Tag Archives: BILLY BOB THORNTON

Ken gets a novel idea, Martha makes nice for Macy’s, and Jian makes CBC Radio history

Here’s some good news — Ken Finkleman is brushing off his Smith-Corona again. The creator of The Newsroom, Foolish Hearts and so many of my

FINKLEMAN: first novel

FINKLEMAN: first novel

favourite series has signed a deal with Harper Canada for his first novel, Noah’s Crime, about the murder of a literary rival by an unemployed TV writer. Ken’s literary agent Chris Bucci of Anne McDermid Associates describes the novel as “a darkly comic cross between Martin Amis’ The Information and Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment.” Sounds like pure Finkleman to me. Hope he kept the movie rights for himself. Meanwhile, his legions of television aficionados can rest easy – Ken also has a new TV series in the works, this time for TMN … always-innovative superChef Jamie Kennedy has a new treat in store for Friday night diners at his Gardiner Museum oasis. He’s pairing some spectacular new dishes with spectacularly smooth Balvenie scotch

STEWART: dining out

STEWART: dining out

whiskey. Among the VIPs sampling both at a by-invitation-only soiree this week were Newfoundland scotch connoisseurs Rick Mercer, Seamus O’Regan and Gordon Pinsent … guess that verbal dust-up with Billy Bob whatzisname didn’t do him any harm, because my spies tell me Jian Ghomeshi’s daily show Q is currently earning the highest ratings of any show in the history of CBC Radio …  Kirstie Alley wonders when TV “got so degraded.” She remembers when Cheers and Seinfeld were ‘cutting edge.’ “Now the edge is a talentless tongue!”… and Martha Stewart reports from New York that the once-vibrant Plaza Hotel is coming back to life. “Great stores on lower level, lots of tourists,” she told her tweeple earlier this week. Martha tried out the hotel’s new Oak Room restaurant, recently redesigned by Annabelle Selldorf, and said her dinner was very good. “The desserts,” she added, “were extra good!” A devoted shopper herself, La Stewart spent yesterday shooting all-star commercials for Macy’s with Mariah Carey, Usher, Queen Latifah, Tommy Hilfiger and Donald Trump, to name more than a few.

GOING DIGITAL FOR A SONG: “Our patrons are passionate and loyal, and we wanted to make sure we delivered on their expectation and with every interaction they have with the COC.”

GHOMESHI: making history

GHOMESHI: making history

So says Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, which has now launched its new and improved website where visitors “can expect the same quality from our digital experience that we demonstrate with our productions in our beautiful opera house.” New features include a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the COC’s production of Madama Butterfly; an historical timeline highlighting company milestones with commemorative photos, posters, interviews and audio and video excerpts; COC podcasts featuring musical excerpts and video highlights of select operas and exclusive artist interviews; and a blog by Neef himself, who shares his thoughts on COC productions and artists and encourages visitors to ask questions. To see for yourself, click here.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “You can’t get mad at weather because weather’s not about you. Apply that lesson to most other aspects of life.”

The speaker? National treasure Doug Coupland, sharing wise words on twitter.

NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS: They tried it last year for the first time and it was a hit.  So the Just For Laughs Comedy Conference (July 23 – 25) is back. For more info click here …  only in Canada, you say? Only in Montreal, we

RIVERS: salute to Ed

RIVERS: salute to Ed

say.  Just For Laughs veterans Mike Ward, Max Martin and Derek Seguin are “taking da henglish to da west hiland for Canada Day.” Yes, the fearless trio of comics are set to perform their acquired-tasteful French Comedy Bastards act on July 1 at Bourbon Street West … after 14 seasons with the National Ballet of Canada, resident Lighting Designer Christopher Dennis will join the Metropolitan Opera in New York City next month … 300 lay-offs at My Space, plus the collapse of Quebec’s top TV format company Distraction, reminds us that it’s still tough sledding out there … curious about the new story-based Captain Eyeliner podcasts produced and hosted by Nobu Adilman? To find out more, click here … and Joan Rivers paid tribute to Ed McMahon on The View yesterday. When Johnny Carson refused to speak to her after she left The Tonight Show to try her luck at Fox, and instructed everyone connected with his show not to speak to or fraternize with her, Ed McMahon would spot her in a restaurant and come over to say hello. “He was always, always a gentleman.”

Now that’s class.

-/-


Going, going, gonzo as celeb auctions take off, eh!

