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Color of Magic' a Painful Experience For Tim Curry/'Hotel For Dogs' Gives Lisa Kudrow a Wanna-See For Her Son

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For Tim Curry, playing the evil maniac, Trymon, in "Terry Pratchett's The Color of Magic" was a painful experience — literally.

He tells us that after playing King Arthur in "Spamalot" in New York and London, he was having foot problems that worsened during "The Color of Magic" due to the fact his character "wears all these appalling shoes." Since then, he's been in for foot surgery — twice. Curry took four to five months off to recuperate after his first operation, then went off to Marrakech to film an Agatha Christie mystery series installment for British TV, "and it became clear the first operation hadn't done it. So I had another one, and I'm just back now, finally ready, I hope. A good three or four months you're lugging this boot around … But it meant I had a wonderful summer." Enforced rest, he adds, "is not always such a bad thing."

Bringing to life author Terry Pratchett's fantastical Discworld, "Color of Magic" also stars Sean Astin, Sir David Jason and Christopher Lee. It's due to make its U.S. premiere on ION in early '09. "The sets were amazing. You really felt you were in this extraordinary world," Curry says. And as for playing Trymon, he asks, "What's not to like? He's entirely venal. He makes Machiavelli look shy."

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: "Hotel for Dogs" isn't due on screens 'til January, but it already has produced excitement — at least in some quarters. Lisa Kudrow tells us her 10-year-old son Julian is looking forward to the flick in which Emma Roberts leads a group of young people who manage to hide a bunch of stray pooches in a vacant building. It's the first movie she's done, she reports, "that my son saw a preview for and said, 'Hey, I want to see that.'

"'Romy and Michele' was not for him, 'Friends' has not enough action…'" The zany "Hotel" was "really fun to shoot," says Lisa. "Kevin Dillon is hilarious. And I love Emma Roberts. I think she is so good."

Kudrow has several other projects on the way — including the youth musical "Bandslam" in which she costars with Vanessa Hudgens, Scott Porter, Alyson Michalka and Gaelan Connell, and the forthcoming indie drama "Powder Blue" with Forest Whitaker, Jessica Biel, Patrick Swayze, Ray Liotta and Kris Kristofferson. The latter is writer-producer-director Timothy Linh Bui's tale set in the seamy underbelly of Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.

"I play this waitress who's one of the people who is actually trying to be healthy," Lisa says.

Swayze plays a strip club owner and Biel one of his dancers; Whitaker portrays a suicidal ex-priest, and Kristofferson the head of a corporate crime organization. She adds, "It's really good."

Now, says the actress, whose credits include voicing a grizzly bear in the 2001 "Dr. Dolittle 2," "I would really love to do a voice in an animated movie."

OUT OF THE ASHES: Butch Walker, who's known for producing hit songs for Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Pink and Fall Out Boy, lost all of his possessions last year when his house burnt to the ground during the Malibu wildfires. The musician/producer tells us the experience led to his newest album, "Sycamore Meadows," which just hit stores. "It's 12 songs of me having a lot of things to get off my chest after last year's cleaning of the house, so to speak. It was sad. You can't help but be disgusted by all of the things you lost," he says of the destruction.

But it also evoked some much-needed creativity. "I wasn't inspired to write much before the fire. I felt like I had hit a wall of complacency," notes Walker. "When that happened, I definitely wasn't complacent anymore. I felt like I had a lot to talk about. I was very emotional, obviously, and it helps with writing songs that are more heartfelt."

Walker tells us he's been able to look on the bright side thanks in part to Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist Flea, who actually owned the home. "It was a rotten deal for both of us. He technically still owned the house, but he hadn't lived there for a year so he didn't have anything in it." Walker had a contract to buy the home, but had not yet done so, and thus had no homeowner's insurance, "so that made it a lot tougher of a loss financially," he notes.

Flea "was a good sport about it. We both walked away from it going, 'Well, that's that. Carry on.' He was more than helpful with the financial trauma. He also helped in seeing the good side. It's sort of a relief to know you don't have all this stuff anymore. It lifts this weight of responsibility off of you."

A DIFFERENT ROLE: Reality TV's queen of mean, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, who earlier this year appeared in "The Celebrity Apprentice," says she's having a ball doing television these days, but there are times she thinks about one of her previous professions. "I used to be a journalist. I miss writing," she admits. "There's something great about capturing the news and bringing it to the people."

With reports by Emily Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



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