Hit & Run: I'm with beautiful
Tuesday 07 October 2008
Ange, we have to hand it to you. You are extraordinary. Less than three months after giving birth to twins, the mother now to six children, you look jaw-droppingly beautiful, and no amount of silly tattoos – the map co-ordinates of the new babies' birthplace, on show this weekend when you and Brad made your first public appearance – take away from your perfection. All those rumours about post-natal depression and strains on your relationship seem so unlikely, now that we see you more radiant than ever, with your swishy hair and sparkling complexion. Oh, hang on. Hold still. You've got something on your arm. Ew. Something a bit brown and funny-looking. Brad Pitt.
At 44, the baby-faced actor should be entering the phase of sex symbolhood that George Clooney has been occupying for all his career: the silver fox. Crow's feet, a sprinkle of grey at the temples, a slightly more sophisticated choice of clothing – all these attributes of greater age should be starting to merge together into one delicious, knee-quaking package, making the roles of his salad days appear limp lettuce by contrast.
Though Pitt remains a successful movie actor, there's a creeping sense that his days as a pin-up are behind him, despite the widely held assumption that Brangelina is a couple of equally apportioned beauteousness. He first became a "hunk" 17 years ago, wearing no shirt and a cowboy hat in Thelma and Louise, and could still make 'em swoon as a bad boy in Fight Club in 1999. But sometime circa the Ocean's franchise, the romantic-lead parts became ill-fitting, just as the suits he adopted for the red carpet post-Jen always made him look more maitre 'd than matinee idol. In the Coen brothers' new farce Burn After Reading, Pitt plays Chad Feldheimer, a gym bunny with a bleached fringe and tight T-shirts, a role probably better played by an actor in his 30s. However well he acts the part, it won't dispel the impression of an ageing beauty who, despite having twinkling blue eyes, requisite sun tan and a square jaw, for some reason can't quite make the transition to Sexy Older Man. Don't feel bad, Brad, the same thing happened to Keanu Reeves; it's already happening to Leonardo DiCaprio and he's only 33.
In Pitt's case, being blond probably doesn't help – the sprinkling of grey in his pale goatee makes him look a bit washed out, rather than a suave man-with-a-past. Maybe he should stop tanning so much, or halt the over-styled haircuts and facial hair that scream of a man who liked his appearance best a decade ago.
Of course, if he really cared about his sex appeal (and one should never underestimate just how much good-looking actors really do care about that), he'd quit standing next to Angelina, who at 11 years his junior is basking in the greatest years of her considerable physical attributes, throwing his diminished beauty into relief. Seriously, it must be love. Susie Rushton
Bye-bye, jailbird. Hello, prime-time princess
Tina Fey's single-handed demolition of Sarah Palin may be tilting the US election in Obama's favour, but she isn't the only feisty brunette making waves on Saturday Night Live.
At the weekend, Anne Hathaway guest-hosted the hit TV show, and managed to wow the studio audience with a hilarious extended monologue about her experiences with a dodgy ex.
"It's been a terrible summer," she began. "I broke up with my boyfriend, and two weeks later he was sent to prison for fraud. I mean, we've all been there, right ladies?"
She continued: "I just found this amazing new guy. We met on the internet. It's incredible... I mean, how often does a Nigerian prince just send you an email?" The punch lines kept coming.
It's quite a turnaround. Two months ago, Hathaway's career was in the doldrums. Her long-term beau Raffaello Follieri had been arrested; her film Get Smart was underperforming at the box office; and photos had emerged of her wearing a bikini on a yacht with John McCain.
But her star is rising again. Rachel Getting Married has come out to commendable reviews. A series of frank, humorous interviews have also put her elfin face on to the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair and Time. More importantly, Hathaway has shown that even Hollywood stars can be humble enough to poke fun at their own misfortune. Which goes to show that, as the saying goes, laughter really is the best medicine. Guy Adams
Healthy, tasty (and rancid)
It's the health-food sensation that's sweeping Asia. After the tainted infant formula scandal in China, it's out with cow's and in with Tibetan yak's milk. The shaggy Himalayan beast's produce is usually a healthy option – yak cheese is better for your heart; serum from the milk can help cure mental illness; and coagulated yak's milk has been used as hand cream. But if the trend ever arrives in the UK, be warned. I've tried yak's milk in the Tibetan part of Sichuan province, which wasn't too remarkable. But it's common in Tibet to use rancid yak's milk butter in tea – a taste best described as "challenging". Clifford Coonan
When getting the boot really hurts
The creative director of fashion house Valentino, Alessandra Facchinetti, was unfortunate late last week to learn from press reports that she had lost her job due to a "misaligned vision with the company". But she is not the first person to have suffered such an ignominious exit. In 2004, Piers Morgan was frogmarched so swiftly from the 'Daily Mirror' offices that he had to phone an ally to bring him his jacket. Worse, employees of Amulet Group in Manchester were told they had been fired, in 2003, by text message. It read: "You are being made redundant with immediate effect." Rob Sharp
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