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Damon punches out

Matt Damon's out, and Brad Pitt's in. That's the latest on Darren Aronofsky's highly anticipated pugilist pic "The Fighter." Apparently because of a scheduling conflict, Damon has bowed out of the big-budget boxing flick, in which he was to play trainer Dick Ecklund to Mark Wahlberg's "Irish" Micky Ward. Based on the brothers' true story, the film will chronicle the duo's rough-and-tumble early days in Lowell. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Scott Silver, whose credits include the gritty "8 Mile" and "The Mod Squad," is rewriting the script.

Variety offers guide to Matt's life
Speaking of Damon, Variety's Peter Bart cautions the Cambridge-bred actor not to take himself too seriously. The trade's editor in chief writes in this week's issue that the "Bourne" star risks becoming boring if he continues to avoid the spotlight so assiduously. "Does it represent a response to the Owen Wilson-Lindsay Lohan school of self-destructiveness? . . . Living in denial seems mildly pathological, Matt." In conclusion, Bart recommends Damon consider living more like, say, George Clooney. "Brando is so not today's role model, either in terms of behavior or heft."

A little bit of soul
First Act Guitar Studio in the Back Bay was the place to be yesterday. Joel Kosche and Ed Roland of Collective Soul played a special set for WBOS listeners during the lunch hour and later Jenny Lewis and Rilo Kiley played a few acoustic tunes before their show last night at Avalon.

Whitestarr's Cisco ready to play
Watch out Boston - Cisco Adler's on his way. Mischa Barton's shaggy former boytoy is bringing his band Whitestarr to this weekend's College Fest at the Hynes Convention Center. The son of Lou Adler, the legendary LA lothario/music producer, Cisco and his band are being sponsored by Playboy, which will also be at the Hynes this weekend in the person of Miss October Spencer Scott. "I've had a relationship with Playboy for a long time," Adler told us yesterday. "Probably since I was, like, 12." Whitestarr, whose members proudly look and sound like they're stuck in the '70s, is also the subject of a VH1 reality show, "The Rock Life." Asked whether his romances with the likes of Barton, Kimberly Stewart, and Lauren Conrad, could hurt his band's chances of being taken seriously, Adler sighed. "Dude, I just happen to like pretty women. I'm not going to turn down a date with a pretty woman," he said. "I'm a man."

Madsen's winning act
Accepting the best actor award the other night at the Boston Film Festival, Michael Madsen gave a shout-out to Jeff Kalligheri and his Boston-based Dolce Vita Productions. Madsen said he'd made a few friends in his short time here and would like to film his next effort, "Stray Movie," in Boston. Kalligheri was at the fest's final night with his cohorts, screenwriter Billy Dufresne and Hyde Park singer Louie Bello.

Redstone honored for hospital gift
Boston-bred billionaire Sumner Redstone was feted at the Four Seasons this week for the $35 million donation he made last spring to Mass. General's burn unit and emergency department. The media mogul's generous gift - the largest in the hospital's history - is a token of his appreciation for the hospital's efforts after he was badly burned in a 1979 hotel fire. (He'd previously donated $6 million to the burn unit.) Among those honoring the 84-year-old Redstone were Sox owner John Henry - a hospital trustee - as well as Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and CBS chief Les Moonves.

No fighting her appeal
Even in black and white, Jennifer Garner looks gorgeous on the cover of the new Marie Claire. Ben Affleck's better half tells the mag she and her hubby would like to live closer to their families - hers in West Virginia and his in Cambridge - but it's unlikely they could do that and still make movies. "It bums us out," she says. "We haven't figured it out yet." She says the couple, whose daughter Violet is about to turn 2, rarely, if ever, squabble. "What I mean is, if [Ben's] ever angry with me, he doesn't act out on it in a weird way or yell at me. And I'm the same," she says. "So we can handle conflict in a very loving and adult way."

Boston 'doll struts for 'Top Model'
Keep an eye peeled for Boston Babydoll Vita Lightly on the new season of "America's Next Top Model: Cycle 9." Lightly, a Bay State native who's been twirling her tassels with the burlesque troupe since January, is among 13 young lovelies trying to impress Tyra Banks. (She's "Sarah" on the show.) Lightly, who grew up in Heath, is 20. She attended BU for two years before recently transferring to Drew University in New Jersey.

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