Saturday, May 29, 2010

New York Actress Leo Reflects on her Career

Gina Wilhelm Actress - New York Actress Leo Reflects on her Career

Melissa Leo grew up in New York's East Village and went to theater school in London. After quitting college, she nannied, waitressed--and went to an audition between shifts.

The audition was for the movie "The Razor's Edge" and was opposite Bill Murray.

At the audition, he gave her some advice: "'You're much too young for this part, but if you really want to do this, you should just do it."

Leo said, "He seemed, in the moment, to be saying I had something...I felt he was giving me a gift. Whether he was or not, I have no idea. But I quit work that afternoon and said, 'I will now only take work as an actor.'"

It paid off, eventually. She worked on TV for a while, starring on "Homicide: Life on the Streets" for a while.

Now she is about to star on the HBO series "Treme" as well as a remake of "Mildred Pierce" and will lead in "The Dry Land."

She also starred in "Frozen River," for which she received an Oscar nomination nearly 25 years after her fateful audition with Bill Murray.

Of her career, she says, "There was nothing that was going to deter me from it. Now I get this gratitude coming from very fine actors I know who cannot get hired. They thank me for staying in there and proving to them that if they just stick with it, that's all it might take."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Friday, May 28, 2010

Joanna Garcia

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Joanna Garcia

Joanna Garcia is engaged to New York Yankees' outfielder Nick Swisher.

Swisher told "Sports Illustrated" in September 2009 said that the "Privileged" star was "his lady." Swisher also called Garcia "amazing" on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

In addition to starring as Megan Smith on "Privileged," Garcia also starred as Cheyenne on "Reba."

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Holly Robinson Peete

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Holly Robinson Peete

The final round of NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" aired tonight, deciding between actress Holly Robinson Peete and rocker Brett Michaels.

Robinson Peete, who starred on shows like "21 Jump Street" and "Love, Inc.," was playing for a chance to win a prize for her charity of choice, HollyRod.

HollyRod is a charitable foundation set up by the actress and her husband, former NFL player Rodney Peete, to support families who have a loved one with a serious medical condition.

Both Robinson Peete and Michaels developed new flavors of Snapple tea and gave strong presentations. Robinson Peete's flavor is CompassionBerry, while Micheals' is Trop-a-Rocka.

However, in the face of a number of life-threatening medical conditions in recent weeks, Michaels was the heavy favorite to win the competition.

At the start of the final episode, Robinson Peete revealed that her 5-year-old son had told her "Mom, I love you, but I’m kinda pulling for Bret."

I won't reveal the winner here, but both Michaels' and Robinson Peete's tea flavors are available for purchase for a limited time.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Megan Fox Transformers 3

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Megan Fox Transformers 3

On Wednesday, May 19th, Paramount Studios announced that actress Megan Fox would not be returning to reprise her role as Mikaela Banes in "Transformers 3."

In the early part of the day, Paramount said the studio had declined to pick up Megan Fox's contractual option for the third movie.

However, by the evening, Megan Fox's representative reported that it was the actress herself who chose not to appear in the movie.

Last summer there was a heated exchange between Megan Fox and Michael Bay, the director of the previous "Transformers" movies.

Regardless of whose decision it was, when "Transformers 3" opens in summer 2011, star Shia LaBeouf will likely get a new female love interest.

Of interest is the report that Megan Fox auditioned for the role in the first place by washing Michael Bay's ferrari while he filmed her. I wonder whose car she'll wash next.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Many Meetings on Auditions

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Audition Meetings

This afternoon I met with two friends to talk about auditions and how I can improve my results in them.

My first meeting was with Cyndi Thomsen, who directed me in "A Christmas Story" and was present at my Theatre Puget Sound general audition.

At our meeting, she suggested a variety of things, including meeting with a singing teacher who could find a song that suits me well and isn't likely to be sung by every other actress coming into the room.

She suggested a number of classes, as well as taking something like Zumba or yoga to keep limber and active.

The most important thing she advised was to find monologues and songs that really show who the actor is.

