Friday, July 29, 2011

Analeigh Tipton's Star Rises

Analeigh Tipton's Star Rises In Hilariously Awkward 'Crazy, Stupid, Love.'

On set and preparing for her first starring role in a major motion picture, getting ready for scenes with stars like Steve Carell and Julianne Moore, you can understand why Analeigh Tipton would be a little bit anxious. Luckily, that's exactly what her directors wanted.
"She's a nervous person in general," Tipton says of her character in "Crazy, Stupid, Love.," the star-studded ensemble romantic comedy out Friday, "and it was a great excuse to be nervous without anybody noticing. Like, 'Yeah no, I'm acting, I'm being a really good actress, I'm super nervous!'"
Tipton, a 22-year old model/actress and relative newcomer, plays Jessica in the film, a 17-year old babysitter for the children of Julianne Moore and Steve Carell, on whose character, Cal, she develops an adorably fumbling secret crush. As a serious student of the art of acting and a newcomer in a cast that also includes Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei, Tipton took the opportunity to learn as much as she could from each established star.
"Julianne is this bubble of energy and she is so much fun and smiley and happy on set," she remembers fondly in in a conversation with The Huffington Post. "Emma, I learned a lot from Emma, because I really look up to her, she's my age and she's so accomplished and she's funny and she's smart and she's just kind of, willing at comedy, she really puts everything into it and that's priceless. You can't judge yourself, you have to just go at it and she really does."
Working with Carell in particular proved very valuable for Tipton, providing her both with opportunities in front of the camera, and later, with the raw footage of the day's work.
"I got to try a lot of different improvisations on set. With Steve, he kind of delivers a little bit of something each time," she explains. "And then he'd go back and he'd watch himself on video, and most actors don't like to watch themselves. For me, I'd never seen myself act, to go back and watch myself, it was a very useful tool for me, because I was like, oh, I'm making this face, or I could do this more, and I learned that I was a little more subtle. Directors would say 'Just be more animated!' I realized that I could go really over the top but it would come off in a good way, in a funny way - hopefully."
Indeed, Tipton's Jessica is a main pipeline of comic relief in the film. Harried and sweet, she cautiously pursues Cal once he announces his imminent divorce, stealing scenes with her effort to bridge their age gap -- and fend off his 13-year old son Robbie, who has declared her his soulmate. Jessica nervously fidgets with assorted braids, tosses skinny arms about and, sometimes, says more with the movement of her lips than the words that come from behind them. She's certainly never presented as a girl operating with access to a deep well of cool; Tipton insists that that part of the role came naturally, proudly listing her geek credentials.
"Just this weekend, I spent my weekend rock climbing and playing laser tag. And for the midnight release of Harry Potter, I completely dressed up in full garb," she readily admits, giggling. "I'm kind of a huge dork, I have a bumper sticker that says, 'So Jedi.' Composure comes and goes with me and I think that, it was definitely heightened on set, they would say, 'More awkward! More awkward!' and that's so much fun to play."
Still, that part, at least, is not entirely acting, she says.
"I kind of do this awkward body language because, growing up, I had a really hard time expressing myself vocally," Tipton admits. "I'm a writer, so I can write things honestly, but when it comes to actually try to say something, I would just use my hands, and [think], 'if I move my hands like this, then maybe you can try to understand what I'm trying to say.' So it paid off later when creating Jessica."
At one moment in the film, Jessica pursues advice from a more popular girl, uncomfortably asking for tips on flirting with men; her room at home has, until she tears it down, a poster of kittens on a brightly painted wall, a reminder of her youth despite all effort.
"My character is so relatable, because she's this 17, going on 18, going on to college girl who wants to be seen as a woman," Tipton said. "And this little boy, Robbie, reminds her that she's a babysitter in high school, that [he] is much closer to her age than his dad, and he is a constant reminder of what she can't achieve, and what she wants to be considered as a woman -- she doesn't want all this child stuff around her."
Once again, this character motivation wasn't much of a stretch for Tipton.
