Despite myriad international settings called for in the script, the producers of the HBO movie "Hemingway & Gellhorn" kept its carbon footprint low by shooting the entire film on location in the San Francisco Bay area, having it stand in for locales as diverse as Spain, Finland, Cuba, China, New York and Key West, augmenting scenes with CGI backgrounds and archival footage as necessary. Starring Clive Owen as novelist Ernest Hemingway and Nicole Kidman as war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, the film depicts their passionate love affair and tumultuous marriage.

"She was a trailblazer," says Kidman of Gellhorn, the first female war correspondent, whose memoirs were the partial basis for the screenplay. Playing a real person, "There's a lot of research," Kidman notes. "It's like doing the homework before the exam. You want to have the well of information. And then it's trying to find the essence, not to be a caricature."

She loved the character's strength and passion. "Martha inspires me. I love women that defy the odds; that burn bright. She didn't believe in being objective as a journalist. She believed in having an opinion and being willing to stand up for that." That independence eventually put her at odds with Hemingway. "He thought he wanted a woman who was an adventurer, and then when he finally gets her and she won't settle down and be domesticated, he doesn't know what to do with that," Kidman notes. "It's not the crux of it but it feeds through the whole story."

"Hemingway & Gellhorn" premieres May 28 on HBO.


"I have a Ford Escape hybrid. I pull cords out of the outlets, I recycle paper, bags, plastic bottles," says Keke Palmer, the "True Jackson" star whose musical movie "Rags" premieres on Nickelodeon May 28. In the modern twist on the Cinderella story, it's a guy (Max Schneider) in the downtrodden stepbrother role, with a talent that helps him rise above. Palmer plays a superstar singer itching to rebel against the image and marketing machine and do her own thing, and there are many entertaining musical numbers throughout. Palmer also voices the role of teenage mammoth Peaches in "Ice Age: Continental Drift," which hits theaters July 13.


On May 29, Yahoo! Screen will launch a new Web series called "Plugged In," a reality travel adventure competition with an eco-friendly twist: teams will travel across the country participating in challenges as they explore the hometowns of celebrities in the quest to win a 2012 Ford Focus Electric car. Participating celebrities along the route include David Arquette (Los Angeles), Alicia Silverstone (San Francisco), Ali Wentworth (Washington D.C.), Jenna Bush Hager (Austin), Rocco DiSpirito (Boston), Bill Rancic (Chicago), Adrian Grenier (New York), Emily Procter (Raleigh) and India Arie (Seattle). The weekly series will conclude August 7 in Los Angeles.


Tune in: Ten students narrowed down from more than four million compete for a $25,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands in the finals of the "2012 National Geographic Bee," simulcast on National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild May 24. Following on Wild is "Wild Lab: The Shark Test," in which a team of engineers and shark experts attempt to capture a predatory attack from the shark's point of view by attaching a camera to the shark's dorsal fin.

PBS "Nature" examines what scientists are doing to combat the collapse of salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest in "Salmon: "Running the Gauntlet," premiering May 23.

Photo courtesy Nickelodeon

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Ecollywood: Odds and ends 5/23/2012
Weekly celeb roundup: HBO 'Hemingway' movie starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman; Keke Palmer conserves; 'Plugged In' hits the road.