Tag Archives: Courtney Love

Everyday life in Celebrity Central.

Oh boy, did we strike gold yesterday or what?

Each day a fair number of people stop by to see what the TV Swami is up to, which is nice. But yesterday, thanks to a clever combination of the tag word ‘spanking’ and the names Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson, which are like catnip to celebrity-snoopers, apparently, traffic skyrocketed in previously unimagined ways, and was still heading into the stratosphere when I went to bed.

Why is this? Why are we, the general public, even the remotest bit fascinated with a guy in a yellow Mercedes putting the roof of his car down? Truth is: we’re not. At least, not generally. But fame is a magnifying glass and, as boring as it would be if you or I did it, Lord Darth Vader attempting the exact-same thing makes it seem a thousand times more interesting.

Given that I live in a nice, leafy, high-end part of Los Angeles, it’ll come as no surprise to you that our area tends to be Celebrity Central. I often mention it on my BBC broadcast, much to the annoyance of half the audience. We see them all the time.

For instance, Rachel Bilson’s house used to be owned by Noah Wylie, the ER guy. David Hyde-Pierce from Frasier still has the house on the hill. Danny Bonaduce was a neighbor too, until his divorce. Now he’s gone and the stark prison-camp-like house is sold.

Meanwhile, Courtney Love is holed up along the street. Our neighbors claim she came trick or treating a couple of Halloweens ago (then again, they also swear Robert Downey Jnr arrived at their door one night asking for candy, then danced away up the street when he got some – so I’m beginning to think they’re nuts, quite honestly, and not to be trusted!)

Probably our most famous celebrity residents right now, though, are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. According to several high-level sources (local gossips who can’t keep their mouths shut), they bought the house next door-but-one from David Hyde Pierce. It’s just a tiny fragment of their worldwide network of homes, so of course, if they do actually live there, we never see them, though I must say their Christmas lights last year were a feast of Hollywood self-indulgence. About twenty trees in the grounds and on the house itself, all lit up and visible from miles around. Stunning.  

Anyway, speaking of spotting people, which is the point of this post….

Yesterday, to celebrate the fevered Times-Square-like traffic of the blog, I had lunch at a local cafe. While I’m eating, in walks a black guy swathed in bandages. Poor thing, he’s obviously been in a horrendous accident, because his head’s wrapped up and he’s wearing a big foam neck brace.  Together with another guy, he sits at the table opposite, then – and here’s where things got strange – began chatting away as if he wasn’t hurt. Moving his head. Moving his neck. Getting up, sitting down. Extremely animated. Which was very suspicious, and led me to believe that he wasn’t injured at all and the bandages and neck brace were an affectation to get attention.

But then I realized – there’s a TV studio complex just behind the cafe. It’s where they film General Hospital and also Gray’s Anatomy. So obviously he was an extra on one of those shows. When he left the set, the continuity person must have told him, “Hey – you. You in the neck brace. Don’t take it off.”  He had to keep the pretend dressings on his pretend wounds, or they wouldn’t be able to match them later in the next shot. 

Or, just as likely, this being Hollywood, he kept them on to let people know he’s on TV. It’s so much more discreet than standing up and shouting,  “Everyone, look who’s just walked in – it’s ME. A total non-celebrity. That guy you wouldn’t notice otherwise, from that show you probably don’t watch anyway.”

Of course now I AM going to have to watch the wretched show to see if I can spot him. Hospital set. Guy in background on stretcher with head bandaged. Should be easy enough.  

TV Swami – he say YES to living a few doors down from Brad and Angelina.

www.cashpeters.com

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Rachel Bilson causes BIG problems

As if I don’t have enough to worry about.

We have a celebrity problem in our neighborhood. It’s an infestation really. Too many stars living in a small area. At the top end, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie own the big house on the hill. Then there are the also-rans: the guy who played Jon-Boy in The Waltons lives close by, as do Courtney Love, David Hyde-Pierce, and Michael Feinstein. Alright, not stars per se, but certainly performers whose faces you recognize, even though you might not be able to put a name to them if you met them in Target.

Speaking of which, I came across Angelica Huston pushing a cart around Wholefoods a few weeks ago. I guess she saw me staring at her like Freddy Krueger, because she panicked and veered off up another aisle.

Our current menace in the street is Rachel Bilson. Personally, I couldn’t pick her out from a crowd of one, but Howard Stern nominated her as the “hottest chick” of 2008, and I see her drifting around her driveway sometimes with big celebrity sunglasses on, so at the very least she must think she’s a star. All I know is, she featured alongside Hayden Christensen (the guy who played Darth Vader) in the film Jumpers, which hit number 1 at the US box office last year during a very dull week for movies.

As is normal in Hollywood, the two of them then started dating, and now they’re engaged. Well, the paparazzi are very excited about that. I know this, because the entire street is filled with huge black SUVs, their drivers slumped low behind the wheel, all eyes fixed on Bilson’s driveway.  

Normally, not much goes on in that driveway. If this comes up in court, I will happily testify to that. Now and then, Christensen’s yellow Mercedes will be parked there, and I’ve seen the two of them sitting in it at the curbside, chatting. But usually they have the good sense to do whatever they’re doing that’s so newsworthy – talking! – elsewhere, and the media leave them alone. When she’s home, though, photogs love to be on Bilson Watch. There can be up to ten SUVs parked in the street at any one time, engines running, drivers slumped, watching. waiting for this unremarkable waif to go shopping or collect her mail or open a window or, for God’s sake, please, do something, anything, that US Weekly might buy a photo of.   

Anyway, yesterday I came home to find that something new had happened. A limo had reversed into Bilson’s driveway! (Could this be more exciting?)  The middle-aged chauffeur was standing there staring along the road, unable to believe, like the rest of us, that from one end to the other was nothing but parked SUVs filled with paparazzi waiting to take a photo of her climbing into the limo and driving away. Perhaps the more delinquent among them, those with lots of time on their hands, might then follow her to wherever she was going and pitch camp there instead. It’s such a waste of energy. I mean, who is this woman really? Not a single one of my friends has even heard of her!

Last year, our neighbors and I would call the police regularly to have these vehicles moved on. Initially, we didn’t know they were paps, we thought they were burglars casing the house. Seriously. But after a couple of visits, the cops gave up and stopped coming. You get rid of one pap and three more arrive.

In truth, then, our infestation is not of celebrities, but of photographers. To begin with it was a novelty and quite funny. One time, I walked out of our front door and watched as a black car reversed at high speed from Bilson’s house and screeched to a stop right in front of me, ready to take a picture. In case I was famous, you understand. Then, realizing US Weekly would pay nothing for a snap of me, the desperate driver discarded me like a used tissue, shut his window, and returned to sitting outside Bilson’s house.  

Personally, I wish she’d move. I’m not angry really about the inconvenience this is causing as much as I’m probably jealous that some fly-by-night “hot chick” the majority of people couldn’t put a name to and will have forgotten in two years is getting all the attention and I’m not.

Oh dear, now I feel unimportant.

But hey, wait! Last night, I learned that a guy who worked on my TV show got high on drugs at some point early in the production and committed four vicious rapes in one night. He’s currently in jail for thirty years. Now, I know that’s somebody else and not me, but I chatted with the guy, we hung out a bit at the office before he turned to crime. Doesn’t that make me even a little bit fascinating and worthy of a photo?

Anyone?

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