"I think looking back on when I was 17, I wanted to be an adult so badly that I did the stupidest things and I got angry over the silliest moments and they were so important to me then and I could definitely relate to Jessica in that way," she remembers, a 22-year old talking as if those heady teenage years were a lifetime ago.
To be fair, you couldn't blame Tipton for speaking about those teenage days like they're ancient history; she's experienced and learned a lot over the last few turns of the calendar.
Having moved out to Los Angeles at 18, intent on becoming a writer, she remembered having pangs of regret about her Jessica-like need to be an adult.
"When most of my friends were going to college dorms and parties, I was down living in a little apartment in LA that I would have to vacuum -- I have a cat and a dog -- and it was a very different -- I didn't get to go home during summer," she remembered. "And I definitely looking back I was kind of like, I just want to be regular... I was doing all this cool stuff, but there's something that's part of me like, I kind of missed out on the frat parties that stupid mistakes that kids make, that I went into adulthood faster."
On the other hand, when those hard partying college kids put down the solo cups and ping pong balls during the week, there's a good chance they were watching Tipton on TV and seeing her in magazines.
Amidst the writing, she found herself on "America's Next Top Model," impressing the judges all season and making it to the top three in 2008. The next few years were spent taking the modeling world by storm, before shifting over to the acting world with a guest appearance on "The Big Bang Theory." Tipton made her film debut in last winter's action hero comedy, "The Green Hornet," with Seth Rogen and Cameron Diaz, setting up this big feature role.
Viewers will see a lot of Tipton from here on out; she's got top roles in two upcoming indie films: "Samaritan," a drama about the relationship between a student and a suicidal girl, and "Damsels In Distress," a comedy with Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody. Her small screen career will continue as well, as she features in the third season of "Hung."
And looking even further long term, having began her career as an aspiring writer, Tipton hasn't left that dream in the shadows of her new stardom. She's working on two very different feature film scripts: an animated film about zombies (one of her favorite subjects to muse on), and a dramedy about sisters.
"[It's about] two sisters being in shitty situations, and really having to find yourself, and finding your acceptance of life, even when life is pretty shitty," she explains. "It's not necessarily a happy comedy, but, it's sort of a dry, witty... it explores the rare relationship between sisters and girls, and it really focuses on what it's like to just kind of be a girl today. And not have, the Hollywood fairy princess story. I don't want to write about those. I want to write about all the gray that happens."
Luckily, just as with her acting, she's got some of the best teachers in the world. Tipton graciously remembered conversations with "Crazy, Stupid, Love." writer Dan Fogelman about film writing, with the Hollywood veteran recommending a pile of books on the subject. Then there was the motivation provided by her peers.
"When I shot 'Damsels in Distress,' I was surrounded by the young actresses who were part of the mumblecore movement, like Greta Gerwig," she enthused. "They're so inspiring as writers -- they're just writing the scripts, they're not perfect, but they're based in reality. They're so amazing to me, and it was so inspiring."
Of course, it's not totally a one-sided deal; Tipton is already giving back to the next generation of stars coming in behind her.
Having felt bad about having to yell at and shoot down Jonah Bobo, the kid actor who plays Jessica's adorably tireless 13-year old pursuer, she rewarded his perseverance as they finished filming a major scene, a harsh rejection in the school yard.
"The last take that he was going to be in, that was going to be wrap, that was going to be picture wrap," she laughs while remembering. "And so we did it, and I yelled at him and I'm supposed to walk away, and I actually, I told the directors that I was going to do this beforehand, his mom to a bunch of pictures beforehand, and I pulled him in to a big kiss, and I just held the kiss for an incredibly, uncomfortably long time."
The way things are going for Tipton, he might want to hang on to those pictures.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eva Longoria Puts In Time On Stripper Pole

