• Myth Congeniality

    Rose Byrne puts up with the advances of Brad Pitt and the entireGreek army on the road to Troy HOMER, EROTIC In Troy, this month'smega-budget adaptation of The Iliad,ingenue Rose Byrne has perhaps the most enviable role in the film-asBrad Pitt's sex slave. "Isn't the term 'Brad Pitt's sex slave' kind ofan oxymoron?" asks the 24-year-old Australian, who fondly refers to hercharacter, Briseis, as "a whore." In fact, Briseis is an abductedprincess offered to Greek warrior Achilles (Pitt), but she's nostrumpet. "She doesn't come out in leather chaps or anything," saysByrne.

  • Movie News

    MARCH 19 To what does Michel Gondry attribute hissuccess as a director of music videos (including "The HardestButton to Button") and movies (Human Nature)? He sayshe owes it all to the White Stripes. "The best thing that canhappen to a director is if you get onboard with a band that'sjust taking off and you go to the summit with them," says the40-year-old Parisian. Today, he trades MTV for the multiplex withhis second feature film, Eternal Sunshine of the SpotlessMind. Jim Carrey stars as a man who undergoes an experimentalprocedure to have his ex-girlfriend (Kate Winslet) erased from hismemory, but when he changes his mind midway through the operation,it creates a Being John Malkovich-like limbo inCarrey's head, where much of the movie takes place.

  • Hunnam, Globetrotter

    ROMANIAN HOLIDAY For his role as a member of theConfederacy's Home Guard (local men who kept the peace inDixie while the Civil War raged), Charlie Hunnam, 23, spent threeand a half months filming Cold Mountain in the remote skitown of Polania, Romania. When he wasn't sportingappropriately evil pink contact lenses and blackened teeth for therole, he passed the time going to Bucharest nightclubs and watchingRomanian MTV (where Pink owned the airwaves). "I was drinkinga little bit too much," says Hunnam, "and after thatgot boring, doing very little else." LONDON CALLINGPerhaps Hunnam might want to hang on to the contacts and the fake teethfor his visits to his native England, where he's still remembered forhis (occasionally arse-baring) role as a gay 15-year-old in theoriginal version of Queer as Folk.

  • Movie News

    The Wheel DealWhen director Joseph Kahn was making his stunt-heavy motorcyclemovie Torque, he was careful to avoid duplicating the lookof a certain other vehicular-action franchise whose title shallremain nameless. Ah, screw it: "I hate those movies likeThe Fast and the Furious," says the 31-year-oldvisionary who has directed videos for both Eminem ("WithoutMe") and Moby ("We Are All Made of Stars") -- andlived! "They look like shit. They have crappy lighting and cheesy dialogue." Kahn says his film, which stars The Ring'sMartin Henderson as a biker who is framed for killing the brother of afearsome gang leader (Ice Cube), succeeds because it ignores the peskylimitations of reality. "In The Fast and the Furious, you'resupposed to believe in that culture and that when those guys call eachother 'bra,' it's, like, the coolest thing you've ever heard.

  • Movie News

    Top ShogunIf Tom Cruise ever found himself in mortal combat against the castof Kill Bill, at least one expert would put his money on thesmirking Scientologist: veteran stunt coordinator Nick Powell, whoguided the star through seven months of fight training for TheLast Samurai. In preparation for his role as a disillusionedCivil War hero employed by the emperor of Japan, Cruise had toendure strenuous regimens in sword fighting, kendo, jujitsu, andkarate, and, according to his instructor, he passed with flyingcolors. "He's a natural athlete, and I don't saythat lightly," says Powell, 39, whose previous pupils haveincluded Mel Gibson (for Braveheart) and Russell Crowe (forGladiator).

  • Too Clever By Half

    With a running time of 700 minutes (give or take) and a budget ofapproximately $9 zillion, The Return of the King, the finalinstallment in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Ringstrilogy, is the biggest movie of the year in every possible sense.And if there's anything we've learned from the epicTolkien adaptation, it's that little people are capable ofvery great things. So as the Rings cycle comes to a close,who's more deserving of our respect than the littlest peopleof them all -- the hobbits? Standing considerably taller in reallife, actors Sean Astin (center, who plays the loyal Samwise),Billy Boyd (right, the musically inclined Pippin), and DominicMonaghan (left, the battle-bound Merry) reunited for aKing-size conversation. Spin:Hobbits may be noble and brave, but they're not particularly sexy --especially compared to the movie's elf and the human characters. Monaghan: We are sexy.

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