By Romeo San Vicente
Tom Hardy is going to hit someone
For most actors, the gay rumors begin the second you get famous enough for people to start mentioning your name in the press. And so it is for Tom Hardy, whose impressive turn in “Inception” has led to U.K. newspaper “The Daily Mail” publishing quotes from the actor that allude to sexual experimentation in his younger days. Now people around Hardy are saying the quotes were taken out of context, so we’ll all just have to wait for the tabloids and the lawyers to iron it out. In the meantime, Hardy has some high-profile projects lined up: “This Means War,” for director McG where he’ll work opposite Reese Witherspoon and “Star Trek”‘s Chris Pine; “Mad Max: Fury Road” with Charlize Theron; and “Warrior,” where he plays the boxer son of Nick Nolte. Thanks to his past work as an insanely violent convict in the insanely homoerotic “Bronson” and as a gay gangster in “RocknRolla,” his male fans might want to take special note of “Warrior”‘s end-of-2010 release date. The rest are due to follow later but will almost certainly feature him wearing more clothes.
Brit hit ‘Skins’ swings American
One of the racier U.K. imports in recent years would have to be the acclaimed TV series “Skins.” Sort of an R-rated “Degrassi,” the show unflinchingly explored the lives of adolescents without holding back on the sex (of both the homo and hetero varieties), drugs or violence. With the original “Skins” becoming a big hit on BBC America, it’s no surprise that an American network – MTV, naturally – plans a remake, with a cast of unknowns. (This could be a lucky break for some young actors – the original “Skins” cast included a pre-“A Single Man” Nicholas Hoult as well as Dev Patel, who would go on to star in the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” and the certain-to-be-Razzie-nominated “The Last Airbender.”) MTV swears its remake, set in Baltimore, will maintain the show’s authenticity, but “Skins” fans can judge for themselves when the new version premieres next year. And who are we kidding? It’s American TV; expect a minimum of 50 perfect less naked parts and swears, easy.
Lee Daniels gets his own ‘Butler’
Hot off his Oscar nomination for “Precious,” Lee Daniels looks to be setting his sights on the White House for his next movie. “The Butler” tells the true story of Eugene Allen, who worked in the household staff for the presidential mansion for 34 years and watched eight presidents grapple with segregation and the country’s burgeoning civil rights movement. (Allen, long retired by then, was invited as a special guest to President Obama’s inauguration.) Working from a script by Danny Strong (the one-time “Buffy” and “Gilmore Girls” actor scored an Emmy nomination for his screenplay of HBO’s “Recount”), Daniels hopes to score Denzel Washington to play the lead role. “The Butler”‘s production launch hinges on whether Daniels can get the funding for his other historical drama, “Selma.” But if that one doesn’t come together quickly, “The Butler” could go before the cameras before the end of the year. Hollywood: it’s complicated.
CBS randomly inserting gay characters into shows. Yay?
After the second year in a row where GLAAD delivered a failing report card to CBS for its lack of diverse programming – yes, surprise, Romeo didn’t know GLAAD did that sort of thing, either – the network has responded by queering some new and old shows. Returning half-hour series “Rules of Engagement” will be introducing a new gay character, as will “The Good Wife,” but the coolest sounding homo-inclusiveness will arrive this fall in the William Shatner-starring, Twitter-account-birthed sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says,” where it can be safely presumed that Shatner will make inappropriate comments about the person’s sexuality. This flurry of queer activity comes on the heels of the announcement of CBS’s own “The View”-like morning show (reportedly now called “The Talk” ) featuring lesbian mom Sara Gilbert. In other words, CBS is almost as gay as Bravo now and will probably clinch its championship title sometime during November sweeps when Katie Couric announces she’s always had a little crush on Angelina Jolie.