Eva Longoria Puts In Time On Stripper Pole

They don't call it method acting for nothing. In preparation for her forthcoming "Desperate Housewives" steamy strip scene, Eva Longoria is putting in some hard time on the pole.

“Eva Longoria did a private pole dancing/striptease class with S Factor founder, Sheila Kelley, a few mornings ago at the Hollywood S Factor studio,” an eagle-eyed source tells me. “But it’s not just for her work-life that Eva is toning up her already amazing body. With her new, younger boyfriend, Eduardo Cruz, getting hot and heavy, the 36-year-old beauty is working out hard on the latest celebrity fad that is taking Hollywood by storm.”

Teri Hatcher, Kate Hudson, Marisa Tomei and Heather Graham have all been spotted training at the new hotspot to keep their already flawless bodies camera-ready.

“Eva moves like a slinky panther,” trainer Sheila Kelley tells me. “She’s feminine to the core.”


Miley Cyrus Stripper Pole Dance

Lady Gaga Hollywood block party set for tonight despite near-riot

Lady Gaga Hollywood block party set for tonight despite near-riot

Wednesday night’s near-riot on Hollywood Boulevard sparked by the cancellation of an impromptu block party surrounding the premiere of a film about the Electric Daisy Carnival isn’t stopping Lady Gaga and TV show host Jimmy Kimmel from going ahead with an outdoor bash of their own Thursday night in Hollywood.
A spokeswoman for the show said a section of Hawthorn Avenue behind the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!”studio will be closed while Lady Gaga performs on the outdoor stage used periodically for concert performances.
Gaga, who was a guest judge on Wednesday night's episode of ABC-TV's "So You Think You Can Dance," is scheduled to sing her new single, “You and I,” after she chats with Kimmel, who has previously closed streets in Hollywood for performances by Jay Z, Depeche Mode and Coldplay. Also slated for Thursday’s Kimmel show: “Cowboys & Aliens” co-star Harrison Ford.
Kimmel’s studio is next door to the El Capitan Theatre and virtually across the street from Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where fans showed up and clashed with police after getting word on Twitter of a block party outside the private, invitation-only "Electric Daisy" film screening Wednesday night. Two people were arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Piers Morgan's Career May Be Coming to an End

Piers Morgan 'Knew About Phone Tapping'

Piers Morgan has come under pressure after a recording emerged of him apparently admitting to knowledge of phone hacking during his time editing the Daily Mirror.
During an appearance on the BBC’s Desert Island Disks in 2009 Piers Morgan admits to presenter Kirsty Young he has knowledge of phone tapping and using “third parties” to get stories. He said: “I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do.”
The transcript of the exchange is below.
Young: And what about this nice middle class boy who would have to be dealing with, I mean, essentially people who rake through bins for a living, people who tap people’s phones, people who take secret photographs and do all that very nasty down in the gutter stuff?
Morgan: Yeah.. Well to be honest let’s put that in perspective as well, not a lot of that went on.
Presenter: Really?
Morgan: A lot of it was done by third parties rather than the staff themselves. That’s not to defend it because obviously you were running the results of their work. I’m quite happy to be parked in the corner as tabloid beast and to have to sit here defending all these things I used to get up to. I make no pretence about the stuff we used to do. I simply say the net of people doing it was very wide and certainly encompassed the high and low end of the newspaper market.
The CNN host has become a top target in the phone hacking scandal, with multiple reports accusing him of having knowledge of hacking while he was editor of the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004. A former Mirror journalist, James Hipwell, told the Independent that the practice was "endemic" and that it was "inconceivable" that Morgan did not know about it.
Morgan has vociferously denied every single charge. In one tweet, he wrote, "I've never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone." He has also noted that Hipwell was jailed for manipulating the stock market and calling him a far from credible witness. He also had a scalding exchange with an MP who inaccurately said that he admitted to employing the practice in his memoirs.
However, the recording has come to light after news on Tuesday that the Daily Mirror, the paper Morgan formerly edited, has launched an internal review into phone hacking.

