Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Diane Keaton Will Return to Work

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Diane Keaton Will Return to Work

Diane Keaton was injured on the set of her new movie "Morning Glory," but the filmmakers say she's doing fine.

The 63-year-old actress fell and hit her head. She was taken to the hospital for testing and has been cleared to return to work tomorrow.

Other stars in the film are Jeff Goldblum, Rachel McAdams, and Harrison Ford.

The movie is shooting in New York.

In the movie, McAdams plays a producer trying to revive a failed morning show on a news channel.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, June 29, 2009

Missy Peregrym is a Copper

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Missy Peregrym is a Copper

Missy Peregrym, formerly the female lead on "Reaper," has landed the starring role on the new show "Copper."

In the program, she'll play a rookie cop who is the daughter of a homicide detective.

In addition to playing Andi on "Reaper," Peregrym also starred on "Life as We Know It."

She also had recurring roles on "Smallville" and "Heroes."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Judith Light on Stage

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Judith Light on Stage

Although Judith Light got her start on stage, including a Broadway run in 1975 of "A Doll's House," for years, she was only seen on television, notably starring for 8 seasong on "Who's The Boss?"

When her longtime friend and manager accused her of being scared when she wouldn't take a stage role after years of doing only TV pilots and movies of the week, she realized he was right.

She decided to take the next stage role that came her way, playing the role of a poetry scholar in "Wit" in 1999.

For the role, she had to shave her head and, at age 50, appear nude on stage.

"It was absolutely terrifying at the time," said Light, but she realized it was an opportunity to change the way people saw her.

The gamble work. Reviews called her "transformative" and "profound" and said she'd been missing from the stage far too long.

Though she still works on TV, she makes sure to carve out plenty of time for stage work.

Currently she appears in "Children" by A. R. Gurney. The show just closed at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut.

It next moves to the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Marlene Dietrich Letters Sold

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Marlene Dietrich Letters Sold

An auction house has sold a collection of 130 of letters and notes from actress Marlene Dietrich for 3000 euros.

The letters were written to Swedish costume designer Max Goldstein. The letters span 40 years.

They include playful exchanges with the designer as well as providing insights into film production, travel, and favors she asked of Goldstein.

One also gives insight into her feelings on stardom: "Either one is a world star or not. ... I feel uneasy in my own skin. Spiritually, of course."

The letters were sold to a private telephone bidder.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marion Cotillard's Accent

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Marion Cotillard's Accent

French actress Marion Cotillard had to master a Midwestern accent for the movie "Public Enemies."

She said it was the "hardest thing" she's ever had to do.

In the movie, she plays the love interest of John Dillinger, played by Johnny Depp. She spent four months working with a dialect coach to develop the accent.

Director Michael Mann had seen Cotillard's previous work, and knew she could handle it.

"I knew mechanically, with fantastic discipline, a great work ethic and just hard work, she will master the English," he said.

The movie also stars Christian Bale.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, June 22, 2009

Juggling a Life and a Sitcom

Juggling a Life and a Sitcom
Six actresses sat down with the Hollywood Reporter to talk about how they balance their personal lives and starring on a TV comedy.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, star of "The New Adventures of Old Christine," says she's able to do it because her show is a multicamera series, unlike many of her counterparts.

Because of that, she only has to put in two or three 12-hour days a week instead of the five required on a single-camera series.

Amy Poehler, who stars and produces "Parks & Recreation," says her schedule is pretty crushing. Not only is she in almost every scene, but she also has to write and cast roles on the weekend.

Jane Krakowski of "30 Rock" is in awe of series creator/producer/writer/star Tina Fey, who does all the same things Poehler does, plus go home and write until 2 a.m. every night.

Poehler and Fey both have very small children.

Mary-Louise Parker talked about the fact that fans of a show used to come up to her when she was on "The West Wing" and tell her how much they hated her character.

Now that she's starring on "Weeds," they'll ask her for a dime-bag. Sarah Silverman of "The Sarah Silverman Show" advised laughing like it's the funniest thing she's ever heard.