RYAN’S FANCY:  He plays  Sandra Bullock‘s lover in The Proposal, Hugh Jackman’s nemesis in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Scarlett Johannson‘s hubby in real life, but in his not-so-spare time Ryan Reynolds is a tireless

REYNOLDS: auctioneer

REYNOLDS: auctioneer

crusader for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Last year he ran in the New York City marathon and raised 100K to combat the disease, which both his father and his pal Michael struggle with every day. Now Reynolds is auctioning off tickets to his two new movies. Winner of the Wolverine tickets will attend the April 28 premiere in Hollywood. Winner of  the Proposal tickets will attend the June 1st premiere,with Ryan and Sandra Bullock … just biding your time? Stop biding and start bidding. The Toronto Jewish Film Festival has launched its first Charity eBay Auction with more than three items to choose from, fine dining fine to movie passes, theatre tickets to  wine storage. Just go to www.tjff.com and click on the eBay link. Or just click here … and not to be outdone, bidding has now begun on Toronto’s now-fabled HotDocs festival’s Opening Night Gala Auction. Bidders from across Canada and around the world will compete with opening night attendees to win trips to Italy and South Korea, weekend getaways, private film screenings, exclusive on-set experiences and more! To check it out go to http://www.auctionwire.com — or just click here.

GOODMAN: heavyweight

GOODMAN: heavyweight

 

DID THE STAGE MOVE FOR YOU TOO?:  Talk about Big Men on Broadway! Currently heavyweights treading the boards on the Great White Way include Brian D’Arcy James, who spends 90 minutes every day getting green for his title role in Shrek: The Musical, with Drowsy Chaperone showstopper Sutton Foster as Fiona; Brian Dennehy, who explodes in rage nightly in the revival of Eugene O’Neil‘s steamy Desire Under The Elms; and John Goodman, now a prepossessing 300 pounds, currently in previews for the revival of the Samuel Beckett classic Waiting For Godot with Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin and John Glover. 

KEATON: restoration

KEATON: restoration

 

A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME Dept.: Still-gorgeous Oscar winner Diane Keaton, in town this week to speak her piece at the Toronto Star-sponsored Unique Lives series, has in interesting hobby: She restores houses, particularly brilliant ones. A full-fledged member of America’s National Trust for Historic Preservation, she recently completed her finishing touches on a finished a Spanish Colonial home in Beverly Hills. I’m told the house, a mansion really, was originally designed in 1927 by architect Ralph Flewelling, and has been painstakingly restored. It features an inner courtyard with a fountain separating the kitchen and family room on one side from the media room, den and staircase. It has thruway arches in the living and dining rooms. The 7,145 square foot layout includes seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms — the master suite has dual bathrooms — and a separate guest suite. The home has a pool, and the yard has pathways lined with olive trees.

Keaton has listed the house at $11,995,000.

And no, I’m not making this up. 

WILL THE REAL BILLY BOB THORNTON PLEASE SHUT UP? Ooops, he did it again. Went on the Jimmy Kimmel Show this week. Said he was shocked by the reaction to his appearance with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC Radio’s flagship interview show Q. 

GHOMESHI: eye-high Q

GHOMESHI: flagshipper

“The fact that that was news was astounding to me,” Thornton told Kimmel. “But it gave humpbacked geeks all over the world something to do for a couple of days.” 

Okay, Billy Bob, it’s come down to this.  We’re begging you, man. Just zip it. While you still have one or two fans left, before your band mates find a new lead singer who restricts what comes out of his mouth to lyrics, or before studio execs decided that yes, despite all rumours to the contrary, there really is such a thing as bad publicity. Resist the urge to go on any more talk shows, and just button it. For at least the next six m0nths.

And don’t you worry none about us. We gravy-free mashed potatoes are actually kinda famous for forgivin’ and forgettin’. Worry about the guy on ABC News who led off his report on your appearance on Q with this catchy phrase: “Wellll, it’s now official:  Billy Bob Thornton is a jerk.”

So when you start mendin’ fences, Billy Bob, you might wanna start at home.

-/-

 

Gimme a break!

Oh wait, I just had one.

I know, I know, I promised you (and me) a daily column, uhhh, blog, Monday thru Friday and then some.

Never did figure out when spring break was supposed to end.

Okay. My bad.

I sorta promise to never do it again.

