ASK STACY -- 08/01/15 DEAR STACY: I think JoAnna Garcia is great as Betty Grissom in "The Astronaut Wives Club." I used to watch her in "Reba." Can you give some background on her, whether she has a family, what else she's been up to since "Reba"? — Pam M., Santa …Read more. Nicki Minaj and the Value of Celebrity Feuding Whatever you think of Nicki Minaj's complaints about her "Anaconda" being snubbed in the Video of the Year category of this year's MTV Video Music Awards, you must agree the curvaceous rapper and Twittermeister deserves an award for drawing …Read more. Ask Stacy -- Week of 7/25/15 DEAR STACY: Can you tell me whatever happened in that case where Dustin Diamond, who played Screech on "Saved by the Bell," was accused of stabbing someone in a bar? — SBTB Fan, St. Petersburg, Florida DEAR SBTB FAN: Dustin Diamond was …Read more. DiCaprio and Other Celebrity Do-Gooders Keep the Giving Going in Spite of the Haters Last week, Leonardo DiCaprio's Foundation gave a collection of environmental organizations a combined $15 million in grants. Groups that benefited include Amazon Watch, Tree People, Save the Elephants and World Wildlife Fund. Last month, at the U.S. …Read more.more articles
Cranston Over His Apprehension About 'Breaking Bad' Wait/Pressly Didn't Plan Back-To-Back Movies, But Here They Are
Bryan Cranston admits that when he first learned that AMC planned to wait until March 8 to bring back his Emmy-winning "Breaking Bad" drama, his heart sank. "I thought, 'Oh, no. It's going to be well over a year after the first season premiere for the second season premiere.' But it's all good," he says now. "It means that we'll be on, uninterrupted, for 13 straight Sundays to the end of May — no preemptions."
It's a great ride for Cranston, who's won acclaim including Best Lead Actor Emmy honors — as he's gone from being known as the dad on "Malcolm in the Middle" to playing the central figure in the "Breaking Bad" story of a cancer-stricken science teacher who starts cooking and selling crystal meth to score big bucks to leave to his family. Cranston tells us there's an ironic twist coming up in that this season, "We're beginning to see the unraveling of the family, possibly. Everything he's worked for, everything he's justified his actions for — his family — is now at stake. He made his decision and he can't turn back now. He can't tell his wife. One lie begets another. He's 0Abecome a much better liar," notes the actor.
This season, he directed the first episode, which picks up seconds after last season's finale — in which his Walter White character has just witnessed a mentally unhinged drug dealer beat a man to death. With its violence and extreme intensity, it's not for everyone, although nice guy Cranston has a suggestion.
"Just like if you don't want to watch the 10 o'clock news right before bed, if it's difficult for you to watch at night, TiVo it and watch it at your own discretion."
THE BIG SCREEN SCENE: "My Name is Earl" leading lady Jaime Pressly was surprised — and not — to learn that the indie feature comedy "Venus & Vegas" is finally heading for screens March 6. It was once listed as a 2006 release. "I can't believe it's taken this long to come out, although it's kind of typical — everyone in it is doing better now than when we made it," she tells us "There are some really good people in it — Molly Sims, Donald Faison. I didn't play a lead part. I don't remember what it was about, but I wish it luck."
Pressly has no trouble recollecting her other soon-due big screen assignment, in DreamWorks' March 20 Paul Rudd comedy, "I Love You, Man.," in which she plays the wife of J
OSCAR TIME: With their witty "This Way Up" in the running for Best Animated Short Film Academy Award honors Feb. 22, Adam Foulkes, Alan Smith and Christopher O'Reilly made plans to arrive early in Tinsel Town from their London base. "We're meeting a few people. We have screenings to attend. It will be a week long party," explains O'Reilly. Historically, short subjects have had a comparatively tiny audience, but that could be changing. "This Way Up" — which has two hapless undertakers going through a series of misadventures as they try to deliver a coffin to the graveyard — is "going to be distributed through iTiunes, and it's going out now as part of the short film tour, a theatrical release with other short films," says Smith. "We know — we follow festivals around — for a short film to break out and be seen by a wider audience is very exciting."
They're aiming to make a full-length feature to follow up "This Way Up," which was produced by Nexus, the London-based animation company founded by O'Reilly and Charlotte Bavasso. Foulkes says, "We've got a few ideas kind of knocking around. We're sort of busy developing them." The nomination, he adds, "is a really good stepping stone into getting those into production. We're meeting a lot of people through this."
Adds Smith, "They're taking us a bit more seriously as well."
GETTING IN: "Scrubs" intern Eliza Coupe took matters into her own hands when she found herself having trouble "figuring out how to get my headshot in the door" of Hollywood casting directors, producers, etc. The actress and comedian, who's worked her chops with the famed Upright Citizens Brigade, took one of the characters she had created doing improv, and wrote her own one-woman show. She then not only got into the Aspen Comedy Festival, she won the Breakout Award there, which led to more interest in Coupe, which led to "Scrubs." She tells us, "I didn't think anyone would probably write a better part for me than me, given the fact a lot of girls are trying to break into the business, so I did it myself." Good going!
With reports by Emily Feimster.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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