Tag Archives: simon baker

Emmys Highlights

First, let me get this out of the way. What does Hugh Laurie have to do to win a frakkin’ Emmy?! Jeff Probst now has two Emmys; Laurie, zero. ‘Nuff said.

nphOverall, the show was kinda boring because there weren’t a lot of surprises. Neil Patrick Harris did a good job in a thankless role—his opening number was amusing and I liked how he identified presenters by their most obscure roles—but I thought he’d be funnier and a lot more irreverent. Everything felt too safe. Even his Dr. Horrible appearance with Nathan Fillion fell a little flat.

If you want a complete list of winners, click here. Read on if you want to see who gets my Nerdies. (All photos via Variety.)

Most Deserving of Thanks: Stuntwoman Jeannie Epper. When Ken Howard won best supporting actor in a TV movie for Grey Gardens, he thanked Epper for giving him a kidney. Yeah, I’d say she was way more responsible for his winning the award than his agent was.

chenowethBest Audition for Her Next Job: Kristin Chenoweth. In her speech after winning best supporting actress in a comedy series for Pushing Daisies, she said, “I’m unemployed now so I’d like to be on Mad Men. I also like The Office and 24.” If you’re asking for a job, an Emmy is a good prop to be holding while you’re doing it. (It was cute how the Emmy was almost as tall as Chenoweth.)

Best Explanation for How He Became a Winner: Matt Hubbard, 3o Rock writer, said, “I’d first like to thank Walter Patterson for punching me in the 8th grade and turning me into a comedy writer.” If Chris Long didn’t repeatedly throw the dodgeball in my face in 5th grade, I wouldn’t be here, either.

Funniest Listing of Nominees: Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Every year I look forward to the category of best writing for a variety, music or comedy series because the nominated writers always do something goofy. This year, O’Brien is seen deleting all his writers as friends on Facebook. Runner-Up: Brian Williams reading the names of Saturday Night Live‘s writing staff and then saying that collectively they’re known simply as “Nerds.” Holla!

Person Who Couldn’t Be Nerdy if He Tried: Simon Baker. He came out to present an award wearing nerdy glasses and rumpled hair but still looked ultra hot. When I have bed hair and my glasses on, the neighborhood kids threaten to give me a wedgie.

Coolest “Rat”: As usual, Ricky Gervais was the funniest guy in the room. Sporting what he called a “Rat-Pack green” retro jacket, he said he felt comfortable and “above average” among TV stars since movie stars are so annoyingly good looking. He then invited an audit of his bank account in case anyone doubted how much he’ll make as executive producer of The Office (“whatever that means”) now that it’s going into syndication. Why hasn’t somebody hired Gervais to host an awards show already?

drew & JessicaBest Losing Reaction: Drew Barrymore. When Jessica Lange won for Grey Gardens, Barrymore bounced up from her seat with a face-splitting grin, clapping madly for her co-star. She got teary-eyed and exuded so much joy, you’d think she won the award herself. That’s either class or she pulled off an act deserving its own Emmy.

Most Boring Winner: Two and a half seconds after I said, “Please let it be anyone but Jon Cryer,” he was named best supporting comedy actor for Two and a Half Men. I’m too bored to write anything more about this.

What did you like or didn’t like? What did you think of Neil Patrick Harris? (Click here for my fashion comments.)

Interview: Nerdy Questions for NOT FORGOTTEN’s Tomas Romero


It’s always fun for me to interview people but this time was especially fun because Tomas is a friend and fellow obsessive pop culture nerd. He’s also a screenwriter/producer who wrote last year’s MTV movie musical, The American Mall.

This Friday, May 15, the supernatural thriller he co-wrote and associate produced, Not Forgotten (see trailer below), opens at the Mann’s Chinese theater in L.A. The film stars Simon Baker (who has shirtless scenes), Paz Vega (Sex and Lucia, Spanglish), Michael DeLorenzo (New York Undercover), and features Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black). It’s about a man who seemingly has the perfect life in a Texas border town until his young daughter is kidnapped. The incident is tied to his dark, secret past involving his faith in Santa Muerte (Saint Death), something he must invoke again in order to get his child back.

In between writing American Mall 2 and a post-apocalyptic teen comedy, Tomas agreed to answer my nerdy questions.

w. chair

PCN: There are a lot of whores in this movie. Was it a fun set?

With actress Carmen Perez

With actress Carmen Perez

Tomas Romero: I believe they prefer the term “working girls,” but yes, the Mexican whorehouse scenes were just as fun to shoot as they were to write. It’s funny, though, I kept apologizing to the actresses on set, like, “I’m sorry I didn’t give you a name, Curly-Haired Whore or Grabby Girl #2, but I must say, you look awesome in that pink halter top.”

