Tag Archives: KEVIN SPACEY

Shirley goes Downton, Patricia goes down that Gardens path & Kate goes from Horror to Netflix

GOIN’ TO THE ABBEY: Unsinkable movie queen Shirley MacLaine, still star-bright at 77, is packing  to leave for the U.K. and filming for the next season of Downton Abbey.  She ‘s looking forward to playing the American mother of

MACLAINE: off to the U.K.

Lady Cora Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern,) she says, because “there is sure to be a variance of opinions when you mix the staidBritish upper crust with brash American views of the 1920s.” She’s also taking her one-woman show, An Evening With Shirley MacLaine, on the road in March, with test runs in Arizona, Connecticut and New York state. But she’ll be back in Hollywood on June 7  to pick up an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award — the 40th in American Film Institute history. “2012 is off to an amazing beginning for me!” Shirley

McGOVERN: make room for momma

exclaims … Larry King will get his Lifetime Achievement Award the same month, from the 2012 Banff World Media  Festival … comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, whose light touch brightened  23 of the last 25 Oscar shows, won’t be typing backstage this year because he’s busy writing for Broadway. Also MIA this year: A  performance of Oscar-nominated songs. Producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have voted to scrap ’em (there are only two.)  But in the nostalgic spirit of Best Picture nominees The Artist, Hugo and Midnight In Paris,  the Kodak Theater on Hollywood

MESSING: she's a Smash

Boulevard will be decorated to resemble a timeless movie theatre like the University and the Imperial and other picture palaces of old  … Liz Smith says the producers of Smash are wooing Broadway baby Lesley Ann Warren to join the cast as a Broadway diva on the comeback trail. Liz says Smash star Debra Messing would love having Warren on board, because they worked so well together on Will & Grace when Warren played Will’s father’s  dizzy mistress … and friendly fire-breathers Jim Treliving and Arlene Dickinson are teaming up to do a Dragons’ Den spin-offIn each episode of Big Decision, Treliving and Dickinson assess two struggling businesses and decide to save one company. Or both. Or neither.

OUR TOWN:  Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage launches this weekend with the world premiere of Everything Under the Moon, a collaboration by innovative performance artist Shary Boyle and songwriter Christine

WILLIAMS: NAACP nominee

Fellows. A year and a half in the making, Everything Under the Moon is reportedly their most ambitious creation to date, pairing hand-animated projected image with narrative song. An extra show has already been added next week due to bubbling ticket demand … Dave Bidini and the BidiniBand are giving a free concert as part of the SK8 festival at Harbourfront this Sunday from 2-4 pm. “Bring skates,” says the renaissance musician & writer. “The gig is just off the Natrel skating rink, and there’ll be lotsa stuff for kids and non-kids alike!” … and Second Harvest’s grassroots fundraising campaign Lunch Money Day wraps up today. Volunteers will be shaking their cans at subway stations across the city during the

RAINN: Office spin-off?

morning and evening rush hours, so  “peas give” the equivalent of what you usually spend on lunch to Second Harvest. Remember, with only $10 they can provide 20 meals! So show them that you “give a shiitake” and reward those valiant volunteers with more than just a smile.

THE WRITE STUFF: Award-winning director Patricia Rozema will take participants through her transformation of the classic Maysles Brothers documentary Grey Gardens into the hit HBO feature with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore at the 3rd annual Toronto Screenwriting Conference on March 30-April 1. It was Rozema’s shooting script that got the green light for the movie and the Emmyv and Golden Globe

ROZEMA: Grey Gardening

awards that followed … screenwriter and novelist Ron Base, author of those wildly entertaining Sanibel Detective yarns, shares trade secrets in his equally amusing tell-almost-all blog Writing Sanibel: Or How An Old Dog Used A Unique Island and Technology to Learn New Tricks … and Hollywood-based writer-producer Kathy Slevin has launched  a new blog focused on disseminating successful actions – her own and those of other writers and producers from whom she has learned.  “Its purpose,” she explains, “is to help writers bring their work closer to the kind of product a producer needs and wants and will hopefully be the kind of resource that both find useful.” Her current posts include Secrets Of Series Creations  and How To Hook An Audience, and would-be series writers can check ‘em out right here.

