Ben Affleck: While an A-list actor and director such as Affleck has to deal with some gossip in questionable taste (What do you expect from sites such as Celeb Dirty Laundry?) there’s power as well, which is how the “Argo” star winds up on a Hollywood Reporter list of “Fundraisers to Watch in 2016,” where it’s noted “He and pals Matt Damon and John Krasinski stepped up to raise more than $250,000 at a star-filled event for Elizabeth Warren’s successful Senate campaign.” The trade magazine’s list didn’t note his lead performance in a pre-Election Day video promoting her candidacy.
Traci Bingham: What is our Playboy model and “Baywatch”/reality TV star up to? Nothing all that inspiring, unfortunately. She makes an odd cameo as herself seeking a tan in E! Online’s Web series “Sunset Tan”; she’s promoting “Traci Bingham’s Fantasy Fest: Uncensored,” a “Girls Gone Wild”-esque video with her and “75,000 wild, sexy and crazy girls” partying in Key West, Fla., complete with leather parties, fetish balls and “crazy street action”; and getting mildly dissed by David Hasselhoff who, when asked his favorite “Baywatch” babe, names Carmen Electra.
Dane Cook: Having just emceed the Zimmer Children’s Museum’s 12th Annual Discovery Award Dinner on Thursday, the comedian remains in a charitable mood. Cook’s next big gig is a Hurricane Sandy Benefit on Sunday at The Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood, The Hollywood Reporter said, and Cook is asking for a minimum $25 donation in cash or supplies to the Red Cross from audience members. It seems both altruistic and smart for a guy who’s reputation has been rocky at best and whose most recent headlines were about his sitcom being so bad it was canceled before it was even done filming.
Matt Damon: He’s already making a film about fracking; now Damon has committed to an eight-part Showtime documentary about climate change, The Hollywood Reporter says. Although the deal is in the early stages, other people said to be involved are James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and producers David Gelber and Joel Bach, from the CBS magazine show “60 Minutes.”
Farther along is Terry Gilliam’s science fiction film “The Zero Theorem,” in which Collider says Damon plays a smaller role and Christopher Waltz stars. At a Hollywood Reporter roundtable, Damon talked about the relatively lean times that came between “Good Will Hunting” in 1997 and the first Jason Bourne film in 2002: “I had a couple movies that didn’t work, and some of them had big enough budgets that people care, and so basically my phone just stopped ringing … And then ‘The Bourne Identity’ opened and everybody was my friend again.”
Mindy Kaling: The comedian/writer/actor was in full disclosure mode on “Conan” on Tuesday, reminding Brookline native Conan O’Brien that she interned on his show as a sophomore in college but “was the worst intern that’s ever worked on the program,” as Jezebel quotes it. “I wanted to work there not to learn how to photocopy things, but to watch you. So I wouldn’t do my things that I was hired to do, I would just kind of follow you around.”
On the same show, EW.com says she told O’Brien that the perks of her power in creating “The Mindy Project” for Fox includes hiring men she finds attractive as onscreen love interests so she can kiss them — including a little unilateral tongue action. “When I do it on the show now, it’s the worst kind of sexual harassment,” she said. “Because I’m the boss, they’re afraid to complain.”
John Malkovich: The Irish Repertory Theatre’s “A Celebration of Harold Pinter,” starring Julian Sands but directed by Malkovich in New York, closes Nov. 25, only a dozen days before his “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” opens in Washington, D.C., Broadway World says. The Théâtre de l’Atelier’s production runs only three days at the Shakespeare Theater Company’s Lansburgh Theatre, but interest is high for a few reasons: Malkovich, of course, played Valmont in the 1998 film of the novel with Michelle Pfeiffer; he’s directing in French, with English text surtitles, as this is a transplant of a production first staged in Paris; and there’s “a modern twist: the correspondences that ensnare and unravel the characters in the play have been transposed to modern-day texting and messaging on cellphones and tablets. So too have the costumes been updated to a mix of period pieces and modern day garb.”
Malkovich has a smaller but more visible role in “Warm Bodies.” He acts in the zombie love story, which is due for release Feb. 1.
Passion Pit: The electropop band has joined Move for Hunger’s charitable effort, RebuildRecover, to held New Jersey’s coast recover from Hurricane Sandy, Billboard says. Also aboard are such performers as the Avett Brothers and the Gaslight Anthem. Jeff Apruzzese, bassist for the band, is a native of the Jersey Shore. (But Passion Pit is now a band of international repute, and guitarist and keyboardist Hultquist meanwhile gave an interesting interview to journalists at The University of Exeter, including this tidbit: “A lot of people in the world still think [Michael Angelakos is] a girl singer. It’s one of those goofy little things.”
Pollstar was first to report the band’s plans for next year, meaning its tour with Matt and Kim that brings them to Agganis Arena in Boston on Feb. 9, which is especially good for those who missed the band’s surprise short set in September in North Point to mark the groundbreaking for construction on EF Education First’s headquarters expansion.
And your Passion Pit remixes of the week? There’s two of of “Take a Walk,” which will likely be the most enduring song from the “Gossamer” album. Classixx has a “toned-down” version courtesy of Baeble Music and The Higher Concept has a more rocking clip with “heady and introspective hip-hop lyrics” available via Altsounds.