Does James McAvoy think he would make a good teacher?Read More »
Susan Sarandon came to meet the HFPA with her Pomeranian Maltese pooch, Penny, and put her on the table to show her off. “See, Penny cut her hair short so that her legs look longer. She was even in my movie Bernard and Doris, playing Doris Duke’s pet, and for that role she had to dye her hair brown to look like a wealthy pet. She enjoyed all of the attention. I even made her my escort to the Speed Racer junket and she stole the show.”
Scott Caan, star of Hawaii Five-O, brought his best pal, Dot, to our interview on the show’s set in Waikiki. Dot, a pointer mix was far poised than her master. ”She is part of our gang and she gives you a little talent show,” Scott said with huge pride. Dot sat quietly on the floor to give her master his show time, but occasionally she jumped on the table or nearby shelf very elegantly. “Dot is a born star and loves the camera.” He did not mind her stealing his show. “To tell you the truth, I even made a movie about a dog called The Dog Problem. It wasn’t very good. Don’t anyone see it!” At holiday time, Scott sent us his card which showed a joyous photo of Dot jumping and kissing him. “Dot and I can take you surfing the next time you come to Hawaii,” he said.
Emily Blunt had to deal with not only with her new honeymoon life with John Krasinski, but also with a puppy. “His name is Finn. John and I wanted to start our family with a baby puppy. Only a few weeks and [and he was] already 90 pounds, and he is very naughty! Jumps at me all the time. He is a chocolate lab and I just had to deal with his vomit and poop. It’s great training for us.” Since then we talked to John and he added, “Finn got his training, for a whole two weeks he was at the trainer’s and our house was deadly empty. Now he is more disciplined and well mannered. Do we sleep with him in our bed? No way! He has his own room with a king size bed and custom made bedding.”Read More »
After filming The Hangover 2 in Thailand, Ken Jeong tells us about his love of travel.Read More »
By Jorge Camara
If ever an actor were indelibly associated with a character, Rosalind Russell as Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame would be at the top of that list.
Russell won the Golden Globe for her performance, and the movie was honored as Best Comedy in 1958. Curiously, that was the first of only five times in which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s statuette for Best Comedy or Musical was awarded to both a comedy and a musical. (Best Musical went to Gigi.)
Mame Dennis, the irrepressible, eccentric and free-spirited New York socialite who teaches her nephew that “life is a banquet and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death” (the movie changed “sons-of-bitches” to “suckers” in order not to offend the 1950’s moviegoers’ sensibilities) started her li
fe in a 1955 best-selling book by Patrick Dennis, inspired by the madcap adventures of his real life aunt, Marion Tanner.
Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee adapted the novel into a very successful Broadway play with Russell in the title
role, and for once, Hollywood wisely decided not to replace her when the movie was made two years later, under the direction of Morton DaCosta.
Rosalind Russell had a long and successful career of almost 40 years (from 1934 to 1972,) with movies like The Women, His Girl Friday, My Sister Eileen, and Picnic, just to mention a few, but the character of Mame Dennis will always be her crowning achievement.Read More »
FIRST ROUND LEGAL VICTORY FOR THE HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION IN THEIR LITIGATION WITH FORMER PUBLICIST MICHAEL RUSSELL
HOLLYWOOD, CA, May 16, 2011 – Judge Kevin Brazile of the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled Wednesday, May 11, 2011, in favor of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in the action brought against it and President Philip Berk by their former outside publicist, Michael Russell (MRG-CINEPOINT/CASE #BC453017).
When the HFPA did not renew Russell’s contract, he sued the Golden Globes organization for defamation and interference with their ability to retain and recruit clients. These claims, the most critical of Mr. Berk personally, were stricken pursuant to the so-called anti-SLAPP law which protects the right to free speech.
According to the HFPA’s counsel, Joseph Campo of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, “As most of the remaining claims concern employment issues, we are confident that we will remove them by demurrer or motion for summary judgment. This baseless complaint will not reach the jury.”
About the Hollywood Foreign Press Association:
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was founded in the 1940s by Los Angeles based overseas journalists who sought to bridge the international community with Hollywood. Today, members of the HFPA represent 55 countries with a combined readership of 250 million in some of the world’s most respected publications. Each year, the organization holds the third most watched awards show on television, the Golden Globe Awards®, which have enabled the organization to donate more than $12 million thus far to entertainment related charities and scholarship programs. For more information, please visit www.goldenglobes.org, and follow us on Twitter (@goldenglobes) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/goldenglobes) for exclusive celebrity videos and up to the minute Golden Globes news!
# # #
Ken Sunshine/Michael Samonte
Sunshine, Sachs & Associates
323.822.9300Read More »
Comedienne Maya Rudolph, currently co-starring in Bridesmaids, has a funny story about being one herself.Read More »
Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros, Barbara Gasser and Mirai Konishi Join the HFPA
HOLLYWOOD, CA, May 9, 2011 – Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) President, Philip Berk, announced today that three journalists have been elected as new members of the organization: Kirpi Uimonen Ballesteros, Barbara Gasser and Mirai Konishi.
Ballesteros, who writes for the Ilta-Sanomat, Kouluainen, and Suosikki (Finland), Gasser, who writes for M-Starmedia Verlag and Maxima (Austria), and Konishi, who writes for CUT and eiga.com (Japan), were voted in at the membership meeting on May 6, 2011. The three new members join the association’s current roster of 82 active members.
About the Hollywood Foreign Press Association:
Founded in the 1940s during World War II, the HFPA was originally comprised of a handful of LA based overseas journalists who sought to bridge the international community with Hollywood, and to provide distraction from the hardships of war through film. Sixty-eight years later, members of the HFPA represent 55 countries with a combined readership of 250 million in some of the world’s most respected publications. Each year, the organization holds the third most watched awards show on television, the Golden Globe Awards, which have enabled the organization to donate more than $12 million to entertainment related charities and scholarship programs. For more information, please visit www.goldenglobes.org, and follow us on Twitter (@goldenglobes) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/goldenglobes) for exclusive celebrity videos and up to the minute Golden Globes news!
# # #
Keleigh Thomas/Michael Samonte
Sunshine, Sachs & Associates
323.822.9300Read More »
By Philip Berk – photos by Armando Gallo
He managed Elvis and Sinatra. He produced films such as Cruising directed by William Friedkin, All Night Long with Barbra Streisand, Nashville directed by Robert Altman, Diner directed by Barry Levinson, and the Oceans films directed by Steven Soderbergh.
People assume that Hollywood moguls are only interested in money, but according to Orson Welles, what they really want is to win awards. So does Welles describe you?
I loved Orson Welles, he was a friend of mine. He was a brilliant filmmaker but that doesn’t mean he knows about producers! I want to make great films, films that interest me. And then if I can make money with them on top of that, it’s great. I wouldn’t have been around 53 years had I not made money.
You started out being more idealistic, but once you made Oh God! you became a producer of blockbuster movies. Do you think you changed your emphasis from that point on?
No. Oh God! was a character piece and Nashville was certainly a character piece and Cruising was a character piece, Diner was a character piece, even the Oceans trilogy were character pieces. Even though they were blockbusters, those movies were character pieces. We did $400 million on the last one. I never change my emphasis. I always looked for pictures that interested me. Things I wanted to go see.
Can I assume your success is based on integrity? You’re loved and respected by people like Soderbergh, Clooney, Pitt, obviously you have been dealing with them with total honesty and integrity.
For me because I can’t remember lies, it’s a very hard job. I can’t remember them. But yes, I’m a very loyal guy. If you look at my career and the people I work with, over and over again, so we must have a good relationship. I deal with everyone as an equal. When I deal with them I feel like I’m dealing with myself. I’m very careful.
Nashville and Diner were both nominated for Golden Globes. Do you have any specific memories of those two evenings? I know you didn’t win but did you have fun?
The Golden Globes are a lot of fun. And from when I started until today, they have come a long huge way and they are a very important precursor of the Oscars. They come right before the Oscars and I think it changes a lot of people’s minds and I think it has a lot to do with who they vote for. I think they’ve gained a certain importance over the years.
Nashville had nine nominations that year and walked away with none. That was a very tough year three great films in competition. Any specific memory of that?
I remember that we didn’t win. But truly, that has never been that important to me to win an award. I have a lot of awards, and I remember Colonel Tom Parker who was Elvis Presley’s manager gave me some advice one day. He said to me, “Let me tell you something,” he said, “Do good work because you’re a smart guy and you’re very creative, and you do things that other people don’t do, and you do events. Do your events but don’t forget your reward is at the box office, it’s not in somebody’s office, it’s when the box office is full and there’s money in there, you can pay the artists and you can pay everybody and do the next event.”
Have you had any huge disappointments?
Yes. My favorite film that I ever made, a film that you never heard of, called 9/30/55.
That’s the one where Gordon Willis was the cinematographer?
Gordy was a great cinematographer and the problem I had with Gordy Wilson on that film was that Gordy shot a scene, the first scene we shot was a séance, where they were trying to contact James Dean, and when I saw the rushes, it was black, you couldn’t see a damn thing-
You could barely see a candle in the room, and I went to Gordy and I said “Gordy, what the hell are you doing? I can’t see anything, this is not radio, this is movies, I got to see the picture.” He said, “Jerry, this is going to work, I’m telling you this is going to work, leave it alone please, don’t make me reshoot this.” I said, “You’ve got to reshoot a little bit, I’ve got to see that the kids are in the room.” He said “Ok, ok, I’ll shoot a little bit.” I said “Ok fine.” And it was great.
Any good memories of Elvis?
Elvis was a very, very handsome man. I don’t know who in Hollywood was better looking than him, including Valentino and Tyrone Power. And he was a great guy, he had a wonderful smile, he was a nice man. Cared about his mother, cared about his father, he cared about family. And he wasn’t this crazy guy that everybody — I mean he did get caught up in a lot of nonsense as his career progressed, because of the temptations; and because he was so big he couldn’t go out, he was cloistered. So he got caught up in a lot of nonsense, but he was a great guy. I remember him that way, I remember him as a friend, and I remember him always trying to help me and always wanting me to smile.
What about his dark side?
He had a dark side, sure, and it came out with all this stuff that he did in his later years as a performer because there was too much going on around him. You can’t live the kind of life Elvis lived be as cloistered as he was, and live a normal life. It’s not normal. It’s not normal to have to go to the movies at 3 o’ clock in the morning with everybody out of the theatre to see a film. That’s how we took him to the movies in Memphis. He couldn’t go at 6 o’ clock. And he couldn’t go at 8 o’ clock. And he couldn’t go to the hamburger place and get a hamburger. And then go to the movies and get some popcorn, sit down and watch a film. We had to buy the theatre out and take him at 3 o’ clock in the morning.
What about Frank Sinatra?
Frank was different. We were together for 30-something years. The thing about Frank was that Frank was my idol, I loved Frank. And I could listen to him day and night and still do. He’s one of the only artists that I listen to today musically. And we had great times together, we travelled together and we lived together and we had a very, very close personal relationship. I miss him a lot. A lot.
The only Steven Soderbergh movies that make any money are Jerry Weintraub productions. A lot of people seem to think that he doesn’t have the magic touch unless he’s making a movie for you. What is your close relationship based on?
I idolize him. I think he’s the best filmmaker working today and it’s as simple as that. And he and I have a shorthand. And we never raise our voices to each other and we never have disagreements, and if there’s something I don’t like, we sit down and discuss it, and if there’s something he doesn’t like, we sit down and discuss it. And when we leave the room we both are happy, and it’s because I idolize the guy. I think the guy knows what he’s doing, I don’t think there’s a screw missing anywhere. I think he’s that good.
Is there going to be an Ocean’s Fourteen?
I hope not. I shouldn’t say I hope not. Because I can only say this about Ocean’s Fourteen. The same as I said about Karate Kid. And I was wrong about Karate Kid. So I say this, as we are sitting here right now, none of us have any interest in making Ocean’s Fourteen. None of the actors, and not Soderbergh and not myself. That’s right now, today. I have no interest in that, I have no story, I have no idea. It’s a lot of work to put those films together, and I don’t really want to go do that right now. But I don’t know what’s going to happen in 2 years or 3 years or 5 years. When Will Smith came to me last year or 2 years ago and said to me, I want to remake Karate Kid with my son, I said oh please come on, leave it alone it’s part of my legacy, I don’t want to screw around with it, I’m seventy-something years old, I really don’t need to mess around with my gems. And he said to me you’re wrong. I’m right and you’re wrong. And I said, I don’t agree with you. He said, no I’m telling you I know what I’m talking about. He brought me his producing partners and they all talked to me and talked to me and talked to me, and wouldn’t leave me alone and would not let it go, and I finally said to him one day, ok why don’t you get a script and then we’ll look at the script and we’ll go from there. And he did, and we made it, and he was right. I was wrong. And Jaden Smith is a big, big star. Big star, the kid’s great. And they have a machine out there, the Smith family. It’s got to be the best showbiz machine ever put– it’s better than the Jacksons. And I think that that proved to me I can’t say never again, no more this, no more that. You can’t say that. Because you just don’t know. You just don’t know.
I’m gonna do Liberace.
You didn’t represent him.
No. He was a friend, just a friend. And I’m going to do the movie. And I’m going to do the movie for four reasons. Because Richard LaGravenese wrote it. Because Steven Soderbergh is going to direct it, Michael Douglas is going to play Liberace, and the 4th reason is that Matt Damon is going to play the boyfriend.
Where does his Mother come in?
She doesn’t. But the fact is that Liberace led a tortured life because he couldn’t come out of the closet. It’s not like Elton John and David Furnish. He was in the closet and he couldn’t say he was a homosexual because he would have lost his audience. His audience was all blue-haired ladies in Las Vegas, he couldn’t do that. Therefore he was a tortured man, he led two lives. And I’m going to tell the story of both lives.
So what was Las Vegas like back then?
It was much different. You knew all the owners of each place. When you walked in the door, the places were small. It wasn’t these big monolithic– it wasn’t these big things that Steve’s [Wynn] built in Vegas there, they were like motels. It was a different atmosphere. You went to Las Vegas and you knew everybody, and everybody knew everybody else. It was a small town. I mean, there’s pictures in my movie, when I was a kid and went to Vegas for the first time, I was 9 years old when I came here for the first time, to Hollywood, and there’s pictures of that, and you see Vegas and you see there were three hotels!
And were all the owners connected? Were they all mobsters?
Yeah, each city had its own hotel. In other words, New York had a hotel. Florida had a hotel, Chicago had a hotel, Detroit had a hotel. And the gangsters from those cities owned hotels.
Ian McShane, star of Pirates of the Caribbean:On Strange Tides” speaks with us about his pirate days…Read More »