Costner gives passionate defense

New York -- Kevin Costner said people should stop targeting Mel Gibson for "The Passion of the Christ."

"We shouldn't be attacking a filmmaker like Mel Gibson who, number one, is an honorable filmmaker ... and probably questioned himself more than anybody even knows. So, like, leave him alone," the 49-year-old director-actor told "Access Hollywood."

The film, starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, is a bloody depiction of Christ's final hours and crucifixion.

Some Christian and Jewish leaders have complained the movie could fuel anti-Semitism by implying Jews were collectively responsible for Christ's death.

Frampton comes alive at library

Cincinnati -- British-born rocker Peter Frampton knows how to pack the crowds -- even at the local library.

Frampton, 53, drew dozens of children and their parents, many of whom were Frampton fans, to a children's book reading where he read Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree."

Frampton, who moved to suburban Cincinnati in 2000 with his family, has made time for several local benefit concerts and charity events.

Frampton still tours internationally more than 30 years after he helped form the group Humble Pie.

Fan Carol Meier recalled going to a Frampton concert in the 1970s.

"I never thought, 30 years later, I'd see him reading children's books at the local library," she said.

Director takes on 'Sin City' series

New York -- Robert Rodriguez will direct a film based on the "Sin City" series of comic books and graphic novels by Frank Miller, Dimension Films announced.

"We are tremendously excited to have such a visionary filmmaker as Robert Rodriguez bring his unique perspective to 'Sin City,'" Dimension chairman Bob Weinstein said.

The movie will incorporate story lines from three of Miller's novels including "Sin City," which launched the series, "That Yellow Bastard" and "The Big Fat Kill."

Rodriguez directed the "Spy Kids" films and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."

Boxing's 'purity' appeals to Ryan

Los Angeles -- Meg Ryan knew nothing about prizefighting before playing boxing manager Jackie Kallen in her new film, "Against the Ropes."

Now, the 42-year-old actress says she's in love with the sport.

"There's something so pure ... so unadulterated about what happens in the ring. There's no helmets, there's no masks. There's no ball, there's no goal way over there. There's just these two guys honestly in there in the most fierce kind of competition," Ryan told reporters recently."And I couldn't help but appreciate that kind of purity."

In "Against the Ropes," based on a true story, Kallen transforms street thug Luther Shaw, played by Omar Epps, into a fighter.

"I found a lot of parallels between the boxing world and Hollywood. And how they treat women," Ryan said. "How they're very happy to underestimate you."


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