Harry Potter star asks for tolerance

NEW YORK – Daniel Radcliffe is explaining why he has just filmed a public service announcement for The Trevor Project, the leading organization focusing on suicide prevention efforts among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth.

Because his parents were both actors, “I grew up knowing a lot of gay men and it was never something that I even thought twice about — that some men were gay and some weren’t,” the “Harry Potter” megastar said Friday. “And then I went to school and (for) the first time I came across homophobia. I had never encountered it before. It shocked me.

“I have always hated anybody who is not tolerant of gay men or lesbians or bisexuals,” he added. “Now I am in the very fortunate position where I can actually help or do something about it.”

The result is a PSA that was filmed Friday at the organization’s Wall Street offices. The announcement is scheduled to air sometime this spring.

Radcliffe first became aware of The Trevor Project, founded in 1998 by three filmmakers, while he was appearing on Broadway in the 2008 revival of “Equus.” Their movie, “Trevor,” which won an Academy Award for best short film, concerned a gay teen who attempts suicide. The Trevor Project allows young people to call in for counseling or just to talk.

“I have described myself as being ‘gently eccentric’ just because I’ve had a very different set of influences growing up than anybody else in my peer group did,” the 20-year-old Radcliffe said. “I’ve always felt very lucky to have the life that I’ve had. I never had to cope with anything serious about my religion or sexual orientation or anything like that.

“I think it’s important for somebody from a big, commercial movie series like ‘Harry Potter’ and particularly because I am not gay or bisexual or transgendered. … it shows that straight people are incredibly interested and care a lot about this as well.”

 

Drug-sniffing neighbor

 

CHALMETTE, La. – The rapper Juvenile and his music producer have been arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana after neighbors told police they could smell pot coming from a house being used as a recording studio in Louisiana.

The 34-year-old rap star, whose real name is Terius Gray, was booked on Thursday at a jail in St. Bernard Parish southeast of New Orleans. Gray and his 42-year-old producer Leroy Edwards were released later that night on bond.

There was no phone listing for Gray and a sheriff’s spokesman said he did not know whether he had an attorney.

Juvenile is best known for the song “Back That Thing Up.”

 

Cheney following orders

 

WASHINGTON – One of Dick Cheney’s daughters says the former vice president is recovering well from the mild heart attack that sent him to the hospital last week.

Liz Cheney says her father is following doctor’s orders. Dick Cheney, who is 69, has had five heart attacks – the first when he was 37.

Liz Cheney said on “Fox News Sunday” that the lesson of her father’s experience is that a person can live a full life with coronary disease. She said it’s important to be vigilant for signs of the disease.

Dick Cheney was released from George Washington University Hospital on Wednesday.

 

Film critic finds his voice

 

CHICAGO – Film critic Roger Ebert says computer programmers have captured his voice from movie commentary tracks so he can type what he wants to say and listeners hear a voice that sounds like him.

Ebert lost his ability to speak after surgery for cancer. He writes in Sunday’s Chicago Sun-Times that a Scottish company has helped him regain a voice his grandchildren can recognize.

Ebert recorded commentaries for DVD movies before he lost his voice. A Scottish company blended digital recordings of Ebert speaking to make his text-to-audio voice.