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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pink Is The New Interview ... With Amber Benson

Yesterday afternoon, I was very lucky enough to get to spend some convo time with actress, director and author Amber Benson who is prolly best known for playing Tara Maclay, one of my fave characters, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer but is also known for her roles in movies like The Crush, Latter Days and Race You to the Bottom ... and for her involvement in the very cool BBC animated web movie series Ghosts of Albion:

With a new TV movie titled 7 Things to do Before I'm 30 debuting on Lifetime this Saturday night at 9pm, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reach out to her and ask for an interview. She was very gracious to give me a portion of her afternoon ... so we met for coffee and baked goods at Kaffe Wien on Melrose Ave. and did a bit of chatting about politics and religion before we got to our "formal" interview. Here is the full audio recording of our conversation:

I cannot tell you how much of a thrill it was to get to sit down and talk with Amber Benson. I've been such a big fan of hers for so long ... I absolutely knew she would be fun to meet and I was totally right (it must be mentioned that Amber offered and then walked me to my car in the pouring rain when she found out that I didn't have an umbrella). She mentioned that she would be flying up to Alaska to direct a music video for the band Common Rotation. Her boyfriend Adam Busch (who, ironically, played Warren on BtVS -- the character who killed Amber's character Tara on the show ... and then got skinned alive in retaliation by Alyson Hannigan's character Willow, who was desperately in love with Tara) is in Common Rotation and Amber has been tapped to direct their next music video.

We got to talk for a bit off the record and the subject turned to Golden Girls (since her new TV movie is for Lifetime TV) and she revealed to me that Buffy creator Joss Whedon's father was a co-executive producer on the show! Honestly, I've seen the name Tom Whedon in the show's credits for years and never made the connection. Love it! Amber was very gracious to pose for a photo and to sign an autograph in my lyric book for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode Once More With Feeling:

Y'all should know that Amber sings the amazing song Under Your Spell in the ep. Besides the fact that the song is featured in arguably the best episode of the best TV series in existence, the song carries a special meaning for me overall ... so the autograph is a special one.

I know I can't wait to see 7 Things To Do Before I'm 30 when it debuts on Lifetime this Saturday night at 9pm:

Much love goes out to my friend Josh for helping set up this interview. I hope y'all enjoy.


The Sun'll Come Out

As the world continues to mourn the loss of Heath Ledger, new information has come to light surrounding the circumstances surrounding the initial scene when his body was discovered in a NYC apartment on Tuesday afternoon. As difficult as it may seem, I think a clear understanding of what happened might help folks better process the feelings that Heath's untimely death has inspired (especially those folks who believe that his death was accidental, as the evidence seems to substantiate) ... I know that is the case for me, at least. I have no interest in further spreading rumors and innuendo concerning unsubstantiated reports concerning drug use merely because I have no idea which stories may or may not be true. Instead, I choose to rely on facts being reported by trusted media sources like The New York Times which, after interviewing police officials who were on the scene, offers the most clear picture of what exactly happened in that SoHo apartment on Tuesday when Heath Ledger's body was found. Here is the cover of the new issue of People magazine that has been mostly devoted to Heath's memory and a few pictures from the make-shift shrine that has sprung up in front of the NYC apartment in which he died:

The masseuse who discovered the body of Heath Ledger in a Manhattan apartment on Tuesday twice called a friend of his, the actress Mary-Kate Olsen, before calling 911, New York City police officials said on Wednesday. The officials, who provided new details about Mr. Ledger's death, emphasized that no illegal drugs were found in the apartment and that there were no obvious signs of suicide. Tests on a rolled-up $20 bill that was found in the apartment found no evidence that the bill had been used to handle drugs, they said. According to the police, around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a housekeeper, Teresa Solomon, arrived at the apartment, at 421 Broome Street in SoHo, to do household chores. At about 1 p.m., she went into Mr. Ledger's bedroom to change a light bulb in an adjacent bathroom; she found him on the bed face down, with the sheet pulled up to his shoulders, and heard him snoring. A masseuse, Diana Wolozin, arrived to give Mr. Ledger a massage about 2:45 p.m. At 3 p.m., after Mr. Ledger did not emerge from his bedroom, with the door closed, the masseuse called him on his cellphone but got no answer. She entered the bedroom and saw him lying in bed. She took a massage table out of the closet and began to set it up near his bed. She then went over to him and shook him, but got no response. Using his cellphone, she used a speed-dial button to call Ms. Olsen in California to seek her guidance, knowing Ms. Olsen to be a friend of Mr. Ledger's. According to the authorities, Ms. Wolozin told Ms. Olsen that Mr. Ledger was unconscious. Ms. Olsen said she would call some private security people she knew in New York, and hung up. Ms. Wolozin again shook Mr. Ledger, called Ms. Olsen a second time, and said she believed the situation was grave and would call 911. Ms. Wolozin called 911 at 3:26 p.m. to say that Mr. Ledger was not breathing. The call occurred less than 15 minutes since she had first seen him in bed and only a few moments after the first call to Ms. Olsen. The 911 operator urged Ms. Wolozin to try to revive Mr. Ledger, but Ms. Wolozin's efforts were not successful. Emergency medical workers arrived at 3:33 p.m., at almost exactly the same moment as a private security guard summoned by Ms. Olsen. The medical workers moved his body to the floor and then used a defibrillator and CPR, to no avail. Mr. Ledger was pronounced dead at 3:36 p.m. By that point, two other private security guards summoned by Ms. Olsen had arrived, as had police officers. "I'm not going to speculate on why 911 was not called first," said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman ... The police conducted tests on a rolled-up $20 bill found in Mr. Ledger's apartment, but found no evidence that the bill had been used for anything improper. No illegal narcotics or alcohol was found in the apartment. Two types of prescription medication -- sleeping pills and an anti-anxiety medication -- were found in the apartment, but it is not known if the medications played a role in his death. Detectives from the Police Department’s 5th Precinct were looking to examine any surveillance videos from the apartment building and the surrounding area but were also awaiting the results of an investigation by the New York City chief medical examiner's office. That office conducted an autopsy early Wednesday morning but said that the results were inconclusive and that additional testing was needed.

It appears that the housekeeper and the masseuse were well-versed in exercising extreme discretion when it comes to matters like these. I would imagine that employees of celebrities are trained to ensure as much privacy and discretion in instances like these before having to resort to involving the authorities. It seems doubtful that Heath's life could've been saved had the first call been to 911 rather to Mary-Kate Olsen but still ... I cannot imagine that my first thought would be to call my famous boss before calling paramedics if I found someone lying unconscious. Every indication thus far seems to me to imply that Heath Ledger did not take his own life intentionally. An accidental death does not soften the blow very much but at least it may provide some solace in the long-run that he did not choose to die by his own hand. Heath's death still weighs heavily on my mind ... I just keep thinking about how much he will be missed. [Source]

On the Britney Spears tip, here are new pictures of the braless wonder doing exactly what I suspected she might be doing rather than showing up for the emergency hearing her lawyers called in her custody battle to try and win back visitation with her children. Yesterday, I joked that Britney prolly was more interested in shopping at PetCo rather than show up to court to fight for her children ... sadly, the joke turned out to be a reality:

Photo credit: X17 & Splash News

For the second day in a row, the troubled singer stepped out in Los Angeles without a bra on. Later, there was at least one distraction from her bad fashion choices - she was spotted wearing a giant sparkling ring on her engagement finger. On Tuesday, she spent the entire day in a blue top, exposing her upper regions around North Hollywood and Malibu. And her flesh was on display again yesterday as she wandered around a pet shop in Malibu. Britney's exhibitionist behaviour - she is famous for flaunting her privates in the back of limos - comes on the heels of another court setback. On Wednesday afternoon, she arrived in a cocktail dress at LA's Superior Court to request more access to her children. But as has been customary in recent times, Britney left before the hearing even began. She made her way through a security metal detector, but then announced "I want to leave," according to a court spokesperson. There was no change made to the current arrangement, in which she has no visitation rights.

The Malibu pet store in question was, in fact, PetCo. I am continually left dumbfounded by Brit Brit's actions. What the hell could be so alluring at PetCo that she would bail on showing up to court, at a hearing called by her legal team, just so she could go shopping at a pet store???? Maybe her focus is on her dogs now that she has nothing and no one else. It's all just sad. [Source]

In possibly bad news for Britters -- her BFF Sam Lufti has been deposed in the case. I can't wait to find out what he had to reveal to K-Fed's lawyers while under oath.


