Heard on the Hill: Newest Star of the Silver Screen

Posted April 9, 2010 at 5:30pm

If you spot a gaggle of paparazzi trailing Rep. Jack Kingston on Capitol Hill this week, don’t be surprised: The Georgia Republican launched his film career during the Congressional recess.

[IMGCAP(1)]Kingston appears alongside superstar Miley Cyrus in the recently released tearjerker “The Last Song,” a Nicholas Sparks-penned flick that follows the teen as her character reconnects with her father in the small Georgia beach community of Tybee Island.

The island is in Kingston’s district, so the Congressman joined about a thousand of his constituents to work as $8-an-hour extras in the movie when it filmed on location last year. Kingston’s appearance in the film is short but memorable, he tells HOH: He can be spotted (spoiler alert!) in a funeral scene sitting next to actress Kelly Preston, who plays Cyrus’ mother in the film.

While it’s a pretty plum role — “My big-time role of one and a half seconds,” Kingston joked — the Congressman doesn’t have any lines.

“They wouldn’t trust me with that,” Kingston said. “If they gave me any lines, I think they would be afraid I’d go on a [rant] about health care or something.”

When HOH chatted with Kingston on Friday, he hadn’t even yet seen the film — but he told us that he planned to watch it with his wife and daughter soon. Kingston added that he had gotten feedback from constituents and others who had seen the movie.

“Some people have said, ‘Oh, we saw you. You look as ugly on the silver screen as you do in real life,'” he joked.

We’re sure those people are just jealous, Congressman.

Sticky (Green) Situation. HOH often highlights the, shall we say, rather naïve actions of people who bring marijuana onto Capitol Hill. Typically, these folks are visitors who don’t realize Capitol Police officers are likely to spot their dope stash as they pass through security.

But a former Congressional staffer bringing pot into a Congressional office building? That’s a rarity.

Capitol Police arrested former House aide Lena Beery on Wednesday for marijuana possession after she went through security at the Cannon House Office Building. According to a police summary report, Beery — who served as an executive assistant to Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) — had “a jar with a green leafy substance” in her purse as she tried to enter the building. After the substance tested positive for marijuana, officers arrested Beery on a misdemeanor charge.

But Beery, who left Capitol Hill last year and plans to attend law school this fall, told HOH on Friday morning that the incident was “an embarrassing mix-up.” While she wouldn’t disclose any specific details about her arrest, Beery insisted she expects to be soon cleared by police.

“I can’t really say anything until they close the book on this,” she said. “But it was a mix-up.”

Congress Cooks. The competition is heating up for this year’s March of Dimes Gourmet Gala, in which Members of Congress pit their most mouth-watering recipes against one another.

Whose cuisine will reign supreme at the Wednesday event? HOH found some odd-sounding entries slated for this year’s face-off: Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and his wife, Penny, are offering Dried Beef Spread; Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) and his wife, Stephene, will serve Katie’s Kansas Raspberry Black Bean Dip; and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and his wife, Terry, are doling out Deviled Chicken Lollipops.

While HOH isn’t sure just how tasty those dishes will be, it’s all for a good cause, not just bragging rights. The event is the biggest funding source for the organization’s Mama & Baby Bus, which provides free prenatal and dental care to pregnant women in Washington’s poorest neighborhoods.

Let the gastronomic games begin!

The No. 5 Curse? Washington Redskins fans were mostly thrilled by the news that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb will soon be wearing their team’s burgundy-and-gold uniform.

And one Member of Congress has a personal interest in the matter. Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) was not only a Redskins quarterback himself, but he wore No. 5 on his jersey, the number that McNabb wore for years as an Eagle and will most likely wear in his new role with the Redskins.

Shuler tells HOH that, from one No. 5 to another, he wants the newest player to do better than he did in his own less-than-stellar turn on the Washington gridiron. (Shuler threw five interceptions in one game, and ESPN voted him the fourth biggest NFL draft bust of all time — yikes!)

“It’s great that Donovan McNabb is coming to Washington,” Shuler tells HOH. “I hope he has better luck with the number than I did.”

We bet that most fans would second that.

Overheard on the Hill. “It will be a boy or a girl.”

— Rep. John Boccieri (D-Ohio), stating the obvious when asked by the Associated Press about the sex of the child that he and his wife, Stacey, are expecting on Election Day.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.

Can’t get enough HOH? Get a midday dose of fun and gossip with HOH’s One-Minute Recess, delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here — because everyone deserves more recess.