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Naomi Watts as the late Princess Diana. Photo by Laurie Sparham
Naomi Watts as the late Princess Diana. Photo by Laurie Sparham

Naomi Watts rejected Diana role twice

Plus: Om Puri denies abusing his wife; Lance Bass says no to 'N Sync reunion; Satyagraha book launched; Obama on The Butler: 'I did tear up'; Michael Buble welcomes baby boy.

Diana, a biopic directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, chronicles the final two years of the life of the Princess of Wales, from 1995 to 1997. Starring Naomi Watts, the film is scheduled for release in November. In an interview with the Sunday Times, the 44-year-old Watts revealed she turned down the role twice before accepting it. “I was a little bit torn but once I’d said no, I wasn’t completely at peace. Sometimes when you say no, you feel free but this just wasn’t the case. There was something very intriguing about this woman’s life. It was extraordinary.” – The National staff

Satyagraha book launched

Satyagraha: The Story Behind the Revolution was launched this week by the film’s cast and crew. -The book, written by Pooja Verma, tells the story of the making of Prakash Jha’s movie Satyagraha, out tomorrow in the UAE. It stars Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor and Amrita Rao. “It chronicles the effort put in by everyone – telling readers about the months of tribulations and gruelling work,” Jha said. “Since social media is a big drive for the youth`s voice today, it forms an intrinsic part of the movie and also the book.” Verma, who wrote the print version of Jha’s 2010 film Raajneeti, said the book is not “serious literature” but “because the film raises important social questions, the book translates some of those questions in print”. – IANS

Lance Bass says no to ‘N Sync reunion

‘N Sync’s 90-second reunion at the MTV Video Music Awards was their first performance together in 11 years – and the last time they’ll do it, at least for a while. “It would be lovely to do it but we have got nothing planned,” Lance Bass told Associated Press. Justin Timberlake begins his solo tour this autumn and the closest Bass says he’ll get to the stage is a seat in the audience. “It’s simply not part of the conversation right now. We just focused on that one performance,” Bass said. – AP

Om Puri denies abusing wife

The veteran actor Om Puri, who has been accused of domestic violence by his wife Nandita Puri, has denied the allegations, saying he was in Kolkata during the period cited. The couple live in Mumbai. “I returned from Kolkata on August 25, so how could I have hit her on the 23rd?” the 62-year-old Puri told reporters. Nandita Puri filed a complaint with Mumbai police early this week and the actor was due to appear in court yesterday. Awarded Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2004, Om Puri is best known for the dozens of art-house films he has starred in, including the critically acclaimed Aakrosh (1980) and Ardh Satya (1983). – The National staff

Obama on The Butler: ‘I did tear up’

The US President Barack Obama says he teared up watching a movie about an African-American man who served for 34 years at the White House during the civil rights movement. Lee Daniels’s The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker, is loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, who served presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. Oprah Winfrey plays the butler’s wife and Cuba Gooding Jr is a White House colleague. “You know, I did tear up,” Obama said in a radio interview on Tuesday. “I teared up just thinking about not just the butlers who have worked here in the White House but an entire generation of people who were talented and skilled, but because of discrimination, there was only so far they could go.” Obama said his favourite part of the movie was some of the jokes told by Gooding Jr “but all of the acting was terrific and I thought Forest Whitaker was wonderful. And Oprah, my girl, she can act”. – Reuters

Michael Bublé welcomes baby boy

Michael Bublé has become a father. The Canadian singer posted a picture of his wife, the Argentine actress Luisana Lopilato, and their son Noah on his Instagram account on Tuesday. Lopilato gave birth to the couple’s first child in Vancouver. The 37-year-old Bublé and the 26-year-old Lopilato were married in 2011. – AP

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