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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Pfeiffer’

Robert De Niro Talks to a Greenwich Village Compatriot

There’s a wonderful interview in the fall issue of DuJour magazine. Author and veteran journalist Anthony DeCurtis sat down earlier this summer with Robert De Niro at the actor’s Tribeca offices, just a few days in fact after the sudden, tragic passing of James Gandolfini.

That topic comes up briefly, but the main thread of conversation is the bond shared by the interviewer and interviewee to a certain portion of Lower Manhattan:

Growing up in the same [Greenwich Village] neighborhood less than a decade after De Niro, I took those [after hours] night swims in Carmine Pool and, more disturbingly, experienced the same complicated contrast between the tough Italian-American street environment and the alternative bohemian culture that suffused the Village in the 1960s and 1970s…

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Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Lunch: Hoda Kotb & Bravo’s Housewives Hold Court

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was SRO at Michael’s today, and although the place was filled to the brim with movers and shakers of every stripe, all eyes were on table one: Today‘s Hoda Kotb presided over a raucous lunch with a trio of Real Housewives from Bravo’s compulsively watchable franchise. Tongues wagged aplenty as the crowd watched the reality TV stars saunter in. First to arrive was Tamra Barney (Orange County) with her husband Simon, followed by NeNe Leakes (Atlanta). Danielle Straub (New Jersey) was, of course, the last to arrive — all the better to make a grand entrance. The gals have been guest-hosting Today‘s fourth hour this week, filling in for the vacationing Kathie Lee Gifford.

I just had to make my way over to their table to chat with the headline-making Danielle, who just last night precipitated a catfight for the ages on the season finale of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. As faithful fans of the series know, Danielle’s former life as a stripper who ran with a bad crowd was chronicled in Cop Without A Badge, written, she says, by an ex-husband more than two decades ago. Since then, Danielle reinvented herself and settled in suburbia hoping to keep the past buried. Lucky for Bravo, her frenemies on the show discovered her story, and the fur started flying. Last night, things came to a head when Danielle confronted the other Housewives about their role in bringing the long-forgotten tome to town.

I asked Danielle if the Sopranos-style last supper where everyone gathered for a ‘friendly’ dinner had been staged. “Of course,” she said. “Why else would I have been invited?” Things got really ugly when Teresa Giudice started letting the profanities fly in front of Danielle’s two young daughters and the group ganged up on her. Despite putting up a strong front, Danielle told me the episode “ripped her apart” and afterward, she and her girls retreated to her home where they stayed curled up in her bed for a few days. “We were sick from it, and it was the one place we felt safe.” But, like the tough survivor she is, the breakout star of the series is back with a vengeance with plans to write a book (“It will be something empowering to help women”) and is being repped by Maura Teitelbaum at Abrams Artists Agency. According to Danielle, her daughters have adjusted to the limelight nicely. Her eldest, Christine, is fielding offers from modeling agencies, including Elite. And get this — she says if Bravo wants a second season, she’s there. “Oh my God, of course I’d do it!”

I was glad I was lunching today with my new friend Dr. Phillip Romero, who specializes in family and couple’s therapy. Phil is currently hard at work on two books, Phantom Stress and The Art of Impermanence. I asked him why we like to watch these reality shows that are such spectacles of dysfunction. “It’s voyeurism that makes us feel better about ourselves,” says Phil. These days when “our collective anxiety is higher than at any other time in human history” because of the “sweeping changes occurring at all levels of society” Phil says these shows offer a diversion, “a media quick fix” that takes our mind off the serious issues at hand. Makes sense to me.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Today‘s Hoda Kotb, producer Tammy Filler, Bravo’s Real Housewives NeNe Leakes, Tamra Barney (with husband Simon), and Danielle Straub.

2. Andrew Stein with a distinguished dark-haired gent we didn’t recognize

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and Glamour editrix Cindi Leive rocking a LBD and pearls. Joe tells me he’s off to Cuba on a ‘humanitarian mission’ for a few weeks. Safe travels, and we’ll see you when you return!

4. Esther Newberg and Jeffrey Toobin. We caught Jeff on CNN the other day deconstructing the effect of David Letterman‘s joke about Sarah Palin‘s daughter. While the other pundits debated whether the former vice presidential nominee’s daughters were fair game, Jeff weighed in by saying he thought Letterman crossed the line by calling Governor Palin’s look ‘slutty.’ Chivalry is not dead after all…

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Milton Katselas, Acting Teacher/Scientologist Dies at 75

Milton Katselas, an acting teacher par excellence and founder of the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting schoolmilton.jpg, has passed away from heart failure, AP says.

Katselas, whose students included Gene Hackman, Doris Roberts, George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer among scores of others, was 75.

The founder of the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school was very much a disciple of the Scientology doctrine.

Former students have said that Katselas often used Scientology methodolgy in his study of acting.

Media Events 08.02.07

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Thursday 08.02.07
WHAT: In Store Appearance
WHO: Original 2005 Jersey Boys recording cast
WHEN: 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Virgin Megastore
WHY: Because they didn’t come any cuter than Frankie Valli.

THURSDAY 08.02.07
WHAT: Festival of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction
WHO: American Cinematheque kicks off its 7th annual festival with a crazy films and a discussion with writer/producer Dennis Bartok, directors Monte Hellman, Sean Cunningham, actors John Saxton, Scott Lowell, Rachel Veltri and many others.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Aero Theatre
WHY: The festival will showcase the L.A. premiere of Trapped Ashes, an episodic collection from Lions Gate. Information here.

MONDAY 08.06.07
WHAT: Hollywood Walk of Fame Event
WHO: Michelle Pfeiffer
WHEN: 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: In a prime spot at Hollywood and Highland
WHY: If you don’t think the lovely Ms. Pfeiffer is reason enough, the guest speaker is Jeff Bridges.