Actress Michelle Trachtenberg is keen to meet the widow of the man accused of assassinating John F. Kennedy after portraying her in new TV movie Killing Kennedy. Marina Oswald has always made it clear she does not want to be associated with what her husband allegedly did way back in 1963, and so the actress refused to try and track her down as she researched her latest role.
But she admits she would love to meet up with the Russian, who is now in her 70s.
She tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood Live, "Of the main players in the movie, she's the only one who's still alive... When I started to do my research, there was a minimal amount of information about her; I found an out-of-print biography, called Marina and Lee, which is a huge, thick book that I brought to set... but she didn't really exist to me.
"I found a YouTube video of her on the 30th anniversary (of the assassination) saying, 'My husband was innocent', so I didn't want to disrespect her in any way... but if she would ever like to meet me it would have to be on her terms."
Beloved U.S. TV star Suzanne Somers is keen to revive cult show Three's Company with her late co-star John Ritter's actor son. The actress and self-help guru admits she came up with the idea for a return to primetime TV recently and now she's keen to seek out support for her dream project.
She tells the debut issue of America's Closer magazine, "I said to my husband the other day, 'You know what would make a great sitcom? If (my character) Chrissy Snow's son was Jason Ritter!'
"It would mean that ultimately, Jack (John Ritter's character) and Chrissy got married and they had Jason. It is the first acting idea I've had that has made my heart flutter."
And she admits she's a big fan of Parenthood star Jason, adding, "When I've seen him acting, he's got his father's timing. And he's darling. I think I'm going to throw that (idea) out there to him."
The Who star Roger Daltrey has assured fans the band won't be splitting up after one final world tour, insisting he and Pete Townshend simply won't be hitting the road anymore. The guitar great recently revealed he and Daltrey would be retiring from touring after one last world tour in 2015 - and now the frontman is keen to make it clear that the final shows won't mean the end of the band.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "That will be the last big tour. People have read that wrong though. We aren't finishing after that. We intend to go on doing music until we drop, but we have to be realistic about our age.
"The touring is incredibly grinding on the body and we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere. This will be the last old-fashioned, big tour."
But the singer is interested in following Elton John, Celine Dion, Cher and Britney Spears' lead and signing on for residencies at fabled rock venues.
He adds, "That means you travel to one place, but you're stationed there. You aren't touring. It's the touring, the schlepping, that kills you. The music is a joy. The two hours on stage every night is a joy, even though it's incredibly strenuous. The schlepping and changing hotels every day, that can become incredibly hard work."
John Davis, executive producer of 'The Blacklist' and founder of Davis Entertainment with over 40 movie projects in various stages of development, gives us a page from his producer’s playbook and shares his views on what it takes to make it in Hollywood. To read the full story, check it out at Studio System News!
AP Photo/Dan Steinberg
World of Warcraft is an MMORFG (for those non-nerds, that a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that's been raking in the cash for video game company Blizzard for years, and courting many a potential movie deal. So far, Blizzard has demonstrated some good judgment, refusing to sell their Warcraft rights to Uwe Boll in 2008, when he was keen on adding the title to his long list of terrible video game adaptations. But it's five years later, Boll has moved on to other, no doubt crazier things, and now Legendary Pictures has made a deal with Blizzard to go forward with a movie version of one of their most valued properties. Though director Duncan Jones has been connected for some time, actors Colin Farrell, Paula Patton, Paul Dano, Anton Yelchin, Anson Mount, and Travis Fimmel were just announced via Deadline to be potential cast members. If you saw these names in a list, there'd be no way your first guess would be "cast of the new World of Warcraft adaptation," yet, here we are. It's a mix of bona fide stars, electic indie standbys, TV hunks, and, at the head of it all, a director who made two great, small movies (Moon and Source Code) about moral dilemmas and the effects of technology — a far cry from the elf and goblin set. Is there any way to make sense of these people being connected to this project?
Let's play Six Degrees of the Cast of the New World of Warcraft Movie and try to find out.
So there's Colin Farrell, the biggest name and thus probably the biggest or best part on display here. He's European, which is all that's required for anyone in Hollywood fantasy films. He's got some great movies (In Bruges) and some terrible ones (S.W.A.T., Alexander) under his belt, so no indication of quality there.
Then there's his costar in the underrated but still pretty bad Fright Night, Anton Yelchin. Yelchin will probably play second fiddle to Farrell, as the Frodo to his Aragorn. Yelchin does have some nerd cred, playing the current iteration of Chekov in Star Trek, but seems to prefer indie films like the much smaller Like Crazy.
