Details goes Hollywood, and the tinsel piles high All that glitters: New issue covers everything from Scientology to Quentin Tarantino on 'Showgirls.'

Magazines

January 21, 1996|By Matthew Gilbert | Matthew Gilbert,BOSTON GLOBE

Details goes Hollywood for February, with an entire issue devoted to tinsel talk. The investigative piece on Scientology and celebrity sheds little light on the cult itself, and less on the motives of actor-followers like John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Kirstie Alley.

Demi Moore writes about the trials of carrying weighty gifts of jewelry from her husband: They "practically qualify me as an honorary Gabor," she says. And Samuel L. Jackson writes about how being famous means being mistaken for Laurence Fishburne.

The cover story, on Quentin Tarantino and Juliette Lewis, is some hip chitchat and not much more. Mr. Tarantino does admit to awkwardness regarding his own ubiquity: "Twenty articles talk about how fast I talk and that I talk with my hands and all of a sudden I'm like: 'Oh, maybe I shouldn't talk so fast. Maybe I should comb my hair.' "

Mr. Tarantino also rushes to the aid of a much-maligned movie he thinks is great: "I'm thinking about writing an article in Film Comment in complete and utter defense of 'Showgirls.' "

The private Ms. Thompson

Emma Thompson lovers will be pleased and frustrated that the ever-so-classy actress clings to her privacy in that glossiest of tattle-talers, Vanity Fair. Whatever broke up Ms. Thompson's marriage to Kenneth Branagh is no business of ours, she says.

Are widespread rumors of her affair with Greg Wise, her --ing "Sense and Sensibility" co-star, true?

"That's a separate issue," she says. "It involves a third party who's not here and can't speak for himself."

As if that weren't nonanswer enough, Ms. Thompson proposes a theory that gossip is good for people: "It's to do with people trying to work out how to live their lives."

Meanwhile, Ms. Thompson, who keeps her Oscar in the "lavvy," is no staid Suzy, either, as she opens up more than a few buttons for photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Also in VF: a gritty portrait of the broken-down Culkin clan and

the increasingly shaky career of Macaulay, 15.

Boomers reach Maturity

Just the concept of a major Modern Maturity cover story on baby boomers turning 50 is comical. Surely the editors are eager to claim the huge demographic of Americans who can never read enough about themselves (even if they'll never think of themselves as mature).

The story focuses on the old tug of war between boomers and their parents, especially how boomers opened their parents' minds to the cruelties of war, racial and gender injustices, and self-help.

There's a letter to Mom and Dad by Dan Quayle, in which he calls his "Murphy Brown" speech revolutionary: "Three years ago it was controversial to assert that children deserve to have both a mother and a father to help them in life. Today, however, this notion is an accepted truth."

Leigh and 'Friends'

And then:

* Premiere for February goes big with Jennifer Jason Leigh, the raw actress who will go there, no matter where it is. "The stuff that I really love to do [in a role] is the scariest stuff," she says, "because that's what I understand."

* Super Bowl Sunday could be nicknamed Among "Friends." Entertainment Weekly for Jan. 19 reports on the triumph of television's "Friends," which will air an hour-long episode after the Super Bowl on Jan. 28, with guest stars Julia Roberts, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Brooke Shields and Chris Isaak. The sexy crew will also appear during the game, in a Diet Coke ad campaign that Coke won away from Pepsi.

"We're going to turn into McDonald's," Jennifer Aniston told EW.

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