Monday, August 31, 2009

Dale Dickey Comes Home

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Dale Dickey Comes Home

Dale Dickey laughed when she was offered the chance to play Blanche DuBois at the University of Tennessee production of "A Streetcar Named Desire."

"You know I play hookers and drug addicts and bad girls, don't you?" she asked when she got the call. However, she really wanted to play the role.

Dickey says she has many fond memories of her performances at the UT theater. She had performed there as a child in productions of "The Sound of Music" and "Oliver."

As a theater major at the University of Tennessee, she was in nearly 50 plays.

This is Dickey's first time in a Tennessee Williams play. "It's not that I don't have the emotional makeup to do it. But I've always thought of Blanche as a great beauty. I'm a character actress...."

She went on to say that she really feels that she understands Blanche.

In movies, Dickey has had suppporting roles in "Changeling," "The Pledge," and "A Perfect Getaway."

On TV, she was an alien on "The X-Files," an addict on "Breaking Bad," and a mother on "E.R." She's probably best known for her recurring role as Patty the Daytime Hooker on "My Name is Earl."

She adds "Blanche is so complex. ... It is such a fabulous, beautiful play, and it reminds me why I chose acting to begin with."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Congratulations to Catherine Tate

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Congratulations to Catherine Tate

Actress Catherine Tate has won this year's Airlock Alpha Portal Award for Best Actress on Television for her role as Donna Noble on "Doctor Who."

Tate played The Doctor's companion, and her win gives that series its only major acting category win.

The Portal Awards are chosen by voters online.

Billie Piper was the runner up in the Best Guest Star on Television for her portrayal of Rose Tyler in the "Doctor Who" episode "Stolen Earth."

Congratulations to Catherine Tate and Billie Piper!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Learning About Ingrid Bergman

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Learning About Ingrid Bergman

Today would have been Ingrid Bergman's birthday. Bergman's family tried to discourage her from acting, but she pursued it on her own, memorizing poetry in her bedroom.

She was in some high school plays and was an extra in a movie. On graduation, she used her inheritance to go to the Royal Dramatic Theater School in Stockholm.

She left the school a year later when she got a small role in a Swedish movie. She starred in "Intermezzo" in 1936, which sealed her position as a star in Sweden and launched her Hollywood career.

In Hollywood, she starred in the remake of "Intermezzo" with Leslie Howard. She also appeared in movies with Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, and Bing Crosby, and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

She considered her role in "Casablanca" not to be of great importance, though I think she's alone in that assessment.

On the other hand, she actually didn't know the end of the movie until it was filmed (the studio had considered a very different ending).

She won a number of awards, including Best Actress Oscars for "Gaslight" in 1944 and "Anastasia" in 1956.

She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "Murder on the Orient Express" in 1974, making her the first actress to win that award after getting two leading actress statuettes.

Bergman acted until her death, appearing as Prime Minister Golda Meir in the miniseries "A Woman Called Golda" in 1982. That performance earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, August 28, 2009

Laura Linney's Chances for an Emmy Next Year

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Laura Linney's Chances for an Emmy Next Year

The Los Angeles Times' Awards Insider column is already handicapping Laura Linney's chances of winning an Emmy for lead actress in a comedy series next year.

Tom O'Neil, the writer of the column, has already decided that Tina Fey will win again this year for "30 Rock," and so has moved on to next year's contest.

Linney is set to star in "The C Word" on Showtime, her series debut. In the hour-long comedy, Linney plays a suburban housewife facing cancer.

Showtime president Robert Greenblatt voiced his confidence in Linney, saying, "She will no doubt make this character both heartbreaking and disarmingly funny."

He added that he was thrilled she had chosen this show for her series debut.

Laura Linney has already won an Emmy every time she's been nominated. Her most recent win was for lead actress in a movie or miniseries for her portrayal of Abigail Adams in "John Adams."

She also won in the same category in 2002 for "Wild Iris." She also won for guest actress in a comedy series for her work in "Frasier" in 2004.

Linney has also received three Oscar nominations, two for lead actress in "You Can Count on Me" and "The Savages" and one for supporting actress in "Kinsey."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rachel York Wants Those Puppies

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Rachel York Wants Those Puppies

Broadway in Chicago has announced that Rachel York will be playing Cruella de Vil in the new Broadway production of "101 Dalmations."

The musical is an adaptation of the 1956 story by Dodie Smith.

York is a Drama Desk winner who has appeared on the Great White Way in "City of Angels" and "Les Misérables." She also was in "Victor/Victoria" with Dame Julie Andrews.