STARS IN OUR EYES:  Indefatigable ReelWorld filmfest founder and director Tonya Lee Williams, who most recently received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award in Montreal, has been nominated for a

BASE: Sanibel sleuthing

2012 NAACP Image Award for her role in the long-running CBS daytime drama The Young and the Restless. The awards will be telecast live from Hollywood tomorrow night on NBC …  American Horror Story heroine Kate Mara has joined Kevin Spacey in producer David Fincher’s original Netflix series House of Cards … Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman) is set to join Kate Winslet, Nicolas Cage, Steve Carrell, Catherine Keener and Kevin Kline in Charlie Kaufman’s new flight of fantasyFrank or Francis … and Rainn Wilson is in talks to continue with his character Dwight Schrute in a spinoff of The Office.

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A drama for Amanda, a film feast for Chris, a new musical for Catherine and a Toronto visit for Meryl!

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW: Sadly, most of the publicity surrounding the making of Chloe, the new Atom Egoyan drama set to premiere

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

Sunday night at TIFF, focused on leading man Liam Neeson when his actress wife Natasha Richardson died tragically during the shooting of the film. What no one seems to have noticed is that the title character in Egoyan’s film is played by Amanda Seyfried, so outstanding as Meryl Streep’s daughter in Mamma Mia.  In Chloe she plays a sultry young seductress hired by Julianne Moore to test her husband’s faithfulness. (Expect to hear a lot of tongue-wagging after this one!) … and tonight’s TIFF Galas should offer some genuine surprises. Already winning rave reviews, The Men Who Stare At Goats showcases a stellar 1ddcd8b24bd2e054_colin_firthcast led by George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges in a stranger-than-fiction true story. (Want a sample? Just click here.) And the new version of Dorian Gray, with Colin Firth and terminally handsome Ben Barnes directed by Oscar Wilde aficionado Oliver Parker, reportedly takes that famous portrait mythology to new heights (and depths.) This one sure doesn’t look like any of the Dorian Grays we’ve seen before. For a sneak preview, click here.

OUR TOWN: Hollywood columnist George Christy, Norman Jewison and Gina & Paul Godfrey were among the boldface who turned up for the Best Buddies tribute to Ann-Margaret this week at the Four Seasons. Glamourous

STREEP: Toronto-bound

STREEP: Toronto-bound

in a glittering cocktail dress, the award-winning actress beamed when someone asked her if she minds being called Ann-Margrock, her character name on The Flintstones. “No, I love it!” she exclaimed. “That’s why I voiced the part in the first place!”… delighted by its successful run at Niagara-On-The-Lake, Theatre Museum Canada has finally brought its much-lauded retrospective of stage designer Cameron Porteous to T.O. After a week of previews, Risking The Void: The Scenography of Cameron Porteous, opens tonight at the Design Exchange and runs through October 20 … and talk about a hot ticket: current box office queen Meryl Streep is set for a public sit-down session with Johanna Schneller at the ROM on Oct. 7. Bon appetit, ladies!

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

TIFF TALK: The aspiring filmmakers who made the final cut to attend TIFF’s annual Talent Lab are in good and remarkably famous hands this year. Governors overseeing the program are Danny Boyle, John Collee, Miranda July and Cooking With Stella star Don McKellar. Film folk who have agreed to be drop-in mentors include Tilda Swinton, Atom Egoyan, Gaspar Noe, Jane Campion, Bruce Beresford and Suzana Amaral … is anyone having a better year on film that Christopher Plummer? He’s a major voice in Up, one of the summer biggest box office hits, and one of the top-billed stars of the new animated film 9, which opened here this week; he’s nominated for a Gemini Award for his performance in the screen version of his Stratford hit

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

Caesar & Cleopatra; he plays the title role in Terry Gilliam’s much-anticipated Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, premiering here at TIFF next week; and he and Helen Mirren play Leo Tolstoy and his missus in the new German-Russian-U.K. co-production The Last Station. Can’t wait to see that one … and the best and most significant comment I’ve seen on the current tiff over TIFF’s choice of Tel Aviv for its City To City program comes from Toronto film critic Peter Howell. Says Howell: “Film festivals are supposed to be about opening minds, not closing them.” To which we say, bravo. To read his thoughtful column in yesterday’s Toronto Star, click here.

