Tag Archives: HUGH HEFNER

Greenwood shines for Beresford, Google scoops up Bawden, and it’s a wrap! — almost — as TIFF gets set to hand out some heavyweight hardware

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Stratford scene-stealer Geraint Wyn-Davies, currently winning raves for his joyful performance as Bottom in

FOX: on The Hour

FOX: on The Hour

Midsummer Night’s Dream, will take his next play out of town before opening in Stratford next summer. He plans to test his one-man show Do Not Go Gentle, by Leon Pownall, about the life of Dylan Thomas, in New York, where he’ll open a limited run this winter … Google, who continue to be two steps ahead of all other search engines, have reportedly snapped up esteemed Toronto Star alumnus Jim Bawden to cover the Canadian television scene. Smart move, guys! But then, that’s what makes Google Google George Stroumboulopoulos kicks off his sixth

McLACHLAN: dragon lady

McLACHLAN: Dragon lady

season of The Hour with a 60-minute one-on-one with Michael J. Fox … and yes, that was Sarah McLachlan looking lovely at the CBC Fall Launch. She showed up to cheer on her current squeeze, Dragons’ Den panelist Brett Wilson.

FILMFEST FOLLIES: Now that we’re getting close to the finish line, hot titles emerging from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival include Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, Bruce Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer, Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother & Child, Lee Daniels’ Precious,

BONO: at TIFF

BONO: at TIFF

Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time, Tom Ford’s A Single Man, Lone Sherfig’s An Education, Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air, Joel & Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, and Brigitte Berman’s controversial celluloid portrait of Hugh Hefner. Should be interesting to see who finishes in the money when TIFF prize-winners are announced tomorrow afternoon stars continue to shine where and when you least expect them to. My spies tell me Jason Reitman devotee Aaron Eckhart slipped in to see Up In The Air last weekend.’Bono showed up for his pal Colin Farrell at the unveiling of Neil Jordan’s Ondine. Geoffrey Rush

CAINE: conversing

CAINE: conversing

came out to cheer for Michael Sheen in Tom Hooper’s The Damned United. And Sam Neill was among the eager onlookers who raised hands to ask questions when Harry Brown hero Michael Caine participated in a 90-minute on-stage Conversation with Seamus O’Regan … and at the initial screening of Lars Von Trier’s AntiChrist, which premiered the first night of the festival, my spies report that midway through the film “someone actually fainted and caused a bit of a scene when they toppled onto the row in front of them, totally alarming those people. Talk about a perfect way to start a film festival!!”

SMITH: great quotes

SMITH: great quotes

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “A lot of things have disappeared as I have grown older and a lot of wrinkles and flab have suddenly appeared. But whatever I’ve lost, I still have great legs. As the late actress Kitty Carlisle Hart used to say as she showed her gams at age 90, ‘The legs are the last to go.’ Kitty had a good life motto. She looked at herself every morning in the mirror and said, ‘Kitty, I forgive you!’”

The speaker? Liz Smith, who just keeps wowing us with her wit ‘n’ wisdom on wowOwow.com.

TOGETHER AGAIN (ALMOST): It’s been years since they co-starred at the then Pantages in Phantom Of The Opera, but Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca

GREENWOOD: "spectacularly good"

GREENWOOD: spectacular

Caine continue to brighten stage and screens. Wilkinson was here this week to promote The Tudors at CBC’s elegant mid-week Fall Launch. In the new season he plays an antagonist who Henry VIII summarily executes. “But they must have liked what I did, because they’ve asked me return as a ghost!” Meanwhile, the glory-voiced Ms Caine is set to headline her own concert show, Raising Caine, next Sunday Sept. 27 at the new Conservatory Theatre … and speaking of dynamic duos, Twin Peaks alumni Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Chen are only two of the reasons why TIFF showstopper Mao’s Last Dancer is such a riveting film. Credit director Bruce Beresford for hiring Bruce Greenwood to play the U.S. choreographer with his own agenda. Greenwood, who delivers a brilliantly nuanced performance,  is spectacularly good. But then, so is the movie. Don’t miss it.

