Actor Daniel Sunjata was recently left red-faced while filming surfing scenes for hit U.S. police drama Graceland after throwing up in the Pacific Ocean at California's picturesque Santa Monica Pier. The Dark Knight Rises star reveals the strenuous shoot made his stomach churn and his seafood lunch ended up back in the water, much to his embarrassment.
During an interview on U.S. morning show Live with Kelly & Michael on Monday (22Jul13), he said, "We were out surfing at the end of Santa Monica Pier, faking surfing, and we were treading water on our boards and with each successive take, I could feel my mouth was beginning to sweat, the swells are coming in.
"I had just had lunch and I didn't know, you probably shouldn't have shrimp scampi before you go surfing... Needless to say, I ended up chumming the water with my lunch."
The incident was all the more worrying for Sunjata as he feared the fishy vomit would attract predators: "I don't like sharks and so immediately I'm like, 'Shrimp scampi is in the water, there's probably sharks around here...'"
USA is one of those networks that have just figured it out. It being filling a programming void (see: new programming in the summer, when most networks are in reruns or are airing third-tier reality shows) and giving their fans exactly what they want: well-executed procedurals, and lots of 'em.
The cable network announced their summer 2013 schedule on Wednesday, and it's pretty much business as usual — but that's a good thing for them, and their incredibly devoted fan base. Favorites like Burn Notice (Season 7 will kick off on Thursday, June 6 at 9 PM ET), Royal Pains (back for Season 5 on Wednesday, June 12 at 9 PM ET), Necessary Roughness (getting a Season 3 on Wednesday, June 12 at 10 PM ET), Covert Affairs (back in action for Season 4 on Tuesday, July 16 at 9 PM ET), and — well-dressed hotties alert! — Suits (suiting up for Season 3 on Tuesday, July 16 at 10 PM ET).
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In addition to their returning series, USA is also debuting Summer Camp, which is slated for a July premiere, and the Aaron Tveit vehicle Graceland, which will premiere on Tuesday, June 6 at 10 PM ET. Hollywood.com got a sneak preview of the series premiere at SXSW in Austin last month and we can confirm that the show has all the makings of a beloved USA series: attractive crime fighters, snappy dialogue, glossy imagery, and did we mention attractive crime fighters? (Seriously, it's Aaron Tveit and Daniel Sunjata).
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When we caught up with Tveit after the show's debut to an excited audience, the actor — who plays a rookie FBI agent who lives with a group of fellow agents on an amazing beachfront property (even more amazing, it's based on true events) — and Les Mis star credited the network for his decision to jump back to the small screen from film and the stage. "When I found it was USA, I could instantly picture how they were gonna do it and it was going to look like and fully supported. They give their shows every opportunity to succeed," he said.
[Photo credit: USA]
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When you think of SXSW, the image of indie bands, movie premieres, tech talks where the word "innovative" is used a lot, and of course, those famous Austin breakfast tacos immediately springs to mind. But television has also become one of the key components of the festival, with panels and screenings becoming a one of the must-experience destinations of the event. It's no surprise really, considering the quality level of television out there right now.
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Just ask Aaron Tveit, the bona fide Broadway star who had his big screen breakout as Enjolras in the Oscar-winning adaptation of Les Misérables. The 29-year-old actor who has Hollywood knocking, went with a small screen project, the upcoming USA procedural Graceland, which had its world premiere at the Austin Museum of Art at SXSW on Monday night.
Hollywood.com caught up with Tveit at the roof party that followed the Graceland premiere (which featured, among other highlights, a digital paint display) and cast Q&A explained his reasoning for choosing to do television after the success of Les Mis was simple: "I think the best writing right now is in television." He continued, "I'm a huge television watcher, I'm a fan of Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Those shows I think, but obviously starting with The Sopranos and The Wire, are why you're seeing film actors who would have never done TV before, all of a sudden want a series. The stigma [about TV] is gone."
While Tveit is by no means a stranger to television (he'd had minor roles on Gossip Girl and Law & Order: SVU), it's his first lead in a series. In Graceland — which seemed to play well to the SXSW audience who laughed along with all the quippy, USA-brand of dialogue in the pilot — Tveit plays a rookie FBI agent named Mike Warren who lives in a dream-like beachfront home with other FBI officials, like hotshot agent Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata).
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"Other television work that I've done has been a lot of guest star stuff, so you're kind of the not-important person on the schedule when you're shooting as a guest star, but with this I'm working all the time. I love being at work everyday," Tveit said. The actor said that he was up for the "six month grind of non-stop" television shooting, thanks largely in part to his Broadway background. "Being on stage all the time I know you have to keep yourself in shape, so I just treated it the same way."
Tveit not only credited the USA network for making his transition to TV leading man an easy one ("When I found it was USA, I could instantly picture how they were gonna do it and it was going to look like and fully supported. They give their shows every opportunity to succeed," he said), but his castmates, including Sunjata, Vanessa Ferlito, Serinda Swan, Manny Montana, and Brandon Jay McLaren, who were all on hand for the SXSW premiere.