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

STARS IN OUR EYES: New Manhattan-dwellers Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones won’t have a lot of time to unpack their California bags. He’s already started shooting Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street, reprising his role as imprisoned corporate crook Gordon Gekko opposite TIFF scene-stealer Carey Mulligan (An Education.) Meanwhile Solitary Man, Douglas’ meaty new drama with Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and his longtime pal Danny DeVito premieres at TIFF next week. Meanwhile the ravishing Zeta-Jones, who won her

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

Oscar for her song-and-dance tour de force in Chicago, is starting rehearsals for her return to the musical stage in A Little Night Music, tackling the role played by Glynis Johns on Broadway, Judi Dench in London, Jean Simmons in Toronto and Elizabeth Taylor on screen. And speaking of Dame Elizabeth, who not so coincidentally happens to be the Founding International Chairman of AMFAR – will she jet here to attend our first-ever Cinema Against AIDS Toronto Gala on Tuesday at the Carlu? And will Global Fundraising champion Sharon Stone come with her? Kevin Sullivan & Trudy Grant are presenting sponsors of the lavish evening, which features a special dinner designed by Jamie Kennedy with Sarah McLachlan and Deborah Cox served up for dessert. For ticket information, click here.

Have a great TIFF weekend.

See you at the movies!

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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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Ms Vardalos gets her Greek god, Ms Murray teaches us a lesson, and Ms Fonda twitters at the Tonys

MEET MR. GORGEOUS: We don’t know him over here, but Nia Vardalos’ leading man in My Life In Ruins, Alexis Georgoulis, is apparently the George Clooney of Greece. After audience reaction to him at the first sneak previews,

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

VARDALOS & GEORGOULIS: Mr. Gorgeous?

 the U.S. press has started calling him Alex Gorgeous. “Which I think is apropos,” Vardalos told wowOwow web writer Kristin Fritz. “One reviewer said, because apparently I have an every-woman look, and I have this gorgeous, Greek god as my male lead, the reviewer basically said, ‘Who do you think you are?’ And I’m like, umm, hi. No one. I’m just an every-woman. And in the same way that Seth Rogen gets Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up, and Paul Giamatti gets Virginia Madsen in Sideways, yes, my character gets the Greek god in this one.”

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “At a very young age I learned from my parents to have respect for all people no matter what race, religion or station in life. Respect takes on many forms. Respect is being on time: your time is no more important than others. Respect is being prepared: people are relying on you. Respect is treating everyone with dignity. The janitor, the gardener, the CEO should all be acknowledged and appreciated for the jobs they do. My father taught me to always stand up when being introduced to someone. When you shake his hand, look him in the eye. Take time; remember his name; make him feel special.”

MURRAY: wise wotds

MURRAY: wise words

The speaker? Supersongstress Anne Murray, to graduating students at the  University of Prince Edward Island. Murray, whose hit Music Of My Life special encored last weekend on CBC Television, is currently putting the final touches on her memoirs for October publication. But she’ll still be spending most of the summer in Nova Scotia and looks forward to greeting her legions of fans on July 25 for 20th anniversary celebrations of the Anne Murray Centre in Springhill.

EVERY LITTLE MOVEMENT:  New showbiz sport is trying to spot Twitterbugs at major theatrical openings. Did you notice that Jane Fonda was all a-Twitter at the Tony Awards two nights ago? Fonda has just returned from a trip

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

FONDA: Tony Twitterer

to the Galapagos with a group that included Angela Lansbury’s nephew David Lansbury. When David’s aunt won her fifth Tony, as Best Featured Actress for Blithe Spirit, Fonda noted, “as usual, she was graciousness incarnate.”  But she admitted she was as surprised as we were when Next To Normal “won best new score, beating Elton and Dolly. I haven’t seen it — yet.” Fonda and her fellow nominees were also enlisted as impromptu extras: “We’ve just all been handed throw-away lighters, I guess to light up during an upcoming Rock of Ages number,” she reported.  When the cast of Hair danced into the orchestra seats, she said, one of them landed in the lap of her pal and fellow nominee Janet McTeer. “This number from Hair really makes me wanna see it,” she added. After she lost the best actress prize to Marcia Gay Harden, Fonda was still sanguine. “For me it felt like a prize just getting to this. Janet McTeer and I will now go have some vodkas with impunity.” And after Hair won Best Musical Revival, Fonda footnoted, “I swear, half the audience is up there to accept the Tony!”

