Rambling Reporter

Trae Patton/NBC

Called for a Double Fault: Anna Kournikova might have been a tennis star, but she's no TV heavyweight. Brought in to serve as The Biggest Loser host and trainer for cycle 13 after Jillian Michaels exited the reality series, Kournikova is said to have clashed with staffers, and word is she won't be back for the next edition. Responds Kournikova: "I enjoyed my time on The Biggest Loser ranch. My commitment to bettering lives to health and fitness will continue."

Twilight and Darkness

Summit Entertainment's invite to its holiday party at Hotel Bel-Air on Nov. 3 promised "cast and filmmakers of 50/50, Breaking Dawn, A Better Life," etc. Forget about seeing A-listers Robert Pattinson or Kristen Stewart at the event -- some media types felt duped that Peter Facinelli and Jackson Rathbone were the only significant Twilight castmembers (plus director Bill Condon) to turn up. No Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Seth Rogen from 50/50, either. Summit did let us know that Source Code's Michelle Monaghan, Man on a Ledge's Kyra Sedgwick and A Better Life's Demian Bichir were there.

Wintour at the Bel-Air

Speaking of the newly renovated Hotel Bel-Air, when Anna Wintour checked out Oct. 30 after a weekend visit with daughter Bee Shaffer (who works for Ryan Murphy), staff asked about her stay. Collecting her Louis Vuitton luggage, she replied coolly, "The rooms are smaller than I remembered from last time."

Directors Close-up

Post-screening panels for prestige films are often exercises in hero worship, so it's refreshing when the pantheon shows its human side. Clint Eastwood casually munched on a cookie throughout his talk with Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer and Dustin Lance Black following the LACMA TimesTalk screening of J. Edgar on Nov. 3. We also saw Martin Scorsese get into an oversized seat at L.A. Live's Regal Cinemas 14 on Nov. 5 to discuss his new film Hugo -- and protesting, with a chuckle, "It's not fair!" when his too-high chair didn't allow the 5-foot-3 director's feet to reach the ground.

It's a Bird … It's a Plane … It's the Batcopter

Downtown L.A. residents are typically blase about their neighborhood's constant use as a gritty urban back lot. But director Christopher Nolan's massive Oct. 14 location shoot for The Dark Knight Rises caused quite a stir, not for explosions or stars Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway but for the much-buzzed-about appearance of the new hard-edged Batcopter, which careened through "Gotham City" at low altitude on a jury-rigged system of cables. THR hears that on-set producers were frustrated that so many curious apartment dwellers were craning their heads out windows to get a peek at the flying machine, likely necessitating CGI costs to delete all those looky-loos in postproduction. At one point, the producers asked that people be forced to keep their heads inside, but they were rebuffed.

 

 
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