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George gets Oprah, Kim gets a sidewalk star and Toronto gets one heaping helping of Hollywood

STARS IN OUR EYES: What a weekend for celebrity-spotting in Our Town.  In addition to Penelope Cruz, Colin Farrell, Jeff Bridges, Jason Bateman, Hugh Hefner, Drew Barrymore, Ewan McGregor (who walked the red

McGREGOR: took flight

McGREGOR: took flight

carpet, then dashed to Pearson International to catch a flight) and too many more to mention here, Anne Murray hosted the stars receiving Walk Of Fame honours on Saturday night at the Four Seasons Centre. New sidewalk star owner Kim Cattrall, back in New York this morning shooting Sex And The City 2, also sparkled at George Christy’s 25th annual filmfest family reunion at the Four Seasons, as did Michael Caine, Rachel Ward & Bryan Brown, Norman Jewison, Michael Sheen, Rex Reed, novelists Ron Base & Shinan Govani, Seamus O’Regan, Chaz & Roger Ebert, Ben Mulroney and An Education scene-stealer Carey Mulligan, who flew to Manhattan yesterday to start shooting Wall Street 2 with Michael

CATTRALL: Back to Manhattan

CATTRALL: Back to Manhattan

Douglas. A few blocks away at Il Fornello TIFF co-founder Bill Marshall & Sari Ruda hosted their annual All-Star Lunch for directors Fred Schepisi, Patricia Rozema and Don Shebib, satirist Rick Miller, filmfest veteran Tony Watt, columnist Martin Knelman, ex-Toronto mayors David Crombie & Art Eggleton and many more. Veteran filmfest programmer Hannah Fisher and producers Pierre Sarrazin & Suzette Couture were among the guests soaking up the sun and snacks at Tonya Lee Williams’ lively networking reception at The Pilot for her ReelWorld Indie Lounge. And producer Laszlo

CLOONEY: with Oprah

CLOONEY: with Oprah

Barna and dozens of TIFF participants showed up to shmooze at the Canadian Film Centre soiree hosted by CFC chief Slawko Klymkiw at The Spoke Club.

Biggest crowd-pleasers of the weekend: George Clooney, who greeted cheering fans Friday night at the premiere of The Men Who Stare At Goats and then showed up with Oprah Winfrey on his arm for the Saturday screening of Jason Reitman’s crowd-pleasing Up In The Air. (My spies tell me Reitman’s Thank You For Smoking star Aaron Eckhart also was there. Who knew?) La Wnfrey herself drew thunderous applause last night at the premiere of Precious, as did Mariah Carey. But it was Michael Caine who earned the most affectionate TIFF standing ovations yesterday in his stellar Q&A session with Canada A.M. stalwart Seamus O’Regan.

TIFF TALK: TIFF visitor Tilda Swinton reportedly wants to star in a new screen version of Mame, more along the lines of stage & screen Mame Rosalind Russell than movie musical Mame Lucille Ball … popular music-makers Terri

SWINTON: new Mame?

SWINTON: new Mame?

Clark and Hawksley Workmen are among the entertainers appearing this week at the Hard Rock Café as part of the fifth annual TIFF-related Canadian Music Café …  Canuck luminaries ranging from Christopher Plummer, Norman Jewison and David Cronenberg to Margaret Atwood, Oscar Peterson and Louise Pitre are currently showcased in a new 30-year retrospective by photographer Edward Gajdel at the o born contemporary gallery on Yonge street … Bobby Del Rio is living the Actor’s Dream. He’s in every single scene of Mio Adilman’s short TIFF film Unlocked … and organizers of the Dubai International Film Festival pulled the plug on tonight’s planned Park Hyatt cocktail soiree. All in all, not Dubai’s best year for public relations. Maybe all the headline-grabbing fuss about the TIFF salute to Tel Aviv scared them off?