She has also starred in "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Sly Fox," and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

The production team includes Tony Award winning director Jerry Zaks, bookwriter and co-lyricist BT McNicholl, and composer and co-lyricist Dennis DeYoung, who also founded the rock band STYX.

York said that the story was one of her favorites as a child, and Cruella de Vil is one of her all-time favorite characters.

The play also stars 15 real Dalmations, many of which were rescued from animal shelters.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Dakota Going to Oz?

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Is Dakota Going to Oz?

Dakota Fanning may be playing the lead in a planned sequel to "The Wizard of Oz."

The planned movie will be distributed by Warner Bros. and co-produced by Todd McFarlane, who produced "Spawn."

A Warner Bros. executive promises the sequel will be "darker and more action-packed" than the original MGM musical starring Judy Garland. McFarlane likewise has promised this version will be edgy.

He says she'll be "much closer to the Ripley character from 'Alien' than a helpless singing girl." Ripley, of course, was placed by Sigourney Weaver.

If she were to get the role, Fanning would play Dorothy Gale's granddaughter.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, August 24, 2009

Glourious Mélanie Laurent

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Glourious Mélanie Laurent

Mélanie Laurent, star of "Inglourious Basterds," feels very close to her character, Shosanna, in the movie.

"I'm very close to her. You need to be strong to do that job, to have an actor's life. And you need to be fragile. I'm a little bit French and rebel sometimes, a little bit like Shosanna, and I'm Jewish."

Laurent plays a Jewish woman who sees her family massacred by Nazis and comes to Paris to run a movie theater and develop a revenge plan.

Laurent is new to Americans, but is well established in France. She's been acting since 1999, when she appeared in "Un pont entre deux rives" opposite Gérard Depardieu.

She also won the César award, which is France's equivalent of the Oscar, for most promising actress in 2006 for her movie "Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas."

She's a little bemused by the fuss surrounding her appearance in "Inglourious Basterds." She isn't going to go to Hollywood to be famous or make money.

"It's not that I do not care. I have amazing parts in France. The dream was just to make a movie with Tarantino."

Laurent revealed that writer/director Quentin Tarantino had been looking for an actress to play his Shosanna for eight years. He was just as nervous to meet her as she was to meet him.

In addition to promoting "Basterds," she's currently producing and recording a rock music CD.

She directed a movie that was an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, and she would like to direct some more.

She also plans to finish writing a screenplay in September. "perfect life would to be have an amazing part every year and to spend all my free time to just write," says Laurent.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mena Suvari's Weddings

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Mena Suvari's Weddings

Mena Suvari is in the midst of making plans for her June 2010 wedding. The planning keeps her busy, but not too busy to act.

She just finished a movie called "You May Not Kiss the Bride," a romantic comedy with Rob Schneider and Vinnie Jones.

Suvari describes her character was "smart but with a few things loose." She falls in love with her boss, played by Dave Annable, and winds up stalking him, crashing his wedding and honeymoon.

She says she is nothing like her character, who wears "tons" of leopard print and lip gloss. “It was so much fun to play her, (she’s) such a mess," Suvari said.

The movie will release at roughly the same time as her actual wedding.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nancy Kwan to be Honored

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Nancy Kwan to be Honored

Nancy Kwan, who played Linda Low in the film version of "Flower Drum Song," will be honored with a lifetime tribute award from the Women's International Film and Television Showcase.

She will receive the award at a fundraiser reception for the opening night screening of "To Whom it May Concern, Ka Shen's Journey."

"To Whom it May Concern, Ka Shen's Journey" is a movie by Brian Jamieson that tells Kwan's story of a girl from Hong Kong who made her stunning film debut in "The World of Suzie Wong."

It also looks at her followup in "Flower Drum Song." Her role in the Rodgers & Hammerstein movie led to her becoming one of the most sought-after stars in Hollywood.

Filmmakers call the movie a "real life drama" that explores "what happened" to Kwan's career. It also addresses the struggle of Asian actors in Hollywood.

The screening and receoption will be held on Monday, November 30, 2009. Kwan will be in attendance at both events.

The cocktail and hor d'Oeuvres reception will be held at Buddha's Belly @ 8:30 p.m. The screening will take place at The New Beverly Cinema @ 6 p.m.

Tickets for the opening night screening are $200 (price includes reception). For reservations telephone 1 (323) 935-8228. Closing date to RSVP is Sept. 20, 2009.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Anniversary Celebration of "Imitation of Life"

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Anniversary Celebration of "Imitation of Life"

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is having a special celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Douglas Sirk/Ross Hunter film "Imitation of Life" on Friday.

They will be showing the final Sirk/Hunter collaboration at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Hollywood.

The movie is based on a 1933 novel by Fannie Hurst and is a remake of a 1934 film by the same name.

