Saturday, February 28, 2009

Actress Comes Home and Gives Back

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Actress Comes Home and Gives Back

April Yvette Thompson, who grew up in Liberty City, Miami, FL, came back home Wednesday. Her one-woman hit show, "Liberty City," is playing in town through March 1.

On Wednesday, she returned to the Belafonte Tacolcy Center, where she spent a lot of time as a child. After giving a television interview, often in character, she stayed to talk to some at-risk youth.

She spoke with students who had been suspended for school, usually for fighting, giving them tools to keep from being suspended again.

She taught them to write a list of 100 things about themselves of which they are proud. It's a tool she uses herself to combat the rejection that actresses often face.

Thompson connected with the students, explaining that she had gotten into fights as a child herself.

In her play, Thompson plays several characters to tell the story of life in Liberty City. The play runs at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.

Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased at or by calling 305-949-6722

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Eliza Dushku in the Dollhouse

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Eliza Dushku in the Dollhouse

On her new series "Dollhouse," Eliza Dushku's character gets a new personality every week. Behind the scenes, Dushku gets one, too-producer of a TV series.

She was inspired, in part, by stories she heard from her mother's work in women's studies and international politics.

She wanted to show aspects of those stories in a way that combined suspense and action.

And she wanted to do it with Joss Whedon. Whedon and Dushku worked together on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and she liked the way he wrote for her.

In a way, the character reminds her of her own career, where she's constantly playing new characters.

As in the show, acting in different roles help her to learn about herself and become more self aware.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Emily Blunt Out of Iron Man 2

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Emily Blunt Out of Iron Man 2

Emily Blunt will not be appearing in "Iron Man 2."

The actress was possibly going to play Black Widow, but director Jon Favreau confirmed in a red carpet interview that a replacement was being sought.

The change was necessitated because she is also currently working on "Gulliver's Travels" with Jack Black. There were too many schedule conflicts for her to do both projects.

According to the Internet Movie Database, Blunt is also working on "The Girl" and doing a voice in "Gnomeo and Juliet."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Evan Rachel Wood Comes Home

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Evan Rachel Wood Comes Home

Evan Rachel Wood, who starred in "The Wrestler" with Oscar nominees Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, is returning to Raleigh, NC, to star in "Romeo and Juliet."

The actress will be playing Juliet at Theatre In The Park in Raleigh. Although no specific dates have been set, the performances will begin in May.

The play will also star her father, Ira David Wood III, as Capulet. It is being directed by her brother, Ira David Wood IV.

Casting for other roles begins Tuesday and continue through Wednesday at Theatre In The Park. There are 14 men's and women's roles.

Romeo and Juliet. It's a family affair.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kate Winslet Gets Her Oscar

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Kate Winslet Gets Her Oscar

After much speculation and handicapping (I think I've posted at least 10 times about various aspects of the awards season alone), the Oscars were handed out last night, and Kate Winslet finally won hers.

The 33-year-old actress had been nominated on five previous occasions, so was giddy to have finally won.

She won for her performance in "The Reader," in which she played a woman on trial for Holocaust crimes.

Some had said that she would get an Oscar because it was time or because she had to age several years in the film and because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences loves to reward movies about the Holocaust.

On the other hand, she was up against Meryl Streep, fresh off her record-setting 15th nomination and always tough competition.

Additionally, as reported here, there was some concern that her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes ceremony might have gotten her in trouble with Oscar voters.

In that speech, she forgot fellow nominee Angelina Jolie's name. She also acted like it actually mattered to her, a British actress, that she had gotten an award.

Some have said that the British are supposed to act like they're above receiving honors and that American voters wouldn't want to reward her for her excitement..

Apparently, though, the voters liked her just fine. She continued to be giddy with last night's win.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, February 20, 2009

Review of Jane Eyre in the Seattle Times

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Review of Jane Eyre in the Seattle Times

The Seattle Times printed a lovely review of "Jane Eyre", in which I appear in dual roles of Miss Scatcherd and Lady Ingram, today.

Showtimes are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. through March 1st.

The theater is in Magnuson Park at 7400 Sand Point Way in Seattle in building 47.

For tickets, call (206) 363-2809 or visit the website for details.

In particular, the review pointed out the good chemistry between Jane (Danielle Barnum) and Rochester (James Padilla).

It also singles out the girls playing young Jane (Keaton Whittaker) and Helen Burns (Olivia Spokoiny). It doesn't say so in the review, but both of these girls, less than half my age, are complete professionals.

