Category Archives: Actors

My Fantasy Fellow Jurors

Yesterday, I had jury duty and found Rumer Willis in my jury pool. This got me fantasizing about being on a jury panel full of famous people. Who would I want on there?

After some deliberating (I had a lot of time to kill), I came up with this list of 11 people I’d like to serve with and why:

  1. Chuck Norris, because if anybody tried to bullshit him, he’d roundhouse them in the head.
  2. mentalistSimon Baker, because he can read minds like he does on The Mentalist and tell when someone’s lying. OK, that’s reaching but c’ mon, it’s Simon Baker. Do I need to explain why I want to be sequestered with him?
  3. Bono, because he seems to have a strong desire to do the right thing. Plus, he can lend me his shades so I can sleep through boring testimony.
  4. feyTina Fey, because she’s smart and sharp-witted so she’d make deliberations fun.
  5. Jesus, because who would lie to Jesus?
  6. J.K. Rowling, because she knows about good vs. evil. Also, she might write the plot of her next book on lunch napkins and leave them lying around.
  7. Speaking of lunch, I’d want Wolfgang Puck, because he’d take the crappy food in the courthouse cafeteria and turn it into something edible. Yesterday, my beef stew looked like it had floating chunks of…never mind.
  8. cateCate Blanchett, because I just want to sit next to her amazingness.
  9. Ann Coulter, because if deliberations go long and I get cranky, I want someone around I can slap without remorse.
  10. clooney as claytonGeorge Clooney, because I want to dare him into placing a whoopee cushion on the judge’s chair.
  11. Bruce Springsteen, because he’s the Boss and can serve as foreman.

Who would be on your fantasy jury panel and why?

First Look at Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman Together on Broadway

via Entertainment Weekly

via Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly has the first publicity photo for A Steady Rain, the Broadway play that will star Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman as two Chicago cops whose friendship gets tested when they get involved in a domestic conflict. I think they look more like two perps in a line-up arrested on suspicion of child pornography or lewd public behavior.

The Keith Huff play is still in rehearsals so hopefully, Craig’s mustache will be trimmed/eliminated by the time previews start September 10. The man doesn’t have to try and hide his good looks to prove he can act!

The play’s run is scheduled until December 6. Anybody bought tickets yet? What do you think of the ‘stache?

Exclusive Interview: Nerdy Questions for THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE’s Hailey and Tatum McCann

If you’re a regular reader here, you know I’m a devoted fan of Audrey Niffenegger’s novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and that I’m excited about the movie adaptation finally opening this Friday, August 14. (Click here to read an assessment after a test screening.)

Hailey McCann

Hailey McCann

Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, who star as Henry and Clare, have been getting lots of press so I thought I’d talk to a pair of different actors from the movie, Hailey and Tatum McCann, sisters who play Henry and Clare’s daughter Alba at different ages (Hailey: 9 & 10, Tatum: 4 & 5).

Though they were traveling to attend the movie’s New York City premiere tonight, August 12, the girls agreed to an e-mail conversation and come across grounded and smart, like normal kids who just happen to be in a grown-up business.

For more info on Hailey and Tatum and how they got their start in acting, click on their names to visit their websites. Meanwhile, read on as they answer my nerdy questions about their TTTW experiences.

PCN: Stories about time travel can be confusing, even for adults. How did you manage to make sense of the story? Did you read the book first?

Hailey: No, I didn’t read the book first because I heard that it was too mature for my age at the time, but I didn’t find it confusing at all!  When you break it down scene by scene, it’s a lot easier to understand.  The only part that was confusing was when we couldn’t figure out which Alba was in what scene because we were both referred to as “Young Alba”!!

Tatum McCann

Tatum McCann

Tatum: No, I did not read the book because it was too grown-up.  I heard that they kissed and stuff…eeeww! It wasn’t really confusing because we do it one scene at a time over and over and over again—until we had lunch…yum yum.

PCN: Who auditioned first?

