Sunday, January 4, 2004

Theron relishes weighty role

New York -- Charlize Theron, who modeled before becoming an actress, was a model of how not to eat in preparation for the movie "Monster."

Theron gained 30 pounds to play Aileen Wuornos, the Florida prostitute-turned-serial-killer who was executed in October 2002. The performance has earned her rave reviews and a Golden Globe nomination for best actress in a drama.

"My diet consisted mainly of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and anything that was swimming in cream or had cheese on top of it," the 28-year-old told Jane magazine for its January/February issue.

Theron said she didn't accept the part at first because she thought the physical transformation would be impossible -- but then she had a revelation.

"I feared the career I was having was gonna continue that way for the next 10 years and I would lose my mind," said the actress, whose films include "The Legend of Bagger Vance" and "Sweet November."

Brockovich firm at it again

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Erin Brockovich's law firm has filed a third lawsuit against Beverly Hills, its school district and several oil and gas companies, claiming residents developed cancer from toxic fumes emitted by a campus oil derrick.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Superior Court, alleges that benzene and other substances from an oil derrick on the Beverly Hills High School campus led to high rates of cancer among former students and others.

City officials have disputed the allegations, saying the cancers listed by Brockovich, who grew up in Lawrence, Kan., and Masry are not caused by petroleum or petroleum products.

Fast horses have Keith racing

New Orleans -- Country music star Toby Keith said he would be happy to race horses for a living if he ever retired from music.

"I could retire and race horses and be happy," Keith said while in town to watch his home-state team, the University of Oklahoma, face Louisiana State University in today's Sugar Bowl.

Keith, who owns a racehorse, said he visited the Fair Grounds horse race track in New Orleans.

"I wish more people were exposed to (horse racing). It's the greatest. It gives everyone a chance to own a sports franchise and not have to pay $1 billion for it," Keith said.

Jolie gives cows to Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia -- "Tomb Raider" star Angelina Jolie is funding a program to donate cows to poverty-stricken Cambodian farmers.

Three hundred families will get one cow each to help them earn money, in an effort to dissuade them from logging and hunting wildlife for a living.

Jolie is giving $1.5 million to the organization for its environmental protection efforts in remote parts of northwestern Cambodia.

The 28-year-old actress fell in love with the country when scenes for "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" were shot at the famed Angkor temple complex.