Robert De Niro was so fooled by Christian Bale's look in new film American Hustle he didn't recognise the actor on the set. De Niro has an uncredited cameo in the movie and director David O. Russell admits he knew he'd perfected Bale's podgy, balding look when the movie great asked the filmmaker who the overweight guy was.
Russell tells WENN, "We wanted to do something he'd never done before. When he met the whole cast he shook their hands and said, 'Who's that guy?' And I said, 'You just met him, that's Christian Bale'. He goes, 'Wow, he looks so different. He looks great!' He didn't realise he just met him and I had to reintroduce them."
The director admits it was a pleasure to work with Silver Linings Playbook star De Niro again: "He's someone I've known over 10 years and got very close to making Silver Linings with him and he's also close to Bradley (Cooper). We had endless conversations about the character and he loved that this man spoke Arabic, which happens to be one of the true things in the story - there was a mobster who spoke Arabic and flummoxed this group. We based him on a collection of gangsters from New Jersey."
The episode opened with Neal Caffrey planning elaborate maneuvers to avoid video cameras - it involved choreographed steps to music. Mozzie was urging him on. Caffrey was making progress, but not enough to make Mozzie happy.
Next, Caffrey went into work and met his new handler, Agent David Siegel (Warren Kole). Siegel practically fell over himself praising the criminal who he was keeping an eye on, falling just short of his asking for an autograph. That made his boss, Peter Burke, who had relinquished handling duties so that he could run the department impartially, express doubts at first, but Seigel then him know he was just playing up to Caffrey's vanity. After seeing Kole on The Following, I half-expected him to then scream out, "FOR JOE CARROLL!!" and start shooting at people in the office.
It turned out the FBI was targeting the shell company Mozzie is running through online auctions and that led Caffrey and Siegel to go to a warehouse. Caffrey went in first, ostensibly to case the place, and warned Mozzie that Siegel is there to arrest him. An alarm went off and Siegel burst in and saw Mozzie, but the balding, bespectacled criminal got away. When Siegel gave the description, the office immediately knew it's Mozzie.
Agent Diana Berrigan, 8 months pregnant, seemed to be having crisis about losing her job after giving birth; she was pulling all-nighters in attempts to find to who was behind the shell company. Finally, a name came out: Teddy Winters.
After a ridiculous scene with Neal finding Mozzie in a park as The Statue of Liberty (that was two silly outfits for Mozzie in a row; Willie Garson must hate the wardrobe department now), Mozzie revealed that his core identity was Teddy Winters. He used it to see if parents came looking for him. The Feds would know who he really was. The two hatched a plan.
They let the feds think they found Mozzie by tracing his IP address at the warehouse, but Mozzie ran back and blew it up. Berrigan thought the death was faked and went investigating on her own despite being very pregnant and getting direct orders from Burke to go home and rest. She found a fake manhole cover and found Mozzie in a hiding spot. Of course, just as she was ready to turn him in, she went into premature labor from stress and Mozzie, first ready to run, gets an attack of conscience and came back to help.
Earlier, Peter had told Neal that the Curtis Hagen evidence was in lockup upstairs, due to his parole hearing coming up, and Caffrey goes upstairs to do some damage to it since Hagen had blackmailed him in the previous episode. This is where the choreography came into play. Neal successfully dodges the cameras (this was interspersed with Mozzie helping Berrigan give birth - not quite the end of The Godfather, but pretty good). At one point though, Burke saw Caffrey's hat still on his desk and being suspsicious, went upstairs, but found nothing amiss.
The show ended with Berrigan in the hospital with her new baby boy and conveniently forgetting that it was Mozzie (AKA Teddy Winters) who helped her. Mozzie was off scot-free with the certainty that Hagen was going to be back on the street and would still be holding Caffrey in his grip.
These actors have shaken us to the core with their gravitas on screen, but they've also shaken us with laughter. While they normally play kings, soldiers, gangsters and Shakespearean characters, once in a while they'll play best friends to teddy bears and over-the-top agents with intense arm hair. And they play both ends of the spectrum just as convincingly. Just think about how Steve Buscemi played Nucky on Boardwalk Empire and magician sidekick Anton Marvelton in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone at the same time and nobody batted an eye. In other words, these might be the perfect actors.
Sir Patrick Stewart may be best known for playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation, or for his stage roles in Shakespearean classics like MacBeth, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Recently, however, Sir Stewart has emerged as somewhat of a viral video darling, wowing us with his quadruple-take acting lessons and endearing us by sharing his first experience with pizza. In 2005, he made one of the funniest and most memorable cameos on Ricky Gervais's Extras, in which he's obsessed with seeing women naked.
