Category Archives: Success

Best Overnight Success stories from modern pop culture. Success stories from TV, Movies, Books and Music.

Zoe Saldana Takes Over The World

 

If you don’t know the name, you will definitely know the face, soon to become the number 1 actress in total box office revenues of all time. Earlier this year, Scarlett Johansson was announced as the 1 actress in total box office revenues…but with the films that Zoe Saldana has lined up in the next few years, she could definitely be the one to take Scarlett’s place at the top. Scarlett has had a fantastic year with the release of The Jungle Book and Captain Marvel: Civil War, but Zoe has some pretty hefty releases of her own, especially over the next 6 years.zoe saldana avatar

Lifetime gross for Scarlett’s films hit over $330 Billion Dollars at the box office this year, and it will still be rising as she is at her peak right now.  Zoe Saldana is currently at $214 Billion Dollars at the box office this year so far with Star Trek Beyond having released over the weekend and with Live By Night with Ben Affleck and Scott Eastwood and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 being released next year and Avatar 2, 3 and 4 to be released every 2 years starting in 2018. If the Avatar films do as much as expected then Zoe will very much be in contention, even with the 2 upcoming Avengers Infinity War movies to come for Scarlett. It will be a very interesting race to watch.zoe saldana guardians of the galaxy

Zoe Saldana has racked up a very impressive list of roles in a very short period of time. Her pinnacle year was 2009 when she released Star Trek and Avatar. The thing I think I like best about her is that she plays very strong and intelligent women. She’s no-pushover in any of her movies. I also think it’s amazing that she has managed to have a family and a great career at the same time.  She gave birth to twins (yeah!) in 2014 with her husband Marco Perego. She recently said of directors that created strong female characters, “I’ve learned this about men who write good roles for women – there’s a very beautiful sentimentality to them. Their exteriors are sugarcoated with this manly presence, but deep on the inside, there’s also this [fragility]. During the shortness of my career, I’ve managed to work with Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, and now Jim Cameron- all directors who are known for having strong female protagonists. They don’t feel diminished by it as men; they can tap into the complexities of how woman really are.”Zoe-Saldana-Uhura-Star-Trek-Beyond-Movie

She has shown an interest in getting behind the camera and directing in the future.  She said, (on expanding her career to become a film director), ” It is more satisfying. You are more of a participant in the conception. I like having control. I think I have the capability. I am a storyteller and an artist and I love what I do. So I want to be part of it more and not just show up and say my lines.” Maybe after all the big movies coming up are gone and she starts her second career as a director, we’ll be talking about her amazing directing, but for now we are pleased to have her in front of the camera, entertaining us!

Failed Movies Make the Best Broadway Musicals

 

So what do you do with a movie that fails at the box office? Why not make it into a Broadway Musical! It’s actually fitting that one of the most popular of these is a film about making a bomb, that just happens to turn out to be a big hit…The Producers.Producers

In 1967, Mel Brooks wrote and directed The Producers, starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Kenneth Mars also has a great role in the film, I wrote about it in another blog, you can ready that here… The film initially was not very well liked, people didn’t know what to make of it. Actress Estelle Winwood said about the film – “Oh, that dreadful picture. I can’t bear to watch it, even on a small television. I must have needed the money – living in Hollywood weakens one’s motives. It reminds me of the saying that nobody ever went broke underestimating the American public’s taste.”ProducersLaneBroderick

Regardless, years later when Mel Brooks was considering adapting one of his movie into a play he decided to adapted The Producers as a Broadway stage musical and it opened at the St James Theater in April 2001, with Nathan Lane as Bialystock and Matthew Broderick as Bloom. The renowned musical went on to run for 2502 performances and won a record-breaking 12 Tony awards. A new movie which included Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick was released in 2005, but that one didn’t fare too well either. It’s better as a stage play.victor_victoria

Another one to take the stage was Victor Victoria. Originally written and directed by Blake Edwards in 1982, starring James Garner, Julie Andrews and Robert Preston, the movie did not do well. We absolutely loved the film, however. It’s well suited for the transition to stage, as it’s about a struggling female soprano who finds work playing a male female impersonator, but it complicates her personal life. Robert Preston is just amazing in the film and really steals the show with his musical number at the end of the movie. Robert Preston did the final musical number in one take, which explains why he was so clearly out of breath, physically stressed, and sweating profusely during the second half of the number. So it’s very easy to see it transferred to Broadway.Victor-Victoria-Play

