IF IT'S TUESDAY, THIS MUST BE BONO...
"I think one of you got a bigger one," a tribal chief told Treasury Secretary PAUL O'NEILL when traditional headgear didn't fit him as well as it did BONO, his companion on a trip to Africa. "No," said U2's singer, "just a bigger brain." The modest rocker, who has lent sparkle to the cause of African poverty relief, brought O'Neill on a 10-day fact-finding journey that started last week in Ghana. The unlikely pair will travel through South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia. O'Neill played the straight man; Bono did comic relief. O'Neill drilled vendors on their moneymaking to figure out how U.S. aid might help, while Bono strode up to a merchant selling psychedelic tie-dyed textiles and asked, "Have you ever heard of Jerry Garcia?" By the time the trip ends, the two may have a pilot for a new reality show: Survivor meets Blind Date.
CROSSING THE LINE
Current headlines might give the impression that the Roman Catholic Church has a lot on its plate these days, but last week the Vatican's tirelessly vigilant Fides news service found time to publish an editorial chastising celebrities for wearing fancy crosses. The opinion piece, "A Matter of Coherence," observed, "There is a spreading fashion of wearing crosses decorated with diamonds and other precious stones." It cites JENNIFER ANISTON and NAOMI CAMPBELL, among others. "Is it consistent with the Gospel," the article asked, "to spend millions on a copy of the sacred symbol of the Christian faith and perhaps forget that there are people all over the world who suffer and die of hunger?" Response was mostly muted in Hollywood, where stars were perhaps busy finding out where to buy those million-dollar crosses.
GOOD CAREER MOVE
For many agents, an ideal client would be one who can open an action movie, get recognized by 99% of the world's teenage boys and never complain. Or even call. Creative Artists Agency, home to clients like Gwyneth Paltrow and Tom Cruise, found such a client last week in robust LARA CROFT, the fictional heroine of the Tomb Raider video-game series, played by Angelina Jolie in last summer's blockbuster film Lara Croft Tomb Raider. An explorer with formidable combat skills and a chest you could rest a Ming vase on, Croft could make money for her handlers through consumer-product tie-ins, publishing deals and television. Best of all, she'll never ask for a break from Hollywood to take one of those low-paying theater gigs. Gangs Take France
The Cannes Film Festival means to be a celebration of international cinema--a reminder that movies are made in other places besides Hollywood. Yet American-star wattage usually puts the rest of the world in the dark. At last week's festival, jury member Sharon Stone was photographed a record 1,633,458 times (unofficial count); Jack Nicholson, promoting his film About Schmidt, searched for a TV where he could watch his beloved Lakers game. Best of all, MARTIN SCORSESE showed 20 tantalizing minutes of clips from his long-delayed epic Gangs of New York in the company of stars LEONARDO DI CAPRIO and CAMERON DIAZ. Rumors of friction between Scorsese and Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein had scorched the Riviera, but over dinner at the posh Eden Roc Restaurant, the two chatted genially, not once shying rolls at each other.