When you think Tom Cruise, you probably first think action star, and then maybe dramatic actor (and then maybe crazy Scientologist), but before 2008's Tropic Thunder, you probably would have never thought overweight, balding, sleazy studio executive. But he played exactly that in the Ben Stiller-directed comedy, and he played it to perfection. His character Les Grossman spouts such lines as "First, take a big step back...and literally f**k your own face!" and "A nutless monkey could do your job," making Ari Gold look like Mister Rogers.
Mark Wahlberg has steadily starred in Oscar-winning dramas like The Fighter and The Departed during his career, but peppered throughout are movies like Ted and Date Night. Wahlberg's gruff Boston attitude gives him weight in more serious roles, but also lends an edge to his comedic roles. His performance in David O. Russell's quirky, surreal, philosophy-heavy comedy I Heart Huckabees is perhaps one of the most underrated comedic performances of all time. Seriously, go watch it if you haven't.
Colin Firth first rose to fame playing Mr. Darcy in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and recently he was nominated for an Oscar for A Single Man and won one for The King's Speech. That said, let's all stop kidding ourselves and admit it: our favorite Colin Firth role was in Love Actually. Don't be ashamed. Every single other person secretly feels the same way.
There are few actors in Hollywood who can do stoner movies (Airheads), Tarantino classics (Reservoir Dogs), rom-coms (The Wedding Singer), dark comedies (Fargo), iconic stoner movies (The Big Lebowski), and still terrify us as TV's meanest gangster. Steve Buscemi is a rare gem of an actor. If he played an old Asian grandma, we would probably believe it, and be impressed.
Oscar-winner Matt Damon has made a career out of carefully-chosen film roles, most of which are of the dramatic or action variety. But the actor's inherent charm truly comes out when he dabbles in comedy, even in less-than-successful movies. His turn as bumbling and dense Mark Whitacre in The Informant! is subtle but spot-on. When he pairs up (literally) with Greg Kinnear in Stuck on You, his performance may not have won over critics, but it's a refreshing contrast to the usually serious Damon. And let's unearth a little-known ditty, shall we? Here's Damon as the lead singer of a pop-punk band in the 2004 comedy EuroTrip (you're welcome):
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In certain respects David O. Russell’s boxing drama The Fighter is a sports movie masquerading as an Oscar grab. It bears many of the hallmarks of awards ponies that are often trotted out this time of year: It’s set in a working-class town (Lowell Massachusetts) in the midst of demographic upheaval; one of its lead actors Christian Bale put his health at risk so that he might realistically portray the corrosive effects of crack addiction; its director took great care to stock it with an abundance of auteurist flourishes; its poster is suitably understated; and its initial theatrical release is extremely limited (only four cities). But underneath The Fighter’s prospecting facade beats the heart of a determined crowd-pleaser -- a triumphant underdog tale of an aging boxer who overcame long odds to reach the pinnacle of his sport -- that cannot be suppressed.
The structure of The Fighter which is based on the true story of doormat-turned-champion “Irish” Micky Ward reflects its director’s conflicting impulses. The film is roughly divided into two parts the first of which is fashioned almost purely as a showcase for Bale who portrays Ward’s half-brother Dicky Eklund a once-promising welterweight who long ago squandered his talent on a drug habit that none of his family members seem willing to acknowledge.
Balding emaciated and nearly toothless Dicky bristles with boundless (and no doubt chemically enhanced) energy strutting through town and boasting incessantly of his exploits -- his 1978 knockdown of Sugar Ray Leonard in particular -- in a voice made raspy by (presumably) vocal chords repeatedly singed by crack smoke. Though officially Micky’s trainer he seems less concerned with his brother’s fight preparation than with promoting his own supposed “comeback ” which he claims an HBO Films crew has been sent to chronicle. In truth they’re making a documentary on crack addiction but Dicky’s delusion is so profound -- and so impervious to reality -- that he fails to recognize it.
Russell is clearly enamored with Bale’s performance -- he all but emblazons the words “For Your Consideration” at the top of the screen during the actor’s scenes -- and as a result he grants his actor too long of a leash. Bale dominates every frame in which he appears but sometimes he overreaches and his scene-stealing antics occasionally verge on clownish. (In a pre-emptive strike against those who might dismiss the performance as a prolonged exercise in scenery chewing Russell includes a documentary clip of the real-life brothers during the film’s closing credits and true to Bale’s portrayal Dicky is an unrepentant attention hound.)