In 1995, Blake Edwards decided to transfer the movie to Broadway and convinced his wife Julie Andrews to reprise her role. The hit Broadway musical Victor Victoria opened at the Marquis Theater on October 25, 1995 and ran for 734 performances. Liza Minnelli substituted for Julie Andrews while she was on vacation and Raquel Welch took over for her when she left the show.xanadu

In 1980, Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly starred in the box office bomb, Xanadu. Again, we loved the movie but it was a huge fail. Famously received the one sentence review: “In a word, Xana-don’t”. I think the main problem is that MTV ruined that movie. What I mean by that is, it’s totally designed to be a musical, but MTV was so popular at the time that they put all the musical numbers into the music, with none of the characters actually singing the songs. It’s just in the background and designed as like music video numbers scattered throughout the film. They dance plenty, but they never really sing.  When I ask people about the movie, it’s funny that people don’t realize that no one in the film ever really sings any of the songs until the end of the movie when Olivia is on stage at the roller rink.  The Broadway stage version opened at the Helen Hayes Theater on July 10, 2007, and ran for 512 performances. It was nominated for the 2008 Tony Awards for Best Musical and Book.spamalot

One of the most unusual film-to-Broadway adaptations would have to be Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In 1975, the Monty Python’s Flying Circus cast wrote and directed a small independent film called Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It did fairly well at the box office but really achieved cult status on video and DVD. It’s a very funny but strange film. The theatrical release contains 527 jokes, including 42 in the opening credits, for an average of one joke every 10.5 seconds. According to Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones got the directing job because they were the only ones who were interested in it. The movie was adapted as a Broadway musical in 2006 called Spamalot. The Broadway play was a huge hit. The original 2005 Broadway production, directed by Mike Nichols, won three Tony Awards, including the Tony Award for Best Musical of the 2004–2005 season and received 14 Tony Award nominations. During its initial run of over 1,500 performances it was seen by more than two million people and grossed over $175 million.newsies_musical_main-logo

Newsies was another musical disaster for Disney initially, but managed to make for a very fine Broadway play.  It was directed by Kenny Ortega, who would head up the very successful High School Musical series a few years later. (High School Musical, being way too successful to consider making into a Broadway play has never made the transition…) Newsies was released in 1992 with pre-Batman Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, Ann-Margret  and Robert Duvall. At the time, this was one of the lowest grossing live action movies in Walt Disney studio history. The movie was a critical and commercial flop upon its initial theatrical release. However, it gathered a cult following after its home video release, eventually made its filming budget back on rentals, and was deemed popular enough to be adapted into a stage musical, which premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in 2011. The musical had music and lyrics by Alan Menken (who composed the movie’s music as well) and Jack Feldman (the movie’s lyricist), and a new book by playwright and actor Harvey Fierstein. This musical moved to Broadway in March 2012 and closed over two years later; a North American tour also launched in 2014. The show went on to earn eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, winning Best Choreography and Best Original Score.Harispray

Now, Hairspray is another very unusual adaptation as the first movie in 1988 directed by John Waters was not a hit, but did moderately well and found cult status on Video and DVD, then was adapted into a very successful Broadway Play and then again translated into a very successful movie in 2007. The original was not a musical, which tells me that certain stories just lend themselves very well to being told as musicals. Jerry Stiller, who plays Wilbur Turnblad in this film, also appears in Hairspray (2007) as Mr. Pinky. Remade on the Broadway stage in 2002 as a musical by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, starring Harvey Fierstein (and later, Bruce Vilanch, Michael McKean and John Pinette) in the role of Edna Turnblad (played in the film by Divine) and Marissa Jaret Winokur in the role of Tracy Turnblad (played in the film by Ricki Lake) The musical opened at the Neil Simon Theater on August 15, 2002 and ran for 2641 performances. It won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Musical. Adam Shankman directed the 2007 film with John Travolta playing Edna and Nikki Blonsky playing Tracy. With $27.5 million, this had the best opening ever for a movie musical until Mamma Mia! (2008).little shop of horrors

