US DIARY ORLA HEALY

Emma Stone, Dakota Fanning, Claire Danes and Michelle Williams are among the names being bandied about as frontrunners in the hotly contested race to land the lead role in the upcoming biopic about Hillary Clinton.

According to James Ponsoldt, who just signed on to direct the movie (tentatively titled Rodham,) "the phone is ringing off the hook" with top Hollywood agents jostling to get their client's names on the test-sheet for the film which, set against the backdrop of the Watergate Scandal, will focus on 20-something Hillary's stint as the youngest lawyer selected for the House Judiciary Committee to Impeach Nixon while maintaining a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend Bill Clinton, who was teaching in Arkansas at the time.

"What's so exciting about this story is it highlights a point in her life as an individual, she was a political superstar. She was someone Bill pursued. She didn't pursue him – he pursued her," says Ponsoldt, who is behind two of this summer's Sundance-acclaimed releases (The Spectacular Now, and Smashed.) Revealing the tenor of the movie will be very much along the lines of the 1976 classic All the President's Men, Ponsoldt is refusing to divulge his thoughts on who will be cast in the lead role. He did, however, eliminate Bubba's first choice Meryl Streep – but only on account of her age.

"We're meeting with a number of actresses. Everyone's throwing in their own two cents. Everybody thought Meryl Streep would play Hillary, but this follows a young Hillary. It's a tough part. A physical resemblance is helpful, but more importantly the actress has to be believed that she is the smartest person you've ever met and one of the most driven and ambitious – in a good way," he told Politico.

Although he insists the film won't trade in partisan politics, Ponsoldt says he is fully prepared for the heat that will come with the release of the movie during what could well be Hillary's 2016 presidential campaign. "The movie will be scrutinised in a way few films are," he acknowledged, adding "kind of like her".

Feisty Ireland lands a punch

Ireland Baldwin knows how to handle haters. Straight on. The head-turning 17-year-old blonde, who lucked out in the genetic lottery by inheriting her mum Kim Basinger's gorgeous looks also got her dad Alec Baldwin's pugnacious streak – an invaluable asset for the only child of famous parents whose turbulent marriage and split have been relentlessly chronicled by the tabs.

In an open letter posted on Tumblr last week, the 6ft 2ins aspiring model made it clear that she has no intention of letting herself become a punching bag for the media or that breed of cyberbullies who ridicule everything from her looks to her relationship with her father who, unforgettably, called her a "thoughtless little pig" in a 2007 voicemail that went viral.

"Just like almost all of you, my Dad has made some mistakes in the past," Ireland blogged. "He has spoken out of place, he has let his temper get the best of him, and he has reacted towards things in ways he shouldn't have. I get hateful replies and threats regarding mistakes of my Dad's past. This isn't fair. I had nothing to do with anything that happened back then, so I don't fully understand why I am being targeted."

Ireland's remarks about the cutting comparisons she gets to her pin-up mother, who she calls "one of the most beautiful women in the world," were equally raw. "Of course I get those comments about how I am too fat to model, how I am not model material, how I am an unattractive girl, how I am too tall, etc, I understand. I don't look as glamorous as Rosie Huntington-Whitely when leaving the gym. I understand that I am not a size .008. What I don't fully understand, is what is the good in commenting on a photo of a 17-year-old girl and calling her fat, ugly, etc? Is that helping you in some way?" Unsurprisingly, not one of Ireland's critics have yet figured out how to respond.

Nip 'n' tucking Mobama's look

So much for Mrs Obama's healthy eating legacy. According to a report issued by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons on Tuesday, the First Lady's enviably toned upper arms have inspired an upswing in the number of brachioplasty procedures across the US – making elective "bingo-wing" elimination the fastest-growing type of plastic surgery in the country.

An estimated 15,000 women underwent the procedure in 2012, which is an increase of 4,378 per cent since 2000. According to a poll conducted by the ASPS, the five celebrities who are influencing the trend are Michelle Obama (31 per cent); Jennifer Aniston (29 per cent); Jessica Biel (16 per cent); Kelly Ripa (13 pe cent) and Demi Moore (11 per cent).

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