Hailey: We both decided that Tatum would go first and she read for Alba and [Young] Clare, then I would go next reading for Alba.

PCN: How many callbacks did you have before booking the job?  Did you have to screen test with either Rachel McAdams or Eric Bana?

Hailey: I had an audition and a callback and that was it. I never had a screen test with either of them.

Tatum: Me, too!

PCN: That’s great. Sometimes actors have to audition 6-8 times for a big movie. What was it like working with Rachel and Eric?

Hailey: Both Rachel and Eric were truly amazing people to work with!  Before we started shooting the film, the three of us took a trip to a museum to get to know each other.  As we walked around, many people recognized Rachel. When they did, she graciously took pictures with them and was so loving and kind to everyone. A few months later, Eric and I were shooting in Chicago . It was unbelievably cold and very windy. Eric would huddle me in his oversized and fuzzy jacket to help keep me warm in between takes. Both Eric and Rachel are amazing actors and extraordinary people.

Clockwise from L.: Brooklynn Proulx (who plays Young Clare), McAdams (in back), Hailey and Tatum at the movie's NYC premiere

Clockwise from L.: Brooklynn Proulx (who plays Young Clare), McAdams (in back), Hailey and Tatum at the Aug. 12 NYC premiere/Getty Images

Tatum:  Most of my work was with Rachel. In between takes, Rachel and I would exchange jokes. She was so nice listening to all of my jokes that didn’t make a lot of sense because I would tell them in segments or whenever we had time. Rachel is very funny and she knows tons of great jokes. After we finished shooting, she gave me a fabulous joke book that still entertains me today!

PCN: You kind of covered my next question. Since you had to do some heartbreaking scenes, I was wondering what you did between takes.

Hailey: Actually, I laughed and danced and talked and shouted!!! While the camera is rolling, I stay in character and am totally serious, but once they say “cut,” it’s all smiles from everybody on set.

Tatum: I would help Rachel start laughing to help her stop crying. Once you get so into a scene it’s hard to stop, but good jokes and smiles usually do the trick!

PCN: What were your favorite experiences on set?

Hailey: One of my favorite experiences was when Tatum and I got to film together. It was so much fun to film because we hadn’t seen each other for a while and we got to meet up and do what we both love to do…act! And we got to poke a dead bird with a stick, but the first reason is more important.

Tatum: I second the motion! Working with my sister was awesome, and I hope to do it again soon!

PCN: What are you working on now or have coming up?

Hailey: I recently filmed an episode of [the A&E TV series] The Cleaner and I have auditions in the works…fingers crossed.

Tatum: I shot an episode of ER and recently went out on a couple movie auditions…wish me luck!

PCN: Break a leg, both of you! Do you intend to keep acting into adulthood? When you hear stories about child stars like Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton misbehaving, how does it make you feel?

Hailey: As of now, I am 13 and loving acting, but we will see where acting takes me. And as far as people in the news, I wish they had better friends to keep them grounded and out of trouble!

Tatum: I want to continue acting and hope I will grow up to be as cool and pretty as some of the actresses I’ve worked with, like Rachel McAdams and my sister, Hailey.

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Farrah Fawcett 1947-2009

farrah

My heart is heavy and my words are clumsy right now so I turn the floor over to a contributing writer, Christian Moralde, who had several personal encounters with Fawcett over the years. I thought his impressions of her would make a fitting tribute.

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I’ve long respected Farrah Fawcett’s work as an actress but only in the last ten years have I really appreciated the person and become aware she was a lot more than the pin-up in the red bathing suit and one of Charlie’s angels.

She was an Emmy, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominee, worked off-Broadway and held her own against co-stars such as Cicely Tyson, Robert Duvall, Sidney Poitier, Geraldine Page, Kirk Douglas, and Glenn Close. She was actively involved in charity work against domestic violence and served as a board member for the National Advisory Council for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

First time I met her was in 2002, at a Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition of her artwork. I asked Farrah what kept her going and made her a survivor in the industry.

