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Posts Tagged ‘Sean Penn’

Columnist to Alec Baldwin: Silicon Valley Nerds ‘Would Adore You’

ShutterstockAlecHilariaBaldwinSince we recently highlighted Zócalo Public Square editor-columnist Joe Mathews‘ angry cross-country diatribe about Jimmy Fallon, it seems only natural to give equal time to an open letter tied to the opposite, east-to-west direction.

Responding to Alec Baldwin‘s New York magazine essay, Mathews runs down the reasons why Los Angeles might not be the right relocation answer. He notes that this is no longer the LA of Annie Hall and warns that a lot of the NYC scourges mentioned by Baldwin such as TMZ, Shia LaBeouf and thoughtless TV executives are all in Lalaland as well.

Mathews thinks he has a much better potential destination for Baldwin: Silicon Valley. A house in Marin County, he argues, could be the perfect, tranquil fit:

The nerds up north would adore you. Google and Facebook engineers routinely drool over visiting celebrities. Valley venture capitalists have thrown money at celebrity entrepreneurs MC Hammer and Jessica Alba. Silicon Valley folks have touted Ashton Kutcher as a tech guru; imagine how warmly they might welcome someone like you, who can actually act.

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Bill Murray Tells Charlie Rose About the Oscar Speech He Would Have Given

BillMurrayCharlieRoseLast night’s full-hour conversation on Charlie Rose was as entertaining and memorable as we expected.

The first classic moment occurred about ten minutes in, when Rose observed that his guest’s trajectory seemed to have been “not a carefully thought out, well-planned life.” Murray was genuinely gassed by the observation, laughing heartily and deadpanning that no one has ever been quite this compassionate towards him.

A little later, the actor explained that because of his sons’ lives, he currently makes his home in South Carolina. Though he didn’t choose to relocate there, the actor explained, he now loves it. “The people are kind, the place is beautiful. It’s easier than being a parent in New York; being a parent there was quite a bit harder.”

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Nikki Finke Coverage of TDKR Tragedy Sparks New Levels of Twitter Outrage*

Nikki Finke has never been interested in winning a popularity contest. Be that as it may, fellow journalists and many others are absolutely livid at her Deadline.com coverage of the Aurora, CO tragedy.

In an early morning update to her rolling post about TDKR box office returns, Finke wrote: “It is a very real possibility this terrifying tragedy may affect The Dark Knight Rises opening box office today and this weekend.” She  may not have immediately realized at around 3 a.m. PT how offensively this would read, but she and-or her nighttime editor should have – upon review – understood the inherent crassness of such a comment and deleted. [Editor's note: As we were writing this item, that portion of the TDKR box office update appears to have been removed.]

Then there’s Finke’s second item this morning about being tipped and alerting Warner Bros. to the suddenly disastrous pairing with TDKR of a trailer for the upcoming Sean Penn period drama Gangster Squad. At the very end of the trailer, the bad guys shoot up a movie theater.

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Witness: 2010 John Edwards Statement Got a Hollywood Proofread

This is just bizarre. At the criminal trial of John Edwards today in Greensboro, North Carolina, his former speech writer Wendy Button testified that the politician ran his January 2010 admission of extramarital guilt through some surprising Tinseltown channels.

Per a report by WRAL-TV5, Button says the text of her boss’s eventual admission of fathering a child with Rielle Hunter was circulated as follows:

As the draft statement went through more than a dozen revisions, Button testified, Edwards sent copies to actor Sean Penn and actress Madeleine Stowe and to writer-director Paul Haggis… No reason was mentioned for circulating the draft.

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Michael Moore Recalls Two Monumental LA Moments

Last night at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, Michael Moore kicked off the 16th year of long-running non-profit literary conversation series Writers Bloc Presents with a couple of great LA stories. He was there, along with journalist-moderator Anne Thompson and a pair of bodyguards, to promote and sign copies of his new book Here Comes Trouble.

Moore explained how, on the weekend of his Oscar win for 2002′s Bowling for Columbine, a casual invite from Tim Robbins turned into a hotel room full of Hollywood stars, each sharing their suggestions for his possible Best Documentary acceptance speech. Sean Penn pitched the idea of 45 seconds of stone-faced silence, while Robbins—with others like George Clooney and Eddie Veder looking on–thought perhaps that Moore could announce he was giving up the Academy Award statuette in honor of Lent.

But the real LA humdinger occurred the following year, 2004, when TIME magazine arranged for Moore and Mel Gibson to travel to LA for a photo shoot and sit-down interview in support of a shared “Person of the Year” cover:

“The night before, Mel went to his church in Malibu and had a revelation,” Moore explained. “Jesus, God, the Holy Ghost, who knows… Or as the lady in the front row here just said, St. Jack Daniels. But a voice told him, ‘You are NOT to appear on the cover of TIME magazine with the Devil.’”

