Saturday, March 31, 2012

American Reunion

My, how we've changed.  2012 poster on the left, 1999 poster on the right.

I remember so clearly going to see American Pie with my best friend in NYC back in 1999.  Jason Biggs,  the scene with the pie, and Eugene Levy walking in on him.  Oh yeah, you know what I am talking about. Well, the gang is all back and I was able to attend a screening on Thursday night as a part of the kickoff for Hell Walk 2.  Producer, Chris Moore, was in attendance to introduce the film and if that name sounds familiar, you might remember him from Project Greenlight with Matt and Ben years ago.  (Yes, that Matt and Ben.) The audience was comprised of military families who had the opportunity to see the sneak peek of the film as a part of the launch of Hell Walk 2.

Hell Walk 2 is Josh Tate's charity walk through 100 miles of LA on June 30th, 2012.  He is anticipating this will take him 30-35 hours.  This isn't an easy task, but it is all for a great cause.  This year's walk will raise money for scholarships for children of military personnel who had been lost in combat.  It's hard not to be moved by this benefit since many of the military servicemen and women were in attendance with their families at the screening on Thursday. The families sacrifice so much, yet they ask for so little in return.  If you would like to know more about the charity or you would like to donate to the cause, click here.

While I'm not sure why their 10-year reunion was slightly delayed, it was a fun look back at the characters that inspired countless pie and Stifler's mom jokes over a decade ago. Now, go see the flick and laugh at each inappropriate joke.  It's gross, but it's funny.  Here are a few stills from American Reunion:

The boys are back in town.

 I might have a crush on Thomas Ian Nicholas.  Shhh, don't tell anyone.

 Stifler gets some sweet revenge in this film.

Is it possible for Mena Suvari to look younger than the first film?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sanuk Footwear Party

On Wednesday I was invited to view the Sanuk Footwear spring line at Bellacures in Beverly Hills.  It was a night that involved champagne, manis, pedis, a candy bar, and shoes.  Okay, count me in!  I became familiar with the Sanuk line when I was gifted a pair of shoes at the Blushington party I attended in February.  The brand was created by a Southern California native who uses innovative materials to create the line from yoga mats to indoor/outdoor carpet.  I love them for their fun designs and comfort in a casual shoe and now that I am the proud owner of three pairs, you will be sure to see them on feet this summer in LA.  To learn more about their spring line, click here.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus for more photos and inside scoop from my adventures in LA.

I would like to thank BWPR for inviting me to the blogger event. I was not paid for this post, but I was gifted with two pairs of shoes and a mani/pedi at the event.   

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Julia Roberts Is The Fairest One Of All

A few weeks ago, I kicked off my Monday with an interview with Julia Roberts.  I was coming off of my Oscars high and I thought, "Could this get any better?" No, probably not.  Mirror, Mirror is charming, campy fun that twists the story of Snow White and makes her a strong, take charge kind of gal.  The prince on the other hand, well.....he's a little sensitive.  Check out my interviews with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins, and Armie Hammer as we talk about the paparazzi, dating in the spotlight (Hello, Zac Efron/Lily Collins!), and running around shirtless in the movie (Hello, Armie Hammer!).  I would love to hear your thoughts on my iVillage interviews and be sure to check out the article written by my iVillage colleague, Ali Gray.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Should Celebrities Give Great Customer Service?

On my flight to Chicago yesterday, I picked up a People magazine to bide my time on the three and a half hour trip.  I am actually one of those crazy people who reads a magazine cover to cover including the MailBag section.  A letter to the editor caught my eye, so here is the letter in full:

"Thank you for your usual fine coverage of the Oscar celebrations.  This year I had the good fortune 
to be in the red carpet bleachers, and I must report that absolutely the most generous and kind celebrity in terms of fan interactions was George Clooney.  He was clearly having a great time and was the only star I saw who came over to the velvet ropes to sign autographs and allow fans to take photos.  As an expert in customer service, I applaud George Clooney for great service to his customer at the 84th Annual Academy Awards." 
Donna Cutting Asheville, N.C.

