By Honey Gillard

A wave of suspicious love annotations seems to have swept over Hollywood’s most prized stars – from ‘The O.C’ Rachel Bilson to ‘Lord Of The Ring’ heartthrob Orlando Bloom. This disease – apparently spreading further and further into Hollywood – has got everyone renouncing loudly and proudly “New York, I Love You”.

So is announcing love for popular city Hollywood’s latest fad? Not so much. This sudden explosion of New Yorken love sprouting from the set of the new anthology film ‘New York, I Love You’.

The film will be compiled of 12 short films that will together form a cinematic love letter to the Big Apple.(1) Each film (ranging 5 minutes long) will be shot by reknowned international directors in each of New York’s five boroughs, each expressing the eternal theme of finding love.

“It’s a celebration of love and relationships,” states creator and producer Emmanuel Benbihy.

Signed on to the film – and currently filming in the wondrous city – include such names as Natalie Portman (Star Wars), Shia LeBouff (Transformers), Orlando Bloom (Lord Of The Rings), Scarlett Johannson (Nanny Diaries), Rachel Bilson (The O.C), Hayden Christensen (Jumper), Blake Lively (Gossip Girl), Kevin Bacon (Hollow Man), Robin Wright Penn (Beowolf) and Ethan Hawke (Assault on Precinct 13); as well as many more. Seriousely the list is endless……

So anyways, here’s all the latest on the ‘New York, I Love You’ set:

– Rachel Bilson has had a blonde moment on thet set of the film; trading her reknowned glossy brunette locks in for a set of blonde bangs – but don’t worry it’s only a wig. [ See photo right).

-Bilson’s real-life beau, Hayden Christensen (who turns 27 this weekend), was also seen ‘getting his tongue wagging’ as he shoots some hoops on the New York City set. (2)

-Hollywood hottie Orlando Bloom’s was interrupted by a pigeon whilst filming a scene recently, apparently startling the young actor. After looking to check the bird had left the area, Orlando regained his composure and was able to continue shooting his scene. (3) Also seen intertwining in some of Bloom’s New York scenes was actress Christina Ricci.

-Transformers and Indy IV star LeBeouf will join Julie Christie and John Hurt in a segment scripted by the late Anthony Minghella, which he was also set to direct until he sadly apssed away. Replacing Minghella in the director’s chair will be Shekhar Kapur. (4)

-Portman and Johansson, meanwhile, will be donning megaphones, with each making their directorial debuts and helming their own segments. (5)

-First-time actor Abe Karpen was set to portray Portman’s husband in their piece, before pulling out of the film due to religious beliefs. (6) Portman and Karpen portrayed a young Hasidic couple about to get married.

Benbihy said, “Mr. Karpen was well-liked and highly regarded. We regret but respect and understand his choice to pull out from the movie. From our perspective, we felt very welcome in Brooklyn.”

Benhiby wrote of the film: “Following the successful feature film ‘Paris, je t’aime’ that opened the 2006 ‘Un Certain Regard’ section of the Cannes Film Festival and was distributed worldwide, we are thrilled to present ‘New York, I Love You’.”

“12 filmmakers will direct a short film (5 minutes) illustrating the universal theme of encountering love within the five boroughs of New York City.”

‘Paris, je t’aime’ has proven to be a wonderfully creative experience for all the talents involved. Internationally acclaimed directors such as the Coen brothers, Alexander Payne, Gus Van Sant, Alfonso Cuaron, Wes Craven, Walter Salles, Tom Tykwer, and artists among which Elijah Wood, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Natalie Portman, Nick Nolte, Gena Rowlands, Gérard Depardieu truly enjoyed this enjoyable and inspiring project.” (7)

“We now think Newyorkers need a little love before heading to China.”

New York, I Love You’ is a follow up to the Cairns film Festival achiever ‘Paris, Je’taime’ and is set for a 2008 release – according to A subsequent film is also set for 2010 titled ‘Shanghai, I Love You’.

See some pictures from the set.

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