Jack Nicholson: 'I can still cause trouble.'


BEVERLY HILLS — A sign over the doorbell of Jack Nicholson's home asks visitors: Please, don't ring before 10 a.m.

Nicholson is a bit sheepish about the reason.

"It ain't 'cause I'm partying every night, I'll tell you that," he says, padding down the stairs of his split-level ranch house as he tucks a blue Izod polo shirt into his khakis. "It just seems like a good time of day. And, to be honest, I need the sleep. I'm getting into my later years."

Jack Nicholson is not who you think. Sometimes, Nicholson says, he's not who he thinks.

"I don't mind the wild stories about my personal life," says Nicholson, 69, settling into a living room chair with the first of many cigarettes. "Nowadays, they're a good distance from the truth. I'll play along, because it's a good story. Even I believe it sometimes. But I'm slowing down."

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The Curious Case of Pitt and Fincher's Friendship


By Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Brad Pitt is about to crush a dog.

"Hey, that's a living creature," David Fincher calls out to Pitt, who is zipping around the director's cavernous Hollywood office on a Segway, a stand-up, motorized scooter. "Try not to kill the living things in here."

Pitt has peeled into the converted bank building with Lenny, a playful bull terrier that serves as office mascot, chasing the star. Pitt corners Lenny in a dead-end hall. The dog freezes, startled to go from predator to prey.

"I got it, I got it," Pitt says, reversing the scooter a few inches from Lenny's snout and whizzing past Fincher to terrorize human employees. "You worry too much."

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Tom Cruise Takes Stand on 'Samurai'

BURBANK, Calif. — "Welcome," Tom Cruise beckons, his arms spread wide and his smile spread wider. "Welcome to beautiful 19th-century Tokyo."

Of course, Cruise isn't in the 19th century, or Tokyo, or Japan, for that matter. He is standing in the nearly abandoned back lots of Warner Bros. studios, where parts of his new movie, "The Last Samurai," were filmed.

The lot looks nothing like the backdrop for Cruise's first historical epic, which opens nationwide today after a "sneak-peek" run in 550 theaters Saturday. The cardboard shrines and phony village fronts were taken down months ago. The thousands of extras who populate the film have moved on. All Cruise has left from the elaborate sets are snapshots.

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The Coen Brothers Conquer Hollywood

By Larry Armstrong for USA TODAY Coen code of silence: Joel, left, and Ethan Coen’s No Country for OldMen opens Friday. “We figure most ofwhatwe do is going to be marginal,” Ethan says.

This is a true story. The events depicted in this article took place in Los Angeles in 2007. At the request of the participants, the names have not been changed. Out of respect for the readers, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.

You shouldn’t need a disclaimer when writing about directors.

They’re supposed to be the sane ones in Hollywood. The ones who aren’t elusive, enigmatic, unreadable. The ones who give a straight answer to a straight question.

Then there are the Coen brothers, who have yet to see a rug they wouldn’t love to yank from beneath your feet.

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Leo DiCaprio: A Boy No More


Leonardo DiCaprio looks older than you'd think.


words while locking his eyes on you. He looks all of his 30 years, if not more. There's only a trace of the boy who starred seven years ago in the biggest box- office hit of all time.

DiCaprio concedes that he still gets the "aren't you that kid from 'Titanic'?" comment on the streets. But make no mistake: He is a boy no more.

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