The story revolves around an actress, played by Lana Turner, who has no time for her daughter and the actress' housekeeper whose own daughter, who is light-skinned, tries to pass for white.

The Sirk/Hunter deals particularly with a woman more focused on her career than on getting married, which was a radical idea for the time.

Juanita Moore, who played the housekeeper, and Susan Kohner, who portrayed her daughter, both received Oscar nominations for their work in the movie.

The event will feature a new print of the film. Actresses Moore and Kohner, who have remained close since the movie, will also discuss the film with Kohner's filmmaker sons.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Remembering Virginia Davis

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Remembering Virginia Davis

Virginia Davis, who is considered the first actress for Walt Disney Pictures, has passed away of natural causes at the age of 90.

Davis was hired by Walt Disney in 1923 after he saw her in an advertisement for Warneker's Bread.

She played the title character in Disney's first live action-animated film titled "Alice's Wonderland."

Disney convinced Davis' parents to move to California and filmed another 12 short films (between 5 and 10 minutes) with the young girl.

The movies were directed by Roy Disney in the Disneys' garage studio.

Davis also auditioned to be the voice of the lead character in "Snow White," but her mother turned the role down when she felt the pay was too low.

In 1998, Davis was inducted by the studio as a Disney Legend.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, August 17, 2009

Remembering Ruth Ford

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Remembering Ruth Ford

Ruth Ford, actress and salon hostess, passed away on August 12 at the age of 98.

Ford came to New York in the 1930s and appeared in "The Shoemaker's Holiday" and "Danton's Death," which were produced by Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre.

She also performed in the short film "Too Much Johnson," also produced by the Mercury.

She also appeared in the original productions of Sartre's "No Exit" and Lorca's "The House of Bernarda Alba."

However, she began to host social gatherings at her apartment on the Upper West Side and found a purpose there.

The parties were attended by William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Truman Capote. She appeared in plays written by all three.

It was also at one of her parties where Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents met. That resulted in them working together on "West Side Story," which would establish Sondheim's reputation.

She appeared on the covers of magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Mademoiselle. She also wrote a film adaptation of William Faulkner's "Sanctuary."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Noises Off in New Jersey

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Noises Off in New Jersey

Michael Frayn's "Noises Off" works best when there is a strong actress playing Dotty Otley, who plays the maid in the play-within-a-play.

Fortunately for the new production at Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey, they have Harriet Harris in the demanding role.

Harris won the 2002 Tony for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie. She is also known for playing cutthroat agent Bebe Glazer on "Frasier" and had a recurring role on "Desperate Housewives."

However, the show is enjoyable because Harris doesn't dominate the show, and the ensemble pulls off the farce enjoyably.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Milla Jovovich, Full-Time Actress

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Milla Jovovich, Full-Time Actress

Milla Jovovich, whose new movie "A Perfect Getaway" opened August 7, calls modeling a sideline to her main acting career.

She told UK channel Virgin1 that making films is the thing she most enjoys in her career, but she also likes modeling or making music in between movies.

She said that acting is "one of those things that you can't really depend on. You may do a film but then you don't know when your next job is going to come along...."

Jovovich explained that keeping herself busy prevents her from becoming bored of herself. She also says that the music and modeling keep herself inspired and creative, which she finds important.

She also refuses to confine herself to a single genre. The actress is starting work on "Resident Evil: Afterlife" in September.

She also recently wrapped work on "Stone" with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton, which is a psychological thriller.

She explains that "It's really nice to have that balance."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, August 14, 2009

Chita Rivera Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Chita Rivera Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Actress Chita Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom along with 15 other recipients at the White House on Wednesday, August 12.

The award is the country's highest award for civilians.

Rivera originated the role of Anita in "West Side Story."

She received Tony awards for her performances in 1993's "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and 1984's "The Rink."

She was also nominated for a Tony for "Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life." That show was also her last appearance on Broadway.

Rivera was the first Latina to receive the Medal of Freedom. She was recognized for "breaking barriers and inspiring a generation of women to follow in her footsteps."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, August 13, 2009

David Mamet Remaking "Diary of Anne Frank"

Gina Wilhelm Actress - David Mamet Remaking "Diary of Anne Frank"

David Mamet is writing and directing a new version of "The Diary of Anne Frank" for Disney.

Mamet, of course, is the writer of "Glengarry Glen Ross" and writer and director of "State and Main."

The original stage treatment of the true story of a girl and her family hiding from Nazis was done in 1955 by husband-and-wife writing team Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich.

They won the Pulitzer Prize for their script as well as the Tony for best play.

They also wrote the script for the 1959 film adaptation and the 1967 and 1980 TV movie versions.