George Clooney, Ryan Gosling In Political Thriller

'Ides Of March' Poster: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling In Political Thriller 

If Washington is Hollywood for ugly people, why not just pretty up that side of the American discourse, too? After all, if we're going to have to watch bravado-filled speeches and dishonest cable news interviews, why not have some eye candy, too?
Using imagery from the 2008 election, in which Barack Obama raised, however briefly, the spirits and hopes of a nation, this George Clooney joint -- it was adapted into screenplay, directed by and starring the already-outspoken star and advocate -- explores the juxtaposing constants of public inspiration and private flaws in politics.
Clooney stars as a Presidential candidate with seemingly all the momentum, and Ryan Gosling his "up-and-coming" press secretary who, per the official synopsis, "finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate's shot at the presidency."
Speaking to USA Today, Clooney said that he had to wait a few years to produce the film, waiting for inevitable cynicism to creep back in after the elation following President Obama's election. The noted liberal made it about Democrats to, in part, avoid accusations of bias, though it doesn't quite stick to party lines.
"Of course it's political; it takes place during a primary," he told the paper. "But it's more about process than platform."
He also noted that, 'Republicans hate the beginning of the movie, the Democrats hate the end. So we're good."
The film, which co-stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood, is set to open the Venice Film Festival on August 31st; for more, click over to USA Today.

Clooney also stars in upcoming dramedy, "The Descendants," which will play at the Toronto Film Festival, while Gosling's "Drive" will also take the screen in Canada in September. Gosling can be seen this weekend in much lighter fare, the romantic comedy, "Crazy, Stupid, Love."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Timberlake to Gaga: Hollywood courts social media

Timberlake to Gaga: Hollywood courts social media

 When you think of Bono or Lady Gaga, the term "Silicon Valley entrepreneur" hardly springs to mind.
For now, at least. The U2 frontman and pop sensation join Justin Timberlake and Ashton Kutcher among the growing ranks of celebrities who, rather than employ their star power to hawk consumer products, are increasingly driving high-tech investments.
Hollywood has always held a certain fascination for the monied elite, from Wall Street bankers to Middle Eastern oil sheiks. Now, it seems Hollywood is returning the favor and dabbling in a bit of capital resource-allocation of its own.
Timberlake made waves in late June when he bought a stake in ailing social network Myspace alongside digital advertising company Specific Media. The actor-singer will play a crucial role in revitalizing the web company.
"We live in a world of brands," said Howard Bragman, a public relations executive and founder of the strategic media agency Fifteen Minutes. "A handful of smart celebrities and their reps realize that all the areas where they can flex their marketing muscle are financial opportunities."
Savvy celebs are trying to fuse entertainment and social networking, closing the gap between performer and fan. That may well be the key to future success, according to Bragman.
Lady Gaga -- perhaps the most visible star on the social web -- teamed up with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's Tomorrow Ventures to invest in Backplane, slated to launch in the last week of August. Backplane -- a sort of social network for rabid fans of everything from football to, yes, pop music -- has raised over $1 million in funding.
"Celebrities, above all others, have to understand the importance of new media in order to survive. Social media platforms, in particular, are where celebrity careers either thrive or decline," said Johanna Blakley, managing director at the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center.
"Timberlake's bet on Myspace is a risky one, but it signals an acknowledgment that buying into the entertainment business these days means buying into new media, not old media."
Gaga has a double-digit percent slice of Backplane and a seat on the board, according to CEO and Founder Matthew Michelsen, who says he represents the pop diva in her Silicon Valley tech ventures.
The best way to understand Backplane is to look to football fans Michelsen calls facepainters -- the ones in the stands. The site goes beta in late August among Gaga's fans, whom she calls "little monsters," according to Michelsen.
"You don't know if those people are the president of a Fortune 500 company or the UPS man," Michelsen said. "We want to provide a platform for them to interact around their love. It could be their favorite football team. It could be the little monsters. It could be Harley Davidson riders."
Timberlake has been active in start-ups like Apple iPhone gaming app developer Tapulous and Particle, which develops micro-video application Robo.tv, through the digital investment wing of his business empire, Tennman Digital.
With Myspace, however, the former 'N Sync member is not just putting his face on a product or bankrolling a venture. He gets an office, a staff of six, and a leadership role, according to Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook.
Timberlake isn't the only Hollywood royalty either making a serious push into technology.
Ashton Kutcher, who got his start in "Dude, Where's My car?", has made a string of seemingly savvy investments from location-based social web Foursquare to Flipboard apps for the iPad. Most recently, his investment in Airbnb -- a website that matches travelers looking for a cheap room with homeowners looking to rent out -- won endorsement when venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz led a $112 million round of financing for the fast-growing company.
But while some celebrities may be eager to develop their brand by demonstrating boardroom savvy, critics say a few investments may have been misplaced.
There "arguably might be another tech bubble," said Christopher Smith, director of USC's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. "Once your shoe-shine person starts talking about stock deals, it's time to sell."
Irish rocker Bono of U2 fame is one of five co-founders of Elevation Partners, alongside former Apple CFO Fred Anderson and Silver Lake Partners co-founder Roger McNamee. He has an undisclosed amount of his own money invested in the fund.
But in 2010, Bono was dubbed the "worst investor in America" by blog 24/7 Wall St, and his firm's investments in Palm -- since taken over by Hewlett Packard -- Forbes Inc and Move.com have been roundly panned.
"Not every association works, but in the best cases they raise the profiles of the projects they are involved with, entice other investors and inspire consumers," Bragman said.
"The key is authenticity. They have to choose associations that are credible and organic if they wish to succeed."