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Brigitte gets some Oscar buzz, Meryl gets Teased, Buddies get Ann-Margret, Broadway gets 007 & Wolverine, and Jodie gets Mel (maybe)

BUDDY BUDDY: Best Buddies, the non-profit organization that has helped thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities become more inclusive in everyday life, has put smiles on thousands of faces — but this week it’s Best

ANN-MARGRET:  Buddies system

ANN-MARGRET: Buddies system

Buddies Canada co-founder Danny Greenglass who’s all smiles. Why? Because bonafide screen legend Ann-Margret is coming to town. One of Hollywood’s last great triple-threat performers, she made her movie debut almost five, count ’em, five decades ago and has never stopped working. Ask her about her favourite leading men and she’ll tell you about every male movie idol from Steve McQueen to Jack Nicholson to John Wayne to Elvis. And when she isn’t tackling the gritty roles that won her all those Oscar and Emmy nominbations — she already owns five Golden Globes  —  she’s still kicking up her heels (and those still fabled gams) in her SRO stage shows. Following in Shirley MacLaiue’s footsteps last year, Ann-Margret will jet here next week with her producer husband Roger Smith to celebrate Best Buddies 15th anniversary at a gala evening at the Four Seasons in her honour. And that’s truly something to smile about.

STREEP TEASE: Yes, the American Council on Science and Health is mad at her for saying that Julia Child‘s cuisine was not exactly cholesterol-free. But Meryl Streep is so popular again — and you know how these things come and go

STREEP; comedy Tease

STREEP; comedy Tease

— that an irreverent group of guys are giving her a stand-up comedy salute this weekend in Hollywood.  Called Streep Tease, the event is the brainchild of actor-comedian Roy Cruz, who is producing and performing in the show with fellow thesps Taylor Negron, Sam Pancake, Steve Hasley,  Eddie Sanchez, Mike Rose, Trent Walker and David Dean Bottrell (Boston Legal.) All of them will try to find their inner Streep in a live stage tribute re-creating her greatest screen monologues, including memorable speeches from such Streep mega-hits as The Devil Wears Prada and The Bridges of Madison County. Bottrell chose a monologue from Out of Africa because he loves the Danish accent. Pancake chose Postcards From the Edge, and Negron is doing Sophie’s Choice. And no, I’m not making this up. The curtain lifts on this theatrical show at bang.studio in Los Angeles on Saturday, but if you’re on the east coast you can watch it from  the theater’s webcam at 11 p.m. Just don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Screen lions Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman will show up together on Broadway this fall in Keith Huff’s new

FOSTER: busy Beaver

FOSTER: busy Beaver

stage play A Heavy Rain. A deal to adapt the play as a feature, to star the same duo, is now in the works … Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway are teaming up for Love and Other DrugsCamilla Belle will play Kevin Spacey‘s daughter in his upcoming flick Father Of Invention …  and Jodie Foster will direct and co-star in The Beaver, about a man who has an unusual relationship with a beaver handpuppet. (And no, I’m not making this up.) Not only that, Jodie’s Maverick troubled but gifted co-star, Mel Gibson, is in negotiations to play the lead. So there!

PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILMFEST: Only a few people have actually seen it so far, but Oscar buzz has already started for Brigitte Berman’s eye-

BERMAN: Oscar buzz

BERMAN: Oscar buzz

popping new screen biography of Hugh Hefner, which premieres at TIFF next week and reveals his next-to-forgotten life as a champion  of women and a supporter of gay rights at a time when the concept was nearly unheard of in mainstream America.

Berman, of course, already owns one Academy Award, which she won for her stunning profile of American music legend Artie Shaw.  And she admits she had some trepidation when she finally showed her film to Hefner and some of his friends in mid-July. Much to her surprise, and delight, and relief, Hefner was moved to tears at the end of the screening.  “It was,” she confides, “an extraordinary moment.” No wonder Hefner, now 83, is hoping to jet here for the Saturday Sept. 12 premiere.

TOMORROW:

Broadway’s most honoured hoofer hits the road again,

Lindsay Lohan gets a gig, Oprah packs for Toronto, and more.

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Julia gets Javier, Joan gets a rich idea, Anna gets to play house, & U.S. viewers finally get to see US!


 

BARDEM: with Julia?

BARDEM: with Julia?

