"My first day in acting class, I was issued a scene that said, 'A teenage couple is making out on a park bench'. When we were called up, I went to kiss the girl, and she was on me - embrace, passion, I'm dizzy, I'm lost. At the break I said to her, 'Do you want to have lunch sometime?' She looked at me like I was a lost puppy and said, 'Oh, no... I have a boyfriend'. I would have bet anything she was into me." Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston on his confusing introduction to acting.
Reservoir Dogs star Steve Buscemi is set to become the latest movie star to seek success online by fronting an unscripted new web series about news and popular culture. The actor has teamed up with bosses at Internet giant AOL to develop the show Park Bench, in which he will host discussions with celebrities and people living in New York City, according to Variety.com.
The series will begin filming later this month (Apr14) and the first season will air online in the U.S. as part of the AOL Originals platform.
He says, "Having lived and worked in New York my whole life, I'm ready to take advantage of all it has to offer."
Gabriel Lewis, head of AOL Studios and AOL Originals, adds, "We strive to produce and showcase programming that captures unique and authentic personalities, and this series will give audiences a glimpse into Steve's world like they've never experienced before.
"Park Bench is a superb one-of-a-kind, eccentric show, and with the association of Steve Buscemi... we're delighted to be taking this series worldwide."
Leonardo DiCaprio was tasked with convincing Daniel Day-Lewis to come out of retirement for Gangs Of New York, because director Martin Scorsese felt sure he would be able to talk the movie great into playing Bill 'the Butcher' Cutting in the film. DiCaprio agreed to meet with Day-Lewis in New York and the two actors went for a stroll through Central Park.
In an online Screen Actors Guild interview on Friday night (21Feb14), The Wolf of Wall Street star revealed he spent weeks trying to persuade one of his heroes to take the role of a vicious thug.
He recalled, "I went to his brownstone (house) and sort of knocked on the door and he opened the door... He goes, 'Shall we walk?' And I go, 'OK'. We started walking through Central Park and he didn't say anything to me for the first couple of minutes, so I said, 'Alright, I'm not gonna say anything to him either'.
"So we kind of walked in silence for about 10 minutes through Central Park... It was incredibly surreal and I just said to myself, 'I'm gonna wait until he's ready to speak to speak'. Finally, in the middle of Central Park, he finds a bench and he goes, 'That looks good; would you like to sit?'
"We sat down and we started talking about acting. I immediately asked him, I said, 'Look, there's a role of a gangster in turn-of-the-century New York, who's a butcher, who carries butcher knives with a top hat and a moustache in a Martin Scorsese movie. Who in their right mind wouldn't do this?'"
However, Day-Lewis wasn't convinced and it took a dinner date with DiCaprio and his pal Tobey Maguire to eventually win him round.
The Shutter Island star added, "We went out to dinner... and it was actually Tobey who said to him, 'Y'know, when somebody has a talent like yours, it's almost their responsibility to do it, to get back in the saddle'.
"I think he slightly disagreed with him at first, but eventually, thank God, he said yes."
DiCaprio later got a taste of what it is like to act opposite one of the movie world's most intense method actors.
He recalled, "There's commitment and then there's Daniel Day-Lewis... It was, like, two days before we started shooting... and I kind of walked by and... I said, 'Morning Daniel...' and he kinda went (grunt). And I said, 'Oh s**t, game on'. I don't think I said another word to him for the nine months we were there (on set). He was Bill the Butcher!"
So, where did we leave off? Somewhere as chaotic as usual, no doubt. We pick up with everyone going in opposite directions: two Gallaghers have officially entered adolescence (it's a bitch), one has secretly joined the army, one went to University of Chicago, one has a steady job for the first time, and one is bed-ridden, liver damaged, and still the über-alcoholic we know and love (?).