Another film-to-broadway-back-to-film adaptation is Little Shop of Horrors. Low budget Independent producer Roger Corman and Charles B. Griffith. The shooting schedule for this film was two days and one night because Roger Corman had made a bet that he could make a movie in two days. Charles B. Griffith took a little more than that to write it. A young Jack Nicholson has only a small part as Farb’s masochistic patient, Wilbur Force. But later, as the actor’s career began to take off, he was prominently featured on the home-video releases to help generate interest in the film. The film was remade as a successful stage musical in 1982, by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman. (who would go on to do Disney’s The Little Mermaid and then many other successful animated musicals) The musical premiered Off-Off-Broadway in 1982 before moving to the Orpheum Theatre Off-Broadway, where it had a five-year run. It later received numerous productions in the U.S. and abroad, and a subsequent Broadway production. When it closed on November 1, 1987, after 2,209 performances, it was the third-longest running musical and the highest-grossing production in Off-Broadway history.little shop of horrors audrey seymour

Ellen Greene reprised her role from the play as Audrey in the 1986 movie of the musical. Frank Oz directed with Rick Moranis playing Seymour. Ellen Greene as Audrey (I) is the only member of the Off-Broadway cast to appear in this film. When she originated the role in 1982, it was her idea to wear a blond wig over her brunette curly hair. Howard Ashman originally saw Audrey as a brunette, based on Jackie Joseph’s look in the original The Little Shop of Horrors (1960).  The original script called for Audrey and Seymour to be eaten by Audrey II, just like in the stage play. Frank Oz reluctantly had it changed after negative reactions from test audiences. Oz claims that the difference between the success of the scene in the play and the same scene in the film is that there is no curtain call to remind the audience that the actors were okay.

 

The Front Page

 

This incredible Broadway play was made into several equally good movies over the years, my favorite being a gender-switch for the main character.  It was written in 1928 by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.  The first movie to be made was the faithful “The Front Page” (1931) directed by Lewis Milestone and features Pat O’Brien and Adolphe Menjou. It’s very much the play, with a lot of great dialogue and great character actors. It went on to 3 Academy Award nominations.The-Front-Page-1931

My favorite one was next and it features one of the most ingenious casting choices of all time when Howard Hawks decided to change the role of Hildebrand Johnson into Hildegard Johnson and cast Rosalind Russell. It was a brilliant move to have the two main characters divorced and sparing. Cary Grant plays the Walter Burns role perfectly and it is my FAVORITE of all of Cary Grant’s performances, in a plethora (Jefe, what is a plethora?) of perfect performances. They also switched the title to “His Girl Friday” (1940).Russell-Rosalind-His-Girl-Friday

I should mention that Howard Hawks very much wanted to keep the dialogue like it was in the play where it was fast paced and had a lot of the characters talking over each other.  Because of this, Hawks wanted each actor to come up with improvised bits and action for each of their characters.  Rosalind Russell, not to be outdone, hired an advertising writer that worked with her brother-in-law to make sure that her “improvisations” were especially witty and Hawks never caught on, but Cary Grant did and every morning would ask her, “What have you got today?”.  She was also perfectly cast and has fantastic chemistry with Grant and her fiancee in the film, Ralph Bellamy.His_Girl_Friday

The next version of “The Front Page” (1974) was directed by Billy Wilder and featured the male roles intact again with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon paired up. The pairing was so successful that they would go on to do a total of 10 movies together (although they do not have any scenes together in JFK) and were very good friends off camera as well. Jack Lemmon also directed only 1 movie his entire career, and he made sure the star was none other than Walter Matthau.  It was “Kotch“. Lemmon would go on to say about Matthau, “Walter is a helluva actor. The best I’ve ever worked with.”.

