Entertainment briefs – June 6

Twilight star Robert Pattinson says he was in the “very obvious throes of a panic attack” before shooting his heady new film Cosmopolis with director David Cronenberg. The British heart-throb attended at a Toronto news conference Monday to discuss the project, in which he plays a billionaire asset manager who goes on a fantastical road odyssey in Manhattan.

Pattinson panicky before filming Cronenberg’s ‘Cosmopolis’

Twilight star Robert Pattinson says he was in the “very obvious throes of a panic attack” before shooting his heady new film Cosmopolis with director David Cronenberg.

The British heart-throb attended at a Toronto news conference Monday to discuss the project, in which he plays a billionaire asset manager who goes on a fantastical road odyssey in Manhattan.

Pattinson admitted that he and co-star Jay Baruchel were “absolutely terrified” when shooting the first scene of the film in Toronto.

But Pattinson says Cronenberg’s calm demeanour put him at ease, as did a pre-shoot chat at the filmmaker’s Toronto house, where the director told him, “What will be will be.”

Cosmopolis, which hits Canadian theatres on Friday, is based on the 2003 Don DeLillo novel.

Cronenberg kept most of the literary dialogue from the book the same in the script and co-star Paul Giamatti said the experience was “intense” and “intimidating.”


Tony Awards promise a full night of performances

NEW YORK — The Tony Awards will be heavy on showcasing works on Broadway this season, with performances from Ricky Martin, Raul Esparza, Audra McDonald, Matthew Broderick and the casts of Godspell and Ghost The Musical among many others.

Producers Monday revealed a list of performances that include all four new musicals — Newsies, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Once and the now-closed Leap of Faith — but also the revivals Follies, Evita, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and Jesus Christ Superstar.

The show will even have performances from several plays, including End of the Rainbow, Peter and the Starcatcher and One Man, Two Guvnors.

The Tonys will air live on CBS from the Beacon Theatre in New York City on Sunday. Neil Patrick Harris returns as host.


Alec Baldwin helps NY school raise sports funds

CAMILLUS, N.Y. — Alec Baldwin wants to make sure students at a central New York school have the opportunity to get outside and play ball.

Local media outlets report that the actor was in the Syracuse area this past weekend to help a local high school’s fundraising campaign to save its modified sports program.

The star of 30 Rock attended an event held Sunday in the gym at West Genesee High School, where one of his nephews plays sports. Baldwin’s mother and two sisters live in the Syracuse area.

Baldwin grew up on Long Island, where his father was a high school football and baseball coach.

He donated $25,000 to save modified sports at West Genesee this school year and is helping raise money for next year’s programs.


Jury selection begins in actor Stephen Baldwin’s suit against Kevin Costner

NEW ORLEANS — Jury selection began Monday in a legal fight between two Hollywood stars over investments in a device used to try to clean up BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In his lawsuit, actor Stephen Baldwin claims Kevin Costner and a business partner duped Baldwin and a friend out of their shares of an $18 million deal for BP to buy oil-separating centrifuges after the April 2010 spill.

U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman told prospective jurors they could not be influenced by the celebrity status of Baldwin and Costner. Both actors were in court. Costner wore a blazer and khakis, while Baldwin wore an olive suit.

“Celebrity has no place in this courtroom or in any of the issues that need to be resolved by the jury in this trial,” Feldman said.

Feldman asked the potential jurors whether the entertainers’ on-screen portrayals compromised the ability to deliver an objective verdict. No one in the pool said they would feel influenced.

Among Baldwin’s roles was caveman Barney Rubble in The Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas. Costner’s films include Dancing with Wolves, Field of Dreams, and JFK, Oliver Stone’s film with New Orleans connections to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


Hit action-adventure series ‘Spartacus’ to end after next season

NEW YORK — Starz network says it is ending its highly successful “Spartacus” saga next season.

In an unusual move announced Monday, Starz will conclude this action-adventure series while it’s still a big hit, and after logging only three seasons (or four, counting a “prequel” season).

This season the series drew six million viewers, an enormous number for a paid subscription channel.

Creator-executive producer Steven S. DeKnight promises a “stunningly epic” final season.

That 10-episode cycle, which will kick off next January, is currently filming in New Zealand.

The series stars Liam McIntyre as the Thracian-slave-turned-revolutionary who’s out to topple the Roman Empire. McIntyre took over the role from Andy Whitfield, who starred the first season, then withdrew due to illness. He died of cancer in September 2011

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