Dicky’s losing battle with crack culminates in a harebrained money-raising scheme hatched straight out of the Tyrone Biggums playbook for which he earns a lengthy penitentiary stay. But just as we begin to suspect The Fighter might morph into a gritty addiction memoir the narrative shifts its focus to Micky who after suffering quietly for years under the misguided tutelage of his junkie brother and their domineering mother/manager Alice (Melissa Leo) finally starts to assert himself. With the help of his new girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams) a bulldog with a tramp stamp whose foul mouth and stiff upper lip provide the perfect antidote to the machinations of Micky’s mother and seven (!) catty sisters his own (genuine) comeback finally gains momentum.
So does the film. Because of its triumphant second half -- during which Micky ascends through the welterweight ranks in a series of brutal slugfests and eventually upsets a much younger Shea Neary to win his first title -- The Fighter will likely be branded hokey by some but that’s hardly the director’s fault. The story all but demands it. For the most part Russell steers clear of the sentimental tropes seen in films like Cinderella Man and the Rocky saga and he documents every pummeling Micky receives with gruesome buzz-killing detail. But the story’s feel-good aspects like Micky are astoundingly resilient and in the end Russell has no choice but to yield to them.
The balding Die Hard actor made Late Show host David Letterman chuckle as he sauntered out on set with a bright red hairpiece he claimed was made from "100 per cent" pure beef.
He said, "This is all natural. It's a meat hairpiece inspired by... who's that crazy lady? ...Lady Gaga!"
Willis kept up the prank as Letterman continued to question the unusual choice of toupee.
He joked, "Let me tell you, (this took) hours to get ready. It's 100 per cent ground beef sirloin. Top shelf, organic.
"Showering? Not a problem. I took a shower a couple (of) hours ago... lather, rinse, repeat. Tenderise."
The cheeky star then proceeded to shake salt and pepper onto his head to flavour the 'meat' before inviting a hesitant Letterman to dig in. The presenter took a forkful of the beef and shovelled it into his mouth, before having to walk offstage to spit out the food, much to Willis' amusement.
But Willis, who also joked about his past as a wizard during his interview, soon showed the TV audience it was all just for a laugh - as he whipped off the fake meat toupee and threw it on the floor.
Gaga drew gasps and stares when she wore her meat ensemble to the MTV Video Music Awards last month (Sep10) in a bid to prove she is "not a piece of meat".
SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg understands that to turn what is in essence a series of 10-minute segments into a 90-minute feature it's necessary to keep things very simple. With that he's envisioned a sort of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure for SpongeBob in which the hapless hero sets out on a quest to find the balding King Neptune's treasured crown. We all know it's been stolen by that tiny green megalomaniacal one-eyed sea creature known as Plankton--who sold it and has framed SpongeBob's boss Mr. Krab with the crime so he can be rid of him and rule the world--but the rest of Bikini Bottom doesn't including King Neptune who wants to turn Mr. Krab into an appetizer. Now even though he has just been passed over for the promotion of his dreams SpongeBob still believes his boss is innocent and convinces the king to spare Mr. Krab's life long enough to allow SpongeBob to go retrieve the crown. Along with his best pal Patrick SpongeBob embarks on the treacherous mission battling any number of obstacles in order to save Mr. Krab's life restore order in Bikini Bottom and prove once and for all he can be a real man…wait a grown up…er a big bad sponge? Yeah something like that.
The whole gang is here including standup comic Tom Kenny who provides the high nasal voice of SpongeBob; Bill Fagerbakke (TV's Coach) who voices the dopey but lovable Patrick; and the booming I'm-master-of-the-universe voice of Mr. Lawrence as the evil Plankton. There are also a few celebrity voices thrown in for good measure including Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor as the vain and insecure King Neptune; Scarlett Johansson as his kind and patient daughter Mindy (who looks a little like Velma from the Scooby-Doo series); and Alec Baldwin as a malevolent hit man. But the best cameo of all belongs to David Hasselhoff appearing as himself--in Baywatch mode of course. Hasselhoff helps SpongeBob and Patrick who find themselves in the "real" world get back to Bikini Bottom safely and looks like he's having a ball poking a little fun at himself--as well he should.