Matthau-Lemmon- Front Page

The last one really worth mentioning and that seems to have been really forgotten over time is the fabulous, “Switching Channels” directed by Ted Kotcheff and it switches the gender roles again with Kathleen Turner playing the Rosalind Russell role.  Burt Reynolds plays the Cary Grant role and Christopher Reeve plays the Ralph Bellamy role.  This time the setting has been changed as well to be in the world of broadcast news and so a lot of the newspaper men chatter has been completely cut from this version. It really focuses in on the relationships and works well, I think. All the actors are fantastic in their roles.switchingchannels

Now all of the other previous versions were pretty big hits, except this one and it’s a real shame as this is highly under-rated, in my opinion.  The failure may have been due to the release of the very popular and critically praised Broadcast News months before. People thought it was too much of the same thing. Burt Reynolds grabbed this film because Cary Grant was a big inspiration to him for years and this finally gave him an opportunity to play a role of his. I think you can really tell in this film that he studied Cary’s performance as it reflects his own.  Burt Reynolds and Cary Grant are two actors that I can honestly say, could do any genres as they were equally good at comedy, action, romance and drama over their careers.

LINKS:

THE FRONT PAGE (1931) CLIPS

THE FRONT PAGE (1974) TRAILER

HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) TRAILER

Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None

 

This original novel by Agatha Christie has become the number 1 mystery novel of all time, selling over 100 million copies. Written first in 1939, it went on to become a smash hit.  It’s no wonder really that it’s had multiple versions and imitations of it on film over the years.

The main plot device of using the 10 figures to showcase each death has changed over time, with good reason. Originally Christie wrote them as well as the title as, “Ten Little Ni**ers” (I can’t even write it, it’s so offensive) and then to “Ten Little Indians” and then changed to “Soldiers”. The title that is retained most commonly at that point is the end of the nursery rhyme, “And Then There Were None“, which I think fits perfectly.And_Then_There_Were_None_1945

Now as for my favorite version of the film, it would still have to be Rene Clair’s version from 1945. Interestingly, enough it’s not based on the book but rather the play by Christie that was written a short time later and has a difference in that the two main protagonists Lombard and Claythorne are innocent and manage to survive the whole affair. In the book they were guilty and die like everyone else. This version is just fantastic, however, with a very strong cast and great dialogue. It’s in the public domain, and so it is difficult to get a hold of a quality copy.nine suspects - Ten Little Indians (1965)

The next version worth noting is the George Pollock version (1965), titled, “Ten Little Indians” and is fantastic in it’s own right.  I have to point out at this time the plot seemed to inspire a lot more films that are fantastic as well, my first being the very well written Neil Simon’s “Murder By Death” (1976).  He added a flair to the proceeding by making all the guests themselves world-famous detectives modeled after a slew of my favorite all time literary characters! Characters modeled after Charlie Chan, Nick and Nora Charles, Sam Spade, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple. The works of Earl Derr Biggers, Agatha Christie and Dashiell Hammett all in one movie is just too good to pass up!Murder+By+Death+Dinner+with+Truman+Capote

Another one that my brother and I just love is the movie made from the board game, “Clue” (1985). The game itself, ironically enough is also inspired by Agatha Christie’s book and originally featured 10 characters as well when it was first created in 1944. Anyway, the movie Clue is great fun and features one of the best comedic casts to ever be gathered for one film. The last one film to note is the most recent, “And Then There Were None” (2015). The most recent one is done by the BBC and is the only one to retain the original ending of killing Lombard and Claythorne.clue-blu-ray-still-550x285

Fifth Element

 

Luc Besson is an amazing writer, producer and director from France, if you are not already familiar with him, I can tell you, you’re familiar with his work. Just to name a few, he’s responsible for the series: Taken, Taxi, Nikita, Transporter, District B13, Arthur and the Invisibles, Colombiana and so, so many others. After he made a splash early on directing films like The Big Blue, The Professional (Leon), and La Femme Nikita, he decided to direct a Sci-Fi film in 1997 that he started writing when he was a kid. Fifth-Element-Banner-770x300

It’s one of the most under-rated film, and one of my favorites…The Fifth Element.  At the time of it’s release, it didn’t do as good as expected for some strange reason, that I can’t fathom, but is simply an amazing film.  The only thing I can think of is Chris Tucker is horribly miscast and makes his scenes unwatchable at times, because of his nails-on-a-chalkboard-line-delivery.Fifth-Element

