Hilary Swank hopes new movie will help soften her image


December 12, 2007|By LIZ SMITH | LIZ SMITH,Tribune Media Services

YOU KNOW, John Campisi is a very different kind of guy. This guy has a job and he's busy!"

That's Mariska Hargitay, comparing Hilary Swank's current beau, movie agent Campisi, to her ex-hubby, actor Chad Lowe.

I'm sure Mariska, didn't mean to diss Chad, who has already been hammered a bit by Miss Swank - remember that Vanity Fair profile? Oh, well, maybe Mariska can make it up and give Chad a role on Law & Order: SVU.

Swank is all glam and feminine on the cover and inside W. Those qualities - or lack thereof - are much the point of the story and Swank's ongoing career crisis. Yes, she has won two Oscars, for the transgendered girl of Boys Don't Cry and the boxer in Million Dollar Baby. But no matter how she softens her look or plays up her body, audiences resist this big talent as a romantic heroine or a conventional leading lady. She is hoping P.S. I Love You will change all that.

Not at all clear

The only thing clarified for me in Mitt Romney's "clarifying" speech last week was that President Romney - if he should get the job - expects to find us all in church. And if we're not, are we really American patriots?

Some people say Romney doesn't have to detail all the tenets of the Mormon faith - its relative newness, the golden plates, the visitations from angels, the back and forth on polygamy and black people. But consider this: Utah is a state dominated and politically controlled by Mormons. No other state in the union is similarly "ruled" by a faith-driven majority - not by Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Protestants, Jews or atheists. So, I do feel Mitt has just a bit more 'splainin' to do, as Ricky used to say to Lucy.

I've been through a lot of presidents in my time, and never can I remember such an emphasis on God, religion and churchgoing. Is there some vital requisite for occupying the White House where one man has the power to raise or lower taxes, educate our children, care for our sick and elderly, bring peace, with his finger on the trigger of world conflagration?

We're in the process of ushering out a chief executive who has said he "answers to a higher father." He'll leave in his wake 4,000 American fighting men and women dead, tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi dead, billions in U.S. treasure sunk into Iraq and a recently aborted wish to send us to war against Iran. I'd like a president who answers to common sense. And one whose dominant personality trait is not arrogant imperial petulance, based on orders from the great Up There.

Whatever happened to just knowing that you were doing the best for the American people?

Odd couple?

Jennifer Aniston of Friends, Brad Pitt and movie fame, and Jeremy Piven, a star at last, thanks to HBO's Entourage. The two were spotted yukking it up at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge about a week ago. Jen 'n' Jer lingered an amiable two hours at their table, then spent more time strolling around the hotel grounds.

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