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The scene
Apologizing to Mulroney

The Globe and Mail
September 14, 2002

Michael Moore, the filmmaker behind one of this year's biggest festival hits, Bowling for Columbine,found his foot firmly in mouth during one interview. Upon meeting Ben Mulroney, host of E-Talk Daily, Moore immediately commented on how unfortunate it was that the twentysomething TV personality shared a name with that "terrible former prime minister of the country," the one who signed us up for free trade. Mulroney reportedly gently told Moore that the prime minister in question was in fact his father. Moore apologized. Mulroney put the director at ease, saying "I get that sometimes."

Denzel delighted
The buzz at Friday's festival was that two-time Oscar-winner Denzel Washington may get a third -- this time for his directorial debut Antwone Fisher, based on a true story of an abused youth who joins the U.S. Navy as an escape.

Asked if he was excited by the prospect of taking home another 18-pound statue, the veteran actor just shrugged and said: "I promised the real Antwone I'd take care of him. And not hurt him any more than he's been hurt. For him to well-up and say to me: 'You did a great job' -- I've already won.

"My mother has this saying: Man gives the award; God gives the reward. So I'm looking for the reward."

Piggish paparazzi
The paparazzi may be running out of patience. A few photographers who have been covering the festival for years said after the Sophia Loren press conference that the shutterbugs this year are behaving badly.

They said they've never seen a group of photographers "behave in such a piggish manner as this week," said one 20-year-veteran of the fest. "It's disgusting. I've never seen it this bad. They are boors." Among the offences: They insist on taking hundreds and hundreds of shots; they elbow and push fellow shooters out of the way; they pull chairs in front and block those behind and they scream at the stars.

Sandler gets serious
Adam Sandler is stepping out of his usual low-brow comedy to take a crack at a more serious role in Paul Thomas Anderson's (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) new work, Punch-Drunk Love.

Sandler said he's not afraid of failing, or getting attacked by the critics -- something he is used to, particularly after his first big role in Happy Gilmore. "Oh man, I didn't know they would come at me and hate me and hate what I was doing. It kind of shook me up that first day, so I called some friends and asked: 'What are they saying in your hometown'. And it was like: 'Ohh, them too, eh?' "

Sandler defended his track record, which includes Big Daddy, The Water Boy and Mr. Deeds. "I know in my heart I've worked hard trying to make funny movies."

Loren: 'I am not a star'
Silver-screen legend Sophia Loren doesn't like to be called a star. In town to promote Between Strangers,directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, Loren said at a press conference yesterday that she never believed in the star system. "I think actors do their work and their job, and they should do it very well.

"Acting is a great job. It's a very, very serious profession. I am not a star. I'm just an actress."

Her co-stars gushed about the Loren style and decorum on set. Mira Sorvino called her "generous," Deborah Kara Unger said she was "fearless" and Pete Postlethwaite said it is "impossible for her to lie."

In keeping with that, when one aged journalist complimented her on being a role model for older people and asked Loren how she stayed so alive and vivacious, the Italian diva replied: "I cannot answer you, because I don't think you have my DNA."

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