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The Beat
Adam Duerson
August 28, 2006
Vince Papale, the former walk-on NFL wideout whose story is told in the Disney movie Invincible, wasn't always thrilled about being portrayed by the Man Formerly Known as Marky Mark. Before Mark Wahlberg signed on, Papale says he didn't know much about the Boogie Nights star. And when Wahlberg finally agreed to meet and discuss the project, the actor was an hour late. But once the meeting started, the two clicked. Says Papale, "My palms were so sweaty--but I noticed his were sweaty too. He was genuinely nervous about meeting me." Papale pulled out a scrapbook and showed off some photos, after which Wahlberg promised, "I'm going to make you proud." The two spent the night drinking past 4 a.m., and now, says Papale, they're inseparable. "If we don't see each other three, four times a week, we get worked up. He's my little brother."
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August 28, 2006

The Beat

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Vince Papale, the former walk-on NFL wideout whose story is told in the Disney movie Invincible, wasn't always thrilled about being portrayed by the Man Formerly Known as Marky Mark. Before Mark Wahlberg signed on, Papale says he didn't know much about the Boogie Nights star. And when Wahlberg finally agreed to meet and discuss the project, the actor was an hour late. But once the meeting started, the two clicked. Says Papale, "My palms were so sweaty--but I noticed his were sweaty too. He was genuinely nervous about meeting me." Papale pulled out a scrapbook and showed off some photos, after which Wahlberg promised, "I'm going to make you proud." The two spent the night drinking past 4 a.m., and now, says Papale, they're inseparable. "If we don't see each other three, four times a week, we get worked up. He's my little brother."

David Beckham was asked to join one of the planet's most elite sets last week when he was invited to lay eyes on Suri, the reclusive four-month-old daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. The invitation was extended to Becks and his wife, Victoria, when Beckham's team, Real Madrid, was touring the States. It was accompanied by a list of Scientology rules to follow, such as "No making noises at the baby." ( Beckham hasn't said if the meeting took place.) Cruise took his wife and his 11-year-old son, Connor, to see Beckham play an exhibition game in Salt Lake City.

To the ranks of celebrities who have sported the red-and-black hot pants of the Miami Heat dancers you can now add Layla El (left). The twentysomething (she won't give her age) danced for the Heat through the 2006 playoffs, and she recently won the $250,000 top prize in the WWE Diva Search contest. (Other noted Heat dance team alums are Bachelorette Trista Rehn and Pussycat Dolls member Jessica Sutta.) To nab the title, which comes with a one-year WWE contract, El had to outfox eight finalists in competitions such as a lingerie contest, a dance-off and a water fight. Afterward, El addressed the fans who voted her to victory: "You guys have booed me, loved me, made me puke in the toilets, but you have helped me grow."

So you wanna be a coxswain? This fall, CCTV, China's state-run television network, will air a reality program on which 350 contestants will compete for a spot skippering the Chinese Olympic rowing team at the 2008 Games in Beijing. (The winner will be chosen by viewers.) According to a rep for the show, potential skippers must be less than 100 pounds and between the ages of 16 and 50, but, he says, "everyone from the lowest peasant to old grannies can apply ... and be in the running for a gold medal." ... Former Celtics and Lakers forward Rick Fox will be lacing up his sneakers again. The part-time thespian (Oz), who retired after the 2003--04 season, will play a basketball star with lady troubles on the upcoming FX drama series Dirt.

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