Sprinkled with stardust
After 15 years as "a rank-and-file actor," Octavia Spencer is stepping into Hollywood's gilded spotlight.
The 39-year-old actress was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe for her turn as sassy maid Minny Jackson in "The Help." Her co-stars Viola Davis and Jessica Chastain also earned acting nods from both groups, and the film is up for best picture at the Globes and best ensemble at the SAG Awards.
"The only word I can really use to describe this feeling is overwhelming," she said. "It is overwhelming and wonderful."
Though Spencer said she tried not to "invest emotionally" in Hollywood's awards process because "I just didn't want anything to diminish what we've all been able to accomplish," she was moved to tears by the SAG and Globes recognition.
"No matter what happens, the fact that we've had some stardust rain down on us over the past couple of days, it's just, it's pretty ," she paused, collected herself, "overwhelming."
Actor's son sinks deeper
A judge called the imprisoned son of actor Michael Douglas reckless and irresponsible as he nearly doubled his prison sentence Wednesday from five years to 9 1/2 years for repeated drug offenses.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan cited Cameron Douglas' "history of reckless behavior" as he imposed a new punishment that was more than double what prosecutors were seeking for Douglas' guilty plea to drug charges that arose from his successful efforts to smuggle drugs into prison.
Berman added 4 1/2 years to the five-year term he gave Douglas last year for his guilty plea in connection with his sales of methamphetamine in July 2009 from a high-end Manhattan hotel.
The judge said he had never had a case before in which a defendant "has so recklessly, wantonly, flagrantly and criminally acted in such a destructive and manipulative fashion as Cameron Douglas has."
'Batman' doesn't fly in China
"Batman" star Christian Bale should feel embarrassed for trying to visit a human rights activist while he was in China to promote a movie the country has submitted for an Oscar, a government spokesman said Wednesday.
Bale was physically stopped by government-backed guards from visiting blind activist Chen Guangcheng who lives under house arrest in eastern China last week.
Asked whether the publicity has been embarrassing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said he thought the actor should feel embarrassed, not China.
He said Bale was invited by director Zhang Yimou to attend the opening ceremony of the film "The Flowers of War."
"But he was not invited to create a story or shoot film in a certain village," said Liu. "I think if you want to make up news in China, you will not be welcome here."
Chen documented forced late-term abortions and sterilizations and other abuses by overzealous authorities trying to meet population control goals in his rural community.
-- From News and wire services