"It allows you to move on," Silverman explained.

Christina Applegate, star of "Samantha Who?" and former star of "Married With Children" said she doubts she'll ever leave the earlier show behind. Rather, she says, she embraces it.

Louis-Dreyfus says she doesn't think aging women is nearly the problem on television it is in movies.

Poehler pointed out that she was only eight years older than Rachel McAdams when she played her mother in "Mean Girls," further illustrating the inequities of aging in film.

Applegate bemoaned that she was turned down to be on the cover of a magazine because they didn't want anyone over 35. Still, she only feels 20.

Silverman says it's only a problem for her if she's looking at a script and the "girl" part isn't funny.

"I don't need to play the girl who's mad at the main guy anymore. I've done it, and it can be embarrassing."

They also worried about how much the move to high definition was creating problems. "30 Rock" uses real locations and real props.

Poehler pointed out that when they made the move, "Saturday Night Live," where she worked until landing "Parks & Recreation," had to start using thicker makeup and better wigs.

As for ratings, Parker says she doesn't worry about them.

"It's not like I'm going to think, 'I better take off my shirt!' I'm going to take my shirt off anyway."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Victoria Cyr is a Grown Up

Victoria Cyr is a Grown Up
Victoria Cyr doesn't know why the producers of the movie "Grown Ups" cast her. "You always kind of wonder."

She isn't complaining, though.

Cyr plays the niece of a basketball coach who has died. Several people have come back to their hometown for the funeral.

Those home comers are played by Adam Sandler, Maya Rudolph, Chris Rock, and a handful of other Saturday Night Live alumni.

Cyr describes her part as a "plum role."

She already filmed the funeral scene, which she said was difficult, as the veteran comedians would keep cracking jokes between takes.

"It was hard to keep a straight face," she said.
More scenes for the film are set to be shot close to her home, in Essex, MA, soon, set at a Fourth of July cookout.

Cyr made the decision 14 years ago to pursue acting. She decided to follow her dreams.

She moved to Hollywood, but decided to return to Beverly Farms, MA, because she hated the traffic there, among other things. Also, her "beau" lived in Massachusetts.

She still manages to find acting work, despite living so far from Hollywood.

Tax breaks draw many films to be shot in Massachusetts. Additionally, she lives close enough to New York that she can go there for work.

She also sends audition tapes electronically to Hollywood.

She has been known to get roles through sheer determination. She followed the filming of one movie for two years because there was a role in it she was sure was perfect for her.

Eventually she was able to get and audition and landed the role.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, June 19, 2009

Is Maggie Grace Getting Lost Again?

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Is Maggie Grace Getting Lost Again?

Maggie Grace, whose character Shannon Rutherford was killed in the second season of "Lost," has been hinting that she may be returning to the popular series.

Grace revealed she was returning to Hawaii, where the show is filmed. She told E! News "I'm looking forward to visiting Hawaii soon. I don't know why...!"

She added fuel to the fire by praising the writers, calling them brilliant.

She continued, "if they found the right reason, then I'm sure I would be on (the show)."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jessica Alba Won't Face Charges

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Jessica Alba Won't Face Charges

Jessica Alba had been waiting to find out if she would face criminal charges in Oklahoma City.

She had been gotten caught putting posters all over the city featuring great white sharks on public property.

The property included a large United Way billboard.

The charges were dropped because the property owners didn't want to press charges.

In fact, The United Way said they had gotten more publicity from the incident than they might have from the billboard alone.

Alba, who later apologized, engaged in the vandalizing while in the city filming a movie.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vanessa WIlliams Heads Charity Campaign

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Vanessa Williams Heads Charity Campaign

Vanessa Williams, who plays ambitious diva Wilhelmina Slater on "Ugly Betty" is spearheading the "Botox Cosmetic: Express Success" charitable education campaign.

The campaign benefits Dress for Success, which helps disadvantaged women get ahead in the business world by providing professional clothing and career support.

Williams has an album out now called "The Real Thing." She officially launches the campaign June 30.