While I found last night's episode of Project Runway fun to watch, I just cannot get over how unfascinating everyone is. Maybe we've been spoiled by all the crazy characters who have competed in previous seasons but this batch of designers, as talented as they are, don't really have the same pizzazz that previous contestants had. That being said, I am starting to focus on my fave designers ... and I was very surprised by last night's ep ... not so much by the challenge or by who went home (and can I get an AMEN! on that one, please?) but by the fact that the number of remaining contestants is already so small:

I was very sure that the challenge last night was going to involve the use of trash or recyclable materials. I'm sure the producers had that exact notion in mind. Did they really need to haul the designers off Manhattan Island just to reveal that they'd be working with denim? No ... but it did add a level of suspense ... at least for a short while. While I wasn't totally wowed by the ep, I have to give a resounding PRAISE THE LORD JEBUS ABOVE that Victorya was expunged from the competition. The girl just rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning and try as I might, she never grew on me. I gotta say ... I was pretty giddy when she got Aufed last night. Jillian may be a quiet, mousey type but she's really good at what she does (save for that horrible jacket last night ... her only saving grace was that Victorya's jacket was even horribler). I love the way the producers made it seem as if Ricky was gonna get cut this week by focusing on his crying in previews for the ep ... I should've known that the little wuus would be crying no matter what happened, good or bad. Is it wrong that his insipid bawling is not only getting tired but extremely irritating -- to the point that I feel the need to punch the wall? Okay, so I'm exaggerating a smidge ... but only just a smidge. It's really hard to feel any sort of like for him when his eyes are welling up and he's making that fug cry face every 5 mins. It must be said, Christian's outfit was ABSOLUTELY fierce ... totally faboo, even. Those jeans kicked all ass ... I was very surprised he didn't win ... say what you will about Christian and his antics, the boy is talented (and he knows it, too). I continue to be very impressed with Rami ... I'd love to see Sweet P win but my gut tells me that it's gonna be down to Rami, Christian and ... Jillian? Not sure about J but I'm pretty sure, from that I've seen at this point, that Rami and Christian are going to Bryant Park. PS: Nina I <3 you! [Source]

Paris Hilton has fled the party scene at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT to attend a premiere screening of her new movie The Hottie and the Nottie in Dallas, TX last night ... here's a pic:

I honestly cannot imagine that this movie will do anything at the box office but it looks like Paris is having a great time on that red carpet nonetheless. It must be exciting for her to finally celebrate the release of a movie that she has top-billing in. I'm pretty sure she was bummed that there weren't any red carpet premiere parties for her first leading lady movie, 1 Night In Paris. [Source]

The amazing NYC glam band Semi Precious Weapons is set to take over the world ... the band has set up a residency in London, England this week before they jet off to Paris, France to rock out there. Here is an amazing picture of Kate Moss cozying up to SPW frontman Justin Tranter at Notting Hill Gate's Death Disco club last night:

These shows are the first UK shows that Semi Precious Weapons have ever played and it looks like they are taking no prisoners ... Kate Moss really loves her rock music so an endorsement from her says a lot about how amazing the band is. Head on over to the band's official site to download their debut album We Love You for free! Then you can hear what the fuss is all about. [Source]

My boy Joel Madden of Good Charlotte has posted a new update about his newborn babygirl Harlow Winter on his official DCMA website along with a few pics of papa Joel showing off some new DCMA designs made specifically for those special shortys in your life. Here are a couple pics of Joel holding up some hella cute babythreads and a pic of J rockin' the hawt Gucci diaper bag:

January 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm

She's already growing to fast! So I am at home writing this blog before i head to the DCMA store, and then the DEAD EXEC studio to work. I swear it's so hard to leave during the day, but always so rewarding to come home to the little family. I've always been a guy who loves to love. Probably one of the things that define me outside of my work is LOVE. I had no idea what love even was until Harlow came along.

Me and her mother feel like the luckiest two people alive right now. This time in our life has been amazing. We both look at our little girl every single moment everyday and know there is nothing we wouldn’t do to protect her and her perfect little innocence. It seems like you turn on the tv, or get online and its all bad news.

We don’t want her to know any of that yet. I actually never want her to know any of the pain and suffering we see out in the world everyday, or how harsh people can be as a result of it. Having this baby has really made me realize we all start out that way, then somewhere along the way something happens and people go one way or the other. But all started out sweet and innocent just like my little daughter. The world could really make you bitter if you let it, but that’s where music, and art come in to save the day ...

My heart goes out to Heath ledger's family. Too young. too soon. too loved to be gone. It almost seems pointless to say this with the state of the media today, but i hope people will respect what his child and her mother are going thru right now and give them space. May God be with them.

