"I SEE myself as an old ocean, making new waves."
That's Dolly Parton in the current issue of Rolling Stone, talking to Rob Tannenbaum about her "500th album." (Neither Dolly nor the author knew exactly how many albums the star has recorded, so they settled on a round 500.)
I love Dolly's quote. For all the joyful artificiality of her appearance -- it gives her joy, folks, and that's what matters. She is so utterly real. As pure as her famous voice. (My phone conversations with Dolly usually have usually left me uplifted for days!)
Tannenbaum asked Dolly if she had any words of advice for her god-daughter Miley Cyrus. Despite the family connection, this is the du jour question put to every celeb -- give Miley Cyrus advice! Dolly said: "I understand why she had to be drastic in breaking away from the whole 'Hannah Montana' thing...Miley is smart and talented, and I hope and pray that she makes some good and right decisions."
We all hope that. Because if Miley doesn't do right, she might end up like Beyonce -- a happily married wife and mother, no scandals attached to her name, hard-working and self-made. But, still, as we all know, Beyonce is said to be a bad influence on young girls; causing them to get pregnant out of wedlock.
Yes, Beyonce's appearance on the cover of Time magazine as one of the "100 Most Influential People in The World," started that foolishness up again, especially among some conservative pundits. But Miley, who really has an influence on teen girls, is A-OK, despite her shocking get-ups and vulgar twerking. Odd? Discuss this amongst yourselves.
•LAST WEEKEND when news broke of George Clooney's engagement, I thought for a second I had a scoop. It seemed to me I had written about George and his lawyer fiancée Amal Alamuddin quite some time back -- had I been the first? Alas, no. But it was kind of close.
We did write, thanks to the sharp eyes of our guy in L.A. Hal Lifson, that George had shared a few meals with one Nicole Pearson last summer. She is a lawyer, then 30 years old. They met at a fundraiser. He sent her chocolates. (Edelweiss) She is attractive, but not in Clooney's usual va-va voom starlet/model mode.
It didn't amount to anything, but perhaps Nicole can take some credit for enlightening Clooney on the benefits of a relationship with a woman over 25, who has a non-show biz job and a real head on her shoulders?
Nicole herself is amused by the idea but says: "I wish George and his lovely fiancée nothing but happiness. Amal is an accomplished professional and George certainly knows how to treat a lady!" (One assumes Amal is being treated to more than chocolates.)
Of course, now the baby rumors are beginning! Amal's waistline will become paparazzi target No. 1 and while everybody is pleased for Clooney -- he is almost universally well-liked -- some wiseacres can't resist. Discussing this startling romance, a friend of mine said: "If' he's happy, I'm happy. But honestly, 'engaged?' Who gets engaged when they're over 50 and a celebrity? I mean, now that Elizabeth Taylor is gone! Just get married already. They are going to be tormented. Marry quick and party after at George's place on Lake Como in Italy."
•EVERYTHING OLD is new again. We all know that, and never is that axiom more relevant than in show biz. So, now that the Cold War has heated up again, not only will shows such as The Americans benefit, with its Russian covert operatives running around, but I bet there will be a rash of Russia vs. U.S. themed movies heading our way.
I mean, isn't it time for a "re-boot" of The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.
•OUCH and Yikes! What else can one say about the rumors that Harvey Weinstein will drop Grace of Monaco before it opens the Cannes Film Festival next month? It's the time-honored "creative differences" between producer and director. The children of Grace and Prince Rainier don't like it either, but nobody expected they would, even with the lovely Nicole Kidman playing the princess.
•GIVEN BRYAN CRANSTON's most famous role as cancer-victim-turned-murderous-meth-king Walter White, how did the producers of Cranston's new feature film, avoid "Bryan Cranston IS Godzilla!"
Of course, I'm sure Cranston is one of the good guys in the coming remake of Godzilla, which is already triumphantly stomping the living daylights out of the European and Asian box-office. (It opens here May 16th) Judging by the trailers alone it is head and talons above the awful 1998 abomination.
The original, much-loved Japanese version of Godzilla circa 1954, was the product of man's misuse of atomic energy. Or was Godzzy symbolic of the nuclear age? Anyway, he was man's fault. In the new one, man probably gets the blame again.
Well, you can't really blame Godzilla. In all of his various screen incarnations, he seems a big guy who was probably just stressed out by having to shop at the Huge and Gigantic Monster outlets. They never made anything fashionable in his size! He just wanted to get along. And look nice at parties.
•SPEAKING OF man's inhumanity to the planet, here's a great quote from Germaine Greer in the new issue of The Smithsonian magazine:
Earth, the most exuberant planet known to exist in any galaxy, carries great wounds upon its lovely face: denuded hills, fertile farmlands being washed into the sea, or turned to dust, treasure houses on biodiversity annihilated, air, land and water poisoned. It seems nobody knows how to reverse any of it...but the planet's powers of recuperation are almost unbelievable. Give it an inch and it will give you a mile.
Ms. Greer goes on to report her own efforts to restore ravaged land in Australia. And it is a hopeful report. It takes effort and love and commitment to the future. Not even necessarily our future -- those reading this column or Greer's words. But a hundred years from now. What will they say of us, if we didn't at least try?