Reunions are always awkward, and we hate how mousse and dyed hair look on men of a certain age. So we cringed Tuesday night as aging head-bangers relived their glory days at the Westwood premiere of "Rock Star," a George Clooney-produced film starring Mark Wahlberg as a fan-turned-star and Jennifer Aniston as his manager girlfriend.
Poison lead singer Bret Michaels and drummer Rikki Rockett yakked about the good ol' days; in the present, their summer revival tour was canceled after bassist Bobby Dall suffered a spinal cord injury on stage. Deborah "Don't call me Debbie" Gibson pitched her latest album and Kiss icons Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley wore expensive-looking suits instead of platforms, codpieces and makeup. Stanley assured us that Wahlberg, a former New Kid on the Block, could pull off the role of rock god. "For Anthony Hopkins to be convincing as Hannibal Lecter, he didn't have to eat anybody," Stanley said.
Speaking of meaty roles, Wahlberg said his turn as Chris Cole gave him an ear for Led Zeppelin. He called Clooney "the easiest boss I've ever had." For a concert scene, director Stephen Herek put Wahlberg and his fictional band, Steel Dragon, onstage at the L.A. Sports Arena last summer before 10,000 Metallica and Megadeth fans, who wound up in the movie.
Aniston, who took the role after her old man, Brad Pitt, turned down the lead, was obviously nervous as newsies barraged her with questions. She said Pitt kept her calm in the car. Once there, however, Pitt darted into the theater, presumably to avoid upstaging his wife. Aniston could have used the hand-holding. She told reporters, "I'll be good once, you know, it's dark. And it's over."
The film, touted as "the story of a wannabe who got to be," is based loosely on the story of an office supply salesman who replaced Judas Priest lead singer Rob Halford in 1996.
Hardball With Cher
Cher isn't talking to the reporters covering the L.A. County Superior Court trial of a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a man who worked as a financial overseer at the diva's latest Malibu home construction project.
But she had plenty to say during a three-hour-plus deposition last year. We got our hands on a transcript, and it's far more interesting than what's been going on in court. If Cher takes the stand, we can expect fireworks.
The transcript shows she bristled during questioning by William Bloch, who represents Salvador Sampino. Sampino claims he was wrongfully fired after blowing the whistle on undocumented workers and unlicensed contractors at the construction site.
"Your lawsuit was all over the tabloids, it was in everything," Cher said. "You guys have trashed my name in every [bleeping] newspaper, magazine, television show. You know, I have nothing to do with this. He was never even employed by me."
At one point, Cher and Bloch jousted verbally over her use of the word "flamboyant" to describe Sampino. "I guess you have to look it up in the dictionary under 'flamboyant,"' Cher said.
Q: Well, it could mean anything.
A: I think I'm using the proper term.
Q: I'm not meaning to argue with you, but do you mean to say that he was dressed in an extravagant or bizarre fashion, a la Elton John, with elaborate glasses and headgear?
A: No, He just has a very flamboyant personality.
Cher's lawyer, Jerry Mandel, told jurors that Sampino did not work directly for Cher, who was in Europe promoting an album during much of the construction.
John Clark, who starred alongside Lynn Redgrave in one heck of a nasty divorce case earlier this year, has resurfaced. Faxing a three-page letter to news outlets, Clark complained about a recent decision by Superior Court Judge Arnold Gold, who ordered Clark to vacate the Topanga home he shared with Redgrave by Monday.
The house is on the market at $2.3 million, but Clark is refusing to move out. The couple's divorce became final last December, ending a 32-year marriage that headed south when Clark told Redgrave that he had fathered a child by a woman who later married their son. In his fax, Clark called the ruling "a final act of irrational madness" and complained, "I'm the disadvantaged spouse and living under great hardship. I have no income and no business and no profession ... and, it would seem, about to have no home." He also claimed to have copied 460 pages of documents of the judge's own 30-year-old divorce case.
Emily Edelman, Redgrave's attorney, said Clark is merely "trying to postpone the day of reckoning."
Supermodel Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber have a new baby girl. Kaya Jordan Gerber was born Monday in Los Angeles, weighing in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, according to Crawford's publicist, Annett Wolf. Crawford and Gerber were married in 1998 and have a toddler son, Presley Walker Gerber.
Times staff writers Louise Roug and Gina Piccalo contributed to this column. City of Angles runs Tuesday-Friday. Email: email@example.com.