Renee Zellweger says she prefers paparazzi-free life on East Coast

I WASN'T really into being followed around everywhere by six guys in six SUVs with two-way radios. ... I don't want to feed the fishies. I also didn't want to be one of those people who are sour about it. So I decided I'd just leave."

That's Renee Zellweger on why she lives in New York and Connecticut, rather than the City of Angels. Renee also tells Reader's Digest of her long friendship with her Leatherheads director, George Clooney. "We have a lovely relationship. I write him six-page e-mails about my political rage, and he writes back, and cares, too."


There's been speculation that these two very nice people would make a divine couple. But I think both are satisfied with single status and prefer warm friendship to hot romance.

Tough times for women


Halle Berry's pregnancy is a wonderful thing, and more wonderful in the wake of her latest box-office disappointment, Things We Lost in the Fire. This talented actress' career has been in a slow free-fall since her history-making Academy Award for Monsters's Ball. But it's not the "Oscar curse" or any reflection on the luscious Halle; it's the times we live in. Entertainment Weekly has a depressing little page on how women in films are faring. Hard to believe women once dominated the industry and the box office back in the 1930s, 1940s and some of the 1950s. Even Jodie Foster with a gun can't make the grade these days!

Madonna's switch

Madonna's leap from Warner Records - her record label for 25 years - to Live Nation, the tour promoter, for $120 million shocked the music industry. Warner Records certainly still wanted the pop legend even though her record sales in the U.S. aren't quite what they once were. Her tours take in a fortune, and in Europe her CDs sell like the good old days.

Why leave home? Because ... she's Madonna. She'll be 50 next August, her Live Nation deal is for 10 years. Clearly, she expects to remain creative, popular and relevant in the new world of downloads, iPods and "free" music. (Not to mention keeping herself physically up to the concert grind.) Safe and comfy has never been the Big M's way. She is riding the tsunami of change, as usual. But the wave won't hit for a little while. She still owes her old Warner bosses two albums.

Remembering Kerr

Deborah Kerr's most famous movies - From Here to Eternity, The King and I, An Affair To Remember - were referenced constantly last week, in the wake of the great actress' death at age 86. Her Eternity beach scene with Burt Lancaster is cinema's classic "sexy" clinch, but Kerr was never more alluring and interesting than in her first important movie, 1947's Black Narcissus.

In that film, under the direction of the celebrated auteur Michael Powell, Kerr plays a repressed nun, overseeing a lot of other similarly repressed nuns at a convent high in the Himalayas. Through pursed lips and flaring nostrils, Miss Kerr's sister superior reveals herself as not entirely free of earthly desire. It also features a very young Jean Simmons as a sexy servant, and the usually loin-clothed Sabu, as well. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Criterion DVD of this movie. It's like an old episode of Dynasty, with wimples.