You can pledge support at ExpressSuccessCampaign.com and enter to win a trip for two to New York and have lunch with the actress.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sandra Bullock Back in Romantic Comedies

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Sandra Bullock Back in Romantic Comedies

After finishing 2002's "Two Week's Notice," Sandra Bullock decided she was done with romantic comedies.

Her explanation was that, "they're not funny, they're not romantic, they're not written well for women anymore...I did the last good one. I'm done."

This, of course, after she'd made several films in the genre, including "While You Were Sleeping," "Practical Magic," and "Forces of Nature."

Then she got the script for "The Proposal."

Bullock turned down the script several times before someone finally convinced her to actually read it.

In the film, she plays a hard-edged Canadian book editor who blackmails her assistant into marrying her so she can stay in the country.

She loved that her character isn't just another girl next door. Instead, she had the sort of mean and politically incorrect lines that sent test audiences gasping.

"Being nice and adorable isn't funny. I enjoyed being a bitch. Everyone does. They are always better written and it's a relief," Bullock explained.

As someone who often gets cast in the "bitch" role and whose favorite part is STILL the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz," Gina Wilhelm Actress wholeheartedly concurs!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Syracuse Actresses Shine

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Syracuse Actresses Shine

There are two Central New York premieres happening right now, and their leading ladies are both excellent.

In Hangar Theatre's production of "Dirty Blonde" in Ithaca, Tony nominee Emily Skinner sparkles in dual roles as Mae West and a shy woman named Jo.

Jo is a fan of West's. The play follows Jo as she visits West's grave, while also following West's career.

Jo meets Charlie at the gravesite. The play is a touching story of loners reaching out for companionship.

The other premiere is "Once on this Island" at Cortland Repertory. It stars Traci M. Allen as Ti Moune, who is saved after a hurricane.

Allen's dancing would be at home in any modern dance troupe. The story itself is tragic, but the cast delivers an optimistic finale.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How TV and Movies Differ

Gina Wilhelm Actress - How TV and Movies Differ

Toni Collette is a very successful actress. She's starred in many films, receiving an Oscar nomination and winning a number of other international film awards.

None of that prepared her to star on a television show-playing four people, no less.

As mentioned in an earlier post to this blog, Collette stars in "The United States of Tara," playing a woman with mulitple personality disorder.

When filming a movie, she only has to play a character for a few months at most. Starring in a TV series is completely different.

Taping for TV has a rapid pace, but requires a great deal of stamina to maintain a single character for such a long time. Even playing four characters requires stamina and concentration.

To let off steam after taping one intense scene recently, Collette let off steam by jumping into a swimming pool fully clothed (she did at remember to remove her microphone first).

Holly Hunter has been experiencing similar stresses with her show, "Saving Grace." She's done 40 episodes of that program.

She points out that she's spent 40 hours with her character. In any other previous project, she says the most she'd done was two.

Hunter appreciates that spending so much time with a single character can "deepen the acting experience," but she says it's also very complicated.

Anna Gunn agrees that acting for television can be very intense. Gunn is on "Breaking Bad" on AMC, which also stars Bryan Cranston.

She taped a huge confrontation scene with Cranston earlier this season. When it got done, she felt completely drained.

When they finished, Cranston put his hands on her shoulders to make sure she was all right. "That's the kind of stuff I really need."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, June 8, 2009

Angela Lansbury Wins Fifth Tony

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Angela Lansbury Wins Fifth Tony

Sunday night's Tony ceremony didn't provide too many surprises, but one nice element is that Angela Lansbury won her fifth Tony for her performance as Madame Arcati in "Blithe Spirit."

She ties for the most Tonys with Julie Harris.

All of Harris' Tonys are for Leading Actress in a Play.

Four of Lansbury's Tonys are for Leading Actress in a Musical. This one, her latest, is for Best Featured Actress in a Play. She received a standing ovation when she got her award.

She was also nominated in 2007 for a Best Leading Actress in a Play for "Deuce," but did not win.

Her other wins were for "Mame," "Dear World," "Gypsy," and "Sweeney Todd."