PCN: Oh, I’m sure that made up for it. The movie also includes lots of details about death cults. Research or personal experience?

santa muerte

Santa Muerte

TR: No, man, I gave up death cults in college. Seriously, though, we did loads of research and even though much of what my co-writer, the film’s director Dror Soref, and I unearthed about the very real cult of Santa Muerte was fascinating. I think the thing we found most interesting about Santa Muerte is that she is a street Saint, a down-and-dirty version of the Virgin Mary if you will. And though she is invoked most famously by criminals, gangsters, and prostitutes, she is also a very real part of many people’s lives in Mexico. We found several instances where policemen in these areas actually prayed to Santa Muerte for protection before their shifts. I mean, how cool is that?

PCN: Um, pretty cool, I guess, but she still looks super creepy. You started writing this script many years ago. Why do you think it came together now?

TR: Ha! If I had an answer for that, I’d have a lot more produced movies under my belt. I’m kidding, kinda, but the reality is that getting a movie made these days, even at a studio level, is very difficult and taking a truly independently-financed film from page to screen is next to impossible. Luckily for us, we had a small army of very talented folks behind the scenes. Not counting myself, there is like a baker’s dozen of producers on this movie and they all rocked.

PCN: How did they get the financing?

TR: Santa Muerte!

PCN: Dur! OK, you didn’t have children when you wrote this but now have a baby daughter. Do you look at your own script and say, “Oh, crap! I just created my worst nightmare!”?

Baker, Moretz & DP Steven Bernstein

Baker, Moretz & DP Steven Bernstein

TR: OMG, I know, I can’t even imagine. Some of the things we put poor Chloe Moretz—the crazy-talented young actress who plays Baker’s kidnapped daughter Toby—through in this movie, I was like, Please don’t watch this movie ’til you’re, like, 30. She was fine with everything, a total pro and hilariously funny to boot, but I was a wreck during all her scenes. And now that I have a daughter of my own—forget about it.



PCN: By scene 10, Jack and Amaya are in a steamy sex scene. Did you put that in before or after you knew you’d landed Simon Baker and Paz Vega?

TR: That scene was always there. The casting of Paz and Simon just made it that much steamier, so, yay for us!

Carmen Serano, Michael DeLorenzo, Benito Martinez

Carmen Serano, Michael DeLorenzo, Benito Martinez

PCN: My friend Carmen Serano is a gorgeous actress and model. Why’d you cast her as a gimpy prison warden with a unibrow?

TR: I know. What were we thinking? Clearly, Carmen would have made a much better whore. Ha! Totally kidding. Carmen was awesome to work with and her character does get some of the biggest laughs in the movie, so, unibrow or not, I think she’ll be very happy with how she comes off. Your other friend, Benito Martinez, is also fantastic in the movie. Benito plays a sleazy Mexican police chief like nobody’s business and the dude steals every scene he’s in! He’s great. OMG, and [your other friend] Greg [Serano] is so badass in the movie!

PCN: That’s hilarious, because I think Greg is goofy. And I mean that in the best way.

TR: He has this one great scene where he is grilling Jack and Amaya and he holds his own, baby. If this whole acting thing doesn’t pan out, which it obviously has since he’s been working non-stop, the dude would make a truly scary policeman! Yikes!!

PCN: You also wrote the story for MTV’s original musical, The American Mall. Any similarities between singing mall rats and chanting death-cult followers?

Paz Vega, Moretz

Paz Vega, Moretz

TR: Totally! MTV’s standards and practices made us cut the death cult chant from Mall but it was so cool! Seriously, the movies are a lot more alike than they seem. I mean, deep down, both films are about staying true to your authentic self at all costs, and the steep price you pay when you don’t. The female leads in both movies know this from the get-go, it’s the male leads that have to learn this lesson the hard way. And though the mechanics of their situation are very different, the journey both Joey in Mall and Jack in Not Forgotten take is essentially the same.

PCN: How do you feel about Not Forgotten opening on the same day as Angels & Demons? I feel like I should wear a giant cross around my neck if I go to the movies this weekend.

TR: You should totally wear your cross, because there is gonna be a whole lotta death cult and demon love going on at the movies this weekend.

PCN: Some people I know saw the trailer and said it’s too scary for them. Give them one reason to go see it anyway.

