Acting Up A Song For A Pal

Sun Herald

Sunday June 16, 2002

CHRISTINE SAMS

TWO of Australia's leading actors are set to appear in a music video clip for Jenny Morris's new single Downtime, after a glamorous shoot in Sydney last week.

Hugo Weaving and Bryan Brown agreed to mime the lyrics to Morris's new song, alongside a host of actors including Matt Newton and Peter Fenton.

It helps to have friends in high places, and Morris is a good friend of all the performers.

Weaving found a gap in his schedule for the shoot, in between filming for The Matrix and The Lord Of The Rings sequels, and Bryan Brown happily agreed to a cameo role. Both men performed for free.

``It's very exciting to have stars of this calibre in the clip," Morris said.

Morris was crowned Australia's best female artist at the ARIA awards in the late 1980s but Downtime is her first release in six years mainly due to motherhood.

Morris spends much of the video clip crooning inside a funky nightclub setting, but neither Weaving nor Brown were keen to show off their dancing skills.

Instead, the men spent an afternoon inside the stylish Civic Hotel in Pitt Street, pretending to be nightclub patrons, and miming the words to Morris's new song.

``Jenny and I have kids at the same school, and we starting talking about the video during a school fundraising trivia night," Weaving said.

``She forced a lot of red wine down my throat and put on the hard word."

Weaving, who commands some of the highest rates of any Australian actor after his roles in The Matrix and The Lord Of The Rings, was happy to do a favour for his long-time friend.

But the actor was jokingly concerned about his role in the nightclub scenes: ``I'm playing a pervert sitting on my own in the corner. Why does Bryan Brown always get the girls?"

Morris's new album Hit And Myth is due out in August.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME:Apart from his video clips, Hugo Weaving heads back to New Zealand this week, to shoot scenes for the second film in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. He expects to spend four weeks with director Peter Jackson.

THE INQUISITION

MARY J BLIGE

Mary J Blige's new single NoMore Drama will be aired as the theme song for the 2002 Kids Help Line Radiothon, on the Austereo Today network today. The American superstar explained why she wanted to help Australian kids.

* Mary, you had a troubled childhood yourself is that why you wanted to support the Kids Help Line?

Yeah, I wish they had one for kids when I was growing up.We need to tell kids we love them.

* You had real problems with drink and drugs. What made you change your path?

It didn't happen overnight. We're human beings, we go back to things. But there was nothing but death waiting for me, so I chose life.

* You've collaborated with artists ranging from George Michael to P Diddy, what have you got planned next?

I'd like to do a new album with Puff Daddy [sic]. We want a reunion before we're 50. I'm also interested in getting into film, so I'm getting an acting coach.

* What sort of role are you hoping for?

I'm into action films or even playing a mother. I'll play a clerk, whatever it takes, as long as I'm not a prostitute or a stripper!

WATCH OUT FOR...

Spice Girls creator Simon Fuller is planning a global entertainment television show that would be broadcast simultaneously in countries including Britain, Australia and China. He's tackling time-zone issues to see if the show is viable.

Lunchtime music doesn't get any better. Hot young singer John Mayer has been hailed by critics in the US. He will perform at HMV in Pitt Street, city, at 1.15pm onThursday.

Pop for the poor puppies

THE RSPCA is reportedly planning a series of high-profile rock concerts in the hope of raising more than $1 million for animal protection.

The concerts, which are being planned for Sydney and Melbourne next year, are expected to feature big-name artists including Lenny Kravitz and Jamiroquai.

``They're attempting to woo the likes of Lenny at the moment," said a music insider.

``They want this to be a big, new event for music fans. They're aiming for a line-up of artists which will really blow people away."

If the shows are successful, the RSPCA is hoping the concerts will turn into an annual rock event on Australia's music calendar.

SYDNEY'S former son-in-law Tom Cruise will not be attending the Australian launch of his new film Minority Report, on Wednesday night.

But the film's overly-optimistic PRs are still keeping their fingers crossed in the faint hope Cruise will jump on his private jet and wing his way to Sydney.

``Tom is going to the premiere in New York, but he has his own plane, so who knows?" said one hopeful spokeswoman.

© 2002 Sun Herald

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