Most people might read a letter like that and pass it off as a fan letter to George Clooney, but what struck me was her comment about customer service to his fans.  After going through two Oscar cycles and interviewing more celebrities as a result, it is important for actors to understand that giving great customer service is a part of their job.  Now, I'm not talking about jumping up to greet fans at every meal or while on vacation, but making an effort to walk over to fans at premieres, red carpets, and public press events goes a long way with the people who are essentially paying the stars' salary with each film that is released.  George is a master at this, but the man who wrote the book on fan customer service is Tom Cruise.  Whether you like him or not, he is one of the kindest celebrities who always says "yes" to his fans.  Why?  He "gets" it.  He knows that these are the people that created his career, that bought tickets to Top Gun and stayed with him through his latest Mission Impossible film, and he knows that one small interaction with him will make a great impression.....and keep that fan buying tickets to his movies.  

When I do radio appearance like here or here, I often get asked who my favorite celebrities are to interview.  My favorites celebrities are usually the ones you don't expect because often times the bigger names have a tendency to disappoint me in interviews.  They hate to do press, they don't want to be in the room, and they don't try to hide it.  I totally understand that the questions can be inane and repetitive, but sitting through eight hours of a press junket at a five star hotel is way better than being a coal miner, right?  I have repeated it over and over, but it's a part of their job.  It may not be their favorite part of the job, but it comes with the territory of fame, money, and celebrity.  So, I would love to see some stars embrace this part of their job and enjoy the process because it is the press and the fans who make sure your next ten million dollar paycheck clears.  Sadly, the George Clooneys and Tom Cruises in the industry are pretty rare, but that quality is also what makes them huge A-List stars.  They just "get" it.  

If you want to read more on press and the entertainment industry, see my other articles here and here.  

To continue the conversation, join me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SAG-AFTRA Merger: Exclusive Interview with SAG President, Ken Howard

There is a lot of debate going on in the entertainment industry about the possible merger of the two main actors' unions in Hollywood:  Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.  The current status is up for vote and I recently turned in my ballot.  I have voted for a merger several times in the past because I felt like the strength of unions has weakened since the 1950's and 1960's.  When the other mergers did not pass, the unions started to compete for contracts ultimately hurting the people they represent:  actors.  Now, as a host, many of my broadcast contracts, including The Web Files, fall under a SAG New Media contract.  While I do have certain reservations about some of the merger points, I did vote "yes" because I do not see any other option in order to keep our union relevant, viable, and strong through the next decade.  Last night, I caught up with Ken Howard, current SAG president, on the red carpet at the 20th Anniversary Alzheimer's Association, "A Night at Sardi's" at the Beverly Hilton. Right away, I hit him with the merger question.  Here is his exclusive response to Red Carpet Report and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below on this hot topic:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baby Bump Watch: Confirmed (Reese Witherspoon Edition)

Well, let's see we've speculated, denied, and now confirmed that Reese Witherspoon is pregnant.  Phew.  It's been a long first trimester for us all.  In fact, I even interviewed Reese and she certainly did not look pregnant, but those first twelve weeks are tricky and they are easily disguised by cleverly placed wardrobe. Now, don't expect Reese to make a big announcement since that's not her style, but let's watch her growing and stylish baby bump over the next six months.  Congratulations to Reese and her husband, Jim Toth.

US Weekly is reporting the story here.

I interviewed Reese recently for iVillage for the This Means War press junket.  A few of you thought she was kind of cranky in the hormones, perhaps?  Either way, I get one point for our Baby Bump Watch 2012 contest.  Who will be next?  Speculate in the comments below.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Who Knew Sherri Shepherd Was Going To Be On DWTS?

Dancing With The Stars premieres tonight and I just want to remind Sherri Shepherd (The View) what she told me on the red carpet at the Oscars just two days before the cast for this season was announced live on Good Morning, America.  Let's review the tape:

Okay, I just wanted to prove my source was correct on that scoop.  Enjoy your season, Sherri, and good luck!

