Grapevine: Celebrity news

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Jeff Daniels to join ‘Divergent’ film series

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jeff Daniels is about to sign a deal to join the “Divergent” film franchise. He’s set to appear in “Allegiant: Part 1 and Part 2” as David, the leader of the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. The first part begins shooting next month.

Axl Rose releases letter

to Indonesian president

Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose made public a letter he wrote to Indonesian President Joko Widodo this week, pleading for clemency for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two members of the Bali Nine, a group of people arrested in 2005 for allegedly planning to smuggle drugs in or out of the country. In the lengthy, 15-paragraph correspondence, Rose says the executions would be “a barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act of pride, ego, fear and prejudice.” Eight of the prisoners — two Australians, four Nigerians, an Indonesian and a Brazilian — were executed by firing squad Wednesday morning, according to CNN.

Downey Jr. talks about walking out of interview

“Avengers” actor Robert Downey Jr. is not sorry about walking out of a television interview after being asked a question about his “dark periods” involving drugs and drinking. Downey told Howard Stern that he wishes he had walked away sooner. “I’m always assuming the social decorum is in play, and that we’re promoting a superhero movie, a lot of kids are going to see it, and that just has nothing to do with your creepy dark agenda,” he told Stern. Downey also revealed that he passed on starring in “Gravity” after a test scene in a space simulator left him feeling very uncomfortable. George Clooney took the role instead.

Also ...

■Singer Jack Ely died at age 71 this week. He was best known as a former member of the Kingsmen and singer of their cover of the Richard Berry song “Louie Louie.”

Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon are officially divorced for the second time. According to TMZ, Salomon will pay Anderson about $1 million in the settlement.

Compiled by Melody Baetens

Today’s birthdays

Cloris Leachman , 89

Johnny Galecki, 40

Kunal Nayyar, 34

Kirsten Dunst, 33