"It's a group of actors that, from day one, everyone was just ready to play ball with each other," Tveit said. "Telling this story is a very collaborative effort, our writers encourage us to bring our ideas and we have a lot of influence over our characters and the story that we're telling. In that same regard, there's a lot of improvisation and stuff is very free-flowing. It lifts the material off the page, because we all do really get along. I think the material can crackle when you have that kind of rapport."
But Broadway fanatics who want to see Tveit back on stage singing again (and there were quite a few in the crowd at SXSW, as the actor received the most questions from giddy audience members during the post-screening session), don't worry, so does he. During the Q&A, the actor said there'd be "no scripted singing in the season" on Graceland, but when Hollywood.com chatted with him, he said he'd still find an outlet for it.
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"I really, really wanna get back on stage. It's like an addiction you can't get anywhere else. That energy you have on stage, you can't find it anywhere else. I miss it, I miss singing," Tveit admitted. "[I'm] in the early stages of putting a concert to do in New York. I'll hopefully be diving in to that [when I get back], so hopefully that will satisfy my desire to sing, even if it's just for myself." Unlikely case.
Graceland premieres this summer on USA.
[Photo credit: USA]
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A successful movie doesn't require a broad audience, it just requires enough of an audience. In the last few years, savvy producers have tapped into hyper-specific markets and have seen their films explode: Kirk Cameron commands the Christian community in a string of serious dramas; pot smokers have found a haven in Netflix Instant; right-wing crusaders helped turn 2016: Obama's America into one of 2012's biggest documentaries. Now, a roster of big name stars are combining forces to provide insight and dramatic entertainment to another demographic: 9/11 conspiracists.
Announced on their official website, Fleur De Lis Film Studios will produce September Morn, a dramatic look into the arguments of "Truthers," those that believe the attacks of September 11 were an inside job fueled by the American government. The movie will attempt to find financial backers at this year's American Film Market, but a name cast should make for an easy sell.
Woody Harrelson, Martin Sheen, and Ed Asner are all attached to star in the project, which Fleur De Lis' site describes as being "in the vein of Twelve Angry Men." The film will be directed by BJ Davis, whose previous credits include 1989 Brandon Lee sci-fi movie Laser Mission, the TV special Charlie Sheen's Stunts Spectacular, and the instructional video How to Become a Hollywood Stuntman (Davis coordinated stunts on such films as Volunteers, Hot Shots!, and Star Trek VI).
It's unclear how September Morn will represent the ideas behind the Truther movement — descriptions insinuate a docudrama fiction film that may also utilize expert opinions in the style of documentary — but judging from the promotional poster, the film aims to boldly present the theories from one side. Harrelson, Sheen, and Asner are open about their own position on the conspiracy, aligning themselves with the Actors & Artists for 9/11 Truth organization, along with other famous faces like Rosie O'Donnell, Willie Nelson, Daniel Sunjata, and Charlie Sheen (who seems to be the connective tissue between Davis, Martin Sheen, and many of the organization's members). Their weight in Hollywood should bring September Morn to fruition. If there are enough non-celebrity believers out there, they could also turn the film into the next controversial indie hit.
For a taste of the "Truther" views, watch this video of Asner speaking at a Actors & Artists for 9/11 Truth function from May of this year:
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[Photo Credit: Fleur De Lis Film Studios]
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Julia Houston is about to ensnare yet another theatre hunk in her hypnotic web of scarves. Debra Messing's character on NBC's Broadway musical pageant Smash may be ditching her husband this upcoming season, but that doesn't mean that the troubled lyricist won't still be battling off love interests. (Let's just take a moment and remember how lucky we are that Michael Swift, played by the indelible Will Chase, won't be one of them.)
Rescue Me and Grey's Anatomy alumni Daniel Sunjata has been tapped to recur as a new romantic partner for Messing's Julia, according to EW. Details about his character are mum — we're not sure whether he'll be connected to the theatre, or completely removed from it (which could work in Julia's favor). Sunjata will appear throughout the season, along with other new cast members (and Broadway vets) Jeremy Jordan, Andy Mientus and Krysta Rodriguez.
The other big Smash news today comes in the form of a short clip released by NBC that teases the arrival of Jennifer Hudson, who will join the show as Veronica, a Tony Award-winning actress who peaked too early and ostensibly tries to steal yet another slice of the spotlight from Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (the flawless Megan Hilty).
"Somebody's always waiting to take you down, honey," muses the wizened old Hudson, who will no doubt bring some incredible vocals to the show — not that it needed them, of course.
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[Photo Credit: NBC]
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Katherine Heigl seems to be heading back to her roots, slowly but surely. Her film career began in the '90s, when the actress was not yet pinpointed as a very specific type of leading lady. Before becoming one of the go-to choices for romcom star, Heigl was featured in horror-comedies, like Bug Buster and Bride of Chucky.
