Finally, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez will get stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What took so long? Is there some secret trick to getting these star plaques?--L.B., via the inbox
If by "trick," you mean "popularity" (plenty of it), "money" (as in, five figures of it) and "charitable work" (not to be confused with community service), then, yes, there is a "trick" to get a spot on the Walk of Fame. I hear Lopez already has contacted the Walk through her publicist to express her excitement. But how much did she have to pay for her star? Here's what I can tell you:
No celebrity gets a star on the Walk of Fame without a nomination first. Usually that sponsor is not the star herself, but rather a publicist or studio. In Aniston's case, Universal suggested her for a star. In Lopez's case, her publicist submitted the nomination on behalf of manager Benny Medina. Scarlett Johansson also has been awarded a new star ; Disney, I hear, stood for her.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce curates the Walk of Fame and charges sponsors $30,000 for the celebrity's star. (The Chamber tells me that the money goes toward the installment ceremony and maintenance.)
Sponsors sometimes change between the nomination and the installment ceremony; stars, after all, have five years from the time they're named to schedule a date to pose with their star. So Universal might end up paying the final $30,000, or it may be some future entity who takes over.
That also means that Aniston may get her star next year, or it may be 2016 before we see her posing on Hollywood Boulevard.
(By the way, Aniston will be honored as a film star, not for her work on Friends. For those of you wondering why, it's because Uni nominated her under the film category, not TV.)
As for charity, the people picked for stars usually have a ton of good deeds behind them before they're even considered. Lopez, for one, has worked with at least two charities, including the Maribel Foundation and the Boys and Girls Clubs, while Aniston has a long list of beneficiaries ranging from GLAAD to St. Jude's Research Hospital to Habitat for Humanity, and that's not even the end of it.
Finally, if you're thinking that the celebrities may resent someone having to pay $30,000 for their star, think again. More celebrities are seeking and getting Hollywood Walk plaques than ever before, the Chamber tells me--about 30 per year. In the world of Hollywood PR, $30,000 actually is considered quite the bargain for the worldwide coverage that will come out of the induction ceremony.