Pop Culture

Ellen, Simon ‘have locked horns’ on ‘Idol’

When you tune in Tuesday night to watch Ellen DeGeneres’ first turn at the “American Idol” judges’ table, it’s likely you’ll see a sympathetic DeGeneres where the contestants are concerned, and an irritated DeGeneres where Cowell is concerned.

Many expect DeGeneres to slip on Paula Abdul’s rose-colored glasses, but what’s behind the beef with Cowell? For starters, the talk-show host’s first day at “Idol” happened, unfortunately, to be the same day Cowell went to the Fox TCA press conference to announce he was quitting the show. This led to Cowell being late for his “Idol” taping, which led to DeGeneres being annoyed with him before he even walked into the room, according a source close to Fox.

What made it worse was that Cowell, too, was “in a horrible mood,” said the source. (Apparently, quitting a job that pays you many millions a year for another job that will pay you even more begets a case of the grumps. Who knew?) So Cowell had little patience for DeGeneres’ impatience, but that’s not all: Because of his mood, the contestants, probably unbeknownst to them, were skating on the thinnest of ice. When they made a misstep, Cowell was ready to step all over their dreams, at which point DeGeneres felt the need to take Cowell to task for breaking the hearts of hopefuls.

“Don’t even ask,” was the response from one Fox exec when asked how things are now, a few weeks past DeGeneres’ rough first day at the office. “The two of them have locked horns.”

Brad Pitt is poorest among Hollywood Top 40Vanity Fair’s March issue features the top 40 moneymakers in Hollywood. Coming in at No. 1: “Transformers” director Michael Bay, who made an estimated $125 million in 2009; and in last place was Brad Pitt, who made an estimated $13.5 million in ’09.

Vanity Fair came up with its top 40 list by considering mostly “creative figures” — producers, directors, and actors in film — and then researched their deal terms and box office and DVD earnings to come up with their estimated earnings.

Among the 40 people on the list, only two were minorities — Tyler Perry (No. 11) and Denzel Washington (13). Nine are women, and Angelina Jolie (No. 32) edged out Jennifer Aniston (No. 33) by just $1 million. All three “Harry Potter” kids made the rankings as well.

A lighter Anthony Hopkins is a ‘shallow actor’
There’s a little less of Sir Anthony Hopkins to love these days — the actor dropped 80 pounds over 10 months. The actor tells Men’s Journal that, though he likes food, he got “tired of being heavy.”

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“I went on a really good regime of eating healthy and exercising for an hour a day,” said Hopkins. “I’m not a nutty, macrobiotic kind of guy, but I enjoy being alive.”

Hopkins, who is arguably one of the greatest actors of his generation, also shared his outlook on acting with Men’s Journal, and his attitude is refreshing. When asked “what movie should every man see,” Hopkins had no suggestions. He explained, “I like good movies, but some people take it all very seriously. They get consumed and have lectures and talk about the arc of the part and the metaphor. I don’t know what they’re talking about. … Just learn your lines, show up and do it. I’m probably a very shallow actor.”

Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on msnbc.com. Follow Scoop on Twitter @courtneyatmsnbc

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