One of the current kings of the indie scene is Paul Dano, whose small turns in bigger films and big turns in smaller films have made him a reliable "weird guy" for Hollywood. Maybe he'll be playing a wizard of some kind.
We start to head into the wilderness with the addition of Anson Mount and Travis Fimmel, who are both hunky TV stars on History Channel shows. Not much more to say than that, other than they should hope that one has to dye his hair bright pink or put on green makeup so we can tell them apart.
Then you have Paula Patton, floundering around by herself in the land of unendearing romantic comedies and being married to the song of the summer guy. There's no rhyme or reason to why Patton was pursued for this, but we can think of one reason why she's be eagar to accept: Angelina Jolie, who once was the star of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, one of the less horrible video game adapations, went on to become an Oscar winner and all-around A-Lister and good person. Maybe Patton believes she's destined to the same.
Does that clear things up at all?
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Sir Elton John is refusing to cancel his planned shows in Russia later this year (13), because he wants to show his support for the country's gay community amid controversy about the treatment of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. A number of high-profile stars, including Lady Gaga and Madonna, have urged U.S. authorities to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia over new legislation to limit public displays of homosexuality, and pop superstar Cher even turned down an offer to perform at the Games because she was so outraged by Russia's anti-gay laws.
The Rocket Man is due to perform in Moscow in December (13), but he is resisting pressure to call off the dates because he is keen to show his support for the country's gay community.
He tells Britain's The Guardian, "I'm supposed to be going to Moscow in December. I've got to go. And I've got to think about what I'm going to say very carefully. There's two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going (to Russia), ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you're leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation.
"As a gay man, I can't leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don't know what's going to happen, but I've go to go."
The singer will perform in Moscow on 6 December (13) and in Kazan on 7 December (13).
Dukes Of Hazzard stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider are hoping to team up as brothers again onstage. The former co-stars portrayed Bo and Luke Duke in the beloved 1980s TV series and Schneider reveals they're keen to play siblings again.
He tells BlogTalkRadio.com, "We wanted to play brothers on stage and you know we've looked around and can't find anything... It would be great to do a musical... (Maybe) Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Or someone could write an original musical, but they better hurry because Tom's old!"
And the actor admits he and Wopat would also like to hit the stage in a revival of Neil Simon's classic play The Odd Couple, rotating roles played on the big screen by Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.
He adds, "The idea we had was to do The Odd Couple and to switch roles every other night. He'd (Wopat) be Felix one night and I'd be Felix the next night. We could pull it off."
On the surface, framing the tumultuous civil rights era around the personal drama of a black butler working inside the White House might seem hokey. Folding history lessons in an entertaining package has always proven a difficult balancing act. But Lee Daniels' The Butler stands as a testament to reserved directing, a focused script and strong character-acting for the sake of the larger picture outside the movie house.
The heart and soul of the piece resides firmly in the capable hands of Forest Whitaker who, as titular character Cecil Gaines, balances pathos, pride, and strength with a human dash of regret. The other characters all seem to pass through his life but leave bold marks on him and the film's drama. Oprah Winfrey as Ms. Gloria Gaines, Terrence Howard as the sleazy philandering neighbor who takes advantage of the lonely Gloria, and Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lenny Kravitz as fellow White House help stand out the strongest for their raw abilities to inhabit their roles.
Though you would expect such actors to hold their own, the real delight of the Butler comes from the fact that there are no shortcomings in the film's supporting roles. The dynamic between the brothers of Cecil and Gloria offers a delightful comic relief, which is peppered amongst the drama just enough to keep the struggles of those times bearable. Elijah Kelley delights as the younger, naïve, parent-pleasing Charlie, and David Oyelowo embodies ultra-righteousness as Louis, jumping at every opportunity of civil disobedience to fight for his people's human rights (from protesting Jim Crow laws in the South to joining the Black Panther party). Meanwhile, the presidents — despite being played by high profile actors like Robin Williams (Eisenhower), John Cusack (Nixon), Liev Schreiber (LBJ), Alan Rickman (Reagan), and an unforgettable Jane Fonda as Nancy — never hang around the drama long enough to distract from its main concern of a black man struggling with apathy as the times change around him.
