James Gandolfini

By Tony Rizzo
HOLLYWOOD—In the “you can’t always believe the media” department is a story about James Gandolfini. The three-time Emmy winner for “The Sopranos” is supposed to be anti-press and not fan-friendly. Imagine my surprise when I saw him across the aisle from me having breakfast with his son at The International House of Pancakes. After ordering bacon and eggs, he agreed to pose with his waitress, Christina, whose cell phone is now star-studded. Gandolfini is in Hollywood appearing in the play “God of Carnage” and preparing his upcoming HBO film “Hemingway and Gellhorn,” which he’s executive producing. It stars Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman. He previously produced the documentary “Wartorn: 1861-2010” for HBO Films, about post-tramatic stress disorder through a number of wars.

On a previous Sunday, at the famous Beverly Hills deli Nate n’ Al’s, I walked in on a man screaming that a celebrity was seated before him. I made comments about too much drama before breakfast, and he began to rail on me. The celebrity in question was actor/director Rob Reiner of “All In the Family,” “When Harry Met Sally,” and most recently, “Flipped.” The deli caters to celebrities like Larry King, Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, and has a policy of seating celebs ahead of the “list.” Reiner sat quietly with his wife and children as customers convinced the man to leave, which he eventually did! I told Reiner, “You earned the table for all the wonderful moments you’ve given us,” which made him smile!

In the wake of an untold number of superhero and sci-fi/fantasy movies comes the next wave: fairy tales brought to life. Jeremy Renner, Oscar nominated last year as best actor for “The Hurt Locker” and this year as supporting actor for “The Town,” is set to star in a film about “Hansel and Gretel.” It takes place 15 years after Hansel and Gretel killed the witch, and they have become bounty hunters pursuing witches. … Then there’s “Snow White and the Huntsman,” starring Viggo Mortensen as the huntsman who was supposed to kill Snow White but let’s her live instead. He becomes her protector and mentor as they try to escape the evil queen, who might be played by Charlize Theron. … Then there’s a 3D animated film in the works, “Rise of the Guardians,” with “Star Trek’s” Chris Pine as Jack Frost, Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny, Alec Baldwin as Santa Claus and Isla Fisher as the Tooth Fairy. Looks as if the only place we can get serious drama these days is on the nightly news!

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© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.