Hillenburg a former marine science teacher created SpongeBob after he decided he wanted to do a sea cartoon and thought a square sponge wearing shorts who lives in a pineapple house in a world of real sea animals was just the ticket. Sure we get why the kids love it. The cartoon is madcap slapsticky gross-out fun with SpongeBob and Patrick just big ol' kids themselves living in an undersea community where eating Krabby Patties showing your underwear and blowing bubbles are the bomb. It's the parents you gotta wonder about--the ones who say they are only watching it because their kids do but who secretly look forward to SpongeBob SquarePants episodes so they too can laugh their asses off. "It's about keeping your kid-nature in life and not totally becoming a curmudgeon " Hillenburg explains--but it's more than that. SpongeBob's humor is oftentimes aimed completely at the adults following the habits of some stellar predecessors such as the old Looney Tunes shorts and even more recently Ren and Stimpy. Examples: SpongeBob and Patrick laughing manically for five minutes longer than they should; the two of them getting totally blasted after eating too many ice cream sundaes and then waking up the next morning in a puddle of their own sick; and confused side glances at the camera from some scary-looking sea monsters who stop short from eating SpongeBob and Patrick after the two start singing about being real men er well you know what I mean. Funny funny stuff.
Rocker Melissa Etheridge has finally revealed the identity of the man who fathered her two children -- and it's not Brad Pitt.
Etheridge has long talked about her crush on good friend Pitt, whom she once said was good-looking enough to make any woman switch teams. (Etheridge outed herself in 1992.) Anyway, the Pitt connection fueled rumors that the actor's DNA was involved when Etheridge's partner, Julie Cypher (ex-wife of Lou Diamond Phillips) became pregnant.
But alas, Pitt has not passed along his good-looking genes to Etheridge-Cypher. Surprisingly, Etheridge reveals to this month's Rolling Stone that the biological father is sorta the anti-Brad Pitt -- David Crosby, the balding, pudgy folkie best known for his hard-livin' days with 1960s stalwarts Crosby, Stills & Nash.
"He's musical, which means a lot to me," Etheridge says of Crosby in Rolling Stone, "and I admire his work."
Cypher became pregnant through artificial insemination and gave birth to daughter Bailey, now 3, and son Beckett, who's 1. The entire, extended family appears on the cover of the new Rolling Stone, including Crosby, 58, and wife Jan, who recommended him for the paternity job.
"No kitchen implements were involved,'' assures Cypher.
Well, that's a relief.
EXODUS: Woody Allen leaving "Manhattan"?!?
The notorious New Yorker has decided to leave the Big Apple for London -- at least for a year, according to reports. Manhattan is, of course, the city in which nearly all Allen's films are set -- and not just the ones named after Manhattan ("Manhattan Murder Mystery", "Manhattan").
Allen, 65, wife Soon-Yi, 29, and their baby daughter, Bechet Dumaine, plan to move to Britain so Allen can direct one-act plays in the foggy city's fashionable "boutique" theaters, according to Sunday's London Times. Producers rejected a similar plan in New York because it was deemed too expensive.
OBLIGATORY DOUGLAS/ZETA-JONES ITEM OF THE DAY: Yes, the wedding is still on for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, -- in fact, Britain's Sun reports that the two will tie the knot in Majorca, a Spanish resort island.
Douglas owns a remote mountain villa there, and an unnamed source tells the tab, "They want to keep the wedding private. Michael's estate in Majorca is perfect because it is so isolated."
But not too private: The Welsh actress reportedly was considering holding the wedding in a chapel near her hometown but nixed it because the venue was too small.
The Sun, by the way, says the Douglas/Zeta-Jones nuptials will go down Sept. 25, which also happens to be the couple's shared birthday (he'll be turning 56, she'll be turning 31).
That would prove convenient; Douglas would only have to remember one date out of the year.
STUPID, BUT OK: Paul Newman suffered bruised ribs after crashing his racecar into a tire barrier at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday.
"I got overconfident on a fresh set of tires," Newman, 74, said. "The tires weren't warm enough, and I slipped."
Newman, an avid and accomplished racecar driver, was examined on the scene by a doctor and further evaluated at Hallifax Medical Center.
"I'm angry at myself," Newman said. "It was a stupid thing to do."
But it's not slowing him down: Newman still plans to run the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race next month.
GLOBAL PRESENCE: Steven Spielberg, who won a best director Golden Globe (and later the Oscar) for "Saving Private Ryan," and Gwyneth Paltrow, who scored a Globe and an Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love," have been tapped as presenters for the 57th Annual Golden Globes on Jan. 23 in Beverly Hills.
Also presenting awards are Catherine Deneuve, Winona Ryder and the (very) aforementioned Michael Douglas.
THE WRITE STUFF: Michael Caine, currently seen in "The Cider House Rules," has decided to do a little John Irving of his own.
The Oscar-winning actor ("Hannah and Her Sisters") has completed his debut novel -- a thriller -- but says he must go back for rewrites after realizing he killed off one of his characters, er, twice.
"I've got to the end in a mad dash. Now I've got to go back and do it properly," Caine told reporters.