BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Mickey Rourke as a rugby hero? Worth a try!

First a wrestler now Mickey Rourke wants to double up as a rugby hero Well, it's worth a try!

Mickey Rourke has hired a top personal trainer to get him into shape to portray former Wales international legend Gareth Thomas.

The Hollywood actor is looking lean and mean and has dropped two stone as he continues to transform his body, having already had work done on his eyes.

Producer Colin Vaines has contracted trainer and stunt co-ordinator Nick McKinless, who also happens to be a pretty good rugby player, to work with Mickey on engineering his body so that he could pass muster on the rugby pitch.

Unlikely duo: Mickey Rourke (pictured this week) and Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas

Unlikely duo: Mickey Rourke (pictured this week) and Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas

Unlikely duo: Mickey Rourke (pictured this week) and Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas

It was McKinless who got Ralph Fiennes into shape for the film Coriolanus, which Vaines produced.

More from Baz Bamigboye…

BAZ BAMIGBOYE: Take a bow wow, Uggie! Cheeky Jack Russell steals the show and gets his paws on a Golden Globe

Red carpet queen: Charlize Theron

Charlize had been in the running for a Golden Globe for her sizzling performance in Jason Reitman’s sublime black comedy Young Adult, but lost out to Michelle Williams’s knockout portrait of Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn.

I was surprised her name wasn’t on the Bafta list of best actress nominations, because what she does in that film with the part of Mavis, a writer trying to survive on her limited talent and a tin ear, is just amazing.

There’s something marvellous about watching the beautiful car wreck that is Mavis: you can’t take your eyes off her.

‘She’s not had the right tool set, to deal with things in the right way,’ Charlize told me. ‘She tries to put the square into the circle.’

Mavis’s behaviour towards people is outrageous, but Charlize’s performance helps you understand why she’s the way she is. As a younger woman, men would fall at Mavis’s feet. But now they run from her because she can no longer hide the fact that she’s a cold-hearted harridan with no social skills.

The film opens in the UK on February 3. Later in the year, Charlize plays a kick-ass warrior in a Mad Max prequel. When I saw her at the Golden Globes, floating down the stairs in a goddess creation by Dior, I told her she had to make a romantic comedy.

‘Sure,’ she said immediately. ‘As long as it doesn’t bore me to death. Most of those kind of films do, but if I can find one that’s full of life, then why not’

My dressing down from Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman gave me a mock ticking off for not knowing who designed the gown she wore to the Golden Globes.

‘Come on, Baz! Elton [John] knew right away,’ she teased, as I struggled to identify who created her dress.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see her husband Keith Urban, mouthing the answer, but I still didn’t get it.

Frock star: Elton John knew Nicole Kidman's dress designer

Frock star: Elton John knew Nicole Kidman's dress designer

‘It’s Versace,’ she announced finally, putting me out of my misery, as she smoothed down the gold-beaded grey frock.

Still, I told her, it’s not as bad as the time I questioned Keira Knightley about what she was wearing when she was at the Golden Globes for Atonement.

‘What do you call those dresses that stay up on their own’ I asked Keira and her long time agent Lindy King.

‘Strapless!’ they both screamed at me.

I can see I’ll have to make atonement myself some time …

Nicole was heading home early. ‘I’m usually in bed by nine. I’m only out late during award season if I’m presenting, or if I’m at one of Keith’s shows.’

She listens out for baby daughter Faith and she’s up by six in the morning, if not before.

Then somehow we got into a conversation about nappies. Is it greener to use disposable, or washable She opted for eco-friendly disposable. Me I had no clue, as I haven’t changed a nappy in more than two decades.

The actress will be seen soon in the HBO TV film Hemingway And Gellhorn, in which she portrays war correspondent Martha Gellhorn.

Small fry: Elizabeth Olsen lamented the size of her New York apartment

Small fry: Elizabeth Olsen lamented the size of her New York apartment

It’s almost a year to the day that I saw Elizabeth Olsen give a startling, break-out performance at the Sundance Film Festival in the gripping drama Martha Marcy May Marlene.

‘No one had seen it. No one knew how it would go down,’ Elizabeth recalled months later, after the movie, in which she plays a young woman who escapes from a cult, had played in Cannes, Toronto and London.

