Tag Archives: Oscars
Despite plenty of high-profile appearances and vacations together between summer 2010 and fall 2011, Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz were notoriously tight-lipped during their on-and-off relationship — but it seems there’s still plenty of love and goodwill between the Yankees slugger, 36, and “Bad Teacher” actress, 39.
“I don’t like talking about my relationships,” Rodriguez says in a Thursday interview with “The Insider” (excerpted in Page Six) when asked about Diaz, whom he refers to by her initials. “But I will tell you about CD: She’s probably one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met, and just an amazing light.”
Now dating WWE Diva Torrie Wilson, Rodriguez divorced wife Cynthia in 2008 after six years and two daughters together; the messy split was marred by the athlete’s fling with Madonna.
Will the sports star marry again? “I’m not sure,” Rodriguez says, lavishing praise on another famous hunk who’s avoided remarrying.
“I think my new hero is George Clooney,” he says of the Oscar winner, 50, whose girlfriend Stacy Keibler is friends with his love Wilson. “He’s my new role model. I think he’s done it right.”
As any masterful strategist knows, picking the perfect enemy is as important as selecting one’s ally.
But why did Hollywood producer and Oscar award-magnet Harvey Weinstein publicly trash the godfather of France’s far right, Jean-Marie Le Pen, just days after a Weinstein import, The Artist, quietly rocked the Academy Awards?
If Weinstein were almost any other American producer fresh from shepherding a French-made and mostly silent black-and-white film to five improbable Oscars, he would probably still be polishing those trophies and trying to capitalize at the box office.
But as an aggressive movie-industry legend whose films have won 86 Oscars, Weinstein is not like other producers. The television show Entourage immortalized Weinstein — especially in an episode titled, “Sorry, Harvey” — in which a stunning, foul-mouthed, abusive film producer named “Harvey Weingard” curses out waiters, threatens to destroy various actors’ careers, and brandishes a knife over dinner with one of the main characters. (A Weinstein rep commented to Variety magazine in 2007 that the producer thinks Entourage is a “fun and entertaining show.”)
So perhaps it is no wonder that Weinstein is already hard at work to make sure that France’s enormously successful film, The Intouchables, enjoys a similar reception in the United States.
The fish-out-of-water, interracial buddy movie tells the story of a poor, young black man from a suburban ghetto who is hired to care for a bourgeois, white, quadriplegic Parisian man. It may not sound like a recipe for surefire comedy, but the feel-good movie about a former convict who teaches his wheelchair-bound boss how to live again has become the second-highest-grossing film on French soil, ever. (It has sold nearly one ticket for every three French citizens.) The lion’s share of the film’s $250 million take has come from France, a country with one-fifth of the U.S. population — meaning that an equivalent success in the United States would be a billion-dollar movie. That’s bigger than Titanic or Avatar.
Critically, the film scored excellent reviews in France. Highbrow critics tended to note their suspicions about the politically correct-sounding core concept, only to revel in the film’s on-screen execution and the performances of its acting duo. Most ranked the film as good or excellent. At one press screening, jaded French film critics — generally a cerebral group that avoids public displays of affection — actually applauded, vigorously. The left-leaning Nouvel Observateur magazine went further, commenting: “There is no point in beating around the bush: The Intouchables is a miracle.”
The public felt the same, only more so. The film’s average ranking out of some 5,500 reviews on France’s AlloCiné website is 4.5 stars out of five, with 58 percent giving it the maximum. And two days before the Oscars, one of the stars of The Intouchables, Omar Sy — who plays the ex-con — beat out Jean Dujardin of The Artist for the best-actor César award (the French equivalent of the Oscar), making Sy the first black man in French history to win in that category.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the actor wants to attend the Academy Awards on Feb. 26 as his character in The Dictator, his latest raunchy comedy set for release by Paramount on May 11. The question is whether the Academy will veto Cohen’s attempt to add a touch of crass spectacle to the regal affair.
Sources say Cohen, who was invited to attend the Oscars as part of the cast of best picture nominee Hugo, has informed Paramount — the studio behind both Hugo and Dictator — of his wishes. Paramount and the Academy declined comment, but an AMPAS source says the show’s producers have not been informed of any Cohen plans.