Harris also won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

Later in the evening, Lansbury presented a lifetime achievement award herself to Jerry Herman, composer of "Hello, Dolly!" and "Mame."

In her acceptance speech, Lansbury said ""Who knew that (at) this time in my life that I should be presented with this lovely, lovely award. I feel deeply grateful."

In other actress highlights, Liza Minelli won the award for special theatrical event for her production "Liza's at the Palace."

In her speech, Minelli thanked her parents for "the greatest gift they ever gave me, Kay Thompson," her godmother.

Minelli recreated part of Thompson's club act in her show.

The award for Featured Actress in a Musical went to Karen Olivo for her portrayal of Anita in "West Side Story."

Olivo was profiled earlier in this blog.

Alice Ripley received the Lead Actress in a Musical prize for her turn in "Next to Normal." Ripley plays a woman dealing with bipolar disorder.

Marcia Gay Harden received the Lead Actress in a Play award for "God of Carnage."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Elisabeth Moss, Cipher

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Elisabeth Moss, Cipher

Elisabeth Moss is a woman of contradictions. She plays a tightly controlled secretary-turned-copywriter on "Mad Men," yet she has to have a sign reminding her to lock her apartment door.

She recently appeared in David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow" on Broadway, in which every word must be spoken as it appears on the page, but she's currently filming a Judd Apatow movie.

Apatow's movies relay heavily on improvisational work by their actors. In this one, "Get Him to the Greek," she stars opposite Jonah Hill.

She also wants to be taken seriously and not just trade on her looks. Luckily then, perhaps, her "Mad Men" character, Peggy, doesn't get to be very dolled-up.

The show's creator, Matthew Weiner, is impressed with her work. He says it's very instinctive for her.

"She works hard, but I think she also works hard to hide it. Either that, or she’s an alien."

Moss is thrilled that television critics can't understand Peggy. “That makes the performance more interesting,” she says.

Perhaps that makes her own contradictions more understandable.

Moss worked on "Speed-the-Plow" over the filming hiatus for "Mad Men." Weiner had encouraged her to do theater with the thought that she would do a workshop.

Instead, she performed in a Tony-nominated Broadway production.

Moss has been performing since an early age. At 10, she played Baby June in a television movie of "Gypsy" starring Bette Midler.

As a youngster, she was more focused on dancing than acting. She thinks this was good for her. She wasn't the 9-year-old whose whole life focused on getting a single part.

“We all know that 9-year-old, and she’s not a pretty picture,” Moss adds.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Get Ready for the Tonys

KaGina Wilhelm Actress - Get Ready for the Tonys

The Tony Award ceremony will air Sunday night at 8 p.m. on CBS. Before the awards are handed out, Linda Winer of newsday.com looked at several magic moments from this year on Broadway.

Among the actress-related highlights was the confrontation between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots in "Mary Stuart."

The powerful meeting reveals both the courage and insecurity in both queens.

Lauren Ambrose received plaudits for her performance in "Exit the King." In it, she believes that she "love the life back into" Geoffrey Rush's titular king.

Winer feels Kristin Scott Thomas has been wrongly overlooked for her work in the revival of "The Seagull."

Pia Glenn's work in Will Ferrell's "You're Welcome, America, A Final Night with George W. Bush" also deserves some appreciation.

Glenn received the Astaire Award for best female dancer for her turn as the disco-dancing Condoleezza Rice.

Finally, Winer highlights Angela Lansbury's work as Madame Arcati in the revival of "Blithe Spirit." Lansbury is nominated for a Tony for this work. Tomorrow we'll see if she wins!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, June 5, 2009

Anne Helm on Following that Dream

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Anne Helm on Following that Dream

In Elvis Presley's 9th feature, "Follow That Dream," his costar is Anne Helm, who plays an orphan raised by The King.

In it, he tells her not to get attached to him, because he's not the marrying kind.

Helm is in Olive Branch, TN, this weekend for the Memphis Film Festival, a convention for fans of classic films and television.

She's one of the few women at the convention. The majority of the guests of honor hail from Westerns.