'Gossip Girl' Star Leighton Meester Sues Mom

'Gossip Girl' Star Leighton Meester Sues Mom

Leighton Meester sues mom for spending money on cosmetic procedures.

"Gossip Girl" star Leighton Meester is embroiled in a legal drama worthy of her show. Meester, 25, is suing her mother, Constance Meester, for using a $7,500 sum the actress sends home every month for cosmetic procedures. The money is meant for Meester's younger brother, Alexander, who has medical issues.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Olivia Wilde At 'Cowboys & Aliens' Premiere: Rad Or Bad?

Olivia Wilde At 'Cowboys & Aliens' Premiere: Rad Or Bad?

Olivia Wilde stepped out to the premiere of "Cowboys & Aliens" during Comic-Con on Saturday wearing this season's Dolce & Gabbana It Dress...not in the popular white version, but in (egad!) the darkest of hues, which made her look like she got lost on the way to a meeting of the occult.
We all know black lace is the gateway to Goth dressing -- take it from this writer who spent an hour with a box of L'Oréal Superior Preference Hair Color in "Purest Black" last night -- and only those committed to the trend would step out wearing it late-July.
What do you think? Does Olivia pull it off? Or is it time for a stylist?

Friday, July 22, 2011

'Captain America': Sebastian Stan Gives Bucky Barnes A New Spin

'Captain America': Sebastian Stan Gives Bucky Barnes A New Spin
By Jordan Zakarin