 

SPACEY: Tony talk

SPACEY: Tony talk

Yeah, there did seem to be a lot of that going on. Meanwhile, unless you were in a musical, you could hardly get arrested on this year’s unfortunate televised event. Mind you, Poison rocker Bret Michael came pretty close when he got bonked by the descending backdrop and ended up with a broken nose. Quipped Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody: “I’m concerned about Bret Michaels’ fractured nose. An acute sense of smell is essential to his dating process.” Meanwhile, stage & screen lion Kevin Spacey told New York Post scribe Michael Riedel he thinks the Tonys should be taken over by PBS, directed by Broadway veteran Mike Nichols and given the formality and inclusiveness that the theater deserves.

Dunno who would pick up the tab, but it sounds like a darn good idea to me.  

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Joanne Woodward, Robert Redford & Julia Roberts will make Monday June 8 a night to remember

On Monday June 8, the night after Neil Patrick Harris hosts the Tony Awards, Broadway will have a second starry night, for a spectacularly good reason. Joanne Woodward, Robert Redford & Julia Roberts will co-host

REDFORD: Paul pal

REDFORD: Paul pal

a fundraiser Celebration of Paul Newman’s Hole-In-The-Wall Camps with performances by Joshua Bell, Harry Connick, Jr., Art Garfunkel, Yo-Yo Ma, Jerry Seinfeld, Take 6 and James Taylor. Tickets begin at $50 and are available through Center Charge, 212-721-6500 or www.lincolncenter.org. Benefit tickets including an after-party begin at $1,500 and are available for purchase through the Benefit Office, 212-627-0678. The evening will benefit the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps – the world’s largest family of camps for children with serious and life-threatening medical illnesses. The camps were Paul Newman’s dream and this event will celebrate his legacy.

To which we say, Bravo!

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NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Mentalist star Simon Baker is set to co-star with Casey Affleck in the thriller The Killer Inside Me … dynamic

PARKER: prescient

PARKER: prescient

Weeds heroine Mary-Louise Parker is still smarting over her nude bathtub scene from last year’s finale. “I didn’t think I needed to be naked, and I fought with the director about it, and now I’m bitter,” she tells More magazine in its June issue. “I knew it was going to be on the Internet: ‘Mary Louise shows off her big nipples.’ I wish I hadn’t done that. I was goaded into it.” So are we surprised that “Mary Louise shows off her big nipples” is currently among the Most Viewed clips on Google Trends? … and ‘gorgeous’ Kerry Connelly opens a two-night stand tonight at the Jane Mallett Theatre, bringing some of her favourite repertoire by Stephen Sondheim, Georges Bizet, Steven Schwartz and more. For a soupcon of Kerry in action just click here.

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SANDLER: reunion

SANDLER: reunion

 

FLICKERS: Chalk up a first leading role in a feature film for Christina Aguilera. She’ll play “an ambitious small-town girl with a big voice who tries to escape a hollow past” in Steven Antin’s Burlesque …  Ray Stevenson has the title role in the forthcoming crime drama The IrishmanAdam Sandler‘s new comedy, The Lake House, is not, repeat, NOT a remake of the Sandra Bullock-Keanu Reeves melodrama. In this one Sandler plays one of a bunch of guys (Kevin James, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, David Spade) who get together for a reunion at a summer cottage … and Robert De Niro will play parole officer to Edward Norton’s arsonist in John Curran’s Stone.

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BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS DIRECT: Currently launching Inglourious Basterds in Cannes, Quentin Tarantino is reportedly plotting

AGUILERA: leading lady

AGUILERA: leading lady

 

a new film called Weekend, to be filmed in Serbia (!?!) with Sharon Stone, Jessica Biel, Lucy Liu, Dennis Hopper and Michael Madsenremember H.A.L., the wondrous computer magically voiced by Douglas Campbell in Stanley Kubrick’s masterwork 2001: A Space Odyssey?  Now Kevin Spacey is following in his voiceprints, playing Sam Rockwell’s robot companion in Moon, a new sci-fi thriller spine-tingler penned by two famous sons – Nathan Parker, son of filmmaker Alan Parker, and Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie. Duncan, formerly known as Zowie, also directs … and as we near the 40th anniversary of the murder of actress Sharon Tate and four others at the hands of Manson family cult members, Oliver Stone is in talks with Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecuting attorney on the Manson case, to bring his creepy classic  Helter Skelter to the big screen.

Hope not. Four decades later, it’s still too fresh for some of us.