Let's Get This Party Started: Top Stories for 06/24/06

6/24/2006 10:20 AM PDT
By the time you read this, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban will just about be on their way down the aisle at the Cardinal Cerretti Memorial Chapel in Manly, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney.

Everything – one hopes – is all set for the celebrity wedding of the year (thus far), including a wall of roses that cost a reported $100,000, a fifth of the amount spent on roses in Sydney on Valentine's Day.

Meanwhile, the day before the nuptials, Keith Urban and his family took Nicole's 11-year-old adopted son Conor for a three-hour tour of Sydney Harbor on Kidman's $4 million yacht, while Nicole got herself ready, according to the Sydney Daily Telegraph. Keith and Conor appeared to hit it off, according to the paper, "high-fiving" each other after Conor took a spin on the boat's tender – that's Oz-speak for a dinghy.

Kidman, who joined the Urbans and her son with daughter Isabella after their tour, had dinner on Friday night with her sister and her friend, the director Baz Luhrmann, at her parents' house in Greenwich.

Night Shyamalan Directs Anger at Mouse House

Director M. Night Shyamalan – never known for holding back his opinions – vents his anger at Disney, where he was once the hottest thing since Minnie Mouse, in a new book detailing the making of the auteur's upcoming "Lady in the Water." According to a preview of "The Man Who Heard Voices," by journalist Michael Bamberger, in today's Page Six, Shyamalan decried the way Disney homogenized its talent to conform to its ideals.

The making of "Lady in the Water," described as a "Splash"-like fantasy about a building super who rescues a sea nymph, was no less than harrowing for Shyamalan, according to Bamberger's account. Disney production president Nina Jacobson apparently didn't see eye-to-eye with Shyamalan on a number of creative issues, from character names to plot points (a film critic gets attacked) to the director's cameo appearance (which he's done in each of his movies).

The experience was so difficult that it left Shyamalan in tears, says the book, and he eventually took the production of "Lady" from Disney to Warner Bros., who will release the movie on July 21 – not coincidentally, the day after the debut of the book.

Orange Alert: Homeland Security Chief Says "24" Isn't Real

Believe it or not, says Michael Chertoff, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Fox show "24" isn't a totally accurate representation of the way his department works.

During a surreal panel at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington involving the Secretary and cast members from the show, Chertoff said that he doesn't have a Counter Terrorist Unit nor a Jack Bauer-like operative to take down terrorists on an hourly basis – and he doesn't get romantically involved with his colleagues. Similarly, Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays the perpetually put-upon tech-whiz Chloe O'Brian on the show, told the audience that she "got into acting to avoid politics and so I can remain in a fantasy world," not to be a part of the real one. (Can't you just picture the cranky look on her face?)

Gregory Itzin, who played the duplicitous President Charles Logan, added that a couple people have actually hounded him about being on a show that regularly depicts the torture of captured enemies, to which he replies, "It's a show! I've done Shakespeare and have killed people with a sword."

Sting Buying $30 Million Manhattan Pad

He probably wouldn't have been able to buy this on a schoolteacher's salary: Police frontman Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, have reportedly gone into contract on a penthouse at the 15 Central Park West condominium complex, just steps away from the Time Warner Center and directly on Central Park.

The apartment, according to the report in Braden Keil's New York Post column, says that the musician-actor has chosen a 5,500-square foot, five-bed duplex that features 12-foot ceilings, terrace, and fireplaces. Keil adds that Sting will be neighbors with Denzel Washington, who's taken a comparatively pauperish $12 million place a few floors below.

Damon, Diddy and Barbara Walters Finally Share Something

Actor Matt Damon, Rapper P. Diddy, Barbara Walters, singer Crystal Gayle, and Erik Estrada will receive that time-honored emblem of stardom next year – a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The honorees for 2007 were announced yesterday, and the list, as always, is a curious menagerie of current, former, and faded talents: Michael Caine, Jamie Foxx, Michele Pfeiffer, Robert Altman, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Kiefer Sutherland, and Lily Tomlin are among the 23 luminaries chosen out of 200 nominees. Which raises the question: who didn't make it fromm the list?