Thursday 27 June 2019

When stars collide: celeb smack-downs

Sometimes when celebrities get together, sparks fly. By Ed Power

Friends? Not exactly: Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Connelly
Friends? Not exactly: Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Connelly

Ed Power

She won fame as girl-next-door Rachel Green in Friends, but in real life actress Jennifer Aniston is evidently no pussy-cat.

Arriving at a Vanity Fair photoshoot to publicise her latest rom-com, Aniston is reported to have thrown the mother of all tantrums when it was suggested she share the magazine cover with co-star Jennifer Connolly. The pair are rumoured not to get along (to put it mildly) -- according to eye-witnesses Aniston threatened to walk unless Connolly was relegated to VF's inside pages.

"It was all about getting Jennifer Aniston front and centre and looking as sexy as possible," a bystander told US gossip magazine Life and Style Weekly.

"There was no camaraderie between those two whatsoever. They didn't seem like friends in the slightest."

Should claims of bad-blood between Connolly and Aniston be true -- their spokespeople were quick to deny a rift -- it would merely be the latest example of two A-listers finding it impossible to temper their egos and get along. Every workplace has its share of conflict, but for real sparks you have to look to the entertainment industry, where feuding has a long and inglorious tradition.

Michael v Paul

Macca and Wacko were firm pals in the early 1980s, even going so far as to guest on each other's albums (forget the Frog Chorus -- if McCartney's career has a nadir, it's the spoken-word outro to The Girl Is Mine).

The bromance turned sour, however, after Jackson paid $47m for the Beatles' catalogue, swooping the rights from under the nose of McCartney. Mightily miffed, Macca didn't speak to Jackson for years. However, with Jackson said to be in financial difficulty, there are rumours that he may have to sell on his Beatles' rights. What odds Macca buying then back at a knockdown price?

Tom v Brooke

Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields once starred in a movie together and were, by all accounts, on friendly terms. Then Shields revealed in a memoir that she'd been taking the controversial anti-depressant Paxil to cope with post-natal depression. Cruise, a member of the wacky Scientology cult (which doesn't believe in psychiatry) told reporters Shields and other mothers suffering from depression after childbirth would be better off using vitamins. To widespread applause, Shields told him to shove his opinions where the sun seldom shines.

Gwyneth v Winona

Back in the 1990s, when Gwyneth Paltrow was dating Ben Affleck and Winona Ryder was stepping out with his school-pal Matt Damon, the actresses were apparently close. But their friendship soured, so rumour goes, when Paltrow stumbled on the script to Shakespeare in Love at Ryder's house. Winona had reputedly been offered the part and was miffed to see it snatched from her by Paltrow. Adding to the insult, Paltrow then bagged an Oscar while Ryder was arrested for shoplifting. Their careers had since followed divergent paths, though Winona can at least console herself that she isn't married to that whiny bloke from Coldplay.

Catherine v Julia

Starring in the same movie, it was inevitable that two of the biggest leading ladies in Hollywood would circle one another like wary lionesses.

Cast together in Ocean's 12, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Julia Roberts supposedly battled over who got the greater prominence. It ended in a one-all draw: Zeta-Jones was billed highest in the credits but Roberts received the fatter paycheck.

The Game v 50 Cent

There are feuds and then there are hip-hop feuds, which tend to end not in tears and harsh words but in a hail of automatic machine gun fire. Early in his career, New York rapper The Game was mentored by 50 Cent, the scene's elder statesman. But when The Game refused to side with Fiddy in an inter-gang row, even appearing on radio to say he wouldn't take sides, a beautiful friendship ended. In fact, when 50 Cent's 'crew' heard The Game on radio, they stormed the station and exchanged gunfire with upstart's hangers-on. See also: Nas v Jay-Z, 50 Cent v Dr Dre, Eminem v Everyone.

Christina v Mariah

It was a real-life diva smackdown. Christina Aguilera landed the first punch when she told GQ magazine that Mariah Carey was "not cool". Mariah riposted that she would keep the "Drrrty Girl" in her prayers although, she noted, Auguilera felt the need to drop Carey's name for publicity. No Christmas cards have since been exchanged.

Paris v Nicole

Best Friends Forever Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie fell out when Nicole reportedly arranged a screening for pals of Hilton's secret sex tape. Hilton fired back in an interview: "Nicole cannot stand being around me because I get all the attention and people really don't care?"

Saucer of milk for Paris!

Dana v Dustin

Former Eurovision winner Dana landed the first blow.

"I think it's an insult to the artists and music industry in this country, to put in a puppet to sing," she fumed after Dustin's Irlande Douze Pointe was chosen to represent Ireland in this year's song contest.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Dustin hit back. "Well Dana's great. We have a lot in common, in that we both ran for the Presidency as a joke; we're both small birds who don't really have great singing voices and we'll both have represented Ireland in the Eurovision."

This one could rumble on for some time to come.

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