In the midst of the media circus surrounding the opening of Nanny McPhee Returns, lead Maggie Gyllenhaal mentioned to a reporter at Screen Crave that she would be starring opposite her husband, Peter Sarsgaard (An Education), in the upcoming biopic of country music legend Bill Monroe.
"Bill Monroe, who invented bluegrass music, had a kind of Sid and Nancy style affair with this woman Bessie Lee Mauldin throughout his life," said Gyllenhaal, referring the role she will be playing. "T-Bone Burnett's going to do the music and Callie Khouri - who wrote Thelma and Louise - wrote the script… so we're going to do that together." Finn Taylor (The Darwin Awards) is set to direct.
The project has been described as a "labor of love" for Sarsgaard, a devoted bluegrass fan, who brought the untitled biopic to Khouri a number of months ago to be developed as a low-budget independent film. It's the perfect project and role for Sarsgaard, an incredibly talented actor who hasn't yet gotten the recognition he deserves from the Academy. The chemistry his real-life wife, Maggie, will bring to their onscreen relationship can only help his chances at an inevitable Oscar nod.
Bill Monroe helped develop the bluegrass genre in a career that spanned more than half a century. The musician, whose best known songs include 'Blue Moon of Kentucky' (which may possibly be the title of the film) and 'Uncle Pen', has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, just three years before his death at age 84.
Bill Monroe, Photo Courtesy CMT
The Thelma and Louise star, a Democrat, was appointed to California's Commission on the Status of Women on Tuesday (20Jul10).
The nonpartisan panel works to promote equality and justice for all women in areas such as education and access to health care.
Davis, 54, has previously worked to promote the cause - she is involved in the United Nations Development Fund for Women and is founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which encourages film and TV writers to create more roles for the fairer sex.
Davis will serve on the commission for four years.
The 9 Songs star had signed up to play Lady Thelma Furness in the new movie which tells the story of Britain's King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne after falling in love with American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
The Material Girl will take the director's chair for the second time to tell the story of the former British monarch, but she is now looking for a new star to take over Stilley's role after the actress dropped out.
Stilley tells Britain's Sunday Telegraph, "I had the role, but we had artistic differences. She (Madonna) is really something. I wish the cast luck because they are all really talented."
The film, which stars Abbie Cornish and James D'Arcy, is slated for a 2011 release.
The music mogul last week (17Jun10) spoke out to Thelma Townsend, who competed on the TV show with her husband Don in 2007, urging her to contact her concerned family members after she disappeared earlier this month (Jun10).
He said, "Thelma, there are a lot of people very worried about you. So please make contact."
Townsend's husband and son Danny scoured her hometown of Bristol, England to locate her and police have now confirmed the 62 year old has been found "safe and well".
The Godfather star has been making movies since 1969 and will spend 2010 shooting his latest film project, Mary Mother of Christ, alongside Camilla Belle and Peter O'Toole in Morocco.
To celebrate Pacino's landmark birthday, WENN has collected 10 fascinating facts about the man who brought Michael Corleone to life.
- His full name is Alfredo James Pacino.
- Pacino's maternal grandparents hailed from Corleone, Sicily - mirroring his character's last name in The Godfather trilogy.
- He has received eight Academy Award nominations over the years, and won one - he was named Best Actor for his role 1992's Scent of a Woman. The win came 21 years after his first nomination for The Godfather.
- Pacino turned down the role of Han Solo in 1977 sci-fi epic Star Wars - the role gave Harrison Ford his big break.
- He once worked as an usher at New York's Carnegie Hall.
- During his early years as an actor, Pacino considered changing his name to Sonny Scott - derived from his childhood nickname.
- The nickname comes from the song Sonny Boy by Al Jolson, which Pacino loved to sing as a youngster.
- Pacino is one of only three screen stars to receive Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year - the others are Jamie Foxx and Barry Fitzgerald.
- He has never married.
- An Oscar nomination for 1972's The Godfather marked a run of four consecutive nominations for Pacino, a feat only managed by four other stars - Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Jennifer Jones and Thelma Ritter.
"I still keep in touch with Susan. We always get a kick out of walking the street together and seeing how people look at us. It's fun." GEENA DAVIS often reunites with her THELMA AND LOUISE co-star SUSAN SARANDON.
The Thelma & Louise actress starred in the original 1988 picture alongside Alec Baldwin as her onscreen husband and Michael Keaton in the title role. The story followed a deceased young married couple who haunt their former home with the help of a mischievous spirit.
Speculation about a possible follow-up has been rife in recent months, and Davis admits she would definitely sign up if Burton decided to bring the movie back from the dead.
She tells Moviehole.net, "It's funny, (another journalist) just asked me about a sequel to Beetlejuice - which, though I haven't heard anything about it, might be interesting. I would do that!
"Thing is, do ghosts age? Wouldn't we be stuck in the age we were? Alec and I would have to look as we did then - who knows, maybe we could? I better get in touch with Tim Burton."
Rumours of a sequel first emerged in the 1990s but never came to fruition, while Keaton broached the idea of a follow-up back in 2005 - insisting he would "love" to go back to Beetlejuice: "At one point, I had the conversation with Tim, saying 'I love this movie so much; I think there's one more in there somewhere.' And we both talked about it, and I think there was a script written once years ago that wasn't quite it. I would consider that, yeah, a lot. I would seriously consider that."
The Thelma & Louise actress parted ways with her longtime partner last summer (09) after 23 years together.
She has now opened up about life without the Shawshank Redemption star, insisting it's similar to gliding in the sky alone.
Sarandon tells Entertainment Weekly, "I did a movie a long time ago where I had to fly a glider. You get towed up in the air by a plane, and it's loud and annoying. And at some point you pull the cord and you're suddenly floating, and in your mind it makes absolutely no sense. But it's exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. That's where I am now."
And despite refuting reports she is dating her 31-year-old business partner Jonathan Bricklin, the actress insists she would be open to finding love again.
She adds, "It's a long time to not be dating and to then be going back into it. I certainly love the idea of being in love, and I love the idea of companionship... I think the point is to just keep moving, and to just say yes to life."
The Thelma & Louise star believes studios release too many films without substance in a bid to make millions at the box office - and she's calling on executives to start catering to cinemagoers who crave stimulating stories.
She says, "I think it's important for directors to tell stories that they feel passionately about. There's a lot of dumbing down because Hollywood is so greedy. They want to make everything appeal to everyone, so they end up homogenising things. They don't trust that audiences can take something that's a little edgier or a little bit unusual.
"It's not true that audiences just want things that are mindless. They don't think the audience can go for two minutes not understanding what's happening and that everything must be tied up at the end and that they can't be sad and that they can't be confused.
"So they treat audiences like they're two (years old) - and audiences are pretty smart!"
The Thelma & Louise actress admits trying narcotics in the past, but insists her experiences - with both legal and illegal substances - haven't always been successful.
And the star has warned her three children to be careful of what they take - and urges them to ask her for advice before they consider getting high.
She tells Britain's Observer newspaper, "I'm very susceptible to drugs of any kind. Coffee, it's great because it gets me very up, but then I crash.
"I'm not really interested in drinking. Tequila maybe, but champagne makes me fall asleep. It doesn't take much. I love (magic) mushrooms and I've done those successfully, but I don't like anything chemical. I didn't like LSD, and Ecstasy wouldn't agree with me.
"I like stuff you can smoke. Everyone is wired differently. Some people can do stuff that others can't. That's what I told my kids. Some drugs can kill you. Some are not even worth trying. Some are a lot of fun, so talk to me first."