Award-winning stage performer Mary Beth Peil also enjoyed regular work as a character actress on television and the occasional film, most notably as Michelle Williams's grandmother on "Dawson's Creek"...
James Van Der Beek, currently enjoying quite a resurgence in his post-Dawson's Creek career, is in negotiations to join director Jason Reitman's next film, Labor Day.
Van Der Beek, who has been receiving raves for his oddball performance as a fictionalized version of himself on ABC's hit midseason series Don't Trust the B----- in Apartment 23, would play a police officer in the drama, alongside Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet.
With the Beek's recent surge, coupled with the lack thereof that preceded it, is it safe to say that he has now surpassed his friend and former costar Joshua Jackson in terms of post-Dawson's Creek success (God knows he hasn't even come close to Michelle Williams' career, or even Katie Holmes' — although he has possibly fared better than Mary Beth Peil)? They're pretty much neck-and-neck, actually: Van Der Beek struggled in the years following Creek (his movies during the show's run, like Varsity Blues and The Rules of Attraction, don't count), rarely landing more than guest-starring roles on other shows, but his career is looking better now than it has in a decade, whereas Jackson has co-headlined a moderately successful series (Fringe) but not much else. Advantage Van Der Beek? Soon, perhaps ...
Will There Be a 'Dawson's Creek' Reunion?
James Van Der Beek: I Didn't Name My Son After Joshua Jackson
'Don't Trust the B' Star Dreama Walker Grew Up Van Der Beek-less
Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin Go to Jason Reitman's 'Labor Day'
French director Alexandre Aja recently gave us a down and dirty remake of The Hills Have Eyes. He should have called this one The Mirrors Have Eyes as the rather silly plot focuses on a fire ravaged and now abandoned department store patrolled by ex-cop Ben Carson (Kiefer Sutherland). But he is being haunted by supernatural mirrors which seem to be targeting him and his family for death. The guy who previously had the job managed to slit his own throat thanks to the mean ‘ol mirrors which makes this new gig a total downer for the former NYPD cop who is also a recovering alcoholic. Scenes shift from the dark and creepy building to his former home now solely occupied by his estranged wife (Paula Patton) and two nightmare-prone kids. Forced to live with his bartender sister Angela (Amy Smart) Ben tries to convince sis and ex-wife that he is haunted by a group of yes mirrors at his current workplace and they may all be in danger as well. Fortunately for Sutherland he still has his TV series 24 to fall back on because his acting talents are not really required in this dopey horror flick. With expressions ranging from A to B Sutherland mostly prowls around the deserted building he patrols with a deep sense of fearful earnestness as only a guy being threatened by inanimate objects would. The dialogue he is asked to utter is of the “ help me they’re after me” school of screenwriting. Can’t really blame Kiefer too much though since all the actors caught up in this enterprise are stuck with one-dimensional roles that only serve to point out the shortcomings of the ridiculous storyline. Patton tries hard in the thankless wife role but isn’t given much to do except doubt the protestations of her alcoholic soon-to-be-ex hubby. The eerie looking kids who get caught up in Daddy’s nightmare Erica Gluck and Cameron Boyce look like they were plucked right out of Horror 101 casting. Smart is also pretty much wasted but does have a memorable bathtub scene in which she rips her face off. There is a nice turn by veteran actress Mary Beth Peil whose character holds the key to the mystery of the mirrors. Alexandre Aja is no slouch in the horror department. He has proved in past efforts such as The Hills Have Eyes remake and the French thriller High Tension to be a modern master of the genre effectively staging the kind of gross-out scenes fans of the genre crave. He has a couple of nifty ones here including the aforementioned bathtub sequence but most of his film gets bogged down with a lot of psychological mumbo-jumbo that tries to explain away the dopey concept. Bottom line is the director (who has only himself to blame since he also co-wrote the script ) has been saddled with an absurd premise of a bunch of unforgiving department store mirrors seeking vengeance on their human prey. Gore-starved devotees may be pleased but sadly Mirrors gives the rest of us precious little to reflect on.
Minor role in Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers"
Recurring role as "Grams" on "Dawson's Creek"
Began recurring role as Chris Noth's mother on "The Good Wife"
Moved from opera to musical theater with regional production of "Kiss Me, Kate"
Played Edith Luckett in CBS's "The Reagans"
Award-winning stage performer Mary Beth Peil also enjoyed regular work as a character actress on television and the occasional film, most notably as Michelle Williams's grandmother on "Dawson's Creek" (The WB, 1998-2003) and Julianna Margulies's scheming mother-in-law on "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009- ). Initially trained as an opera singer, Peil moved into musical theater and drama in the 1980s, eventually winning an Obie in 1994 for a trio of non-musical plays, including Paul Rudnick's "The Naked Truth." Though less prolific in film and on television, Peil worked frequently in small but showy parts for over a decade, with the "Dawson's" and "Good Wife" roles serving as her most widely seen screen efforts. By the 2000s, Peil's work on television and stage afforded her a degree of stardom that was reflected in her participation in major Broadway productions of "Nine" and "Follies," all of which underscored her status as an enduring talent in both mediums. <p>Born June 25, 1940 in Davenport, Iowa, Mary Beth Peil began her career as an opera singer. She trained at Northwestern University before winning the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. These led to roles with the Met's national company and the New York City Opera. In 1983, she was offered the role of Kate in a 1983 regional production of "Kiss Me, Kate," which prompted her to shift her interest to acting. Peil soon divided her time between dramatic theater and musicals, most notably in a 1983 national tour of "The King and I" with Yul Brynner. The production eventually moved to Broadway, where Peil earned a Tony Award nomination. From there Peil moved into television, making her screen debut in the little-seen comedy "Jersey Girl" (1992). More bit parts in features and television followed while her stage career blossomed with an Obie Award for her performance in three 1994 plays, "The Naked Truth," "Missing Persons" and "A Cheever Evening." </p><p>In 1997, Peil landed her breakout television role as "Grams" Ryan, the flinty grandmother to Michelle Williams's Jen Lindley on "Dawson's Creek." Peil was the only performer aside from the show's three leads to be credited as a regular during the teen drama's network run. The exposure afforded by "Dawson's" led to larger and more substantive turns on television, including the actress Edith Luckett, who was Nancy Reagan's mother, in the controversial miniseries "The Reagans" (CBS, 2003). Her stage work also flourished with major roles in revivals of "Sweeney Todd" at the Kennedy Center in 2002 and Antonio Banderas' mother in a Broadway production of "Nine" the following year. In 2009, Peil won the plum role of Jackie Florrick, the meddlesome mother of philandering governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) on "The Good Wife." She balanced her recurring appearances on the program with Broadways runs in "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" in 2010 and "Follies" in 2011. </p>
Was the last of 12 actresses to play Anna, opposite Yul Brynner, in various film, television and stage versions of "The King and I."
Left opera to become an actress at the age of 43.
Performed with the New York City Opera and New York Philharmonic, among others.