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Archive for January, 2017

Bruce Vilanch On Carrie Fisher

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

People
Bruce Vilanch On Carrie Fisher
BY KARA WARNER
JANUARY 6, 2017

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While Carrie Fisher is best known for her work in front of the camera, she was also a celebrated writer of books and films. The late Star Wars actress and icon, who died at age 60 on Dec. 27 after a heart attack, was even responsible for writing a few key funny one-liners for Oscar hosts and accidentally covering them in glitter.

According to veteran comedian and comedy writer Bruce Vilanch, who hired Fisher to be a part of his Oscar writing teams, she had several great ideas that were too good to air, like Princess Leia singing a Joni Mitchell song in the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special and Whoopi Goldberg getting a massage onstage at the Academy Awards. Vilanch recently shared with PEOPLE three of his favorite memories from working with Fisher, here they are in his own words:

“In 1978, I was one of the writers of the Star Wars Holiday Special, a show that would give FDR a challenge on his ‘day of infamy’ remark. Carrie, Harrison [Ford], Mark [Hamill] and several of the more presentable robots were ordered to sing a song about Life Day, the holiday we were ostensibly celebrating in the galaxy far, far away. Nobody wanted to do this and Carrie thought she would save them all the trouble by doing, as a solo, Joni Mitchell’s Christmas ditty, ‘River,’ [with the lyric] ‘I wish I had a river I could skate away on.’ It was 1978 and there were a whole lot of chemical additives being consumed by many of us, so we thought it was a great idea. Princess Leia on skates, kind of like what Disney on Ice is probably doing right about now, since they own her ass. Everybody loved it except Joni Mitchell. Carrie quickly lost interest and we moved on to the next shiny object.

“Along those lines, about 20 years later, I brought Carrie onto the Oscar show writing team. Whoopi [Goldberg] was hosting and we were trying to figure out funny things for her to do. Enya had written a song that was nominated, and it was a typical Enya song, the kind that someone noted you only hear when you’re getting a massage. So we thought it would be funny if, after about 16 bars, a little curtain was raised on one side of the stage and there would be Whoopi, getting a massage. There were some very funny people on the staff that year, Carol Leifer (Seinfeld), Jonathan Tolins (Grease Live!), Jon Macks (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno), Dave Boone (The Tony Awards) — but it was Carrie who ran with the idea, turning it into a kind of Rockettes massage-table number, huge and elaborate. Everybody loved it except Enya. You never saw it.

“A few years later, Carrie was back on the team. On the night of the show, she arrived in a black tux pantsuit, her hair and shoulders festooned with gold glitter. I had assigned her to the green room, where people wait before they go on the air, because everybody knew her and she was a reassuring presence to a lot of actors who didn’t have a character to play that night. Of course, she hugged them all. After we’d been on the air about 20 minutes, the director called me, shrieking, ‘Tell her to stop hugging people! This looks like the god—- Tinker Bell special! Everybody’s covered in glitter!’ “

Miss Golden Globe: Past Honorees Tell All – Nepotism Has Never Been Hotter

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Hollywood Reporter
Miss Golden Globe: Past Honorees Tell All – Nepotism Has Never Been Hotter
by Seth Abramovitch
January 05, 2017, 6:15am PST

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Sly’s kids join A-list offspring from Laura Dern to Dakota Johnson as alums dish on the gig their parents love: “He was so honored,” says Gia Mantegna of father Joe’s reaction to her selection in 2011. “It was the fact that your parents had a career in Hollywood that was respected.”

Scarlet, Sistine and Sophia Stallone were lounging in the living room of their family’s Beverly Hills estate when their father — that would be Sylvester — announced that he’d just been on the phone with Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The trio, ages 14, 18 and 20 (more about them here), had been chosen to share the honor of being 2017’s Miss Golden Globe.
“We all started screaming and jumping up and down, music blasting, dogs barking,” recalls eldest sib Sophia. “We didn’t think we would get it.” Perhaps they did not, but just about anyone else could have scanned the checklist — stunning, personable, fruit of the loins of a genuine Hollywood legend (and 2016 Golden Globe winner for Creed) — and seen the Stallone girls as shoo-ins.

In truth, the competition for Miss Golden Globe — the young women (and sometimes young men) who help hand out trophies and escort the winners on and off the stage at the HFPA’s annual awards ceremony — can get hairy. It may not be a speaking part, but it’s still a gig performing onstage at one of the biggest awards shows of the year, a chance to make a first impression not just on the Hollywood elite but on millions of viewers (18.5 million in the U.S. alone in 2016). For many actresses — Anne Archer (1971), Laura Dern (1982), and Melanie Griffith (1975) and her daughter Dakota Johnson (2006) — it’s among the very first screen credits on their résumé, while for others, like Candace Savalas (1987), Lisabeth Shatner (1985) and Lily Costner (2004), it’s also the last.