Other accolades are given to Jenny Shotwell as Blanche Ingram and Walayn Sharples as Mrs. Fairfax.

The review is highly complimentary of the performance, though has some criticism of the script itself.

The reviewer, John Hartl, particularly likes the touches that director Gregory Magyar did involving young and adult Jane.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kathleen Turner Comes to "Opening Night"

Gina Wilhelm - Kathleen Turner Comes to "Opening Night"

Sultry actress Kathleen Turner will be coming to Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, on March 7 for "Opening Night," a benefit for Amherst Cinema and Pleasant Street Theater in Northampton.

The theater is for independent film. Turner feels that the only interesting work is in independent cinema. She says the studio system lacks imagination.

She won't talk about her favorite directors because she doesn't want to make them feel bad.

Likewise, she won't talk about her favorite leading men, as that seems rude. However, she will say that Jack Nicholson was very good and she never had to worry with him.

She is unsure of her future in film. She appeared in "Marley & Me," but for the most part, she prefers the stage.

To Turner, film involves hours of set-up for two or three minutes of work.

By contrast, in theater, she's "mentally and physically engaged for five or six hours."

She is currently appearing in "The Third Story" in New York City. She's planning to appear on Broadway in the fall, but she can't give details yet.

Turner is involved in several nonprofits.

"Opening Night" consists of dinner, an auction, a talk by the Ms. Turner, and a video retrospective of her career.

Turner has been in such films as "Body Heat," "Romancing the Stone," "Jewel of the Nile," "The Man with Two Brains," "Prizzi's Honor," "Peggy Sue Got Married," and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

She was nominated for an Oscar for her work in "Peggy Sue Got Married."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

All About Actresses

Gina Wilhelm Actress - All About Actresses

Writer-director Maiwenn's latest film is "All About Actresses." In it, her star-studded cast balances tenuously between hilarity and despair.

The French movie features musical-comedy sequences in which the actresses sing about their travails.

The conceit of the film is that Maiwenn is trying to film a documentary about her actress friends and focuses on her sessions with each woman, each with her own set of bizarre quirks.

Julie Depardieu farms chickens in the courtyard of her Paris home, while Jeanne Balibar attacks her director with a boom mic.

There are also tales of plastic surgery gone wrong and Karin Viard tries to break into Hollywood with a terrible accent.

It looks like a fun French take on one of my favorite subjects.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marcia Wallace to Speak at Fundraiser

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Marcia Wallace to Speak at Fundraiser

The Bayou Region Breast Cancer Foundation in Houma-Thibodaux, LA, has its first fundraiser this year. The dinner and auction will feature Marcia Wallace as the guest speaker.

Wallace is perhaps best known for her role as Carol Kester on "The Bob Newhart Show."

She has also been a regular on "The Simpsons," playing Bart's long-suffering teacher Edna Crabapple, a role for which she won an Emmy.

She also starred on Comedy Central's "That's My Bush" and the far more wholesome "Seventh Heaven."

Wallace is also a 22-year breast cancer survivor. She will be on hand to meet and greet and sign copies of her book "Don't Look Back, We're Not Going That Way" after dessert.

Tickets to the event are $1200 for a table sponsorship and $100 for individual seats. All proceeds will remain in Houma-Thibodaux.

There is also a silent auction and a $5000 Caribbean cruise to be raffled off at the end of the night.

Still, Gina Wilhelm Actress would love to see Ms. Wallace in person. What a pity she's 2000 miles away.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lindsay Duncan Plays Politics

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Playing Politics

British actress Lindsay Duncan will be playing Margaret Thatcher in the upcoming movie "Margaret" on BBC Two.

In an interview with "The Daily Telegraph," Duncan admitted that she hated the former Prime Minister.

The BBC has been accused of an anti-Conservative casting, so Duncan's casting has added fuel to that fire.

Duncan insists that the piece isn't a "hatchet job" and that her personal views didn't influence her portrayal of Thatcher.

The movie is supposed to show Thatcher's vulnerability in the last days of her administration.

Of course, any actress must put herself into the character and put her personal feelings aside.

Sadly, Gina Wilhelm Actress doesn't get BBC Two, so I won't get to see how well she does at it.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Freida Pinto in Little India

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Freida Pinto in Little India

Freida Pinto has been all over the world recently attending awards ceremonies for her film "Slumdog Millionaire."

However, she only recently got to Little India in Artesia, CA.

There, she talked with the Los Angeles Times about her new-found celebrity.

She had been a model and done work in commercials, but she really wanted to act.