As a director, she's had people come in and obviously audition for a particular role. Those people don't generally get the part. But those who connect to their monologue tend to get the callback and often the role.

She suggested asking onself, "What am I saying to the director?"

Afterwards, I met with Sam Longoria, writer, director, producer, editor, and actor. We wrote an audition monologue together. It's hilarious, and I can guarantee no one else will perform it at my next audition.

Thank you so much to both Cyndi and Sam for your invaluable help!

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Veronica Lake

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake, born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman and known for her signature hairstyle (blonde flowing locks draped seductively over her right eye), was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14, 1922.

Her breakout role was in 1941's "I Wanted Wings." Though "only" the second female lead, she stole scene after scene.

She became known as one of the most reliable box office draws in Hollywood, and was frequently paired with Alan Ladd on screen.

My favorite Veronica Lake film is Preston Sturges' masterpiece "Sullivan's Travels." Known only as The Girl, Lake goes from tough to vulnerable to ebullient through the movie. She's wonderful. And, when disguised as a hobo, she's absolutely adorable.

It seems the studio didn't know how to promote Lake or the film. One tagline was "Veronica Lake is on the Take." Catchy, but completely unrelated to the movie.

If you don't know "Sullivan's Travels," go watch it now. And get to know Veronic Lake. She was absolutely wonderful, and her life and body of work deserve to be celebrated.

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

30 Days of Night

Gina Wilhelm Actress - 30 Days of Night

Production has wrapped on "30 Days of Night: Dark Days," the sequel to 2007's "30 Days of Night." The vampire movie is set to be released on DTV.

The movie is set a year after the events of the previous movie and stars Kiele Sanchez in the role of Stella, taking over for actress Melissa George.

In the movie, based on a graphic novel series, Stella takes on the world's vampires to avenge her husband.

"Dark Days" also stars Mia Kirshner as Lillith, one of the oldest vampires in the world.

Director Ben Ketai said of Kirshner's performance, "For such a slight person as she (physically) is, she commands such power...Kirshner was a great casting choice because she’s an actress that can say a whole lot without saying anything. She really did a nice job stepping into the role.”

Ketai hopes Sony will release "30 Days of Night: Dark Days" around Halloween, but says they might wait until the end of the "horror season."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Monday, May 10, 2010

Evangeline Lilly

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly, star of ABC's "Lost," is on "Late Night with David Letterman" tonight, May 10, on CBS at 11:35 p.m.

Lilly, who was born in Canada, plays Kate Austin on the popular ABC program. "Lost" is now running its final month worth of episodes before the series ends.

"Lost" was Lilly's big break. She has since been nominated for a Golden Globe and had a supporting role in last year's best picture Oscar winner "The Hurt Locker."

Also appearing on tonight's "Late Night" are Sam Rockwell and the cast of Tony-nominated musical "Million Dollar Quartet."

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Busy Phillips

Gina Wilhelm Actress - Busy Phillips

Busy Philips' given name is Elizabeth Jean Philips. She earned her nickname because as a baby, she was constantly moving. The name stuck to the point that it appears on her driver's license.

Busy frequently plays supporting roles, notably with her role Kim Kelly in "Freaks and Geeks," as well as appearing in "Dawson's Creek."

She also works in movies like "Made of Honor" and "He's Just Not That Into You."

She currently plays Laurie Keller on the series "Cougar Town."

Images of Busy can be seen at

Gina Wilhelm Actress

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Gina Wilhelm Actress - Secretariat

The first trailer for the upcoming Disney movie "Secretariat" has been released on the Internet.

"Secretariat" stars Diane Lane as Penny Chenery, who owned the famed racehorse, which won the Triple Crown in 1973. The movie also stars John Malkovich as trainer Lucien Laurin.

"Secretariat" tells Penny's story as she agrees to take over her father's horse stables. Despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge, she goes on to raiser the first Triple Crown-winner in 25 years.

The movie, which is set to be released on October 8, 2010, looks like a strong starring vehicle for actress Lane.

Gina Wilhelm Actress