TR: Well, it is kinda scary, but, I think it’s important to differentiate between scary movies that exist solely to scare and scary movies that have a little bit more going on. Take for instance, The Exorcist. On the surface that movie scared the crap out of me as a kid—and still does, actually—but I kept watching because I really, deeply cared about what was happening to this poor woman and her daughter. Not Forgotten is kind of the same way. You might wanna cover your eyes sometimes, but at its core, it is a movie about a father struggling to hold his family together despite some spectacularly tall odds. And, Mexican death cult or not, who can’t relate to that?

2009 Golden Globes Fashion Round-Up

OK, more “Nerdies” to hand out, this time for fashion.

Best Dressed (Female): Three-way tie for me between House‘s Olivia Wilde, lovely in a lavender gown that looked like cotton candy…o-wildeDrew Barrymore, whose dress looked as ethereal as a cloud (though the hair made her look a little old)…
Actress Drew Barrymore arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Aand Mad Men‘s January Jones, who looked very Grace-Kelly-winning-an-Oscar-for-The-Country-Girl in her ice-blue, backless gown.
Actress January Jones arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Aw

Best Dressed (Male): Tie between Simon Baker and Tom Cruise. Their tuxes were beautifully cut and everything was in its place. Cruise looked like he’d had a facial, his pores were so tight.


Appearance that Scared Me Most (Male): Sting. With the full brown beard and brown hair, the usually sexy rock star looked like he’d been living in the woods and wrestling with bears. I’d say, “Don’t stand so close to me,” ’cause he might try to gnaw off my left arm.


Appearance that Scared Me Most (Female): Renee Zellweger. I love Renee and she usually looks great in Carolina Herrera but I don’t know what to make of this. I’ve heard of backless dresses but not frontless ones. I can see her granny bra. r-zellweger

Best Dressed, Under 20 Years Old: Rumer Willis, who actually looked great in red hair and a burgundy gown. (While she was interviewed by Ryan Seacrest on E!, the channel ID’d her as “Rumor.”) Actress Rumor Willis arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awa

Least Successful Attempt by an Over-20-Year-Old to Look Under 20: Cameron Diaz in this cutesy pink dress. She looks like she’s trying to be Dakota Fanning.

Actress Cameron Diaz arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awa

Most Confusing Animal Print: Maggie Gyllenhaal. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen a blue leopard.

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Glo

Most Eco-Friendly: Rachel Griffiths. She recycled a brown paper bag by wearing it as a dress.

Actress Rachel Griffiths arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe

Most Likely to Glow in the Dark: Amy Adams. Her skin is so luminous she seemed to radiate light.amy-adams

Most Likely to See Her Business Go Through the Roof: Lorraine Schwartz. It seemed like every other star was wearing her beautiful, unique jewelry—Beyonce, Christina Applegate, Elizabeth Banks. My faves were the pink earrings designed especially for Jennifer Morrison’s dress and Amy Adams’s green earrings, which were striking against her red hair.28cb01c808f08ab1_jennifer-morrison1

Most Likely to be a Donor for Beaver Tail Transplants: Debra Messing. She has gorgeous hair but this ponytail is a little too big for me. messing

Who did you think look the best? Which outfits made you wonder if the celebs got dressed in the dark? Which stars surprised you most with their fashion choices? Leave a comment and discuss!

Behind the Scenes Preview of the Golden Globes



The People’s Choice and Critics’ Choice Awards aired this past week but did anyone care? The first real kickoff for the awards season is Sunday night’s Golden Globes, airing from 8 p.m. to whenever on NBC. I’m excited about the return of the Globes in all its splendor after the sad press conference last year. 

There will be plenty of coverage here of the show and just to give you a taste, my mole from the inside offered up these tidbits as the preparations are finalized:

  • Jennifer Lopez will open the show by presenting the first award, Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.
  • Lopez will be seated at the “Hot Latinas” table in a front corner with nominee Penelope Cruz (for Vicky Christina Barcelona) and presenter Salma Hayek. 
  • Located at the best table in the house down in the pit will be Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, who’ll finally receive his Cecil B. DeMille Award. (The Hollywood Foreign Press Association wanted to give it to Spielberg last year but delayed it when the ceremony was scrapped.)
  • So many A-list movie stars are attending that TV nominees like Steve Carell are relegated to the back of the room. Even It-Girl Tina Fey doesn’t fare much better.gg6
  • An HFPA member says Anne Hathaway wrote a letter with a cute request: “My mom will be my date…she was wondering if you could please sit us near George Clooney…seriously, you’d make her 2009. Acceptable substitutes…are Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood and/or Steve Carell. Thank you!” As you can see from the picture above, it doesn’t look like Hathaway’s mom will get her wish. 😦
  • Simon Baker and Eva Longoria Parker will be presenting Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a TV series, mini-series or TV movie. They themselves might qualify for Best Looking Presenting Duo.
  • Johnny Depp will make his first appearance as a Globes winner (he finally won one last year for Sweeney Todd) to present Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy.
  • Sting will be presenting Best Song. Bruce Springsteen will most likely win for The Wrestler and seeing him on stage with Sting is going to make me hyperventilate.
  • Every guest (even non-celebrities) at the Beverly Hilton this weekend gets a special commemorative gold room key etched with “Golden Globes 2009.”