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George Clooney for the ‘Fall Sneaks’ Win

Veteran LA Times entertainment reporter John Horn has three pieces in this Sunday’s “Fall Sneaks” print edition Calendar section, covering Contagion, Tower Heist and the latest directorial effort from George Clooney, The Ides of March. On his way to Telluride for the picturesque Colorado film festival, Horn was kind enough to take time out to answer a few FishbowlLA questions via email.

Telluride has been very good to the reporter. The last two years, he was able to catch the first screening of that year’s eventual Best Picture winner, Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech. This weekend, Horn has his eye on another film starring Clooney, The Descendants (Alexander Payne‘s first film since 2004′s Sideways), and says it’s always a pleasure to deal with the crown prince of Hollywood.

“He’s not full of himself. And he can speak in complete sentences,” notes Horn. “That’s actually saying a lot. Listen, you have to have some ego and even narcissism to be an actor. And any number of actors succeed more on good looks and dumb luck than talent.”

“But some of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors–I’m thinking of Sean Penn here–are not always articulate,” he adds. “Talking about acting is never easy, and it’s invariably a bit silly. Clooney does it better than many others. I think also because he didn’t become famous fast, he has some perspective–and appreciates the life and career he has.”

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Supporters of Imprisoned Hikers ‘Testify’ Ahead of February 6th Trial

The long, hard Iranian road for imprisoned freelance journalist Shane Bauer (pictured) and his UC Berkeley pal Josh Fattal crosses two major milestones this week. Monday marked 18 months of captivity for the pair and this Sunday, February 6th, Bauer and Fattal will be tried for the preposterous accusation of spying.

To keep their story front and center in the media and beyond, families and supporters have been marshaling statements of support from people like Sean Penn, holding fundraisers and arranging for people who know Bauer and Fattal to “testify” their words of support online. A recent such message comes from Bauer friend and colleague Shon Meckfessel:

One can, and should, feel sorry for Shane the Hiker, but an almost awed admiration, joined perhaps with outrage, steps forward instead for Shane the Journalist (author of more than 50 articles from “on the ground” in the Middle East, east Africa, and the U.S., for outlets as diverse as Al Jazeera, Christian Science Monitor, Slate, the LA Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation), Shane the filmmaker, Shane the multiple-award-winning photojournalist…

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Stars Flock to Huffington Post Game Changers Party

Image via HuffPo

“Innovators, mavericks, visionaries, and leaders” convened in downtown New York Thursday night as The Huffington Post celebrated its 100 Game Changers of 2010. Neon centerpieces including a flaming orange shopping cart and lime green globe adorned the darkly lit Skylight Studios space, and we thought for a minute we mistakenly showed up for Arianna Huffington‘s big, fat Greek Bat Mitzvah. Not to worry: A bacon cheeseburger passed hors d’oeuvre cleared up the confusion. Giant screens projected winners in each “Game Changer” category, from food to activism to education — though we didn’t spot a Divorce vertical (maybe next year!).

Amid the swarm of celebs, we spotted Sean Penn, Anderson Cooper, Gayle King, Paulina Porizkova, Tom Colicchio (adorably holding hands with his wife), Marcus Samuelsson, Gail Simmons, and Fern Mallis, but we just had to stop and talk to former governor Eliot Spitzer. Even though we were tempted to ask to see his socks, we took the high road and asked him about his new show on CNN, Parker Spitzer. We asked Spitzer what the hardest part has been so far, and he responded, “Only having eight to 12 minute segments to work with” for each guest. What has he learned since the first taping? “Talk quickly because you only have eight minutes.” He told us he wishes he had an hour instead (we have a feeling that’s never gonna happen), and when we asked who he’d most like to have on the show, Spitzer named Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, remarking that the latter ex-prez “always has a lot to say” and adding, “The fun part is interviewing people I don’t necessarily agree with.” We couldn’t agree more, Mr. Spitzer.

Follow the jump for HuffPo’s red carpet video coverage.
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The Huffington Post To Celebrate Its List Of Game Changers Tonight

Tonight, The Huffington Post is holding a special ceremony to celebrate its list of “Game Changers,” the “innovators, mavericks and leaders who are changing their fields and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.”

This year’s ceremony happens to include quite a few bold names in the media industry:

Other attendees slated to appear tonight include reality tv star and health expert Bethenny Frankel, TV and radio personality Gayle King, fashion designer Prabal Gurung, models Paulina Porizkova and Crystal Renn, former New York Governor and current TV host Eliot Spitzer and his co-host Kathleen Parker, PR whiz Kelly Cutrone, and many others.

Carlos, the Awards Season Terrorist

While many LA film journalists scoff privately at the mercenary aspects of the Hollywood Movie Awards, set for Monday, October 25th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, few are willing to state these same opinions publicly. So thank goodness for David Poland.

In a tart take-down of the annual event shared earlier this week, Poland – who once served as an Advisory Board member for the ceremony – marvels at the way Hollywood Film Festival founder Carlos de Abreu (pictured) is able to bilk the studios for talent, sponsored table money and silent subservience.

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