She took some time to speak with thecommercialappeal.com about her illustrious career.

She admitted to having had a little romance with Elvis during the filming. However, she was really shocked when they went out and were met by his crazed fans.

She said that she loved the way he treated his fans.

She also said that during the course of filming, she really became "one of the guys."

She particularly enjoyed guest starring on "Route 66," as it was written by Stirling Silliphant, who won the Oscar for "In the Heat of the Night."

She also enjoyed working on "The Magic Sword," a film starring Basil Rathbone and Estelle Winwood and made by Bert I. Gordon.

She said Rathbone was very cordial. Her prince in the movie was Gary Lockwood, with whom she had a lot of fun. They had dated prior to that.

That movie has gained a cult status (including being on an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000").

She also discussed "Nightmare in Wax," a movie made so cheaply that the victims were kept in cardboard boxes. Any time the actors struggled, it was clear they could easily break free.

Her final acting job was an episode of "Amazing Stories." It turned out that there were several great actors up for the part, including Tuesday Weld.

John Lithgow got an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Performer for that episode, and Helm got to keep her prop.

That episode was a nice way for her to say goodbye to acting.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sharon Gless Gets Notice

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Sharon Gless Gets Notice

Sharon Gless is happy she gets to smoke on TV.

She lives in California, so she doesn't get to smoke in public places. However, her character on the USA Network series "Burn Notice" is a chain-smoking hypochondriac, so she's pleased.

"My husband said, 'How happy are you? They're paying you to smoke.'"

Gless likes the ways she can use the cigarette to enhance her characterization. "I can take a hit, hold it in my lungs, say whole sentences, and then blow it out when I choose for emphasis."

Of course, she's no stranger to television. She won two Emmys for best lead actress for her work on the series "Cagney and Lacey," a series that itself won 14 Emmys.

The show was also a blueprint for cop shows that followed it.

In the '90s, she was mostly being ignored, as she had put on weight. Still, she remained focused on her acting and landed a role on Showtime's "Queer as Folk."

At the time she was doing a play in Chicago, but someone sneaked a copy of the script to her. She called Showtime and told them she wanted the role.

The producers told her she didn't want it because there's no money in cable. Gless insisted she did because she knew what she could do with the character.

She knows that "Queer as Folk" changed her life. For one thing, it put her back on television.

For another thing, because she wasn't constantly being beaten up about her weight, she actually started slimming down.

She says since "Queer as Folk," she's never stopped working.

For the first season of "Burn Notice," her character was described as "needy." Since then, the network said they loved what she was doing, and she's been getting richer scenes ever since.

She works for hours at home, trying to instill every word of dialogue with meaning.

She says that she's happiest when she is working, and is fortunate because most of her female peers simply aren't anymore.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Queens and Tonys

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Queens and Tonys

There are two queens in the play "Mary Stuart." And both are nominated for Tonys.

Janet McTeer, who plays the title character, says it's not fun having to compete with her costar.

Both McTeer and costar Harriet Walter, who plays Queen Elizabeth I, would love to see director Phyllida Lloyd win, however.

Both actresses will compete this Sunday against Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis in "God of Change" and Jane Fonda for her work in "33 Variations."

McTeer has already won once for this show, a Drama Desk Award. She also has a previous Tony for her role in "A Doll's House" in 1997.

She did receive an Oscar nomination for "Tumbleweeds" in 1999, but she has preferred to remain a private person with a private life, something she didn't feel she'd get in Hollywood.

She also got into the movies late by Hollywood standards; she didn't start until her late 30s.

She's the niece of actor Christopher Lee, who played Dracula in the Hammer Horror films.

He more recently played Count Dooku in the more recent "Star Wars" films and Saruman in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

That isn't what got McTeer into acting, though. She was inspired by watching Hayley Mills in "The Parent Trap."

She also insists that there won't be offstage enmity between Walter and herself over the nomination, nor will there be should one of them win the Tony.

"Nobody would ask us that if we were men," she points out.

Gina Wilhelm Actress