Costar Kevin Chapman, who also attended the event (as did Joaquin Phoenix), said the pre-film training changed his life. "There were so many fears we all had that we were able to overcome," he said. "I have an extreme fear of heights. I was at the (Baltimore Fire Academy) for four days and they had me repelling backward off of a seven-story tower."
Art Imitates Life
Does Kevin Dillon's character on HBO's Entourage seem real to you? There may be a reason for that. "I'm playing a guy whose name is Johnny Drama and there's an actual Johnny Drama out there by that name who is good friends with (executive producer) Mark (Wahlberg)," Dillon tells us. "I have met him. He's a great guy, really great guy. The writers don't know the guy so they're not writing for him, but I'm picking up a lot from him. He's very, very funny. He's a trainer – it's the guy who trained Mark (in) boxing."
Girls everywhere look up to Olympic soccer gold medalist Brandi Chastain – but what about her? Any celebs she would like to meet? Jennifer Aniston, the 5' 7" forward told us at a recent Capitol Hill reception where she and teammate Julie Foudy were honored by the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues. "She looks like the kind of girl I could just hang out with," said Chastain of Aniston. "She looks down to earth, and I think she's got a great sense of style."
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Former Vice President Al Gore was among the crowd of mostly Democrats at daughter Kristin Gore's recent book signing event in Bel Air. The former veep and wife Tipper shook hands with the gathered group, who picked up a copy of Kristin's first novel, Sammy's Hill (currently No. 16 on the New York Times best-seller list). "She's always been funny and she's always been a writer," said the elder Gore about his daughter, a Harvard grad who once wrote for Saturday Night Live. "She gets it from her mother." But Kristin disagreed. "I think he's very funny, too," she said of her father. "I think I got a combination of my mother and father's humor. Or at least, I hope I did."
By MELODY SIMMONS, ANNE DRISCOLL, KEN BROWN and MAUREEN HARRINGTON