Great direction, great visuals and great action, it’s a fantastic film besides this small concession. Gary Oldman is just awesome as the bad guy in the film and he just steals the show at times.  Bruce Willis does great and after Die Hard, this film really showcases his action chops. Milla Jovovich is introduced for the first time in this movie and is just great.  She learned an entirely new and made up language for this film and is just flawless in her characterization. At the time this film was made, she was a professional linguist if you think about it, as she already was fluent in 4 languages! Luc Besson and Milla created the language LeeLoo speaks and by the end of the film they could have whole conversations in it.  It’s not hard to see how she would eventually become a worldwide star.Milla-jovovich-the-fifth-element

Luc Besson is one of my favorite filmmakers and it’s simply because he does things he wants to do and doesn’t really confine himself to the “success” of it.  The success becomes a product, of course, of the things he works on because of the quality and interest it generates. He said of his films in 2014, “I can’t do this job just like a business. If I don’t love the film and I’m not ready to get exhausted for it, I can’t do it. I can’t go to Hollywood, take a big cheque and say, “Action!” and “Cut!”. It’s just not me. I come from the source, from the ground up: putting cables together and holding cameras aged 17, and I’m physically like that. If I believe in a film, I don’t care if it’s very successful or not successful. I want to be proud of it. I’ve done films that worked a lot and films that didn’t work so well, and I don’t care. Angel-A (2005) was a black and white film in French – I love this film – and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010) was a comedy in French, but then The Fifth Element (1997) was popular everywhere. It doesn’t matter because the real life of a film is ten years later. Two years ago I was in Korea and this 15 year-old Korean guy with a red mohawk came up to me aggressively – I was a little scared – and he said, “Subway (1985) is my favourite film!” I asked him how old he was and realised that he wasn’t even born when I made it. That’s the beauty of film.”the-fifth-element-gary-oldman

 

Seems Like Old Times For a Foul Play

 

How about the perfect Double Feature…for a comedy set I would enter for consideration, Foul Play (1978) and Seems Like Old Times (1980), both featuring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase.

After a pair of successful screenplays like Harold and Maude (1971) and Silver Streak (1976), the studio decided to give Colin Higgens his first shot at directing and he came up with Foul Play.  It was a hit and he would go on to have two more soon after with 9 to 5 (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).  That’s a pretty good line-up of films for any writer-director in Hollywood, it’s very sad that he died at a young age, as he could have gone on to do so many more great films.foul play 2

Foul Play made bankable Stars out of Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase and Dudley Moore. Dudley Moore was not the original choice for Stanley Tibbs as the role was originally written for Tim Conway, but he declined due to the sexual nature of the role. Dudley Moore was thrilled, however, because he was able to shine in the role and it started his American career with later films like 10 (1979), Arthur (1981) and Unfaithfully Yours (1984).

I love everything about this film, including all the music from the Mikado and I also remember that Barry Manilow had a huge hit with “Ready to Take a Chance Again” that is featured at the beginning of the movie. I was interested to learn that Steve Martin originally read for the role of Tony Carlson but lost the role to Chevy Chase. Steve Martin would go on to star with Goldie Hawn in 2 films later; Housesitter (1992), and The Out-of-Towners (1999). The Out-of-Towners is ironic as it was written by Neil Simon, who also wrote, Chevy Chase’s and Goldie Hawn’s next match-up, Seems Like Old Times.seems_like_old_times_chevy-chase

I read a very interesting story on how Neil Simon prefers to work. Since he’s a play writer as well as a screenwriter, he prefers to do all rewrites as the actors rehearse the script/play, giving the actors news scripts before each rehearsal. This movie had a two-week rehearsal period in which during this time writer Neil Simon customized the screenplay to tailor the lead stars’ personalities. During the two-week rehearsal period, Simon observed the needs of his stars and was able to re-write portions of the script to better suit their individual personalities. “There is a terrific quality about Chevy [Chase],” says Simon, “He’s the bad boy in class. You never know what he is going to do. I tried to capture that in the script and in each day’s rewrites”.

