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For Affleck, the play's the thing

Plus: Crowe's unusual favor for Quaid; O'Donnell isn't giving up on Broadway
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Will Ben Affleck try theater next?

The “Paycheck” actor — fresh from the fallout from Bennifer and some films that were less than smashes — is considering starring in a play in the U.K., says a source.

“Ben is a dedicated actor, and that’s something that’s been lost in all the recent craziness,” says the source. “Starring in a small, serious play is a way to remind people.”

Several Hollywood actors, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman, have starred in London productions which redirected careers that got off course.

Affleck’s rep confirms but downplays Affleck’s theatrical plans. “He was asked and said, sure, he might want to do something, maybe with Matt [Damon],” says the spokesman. “But it’s nothing specific.”

A most unusual favor

BURBANK, CA - NOVEMBER 6: Actor Russell Crowe appears on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" at the NBC Studios on November 6, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)Kevin Winter / Getty Images North America

Scandal fans may think that Dennis Quaid would want to punch Russell Crowe in the nose. But when the “Cold Creek Manor” star met the Gladiator, he thanked Crowe for running off with his former wife, Meg Ryan.

“I think he was a bit surprised when I thanked him,” Quaid said, according to the London Mirror. “But, looking back over the past two years, I think Russell did Meg and I a big favor. He forced us to face up to something, because we were clinging on to a dead relationship.

Quaid admitted that he was “hurt and humiliated” when his wife of 10 years publicly cavorted with Crowe, but he says that Ryan and he are friends again, and that being cuckolded by Crowe gave him a new perspective on his life. Quaid didn’t say whether that favor-granting Crowe said “you’re welcome” or not.

Notes from all over

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 12: Rosie O'Donnell leaves court after the judge declared a draw in her dispute with her former publisher, Gruner Jahr USA Publishing, over the demise of Rosie magazine November 12, 2003 at the State Supreme Court in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)Mark Mainz / Getty Images North America

Rosie O’Donnell is not giving up on Broadway—and she’s not giving up on ‘80s icons with bad hair, either. The former talk show host’s Boy George-inspired “Taboo” faltered on Broadway, but now she’s looking to bring her memoir, “Find Me,” to the theater, and Cyndi Lauper  that she’s in discussions with O’Donnell about doing the score for the play.  . . .No wonder stars have a yen to do overseas ads. Madonna did a commercial for a Japanese airline a while back and a source familiar with the deal says the singer was paid $10 million for the pitch.  . . . Never mind Ronald Reagan. What about David Hasselhoff’s role in bringing down the Berlin Wall? Apparently, in 1989, the year the wall came down, Hasselhoff sang “Looking for Freedom” to German fans at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The “Baywatch” hunk recently visited a museum dedicated to the toppling of the Cold War relic, and, according to a German mag, he griped that his role in the fall of the wall was completely overlooked. “I find it a bit sad that there is no photo of me hanging on the walls in the Berlin Museum at Checkpoint Charlie,” he told TV Spielfilm. “After my appearance I hacked away at pieces of the wall that had the black, red and yellow colors of the German flag on it. I kept the big piece for myself and gave the smaller pieces to colleagues at ‘Baywatch.’ ”

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