And meanwhile, back on the ranch:

 

OUR TOWN: What a way to start the New Year! Theatre Passe Muraille will host the world premiere of Judith Thompson’s new play, Such Creatures, in

POLLEY: presenting

POLLEY: presenting

January 2010 … presenters set to assist 22 Minutes scene-stealer Geri Hall when she hosts the 2009 WGC Screenwriting Awards next week include Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries), Sarah Polley (Away from Her,) Tara Spencer-Nairn (Corner Gas), and Jennifer Podemski (Moccasin Flats.) Host Hall and 22 Minutes scribe Kyle Tingley will script the annual Writers Guild of Canada awards giveaway … and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Tickets are already selling briskly for the Toronto filmfest’s phenomenally popular annual children’s filmfest, Sprockets, which opens this Saturday April 18.

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PEOPLE: Veteran camera-huggers Kathleen Turner and Peter Gallagher are set to join the cast of David Duchovnys hit Showtime series, CalifornicationWill Arnett has signed on to star  in a comic book -inspired Wild West saga, Jonah Hex, with Hollywood heartthrob-du-jour Josh Brolin 

JACK & MARGARET: odd couple

JACK & MARGARET: odd couple

… director Kari Scogland was reportedly delighted by the reception for her film Fifty Dead Men Walking in Belfast last week. The controversial drama, which premiered here last September at the Toronto film festival, has just opened across the UK … ’70s gay porn icon and cabaret producer Jack Wrangler died last week of emphysema. Wrangler, 62, is survived by his 84-year-old wife, esteemed pop music legend Margaret Whiting, in what was one of Hollywood’s most fascinating romances … and Giancarlo Esposito will jet in this week for the Wednesday night premiere of his directorial debut, Gospel Hill, at Tonya Lee Williams’ 9th Annual ReelWorld Film Festival at the Scotiabank Theatre. Esposito’s film, the fest’s opening night Gala, stars Danny Glover, Angela Bassett, Julia Stiles, Samuel L. Jackson and Taylor Kitsch.

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BILLY BOB BLUES: By now most of the free world has viewed Jian Ghomeshis quixotic interview with reluctant movie star Billy Bob Thornton on CBC Radio’s Q.  Can’t say I feel sorry for Jian, because he stick-handled Billy Bob brilliantly. Can’t say I feel sorry for Billy Bob, because his arrogance clearly

THORNTON: Transplanted Texan?

THORNTON: Transplanted Texan?

exceeds his talent. But I do feel sorry for his Boxmaster band-mates. Talk about being hung out to dry! … and although Thornton is in no imminent danger of receiving honourary Canadian citizenship, Texas-born Manhattan gossip girl Liz Smith used to joke that if you even visited Texas, that was good enough for the Texas Film Hall of Fame to adopt you. Which is how Arkansas native Billy Bob became an official Texan recently, receiving the Tom Mix Honorary Texan Award from the Film Society. When Dennis Quaid introduced him a native “of Northeast Texas – that is, Hot Springs, Arkansas,” Billy Bob quickly reminded him that he once lived in Austin, Texas.  Which apparently was good enough for the Film Society. (Other ‘Texans’ honoured this year along with Billy Bob were Larry Hagman, born in Fort Worth, Texas, and Powers Boothe, a Texas State University graduate and native of Snyder, Texas.)

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LITERATI:  Giller Prize winner Wayson Choy is out promoting his new heart-stopping (literally!) bestseller, Not Yet … ditto Mark Breslin and his

LEACHMAN: telling tales

LEACHMAN: telling tales

Confessions of a Porn Addict, not to mention his new audio book on Canadian stand-up comedy….  gee, she’s going to Parliament after all! Green Party leader Elizabeth May launches her new book, perhaps too aptly titled Losing Confidence, on April 26 in Ottawa at, wait for it, the Parliament Pub … also out there telling tales: Fabled Oscar, Emmy & Golden Globe legend Cloris Leachman, who collaborated with her favourite ex-husband, producer George Englund (she married and divorced him twice) on Cloris: My Autobiography … and Deepak Chopra is set to wing into our town this month to promote his new tome Why Is God Laughing? on April 27 at Roy Thomson Hall. (Gee, I dunno, Deepak – maybe He’s a fan of Billy Bob Thornton??)

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SEE/HEAR:  His episode with mayor Hazel McCallion was a big hit with Canadians this season, but Rick Mercer’s Mississauga mischief is now a bonafide viral sensation in the U.S., with almost a million hits (at last count) on YouTube alone. To see what all the fuss is about, or just to finish reading this column with a smile, just click here.

See you tomorrow.