Her role on Grey's Anatomy helped launch her further into the public eye. She accepted leading roles in romantic comedies like Knocked Up, 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth. In 2010, she took a slight departure by adding the subject of "action" to one of her romcom starrers: Killers. In this film, Heigl unwittingly married a CIA agent with a license to kill, and then got swept up in his dangerous lifestyle. And now, in a similar vein, Heigl is starring in One for the Money, wherein she'll play a bounty hunter with multiple love interests.
This slightly edgier type of comedy film, with the elements of crime, action and danger, might be broadening Heigl's horizons once more. Perhaps we'll see her in a full-fledged thriller soon? Maybe a hard scifi? A Tarantino pic? We'll see...
One for the Money comes out January 27, and also stars Jason O'Mara, Daniel Sunjata and Debbie Reynolds.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
It seems that Grey's Anatomy fans can thank the failure of Off The Map for a little dose of extra romantic drama this season. After his stint on the defunct show, actor Jason George is coming right back to Grey's so he can throw a wrench into Dr. Bailey's (Chandra Wilson) complicated love life.
His return finds George as Bailey's anesthesiologist and her ex, Dr. Ben, and according to TV Line, he'll be around for multiple episodes. The last time we saw him, he was being dumped by Dr. Bailey and since then, she's started a little something with Nurse Eli (Daniel Sunjata). Well, this isn't going to end well and if it does, it's sure to get messy before it gets better. There's nothing like working in stressful situations with your ex -- and if anyone knows about that, it's Grey's Anatomy. So when does this drama go down? Sources say we can expect this return around late October or early November. Get ready, Grey's fans.
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Now that Christopher Nolan has fried all the big fish (not sure how that works when "fried" actually means hired, but whatever), he's taking care of the smaller ones. He's got Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt slotted for The Dark Knight Rises, and more recently he's added Juno Temple and Josh Pence. We've got a pretty good idea of who their characters will be, but of course, since it's a Nolan film, no one can really say for sure. Now, he's filled another smaller, but "important" role with the help of Grey's Anatomy's Daniel Sunjata. You may also recognize him from FX's Rescue Me. Soon you'll recognize him from the last Nolan Batman movie, but we don't know for what. Like we said, all we know is that he's important to the story. Right, because Nolan always introduces extraneous characters, thanks for that newsflash, sources.
In other words Prada--based on the bestselling novel by Lauren Weisberger--unfortunately plays upon the sitcom-y boss-from-hell scenario in which the young flunky manages to one up her superior in some valiant way. There are no surprises save for the fact that its set in the world of high fashion invoking all the fabulousness that entails and incorporates the amazing Streep as Miranda Priestly editor-in-chief of THE fashion magazine Runway. Oozing contempt and demanding perfection Miranda at first terrorizes her new assistant Andy (Anne Hathaway) an impressionable lass who wants to be a serious journalist and has no desire to be a “Clacker.” But that lasts for all of about 10 seconds. Andy is soon wearing those Jimmy Choo stilettos and clacking across the floor with the best of them--and the better she gets at her job the more her personal life falls apart. Naturally Andy wises up and realizes life isn’t about Dolce Gabbana and the rest of the gang. Still maybe she could keep one Prada handbag. You know just to remember the experience. Streep is having a nice little resurgence this year with two spectacular performances. In Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion she plays the sunny yet heartbroken half of a singing sister act--and in Prada she’s Satan incarnate. Quite a switch but in the ever-so-capable hands of the Oscar winner it’s a flawless transition. The best part of Streep’s Miranda is all the things she doesn’t say. It’s the searing looks the languid move of the hand--and the hushed tones. This isn’t Kevin Spacey’s screaming lunatic producer in Swimming with Sharks; this is about the threatening quiet and the sacrifices Miranda makes to be lonely at the top. Hathaway as a lovely Audrey Hepburn look-a-like manages to keep her head above water but still hasn’t quite gotten rid of her Princess Diaries gee whizzed-ness. But there’s potential. In supporting roles Stanley Tucci makes a memorable appearance as Miranda’s right-hand man at the magazine doling out snarky but sage advice to our heroine while Adrian Grenier (HBO’s Entourage) plays nice as Andy’s patient boyfriend. The only other real standout star of Prada is the clothes. And the shoes. Oh and the handbags hats belts scarves and other accessories. Director David Frankel--a HBO flunky himself having directed several episodes of Entourage Sex and the City and even HBO’s hit mini-series Band of Brothers--captures this high-powered world of trend and style succinctly giving all fashionista wannabes everywhere a brief but meaningful inside peek. But the real kudos go out to costume designer Patricia Field (an Emmy winner for her work on Sex and the City) who must have had a lot of fun with Prada. She magically produces designs from Valentino (who also makes a small cameo) Donna Karan Bill Blass Galliano and of course Prada. It must be like a painter being given permission to recreate a Picasso or a Monet. Prada is predictable it’s true--but with Streep’s streaked white Cruella De Vil and all the great fashion it’s worth its weight in Versace.