Debbie has officially become a teenager and she has all the attitude (and poorly-deployed eyeshadow) to go with it. She sasses big sister Fiona, she loads up on the fruity lipgloss, she wobbles down the sidewalk in snakeskin stilettos – oh, and she's auctioning her virginity online for a million dollars: you know, normal teenager stuff. She also happens to meet a cute yet older boy (he can drive, she's still in middle school). He seems sweet so far, but time will tell if he's a creep – and judging by the Gallagher's track record, he's going to be more trouble than he looks.
Fiona also has a new boyfriend (her supervisor at work), as well as a cherry new job; and things are starting to get more serious in both avenues. She realizes she gets insurance, benefits, and a 401k, and she finally sleeps with Mike. It's a little awkward; they certainly don't have the same physical chemistry as she did with Jimmy (who is still mysteriously gone, by the way – is he dead?), but maybe it's time for a change of pace. We'll see – like with Debbie's boyfriend, at this point, he's still something of a wild card.
And poor, poor, Lip. Sexiled (and snubbed) by his bumbling roommate's girlfriend, given a D by an officious TA, and looked down upon by everyone for his work-study job in the dining hall, he's definitely experiencing the flipside of big-fish-little-pond syndrome. This isn't to say he doesn't deserve getting knocked down a peg, but anyone who's gone to college can probably feel his pain in at least one of his misfortunes. (Even if you always got impeccable grades and didn't need workstudy, chances are you had at least one truly horrible roommate).
Oh, and speaking of Lip, it looks like Mandy Milkovich still carries a torch; in fact, both the Milkoviches are pining for their respective Gallaghers – Mickey does his best to inconspicuously ask after Ian throughout the episode, and in a surprisingly touching scene, he tries to jack off to a portrait of Ian, but becomes so upset that he punches a crater into the bathroom mirror (it was much more moving than it sounds, okay?). Who'd have thunk we'd be feeling this bad for psychopathic Mickey, of all people?
Meanwhile, Veronica and Carl are getting picked dry by Veronica's mother, Carol, who happens to be carrying their future child. She needs money for all the pregnancy staples: ultrasounds, doctor's appointments, and most importantly, chic maternity wear from Nordstrom's. Which would be fine and well, except for the fact that Veronica realizes that she, too is pregnant. How will they handle two kids when they can barely afford one? Veronica frets over how she'll tell Kevin, but the moment presents itself perfectly: when he returns home, saddened by the death of his boss, she comforts him with some much-needed good news.
And Frank has sunk possibly lower than we've ever seen – like Mickey, it's amazing the depth of sympathy we feel for him even after the breadth of damage he's done. Tony (Fiona's cop old flame) finds him in a crackhouse, near-dead, next to a very telling syringe, spoon, and rubber tubing. Fiona's all for dumping him on a park bench "far, far away" but Carl insists on keeping him. Carl's always been his dad's biggest supporter, and it's painfully hard to watch as Frank cajoles him into helping him butt-chug (ew) some Franzia (double-ew). And perhaps it's his way of thanking his son, but Frank proceeds to give 12-year-old Carl the lowdown on masturbation ("Hold it like an egg," and "If you don't use lubrication, you'll get blisters" are only a couple of his gems of wisdom). Somehow, their scenes together manage to be as sweet as they are horrifying.
The button on the episode? Carl returning home with a Costco-sized tub of Vaseline.
A monument dedicated to late country music icon George Jones has been unveiled in Nashville, Tennessee. The ornate memorial has been erected at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Memorial Park, the cemetery in which the singer is buried, and crowds of fans gathered there on Monday (18Nov13) to catch a first glimpse.
A large arch is adorned with the star's name, a poetic tribute and his nickname 'The Possum', as well as a guitar and the title of Jones' song He Stopped Loving Her Today.
Music producer Billy Sherrill, who worked on He Stopped Loving Her Today, was at the unveiling ceremony, along with Jones' widow Nancy.
Nancy says of the unusual memorial, "His fans deserve to come out and see something a little different, to sit there on that bench and see their idol."
She also announced the creation of a George Jones scholarship fund at Middle Tennessee State University, according to Tennessean.com.