“Always be yourself. Always use yourself,” she said.

The second time I met her was at the 2004 TV Land Awards, where she was being honored and having the time of her life. I asked her backstage if I could take her photo and she flipped her hair playfully in full Farrah mode. At another point, someone asked her to hold up a product (I don’t recall what it was) and have her picture taken with it. This was strictly against the orders of her manager, who was standing nearby. When he wasn’t looking, she grabbed the product and told the person to hurry up and take the picture before her manager turned around. I’ve never forgotten her graciousness, lively spirit, and genuine sense of self.

In 2006, I had the opportunity to talk to the late director, Robert Altman, at an Oscars nominee luncheon about directing Farrah in Dr. T and the Women. His face lit up and his eyes sparkled. “She is lovely, a genuine lady and pleasure to work with.”

A couple of years later, Farrah was invited to speak to the Los Angeles chapter of the Screen Actors Guild about her career, which spanned more than three decades. We chatted afterwards about how she’d managed to have this longevity and she said, “Don’t look at the negative. Always look at the positive.” She must have used those words often during her fight with cancer.

I don’t want to focus on that final struggle for which she was primarily known these past few years. In writing this, my hope is to acknowledge her spirit and celebrate her life because she was a class act.

Never-Before-Published Photos of Marilyn

from LIFE.com

from LIFE.com

In her short life, Marilyn Monroe managed to be one of the most photographed women of the 20th century and you probably think you’ve seen most of those photos. Nope, LIFE magazine has a bunch more of her that has never been published.

Coinciding with Marilyn’s 83rd birthday today, LIFE.com is running a batch of pictures taken by photographer Ed Clark in 1950 at L.A.’s Griffith Park (there’s an option for you to buy them as framed prints). The negatives were only recently found as part of LIFE’s attempt to digitize their photo archive. The site says: “Why LIFE never published this gold mine of photos after Marilyn became a superstar remains a mystery. The only clue: a brief note about the shoot we found in our archives, addressed to LIFE’s photo editor and saying that ‘this take was over-developed and poorly printed.'”

In the photos, Marilyn is already transformed from Norma Jeane and is undeniably beautiful but still unpolished and innocent, not quite the sex symbol she would soon become. It’s kinda cool for me to see her roaming around a familiar area where I’ve spent loads of time.

What do you think of the photos? After looking at them, raise a glass to Marilyn and sing “Happy Birthday” to her in your breathiest voice.

from LIFE.com

from LIFE.com

The Nerdy Hot 10 List

Maxim released its annual Hot 100 List today, focusing on women with exceptional beauty and bodacious bods. (House‘s Olivia Wilde got the top spot.)

Looking at some of the names, I thought the chosen women are indeed gorgeous but physical perfection is only one way to judge hotness. Year in and year out, the same people seem to end up on these lists.

So I decided to release my own Nerdy Hot 10 List, with male celebs who are sexy not because of their ripped bodies (though some might have them), but because of something a little imperfect, goofy, or nerdy about them. So here’s my list, in no particular order, and the reasons why these guys made the cut.

Colin-Firth3

1. Colin Firth. Firth is the epitome of the awkward man who always gets tongue-tied around a pretty girl. But that awkwardness is what makes him so endearing, as evidenced by the hilarious scene in Love, Actually when he publicly proclaims his love in halting, butchered Portuguese to the woman of his affection. And remember those dreadful reindeer sweaters he sported in the Bridget Jones movies? He’s hot for having the courage and good humor to wear them.

hugh

2. Hugh Laurie. He often appears slovenly and unshaven on House and behaves like an ass. But then you hear him play piano, sing a funny ditty on a talk show or give a humorous, humble acceptance speech for an award and all is forgiven.

