Hit & Run: Burnt Sienna gives quite a performance

Instead, this past few weeks, she’s been grinning for photographers, charming
interviewers, and even apologising in public for her private indiscretions.
Hit & Run, for one, welcomes this rehabilitation.

You’d think the celebrity most despised by the paparazzi would be due some
kudos from everyone else. Last year, Miller successfully sued pap agency Big
Pictures for harassment, making legal history in the process. But when she
was revealed to be in a relationship with a married man, actor and oil heir
Balthazar Getty, she was told by some that she risked her entire career.

Not that we’d condone extramarital affairs or anything, but you have to wonder
what the reaction would be if the “homewrecker” were some roguish
male actor, a Clooney or a Pitt. Meanwhile, Sienna’s three serious
relationships (Jude, Rhys, Balthazar) in five years is hardly a record for a
twentysomething.

With her recent Top Gear appearance, she chose a relatively safe arena in
which to launch her charm offensive. Jeremy Clarkson rarely gives his
celebrity guests a grilling, especially the attractive female ones. But even
Top Gear is a tough crowd when you’ve only just learned to drive. Sienna
came off as throughly likeable, and even hot in a crash helmet, driving a
respectable lap on the test track despite having passed her UK driving test
just five days previously. In fact she posted a 1.49.8, faster than Michael
Gambon ? and he has a corner named after him.

Whether or not she’s a great actress remains a bit of a mystery, but only
because she’s so far lacked a high-profile opportunity to prove her acting
chops like her contemporary Keira Knightley. She has picked, as her
redemptive moment, the promotional tour for GI Joe, a $170m film already
considered a critical turkey.

Her big screen debut was Layer Cake, which gave her little to do but prance
about in panties. The same was true of the dud Alfie remake, though she was
widely described as the best thing in it. Factory Girl (and her prospective
breakout performance therein) sank without trace. Sienna supposedly did
great work in Interview, with Steve Buscemi, and in Dylan Thomas biopic The
Edge of Love. Did you see either of them? Us neither.

According to US blog Defamer, she comes off badly in the upcoming
behind-the-scenes documentary about American Vogue, The September Issue. But
the clips it claims are damning include one of editor Anna Wintour looking
underwhelmed by her cover star’s mildly ridiculous outfit, and one of
photographer Mario Testino disapproving of her dental work. Surely it’s
Wintour and Testino who look unpleasant here. And if Sienna’s not hot enough
for the cover of Vogue, who the heck is?

Tim Walker

Ambassador’s shame saved

Picture the scene. You’ve been invited to a chic dinner party and are keen to
wow the hosts with your savoir-faire. A pack of 32 Ferrero Rocher would be
just the gift, but at £7.99 it seems a bit well, OTT, indeed almost
embarrassingly generous.

So praise be to the gods of ironic confectionary, as Rocher are bringing out a
new box of 20 gold-wrapped chocolates for a recession-busting,
nicely-rounded £5. A thoughtful budgeter will notice that the price per unit
actually offers very marginally worse value, but unless you are off to
Alistair Darling’s house for dinner, who cares?

Maybe it’s a bid to cash in on the recession and the boom in dinner parties,
or perhaps its part of the healthy new drive to reduce portion size. Either
way that classic dilemma at the newsagents over whether to arrive with
wilted carnations, a bottle of Black Tower or Mint Matchmakers just got a
whole lot easier ? and cheaper.

Carola Long

Is that a budgie in your pocket?

In the unlikely event that Rod Stewart or Ronaldo is planning to visit Alton
Towers, they may wish to rethink their favoured swimwear because the
Staffordshire attraction is enforcing a crackdown on Speedos at its water
park. Last weekend’s hot weather apparently led to an increase in cases of “budgie
smuggling” as hot chaps swapped dignity for brevity in an effort to
keep cool. “To prevent embarrassment … [we] have taken the extreme
measure of banning tight trunks,” reads a press release. The “battle
of the bulge”, as the release is headed, has not, as far as we know,
made the news in France but it’s likely to be greeted with bemusement in a
country where ‘maillots de bain sportif’ are de rigueur at public pools.

As many Brits have discovered, often to their horror, some arcane law forbids
the wearing of modest trunks. Hit&Run is struggling to find a reason for
the French rule, with message boards positing variously: the potential for
creases in shorts to harbour germs; the Gallic fondness for uniforms; and
the desire to keep pool filters free of, er, pubes. But if you’re a French
tourist in Britain and decide to go to Alton Towers, don’t forget to leave
your budgie in its cage.

Simon Usborne

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