The unveiling of the memorial kicked off a week of tributes to Jones, who died in April (13) at the age of 81. Planned events include street parties and a star-studded concert in Nashville on Friday (22Nov13). The gig at the Bridgestone Arena was supposed to be the final show of Jones' last tour before retirement, but it was changed to a tribute show after his death.
The concert will feature performances by stars including Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Miranda Lambert and Vince Gill.
Veteran actor David Suchet almost walked away from his most famous role over a disagreement about a handkerchief. Suchet slipped into the shoes of Agatha Christie's supersleuth Hercule Poirot in 1989 and and will play the detective for the final time next month (Nov13) in an U.K. dramatisation of Christie's final Poirot novel.
But the actor almost abandoned the role in his first series after arguing with a director about how closely the actor should stick to the author's description of the Belgian detective.
Filmmaker Ed Bennett wanted to ignore Poirot's habit of spreading a handkerchief on a park bench before he sits on it, but Suchet was determined the character should remain true to Christie's original.
In his forthcoming memoir, Poirot and Me, Suchet writes, "If I lost the argument, it would mean that my custodianship of Poirot's character was in severe jeopardy - so much so that I really thought that I might not be able to go on playing him... I will say this openly and honestly - in defence of my character, I would have walked. At some points, had I not got the support of my producers, I would have walked."
The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb has been left heartbroken after learning a park bench that played a pivotal role in his moviemaking debut is no longer available for film fans to sit on and look out over Los Angeles. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sat on the bench in Downtown L.A. park Angels Knoll during their awkward courtship in Webb's cult romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer, and ever since that film's release in 2009, fans have flocked to take a seat and admire the view.
But, due to city cuts, the park has now been closed off to the public and there are plans to remove the bench altogether, according to local reports.
Webb tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I don't know enough about civic agencies, and God knows budgets are difficult things to manage, but, let's be honest, maybe there are better things to spend money on (than park benches).
"But, you know what? I'll miss my park bench."
On Friday the Internet erupted with the joyous news that Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a Raggedy Nancy Reagan doll that Barbara Walters found under a bench in Central Park and gave a job, was leaving daytime chatfest The View. As the choruses of "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" rang out the nation over, I got the news from ABC that the rumors were false and that Elisabeth and her gonzo political views had not been voted off the island after all.
Today, Barbara Walters confirmed the truth on the show itself. At the beginning of their "Hot Topics" segments, Walters, who created and owns the franchise and will be collecting coins from it long after she's in her grave, said, “We love Elisabeth. We value and appreciate her point of view. It helps give the show perspective. We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show.”
RELATED: Don't Get So Excited, Elisabeth Hasselbeck Isn't Leaving 'The View'
So, that's that. I hate to say I told you so (especially about this) but I did tell you so.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Lou Rocco/ABC]
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Some say it was the year of hair disasters, some say it was the year of demented movie titles, and some say it was definitely not the year of women, despite what some others are saying. But none of this matters. The only thing that really mattered this past year was the evolution (or not-so-evolution) of our favorite celebrity tot, Suri Cruise. With her pink dresses, sudden outbursts, and park bench flirting, the world really could not get enough. And who can blame the world? I mean, her mom is an idol to many, many twentysomethings. No? Okay, so just Dawson's Creek-obsessed me. In any case, presenting the top ten moments of Miss Suri in all her glory.
I'll take toys from strangers if I want to take toys from strangers.
I told you I'm a cat person.
Don't look at me.
Patterns on patterns FAIL.
Sorry, I don't do sharing.
I don't even care that we clash.
Who's got my seashell purse?
Stupid French braid.
I know you're lying when you say this helmet looks cute.
[Image Credit: FilmMagic, WireImage, INF, AKMGSI, Splash News, Pacific Coast News, Twitter]
Follow Anna on Twitter @thebrandedgirl
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When Fox's mondo adorkability half-hour New Girl started last season it was met with a love-it-or-hate-it response, but there was something even its harshest critics couldn't deny: it was, in fact, new. It had a distinctive female voice that showed the main character, Jess (a slightly fictionalized version of Zooey Deschanel) unapologeticly being her ever twee self. No matter how much of a mess her relationship status was, she had the rest of her life pretty much in check. Well, the show isn't so new anymore and the tone of Season 2 has been so old that's it's starting to stink like a pie left out on Aunt Bee's window sill for the past 50 years. Yes, New Girl is becoming anti-feminist.
