Sunday, January 27, 2013

The 5er: Actor Jeannie Bolet

Awww, am feeling inspired after watching the 2013 SAG Awards so I thought I'd honor this moment with my first "The 5er" interview for my blog.  And no one better to cut the ribbon for my new interview section is my very good mate, Jeannie Bolet.  She hails from Liverpool (yes, that Beatles place) and is not only a talented actor, writer but a dope-ass karaoke singer, chopstick swear! (inside joke, folks!)  So, check out why she became an actor, what she has to say when we dig deep into the issues of E.T. vs. Alf, and her personal homage to Marilyn Monroe.

What made you decide to want to become an actor?
I think I became an actor because I enjoy the feeling of what it's like to be other people and to live in shoes that I might not have otherwise. It sounds rather self-indulgent but to step into a character's life, without judgment, and to experience who they are in any given circumstance is a thrill and lesson in understanding human nature.
As a transplant from Liverpool, do you ever get homesick for bangers and mash?
I get extremely home sick for my family and friends, though I keep in touch using Skype which definitely lessens the pangs of homesickness. Having said that, I've really grown to love Los Angeles over the last two years and do consider it home...for now. I think Joseph Gordon-Levitt said it best when describing LA, "In LA you can make your own experience. There's so much space, you can make your own world." He was, of course, talking about Jeannie World...but seriously, as much as I miss home and the culture, humour, music scene, I can find similar here...well, almost.

As for bangers and mash, fish and chips, shepherds pie and Lancashire hotpot - yes, I miss them, but luckily I cook and can rustle up a pretty authentic B & M (caramelized red onion gravy optional). Incidentally, Gelson's sells the best bangers...if you're asking, and I definitely heard you asking...

Let's say you were offered both of these roles. Which one would you choose and why?  E.T. or Alf?
I won't lie...that's a tricky question, Lorna. I would have to say E.T. because Alf is do you say... gobby! Or as a good friend of mine likes to put it - "is all fur coat and no knickers." To exhibit all of E.T's emotions and feelings with very little dialogue, for example: "Be good" or "phone home" and not forgetting "Ellioooot" is not an easy task and therefore, what I believe to be, the actor's choice. And whilst we're on the subject of E.T. I think that he would have been a great second option for the movie "Drive" had Ryan Gosling not been available. Again, a great example of an actor with little dialogue, and able to create enough tension and intrigue in a theatre that you could give yourself a hernia.

What's one thing we might not know about you?  Or one thing we do know about you?
One thing that people don't know about me? I was given an unconditional offer to study Fashion Journalism at Central Saint Martin's School of Fashion in London. I told them that I needed to take a year out but never returned. It would have been an amazing opportunity had my heart been in it, but you also can't regret things like that.

Most people know that I'm an avid rock climber...most people that I know, that is. It puts me in a very calm state. It's just me and the wall that demands my undivided attention so needless to say, I can't be thinking about silly things. It's great for helping me turn off the chatter from the outside world.

What or who are you currently obsessed with?
I am currently obsessed with my dog, Norma Jean. She's an 11 month old hound with a heart. A Papillon/Chihuahua mix with a small head, black beady eyes and a bark that doesn't sound too dissimilar to Betty Davis's laugh in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane."

If you'll allow me a second obsession, I am in love with K and R Ceramics. Kat Hutter and Roger Lee, are an LA based artist and ceramicist pairing who make the most rustically beautiful ceramics on the planet. I drink out of my mug everyday, be it green tea or egg nog (yes, it's the holiday season EVERYDAY in my house). I call it the cup for all occasions!! I usually find their work at Platform in Highland Park or Mohawk General in Silverlake.

Winners of the 2013 SAG Awards

And the winners for the 2013 SAG Awards are...!  Congrats everyone!

Outstanding Ensemble in a Motion Picture: "Argo"

Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"

Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series: "Downton Abbey"
Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series: Claire Danes, "Homeland"

Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series: "Modern Family"
Outstanding Male Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Outstanding Female Actor in a Comedy Series: Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

Outstanding Male Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Kevin Costner, "Hatfields & McCoys"
Outstanding Female Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Julianne Moore, "Game Change"

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: "Skyfall"
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a TV Series: "Game of Thrones"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Go See: Lincoln

As you may have noticed, all of my postings lately are about what to see because, hey, I've been doing my homework.  Every year I have a contest with myself to see how many oscar-nominated films I can actually see before the bloody show and every year I fail miserably.  However, this year, it's looking good for me.  And yes, I do realize that I am speaking about myself as two people.  It's okay, I accept that about myself.  But enough about me...go see "Lincoln". It's Spielberg.  It's Daniel Day-Lewis and you will become transfixed with the transformed Day-Lewis who really, truly does look like President Lincoln.  You believe that this is truly how Lincoln was back in the day.  Wow, wow, wow. 

