Tom Cruise has become the first Hollywood star to set up a page on the popular Russian social network Vkontakte. The “Mission Impossible” actor’s page appeared Friday, announced by a message on Twitter saying “See you there!” in Russian.
His profile picture is a poster for his new science fiction film “Oblivion,” which comes out in Russia on April 11, two weeks before it opens in the U.S.
Cruise’s page is a sign of Russia’s increasing box office clout. Box office income rose 8 percent last year to $1.3 billion, the ninth-highest in the world, and is expected to grow 9 percent this year.
Queen volunteered for stunt
Queen Elizabeth II needed no convincing to appear in a James Bond-themed skit during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics – in fact, she volunteered, according to the show’s director.
Director Danny Boyle says he had initially thought a lookalike – possibly actress Helen Mirren – would play the role of Elizabeth alongside Bond actor Daniel Craig.
Boyle told ITV’s Jonathan Ross in an interview to air tonight that when he sought permission from officials to film the skit he heard back that not only was the video a go, but the monarch herself wanted to be in it.
The queen’s star turn in the skit was considered one of the highlights of the opening ceremony last year. In the skit, a tuxedo-clad 007 strides into Buckingham Palace to escort his VIP guest to the Olympic ceremony. In her acting debut, Elizabeth swivels around in her desk chair to face the legendary spy and declares: “Good evening, Mr. Bond.”
Goodall book release postponed
The next book by primatologist Jane Goodall has been postponed because some passages were lifted from online sources and not properly credited. Hachette Book Group announced Friday that no new release date has been set for Goodall’s “Seeds of Hope,” originally scheduled for April 2. Goodall said in a statement that she agreed to delay the book and “correct any unintentional errors.”
Goodall, 78, co-authored “Seeds of Hope” with Gail Hudson. The book is being billed as a study of “the critical role that trees and plants play in our world.”
Earlier this month, a Washington Post freelance reviewer alerted the paper to numerous similarities between material in “Seeds of Hope” and passages on Wikipedia and on websites for organic tea and the history of tobacco.
The birthday bunch
Comedian Marty Allen is 91. Sir Roger Bannister, the runner who broke the 4-minute mile in 1954, is 84. Movie director Mark Rydell is 79. Singer-producer Ric Ocasek is 64. Singer Chaka Khan is 60. Actress Amanda Plummer is 56. Actress Catherine Keener is 54. Actor Richard Grieco is 48. Actress Michelle Monaghan is 37. Actress Keri Russell is 37.