The film adaptation earned Shelley Winters an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She later donated her award to the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Audrey Hepburn's Auditions

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Audrey Hepburn's Auditions
Audrey Hepburn studied drama and dance (and dental assisting) in Europe. She worked part-time as a fashion model. She also appeared in a few European films before coming to the United States.

Her Broadway debut was playing the title role in "Gigi" in 1951. On seeing Hepburn, the writer of the novel on which the play was based declared, "Voilà! There's our Gigi!"

After that, her first starring role in film was in "Roman Holiday" with Gregory Peck.

Originally, Elizabeth Taylor was supposed to have played the role that would eventually go to Hepburn.

However, her screen test included candid footage shot when the camera was left rolling and Hepburn unaware that she was being filmed. She was shown relaxing and answering questions.

The director of "Roman Holiday" later said "She had everything I was looking for - charm, innocence and talent. She also was very funny. She was absolutely enchanting, and we said, 'That's the girl!'"

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, August 7, 2009

Charlyne Yi's "Paper Heart"

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Charlyne Yi's "Paper Heart"

Charlyne Yi stars in "Paper Heart," which opens today. The movie is a mix of documentary and romantic comedy.

In the film, Yi, who is a musician and comic in addition to being an actress, sets out to talk about love, which she herself has never experienced.

In the course of her examination, she finds herself in a relationship with Michael Cera. She refused to say whether that part actually happened or not.

Yi reveals that she got the idea when she was wondering if people really met the way they did on reality dating shows.

It was decided to mix documentary with fiction when director Nicholas Jasenovec decided that Yi should be on camera as well.

He had watched her on the set of "Knocked Up," where she played a stoner girlfriend. She was supposed to be on set for one day, but she wound up shooting for two weeks.

Since Yi said part of her motivation was that she didn't believe in love, Jasenovec decided it was important for her to experience it on screen.

"You can't really understand [love] till you experience it, so we needed her to experience it," Jasenovec explained.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zhang Ziyi to try Romantic Comedies

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Zhang Ziyi to try Romantic Comedy

Zhang Ziyi, star of dramas like "Memoirs of a Geisha" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," is about to try acting in a romantic comedy.

Zhang will appear in "Sophie's Revenge," in which she plays a comic book artess scheming to get her fiance back after losing him to an actress.

She will also produce the movie.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Boise Actress Reaches Milestone

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Boise Actress Reaches Milestone

Sue Howe has been acting since she was in high school. This year she celebrates her 100th birthday.

A party is planned in her honor at the Boise Little Theater.

This business manager at Boise Little Theater, Pat Ryan, calls her a natural. Marie Blanchard, who has appeared in more than 25 shows with Howe, says the centenarian is a "consummate actress."

Blanchard thinks that in different circumstances, Howe could have been a movie star.

She performed at the Pasadena Playhouse and a number of other California theaters before her family convinced her to move to Idaho.

During her time at Boise Little Theater, Howe became particularly known for playing the title role in the "Opal" comedies.

Ryan, the business manager, declared, "she's a great comedian."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, August 3, 2009

Janine Turner on Being a Single Parent

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Janine Turner on Being a Single Parent

Janine Turner, star of "Friday Night Lights" and former star of "Northern Exposure" gave a talk for single parents during church services this weekend.

She spoke for about a half-hour at PromiseLand West Church in Austin, TX. She also sang two songs with her 11-year-old daughter, who helped her write them.

Turner recently wrote a book about single mothers called "Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History."

Texas First Lady, Anita Perry, called Turner an "incredible actress" who arranges her filming schedule so she can be home at night to take care of her daughter.

Turner's message resonated with the single parents in attendance at Sunday's service.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jessica Biel, What a Doll

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Jessica Biel, What a Doll

Jessica Biel, who has been taking voice lessons for months, finally got to show off what she's been learning in concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

Biel played Sarah Brown in "Guys and Dolls."

Biel said she enjoyed the experience. She felt the cast was nurturing and the experience was educational.

She said she enjoyed the exhilaration of of live theater and the chance that anything could happen.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lisa Kudrow's Inspiration

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Lisa Kudrow's Inspiration

Lisa Kudrow has revealed her inspiration for her character, Phoebe Buffay, on the long-running series "Friends."

Kudrow explains that she hard a hard time getting in touch with Phoebe's spiritual side.

"Pheobe was so spiritual and 'out there' - and I wasn't at all," Kudrow said. Instead, she turned to costar Jennifer Aniston for advice.

Aniston gave Kudrow books to read to get insight into her character.

The work paid off. Kudrow received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1998.

Gina Wilhelm Actress