The 40-year-old British actor, who rose to fame as the creator and star of HBO’s Da Ali G Show, has a history of using awards shows and other big events to hype his movies. To help launch his mockumentary Borat in 2006, Cohen arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival dressed up as his TV journalist alter ego, riding a wagon pulled by “Kazakhstani peasant women.” At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, he came as gay fashionista Bruno (to promote Bruno) and was later suspended over the crowd and lowered atop Eminem, who promptly stormed out (it was later revealed the rapper was in on the joke).
The Oscars would take Cohen’s shtick to a new level, exposing his Dictator character — a sex-crazed Gaddafi-meets-Hussein ruler who fights to stop democracy from coming to his country — to hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.
But the stunt would potentially distract press attention from the night’s nominees, and executives at rival studios — most of whom are attending — might scoff at the promotional effort.
The Academy is careful to exclude studio-specific film promotion from its annual Oscars telecast (it only recently allowed movie ads to run during commercial breaks), so Cohen’s stunt would likely be limited to the pre-show (it’s unclear whether a similar policy applies there), unless he makes an argument that the Academy can’t prohibit him from wearing what he wants to the show.
Remember when big-screen talent lining up work on television was big news? Now it’s frankly surprising if a Hollywood director or actor hasn’t got a project on TV. Here’s the latest list that will be working on pilots this year.
After the relative failure, both critically and commercially, of “Cowboys & Aliens,” and presumably before he gets to work on (*shudder*) Disney’s “Magic Kingdom”, Jon Favreau will direct the pilot for J.J. Abrams’ “Revolution” at NBC. Written by “Supernatural” creator Eric Kripke, the show is described by Deadline as “high-octane action drama following a group of characters struggling to survive and reunite with loved ones in a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously ceased to exist.” Favreau also has a self-penned comedy pilot, “Tweaked,” lined up at CBS.
Hopefully Nick Nolte’s Oscar nomination for “Warrior” will finally get the film some of the attention it deserved (because heaven knows barely anyone saw it in theatres). Gavin O’Connor’s film had a tough time at the box office, but he’ll be hoping for more popular success for his latest project, a cold war period drama pilot he’ll direct for FX called “The Americans.” The project was created by Joe Weisberg (“Falling Skies”) and will focus on two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington, DC. “Justified” showrunner Graham Yost will exec produce, and we like the sound of this one.
After the success of “Limitless,” Neil Burger had his pick of future projects, and it looks like the one he settled on was “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune” after David O. Russell left the project. That project is still at the script stage though so Burger has plenty of time to go off and make a TV pilot, and that’s exactly what he’ll be doing over at Fox where he’ll direct Josh Friedman’s (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) spy drama pilot, “The Asset.”
Finally, Ellen Barkin looks set to star in the pilot for “The New Normal,” a comedy pilot over at NBC. The pilot was written by “Glee” duo Ryan Murphy (who will also direct) and Allison Adler, and is described by Deadline as “a heartwarming comedy about a blended family of a gay couple and the woman who becomes a surrogate to help them start a family.” Barkin will play the surrogate’s mother.
The decision came a day after his friend Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the telecast in the wake of his making offensive public remarks that upset AMPAS members.
In a statement, Murphy said, “I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”
Because Murphy had accepted the hosting gig at the invitation of Ratner, many Oscar watchers (including this one) speculated that Ratner’s resignation might lead to this outcome. The two collaborated on the comedy caper “Tower Heist.”
Murphy already had a stormy history with the Oscars. He appeared on the show several times, most recently when he presented Jerry Lewis with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2009, but is famously known for making an early exit from the Kodak Theatre in 2006 after losing to Alan Arkin in the Best Supporting Actor category.
That nomination, for “Dreamgirls,” was the only one of Murphy’s career.
Murphy was reported to be upset at Ratner’s departure, but most Academy members contacted after the producer’s departure speculated that Murphy would wait before deciding whether to exit.
“He needs to stay on and work with the new producer, or it’ll look like he’s supporting the stuff that Brett said,” said one member of the public relations branch on Tuesday afternoon. “He won’t look good if he leaves now.”
Murphy, though, recently told Rolling Stone that he considers himself “a semi-retired gentleman of leisure,” and said, “I only want to do what I really want to do, otherwise I’m content to sit here and play my guitar all day.”
Two years ago, Jada Pinkett Smith publicly boasted about enjoying some vehicular nookie with hubby Will on the way to the Oscars. But now rumblings of trouble have hit the showbiz juggernaut that is their seemingly perfect family.
An “insider” claims to In Touch that the A-list parents of Jaden and Willow have separated after 13 years of marriage.