No character ever overshadows Cecil, who encapsulates an array of issues, from escaping an oppressive life on a cotton farm as a child to arriving at a revelation stemming from a simple gesture by taking a seat at a fancy dinner in his twilight years. It's this quiet struggle of a man trying to get by in a rough and tumble world that remains the film's main concern. The 52-year-old Whitaker does a noble job as he ages from a young man to a 90-year-old.
Compared to Daniels' powerful breakout Precious (2009) and the horrible, dull mess of the Paperboy (2012), the film features a reserved sensibility thanks to the director's decision to turn down the histrionics for a change. Throughout his short filmmaking career, Daniels has always shown a keen control over camera placement to keep a film visually dynamic, despite some dramatic failings. The Butler is no exception, as Daniels' artistry appears in the film's first frame. He still, however, leans on slow motion during a few scenes for overkill emphasis. He doesn't need that. His greatest accomplishment in The Butler lies in how he keeps the other characters in check against the quiet but important struggles of Cecil. Despite the film's many stars, no one is distracted as Daniels reveals a strong sense of mise-en-scène when burying the cast's celebrity. Daniels also continues to do raw well with make-up and wardrobe dialed down to keep it real and earthy.
The script deserves singling out as the glue that makes The Butler work as neatly as it does. Written by Danny Strong, the scribe behind another brisk political drama, the acclaimed McCain-Palin exposé Game Change on HBO, it makes for an engaging, well-paced affair despite running over two hours long. Strong based his script on a Washington Post article about a black man who served as a butler to eight presidents between the '50s and '80s. In order to emphasize the history and the tension of the civil rights movement on this family who happened to have close ties to the White House, Strong took liberties with the story. He created composite characters based on other memoirs with intimate access to the White House. It's a matter of convenience to place some of these characters at three or four too many important historical moments that may seem contrived to some. However, I'd forgive the film for teetering close to Forrest Gump cartoonery for the sake of its emphasis on moments in history that can too easily be forgotten as generations pass.
After the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, The Butler serves as an important role in reminding us that equality and malaise between ethnic groups and classes still festers in this era, even after the election of the first black president. We need a movie that looks back at history and offers a reminder about the long way America has come and the long way it still has to go. That The Butler can do it while remaining entertaining is a bonus many will appreciate.
Follow Hans Morgenstern on Twitter @indieethos| Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
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Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy officially announced at Star Wars Celebration Europe II, a gathering for international fans of that Galaxy Far, Far Away, that legendary composer John Williams is in fact gearing up to make the jump to hyperspace once again. It is now confirmed that he will indeed be writing the score for J.J. Abrams' still-untitled Episode VII, just as he has for the previous six installments of George Lucas' saga.
"The Galaxy Far, Far Away...I actually feel like I'm still in it, that I've never really left it," Williams then said in a pre-recorded video Kennedy introduced. And no wonder...for almost all Star Wars fans, Williams' blaring fanfare and iconic triple-beat theme music is Star Wars. The composer lent a symphonic grandeur to a story of farmboys, nerf herders, droids, and walking carpets that enshrined it forever as the quintessential example of pop culture mythmaking.
However, Williams says that he hasn't seen the script yet for Episode VII and basically has no idea what he will be scoring. Still, he says he "can't imagine there won't be references to the existing stories," which means that some of his leitmotifs — musical themes attached to a particular character, like "Luke's Theme" or "Leia's Theme" — may return.
Kennedy and Abrams have already shown themselves to be keen on honoring Star Wars' past — shooting Episode VII in England, just like the original trilogy, for example. Hiring back Williams is the perfect way to show that this is the Star Wars you know and love...even as it plunges us into uncharted galactic territory.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
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Australian actress/singer Holly Valance is pregnant, according to reports. The baby news became apparent when the star attempted to stop Australia's Woman's Day magazine from publishing pictures that would have revealed she was expecting billionaire husband John Candy's child.
The 30 year old was seeking an injunction to keep the photos out of the media when she discovered the images had been sold to the magazine. Woman's Day editors proceeded to publish the pictures in their latest issue.
As a result, a judge ruled it was impossible to get the injunction, explaining, "There is no point in restraining the defendant from further distributing copies that remain as part of the print run for this issue."
In a May (13) interview with the Daily Mail, when the actress was reportedly three months pregnant, she revealed she was keen to become a mum, stating, "We will have a family, God willing, and when it happens I just want to be a mum. The biggest luxury on the planet to me would be to be at home with my child. Finally, at 30, I am coming round to the idea of babies."
Valance, who wed Candy, 40, last year (12), has yet to release a statement about her pregnancy.