A Whale of a Time: Looking to create a unique splash for its save-the-whales drama Big Miracle, starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski and due out Feb. 3, Universal chartered a whale-watching boat off the coast of Long Beach for a Jan. 21 press junket. But the life aquatic didn't turn out as planned. Rough seas followed a rainy morning, wreaking havoc on the bellies of journalists who had devoured the lavish brunch. Projectile vomiting ensued. There was crying. Some of the afflicted begged to be taken back to shore. The studio declined comment. Swell time, indeed.
Meryl Streep: Good Loser
Most people would not put the name "Meryl Streep" in the same sentence as the word "loser." But that doesn't mean the multiple-Oscar-winning diva can't apply it to herself. At The Weinstein Co.'s SAG afterparty at the Chateau Marmont, Guy Pearce and Jesse Tyler Ferguson gushed over her; and she was the most popular guest to snap cell phone photos with -- even in a room that included big winner Jean Dujardin. But it was Streep (who lost lead actress to Viola Davis) who initiated a toast with fellow nominees Michelle Williams, Glenn Close and Berenice Bejo, with the four announcing in unison, "We're such LOSERS!"
Johnny Depp: Lone Star
Hi-yo, Silver -- but not right away. The revived Lone Ranger movie will not gallop into principal photography Feb. 12 as planned, after being pushed back from a fall 2011 shoot when its budget got shaved by $40 million. Now it's getting held a bit more. A source on the film says star Johnny Depp, who's playing Tonto, approached Gore Verbinski -- his director on three Pirates films and Rango -- and asked for a reprieve of a week or two, so he can deal with his "personal life." We assume he was referring to his deep divide with paramour Vanessa Paradis. Verbinski's reply? That it would cost $4 million -- but he'd do it for Depp. A spokesperson for Disney confirms the date push but not the reason for it, nor the expense.
Christopher Plummer vs. Uggie
Christopher Plummer's vendetta against Uggie, The Artist's popular Jack Russell terrier, is already renowned: At Newsweek's Oscar roundtable, the Beginners star would not pose with what he considers the competition to Cosmo, his Jack Russell co-star in Beginners -- who he believes is the better dog. It appears the actor wasn't kidding. He was asked about the flap during the Santa Barbara Film Festival's Plummer tribute Jan. 28. He replied, in all seriousness: "I think our dear little Cosmo was much warmer than Uggie. That was a circus dog; he was so glib. Cosmo is real."
From Fashion to Film
Teenage style blogger Tavi Gevinson has conquered the world of New York fashion -- she even gets front-row seats to shows. But now she's crossing over to singer. The 15-year-old does a cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" (a song a quarter-century older than she) for Cadaver, an animated short from writer-producer Jonah D. Ansell -- featuring the voices of Christopher Lloyd, Kathy Bates and Gevinson -- that showed at the Santa Barbara film fest. In it, a cadaver comes back to life. Word is, Gevinson will perform at a special concert during the upcoming Fall 2012 fashion presentations in New York.