But Will and Jada insist the talk is untrue. “Although we are reluctant to respond to these types of press reports, the rumors circulating about our relationship are completely false,” they said in a statement. “We are still together, and our marriage is intact.”
Also not true, according to reps, are rumblings linking Jada to her newly single “HawthoRNe” co-star Marc Anthony. “Completely false,” her mouthpiece insists to “Entertainment Tonight.”
Echoes Anthony’s rep to People, “We unequivocally deny this. Enough is enough. There are families involved, children involved, friendships involved. This is NOT true.”
Earlier this month, Will and Jada showed off their sprawling Calabasas, Calif., estate to Architectural Digest, with the actor explaining how the adobe-style pad’s circuitous floor plan doubles as a metaphor for their relationship.
“No dead ends,” he explained, “to create an infinite cycle that represented what Jada and I hoped for our love.”
Jada, for her part, has expressed her confidence in the strength of their union, which began when they swapped vows on New Year’s Eve in 1997.
“I never thought that I’d be married to anybody, and I surely never thought that I’d be married to anybody as long as I’ve been married to him,” she said in 2009. “And I plan on being married to him for the rest of my life.”
Talk show queen and cable network owner Oprah Winfrey has emerged as a top candidate to host the Academy Awards telecast next February, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Friday.
The Sun-Times, citing unnamed sources inside the academy, said that event organizers felt Winfrey’s presence would expand the show’s audience and, given that her daytime talk show ended only recently, organizers believe she will lure her legions of fans to the 84th Oscar show in February.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which gives out the film industry’s highest honors, had no immediate comment.
Earlier this year, actress Anne Hathaway co-hosted the Oscars with James Franco in an attempt by the Academy to lure in younger viewers.
However, only 37.6 million Americans watched the ceremony, making the telecast one of the least-watched Academy Awards shows of the past 10 years. It was down nearly 10 percent from the 41.7 million who tuned in the previous year when Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin co-hosted.
Comedian Letterman hosted the show in 1995 and was panned by critics for his performance after starting off with a poorly received comic bit in which he introduced Winfrey to actress Uma Thurman, saying “Oprah, Uma; Uma, Oprah,” because they both have unusual first names.
Model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 24, replaces screen beauty Megan Fox in the upcoming sequel, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” and beats Olivia Munn to the top of the Hot 100.
Also making the top 10 are “Black Swan” co-stars Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman; Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend, Bar Refaeli; and Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence. The list also includes Katy Perry, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway and Cobie Smulders.
The list appears in the June issue of Maxim, on sale exclusively on iTunes on May 4 and on newsstands nationwide on May 10.
Stars shine on the red carpet of the annual Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Renee Zellweger did her usual pouty, strained-seeming posing on the red carpet of the annual Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday night in New York, baring her gym-toned back in a gorgeous Carolina Herrera gown.
Looking good might have been the best revenge for the solo-flying Oscar winner, whose recent ex, Bradley Cooper, also attended the event. His date for the evening: his mom, Gloria, whom Renee spent plenty of time with during her two-year relationship with the actor.
It’s unclear if the exes crossed paths inside the celebrity-stuffed bash, but Us says Cooper made a last-minute decision not to hit an after party that drew Zellweger, along with the likes of Madonna, Salma Hayek, Paul McCartney and Beyonce and Jay-Z.
That old adage about how you have to suffer to be beautiful was true for Beyonce at the Met fashion fete. Vacuum-packed into an intricately detailed, high-collared Pucci mermaid gown, the chanteuse had limited range of motion. Perhaps that’s why she didn’t pose for very long on the red carpet, a move that drew a loud chorus of boos from the army of photographers. In Beyonce’s defense, she appeared to be struggling just to stay upright, and she needed an assist from hubby Jay-Z and a minion in order to make it up the stairs into the museum.
How did the “Battlefield” singer, who goes on tour with NKOTBSB this summer, get into such great shape?
“Something just clicked with me, and instead of sitting around talking about it, I said, ‘I’m going to go hike that mountain!’ And it continued. I’ve been hiking and I’ve done a couple of runs,” she told Us Weekly last month. “I also do Zumba. It’s so much fun!”
Perhaps Sparks, who insists she doesn’t diet, got inspired by Oscar winner Halle Berry, 44.
“She is perfect! I think she is beautiful. For me being 21, and then seeing Halle Berry look as good as she does, I think I’m going to look as good as that when I am that age,” she told Us. “She is gorgeous and flawless and it’s nice to see someone who is confident like that.”