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The Wattage Meter: How bright are these stars shining?

A weekly guide to the wattage of celebrities in the news

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ELVIS COSTELLO: 40 watts Celebrities and shameless self-promotion go together like, well, let’s just utter the words “The Kardashians” and leave it at that. But Elvis Costello went refreshingly against the trend this week in a blog post that went viral. He advised fans not to buy his new box set, The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook, because “the price [of $202.66 U.S.] appears to be either a misprint or a satire.” He suggested people instead buy a new collection of Louis Armstrong records, which comes at a cheaper price. “Frankly the music is vastly superior,” he added.

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DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: 60 watts When was the last time the celebrity press got excited about a beard? Tough to say, really. But the facial scruff Daniel Day-Lewis is now sporting isn’t just any old beard. This week, images surfaced of the 54-year-old actor with the facial hair he’s crafted to play one of the most famous U.S. presidents in history in Steven Spielberg’s biopic Lincoln. Day-Lewis’ resemblance to the man who ended slavery was described by one website as “more than kind of awesome.” Next up: celebrity journalists going crazy over stovepipe hats.

Michael Phillips/Splash

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MICHAEL FASSBENDER: 100 watts With perhaps the exception of Canadian Ryan Gosling, no other actor has achieved the sort of star status that Michael Fassbender has this year. He’s won raves for period pieces (Jane Eyre) and superhero blockbusters (X-Men: First Class). He’s earning even more acclaim – if that’s even possible – for his new movie, Shame, opening Friday, in which he stars as a sex addict. Some will go for his acting, others will go perhaps for the full-frontal nudity.

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