Law & Order, Indeed
Here's one for the art-imitating-life file: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will make a return appearance on Law & Order tonight, playing himself in a fictional press conference for the show's 15th season opener. "Law & Order has been a great friend to New York City. It's almost a standalone industry, generating over $700 million to our economy over 15 great years, and I am always happy to pitch in anyway I can," says Hizzoner. The scene was filmed in the lobby of the Surrogates Court at 31 Chambers St., a historical landmark that the city offers free of charge to filmmakers. Screen Actors Guild rules require the show to pay Bloomberg $695 for his appearance, which the billionaire mayor will donate to the New York Police and Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund.
Batman in Gotham
The newest Batman, the Welsh-born actor Christian Bale, visited Gotham this week for the premiere of the indie film The Machinist. It wasn't the quietest of nights in New York City – President Bush was speaking across the street from the theater where the premiere was held, and John Kerry was a few blocks away at another event. But none of the commotion seemed to ruffle Bale, 30, who plays sleep-deprived machinist Trevor Reznik in the new Brad Anderson thriller. The 6'2" actor lost 63 lbs. for the movie (opening in limited theaters Oct. 22) – but don't ask him how he did it. "The movie is about so much more than the weight loss," he says. "I wouldn't have done that amount of weight loss if I hadn't thought the movie itself was worth seeing. It was kind of a goal that I wanted to achieve and prove to myself I could manage." So, how does this role compare to the upcoming Batman Begins? "World's apart," says Bale. "No similarities at all. As far apart as it's possible to be."
Speaking of Superheroes...
The season premiere of TV's Smallville tonight is going to be a class reunion of sorts for some of the cast members of the Superman movies of the late 1970s and early '80s. Margot Kidder, 55, who played Lois Lane on the big screen, shows up as Bridgette Crosby, emissary to Dr. Swann – played by Christopher Reeve (in a cameo). Both are also reunited with show regular Annette O'Toole (Martha Clark), who costarred in 1983's Superman III. (In the movie, O'Toole played Lana Lang, the girl Clark Kent left behind in his youth. In Smallville, she plays young Clark's mother. Confused yet?) "I'd love to do more episodes," Kidder told us at the recent HatcH Audiovisual Arts Festival in Bozeman, Mont. "I can't think of a more delightful opportunity. Of course, everything depends on how I did and what part Bridgette will play in the story."
More on AOL
How close is actor Robert Patrick with his fellow Ladder 49 stars John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix? Let's just say the friendships are fireproof. "Most of the camaraderie happened going through the physical training with the Baltimore Fire Academy," says Patrick, 45. "We all went through a controlled burn, where they lit buildings on fire and we went in and attacked the flames. We each got that adrenaline rush. We also did something really terrifying called the Maze. In complete darkness, you had to find your way while fully geared up with your respirator tank, mask and helmet. Not one of us failed to complete it. It was the bravest bunch of actors I've ever been around."
By KATY HALL, LIZA HAMM, ETHEL M. JOHNSON and MARISA LAUDADIO