THEY GAVE Diddy, Puff Daddy, Puffy, Sean Jean Combs his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the other day. And far from shucking and jiving around, here’s what he said to reporter John Hiscock: “I’m Sean Combs … this is serious for me … I have evolved a lot as a person…I’m very quiet, even shy, and people are surprised when they see that’s me … Broadway was an experience I can’t describe in words. It changed my life totally. It was a whole ‘nother beast.” Here’s an example of Sean prepping to act in “A Raisin in the Sun.” He wanted to stay late at rehearsal before the opening, but stagehands said no. So he had the set built in his living room to keep rehearsing through the night. “It’s important for me to have a role I’m in love with,” says Sean.
THE TRIBECA Film Festival bows Sunday and documentary makers are hotly anticipating the next biggie. Two years ago, “Jesus Camp” launched the Tribeca and went on for an Oscar nomination. Last year “Taxi to the Darkside” bowed and won this year’s documentary Academy Award. Sizzlers this year are “Chevolution,” a look back at Che Guevara from Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, who also made: “Little Children” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” Then there’s a crime documentary from Andrew Lauren titled “This is Not a Robbery,” all about America’s oldest bank robber. We’ll see Julia Checokway’s “Waiting for Hockney,” about a man who spent eight years drawing a photo of Marilyn Monroe and then set out to show it to the artist David Hockey. Let’s add “Kassim the Dream,” about a child soldier turned boxer … the Joe Carnahan produced feel-good music documentary “Playing for Change” … and the Beastie Boy/director Adam Yauch’s sports documentary “Gunning for That #1 Spot.”
ANDREW MORTON’S “Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography” was published in the United States, but will not appear on shelves in the United Kingdom. A spokesman for publisher Macmillan announced, “We have explored every possible option, but have concluded that once the potentially defamatory sections are taken out, there is not enough left to make a good read.” Morton is said to be annoyed. Bert Fields, Tom’s lawyer, says the actor described Morton’s take as simply, “a bunch of lies.” This is a nice victory for Tom, who may need all his confidence later in the year, when his “Valkyrie” movie is released. The buzz on the film so far is ho-hum. But limp buzz can be swatted away with a good PR campaign. Therein lies the bigger issue: how to market this very expensive film — Tom Cruise as a Nazi — but a good Nazi! Could Tom, at age 45, be looking at a bit of a career crisis? … Tom is not, as Andrew Morton’s book claims, the “second in command” of the Scientology empire. (This means second to David Miscavige) Tom is merely “a well-respected parishioner.” Just your ordinary Scientology Joe.
IN MAY we will see Frank Jr., Nancy and Tina Sinatra commemorating the 10th anniversary of their father’s death in a monthlong feast of tribute on Turner Classic Movies. This will include release of an all-new CD and DVD as well as Frank’s commemorative postage stamp. We’ll get a previously unreleased recording of “Body and Soul” and all his films, uncut and commercial free.