Last night's episode about Jess' ticking biological clock finally put me over the edge. This storyline is the most tired thing since a story about women getting moody and irrational on their periods and driving the men in their lives insane. Oh wait, that was a plot on the show just a few weeks back. This is now an honest to goodness trend. What happened to the Jess we knew and loved?
That's not to say shows about female characters – and there are some great ones on the air these days like Girls, Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23, and The Mindy Project – can't address fertility issues, but the way New Girl handled it had some bad messages wrapped up in the good laughs. When having dinner with her lesbyan gynecologist friend (yes, it seems like it deserves an extra Y in that sentence) Jess finds out the couple is pregnant and that even at 30 her fertility is about to hit a rapid decline. She totally freaks out that it is like "the Grapes of Wrath down there" since Jess can never met a cutesy euphemism for her genitals that she didn't like. CeCe, on the other hand, is not so concerned about having babies. She thinks she has time and isn't that interested in kids in the first place.
After they go to the gyno, Jess finds out that her eggs are fine and plentiful but CeCe discovers that if she wants to have children, she needs to start now. Here is where the problem starts. Jess has a fit because even though she has eggs, she has "no sausage" (silly names don't only apply to her genitals) to get her pregnant. CeCe finds she wants children more than she thought, but in the end winds up not telling her current boyfriend about her fertility problem to not scare him away because she might want to have children.
Now, hold up just a minute. First of all, it is OK for CeCe not to want to have children. There are plenty of women who choose not to become mothers for various and assorted reasons. Finding out you can't reproduce must be a difficult blow for a woman, but we also need to learn that it is OK for women in the real world as well as female characters on TV to choose not to ever have a bun anywhere near their oven. Not having children needs to be as viable as Jess' eggs. I thought that is what feminism was all about, having the choice to do whatever women want with their bodies. And then CeCe is sitting on that park bench with her man, scared to tell the truth about her feelings because it might make her boyfriend uncomfortable because he doesn't want to play daddy for another decade and he might dump her? Please! The CeCe that we grew to love, the man-eater who strung Schmidt along for an entire season, would not care what this guy thought about her choices. She would tell him to respect her or get the hell out. She would say, "I want kids, I'm confident in my choice, and if you're not into it, then there are plenty of great guys out there just waiting to knock me up." Suddenly her ovaries are shaking in her womb because her man might dump her over the baby question?
As for Jess, what happened to that strong warrior woman who faced down Lizzy Caplan last season when she accused Jess of being a bad example of femininity? Yes, Jess isn't standing up for her right to wear pigtails and love rainbows anymore, she's waiting around to find the right "sausage" as if that's all that will validate her. This is what she's worrying about rather than, you know, finding a job. That isn't that important to her, but having a baby and a boyfriend is. Who is this new girl? Because I don't know her. Yes, feminism is about respecting women's choices, but Jess lives in a world where if she wants to have a baby, she doesn't need a boyfriend to do it. But she also lives in a world where, to raise a baby on her own, she needs an income. Where the hell are her priorities?
I'm not saying that sitcoms can't talk about menstruation, fertility, or girliness, but I expect that, in this modern age, they have a fresh take on the subject rather than relying on the outdated comedy tropes of fragile women who are just dying to have babies and get married when they're not eating cookie dough on the sofa waiting for Aunt Flo go to back to Red Bank where she belongs. For my money New Girl is still one of the best comedies on TV (though its getting a little outshone by The Mindy Project), but I want it to deliver the promise of the first season: of a girl who isn't afraid to be different, of a girl who is so thoroughly modern that she doesn't need stupid period jokes to get a laugh, of a girl that is new, both inside and out.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Fox]
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