She found it difficult living in India because she wasn't interested in Bollywood movies. She wanted to connect more with people, but she found Bollywood too escapist and over-the-top.

It took her six months of auditions to land her starring role in "Slumdog."

She reflects on all the changes that have happened to her since starring in the Best Picture contender.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Taraji P. Henson Wins Image Award

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Taraji P. Henson Wins Image Award

This week, Taraji P. Henson won an NAACP Image award for her performance in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

The New Orleans Times-Picayune sat down with the actress, who shot the film in New Orleans.

Henson waxed philosophic about her chances of an Oscar win. It turns out her philosophies mesh quite well with those of Queenie, her character in the movie.

"She had a big impact on me," the actress revealed.

She also filmed "Hurricane Season" in New Orleans with Forest Whitaker, so the paper took time to find out about that as well.

She also joked about the fact that she got the great opportunity to work with Brad Pitt, but not in the way most actresses would like.

Not only did she not play a romantic interest, but any time she touched his character as a child, he was either a puppet or a stand-in, not Pitt himself.

Queenie-and Henson-probably have some words of wisdom to lessen that sting.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, February 13, 2009

Actresses and Others Share Their Valentine's Day Plans

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Actresses and Others Share Their Valentine's Day Plans

Valentine's Day is Saturday (in case you missed it), and everyone has some sort of plan. However, the majority of them aren't over-the-top.

Oscar nominee Viola Davis has the most romantic plans. She and her husband will probably go to a "grand restaurant," but she says that they really celebrate every day.

Melissa Leo will make a Valentine for her son and receive one from her mother, but otherwise she has no plans.

Teri Hatcher also plans to do most of her celebrating with her daughter, helping her with making Valentines for her school.

Jenna Fischer will be going to the bat mitzvah of a friend's daughter.

About the only actress with a real enthusiasm for the day seemed to be Dakota Fanning, but then, most 14-year-old girls are pretty pro-Valentine's Day.

She says she loves pink and hearts and flowers.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Jane Eyre Opens Today!

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Jane Eyre Opens Today!

Seattle Musical Theatre's production of "Jane Eyre" opens today, February 13th, at Seattle's Magnuson Park.

The play runs through March 1. We show Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. We also have a 7:30 performance on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 206-363-2809. You can also visit the SMT website.

Tickets range from $30-35 for adults and $25-30 for students and seniors.

The address for Magnuson Park is 7400 Sand Point Way NE. The theater is in building 47. Directions and maps are also on the SMT website.

The website also has a "study guide" for the play.

I play Miss Scatcherd, Lady Ingram, and a maidservant.

I'm particularly excited, as this is my first show with SMT, a company with which I've wanted to work for QUITE some time.

The show is directed by Gregory Magyar, who directed me in Inherit the Wind.

You've read about the auditions, now see the show!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Actress Finds Friday the 13th Painful

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Actress Finds Friday the 13th Painful

Amanda Righetti stars in the remake of "Friday the 13th," opening everywhere today. She wasn't even alive when the original movie came out.

Even so, she was still unsettled seeing the masked Jason Voorhees on the set because the killer is so iconic.

While there is a lot in the movie to appeal to fans of the original, Righetti says they do a lot to welcome new fans as well.

She is still dealing with the injuries from the filming. Apparently that's still what you get for messing with Jason.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reese Witherspoon is Just a Normal Mom

Gina Wilhelm - Reese Witherspoon is Just a Normal Mom

Reese Witherspoon may have an Oscar, but that hasn't kept her from embarrassing her kids.

She tells "Parents" magazine that she took her 9-year-old, Ava, to see Carrie Underwood. Ava begged Reese not to embarrass her by singing.

After all, Underwood is a "real singer." Reese is "just, like, a movie singer."

Witherspoon, of course, won an Oscar for her performance as singer June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line."

She tells the magazine that her children know that she's an actress, but they haven't seen any of her films yet.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Canadian Actress is Eastbound

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Canadian Actress is Eastbound

Jennifer Irwin will appear in HBO's "Eastbound & Down," which filmed in Wilmington, NC. The Canadian actress was interviewed by the Wilmington Star-News about the role.

In the interview, she discusses her character, an uptight prude, and the character's brother-in-law, the central figure of the show, a loud-mouthed redneck.

She also talks about the universality of the mullet as a hairstyle, filming in a new town in a foreign country, and working as an actor with two small children.