This Neil Simon movie was written directly for the screen and was not based on a Neil Simon play as many of his other movies have been. For writer Neil Simon, working with Goldie Hawn, was a delight. Simon said of Hawn that she was a “…rare combination. She can be very funny and very sexy. She has a true appreciation of what’s funny and what’s bleak in life” and “She has the two main ingredients for a film comedienne: she’s funny and very sexy. Audiences respond on two levels to that. They are taken by it. She’s terrific to work with”.  It’s interesting to note that Goldie Hawn’s role was originally written for Neil Simon’s wife, Marsha Mason and she was set to do the film originally with Burt Reynolds in the Chevy Chase role.seemsThis would be my favorite of the Neil Simon movies, but I very much liked the movies; Murder By Death (1976), The Goodbye Girl (1977), and Chapter Two (1979). Charles Grodin was fantastic in this movie as Goldie Hawn’s husband, and interestingly, has 2 other movies with Neil Simon, The Heartbreak Kid (1972) and The Lonely Guy (1984) which ironically as well, is a film starring Steve Martin.

Emmy Award-winning TV director Jay Sandrich was drawn to Neil Simon’s script because of the finely crafted writing. Sandrich said: “It’s the type of comedy that I had been doing for years, I understood it completely. I think it has a certain flair and the madcap quality that some of those 30’s pictures had, With writing as good as this, I knew that everything else would fall into place. In this particular script, although it’s very farcy and fast-paced, there are times when the relationships are very valid and very human; and that’s the important thing . . . that the audience care about these people and really believe that they can exist. I think Neil’s script is so well crafted that you could take out the jokes and play it as a drama”.

So now if you are wondering what two films to rent for a great double feature (in this day and age, download) try these two, as you won’t be disappointed with either.  Great films! I would consider them, modern-day classics.

Terry Bradshaw, The Actor, Singer and Author

 

It’s well known that Terry Bradshaw, was a great NFL Quarterback and a fantastic TV personality for the Fox NFL Sunday.  What is rather unknown, however is his success as an actor, singer and author.

As an actor I first noticed him as a pal of Burt Reynolds in Hooper, Smokey and the Bandit 2 and Cannonball Run (Cannonball Run being his best role). In Cannonball Run, Terry was paired up with Country Singer Mel Tillis, and was so successful Hal Needham (the director of Cannonball Run) directed a spin-off of the film, a TV show pilot for NBC called Stockers, which featured Terry and Mel as two stock car racers trying to outwit and outrun a bill collector named, Crusher.

Now the pilot failed to be picked up, but this is important for two other reasons; Terry followed up with his love for racing over the years by being very active in the NASCAR circles, From 2001-2006, he joined the HighLine Performance Group Racing to form FitzBradshaw Racing. He also appeared on NASCAR on Fox where he interviewed and drove with Dale Earnhardt at Daytona International Speedway the day before Earnhardt was killed in the last lap of the Daytona 500.

Now you would think it was Mel Tillis that may have influenced him into music, but you’d be wrong. Cannonball Run was in 1981 and Terry had already released I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (which reached 17 on the billboard charts) in 1976 and Until You (reaching 73rd) in 1980 and would go on to release 3 more albums after that! I have no idea, when this over-achiever ever had time to write books, but he did! He released his first book, No Easy Game in 1971 and then released, Man of Steel in 1979. He followed those up with Looking Deep in 1991, It’s Only a Game in 2001 and finally Keep It Simple in 2002.

Now with all that work and not including his work as a commentator on TV, he’s continued to act in a slew of TV Shows and had a very nice role in the Matthew McConaughey comedy Failure to Launch (2006) as Matthew’s father and will appear in the movie, Bastards this year along with Owen Wilson and Ed Helms.

Sally Field of Dreams

 

The actor Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters, The Americans) once said of working with Sally Field, “One time she was in the kitchen and she likes to sort of prepare things in the scene, I wasn’t really paying attention, and she’s chopping away … and she just presents this huge bowl of guacamole! That’s a testament to Sally Field because I’m concentrating on just about getting by and remembering my lines – she’s doing that and preparing guacamole for the rest of the cast!”

BROTHERS & SISTERS - "Home Front" - A year after losing their larger than life family patriarch and three weeks since hearing from Justin in the Middle East, the Walker family struggle to find cheer in celebrating Kitty's birthday. Sarah fights to salvage what's left of her failing marriage; Kevin learns the hard way about the sacrifices that true love brings; Tommy is at a loss as to how to provide the emotional support needed by his overwhelmed wife, Julia, after the death of their newborn son, while Kitty gets a first hand look at the challenges of being engaged to a U.S. senator (Rob Lowe as Senator Robert McCallister). Meanwhile, Saul questions his identity after a visit from an old friend, and the family's newest member, Rebecca, tries desperately to find her place in this very complex family puzzle, on the second Season Premiere of "Brothers & Sisters," SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/MICHAEL DESMOND) SALLY FIELD, CALISTA FLOCKHART
BROTHERS & SISTERS – “Home Front” – SALLY FIELD, CALISTA FLOCKHART

Growing up she was one of my mother’s top favorite actresses and watching her in a movie just yesterday, I realized that she was one of mine as well. She is so good at what she does, she makes it look like she’s coming up with everything right on the spot. A lot of actors personally call her friend and many of them have worked with her multiple times.  She’s known to be a method actor and prefers to get into a character and stay in character.

Recently, she has said of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, “Daniel and I work exactly the same way. I always stay in character,” she said.  She thought that Lincoln represented the perfect environment as an actor because Spielberg embraced the method (keeping in character at all times) throughout the shoot and made sure that the actors all had a bubble around them where they were not asked to come in and out of character during breaks and meals and such.SallyField_LincolnOver the years, she’s racked up quite an impressive set of awards and library of roles that firmly put her in “legend” status, in my mind, the same way that James Garner, Meryl Streep, Paul Newman or even Katherine Hepburn has.  She’s very impressive in Sybil, Norma Rae, Absence of Malice, Places in the Heart, Murphy’s Romance, Steel Magnolias, and Lincoln, but my personal favorite is her performance in Smokey and the Bandit, which she once said was her favorite movie.

To me, what’s more important than awards, is how many of her costars continually want to work with her. She is shy by nature, but always gives it her all and is enjoyable and fun to work with. I hope to see many, many more years of fascinating work from this great actress.0504-sally-field-2

Happy Birthday!

 

Have you ever wondered who shared your birthday?  I was thinking about that today in fact.  It being my birthday and all.  Now being a twin, I share my birthday with my brother.  So I’m used to the concept.  But it’s always cool to see who else shares your same birthday.  I feel like there is a connection between me and them.  A bond that no one can break.  Who are my birthday buddies?  Here are a few of them.

February 18th Birthdays:

John Travolta

John_Travolta_1997

Who doesn’t know him?  When people ask me who I share my birthday with, I almost always respond with him.  Of course.  He’s a nice guy, that has done some great films.  Some of his best work is Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Wild Hogs, and so much more.  But my favorite thing about him is, he married Kelly Preston.  Wow!  It takes a real man to keep a woman like her happy for over 25 years.  In Hollywood no less.  Way to go Travolta!

John Hughes

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, producer John Hughes, on set, 1994. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

Few film directors can say they helped to define a generation.  John Hughes is one of them.  He made some of the best and most memorable films from the 80’s.  Who doesn’t remember Mr. Mom, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Home Alone, as well as many, many more.  He will be missed!

Molly Ringwald

Molly Ringwald

She must have shared a few birthdays with one of her favorite writer/director’s, as her and John Hughes collaborated frequently.  Craft services could save a few pennies and make just one cake to cover both birthdays.  Some of her films are Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, The Pick-up Artist, and Betsy’s Wedding.   And she’s only two years older than me.

Matt Dillon

Matt_Dillon_0001

The only man on this list that I have actually met.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  He’s a very nice guy.  So, I’m happy to say that we share the same birthday.  He’s got quite the repertory as well with films such as: My Bodyguard, Little Darlings, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, The Flamingo Kid, There’s Something About Mary, Crash, as well as many others.  Way to go Matt.  Keep up the good work.  Make us February 18ther’s proud!