Also joining the cast this season is Jaleel White.  For those of you who haven't checked in on Jaleel since his Urkel days on Family Matters, see what his has been up to from my interview with him on The Web Files in 2010:

Will you be watching this season of DWTS or has this show jumped the shark?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Friday Five

The Friday Five is back!  Here are some pop culture moments from the week for you to mull over.....

1. Jennie Garth:  The news about Jennie and her husband, Peter Facinelli, proved not to be a surprise for a lot of us in Hollywood as there were rumors about them for almost two years. However, I was sorry to hear that they were splitting up.  Jennie is incredibly nice, so let's give her some good press this week.  Check out the interview I did with her last fall for Starpulse.

2. Shealeigh Daily:  This sweet and talented girl won Radio Disney's NBT late last year.  She kindly gave a shout out to my niece and her pal yesterday, so I hope you all stand up and take notice because this gal is going places.  Here's my interview with her from December.

3.  85th Annual Academy Awards:  Okay, the show stays in the same place next year, the last Sunday in February, but the nominations move up a week.  Watch out, Golden Globes, the Oscars are trying to steal your thunder......and make the award campaign season one week longer.  Oh my!

4.  Community:  The NBC show finally made its return to the lineup last night.  Did you watch?  I interviewed the cast a few weeks ago at the Paley Fest and they were chomping at the bit to get back to the fans who supported their show tremendously during their hiatus.

5.  Luck:  This week in Hollywood was anything but lucky for this HBO series which was cancelled after a swift series of horse fatalities on set.  I heard rumors that they were using older horses for challenging racing scenes which may have contributed to the deaths, but in the end, the ratings weren't great. Either way, HBO acted quickly to put this series down. Was it the ratings or the heat from PETA?  What do you think of this week's hottest TV controversy?

That's it for this week's Friday Five.  Let me know what you liked or didn't like this week in the comments section below.  Join the conversation with me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Better Life

I've been away for a week or so to recharge after a busy awards show season and to take some time for myself.  I'm officially back though and ready to bring you all the latest in entertainment news.  It's been a while since I posted a film recommendation, but my last one wound up with four Oscar nominations. The film I'm recommending this time around has already scored its Oscar nomination for Best Actor for Demian Bechir.  I interviewed him twice during Oscars week here and here, so I was already a fan.  He's charming, sweet, and incredibly nice to the press, but his performance in A Better Life is heartbreaking.  I think this film was overlooked during all of the awards hoopla by bigger movies like The Artist and Hugo.  This flick is one to add to your summer Netflix list.  It quietly unfolds with subtle performances that surround a pretty controversial topic here in the United States, illegal immigration.

Now, no matter how you feel about illegal immigration, it will be hard not to be moved by the human side to this story.  I know it certainly opened my eyes to the struggle of being in a country illegally whether it is right or not.  In Southern California, the immigrant population certainly makes up a huge part of our daily live with gardeners, housekeepers, restaurant help, and construction workers, so it can be hard to formulate a blanket statement on the issue and that is the exact question A Better Life raises....especially when the undocumented workers have children who are legal U.S. citizens.  Demian was quite vocal about his stance on the issue throughout the season because he knows firsthand about what it is like to live U.S. illegally.  He came to the States to pursue his acting dreams and he lived his life as an illegal immigrant in New York City.  A 1986 amnesty program gave him his green card which eventually put him on the road to an Academy Award nomination.  So, no matter where you stand on the issue, watch the film and let me know what you think in the comments below.  Have you seen A Better Life yet?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

36th Annual Razzie Award Nominations AKA The Worst In Film For 2011

We were so busy covering the best in film a few weeks ago, that I almost forgot to bring you the worst in film for 2011.  It's the Golden Raspberry Awards also known as the "Razzies".  Now, they normally hand out the awards the night before the Oscars, but this year, the nominations happened on Oscars Eve and the official award date is April 1st.  Yep, April Fool's Day. With a plethora of bad films to choose from, who had the most nominations?  Oh, if you've been listening to me on Driving with Gass, then you know who I picked on in this piece.  Check out the nominations and my interview with founder, John J. B. Wilson:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Paley Fest 2012: Community