To qualify for the title, candidates must be poised, polished and harbor the DNA of a bona fide A-lister, although lineage has not always been among the criteria. When the HFPA first created the title in 1963, the honor was bestowed upon a pair of more or less randomly selected up-and-coming actresses, one from the world of film and one from TV: Donna Douglas (Elly May on The Beverly Hillbillies) and Eva Six (a Hungarian actress whose career didn’t quite pan out). “It was the very first award ceremony I ever attended,” says Linda Evans, Miss Golden Globe 1964, of her memorable night schlepping shiny hardware. “It was something MGM arranged for me to do,” recalls the 74-year-old Dynasty star. “They dressed me up, sent me there, I gave out the awards — and the rest is history.”
In 1971, though, the HFPA made a change: From that time forward, the title would be granted only to the offspring of the stars, preferably those with two famous parents. The shrewd move began what’s since become a Hollywood birthright and sparked a vigorous free-market competition among the town’s co-mingling gene pools. The next big change came 24 years later, when, in 1995, the club went co-ed, naming John Clark Gable, Clark Gable’s only son, the first Mr. Golden Globe (then 34, he also was the oldest ever chosen). “Truly an honor,” says Gable of the experience. “For the first time, they asked a male heir.”

The custom is not without its fans. “I love the Miss Golden Globe tradition. So retro. So old Hollywood. So ‘A Star Is Born,’” says New York awards season event planner Peggy Siegal. As for any aroma of entitlement, longtime Oscars head writer Bruce Vilanch is quick to wave it off: “Please — nepotism has never been hotter. Just look at the Trump kids! The Golden Globes are always ahead of the curve.”

The process of selecting a Mr. or Miss Golden Globe is not chiseled in stone. Some years it’s a more grueling gantlet than others. “There were about five of them in there,” remembers 24-year-old Greer Grammer (Kelsey’s daughter) of her interview with the HFPA at its Robertson Boulevard headquarters for the 2011 awards. “They asked, ‘What are you doing? What are your career hopes?’ I remember one person telling me that Frasier was more popular in England than in the United States, which I thought was hilarious.” Grammer had just been cast in the MTV series Awkward, and was feeling pretty upbeat about her prospects. “But I didn’t get it,” she says. “I was so sad because I had done pageants before, so I thought I’d be perfect.” Gia Mantegna, daughter of Joe Mantegna, remembers her audition that same year: “[They asked me] about my life and my career and what it meant to be the daughter of someone in the industry,” recalls the actress, now 26. “To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with what Miss Golden Globe was. [My father’s publicist] just told me to show up to this building and go on this interview. It seemed silly. Like, what is this? This is not anything I’m earning on my own. This isn’t a job. I’m just doing this because my dad’s an actor.” She ended up getting the gig.

Other years, the selection process has been considerably more laid-back. 2016’s Miss Golden Globe, Corinne Foxx, the 22-year-old daughter of Jamie Foxx, received a phone call “out of the blue” informing her she’d been chosen. “I was completely shocked,” she says. The same thing happened to Grammer, who in 2014, three years after being rejected, also received a call from the HFPA finally offering her the job. “I didn’t even have to go in for an interview!” she says.

There is no Miss Golden Globe training. Instead, the anointed are thrust into a whirlwind of nomination announcements, red-carpet appearances, pre-parties and rehearsals. Foxx says she “went into complete research mode” when she got picked. “Greer Grammer was the year before me, so I watched YouTube videos of how she gave out all the trophies.” The heavily publicized Miss Golden Globe party — the Stallone daughters’ was held at Catch on Nov. 11, though their selection had been leaked a few days earlier — serves as a dry run. “You are given a welcome by the HFPA president and you deliver a speech,” says Grammer. But those who’ve held the title say nothing prepares you for the physical (and even emotional) intensity of the job itself. “I didn’t realize how involved you are onstage,” says 2010’s Miss Golden Globe, Mavis Spencer (daughter of Alfre Woodard). “You have to give the winner the award and then move them to this mark. Then you have to move everyone off the stage and behind a wall. You’re running the show a little bit — it’s not just standing there being a pretty face. It isn’t as easy as you think, especially after the actors have gotten a few drinks into them.” Mantegna says she worked closely with the stage manager, “basically corralling everyone on and off. One of the scariest moments for me was seeing how comfortable everyone was just lingering.”

