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Hollywood-bannerI recently declined a close friend’s invitation to see the remake of “The Great Gatsby”, saying that I’ve always had problems with Leonardo DiCaprio’s believability in a period piece.  “I don’t know – I thought he was really good in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’.”  Yes, dear readers, these are the people in my life.  I patiently pointed out that it was Matt Damon and Jude Law in that film. My friend sniffed…

Hollywood-banner“Without naming names, I certainly think there are a couple of people out there who have not come out in the spirit of protecting their careers and livelihoods.  It’s probably a little bit more difficult going that way.” – Michael Douglas talks about gay actors who remain in the closet.

Hollywood-pic1I recently declined a close friend’s invitation to see the remake of “The Great Gatsby”, saying that I’ve always had problems with Leonardo DiCaprio’s believability in a period piece.  “I don’t know – I thought he was really good in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’.”  Yes, dear readers, these are the people in my life.  I patiently pointed out that it was Matt Damon and Jude Law in that film. My friend sniffed, “Matt Damon, Leo DiCaprio – same thing.”  Sigh.

Matt Damon turned up in a period piece of his own, courtesy of HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra”. In the Liberace biopic, we’re introduced to the character of Scott Thorson in a gay bar. Oozing all the raw masculinity of a young Kristy McNichol, Damon neither looks 17 nor a resident of 1977. Although I’ve often thought he came off as gay in numerous films (including the aforementioned “Ripley”), I didn’t buy it here. That feeling of artifice extended to Michael Douglas, but I found this more acceptable since Liberace often came off as a caricature of himself (personally, I found Victor Garber’s interpretation from the 1988 made-for-TV movie far more satisfying).  I didn’t dislike the film; I was just never fully engrossed. Part of that blame may lie with Steven Soderbergh, who directs with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Another television biopic is heading our way. Lifetime decided to turn the story of Anna Nicole Smith into a film, which will air on June 29th. This one stars Agnes Bruckner, who you’ll recognize from dozens of TV series but never knew her name. This film may not help. But I’m intrigued by the supporting cast, which includes Cary Elwes as Anna’s stepson F. Pierce Marshall, Martin Landau as her hubby J. Howard Marshall, and Virginia Madsen as her mom Virgie.  As with many of Landau’s films, this could go either way. It could be “Ed Wood” or it could be “BAPS”!

You may know sexy swimmer Michael Holtz as a champion athlete and a former Mr. Gay USA. But he’s also helped raise over $1 million for a variety of community organizations. For his latest challenge, he’s out to conquer television. Holtz is participating in TNT’s new competition series “72 Hours”. He’s in the second episode, entitled “Lost Coast of New Zealand”, which premiers on June 13th. Three teams of three have to follow clues to locate a briefcase filled with $100K in under 72 hours. So it’s kinda like a low budget “Amazing Race” on a tighter schedule. Good luck, Mikey!

June may be Gay Pride Month, but Long Beach got the jump on the Pride celebrations near the end of May, and I had a great time hosting their festivities for the first time. Our climactic line-up included a host of former contestants from “American Idol” and “The Voice”. Since I’ve worked with many of these singers before, it was a fun reunion for everyone. Frenchie Davis not only showcased her magnificent instrument with high-energy dance songs (like her hit “Love’s Got a Hold On Me”) but also by opting for guitar accompaniment on a stripped-down version of Katy Perry’s “Firework”. Likewise, Kimberly Caldwell showed both sides of her range – from rocker chick to pop princess. Paris Bennett is a third-generation diva – her grandmother is Ann Nesby (from “Sounds of Blackness”) and her mom is Jamecia Bennett.  For Long Beach, mom joined Paris for “It’s Raining Men”.

Although I’ve met hunky David Hernandez before, this was our first time working together. His pop sound is as appealing and smooth as his good looks. Jamar Rogers strikes me as a genuine and unique artist, who wants to not only entertain but also help others by sharing his own story of crystal-meth addiction and his HIV-positive status. Then there was Beverly McClellan, who blew me away with both her spirit and her voice. She’s the real deal and was a joy to work with. At the end of the show, I couldn’t help but note that it was great for Long Beach Pride to feature some truly beautiful women who are not only talented but also proud to say they love the ladies. Bravo!

Since we haven’t heard anything about Nick Gruber in a while, I thought I’d do some poking. I discovered that the former adult film pup broke up with his latest paramour, John Luciano. Since then, he’s been back in touch with his ex, Calvin Klein. Sources say CK recently flew Nick to Mexico for a private vacation at a resort. Does this sound familiar? Liberace met Thorson when he was under age, showered him with gifts, paid for plastic surgery, soured on him after drugs became involved, leading Scott to write a tell-all. Could be a case of history repeating.

Could it be that a recently married man has not left his same-sex escapades behind?  So say sources close to the bad boy who tell me that his restlessness resulted in leaving his spouse to fend for herself at a charity event while he spent the night in the company of not one but two of his ex-roommates. While this might have simply been a pleasant guys night out, people who saw the trio felt they were more than a bit chummy. Well, boys will be boys.

When we’ve got an item that’s not only blind but dumb, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  For all your gossip needs, be sure to check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that’s always looking to the stars. If you’ve got a question, feel free to send a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before HBO announces their next flick, “Behind The Briefs: The Calvin Klein Story”.  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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