Rambling Reporter

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Culpepper's X-Citement: The X Factor judge L.A. Reid tells THR that Screen Gems head Clint Culpepper called him Nov. 22 to inquire about Brian "Astro" Bradley, the show's 15-year-old contestant who was eliminated Dec. 1. "He says, 'I don't even watch TV, but somebody brought me a clip of this kid,' " explains Reid. "Clint is the guy who put Christina Aguilera in Burlesque -- he looks around the music world to find people who can travel into the film world, and he picked Astro. I thought that was amazing." In October, Culpepper tapped Chris Brown to play the lead in Planet B-Boy. So what does Bradley think of Culpepper's interest? "I've never acted in anything, but it's definitely something I'd like to pursue," he says. Culpepper did not get back to THR by press time.

War Horse Hits CSI

Even big movie stars these days are dying to cross over to TV. Why have just one arena anymore? That's why the equine star of War Horse -- who also boasts a dual role in the upcoming Snow White project Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts -- is about to do an episode of CSI. And he's only 11. Finder, the chestnut-colored stallion whose film credits also include Seabiscuit, The Legend of Zorro and Cowboys & Aliens, is about to make the jump to network TV. And like so many other committed thespians, he has allowed his appearance to be altered for the role. "He's going black," says trainer-owner Bobby Lovgren of Finder's new hue. "It's a time-consuming process requiring 30 to 40 bottles of Bigen, the organic Japanese hair dye." Well, at least he doesn't have to lose weight.

Not-So-Nutty Professor

Jerry Lewis, 85, will stroll the carpet for the premiere of his Encore Original doc Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis on Dec. 7, to be joined by fans Bill Maher, Richard Lewis, Dane Cook and other comics. But aside from being the first American auteur in talkies, Lewis was first in something else: He invented Video Assist for playback while shooting The Bellboy in 1960. Says doc director Gregg Barson: "Jerry asked himself, in the third person, 'How am I going to direct Jerry?' He didn't want to just trust the editor or the camera operator. Somehow, Jerry met the head of Sony, flew to Japan, told him his dilemma, and they drew up plans for a camera in which he could see himself while acting. Steven Spielberg says in my film, 'It's the Video Assist that finally put the director fully in charge of the film.' " Does Lewis own the patent? "He jokes about how it's supported his whole family," laughs Barson. "But he never tells."

Power Lunch

Hatfield's is becoming quite the Hollywood haven, with Jason Segel celebrating The Muppets with executive vp production Kristin Burr and other Disney execs, Alan Ball in for a business meeting and director Phillip Noyce and screenwriter Robert Kamen catching up over wine. On another day, Shonda Rhimes held court with a group of friends. … At the Tower Bar, CAA's Hylda Queally with two companions at a table next to Jeffrey Katzenberg. Earlier that week, Bryan Lourd and Mitch Glazer with Glazer's wife, Kelly Lynch; Jeffrey Dean Morgan; and others involved in Glazer's new Starz drama Magic City. Also in on different occasions: Mickey Rourke, Jennifer Aniston and Tom Ford. … 3 Arts' Michael Rotenberg dropped into Bouchon one day, George Lopez on another. … Emmanuelle Chriqui, Heather Locklear, Claire Danes, Rashida Jones and Amber Heard each visited Caulfield's brasserie at the Thompson Beverly Hills hotel. … Comme Ca has seen Amy Adams and Megan Mullally, as well as American Horror Story's Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson in together. … Director Gary Ross noshing on fish and chips at Public Kitchen & Bar. … Separately, Ron Meyer and Hyde Park Entertainment's Ashok Amritraj at the Polo Lounge.

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