Whereas Captain America was the iconic leader, the rallying point and ultimate example of patriotic wish fulfillment, that scrawny boy turned super soldier socking Adolf Hitler in the jaw, Bucky Barnes, in his original iteration, was the true dream come true for a rah rah nation rallying together during World War II. He was a scrawny, peppy, loyal teenager who, left orphaned by a fallen soldier father, befriended Steve Rogers, earned his trust and adventured with him on missions to stop Nazis, Communists and evildoers otherwise, always looking up to and learning from his hero of a friend.
But while this weekend's blockbuster film, "Captain America: The First Avenger," is an origin story, taking the hero back to his roots in a monochromatic retelling of his turn from skinny to sculpted, don't expect to see the same sort of gee whiz Bucky Barnes that was first born 70 years ago. Instead, actor Sebastian Stan's Bucky is Rogers's Brooklyn-born peer, still loyal to his friend but without that bright-eyed innocence that defined the character's early days.
Stan spoke with The Huffington Post about the role, his take on the film, preparations for a newfound fame and more.
You grew up in Romania, and have said that didn’t grow up with comics. Why did you want to be in Captain America? What spoke to you about the story?
You know, honestly, it came my way and obviously even though I didn’t grow up with the comic books I still really understood, I knew the name, I knew universally it was well known, and I knew it had origins in the 40s and the 50s which was always a time period that very much interested me. So those were all parts about it, but at that the time I didn’t really know anything about the story so I just went with it.
Once you began to research and dig into it, what’d you get out of the story?
Uhm, well, after that, I went back and it’s very interesting, it’s an interesting story, even the way it was developed and why it came it out and when it came out, around WWII and stuff, it had specific purposes and stuff to build morale and to excite people. The fact that it survived over the decades in a very different way, in terms of like the characters kind of becoming, serving different purposes and so on, it’s timeless. So yes, part of that was exciting.
There's a certain white bread-ness to Captain America; would you say that that's where your character comes in, giving a certain edge to the film?
The thing was, what I discovered in some of the comic books, like, sometimes Bucky did the dirty work and Captain America has to maintain his image, you know, when he was coming back and so on. So I just sort of thought that was an interesting kind of little fact and I just sort of thought that could make it into the film and see how people felt about it.
Bucky as everyone knows, was Captain America's eager kid sidekick. But you have darker side to the role…
I think the initial intent was to make someone that was world-weary, or who had seen pretty bad things. Who had been somewhere, in some kind of environment the way that opening scene of "Saving Private Ryan" is. It’s not like he’s scarred, but I mean, as opposed to Steve who had never been to war, so he, you know, who was completely from an idea in his mind about what that means. I think that’s the dynamic we were trying to find.
In this movie, there's a straddling of a line between comic book hero and war film - how’d you approach it? As a war film or a superhero film?
I was aware that we were living in a more heightened world, but I just, I thought that if I just completely treated it as a very realistic film about guys trying to survive in war looking out for each other and family and the quest for a better life or whatever, just a basic human needs, if I just left the comic book side of it alone that it would kind of just live on its own, and I think it does. I don’t think you want to try to act like you’re in a comic book movie.
That grounds it; it's not like he's coming down to earth from the sky.
Yeah, exactly. Well that’s the thing, yeah. He’s a guy, Captain America is a human being and he’s trying to figure out, he’s trying to do the good thing and he’s trying to do it in a completely new body per se, that he’s never been used to. But he, it’s the overall, he can be killed.
I read that you originally tried for that role, but you ended up as a perfect Bucky.
That’s how I originally, I think at the time they weren’t even looking at people for that role, I think the only role to go out for was the Steve role at the time. I mean, I just mean, you know, I think I’m personally a firm believer of certain things ending up sometimes in a very specific way, so I was very happy with the way it happened. I wouldn’t be able to sit here and be talking to you if it hadn’t gone the route it did.
How was working with everyone, from Chris [Evans, who plays Captain America], director Joe Johnston…
It was great. Sometimes it felt like the three of us were in our own world, which is highly unlikely to be feeling that way on a huge movie like this. What I mean by that is that I think we had enough to be able to nitpick the scenes and kind of like, everybody had a voice in them, which was really nice, and Joe was really good in terms of letting us explain our thoughts and why we feel the way we feel and he was open to trying new things and Chris is a very generous actor and he’s open to trying new things, so the whole situation was very comfortable. I felt that our relationship offscreen paralleled the one onscreen very much.
He had to get a certain size, but very physical role. But you're doing a lot of crazy stuff, too; was it a lot of training for you?
Yeah, I mean a lot of stuff I would do for myself to just sort of have energy and get up early in the morning and be able to do that kind of all day and the stamina levels, I just wanted to, and obviously there’s an element of feeling strong and fit, so I had some time before the movie started that I was doing some of my own physical training and that was helpful I thought even just for my believability of being someone in a circumstance like that.
You’re hunkered down while making the film, but I get to see the excitement from the media and blogs, it's the first time Captain America is on the big screen like this. Do you have any sense of responsibility shepherding such an iconic property?
Of course, I mean absolutely. The thought of being a part of something like that, that you’re essentially catering to so many people that have had so many ideas about it, you want to do the right job, you want to do it well, you want to make sure that everybody’s happy at the end of the day with that and the fact that you’re part of a film like that that’s been around for a long time, yeah it’s a little bit of a privilege and it’s nice and it’s respect, if you will. It’s respect for the people that care, and so yeah, it’s an incredibly good feeling. I think all we really hope for is that people get from the movie what they’re anticipating.