Devoted bluegrass fan Peter Sarsgaard is attached to star in a biopic of the country music legend Bill Monroe, the man who helped create the bluegrass genre. Sarsgaard (An Education) reportedly approached Oscar-winning writer Callie Khouri (Thelma and Louise) about helping to rewrite the first draft of the script, ostensibly with himself in mind as Monroe. While the bluegrass biopic is still in early stages of development, it will likely come together as a low-budget independent film, with Finn Taylor (The Darwin Awards) in the director's chair.
The untitled project has been described as "a labor of love" for Sarsgaard, whose most recent roles as the villain in the big-budget Cruise-Diaz vehicle Knight and Day and the upcoming Green Hornet movie are decidedly less 'indie.' The Monroe biopic could be just what Sarsgaard needs to highlight his talent and finally lock down a well-deserved Oscar - although I'm not sure why Sarsgaard would want to work with Taylor, whose films have generally received middling reviews from critics.
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' 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 of CMT) Source: The Wrap
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."
Amurri disrobed for a scene opposite David Duchovny on the hit show - and never told her parents or her brothers she'd be baring all on TV.
And Sarandon is keen to clear up rumours that she was the one who pushed her daughter to do her nude scene.
The Thelma & Louise star says, "First of all, she would not listen to me. There's no way to push my daughter into doing anything. I didn't push her into it. That's a really funny idea.
"She did it herself and she didn't ask permission. She's a grown woman. I guess because everyone expected me to be really upset that she did it, they go to the other extreme... but I thought she did a brilliant job. She has an absolutely unbelievable God-given body and if she's ever going to do it (get naked) she should do it now. And she understood that.
"If she was comfortable, I was comfortable. I thought she handled herself really well, not just the physical thing. She seems very healthy and well-adjusted on the show. I'm just so happy she found something she likes to do... She was amazing and I hope she gets tons of work from it."
The Thelma & Louise star opened the doors to her own ping pong parlour, SPiN New York, in September (09) and the venture has proved popular with everyone from young children to senior citizens.
But she insists her own paddle skills leave a lot to be desired.
She tells OkMagazine.com, "I'm not good. I'm more of a ping-pong propagandist than a ping-pong player. I like to make the atmosphere for people to play, and at our club, at SPiN, it's an incredibly eclectic audience that's there - all kinds of people. They're there in the afternoon, they're there at night, and sometimes it turns into a heavy club and sometimes it's really serious ping-pong players. We've been very lucky."
And Sarandon is encouraging more women to take up the game, adding, "I love the whole idea that it crosses all gender and age barriers. You can have little girls beating muscly 35-year-old men. And you can play it until you die. We have members that are really, really good that are in their 80s, and little tiny seven year olds that come in and kill everybody. It's one of the few sports I can think of where girls and boys and men and women are on the same plane. We have a tournament every Friday between the top club players, and it's been won three times by a woman now. They play for money, so they play really hard."