It was a great cast with amazing performances by Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens, Sally Field as Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln, David Straitharn as William Seward, James Spader who was freaking hilarious as W.N. Bilbo, John Hawkes as Robert Latham, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt as Robert Lincoln, Hal Holbrook as Preston Blair, Lee Pace as Fernando Wood (who might I say does a british accent quite well - remember him in "Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day"?), and Jared Harris (another brit) playing Ulysses S. Grant. 

Here's a bit o' trivia (or I like to call it...gossip!), according to

-Once Daniel Day-Lewis decided on the voice that he would use to portray Lincoln, he sent an audiotape of it to Director Steven Spielberg in a box with a skull & crossbones on it so no one but he would hear it first.

-During the three and a half months of filming, Steven Spielberg addressed his actors in character: he called Daniel Day-Lewis "Mr. President," and Sally Field "Mrs. Lincoln," or "Molly." Additionally, he wore a suit every day on set: "I think I wanted to get into the role, more than anything else, of being part of that experience - because we were recreating a piece of history. And so I didn't want to look like the schlubby, baseball cap wearing 21st century guy; I wanted to be like the cast." 

-After Liam Neeson dropped out, Steven Spielberg returned to his original choice for the titular role, Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis declined because he didn't know if he could play such an iconic role. It was Leonardo DiCaprio who convinced him to take the role after Spielberg told him that Day-Lewis declined. It is unknown how DiCaprio convinced Day-Lewis to take the role.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Go See: Mama

While Halloween was months ago, I'm always up for a horror film.  Especially when it has Guillermo del Toro's mark on it and especially when I'm invited to watch it at the Soho House (oh yes, I did!).  del Toro executive produced "Mama", which was directed by Andres Muschietti, an argentian filmmaker who originally created "Mama" as a short film but after it was viewed at a film festival in Europe, well the word got out and Mr. del Toro came a-knocking. 
Starring oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain and the hunky Nikolaj Coster-Waldau ("Game of Thrones" & Paul Bettany's best mate in "Wimbledon") who play a couple that end up taking care of two little girls who were abandoned in the woods for five years.  It already sounds creepy, right?  Alls I'm going to say is that there are definitely some fantastical del Toro moments so let your mind go there - you will definitely get spooked! 

Go See: Silver Linings Playbook

By now, I'm sure you've heard of that lil' David O. Russell (he directed films such as "The Fighter" and "I Heart Huckabees") film called "Silver Linings Playbook" starring Oscar nominated Bradley Cooper and Oscar nominated Jennifer Lawrence (who just won a Golden Globe for her performance).  Oh and let me just add in six more oscar nominations for Directing, Editing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Robert De Niro and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Jacki Weaver and last but certainly not least, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published.  Whew! 

 I will say that this role was a stepping out point for Bradley Cooper.  He was believable, seemed volatile and a bit of a loose cannon.  It was a well cast film that has superb acting in it but will Cooper snatch the Oscar this year?  As much as I wish he would, I honestly believe it will go to Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln".  My two-cents are coming on that film.  Wow.  Oh and here's a little pop-up video trivia, my man-my main man, Chris Tucker is in this film and other than a "Rush Hour" film, this is the first film he's been in since 1997.  (Thanks, for that!) Enjoy! 

Go See: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Wow. My first initial reaction after seeing "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was...whoa, literally, as it was shot quite a bit on a steadycam and I get motion sickness after awhile.  But I endured and it was worth it.  This film is not for the light-hearted, it's gritty, harsh and what I would imagine very real for those who lived through and survived Hurricane Katrina.  And now with two Oscar nominations - that's enough buzz for me to be intrigued.  And to top it off - everyone is an unknown.

