Actor/director Clint Eastwood insisted on live musical performances while filming his new movie Jersey Boys, so he could capture the real emotions and facial expressions of his singing stars on camera. The veteran filmmaker hired a handful of real Broadway stars to appear in the big screen adaptation of the hit stage show about the lives and careers of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and he wanted to really showcase their talents by having them hit the high notes live.
Eastwood says, "In the old days... everything was pre-recorded and the actresses (sic) would just lip-sync, but I said, 'No, we'll just do it live' so the emotion, the facial expressions match the song."
His decision was warmly welcomed by leading actor John Lloyd Young, who was cast as Valli in the film after winning acclaim for his role as the singer on the Broadway stage.
Praising Eastwood for the move, he tells U.S. news show Entertainment Tonight, "Clint is a real music aficionado and really knows music... How great for us and for Clint that he's using people who are used to singing it live on stage every day and will sing it live on set."
The Jersey Boys film cast also includes Christopher Walken, Boardwalk Empire's Vincent Piazza, Mike & Molly actor Billy Gardell and another Jersey Boys stage star, actress Erica Piccininni.
It won't be the only Hollywood movie musical to feature live singing - Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and the rest of the cast of 2012's Oscar-winning Les Miserables also had to perform live during production.
Actor Billy Gardell suffered a setback in his battle to quit smoking for good on the set of Jersey Boys after director Clint Eastwood suggested his character should light up cigarettes. The Mike & Molly comedian landed a small role in the upcoming movie adaptation of the hit musical, but he soon found himself returning to his old bad habit for the summer (13) shoot because he couldn't say no to the legendary screen star.
Gardell says, "I haven't smoked in about four months, five months, and I was using them (sic) electric cigarettes to get off (nicotine) and he goes, 'I think you should smoke in this scene, how do you feel about that?' (I said), 'Yeah, Mr. Eastwood, whatever you think!' He was just so cool, he's just such a guy."
Christopher Walken leads the cast in the movie, which chronicles the career of boy band Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The film also features Vincent Piazza and John Lloyd Young, who portrayed Valli in the Broadway stage musical that inspired the film.
In baseball, they say “It’s not over ‘til it’s over.” But for those hoping to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, it’s over.
Apparently, Cooperstown isn’t willing to fit another inductee into the shrine this year. The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced today that no one was voted into the club in 2013 after the players on the ballot all failed to attract the 75 percent portion of votes required to receive the honor.
Victims of what the Hall of Fame is calling a shutout include former San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds, former Mets catcher Mike Piazza, and former New York Yankees pitcher (and seven-time Cy Young Award winner) Roger Clemens. The only players to come close to nabbing the vote were Craig Biggio from the Houston Astros and Jack Morris, former pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, with 68 and 67 percent, respectively.
While many fans are surely staring wide-eyed and saying “Goll-eee, gee-wiz” right about now, Clemens tweeted that he wasn’t shocked he didn’t make the cut. “After what has been written and said over the last few years, I’m not overly surprised. Thanks to all the teams I’ve worked with and to fans and friends for all the fantastic letters, voice mails and texts of support over the last few years. To those who did take the time to look at the facts … we very much appreciate it,” said Clemens via a photo posted on Twitter.
Votes for new Hall of Famers are cast by the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, comprised of 569 voters in 2013 (increased by over a 100 since last year) and in order to qualify for induction into the Hall of Fame, players needed to pick up 427 votes. Unfortunately for all involved, this game doesn’t have the option of extra innings.
It makes sense that folks like Bonds and Clemens, both of whom were embroiled in steroids scandals in the late 2000s, would be left out of the honorable Hall. But in fact, it’s not even as shocking as it should be that the voters came up with nothing... again. This is the eighth year with no inductee since 1996.
”The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936. We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide,” says Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson in a press release.
Tyler Kepner, a 15-year veteran of the BWAA, says in an article for The New York Times that the issue might be the oversaturation of the voting pool among BWAA members, and calls for diversification of the voters in order to level the playing field.
Still, with or without the honor of earning a spot in the Hall of Fame, at least folks like Bonds and Clemens will see their legacies live on in their own ways... in the pages of celebrity gossip history.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Justin SullivanGetty Images]
Anatomy of a Baseball Movie - INFOGRAPHIC
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It was the trickle of pee heard around the world. Cannes attendees were aghast and/or amused an infamous scene from The Paperboy that shows Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron; this is apparently a great salve for jellyfish burns which were covering our Ken Doll-like protagonist. (In fact the term protagonist should be used very loosely for Efron's character Jack who is mostly acted upon than active throughout.)
