Film Notes: Crowe Jokes About Kidnap Plot

Russell Crowe isn't taking the kidnapping threats against him too seriously, even if the FBI feels otherwise.

At a luncheon for Oscar nominees, Crowe told reporters that he'd drive kidnappers nuts. "If you wanted to spend that much time with me in a little room, I think you'd get into a vary Hemingway-esque situation, where they'd be on the phone going, 'Look, we've passed the hat around. We got a couple hundred bucks, can you take him off our hands?'"

The Gladiator star has been tailed by the FBI since a kidnap plot was discovered in January. Tuxedo-clad agents accompanied him to the Golden Globe Awards Jan. 21, and they appeared to be with him at the Oscars luncheon as well.

Fat Gwyneth

Hey, what's the matter? Gwyneth's getting fatter.

Gwyneth Paltrow will be very big in her next big screen role. The Farrelly brothers, who put There's Something About Mary on the map, have plans for a plump Paltrow to star in Shallow Hal, the story of a man forced to look at people's inner beauty.

Don't worry about Paltrow going crazy with the Eskimo Pies. She'll acutally be wearing a fat suit, similar to the one Eddie Murphy wears in The Nutty Professor movies.

"She's ready to try some new stuff," Peter Farrelly told The New York Post.

Smoke Screen

You can't smoke in a movie theater. But now more than ever, you can smoke on the silver screen.

A study released Monday by a chapter of the American Lung Association in Sacramento, Calif., found cigars made up 34 percent of the total tobacco use in movies released in 1999-2000, up 20 percent from the previous period.

The 2001 Annual Report Card on Tobacco Use in the Movies found that glamorous portrayals of tobacco were present in 48 percent of the 50 top-grossing movies from May 1999 to April 2000. In the previous period, only 37 percent contained pro-tobacco messages.

The study's authors said movies continue to depict tobacco use as "fun, sexy, cool, edgy, or related to wealth, power, rebellion and celebration … "

ABC Radio and's Buck Wolf and Nancy Chandross contributed to this report.