Who's the director?  Benh Zeitlin.  Who's that, you ask?  He's this young dude from Queens who graduated from Wesleyan University, who made a few short films then put together this feature length film after living in Louisiana for awhile.  What were his thoughts on filming in the south?  He said, "There are funny stories about [the making of "Beasts"] how I went knocking on someone's door and he came out with a shotgun. Even then, that guy showed up at our gas station two days later, and was like, "I'm sorry. I thought you guys were trying to kill me or you're from Witness Protection or something like that. I didn't mean to scare you. You want any red fish?" He'd just caught a bunch. You get real hospitality in Louisiana. I think it'd be much harder in another place because the state is extremely open and a more accepting, hospitable place."

And then there's the little budding actress, Quvenzhane Wallis (who is now the youngest ever to be nominated for an Oscar).  What was it like for Zeitlin to direct her? He says, "She was so focused and poised and just was fierce. She wouldn't do just what I told her to do, she questioned what I was saying. She'd say, 'I don't like this word' and she'd delete it. I allowed her to own the words and understand what they meant."

Her father is played by Dwight Henry who you despise then feel empathy for.  He makes you remember how hard his life is living in the hurricane ridden land of what he calls his home.  "They contemplated bringing in professional actors from New York or California to do my role, but they wouldn't have brought the passion to the film as someone who went through this on a regular basis. I was in Hurricane Katrina in neck-high water. I have an inside understanding for what this movie is about. I brought a passion to the part that an outside actor who had never seen a storm or been in a flood or faced losing everything could have," said Henry.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Announcing "The 5er" Interview Section

Well, the time has come and I'm so excited to let you know that I'm going to be adding a section to my blog called "The 5er" where I ask a mix of five silly and serious questions to various folks in the film, TV and music industry.  To be continued....!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The 2013 Golden Globe Winners

And the winners of this year's Golden Globe Awards are...see below.  It was a hilarious show co-hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.  And of course a couple of raunchy, naughty comments that you'll just have to watch. There were even a couple of surprise winners there in the mix, too! (Thanks HuffPost for the winners list!)

Best Drama: "Argo"
Best Comedy or Musical: "Les Misérables"
Best Actress, Drama: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
Best Actress, Comedy or Musical: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Best Actor, Comedy or Musical: Hugh Jackman, "Les Misérables"
Best Director: Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"
Best Foreign Language Film: "Amour"
Best Animated Film: "Brave"
Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"
Best Original Score: Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi"
Best Original Song: "Skyfall" (music and lyrics by Adele and Paul Epworth), "Skyfall"

Best Series, Drama: "Homeland," Showtime
Best Series, Musical or Comedy: "Girls," HBO
Best Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, "Homeland"
Best Actor, Drama: Damian Lewis, "Homeland"
Best Actress, Comedy or Musical: Lena Dunham, "Girls"
Best Actor, Comedy or Musical: Don Cheadle, "House of Lies"
Best Miniseries or Movie: "Game Change"
Best Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Julianne Moore, "Game Change"
Best Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Kevin Costner, "Hatfields & McCoys"
Best Supporting Actress: Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"
Best Supporting Actor: Ed Harris, "Game Change"

Go See: The Impossible

Whatever you do, just make sure you have some tissues on hand because "The Impossible" is a tear-jerker, with this film being based on a true story, it tugs at the heart strings a little more. And, wow, and what a cast!  Naomi Watts plays Maria Bennett (nominated for an Oscar, SAG and Golden Globes this year for this role!) and Ewan McGregor as her husband, Henry Bennett.  But one little actor who nearly steals the show is Tom Holland who plays the eldest son, Lucas Bennett.  While he may not seem familiar to us stateside folk, those over the pond know him as the kid who starred in the UK run of "Billy Elliot the Musical".

This film is about the tsunami that hits an island in Thailand on December 26th, 2004.  Having recently been to the island of Ko Phi Phi, it is hard to fathom 18 foot waves demolishing the land.  But the thai people are strong and resilient.  If you visit, you might have never known that the island was devastated eight years ago except for a lot of Tsunami Warning signs.

"The Impossible" was directed by spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona (he directed "The Orphanage").  According to wikipedia, "The tsunami was recreated with a mixture of digital effects and real water surges using miniatures that were destroyed by a huge wave created in a water tank in Spain. Bayona later admitted it was "crazy" to commit to working with real water rather than a computer generated wave, but he wanted the story to be authentic. This meant Naomi Watts and Tom Holland, who play mother and son Maria and Lucas, were gulping water in a massive water tank for five weeks".  I'd love to see behind-the-scenes footage because I have no idea how they simulated the waves, flooding, etc.  So fascinating!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

And the 2013 Oscar Nominations Are...