Lurid! Sexy! Perverse! Trashy! Whether or not it's actually effective is overshadowed by all the hubbub that's attached itself to the movie for better or worse. In fact the movie is all of these things — but that's actually not a compliment. What could have become somethingmemorable is jaw-droppingly bad (when it's not hilarious). Director Lee Daniels uses a few different visual styles throughout from a stark black and white palette for a crime scene recreation at the beginning to a '70s porno aesthetic that oscillates between psychedelic and straight-up sweaty with an emphasis on Efron's tighty-whiteys. This only enhances the sloppiness of the script which uses lines like narrator/housekeeper/nanny Anita's (Macy Gray) "You ain't tired enough to be retired " to conjure up the down-home wisdom of the South. Despite Gray's musical talents she is not a good choice for a narrator or an actor for that matter. In a way — insofar as they're perhaps the only female characters given a chunk of screen time — her foil is Charlotte Bless Nicole Kidman's character. Anita is the mother figure who wears as we see in an early scene control-top pantyhose whereas Charlotte is all clam diggers and Barbie doll make-up. Or as Anita puts it "an oversexed Barbie doll."
The slapdash plot is that Jack's older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to town with his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a death row criminal named Hillary Van Wetter. Yardley is black and British which seems to confuse many of the people he meets in this backwoods town. Hillary (John Cusack) hidden under a mop of greasy black hair) is a slack-jawed yokel who could care less if he's going to be killed for a crime he might or might not have committed. He is way more interested in his bride-to-be Charlotte who has fallen in love with him through letters — this is her thing apparently writing letters and falling in love with inmates — and has rushed to help Ward and Yardley free her man. In the meantime we're subjected to at least one simulated sex scene that will haunt your dreams forever. Besides Hillary's shortcomings as a character that could rustle up any sort of empathy the case itself is so boring it begs the question why a respected journalist would be interested enough to pursue it.
The rest of the movie is filled with longing an attempt to place any the story in some sort of social context via class and race even more Zac Efron's underwear sexual violence alligator innards swamp people in comically ramshackle homes and a glimpse of one glistening McConaughey 'tock. Harmony Korine called and he wants his Gummo back.
It's probably tantalizing for this cast to take on "serious" "edgy" work by an Oscar-nominated director. Cusack ditched his boombox blasting "In Your Eyes" long ago and Efron's been trying to shed his squeaky clean image for so long that he finally dropped a condom on the red carpet for The Lorax so we'd know he's not smooth like a Ken doll despite how he was filmed by Daniels. On the other hand Nicole Kidman has been making interesting and varied career choices for years so it's confounding why she'd be interested in a one-dimensional character like Charlotte. McConaughey's on a roll and like the rest of the cast he's got plenty of interesting projects worth watching so this probably won't slow him down. Even Daniels is already shooting a new film The Butler as we can see from Oprah's dazzling Instagram feed. It's as if they all want to put The Paperboy behind them as soon as possible. It's hard to blame them.
The film and television nominations for the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have been released, recognizing achievements in both individual performances and the strengths of ensemble casts. This year's television award nominations are listed below, including many worthy recipients, but there are also a few surprising absences. Among the hard-hitters listed below are dramas like HBO's Mildred Pierce and Boardwalk Empire, AMC's Breaking Bad and comedies such as ABC's Modern Family (which swept the Emmys this year) and NBC's 30 Rock. However, some might be surprised not to find the new Showtime drama Homeland or NBC's secret weapon Parks and Recreation.
The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will air live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Jan. 29, 2012 on TNT and TBS.
Click here to read the list of this year's film nominees.