It is so great to hear that Joel and his family are so happy and are doing so well. I know that we're dying to see a pic of what his little angel looks like but I can absolutely respect and understand his need to be protective of her. If anything can be learned from a tragic death like Heath Ledger's, it should be that life is very short and loved ones should never be taken for granted. Much congrats and love, again, to Nicole and Joel on the blessing of their baby daughter Harlow Winter. [Source]

All the talk around town about how the new ABC TV series Cashmere Mafia is the new Sex and the City has clearly gone to Mafia star Lucy Liu's head ... she is under the impression that she is actually Carrie Bradshaw, capable of wearing ridiculous-looking clothing in public and that it actually looks good. Here are a few pics of Lucy as she made her way into the Valentino fashion show in Paris, France last night:

While she deffo looks like she is trying to look like the Michelin Man upon further reflection, I now think she looks like she was spawned from an illicit sexual encounter between the Michelin Man and one of those marshmallow Peeps. I suppose Lucy deserves snaps for taking such a fashion risk ... I just don't think that this one worked out for her. [Source]

Woot! Woot! CTU Agent Jack Bauer is back on the scene, ya'll! Here is a pic of Kiefer Sutherland, freshly sprung from jail, walking the streets of Beverly Hills, CA one day after he completed serving his 48-day jail sentence for DUI:

Hee hee, I'm not sure my first public outing after being released from jail would be a trip to Rodeo Drive but more power to him. Kiefer looks pretty good. I'm glad that he's finally been sprung from the joint. [Source]

Eva Longoria grabbed her best girlfriends (Ken Paves included), spruced herself up a bit and launched an invasion in London, England this week. Eva is in town to support and hang-out with her BFF Vicky B. who is back in London to play a few more shows with the Spice Girls:

Truth be told, Eva looks damn good. I like the hair and I love the dress. She looks hawt. Standing next to the robot doesn't hurt either. [Source]

People ... how many times must it be said ... getting the names or initials of someone you are dating (or even married to) tattooed on your body is a BAD IDEA! I don't understand how Kristin Cavallari ever thought that getting the letters NZ (which stand for Nick Zano) tattooed on her wrist would be a wise decision. Well, it seems that she's finally learned the lesson ... that NZ tattoo is about to painfully be dunzo for good:

Love. It's so temporary in Tinseltown—unless you get a tattoo. Then it's so long, closure, and hello, plastic surgeon. That's the route Kristin Cavallari is taking, essentially putting the kibosh on any possibility of reconciliation with Nick Zano (they dated from 2006 until December 2007) by erasing his initials from her left wrist. K.Cav is at Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan's office today, a source tells E!, undergoing a treatment to remove the ink. "It is kind of painful," says the insider, "but she wants that thing off." Treatment is said to take several visits before the tattoo is sufficiently removed ... And in an almost too good to be true twist, Kristin's seeing the same doctor who did Heidi Montag's boob and nose jobs.

Poor thing ... but it's entirely her own fault. I understand that wrist tattoos hurt like a beyotch -- I can only imagine what "multiple" laser sessions must feel like. I somehow doubt that she'll make this mistake again. [Source]

Incidentally, I wonder if MTV has an open account with Dr. Ryan so that all the MTV darlings can just zip in and out for whatever nip/tuck strikes their fancy.

And finally, here is the artwork for Erykah Badu's new album, New AmErykah, Pt. One: 4th World War, which is set for a February 26 release date:

And now the crazy, over-the-top afro that Erykah has been rockin' recently makes all kinds of sense. Who knew she had an entire city living up in there? [Source]

Les News:
Yesterday afternoon I was very fortunate to get to spend some time for a one-on-one interview with the phenomenal Amber Benson. Buffy fans will remember that Amber played Tara Maclay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer ... as well as appearing in movies like The Crush, Latter Days and Race You to the Bottom. It turns out that Amber and I have a mutual friend here in LA and there has been talk of our meeting for some time. Amber has a new TV movie debuting on Lifetime called 7 Things To Do Before I'm 30 this weekend so I thought it might be the perfect opportunity to do a little interview with her about the movie and her various other projects. I had an amazing time getting to sit down and talk with her ... I'll be posting the full audio of our conversation later on today.

Last night, I met up with Tony and Mike for a nice dinner in Sherman Oaks, CA and then spent the rest of the night trying to prepare for my quick trip home to Detroit this weekend. I'll be going home for my Dad's birthday tomorrow but I'll be back here in LA on Sunday night.

I have a bunch of stuff to do yet ... so I gotta jet ... but I'll be comin' atcha from Detroit Rock City tomorrow thru Sunday. I am out.



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