paul-rudd-+monsters-vs-aliens

3. Paul Rudd. He’s most famous for doing bawdy comedies as part of the Judd Apatow gang; his blue eyes and boyish charm allow him to get away with all the mischief. But he can also do Shakespeare (I saw him do Twelfth Night in a Lincoln Center production), write scripts, sing, produce and all these hidden talents add up to one sexy guy.

rdj

4. Robert Downey Jr. The first time I saw him was in The Pick-Up Artist, where he played a pretty geeky guy trying to hit on Molly Ringwald . What a difference twenty years make. Despite all his legal troubles and drug abuse, he’s somehow managed to salvage his quick wit, intelligence and ultra-sized talent. You may be well aware of his acting prowess but have you ever heard him sing? Forget about it. He’s got a voice that can melt inhibitions.

James_McAvoy_168774

5. James McAvoy. He may not be the tallest, most muscular or dashing man but oh, is he romantic. Check out those intense blue eyes. When he looks at his leading actresses in movies like Starter for 10 and Atonement, he really looks at them, as if they’re the most exquisite creatures he’s ever seen. And we the audience can almost feel him gazing right through the screen into our own eyes.

normal_jonhamm-madmenpress12

6. Jon Hamm. I tried watching one episode of Mad Men and Hamm did nothing for me as Don Draper, though he was certainly groomed and dressed well. Then I saw him on 30 Rock as Tina Fey’s hapless boyfriend and developed a crush immediately. Hamm was ridiculously funny as the guy who was so beautiful, no one would tell him the truth about anything. He played tennis atrociously but thought he was awesome, rode a motorcycle like a drunk but thought he was cool and was clueless about the correct usage of the word “ironic.” I think Fey is a comedy genius and for Hamm to keep pace with her is sizzling hot.

James_Franco

7. James Franco. He’s not that interesting as Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies but when he’s goofy, like in Pineapple Express and funnyordie.com videos, he gets my sexy stamp. Plus, he gets extra points for being a nerdy academic, with an English degree from UCLA and working towards graduate degrees in creative writing and film at Columbia and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, respectively.

bret mckenzie

8. Bret McKenzie. As half of Flight of the Conchords, he doesn’t have much luck in his career or with the ladies on the show. But he, along with Jemaine Clement, makes me laugh hard with brilliant, kooky songs and their hilarious, clever lyrics. I don’t get starstruck much but if I ever meet him, I’d be completely tongue-tied and that’s a true sign of hotness in my book.

Daniel-Craig8

9. Daniel Craig. Yeah, he beefed up for Bond and looks great in a tux but before that, he played a scrappy drug dealer in Layer Cake, a murderer in Infamous and an unsympathetic Ted Hughes in Sylvia. His face isn’t conventionally pretty, with rough features that look like he’s been in a few brawls, but I’ll take him over the typical Calvin Klein model any day.

burn-after-reading_l

10. Brad Pitt. I swear he’s not on this list for the obvious reasons because, frankly, I find him rather bland when he plays heroes and pretty boys on screen. But he rocks my socks when he plays crazy like in Twelve Monkeys or a doofus like in Burn After Reading. A funny man who also happens to look like Pitt? Smokin’.

What do you think? Who else should be on this list? Wanna see who’s on my Nerdy Hot 10 List—Female Edition? Click here.

Hang with Leo, Save the World

Happy Tax Day!

leonardo dicaprioWanna know how you can get a cool tax write-off next year? By clicking here and bidding on autographed memorabilia from Leonardo DiCaprio’s movies and a chance to spend time with the man himself at the premiere of his movie Shutter Island, which opens October 2. Also up for grabs are guitars signed by top recording artists. If I could offer myself up for auction, I would, but I think the organizers are trying to raise money.

The proceeds go to Global Green USA, which combats global warming and is working to rebuild New Orleans in an earth-conscious way. Check with your accountant but I believe the money you spend would count as a charitable donation.

The auctions begins today at 7 p.m. PST and will end next week on Earth Day, April 22.

I’m hoping I win the Titanic replica…