Spencer discovered this the hard way after The Hangover won best comedy or musical motion picture and “like 12 or 15 of them” rushed the stage, a task she likens to “herding sheep.” One of the Hangover crew — she’s not sure who — accidentally stepped on her foot, fracturing two bones. And that was not the evening’s only indignity: “I had a 6-inch pair of Valentino stilettos on,” says Spencer, who stands 5-foot-11 in flats. “Colin Farrell was one of the presenters and just looked at me and said, ‘I’m not standing next to her. I’m not doing it.’ I was a bit taken aback. And he was like, ‘Darling, I really don’t mean that in a bad way — but you’re huge.’”

Celebrities share New Year’s resolutions with Gay Star News

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Gay Star News
Celebrities share New Year’s resolutions with Gay Star News
30 December 2016
by


A new year is upon us and Gay Star News caught up with several celebrities at the Trevor Live! event in Beverly Hills earlier this month to ask them about New Year’s resolutions. Here is what they had to say:

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Jack Falahee (How to Get Away With Murder star): ‘Eat less cake.’

Noah-Galvin
Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals star): ‘Never stop learning.’

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Brian Justin Crum (America’s Got Talent Finalist): ‘To be a little more selfless. I need to focus on my friendships a little more and taking care of those a little more. This past year has been so wild with the show and I feel like I’ve dropped the ball on taking care of my friends and they’ve been so good at taking care of me.’

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Lance Bass (singer and television host): ‘I don’t do New year’s resolutions because I never keep them. So I don’t want to be disappointed. So why another disappointment.’

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]Darren Young (WWE superstar): ‘My New Year’s resolution is to get real lean. I’m going to start boxing and lean up a little bit. It’s to reshape my body but you never know – I could always transition to MMA. How cool would it be to be the first LGBT MMA fighter that’s in UFC.’

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Hayden Byerly (The Fosters star): Do better, be better, work on myself as a person. I want to really strengthen who I am and gain a lot of self-confidence and assurance and make sure that I am happy with who I am.’

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Bruce Vilanch (comedy actor and writer): ‘They really are really kind of cliche and I never pay attention to them because you always end up breaking them. Every year I’m going to lose weight. Look at me!’

‘Hamilton’ Diversity Does Not Extend to Age or Size, Bruce Vilanch Says

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The Wrap
‘Hamilton’ Diversity Does Not Extend to Age or Size, Show Business Veteran Says
By Matt Donnelly | December 30, 2016 @ 5:33 PM

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Musical sensation “Hamilton” is revered for its inclusiveness — but that diversity doesn’t extend to age or body type, longtime show business player Bruce Vilanch said.

The stage and screen writer recently visited “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda when the newly-minted Hollywood darling was performing the show’s title role. Vilanch wasn’t shy in pitching himself for the part of the villainous King George — a role previously held by actor Jonathan Groff.

“I went back and saw Lin-Manuel and I said, ‘I want to play the King. One costume, three songs that are all the same and no stairs to climb? I’m in,’” Vilanch said during an appearance on RuPaul’s podcast “What’s The Tee?”, uploaded on Thursday.


“He said, ‘We have a casting concept.’ And of course the casting concept is ‘everybody is hot,’” Vilanch continued.  “Everybody is young and hot! There’s no old Ben Franklin wobbling across the street.”

Indeed the historical figures of “Hamilton” like the eponymous Alexander, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Eliza Schuyler are all played by attractive young people, a move that has seen nothing but praise for casting people of color to portray the white founding fathers and their cohorts.




Vilanch isn’t unthinkable casting for the king — a character beloved by deities as high as Beyonce. He played Edna Turnblad in the original Broadway production and subsequent national tour of “Hairspray” in 2002. He’s also worked on several original musicals and re-mounts in independent theater.



“If your idea of the founding fathers is the Wu Tang Clan … and if you like lyrics like, ‘John Adams shat the bed,’ then that’s the show for you. But I’m still looking for a melody,” Vilanch concluded. “I was underwhelmed by it.”

It’s unclear if Vilanch will return to the Academy Awards telecast this year as either a writer for the production or the host  (Vilanch has had turns doing both). The telecast — this year produced by Mike De Luca and Jennifer Todd and hosted by >Jimmy Kimmel — has yet to announce its staff.

” class=”tL8wMe EMoHub” dir=”ltr”>Representatives for Miranda were not immediately reachable for comment.