18th ANNUAL SAG AWARDS NOMINATIONS: PRIMETIME TELEVISION
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Laurence Fishburne - Thurgood (HBO)
Paul Giamatti - Too Big to Fail (HBO)
Greg Kinnear - The Kennedy (Reelz Channel)
Guy Pearce - Mildred Pierce (HBO)
James Woods - Too Big to Fail (HBO
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Diane Lane - Cinema Verite (HBO)
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey (PBS)
Emily Watson - Appropriate Adult (Sundance Channel)
Betty White - Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Lost Valentine (CBS)
Kate Winslet - Mildred Pierce (HBO)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Patrick J. Adams - Suits (USA)
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
Kyle Chandler - Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad (AMC)
Michael C. Hall - Dexter (Showtime)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates - Harry's Law (NBC)
Glenn Close - Damages (DirecTV)
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story (FX)
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife (CBS)
Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer (TNT)
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock (NBC)
Ty Burrell - Modern Family (ABC)
Steve Carell - The Office (NBC)
Jon Cryer - Two and a Half Men (CBS)
Eric Stonestreet - Modern Family (ABC)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Julia Bowen - Modern Family (ABC)
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie (Showtime)
Tina Fey - 30 Rock (NBC)
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family (ABC)
Betty White - Hot in Cleveland (TV Land)
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire (HBO) - Steve Buscemi, Dominic Chianese, Robert Clohessy, Dabney Coleman, Charlie Cox, Jose & Lucy Gallina, Stephen Graham, Jack Huston, Anthony Laciura, Heather Lind, Kelly Macdonald, Rory & Declan McTigue, Gretchen Mol, Brady & Connor Noon, Kevin O'Rourke, Aleksa Palladino, Jacqueline Pennewill, Vincent Piazza, Michael Pitt, Michael Shannon, Paul Sparks, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Van Wagner, Shea Whigham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Anatol Yusef
Breaking Bad (AMC) - Jonathan Banks, Betsy Brandt, Ray Campbell, Bryan Cranston, Giancarlo Esposito, Anna Gunn, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul
Dexter (Showtime) - Billy Brown, Jennifer Carpenter, Josh Cooke, Aimee Garcia, Michael C. Hall, Colin Hanks, Desmond Harrington, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Rya Kihlstedt, C.S. Lee, Edward James Olmos, James Remar, Lauren Velez, Peter Weller, David Zayas
Game of Thrones (HBO) - Amrita Acharia, Mark Addy, Alfie Allen, Josef Altin, Sean Bean, Susan Brown, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Ron Donachie, Michelle Farley, Jerome Flynn, Elyes Gabel, Aiden Gillen, Jack Gleeson Iain Glen, Julian Glover, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Conleth Hill, Richard Madden, Jason Mamoa, Rory McCann, Ian McElhinney, Luke McEwan, Roxanne McKee, Dar Salim, Mark Stanley, Donald Sumpter, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams
The Good Wife (CBS) - Christine Baranski, Josh Charles, Alan Cumming, Matt Czuchry, Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Archie Panjabi, Graham Phillips, Makenzie Vega
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock (NBC) - Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, Jack McBrayer, Tracy Morgan, Maulik Pancholy, Keith Powell
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) - Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch
Glee (Fox) - Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Ashley Fink, Dot Marie Jones, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Mike O'Malley, Chord Overstreet, Lauren Potter, Amber Riley, Naya Rivera, Mark Salling, Harry Shum Jr., Iqbal Theba, Jenna Ushkowitz
Modern Family (ABC) - Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Julia Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O'Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
The Office (NBC) - Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, Kate Flannery, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, John Krasinski, Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Oscar Nunez, Craig Robinson, James Spader, Phyllis Smith, Rainn Wilson, Zach Woods
The remake of the 1997 Norwegian film "Insomina" has awakened Al Pacino's curiosity.
The actor has committed to star in the Warner Bros.' psychological thriller, which is being directed by Christopher Nolan. Principal photography is scheduled to begin April 12 in Vancouver.
Adapted by Hillary Seitz, the story revolves around a police officer (Pacino) who accidentally kills his partner during a murder investigation in a small Alaska town. The suspect in the murder case blackmails the officer into pinning the murders on an innocent person, but another female police officer begins to unravel the truth.
Pacino is currently shooting the indie feature "People I Know" with Kim Basinger and Ryan O'Neal.
GOING CRAZY: Ralph Fiennes ("The English Patient") is set to star as a brillant paranoid-schizophrenic in "Fear Itself," a psychological thriller produced by Wolfgang Petersen ("The Perfect Storm"). In the story, Fiennes' character uncovers a that leads to the White House, but he finds it difficult to get anyone to believe him.
Because his latest film, "Beyond Borders" co-starring Angelina Jolie, was brought to a halt by the production company, Mandalay Pictures, Fiennes is one of the few A-list actors available for work before the potential Writers Guild and Screen Actors Guild strikes this summer.
BLAMING PIAZZA: Universal Pictures has bought the comedy spec script, "Go To Hell, Mike Piazza," from first-time writers David Rotman and Ryan Oxford. Ben Stiller ("Meet the Parents") is attached to star and produce with his production company, Red Hour Films.
The script is about a hot dog stand owner, Remy Thompson, a childhood friend of baseball great Mike Piazza. Thompson blames the sports star for everything that has ever gone wrong in his life, and when a game show gives him the opportunity to try out his impressive slider in a charity game against Piazza, Remy has a chance to even the score with his longtime rival.
Stiller will be seen in the upcoming Paramount Pictures film "Zoolander," which he also directed.