SHE SAYS LONDON, WE SAY FRANCE
When you're a globetrotting celebrity, it's nice to give a child a sense of place, especially on another continent. BRITNEY SPEARS told Elle magazine that she's mulling the name London Preston if the tyke due to exit her much on-display belly this fall is a boy. Spears' metropolitan moniker would mimic choices by David and Victoria Beckham, who call their boy Brooklyn; Bono, whose daughter is Memphis; Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin, whose lass is Ireland; and Michael Jackson, whose princess is Paris. If Spears has a girl, she says, she'll call her Addison Shye. Addison is a county in Vermont. It's not glamorous, but it's probably very pretty.
BORN TO LECTURE?
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN songs may mostly remind fans of their proms. But more than 500 academics, clergy and journalists planning to attend a conference at Monmouth University in New Jersey this week think the Boss warrants deeper reflection. Papers to be presented at Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium include "A Marxist Perspective on Darkness on the Edge of Town," "Steinbeck and Springsteen" and "The Boss and the Bible." Speakers include rock critic Dave Marsh, touted as a "Louie Louie expert," and Frank Stefanko, who has photographed Springsteen a lot. Attendees may also visit the Stone Pony, Springsteen's storied hometown rock club; alas, he's not on the bill. Next semester at Monmouth: Desconstructing Clay Aiken.
FIRST LOOK NO PLANS FOR A DUETS ALBUM--YET
Usually JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE fends off shutterbugs who trail him and his photogenic girlfriend Cameron Diaz. But in Edison, the former 'N Syncer's feature acting debut, which closes the Toronto International Film Festival this month, he plays a cub reporter who seeks mentorship from a photojournalist, albeit one of a different stripe. MORGAN FREEMAN says his character "was at a lot of the hot spots in the world." (And, no, he doesn't mean nightclubs.) "He's burned out. He's seen a lot of rough stuff." The two actors, both from Memphis, Tenn., got on fine, but the Oscar winner says he didn't really take Timberlake under his wing. "He's very credible as an actor," Freeman says. "It wasn't necessary." That Mouseketeer Method training must really work.
FEUD OF THE WEEK
COUPLE: Ronald (the Capitalist) Perelman and Ellen (the Femme Fatale) Barkin
OCCUPATIONS: Press-shy cigar-chomping Revlon magnate and smoldering star of The Big Easy
BEST PUNCH: The privacy-loving couple planned to hold the Aug. 24 wedding of Downey and Levin at their Long Island estate until they balked at a deal to sell the nuptial photos to a magazine. Their reps said they wished the newlyweds "all the happiness in the world."
COUPLE: Robert (Rehabbed Romeo) Downey Jr. and Susan (Ultimatum Maiden) Levin
OCCUPATIONS: Oscar-nominated, formerly drug-addicted star of Chaplin and clean-living-espousing producer
BEST PUNCH: After moving their ceremony and uninviting their former hosts, the lovebirds say they "choose to enjoy our honeymoon without any further dispute or blame throwing. Unlike their spokespeople, [the Perelmans] wished us somewhat less than all the happiness in the world."
WINNERS: Celebrity wedding planners. Not only would they help avoid dustups like this, but they also could have had a quiet word with Downey about those shoes.