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Tracking down the stars

New boxing movie, celebs' fight-Derby dilemma, more

Posted: Thursday May 3, 2007 12:10AM; Updated: Thursday May 3, 2007 12:40PM
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Adam Carolla's new movie,
Adam Carolla's new movie, "The Hammer," is loosely based on his time as a boxing instructor and construction worker.
Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

NEW YORK -- This isn't the Adam Carolla we're used to seeing. He should be holding a mug of beer in one hand, groping a juggie with the other and all the while offering up ridiculous advice to an adolescent going through puberty. But no, Carolla is getty classy on us. He's walking around in a sharp black suit as he schmoozes with the crowd taking their seats at the premiere of his film, "The Hammer," at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Suddenly he stops at one of the middle rows to talk to Howard Stern, his friend who he replaced on many radio stations that carried the "The King of All Media." Stern, who is sitting with his fiancé Beth Ostosky and Robin Quivers, still can't believe he's sitting at Carolla's movie premiere. "You starred in a movie six months into a new morning radio job?" Stern said. "You must be high." Carolla doesn't disagree. "You're right," he said. "I'm probably stupid."

You can call Carolla many things -- actor, producer, writer, talk show host, carpenter -- but you can't call him stupid. Not many Hollywood stars hit their prime at the age of 30 after spending the past decade in construction and teaching boxing classes at a fitness center.

Carolla not only rose to fame as the co-host of "The Man Show" and "Loveline" but he's now used his pre-celebrity experience to write, produce and star in "The Hammer," which is loosely based on his life as a construction worker and boxing instructor.

"It was 80 percent autobiographical," said Carolla, who was inspired to write the story after talking with his friend and super middleweight boxer Jeff "Left Hook" Lacey. "I lived in the San Fernando Valley alone in a crappy apartment when I taught boxing at Bodies in Motion. I was a boxing instructor there for a while. I was never able to date anyone as beautiful as Heather [Jeurgensen, his co-star in the film]. I lived a fairly tortured existence."

One of the pleasant surprises in the film was the performance of Oswaldo Castillo, who plays a Nicaraguan immigrant who works with Carolla in construction and is always two steps behind him in his other endeavors. It wasn't hard to figure out how this unknown actor offered up such a dead-on performance.

"I met Oswaldo 15 years ago building the Bodies in Motion gym that we shot at," said Carolla. "The amazing thing is Oswaldo has never been in a film before. "I hung out with Ozzie everyday and he's exactly like he was in the movie."

The fact that Castillo wasn't an actor even came as a surprise to some of the cast.

"Ozzie came up to me during shooting early on and said, 'Adam and me put down the floor at the gym,'" said Juergensen. "So I said, 'Oh, you help the crew set up' and he said, 'No, we actually put down the floor. We built the gym.' I couldn't believe it."

After the film debuted at the festival, Carolla said he wasn't nervous about the prospects of it getting picked up by a big time distributor. "I wanted to make a boxing movie that was real and I think we did that," he said. "We all had a great time working on it and it was just surreal watching it."

Fight Night vs. Derby Week

Sometimes being a celebrity is hard work. That is if you consider choosing between going to the biggest boxing match in a decade and the Kentucky Derby "hard work." Such is the dilemma for many celebrities and athletes this weekend as they decide whether or not they will party it up in Las Vegas before the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight or head down to Louisville and down mint juleps before the "The Run for the Roses." Usually the Derby attracts every big name in sports and entertainment with parties such as the Barnstable Brown Gala and the Crown Royal Playboy Lounge Party, but some organizers say it's been harder this year to attract A-Listers because many are heading down to Sin City for the fight.

Rapper 50 Cent will not only be at the fight, but he will lead Mayweather into the ring as he sings his new song "Straight to the Bank" and has promised to give Mayweather $1 million if he beats De La Hoya. "It will be great to walk Floyd to the ring for the biggest fight of his career," said 50. "Fans will get a taste of my new song and then Floyd is going to show the world why he is the best in the business."

While Vegas seems to be attracting most of Hollywood's young crew for the fight, some big names like Michael Jordan are planning on going to both, while others like Kevin Garnett will be staying in Kentucky for "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports."

Chunky Cast

Eight of the top NFL players and their mothers recently gathered in Toronto to shoot Campbell's "Chunky" soup commercials which will debut during the NFL's opening weekend in September. The ad will feature LaDainian Tomlinson, Matt Hasselbeck, Maurice Jones-Drew, Larry Johnson, Jonathon Vilma, DeMarcus Ware, Devin Hester and Todd Heap.

The commercial will feature the players playing touch football in the park with such interesting shots as LT rushing the quarterback, Ware playing tailback and Jones-Drew taking snaps under center in the snow. "It's been great, it's really been a dream come true," said Tomlinson. "To do a commercial with my mom is really something special and it's something we'll really remember the rest of our lives. She actually wanted to do this three years ago. She said, 'It would be cool if we got to do the commercial and I said, 'Yeah, mom it would be cool' and here we are three years later doing it."

Quick Hits

David Binn might be known around the NFL as one of the most consistent deep-snappers, but his San Diego Chargers teammates have always admired Binn for consistently snapping up the hottest women. Recently Binn was spotted in Russia with his new girlfriend Pamela Anderson taking in the cultural sights in St. Petersberg. "He's exactly how I wanted my man to be," Anderson told OK! magazine. "He's very strong and very calm. I am such a crazy person, and with Dave, I can relax." ... David and Victoria Beckham have finally bought their dream home in Los Angeles. The Beckhams paid $20 million for a six-bedroom pad in Beverly Hills with sweeping views of the city. ... Tony Hawk will be celebrating his birthday in style Monday night at the Jet Night club in Vegas as he blows the candles out on a custom-made skateboard cake.

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