 

FLICKERS: Oscar winner Javier Bardem will join Oscar winner Julia Roberts and recent Oscar nominee Richard Jenkins in Ryan Murphy’s big-screen adaptation of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love.  According to my sometimes reliable sources, Bardem will play Felipe, “the exotic, deeply spiritual foreigner Roberts falls in love with towards the end of her journey, who rocks her world by introducing her to the wonders of the multiple-orgasm and expensive Spanish goat’s milk cheeses.” Well okay then! … Ed Zwick hopes to reunite Brokeback Mountain lovers Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway this fall in Love and Other Drugs, based on the nonfiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman (no, I’m not making this up) …  she’s

GYLLENHAAL: with Anne?

GYLLENHAAL: with Anne?

still working on a final cut, but word is out that Oscar winner Brigitte Berman has done it again with her new candid study of Playboy personified Hugh Hefner … Neil Patrick Harris, so good at holding the Tony Awards together last Sunday, will star in The Best And The Brightest, an indie about New York’s cutthroat world of private kindergarten … in Paul Bettany’s next film, a horror western called Priest, he’ll play a warrior priest who turns against the church to track down a murderous band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece. Oh sure, same old, same old … add one more thriller to your summer movie Must List: Kari Skogland’s 50 Dead Men Walking. And you can sneak preview it by clicking right here.

FARIS: short role
FARIS: short role

GLOBAL’S GOT IT: Global’s fall line-up includes my favourite show of the new season so far – Glee, a series about a vibrant group of geeky misfits and the resurgence of their high school’s unpopular glee club. The pilot was exceptionally entertaining … say, is that U.S. or … US? Oh – it’s us! Get ready to see a lot more Canada Post mailboxes on screen on U.S. television. Home-grown series Flashpoint and The Listener, and still to be seen police series Copper and The Bridge, are all set in Toronto. Filmed in Toronto, yes, but actually set in Toronto. I ask you, what is this world coming to! … and let’s enjoy it while it lasts … and Anna Faris (House Bunny, Observe & Report) plays a suburban mom who dreams of being an actress in Legally Blonde screenwriter Kirsten Smith’s directorial debut The Spleenectomy at next week’s CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival.  

RIVERS: rich?
RIVERS: rich?

HOW’D YOU GET THAT IDEA? Her new series, How’d You Get So Rich? starts in August on the U.S. cable channel TV Land, and Joan Rivers couldn’t be happier. “The premise for the show came to me while I was on the road and driving through neighborhoods across America. Suddenly there would be a humungous mansion and I’d ask, ‘Who the hell lives there? How’d they get so rich?’ And then I’d wonder, ‘Is it a single, Jewish man?’

How’d You Get So Rich? goes inside the doors of these opulent homes where we meet real go-getter Americans who have made their fortunes doing some incredible things.” 

For a sneak preview, just click here.

 

KIRSTIE: root beer floats?

KIRSTIE: root beer floats?

 

U ARE WOT U EAT:  “Sonic is doing free root bewer floats today,” Kirstie Alley swoons on Twitter. “I can’t believe I am missing out on Sonic root beer floats … I REALLY WANT ONE … I am having Fing nectarines … I hate being fat.” Given her too-celebrated roller coaster diets, you might think that Kirstie is the only Tweeter obsessed with food. Wrong. We all are, apparently. Before signing off a few nights ago screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) informed us that she was “going outside for a

COUPLAND:  cereal killer

COUPLAND: cereal killer?

swim.” Why?  “Just ate two bowls of pasta and want to see if I float.” And author Doug Coupland (JPod, Souvenir Of Canada,) who seems like the least likely suspect, is constantly keep us in the loop about what he’s eating and when he’s eating it. “Through a chain of circumstances too complex to explain here I ended up eating just three hotdogs and five vanilla sugar cookies for dinner.” And: “Crazy summer heat …” (Yes, he lives in Vancouver.) “… Had to force myself to eat a bowl of Lucky Charms and Vitamin D milk.” And: “Breakfast is for losers.” And: “Brunch is the worst idea for a meal.” In short, not yer average ham ‘n’ eggs kind o’ guy.

 

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