Friday 13 December 2019

US Diary Orla Healy: Hillary Haters red-faced as Hollywood all abuzz

THE "Benghazi flu" is giving certain political pundits a nasty case of looking-crass syndrome.

All the Hillary Haters who mercilessly scoffed at the Secretary of State for faking a "diplomatic illness" to avoid testifying before Congress about the attack on the US consulate in Libya now appear a tad off colour since Mrs Clinton was diagnosed with a blood clot near her brain following a concussion she suffered last month on the heels of a bout with the stomach flu.

Much to the chagrin of reporters – in particular, staffers at News Corp outlets, including the NY Post and Fox News, who mocked her illness as an "immaculate concussion" – Mrs Clinton, who was discharged from the VIP ninth floor of New York's Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday night, is expected to return to Washington next week where she will take questions in the controversial Congressional hearings. She will also face questions from the entertainment press abuzz about a dynamite new screenplay making waves in Hollywood. Titled "Rodham", the manuscript follows the professional and romantic exploits of a 20-something Hillary as she struggles to balance the pressures of her job (working to impeach Richard Nixon as the youngest attorney at the Justice Department) with her budding romance with a would-be politician named Bill.

"There's this incredible irony that she worked on the impeachment process that was used against her husband," screenwriter Young Il Kim, a 39-year-old South Korean, tells Politico, which reports that the script is number four on the recently issued "Black List", a closely watched poll in which 300 film executives name the best unproduced scripts they've read. (Previous movies on the list include The Social Network, Juno and The King's Speech.) The project already has some heavyweight muscle attached – Kim is being represented by Jenny Maryasis of the United Talent Agency, the agent who helped discover Lena Dunham, the creator and star of Girls.

And Temple Hill Entertainment, the geniuses behind the Twilight franchise, are also reportedly garnering interest from acting talent including Scarlett Johansson, Amanda Seyfried and Evan Rachel Wood. While Kim, 39, is tightlipped about casting rumours, he isn't shy about dropping some heavy hints about the intimate tone of his story. One of his favourite scenes? A vignette in which Hillary is applying make-up while humming Carly Simon's You're So Vain as she preps for a dinner date with her overly confident new beau.

Kimye to set kat among pigeons

WE could be about to find out who really wears the pants in the relationship between Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. It appears that the happy couple, who last week announced they are expecting a baby, might be in for a bit of a rumble over the delicate issue of how to manage the introduction of their offspring to fans who, for some perspective, currently number a lucrative 26 million combined on Twitter.

West, a rapper who fancies himself quite a debonair player in the world where style and music collide, is said to be shocked at the suggestion that he would even consider selling the first photos of baby Kimye to the highest bidder – a move, K-clan watchers say, that is sparking tensions with Kim's mother and the family fame-facilitator Kris Jenner who was reportedly less than happy that West didn't tell her he was planning to announce her daughter's pregnancy to the world during a concert last Sunday night. (Word is Jenner would have secured much more than $300,000 for Kim's New Year's Eve nightclub appearance had she been aware of the real news-value in her daughter's first maternity-wear red-carpet romp.)

It should be fun to see how Jenner, who stands to pull in a minimum easy $1m in pregnancy photo/interview deals reacts when she finds out West wants to release the first baby pix on Twitter, emulating the "classy" way pals Jay-Z and Beyonce introduced Blue Ivy to the world on Tumblr.

Shot in the arm

for Baz's 'Gatsby'

DIRECTOR Baz Luhrmann managed to give his highly anticipated Great Gatsby adaptation a fresh shot of adrenaline last week when he confirmed that Jay-Z (already rechristened Gats-Z) will be working with the Bullitts to score the lavish period Leonardo DiCaprio drama.

Luhrmann, who successfully used Madonna's music to hip up his 2001 blockbuster Moulin Rouge and also featured Radiohead in his 1996 Romeo + Juliet, has been inching towards using the hip-hop mogul after trailers for the film featuring No Church in the Wild proved a hit with cinema audiences. No word on whether Prince and Lady Gaga, who wrote and performed original songs for the film, still make the final cut.

Smart move by

J-Lo's Casper

IT'S finally clear what superstar Jennifer Lopez, 43, sees in boyfriend Casper Smart, 25. Friends of Lopez's back-up dancer and constant companion tell In Touch magazine that he is more than ready to march her up the aisle but wants to wait until he feels he "is pulling his weight, financially", in his relationship with his gazallionaire girlfriend. Smart, who apparently plans to get a new business venture off the ground when the two return to LA after her current world tour, must be thinking big, as his future Mrs certainly does.

In an interview with the February issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine, J-Lo talks about the extensive entourage – which includes Smart, her twin kids, her mom Guadalupe, her manager Benny Medina, several assistants, hair and makeup, security, a trainer, tour managers, et al – it takes to make her life manageable.

"I like the whole idea of travelling, of looking good, and doing it well," says the singer who chaffes at the suggestion she is a demanding diva. "I make it as simple and as beautiful as I can . . . because my life is kind of big." Smooth sailing. Right?

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