TV Article

With a Little Help

Here's what the ''Friends'' cast is up to this week. Aniston offers a Mideast peace plan, and ''Scary Movie'''s Anna Faris will spend several episodes talking surrogate motherhood with Monica

Jennifer Aniston | CAUSE AND EFFECT Aniston and Pitt add their voices to a contentious debate
Image credit: Jennifer Aniston: Warner Bros.
CAUSE AND EFFECT Aniston and Pitt add their voices to a contentious debate

FRIENDLY PERSUASION Step aside, Colin Powell. Jennifer Aniston has a Middle East peace plan. Aniston and Brad Pitt are among the entertainers who've lent their voices to OneVoice, an organization dedicated to fostering peace between grassroots Israelis and Palestinians by trying to get them to find commonality and ignore extremists on both sides. ''The last few years of conflict mean that yet another generation of Israelis and Palestinians will grow up in hatred. We cannot allow that to happen,'' say the Pitts in a statement on OneVoice's website. The couple are part of the group's Entertainment Council, which also includes Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Jason Alexander, and Edward Norton. There were rumors that the stars were planning a goodwill visit to the region later this year, but founder Daniel Lubetsky said in a statement: ''There are not any immediate plans for celebrities to travel to the Middle East.'' Of course, it's easy to snicker when big stars like Pitt and Aniston (who recently signed on to produce a movie about Daniel Pearl, the U.S. journalist abducted and slain in Pakistan last year while covering al-Qaeda) stick their noses into thorny political issues. Why, next thing you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger will run for governor of California.

ENCOURAGING WORDS The Friends have been doing their share of philanthropy lately. Last week, Courteney Cox was one of several stars who donated shoes last week to a celebrity footwear auction that raised $31,000 to donate shoes to orphans in more than 30 countries. Matthew Perry helped custom design a Jeep Wrangler and hosted a charity raffle of the vehicle, with the proceeds going to help kids with the genetic disorder Williams Syndrome. (The event, held last Saturday at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, also featured James Michael Tyler, who plays Central Perk's Gunther, and was organized by ''Friends'' casting director Leslie Litt-Resnick and her husband, who lost a child to Williams Syndrome.)

Cox is also one of the celebrity voices who contributed to the Celebrity Talking Dictionary, an online glossary of more than 500 hard-to-pronounce terms related to breast cancer, as enunciated and defined by a group of more than 40 famous folks. ''I want to help empower women dealing with breast cancer to talk to their doctors, get all the information they need, and take control of their treatment,'' Cox says on the website. Granted, it may be helpful to have Cox sound out terms like ''ifosfamide'' and ''leukopenia,'' but users may find that a lot of the voices -- Celin Dion, Iman, Martina Navratilova, Jane Leeves, Olivia Newton-John, and Tom Brokaw -- don't pronounce words the way many Americans do.

FARIS PRANCE Matthew Perry liked Anna Faris' ''Lost in Translation'' performance (in which she plays a ditsy diva who Faris insists is not based on Cameron Diaz) so much that he wanted her to have his baby. Well, not his baby, but Chandler and Monica's baby. Faris told EW last week that she'll have a guest arc on ''Friends'' as the birth mother of a baby that the Bings hope to adopt. ''It's more of a dramatic part,'' says Faris, best known as the star of the ''Scary Movie'' franchise, whose latest installment topped the box office chart when it opened last week. She elaborated to USA Today, saying she'd be appearing in three episodes. ''This is my first TV experience, and what an honor,'' she told the paper. ''I'm so excited to do the show and in their last season.''

Originally posted Oct 29, 2003
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