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New Buzz in Hollywood

Aired June 6, 2003 - 20:49   ET


We're in the news business here, of course, but some stories are just too good to be limited to the straight facts. And we'd like to find out, what's the buzz? Like, what's all this business out of Hollywood about young Ashton Kutcher and his huggy-kissy dalliance with an older Demi Moore? First of all, is it Demi? Is it Demi? Not really sure. We'll try to find that out. And is this for real or is it just a publicist's fantasy?

And Hillary Clinton's new book isn't even out yet and already a TV movie about Hill and Bill is in the works, albeit based not on Senator Clinton's much-talked about "Living History," which you just saw the cover of, but on "Vanity Fair" writer Gail Sheehy's best- selling "Hillary's Choice."

So, each week, we like to check in with some well-placed tongue- waggers, like "The Washington Post"'s Lloyd Grove in our nation's capital; and, in London, celebrity reporter Jeanne Wolf; and here with me in New York, Jeremy Helligar, senior editor of "Us Weekly" magazine.

Appreciate all of you for being with us, spending some time.

Lloyd, let me start off with you. What's the buzz in the nation's capital? Let's first talk about Hillary. Are people sort of Hillary'ed out there or are they following every twist and turn? And there have been a lot of them this past week.

LLOYD GROVE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, we're getting to the point of being Hillary'ed out.

And it's now to the point where other publishers are trying to get in on this. And I have a press release from HarperCollins. They have a book called "After the Affair." And they're offering the author as an infidelity expert to talk about Hillary.

But is there a danger that they've released too much information or too much information has leaked out? I mean, this was supposed to be sort of a well-timed release of little bits of information leading up to Monday, when the book is actually released. But has too much come out too soon?


This is really disastrous for Hillary's publisher, Simon & Schuster, for ABC, which has the big Barbara Walters interview on Sunday, for Hillary, and for "TIME" magazine, which paid a lot of money to excerpt the book. I mean, this thing about Hillary's reaction to learning that her husband really did have an affair with Monica Lewinsky, that's the money quote. And the fact that this is out so far in advance of when the book is going to be released, that may cool some people's interest in actually buying the book.

COOPER: Jeanne Wolf, let me toss this over to you.

The Clintons long have had a lot of friends in Hollywood. Do you think this book is as focused on there as it is in Washington?


And I don't think Hollywood's Hillary'ed out. And that's not just because of the recent information, but because there's so many conflicting stories. Hollywood understands a memoir. A memoir is not the true story. A memoir is my version of the true story and something that will get me good publicity. You have to remember that a lot of people in Hollywood were very disillusioned by Hillary and Bill, because they still believe in a lot of the political ideals that they set forth, even if they didn't love their behavior.

COOPER: Jeremy, let me bring you in here.

There's already talk about a movie. It's going to be an A&E film, I guess, based on Gail Sheehy's book, as we mentioned. Who do you think should play Hillary and who should play Bill?

JEREMY HELLIGAR, SR. EDITOR, "US WEEKLY": Well, personally, I think that Barbra Streisand and James Brolin would be the perfect people to play Hillary and Bill, because Barbra is a very controlling woman, very demanding, sort of the perception of what Hillary's like -- and James Brolin, very dashing older gentleman. I think that's the way one perceives Bill.

COOPER: Well, apparently, their public -- their political sympathies are very much akin.

Jeanne, your take. Who's going to play?

WOLF: Well, I just saw "Legally Blonde 2," which is set in Washington. And without giving away the plot, Reese has her eye on the White House. But I think we'd have to wait a little while for her to play.

I don't know. I was thinking of Annette Benning and Michael Douglas, because they played boyfriend and girlfriend president. So we could move on to the next stage, or maybe Marg Helgenberger of "CSI," No. 1 TV show. And there are a lot of possibilities. And for Bill Clinton, it's either got to be John Travolta or Bill, who's soon going to be out of job on "60 Minutes" and can't be president again. Well, why can't he just play himself? I mean, there's never been a better politician on TV.

COOPER: All right, let's move on to the really important information now, the really important coupling right here to talk about, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. I'm not even sure if I'm pronouncing -- am I pronouncing that name right?

HELLIGAR: Demi Moore.

COOPER: Demi Moore. All right. Whatever.

Apparently, allegedly -- Jeremy, let me start with you, because I know Lloyd.

I know you're going to want to get in on this, because I'm sure a lot of people in Washington...

GROVE: I think those two should play Hillary and Bill.


COOPER: Well, you never know. That could happen.

Jeremy, is this relationship real? It is on the cover of "Us Weekly," I think "People" has Demi Moore now on the cover. I've got to tell you, I'm skeptical, but tell us how, allegedly, this thing happened.

HELLIGAR: Well, first of all, it's not really clear when exactly they met. But it's pretty sure that they met probably in early May, late April, when Ashton was in New York City hosting "Saturday Night Live."

COOPER: What's got so many people focused on this is, he's 25 years old. She's 40-some-odd years old.


COOPER: To me, it just seems very coincidental. She's got a movie coming out, "Charlie's Angels 2." It just seems like a publicist's dream, kind of a setup.

Jeanne Wolf, what do you think?

WOLF: Well, people do call this a publicity stunt. But neither Demi Moore nor Ashton Kutcher are the kind of person that your agent or your mother would have to prod you to go out with.

I do think they have a genuine affection. And how far their relationship has gone, we don't know, but you can go past allegedly, because they practically posed smooching for cameras at the recent MTV Movie Awards party at Sean Puff Daddy/P. Diddy Combs' party. They were the central attraction. And since both of them know the cameras follow them wherever they want, that part, I would say, was purposeful.

If they were -- what's the word now -- canoodling in public, they knew they were canoodling for headlines.

COOPER: Yes, I think posed is the key word there.

Jeremy, final thought? You think this thing is for real? Do you think it's going to last?

HELLIGAR: I definitely think that it's not going to last. I would not imagine them walking down the altar, wedding bells. Forget it. But you have to also remember, "Charlie's Angels" is a franchise. And it's going to do well, whether Demi has a public affair or not. So..

COOPER: Right. Well, every little bit helps.

We're going to have to leave it there.

Celebrity reporter Jeanne Wolf in London, "Reliable Source" columnist Lloyd Grove in Washington, and, in New York, "Us Weekly" magazine senior editor Jeremy Helligar, thanks very much for being with us.


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