"Eastbound & Down" premieres 10:30 pm on Sunday on HBO.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kate Winslet Wins Bafta Award

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Kate Winslet Wins Bafta Award

Kate Winslet's march to the Oscars continues. The 33-year-0ld actress won a Bafta award for best lead actress for her work in "The Reader."

She had also been nominated for a lead actress award for "Revolutionary Road."

This is the sixth award she has won for her performance in "The Reader."

Other winners at the Baftas included Penélope Cruz for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."

"Slumdog Millionaire," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Heath Ledger, and "The Wrestler" also picked up Bafta awards.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Irish Actress Coming Up Roses....Or Triffids

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Irish Actress Coming Up Roses....Or Triffids

Jean Murray is a mere 23 years old, but has already been nominated for an Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA) for her debut film role.

The Trinity College Dublin graduate starred in "Dorothy," playing a girl with multiple personality order accused of trying to murder a baby.

Her performance was compared to Edward Norton's in "Primal Fear."

She'll next appear in the remake of "Day of the Triffids," a science fiction film about killer plants, with such stars as Dougray Scott and Jason Priestly.

Though Vanessa Redgrave is in the film, Murray was disappointed not to get to share any scenes with the veteran. She says she's looked up to Redgrave for a long time.

Regardless of the outcome of this week's IFTAs, it looks like Jean Murray has only good things ahead of her.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Teri Hatcher is a Triple Threat

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Teri Hatcher is a Triple Threat

When "Coraline" opens Friday, February 6, 2009, Teri Hatcher plays not one, not two, but three roles in the movie.

It's Hatcher's first animated film. She'd always wanted to do voice work in animation.

In the movie, Hatcher voices Coraline's mother, her fantasy "other" mother, and her "dangerous/monster mother."

The movie also features the voice of Dakota Fanning as Coraline.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One Woman Show at University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Gina Wilhelm Actress - One Woman Show at University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Maya Lilly's show "Mixed: One Woman Show" will be playing at University of St. Thomas, Minnesota on Friday, February 6.

Lilly is a product of The Juilliard School. She is of German, Irish, Cuban, Pakistani, Syrian, Chinese, and Jamaican descent.

Her website describes her play as "the first truly multicultural portrayal of Americans."

Lilly was born and raised in New York before moving to Miami. She went to a number of performing arts schools before being accepted into Juilliard, one of a class of 20.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Regional Actress Gets National Exposure with Super Bowl Ad

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Regional Actress Gets National Exposure with Super Bowl Ad

Christina Wildes is a native of Mountain Top, PA, but this Sunday she was seen by the world.

She was in an amateur advertisement for Doritos--one of 2000 that was entered in a contest. The winner was seen during Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast.

Originally only one ad was to be aired at the Super Bowl, but two were shown during the game. Three other finalists will also receive airtime, though not with the wide viewership that Wildes' ad had.
Wildes knew the shoot, which wasn't easy, could be a huge break for her. She's probably right.

Nielsen estimates 48 million people watched the broadcast--and the advertisement.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, February 2, 2009

Carey Mulligan Makes it Big at Sundance

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Carey Mulligan Makes it Big at Sundance

Carey Mulligan is having a good year.

She just made her Broadway debut in "The Seagull" with Kristin Scott Thomas, and she was an audience and critic favorite at the Sundance Film Festival in "An Education."

"An Education" sparked a bidding war at the festival.

She also appeared in "The Greatest" this year with Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, for which she had to learn a new accent.

Mulligan made her film debut in "Pride and Prejudice" with Keira Knightly at an open casting call.

All this is in spite of the fact that she's never had any formal training.

Instead, she gets her training working with some of the greats in the industry like Emma Thompson, Sarandon, Brosnan, and Sally Hawkins.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Actress has Unique Insight into "Molly Sweeney"

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Actress has Unique Insight into "Molly Sweeney"

Tasha O'Brien was born nearly completely blind. For nearly all of her life, there's been no hope of her eyesight being restored.

However, she recently found out that stem-cell research could give her some vision. Since then, she's been trying to decide if that's a course she wants to take.

It's the same decision her character wrestles with in the play "Molly Sweeney," by Brian Friel at People's Branch Theatre in Hillsboro, TN. The show opens this week.

Although she finds the piece "difficult to get through," O'Brien's similarities to her character have allowed her to get a real perspective.

Her casting wasn't a gimmick--she had worked with the theater's artistic director before. On the other hand, blind actresses are frequently cast in the role.

O'Brien feels her disability gives her an "emotional availability" that will serve her well in the role.

Gina Wilhelm Actress