upon winning the Oscar for supporting actress and having declared herself "kinda speechless," "The Fighter" actress blurted, "When I watched Kate [Winslet] two years ago it looked so ... easy" (you fill in the blank, OK?).
Backstage, Leo apologized. "Those words — I apologize to anyone if they were offended," she said. "There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular."
The Oscars were, she said, "an inappropriate place to use that word in particular."
Coming off supporting actress wins at the Golden Globe Awards in January and the Spirit Awards on Saturday, Leo had walked down the Oscars red carpet Sunday looking incredibly excited in her gold and cream Mark Bauer gown.
"This dress was made especially for me," she said before the show started. "I saw it on a dummy a month and a half ago, but it's so cold now!"