The film became a sensation and Elizabeth is well on the way to stardom.
‘Stardom!’ she snorts, ‘Have you seen the size of my apartment in New York It’s like this,’ she tells me, sketching out a shoebox shape.

‘That’s why I try to get as much work as possible, so I don’t have to go back there.’

And she is busy — soon she will star opposite Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings.

Watch out for…

Ewan McGregor who is gearing up to star in the HBO TV series of Jonathan Franzen’s novel The Corrections. Ewan will play Chip Lambert, the middle child of Midwest couple Alfred and Enid (to be played by Chris Cooper and Dianne Weist).

Chip’s been fired from his professorship for sleeping with a student and soon embarks on many adventures, while his parents cope with his father’s illness, and his two siblings try their best to stay on the East Coast and well away from mom and dad.

Noah Baumbach will direct a two-hour pilot, and the hope then is for ten hours of The Corrections a year, for four years.

News: Ewan MacGregor is heading for the small screen while Hannah Spearritt hits the stage for a theatre show

News: Ewan MacGregor is heading for the small screen while Hannah Spearritt hits the stage for a theatre show

Maggie Gyllenhaal is in early talks about playing Denise, Chip’s chef sister. And there are rumours that Rhys Ifans might end up doing a cameo as a Lithuanian.

Hannah Spearritt, who will play Pauline (the slow one) in the new company taking One Man, Two Guvnors into the Theatre Royal Haymarket from March  2. Jodie Prenger will play Dolly, the woman who attracts the attention of the show’s hero Francis, played by Owain Arthur.

Gemma Whelan has the role of cross-dressing Rachel, with other major parts going to Martin Barrass, David Benson, Nigel Betts, Derek Elroy, Gerard Horan, Daniel Ings and Ben Mansfield. The new cast was hand-picked by director Nicholas Hytner and his associates.

The original ensemble, led by James Corden, will move out of the Adelphi next month in order to prepare for Broadway.

It has to be the funniest show in the western world, no kidding.

It was like a mother and child reunion.

In fact, someone was humming that Paul Simon song as Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio embraced when they bumped into each other at the Bafta Tea Party at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills.

‘I can’t believe I was your mother!’ Meryl said, in mock astonishment, to Leonardo.

Oh mother! Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes

Oh mother! Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes

She was referring to the movie Marvin’s Room, which they made back in 1996, with Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro.

The pair had a long talk about working together and promised they would do so again, but it might be a while because both are very busy.

Maybe Harvey Weinstein could find a part for Leonardo in the film of Tracy Letts’s prize-winning play August: Osage County, that Meryl plans to make later this year, with Julia Roberts playing her daughter.

Meanwhile, Leonardo is playing what Weinstein describes as the ‘bad, bad bad-ass bad guy’ in Quentin Tarantino’s movie Django Unchained.

History: Meryl played Leonardo's mum in the 1996 movie Marvin's Room

History: Meryl played Leonardo's mum in the 1996 movie Marvin's Room

It was fun watching all the actors gravitate to Meryl, as if they were receiving some kind of benediction simply by being in her presence.

Benedict Cumberbatch elicited peals of joy from the actress. ‘Oh, yes!’ she said. ‘I saw you in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I loved it!’

She meant it. She usually, very politely, manages to wriggle free from people she doesn’t care for.

She enjoyed meeting Andrea Riseborough, too, because she admired her performance as the young Margaret Thatcher in The Road To Finchley (a role Meryl knows well).

‘I’m not fit to eat her dust,’ said Andrea, admiringly, of Meryl.

Alan Bennett has written a new play. The National Theatre confirmed to me that it will open there in October.

The celebrated playwright’s new work is called People.

I don’t know the subject matter. But I do know that his frequent collaborator Nicholas Hytner will direct it on the Lyttelton stage. No casting has been set.

Bennett’s other plays for the NT have included An Englishman Abroad — about traitor Guy Burgess — and A Question Of Attribution, under the umbrella title of Single Spies.

Then came his adaptation of The Wind In The Willows, followed by The Madness Of George III, The History Boys and The Habit Of Art.

Benedict Cumberbatch is growing a beard, but it’s just an experiment to see if it will work for his role as the number one bad guy in the new Star Trek film.

He was in LA to sort out work visas for the Star Trek film, then he’s heading to New Zealand to resume his voice and motion capture performance as a Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit.