Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Meryl Streep Achieves Golden Globe Milestone

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Meryl Streep has achieved yet another milestone this year.

As previously mentioned here, she nominated for a Golden Globe as lead actress in both the drama and the musical/comedy categories for her performances in "Doubt" and "Mamma Mia!" respectively.

That alone is impressive enough, but it turns out that with those two nominations, she now has 23 career nominations, the most of anyone in film history.

In doing so, she surpassed Jack Lemmon, who has a mere 22 nominations.

If anyone's keeping track, she's won six Golden Globes. So far.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Keshia Knight-Pulliam is All Grown Up

Gina Wilhelm Actress

At 6 years old, Keshia Knight-Pulliam became the youngest person ever to be nominated for an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Rudy Huxtable on "The Cosby Show."

Now age 29, Keshia is taking charge of her career. After taking a break to go to Spelman college, she's back on TV with a leading role in the TBS series "Tyler Perry's House of Payne."

Perry was so impressed with her work on the TV show that he cast her as a prostitute addicted to heroin in his film "Madea Goes to Jail." The role really required her to stretch as an actress.

It's the sort of stretch she's been wanting to make, but people had been reluctant to cast "Rudy" as a hooker. Perry says she does "a great job in the film."

Knight-Pulliam has also formed her own production company and was in the music video for Chingy's "One Call Away."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dates for Jane Eyre

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Here's an early announcement for dates and times for Jane Eyre:

The show will run February 13-March 1, 2009. It will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm.

There will also be a performance on February 26 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (206) 363-2809 or by going to Click4Tix.

Ticket information can be found at Seattle Musical Theatre's website.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Valerie Harper is Looped

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Valerie Harper is currently playing the great Tallulah Bankhead in "Looped" in West Palm Beach.

The new play, by Matthew Lombardo, is taken from a recording of a looping session Ms. Bankhead did for the movie "Die! Die! My Darling!" It was her last film.

The looping session should have been less than 15 minutes. Instead, it wound up being eight hours.

The process is called "looping" because film was spliced together in "loops" so that section of the movie could play over and over again.

Ms. Harper warns that the show uses extremely coarse language.

In the session that inspired the show, Ms. Bankhead struggled just to put together a coherent thought. The writer says she was clearly high on some sort of substance.

Harper found the recordings to be a "treasure trove" of material.

She also says that she works not to do an impersonation of the real-life characters (such as Bankhead or Golda Meir, whom she has also played), but to find their tone of voice and inflection.

She strives to create a real person.

That said, the hardest part of the play for Ms. Harper was re-creating Bankhead's voice, which is considerably lower than her own.

Now I can't wait until I'm in my 60s and able to play this part!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year-End Quotes from Hollywood

Gina Wilhelm Actress

As the year draws to a close, compiles their favorite quotes from interviews with various movers and shakers in the film industry.

There are the standard questions of Brad and Angelina about their families. And the also standard question to Jennifer Aniston about her love life.

But there are also insightful questions and answers, including with Andrew Stanton of Pixar.

There's also a terrific quote from Woody Allen on the charm of filming a love scene.

However, the nicest quotes are from Meryl Streep on whether there's anything she can't do. She also talks about getting to record "The Winner Takes it All" for "Mamma Mia!"

The recording was made in the same studio on the same microphone where the original recording was made, and she talks about that.

Finally, there are some quotes from Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of Abba and the writers of Mamma Mia! about the chances of an Abba reunion and their other future plans.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Remembering Eartha Kitt

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Eartha Kitt passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 81. She had continued performing up until her final days.

Among her many, many claims to fame were her portrayal of Catwoman on the "Batman" TV show and her recording of "Santa Baby," made in 1954, which is still played every Christmas.

Orson Welles once called the actress the "most exciting woman in the world."

She was nominated for a Tony for her performance in 1978's "Timbuktu!," an African-American take on the earlier play "Kismet."

She was still on Broadway in the 2003 revival of "Nine." In 2006 she appeared off-Broadway in "Mimi le Duck."

She also released an album in 2006, "Eartha Kitt: Live at the Carlyle."

After a harrowing childhood, Eartha struck out on her own as a teenager, eventually joining the Katherine Dunham Company, which took her on tour to Europe, where she was discovered by Orson Welles.

On returning to New York, she performed at the Village Vanguard, which led to her being cast in "The New Faces of 1952."

She was always outspoken, which as often happens, caused her to have some career problems when she made some anti-war comments at a White House luncheon in 1968.

She returned to Europe for a few years after that, as it was hard for her to get work in the US (The comments reportedly made Lady Bird Johnson cry).

Ms. Kitt wrote three autobiographies and was doing voice over work into 2007. She also appeared in the film "And Then Came Love" in 2007.

One-of-a-kind, she will be missed.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, December 26, 2008

A One-Woman Andrew Lloyd Webber Play

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Arizona Onstage Productions is known for doing musicals that aren't "mainstream."

Andrew Lloyd Webber's shows are generally associated with being very mainstream. They also tend to have casts of thousands. Or at least tens.

Both of these ideas will be challenged when AOP stages "Tell Me On A Sunday," opening next week.

The founder of the company and director of the show, Kevin Johnson, says to his surprise, he fell in love with the show.

Then he had to sell it to Kriste' Belt, the actress who carries the one-woman show by herself.

Like Johnson, she tended to scoff at anything written by Webber, but she's been surprised to find out how much heart the show has and how well the songs actually propel the storyline.

Johnson says that Belt is exactly the right actress for the daunting task of carrying the 85-minute play alone.

Additionally, her imagination is such that even when the only person on the stage, Belt is never actually acting alone.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Away From Home for Mamma Mia! Actress

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Jackie Clune, one of the stars of Mamma Mia! is spending the Christmas holiday away from home. The show is running in Kuala Lampur, but Clune is English.

Her costar, Miria Parvin, is Finnish. The rest of the cast is also not Malaysian.

Clune was thrilled, however, to discover that there were mince pies, Christmas pudding, and decorations to be found at the local mall.

She also organized a Christmas caroling session for cast and guests in a local hotel lobby.

The cast promised their children that Santa Claus would still be able to find them while they were away. I'm sure he found them, and in good spirits.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kate Beckinsale Wants to Be Catwoman

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Kate Beckinsale has made quite a name for herself in the "Underworld" series of movies.

She now would like to don the skintight leather again-this time as Catwoman.

The next installment of the Christian Bale "Dark Knight" series is set to feature the character. Angelina Jolie is said to be favored to play the part.

Beckinsale claims she hasn't created a "massive game plan" for her career. She's also surprised to be considered for action roles; she considers herself to be a geek.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Everything's Coming Up Kristin Chenoweth

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Kristin Chenoweth, star of stage and screen, may be losing her TV show, but she's not slowing down.

The 40-year-old actress has appeared on "Pushing Daisies" the last two seasons. ABC hasn't renewed the program. Instead, she will be appearing in a new David E. Kelley show, "Legally Mad."

Additionally, she can be seen now playing a spiteful ex-cheerleader sister to Reese Witherspoon in "Four Christmases."

She was able to translate that seasonal movie into a new album of Christmas songs, "A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas."

On top of that, she's currently providing a voice in the straight-to-DVD Disney film "Tinkerbell" and sang in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

She's working nearly constantly, doing ongoing concert performances. She's also well known for originating the role of Glinda in "Wicked" and won a Tony for her portrayal of Sally in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cate Blanchett's Influences

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Cate Blanchett's life has given her a lot of material from which to draw for her performance in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

The story is told in flashback from her character's hospital room. The character is seen from childhood (played by a different actress) through adulthood and into her 80s (played by Blanchett).

Blanchett took some of her inspiration (and mannerisms) for her character at the end of her life from her own grandmother.

Additionally, her first job as an adolescent was in a senior citizen's home, which provided further development for her character.

Of course, she also gives much credit to the film's makeup team.

As an adult, the character is a dancer. Blanchett studied ballet, though only through childhood. She did almost all her own movement in the movie except for a few shots using a stand-in including a rapid sequence of steps.

Known for frequent performance in period pieces ("Elizabeth," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "The Aviator," "I'm Not There"), she will next be playing the title role in "Richard II" on stage in her native Australia.

"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" opens December 25th and has received a SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Boston Actress Makes her own Push for Fame

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Camille Solari, a Boston actress, is going to be a star.

Rather than taking the usual route, though, she's doing it on her own terms. She's been the lead in 12 films in the last four years. More notably, she wrote and produced those movies.

Her latest movie, "True True Lie," is based on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." It will be released by a division of The Weinstein Co.

With the combination of writing, producing, acting, hard work, and her ability to think of ways work outside the usual methods, she's sure to make a big impact.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Viola Davis In Doubt

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Viola Davis has only one scene in the movie "Doubt," but she's already been nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG award.

She's won the National Board of Review's breakout performer of the year award, critics are talking about an Oscar nomination for her.

The actress who played the same role on the Broadway stage, Adriane Lenox, won a Tony for the same role.

Today she gives an informative interview on She talks about the difference between stage and film acting.

There are some minor spoilers for the film in the interview, but not much worse than you get from watching the trailers.

When asked what she thinks happened with her character's son and the priest played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ms. Davis reveals she doesn't know what happened, but she knows what her character thinks.

Such character development may explain why she's receiving such accolades for her performance.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, December 19, 2008

Taraji P. Henson On Becoming Established

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Taraji P. Henson, who made her breakthrough performance in "Hustle & Flow," talks to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about her acting experience.

Although she's been acting in movies and TV since 1997, she still considers herself an outsider.

She also talks about how her father knew the good things that would happen in her career.

She currently appears in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Olivia Wilde Joins the Cast of Tron 2.0

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Though the bigger story may be that they're making a sequel to "Tron." Only 26 years after the original.

Olivia Wilde, known as "Thirteen" on the show "House" has signed on to appear in the movie "Tron 2.0." Wilde, born in 1984, has been on the planet less time than the original Tron has been.

Jeff Bridges will also be back in the sequel.

Disney plans to release the movie in 2011.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Angela Bassett Gets Into Character

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Angela Bassett is about to appear in the movie "Notorious," about the Notorious B.I.G. She's playing the rapper's mother.

In researching the role, she met extensively with Voletta Wallace, whom she plays. Ms. Wallace watched her performance every day, which Angela found unsettling.

However, she says her relationship with Wallace was that of two girlfriends.

The actress said the hardest part of the role was learning the Jamaican accent. She had Wallace make tapes so she could get the voice.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Conclusion of the Audition Saga

Gina Wilhelm Actress

I had my "Jane Eyre" callback last night at Seattle Musical Theatre.

It was a good-if very chilly-audition. I have it on good authority from my friend who's done two shows there that the dressing rooms are frigid. I bet that a space heater is a really poor idea, too. Darn.

There were a ton of people there I know, and a ton more that I've seen in other shows.

The director said up front that they were going to have people read for certain roles; we wouldn't necessarily read for all parts. Then folks would be going home as he was finished with us.

I appreciate this. I've been to 6-hour callbacks, and they're frustrating. It makes me feel like the director actually respects my time, too.

First they had the little Janes go. All really good candidates; I could see any of them in the part. Luckily, there are other children in the show, so maybe the other two will get in.

After that, they had most of the candidates do a big ensemble piece. The music director kept swapping people in and out and listening to the group.

There were only four people there who weren't auditioning for roles that double with ensemble, so they had us pretty much all up there. Then they had some girls read for another role.

Finally, they called up a Mrs. Fairfax candidate. It turns out they wanted me to read that, too. There was a scene, and then they had us learn not one but TWO songs.

The first song was a character piece, sort of pattery, with all sorts of chromatic notes. With lots of counting and syncopation. Ack! It was HARD!

Then we learned another song. This one was a trio. With more counting. So, um, ack again.

They kept changing up the parts this time again. But they had me sing my voice part twice. I was the only one who got to sing that voice part twice.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I got a call at 5 p.m. today (Well, 4:58)!

I've been cast as Miss Scatcherd (which was the part I sang twice in the trio) and Lady Ingram, who is the mother of Jane's rival. And then I'll be in the ensemble when I'm not playing those.

I have no idea who else is in my show.

The two women who were reading for my daughter are awfully close in age to me. So I'll be acting AND in make up. I get to create two completely different characters that are both older than I am.

I'm very excited. I've wanted to work with this director again since the last show I did with him, and I've wanted to work with this company for a long time.

First rehearsal is this upcoming Monday. I'm sure I'll post more about rehearsals as things occur.


Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Search for the Next Baywatch Star

Gina Wilhelm Actress

The next version of Baywatch is going to be set in New Zealand. They're currently trying to find a leading lady.

Hmm...Leading role, syndicated show, beautiful location....Who do I know that could handle such a challenge? Oh! I know! Might I suggest...Gina Wilhelm, Actress?

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, December 14, 2008

From Molly the Orphan to Kate Monster

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Christy Carlson Romano, 24, just finished her run as Kate Monster on Broadway in "Avenue Q."

The actress got her start playing Molly in an Atlanta production of "Annie." She also played Belle on Broadway in "Disney's Beauty and the Beast."

She has also done extensive voice over work, imitating Angelina Jolie's voice for the "Kung Fu Panda" videogame and played the title character in "Kim Possible" for the last eight years.

Now considering a cabaret act in New York, she talks about the intricacies of doing a sex scene between puppets.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Evan Rachel Wood to Appear on Stage

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Evan Rachel Wood is going to be playing Mary Jane in the upcoming musical version of "Spider-Man." Wood is currently appearing in "The Wrestler" and starred in "Across the Universe."

No Spider-Man has been cast yet, but it's rumored that Jim Sturgess, who also starred in "Across the Universe" is up for the role.

The play will be directed by Julie Taymor, who also directed "Across the Universe." She also won a Tony for her direction of the stage version of Disney's "The Lion King."

The songs are being written by U2's Bono and The Edge.

Rehearsals begin in June.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, December 12, 2008

Golden Globe Nominations Out

Gina Wilhelm Actress

The Golden Globe nominations were announced yesterday morning. Several actresses were nominated in multiple categories.

Meryl Streep was nominated for best lead actress both for "Doubt" and "Mamma Mia" in the drama and musical or comedy categories, respectively.

Kate Winslet, meanwhile, was nominated for best lead actress in "Revolutionary Road" and best supporting actress for "The Reader."

In addition to Meryl Streep's nomination, Amy Adams and Viola Davis both also received supporting actress nominations for "Doubt."

Over on the TV side, Tina Fey was nominated for best actress for "30 Rock." This is notable, as the show itself was also nominated for best television series musical or comedy, and Tina Fey, of course, created and writes the program.

Also of note, Mariska Hargitay, mentioned in a previous post on this blog, also received a nomination for best actress in a dramatic television series for her work on "Law & Order: SVU."

Congratulations to all the nominees, and good luck!

The Golden Globes ceremony will air on NBC on January 11.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Audition Update

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Earlier this week I reported on my general audition for Seattle Musical Theatre's production of "Jane Eyre the Musical."

Yesterday I received a call from my friend, who happens to be doing props for the show. She frequently stage manages at SMT, but not this time out. Anyway, apparently she was doing the callback calls, because she told me I'm called for the second day of callbacks.

I have no idea for what I'm called. I'm hoping it's for Bertha, the wife locked in the tower. I've been told by a few people I'm well suited to the role and vice-versa. But I'll just have to see.

The callback is on Monday. Stay posted. Once again, more details to follow.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kate Hudson's Acting Goals

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Kate Hudson has said that she would like to appear in a movie with her mother, Goldie Hawn. She actually seems to be looking most forward to promoting a film with Goldie.

I was going to say it sounds like more fun to do the acting part together, but I've never actually promoted a movie. Maybe that is better.

Gina Wilhelm Actress and her mother have also been talking about doing a performance together, but that one wouldn't involve the sort of tours that big-budget movies get. But it does still sound like fun.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Adventures in Auditioning

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Today's audition was for the Freehold Theatre studio series show "The Benefits of Chaos." A friend suggested I try out for it.

The show itself will only be 20 minutes, but there will be an interactive tea party before and after, so there will be lots of improv. I'm interested in improv, and I've had some success with it in my Gilbert & Sullivan Society auditions, but I've never Officially Done Improv.

The auditions were yesterday and today. Apparently everyone went yesterday. So I had the director all to myself. Which is good and bad, I imagine. Only I got there a little late (got lost). Which was probably more noticeable since I was the only one coming.

She had me do a speech with a puppet (which will be in the show) and perform my monologue. Apparently the show proper is MOSTLY monologues. And one of the monologue/vignette bits is done with a puppet. Another involves singing.

My parents owned a puppet company when I was little (and before), so we talked about that. The scene with the puppet she gave me to read was two pages long, and she gave me time to work on it.

She had me perform only the first page of the scene. Which was fun, but I had really wanted to do the second page. The performer gets to kiss the puppet (after resisting), and I had worked out how to make him "walk" away.

The first page was more about acting. The second was more about puppetry (At least, that's how I saw it). The director, I'm sure, really wanted to see me act. But I wanted to get my puppet on.

She said she might let us know within the next couple of hours. So, fingers crossed. And once again, stay tuned. There's more to come!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, December 8, 2008

Remembering Beverly Garland

Gina Wilhelm Actress

In sad news, actress and entrepreneur Beverly Garland passed away this weekend. She made her film debut in 1950's "D.O.A." and played Fred MacMurray's second wife on "My Three Sons."

She also appeared in a number of Roger Corman movies, including "The Gunslinger" and "It Conquered the World." As such, she wound up on "Mystery Science Theater 3000" a number of times and was a guest of honor at their 1994 ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama.

She also had a recurring role as Lois Lane's (Teri Hatcher's) mother on "Lois & Clark."

She also built what became Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn and had a hand in running the hotel. She will be missed.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In Which I Audition for a Show

Gina Wilhelm Actress

That's right, it's a post about ME for once.

Today I had an audition for an actual-gasp-musical. Not Gilbert & Sullivan or Opera or anything. This was Seattle Musical Theatre's "Jane Eyre The Musical."

And I was even there on time. As promised.

Everyone there who knew me seemed pleased to see me, and the assistant stage manager, whom I don't know, was very nice. And she kept me from saying I wanted to be considered for what I assume was an ingenue part (Two characters with names beginning with "B" with which I would never ever saddle a poor kid. Too confusing).

I'm especially pleased with how my song went. We spent a lot of time working on it, and I think it paid off. It's been out of my regular rotation, but I think I may go back to singing "My Funny Valentine" more often.

After I sang, the music director wanted to hear me do some other things, so I'm feeling optimistic about this one. Fingers crossed. Hopefully this post will be just part one of a series. Stay tuned!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Katie Holmes Talks about Life and Acting

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Katie Holmes is in New York appearing in Miller's "All My Sons" on stage. She tells the New York Times about taking Suri to Broadway shows. There are some beautiful classic glamour photos with the article.

She does talk about the other more "tabloidy" aspects of her life, but it's interesting to hear about her start.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ebenezer Scrooge in Rouge!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

ReVision Theatre in New Jersey is putting on a show this Christmas called "Scrooge in Rouge," a musical featuring a woman in the title role.

The farce on "A Christmas Carol" features only three cast members, so at one point they have to use an audience member for Tiny Tim.

I'm always angling to play trousers roles. Sounds right up my alley.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mariska Hargitay Talks About Her "Late" Start

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Here's a piece about Mariska Hargitay, star of "Law & Order: SVU." She was a "late bloomer" and she got to work with Christopher Meloni.

I slept in, but I got to my caroling gig on time today! And I have an audition tomorrow. I plan to be on time to that, too!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mick LaSalle Hunts for the Greatest Living Actor or Actress

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Mick LaSalle, film critic, is looking for an eighth actor or actress to teach about in his class on the greatest living actor or actress. Most of the respondents opine the fact that they can't think of any American actresses. Might I humbly suggest Gina Wilhelm, Actress?

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learn About Marsha Hunt

Gina Wilhelm Actress-Learn About Marsha Hunt

Here's a nice piece about Marsha Hunt, a classic Hollywood actress who always played by her own rules. It ran her into trouble with HUAC, but she still always did and said what she wanted, not the studio or the government or anyone else. Atta girl.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bette Midler's Birthday is Today

Gina Wilhelm Actress

On this day in 1945, the Divine Miss M was born. She's one of my (many) acting influences. And she's divine.

Gina Wilhelm Actress.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mrs. Lovett Plays the Tuba?!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Last night I was sitting with some actor friends who happened to be eating meat pies, and we discussed the fact that Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd is one of those characters I would love to play and be good at.

Today I learned that in the current tour of Sweeney Todd (hitting Fresno, CA, this Wednesday), the cast is the orchestra, and the actress who plays Mrs. Lovett plays the tuba in the "pit!" Now it's really the part I was meant to play!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Zuzu from "It's A Wonderful Life" Talks About her Experiences

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Here's a heartwarming story about the actress who played Zuzu in "It's a Wonderful Life." Funny how you never hear from any of the other kids in that movie.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, November 28, 2008

Reese Witherspoon and Gina Wilhelm are Two Very Different People

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Reese Witherspoon says she hoped she wouldn't win the 2006 Oscar for "Walk the Line." I'm hereby going on record that I would actually like to win an Oscar, please.

Gina Wilhelm Actress