...just announced by host Seth McFarlane and Emma Stone.  Here are the 85th Academy Award nominations.  (Wow, I have more screening homework to do!)

Stay tuned for the show on February 24th.

1. Best Picture: "Amour," "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty."

2. Actor: Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"; Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"; Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"; Denzel Washington, "Flight."

3. Actress: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"; Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Naomi Watts, "The Impossible."

4. Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, "Argo"; Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"; Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"; Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained."

5. Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, "The Master"; Sally Field, "Lincoln"; Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"; Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"; Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook."

6. Directing: Michael Haneke, "Amour"; Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"; Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"; David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook."

7. Foreign Language Film: "Amour," Austria; "Kon-Tiki," Norway; "No," Chile; "A Royal Affair," Denmark; "War Witch," Canada.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, "Argo"; Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; David Magee, "Life of Pi"; Tony Kushner, "Lincoln"; David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook."

9. Original Screenplay: Michael Haneke, "Amour"; Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"; John Gatins, "Flight"; Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, "Moonrise Kingdom"; Mark Boal, "Zero Dark Thirty."

10. Animated Feature Film: "Brave"; "Frankenweenie"; "ParaNorman"; "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"; "Wreck-It Ralph."

11. Production Design: "Anna Karenina," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln."

12. Cinematography: "Anna Karenina," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Skyfall."

13. Sound Mixing: "Argo," "Les Miserables," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Skyfall."

14. Sound Editing: "Argo," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Skyfall," "Zero Dark Thirty."

15. Original Score: "Anna Karenina," Dario Marianelli; "Argo," Alexandre Desplat; "Life of Pi," Mychael Danna; "Lincoln," John Williams; "Skyfall," Thomas Newman.

16. Original Song: "Before My Time" from "Chasing Ice," J. Ralph; "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from "Ted," Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane; "Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi," Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri; "Skyfall" from "Skyfall," Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; "Suddenly" from "Les Miserables," Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil.

17. Costume: "Anna Karenina," "Les Miserables," "Lincoln," "Mirror Mirror," "Snow White and the Huntsman."

18. Documentary Feature: "5 Broken Cameras," "The Gatekeepers," "How to Survive a Plague," "The Invisible War," "Searching for Sugar Man."

19. Documentary (short subject): "Inocente," "Kings Point," "Mondays at Racine," "Open Heart," "Redemption."

20. Film Editing: "Argo," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Silver Linings Playbook," "Zero Dark Thirty."

21. Makeup and Hairstyling: "Hitchcock," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Les Miserables."

22. Animated Short Film: "Adam and Dog," "Fresh Guacamole," "Head over Heels," "Maggie Simpson in `The Longest Daycare,'" "Paperman."

23. Live Action Short Film: "Asad," "Buzkashi Boys," "Curfew," "Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)," "Henry."

24. Visual Effects: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Life of Pi," "Marvel's The Avengers," "Prometheus," "Snow White and the Huntsman."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Can't Wait: The Heat

While we're on the subject of Melissa McCarthy, might I add that she has been rather busy and is also starring in another cop comedy with Sandra Bullock called "The Heat," directed by Paul Feig.  Of course he would choose to work with McCarthy again as he directed her in "Bridesmaids" that won her an Oscar nomination.  From what I can gather, it seems like a mix of Bullock's character in "Miss Congeniality" and McCarthy's character on "Bridesmaids", well, maybe a little bit.  How can you not laugh then?  And rumour has it, these two bonded so much that they're new besties in real life!  Sadly, we'll have to hang tight as this film doesn't release until April 5th.  Boo!


Can't Wait: Identity Thief

I'm a bit obsessed with Melissa McCarthy right now and this new comedy called "Identity Thief" looks pretty rip-roaring hilar.  Jason Bateman (seriously, does this guy ever age?) also stars in this Seth Gordon directed film. Yea, Gordon has some street cred as he's directed films such as "Horrible Bosses" (Jason Bateman was in that as well!) and "Four Christmases".  All I can say is that McCarthy will probably steal the show. Yea, I know, pun intended.  Deal with it!  This films comes out on February 8th.