OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) -- Fans stood on chairs to snap pictures and staked out places to get autographs when "Big Brother 2" evictee Krista Stegal returned to the diner where she had been a waitress.
Even the mayor was waiting for Stegal at Ray's Diner.
"We are proud of you, Krista," said John Vallien, the mayor of Opelousas (pronounced op-uh-LOO'-sus). "With all of your stardom, you have never lost sight of where you started.
"Because of your stardom, everyone now knows how to say Opelousas, spell Opelousas, and knows where it is. Thank you, Krista, and we are very proud of you."
Stegal, who stopped by at Ray's on Friday, said she will be visiting relatives and friends for about a week. Then it's back to Los Angeles to continue exit interviews for CBS' reality show "Big Brother 2."
She had not been back to her hometown since leaving the show Aug. 16.
Stegal said she hoped Monica would be the last member out. "She was my best friend. I hope she wins everything."
Hartnett touts Shakespeare
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Josh Hartnett thinks William Shakespeare has something to say to today's youth.
Hartnett, 23, a star of this summer's "Pearl Harbor," has three movies coming out over the next six months, including "O," a teen retelling of Shakespeare's "Othello" set in a present-day prep school and including some disturbing instances of teen violence.
The film's release was delayed after the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado. Original distributor Miramax eventually decided against releasing it and sold it to Lions Gate.
In the film, Hartnett plays Hugo, the conniving son of his school's basketball coach. The character is based on the role of Iago in Shakespeare's play.
Hartnett said he hopes the film will spark discussion of school violence.
"I love Shakespeare and the fact that his story can be so relevant today is astonishing," Hartnett said Friday. "But the film does not glorify violence. It does just the opposite. Hopefully, it will start a dialogue about school violence. For that reason alone, I'm glad it's finally being released."
Soap opera star can sing, too
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Don't think of "Passions" soap opera star Lindsay Korman as just an actress. She can sing, too.
Korman was a teen when she landed a singing role in Las Vegas' longest-running daytime stage show, and was still a teen-ager when she sang on Broadway.
At 16, she starred in "Viva Las Vegas" and followed it up after high school graduation with a role on "Grease." She has had eclectic roles, including in a "Beetlejuice" stage show, and the role of Galatea in the rock opera "Pygmalion: The True Story," played on the island of Cyprus.
Now at 21, she plays Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald, who is set to wed the richest man in the fictional coastal town of Harmony in the 2-year-old NBC soap.
Korman saw herself as a singer and said acting was challenging.
"Instead of singing the words, you speak them," Korman said. "It's gotten easier, but it's still hard work."
Korman got a chance to use her musical talent when she sang a duet on the soap, a song she co-wrote with musician-boyfriend Mark Provart. Korman also was thrilled to sing the national anthem at Dodger Stadium.
She says it's hard to find time for a dual show business career. "I have a lot of difficult choices to make, and I always want to find time to enjoy myself and be with my friends."
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