Mirror Magazine
2nd September 2001
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A little girl scarred

The factory door
The little smile
The odd couple
The even numbers at the school with no chairs
The angry stomach
The hungry heart
The tired skin
That smells of flowers in the backyard stepped on & crushed by busy men
The darkness in the lamp she uses to read
The brightness in the lamps at the factory
The slaving wages and the endless stitching
The swollen fingers
The tired bones
The young disjointed human bones in the graveyard behind the house
The New Year firecrackers
The firecrackers that blast all throughout the New Year
The firecracker that took a piece of skin off her little dog
The firecracker that took the whole piece of life of her big brother
At least that's how they told her
The brother who didn't listen to her mother
So she won't play with firecrackers anymore...

She's a little too young to understand
That she is playing with them everyday
Because of men who like firecrackers
Because of men who like colours of red
Because of men who drink the red wine
Because of men who buy red silk for their wives
Because of men who go on red carpets
Because of men who love to see the red draining out of brothers of little sisters like her
Oh! And she is a little too young to understand
She liked the New Year so much
She won't play with firecrackers no more
She won't play with firecrackers no more
She has a little brother who she bears on her back...

- Mega Kularatne

Blemishes are kiss of death to beautiful stars

Face facts

For everyday people, acne can be inconvenient, annoying and embarrassing. But for celebrities, the skin condition can be a disaster!

Imagine having a close-up love scene to shoot, or a sold-out concert to perform, and you wake up with a face full of zits! 

Acne affects younger hotties like Britney Spears, 19, Leonardo DiCaprio, 26, Kate Winslet, 25, and Liv Tyler, 24. But it's also a problem for older stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz, both 28.

Adult acne bedevils those in their 30s like Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and former Miss America Vanessa Williams, as well as celebs in their 40s like Madonna and Rene Russo.

Britney deals with the problem by having her blemishes air-brushed from photos and edited from videos.

"She's painfully self-conscious about her acne," reveals a pal. "She gets sullen during bad breakouts."

Hers is caused by hormonal changes during the teen years that cause glands in the face to produce excess oil. She should outgrow her problem. Other stars who are prone to occasional outbreaks have make-up experts on call to cover up their imperfections.

But some celebs have more chronic conditions. Cameron's blemishes come from a form of adult acne called rosacea. Aggravated by the sun and some foods, rosacea causes a flushing or reddening of the face around the nose and cheeks.

Antibiotic creams can control outbreaks. And the earlier you seek help, the better. Left untreated, rosacea can lead to a bulbous nose like the one comic W.C. Fields had.

Fortunately for Cameron, women aren't prone to developing a Fields-like proboscis.

So whether you're 14 or 40, if you wake up with a pimple or two, take heart in knowing you're not alone. At least your face isn't blown up to gigantic proportions on movie screens across the country. 

Hooked on acting

Preparing for her role in Amazon, supermodel Carol Alt's real-life experiences helped her find stable footing for her reel-life role.

On Peter Benchley's Amazon, Carol Alt portrays Karen Oldham, a flight attendant who thinks she's seen it all - until she survives a plane crash, which plunges her into the dangerous depths of the jungle. Preparing for her role in this action adventure drama, the actress' real-life experiences helped her find stable footing for her reel-life role. "In everything I've ever done, I promised myself that if I wasn't willing to give 110%, I'd quit. In the Amazon, just making it to tomorrow requires at least that much intensity, so I can identify with what my character is going through," she notes. "Acting is a challenge and a risk for me every single day. Like survival in the wilderness, without complete focus, you're dead." 

And when the script calls for living on the edge, Alt - an accomplished amateur racer shines. "As someone who's driven race cars competitively and even had my share of wrecks doing it, I know that the scrapes and bruises I might get running through the jungle or performing stunt falls into a river aren't going to kill me." But is she overprotective of her legendary appearance? "I don't come in saying 'I'm super model Carol Alt.' I come in saying 'I'm an actress. Let's go for realism. I want to look as bruised and cut as you think I would really be in this situation.' I don't want to be treated with kid gloves. Whether I'm in blood or I'm in Gianfranco Ferre, it's all just part of the adventure."

While her character shares Alt's determination to succeed, it's the actress' real-life hunger for adventure that sets them apart. "While Karen seems to survive whatever's thrown her way, she wouldn't voluntarily have gone to the Amazon," Alt explains. "I, on the other hand, am a total tomboy and love the challenge of roughing it. In fact, I've been to the Amazon twice, but, after doing this series, my only condition for going back is that there be a guaranteed way out."

It was Alt's taste for challenging herself that inspired her jump from a phenomenally-successful career in modelling to acting. "Everyone told me that models shouldn't act, and that I should stay with what I was doing. But when I tried acting, I discovered what they weren't telling me: that it's the most joyful and stimulating experience in the world. From the very beginning, I was hooked." 

Alt made her film debut in the 1986 Italian feature Via Montenapoleone. Soon after, she starred in the European feature, My First Forty Years, which became a surprise hit and launched her acting career there. For her work in the film Love for Life, in which she played a paraplegic, Alt was named "Actress of the Year" by Moda Magazine. 

With more than a dozen features to her credit worldwide, Alt most recently appeared in Private Parts, starring Howard Stern. She tested her dancing and singing skills by working with the legendary Bob Fosse in his own stage production of "Sweet Charity". She also brings diverse worldwide television credits to her Amazon assignment, including a starring role in the series Thunder in Paradise, the Vendetta telefilms, the mini-series Anna Karenina - The Great Fire and Under the African Sun, a series of 12 two-hour telefilms filmed on location in Africa. 

While her acting career surges forward, Alt remains an in-demand model and spokesperson. To date, she has appeared on more than 700 magazine covers worldwide, including two Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit edition covers. Among her professional accolades, Life Magazine named her "The Face" and she was deemed "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World" by Playboy.

Bond camp scoffs at supposed leak

Borrowing a page from unflappable secret agent James Bond, producers of the spy franchise are taking a supposed plot leak in stride. 

The Bond fan site www.bond20.com has claimed to have uncovered the plot of the next Bond film and its title, Final Assignment, a report that the production company dismisses as pure fantasy. 

According to the fan site, the next Bond adventure would introduce 007's father, Andrew Bond who was also a spy, but who is seen only in flashbacks. Son James' mission would be to find his father's killer in a global chase that ends in an apparent nod to Alfred Hitchcock's 1942 spy film, Saboteur with a final life-and-death battle atop the crown of New York's Statue of Liberty. The supposed casting of Bond Sr. certainly appears to be a fan's dream: Sean Connery, the original dashing 007. The villain, the unsubtly named David Saten, is said to be played by Nigel Havers, one of the Olympian lads from 1981's Chariots of Fire, whose name previously popped up for the gig in 1999. 

However, a spokeswoman for Eon Productions tells Reuters, "We have spoken to the producers about it and I'm afraid it's a fan who's done a James Bond script it's not ours." Added the spokeswoman, "The film hasn't got a name yet. It's only in the very beginning of pre-production." She said casting should start in the next couple of weeks and that they hoped to start shooting in January next year. She did confirm that director Lee Tamahori is on board for the film but did not confirm an earlier report that Whitney Houston would play the next Bond girl. Pierce Brosnan may make this his last outing as Bond; the media is already casting about for the next martini-drinking, gadget-loving actor. Leading men being sized up for Bond's tux include Brits Jude Law and Clive Owen, Welsh-born Christian Bale, Scots Ewan McGregor and Gerard Butler, and Aussies Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. 

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