George Kennedy

George-Kennedy

What can be said for the great George Kennedy.  Mr. Disaster Movie Man himself (I made that up).  He’s simply awesome.  And he’s done some of the best films of all time: Spartacus, McHale’s Navy, In Harm’s Way, The Dirty Dozen, Cool Hand Luke, Airport, Earthquake, The Naked Gun, and so much more.  My birthday buddies are looking pretty good.  Not too shabby.  Thanks George for rounding us out.

Here are a few other birthday buddies worth mentioning: Milos Forman (director of One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus ), Cybill Shepherd (The Last Picture Show, Moonlighting), Jack Palance (City Slickers), Greta Scacchi (Presumed Innocent), and Dr. Dre (Rapper).

Happy Birthday!

 

 

The Best Actor You Probably Never Heard Of

 

Most veteran actors I know of, tap out at right around 100 credits to their names. And those are the hard working actors. Go ahead and check out James Garner, Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart. They don’t even breach the 100 film mark. Now look at heavy working actor’s lifetime credits like Michael Caine, Lance Hendriksen, or Lee Van Cleef.  They all reach between 150-200 credits…and they seemed to work a LOT.  Then there are the truly RARE actors, usually very popular character actors that will reach 250-350 credits, in their lifetime, like Christopher Lee (280) or Ed Asner (333!).

Now if I were to tell you, there is an actor out there who just turned 40 last year (happy birthday) and already has 228 credits to his name! Half a normal human lifetime and he has already twice as many credits as your normal hard working retired actor! Also, he’s worked with a list of very good actors; Jessica Chastain, Treat Williams, George Kennedy, Danny Trejo, Rupert Friend, Ronny Cox, Vivica A. Fox, Bai Ling, Jon Gries, Curtis Armstrong, Eric Roberts, Armand Assante…and more and more…He’s the best and the hardest working actor, you’ve probably never heard of.jose 1

JOSE ROSETE

I’m amazed and impressed every day by his growing list of stats. He’s going to end up with the most film credits by an actor at the end of his lifetime than any actor that ever lived. He didn’t start out trying to break a world record but he will end up with one when he’s done. I’m not counting porn stars, voice actors or extras, I’m talking normal  actors with speaking roles as lead or supporting characters. A good example, is James Hong, recognizable character actor, still going strong in his eighties…at 406 credits but there are some fantastic character actors like Oliver Hardy (414), Harry Harvey (436), Byron Foulger (482), or the amazing James Flavin (500!). Many of those last ones racked up stats as the every man; truck drivers, bell hops, delivery men with one or two lines, not as larger supporting and lead roles that Jose has been tackling over the last 10 years.jose-rosete-2016

I have a lot of young actors trying to break into the business ask me weekly how to get in and I tell every single one of them about Jose. How does he work so much? So, my first tip to these young actors is simply to be likable! I would say if Jose Rosete had a world class attribute or super power, it would be his likability. In person, he’s very reserved, a bit shy, eager, smiles a lot, doesn’t run from people or crowds, jumps in to help at any opportunity and volunteers for everything, is the first to show up on set, last to leave, never complains, always is positive and talks well of others…he’s just incredibly LIKABLE.  He works incredibly hard and he loves being on set and is prepared and ready to go at all times.  I can’t say enough good things about him and it’s been my experience that everyone who’s ever worked with him…says the exact same things.jose 3

It’s key to his success. People will hire him again and again and again, simply because people love working with him.

The next best trait he has and contributes greatly in his success is that he’s active in his own promotion! From day one, I’ve seen him use every tool he can to reach out, meet people, find jobs, stay social, and be active. He’s very good with online tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, IMDB, Wikipedia, YouTube and Vimeo. He’s easy to get a hold of and he’s easy to research. He’s very active. Need to see a picture, try to google him, want  to see his reel, want to see his latest projects… BAM, he’s right there.jose-rosete-newsHe looks mean…but trust me, he’s awesome all around and once he gets a role…he’s all in. He’s very focused and zeroed in. Locked and loaded, he gives the director and producer everything they want and more. Check him out in our very own Locker 13, where he is a 3-headed monster as an actor, writer and producer on the film.