Enjoy the show and check back here afterwards for lots of coverage, including reports from the after-parties!

Reviews of New TV Shows

We’re about a month into the TV season and I’ve had time to sample some of the new shows. Nothing has blown me away so far but there are a couple I found promising and two that disappointed. 

Life on Mars (ABC, Thursdays, 10 p.m.) is the American remake of a BBC show starring Jason O’Mara, Harvey Keitel (in his TV series debut), Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol. It’s about NYPD detective Sam Tyler (O’Mara), who gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. Did he time-travel or is he really in a coma and all the events we see are only in his subconscious? It’s unclear, as it was in the original British version. Sam continues to solve cases in 1973, some of which might be related to the serial killer he’s tracking back in the present. He’s seriously hampered in his job by the lack of a computer, cell phone and use of DNA science. His colleagues also seem to be renegade types who don’t necessarily play by the rules (Keitel’s character, Lt. Hunt, prepares to rough up a suspect already in custody. “Is that necessary? Tyler asks. “No, it is not,” replies Hunt, as he punches the suspect). The look of the show is gritty and sepia-toned and Imperioli sports a ’70s-porn-mustache from hell. But the fashion and soundtrack are groovy (The Who, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, whose song is the show’s title) and the cast makes it all compelling. This might be a cop show but it looks and feels different than any other currently on the air. Rating: Good

The Mentalist (CBS, Tuesdays, 9 p.m.) is a more conventional police procedural but Simon Baker keeps it interesting. So far the cases are unexceptional but Baker’s laid-back charm as Patrick Jane pulls the show along. Patrick is a man who used to pretend he was a psychic to bilk money from people, but then a serial killer slaughtered his family (the killer didn’t like the fake psychic pretending he could predict the man’s next move) and now Patrick works as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation. He says psychic powers don’t exist; he solves cases by being very, very observant. Robin Tunney plays the agent who works with him and unfortunately, her performance is as flat as Baker’s is cool. She’s completely unconvincing as a tough investigator and has no authoritative presence whatsoever. The rest of the agents haven’t been given much to do but Owain Yeoman and Tim Kang are talented actors so hopefully their roles will be beefed up in the future. Rating: Good

CBS debuted another hour-long this season that involves a psychic but has nothing to do with crime-solving. The Ex List stars Elizabeth Reaser as a woman told by a psychic she has to marry within the year to someone she’s already dated or else she will end up alone. So Bella Bloom sets out to locate and re-date her exes (awkward much?). Reaser is very winning as Bella but the scripts so far haven’t supported her. Her friends are underused (Amir Talai is usually very funny, even in commercials, but only has about two lines per episode) and Rachel Boston is annoying, useless, and unbelievable as Bella’s sister (they look nothing alike). I really wanted to like Ex since Reaser is such a talented actress but if the show doesn’t stop being so cutesy and ridiculous (someone puts a toupee on her privates after she over-waxed!), I’ll have to put this on my Nix List. Rating: Okay

Another female-centric show is Kath & Kim (NBC, Thurdays, 8:30 p.m.), starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair. I don’t have to tell you much about this show because if you watched any of the Olympics, you’ve already seen the clips a thousand times. So what’s a whole episode like? I wouldn’t know because I couldn’t get through it. The jokes were so stale and outdated I thought I‘d traveled back to 1973. Selma Blair, whose career I’ve never understood (she does seem like a smart girl in interviews and looks cute on red carpets), rolls her eyes so furiously you’d think the eyeballs might tumble out her ears. Molly Shannon didn’t have one funny line in the 17 minutes I watched the show. And poor John Michael Higgins, so funny in the Christopher Guest movies, is completely wasted here as the straight man (he plays Kath’s suitor) to the ladies’ antics. If you’re gonna cast Higgins, you’ve got to let him run wild. Rating: Sucks Dirt