Joel McHale and Alison Brie

If you caught my coverage of the first night of the Paley Fest,  you know the fans of some of the most beloved shows are rabid for more.  Well, night two was no different as it was the long awaited return of NBC's Community.  They had a rough start to Season three when NBC placed them on a forced hiatus after their fall episodes.  The fans banded together to make sure NBC knew how much they loved their show.  The cast kept working through this hiatus and the network finally announced the return of the show:  March 15th.  Catch up with the cast and find out what they have been up to including Jim Rash, his Oscar, and the most famous leg in the entertainment industry. 

 Gillian Jacob and Dan Harmon

 Jim Rash and Dan Harmon

Danny Pudi

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Paley Fest 2012: American Horror Story

Jessica Lange
We go back to our regularly scheduled program since we have laid Oscar to bed for 2012......welcome to Paley Fest 2012!  This is an incredible annual series the Paley Center puts on honoring some of the best series in television.  Last night, the festival kicked off with a tribute to American Horror Story, an anthology-based series on FX that has become a television game-changer this season. The big question of the night involved cast members and character who would be returning for Season 2 given the fact that many characters were killed in Season 1.  Jessica Lange has already signed on for Season 2, but I was curious about Sarah Paulson and I think I nailed it in my first question. Yep, she's returning.  Check out my interview with her, Jessica Lange, Alexandra Breckenridge, Connie Britton, and Frances Conroy on the red carpet last night. (And come back tomorrow for my interviews with the cast of NBC's Community.)

 Alexandra Breckenridge

 Sarah Paulson

 Connie Britton

Frances Conroy

Friday, March 2, 2012

Oscar Friends

You come to this town with a dream. To stand on that red carpet.  To feel like you belong.  To be in the mix with Hollywood's elite. That ride means nothing unless you are celebrating amongst friends.  This post is a tribute to all of my friends who joined me on that red carpet last Sunday.  I love that you were there with me......

Misty Kingma, fellow Red Carpet Report entertainment reporter, and me.

Me and Taryn Southern who was broadcasting for US Weekly.

Me and Dennis Pastorizo of Terra Networks.

The man behind the camera, JD Piche, thanks for all of your hard work last week!

My awesome pal, Jordan Carson, from WOTV-4, Grand Rapids.

Me and Blake Mitchell.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Anatomy Of A Dress

Awhile back I mentioned that a dress was being created for me by V. Mora Designs for an Oscars Week event.  I wore the dress on the red carpet to The Wrap's Pre-Oscars event at the Four Seasons Hotel where Oscar nominees Demian Bechir and Max von Sydow celebrated their awards season triumphs.  I wanted to  document how the whole dress came together so you can see how it all began.

Anna Livermore of V. Mora Designs asked me to pick some silhouettes that I liked.  I saw a photo of a dress that she had created that I loved and I sent a photo of a DVF dress since Diane von Furstenberg is one of my favorite designers.


V. Mora Designs

Anna then sent me a series of sketches and fabrics.  We decided on a silk charmeuse fabric in coral since I haven't worn that color much on the red carpet.

While I was in Chicago for Toyota Live, we scheduled our first fitting.  Some adjustments were made on sizing and the collar.

We flirted with adding feathers to the tapered end of the asymmetrical collar, but the simplicity of the dress design spoke for itself.

Anna did some finishing touches and shipped it to me just in time for the event last Wednesday.  Here is what it looked like on the red carpet paired with my beloved Stuart Weitzman shoes.

The dress is being shipped back to Chicago as we speak because it will be auctioned off at Chicago Roundup to benefit the GLBT community who are in recovery.  I am so happy my dress will go to a great cause and I hope it brings in lots of money for the charity.

V. Mora Designs was featured in the March issue of Chicago Social, so check out the article (on Page 85) and my quote about Anna's incredible work.  Thank you, Anna, it was a pleasure to wear your designs on the red carpet.  You make a girl look good.

Find out more about V. Mora Designs here.

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