I’ve never watched Formula One Grand Prix racing, so I wondered if I could love the film RUSH as much as the critics.
Never doubt Ron Howard.
His retelling of the 1976 rivalry between racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda simultaneously celebrates the sport and rises about it.
Yes, there is amazing driving footage, and Howard chronicles the races and locations of their real-life points race. But the differences between these two men — in looks, personality and approach to the sport — and their very complex relationship is the most compelling part of this movie.
And when you see photos of the actual Hunter and Lauda –
You realize what a tremendous job casting director Nina Gold has done.
Wave the checkered flag, people.
Posted in Celebrities, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Movies, Sports
Tagged casting, casting director, celebrities, checkered flag, commentary, driver, driving, entertainment, Formula One, Grand Prix, Humor, James Hunt, life, movie casting, movie critics, Movies, Niki Lauda, Nina Gold, points race, race car, racing, Relationships, reviews, Ron Howard, RUSH movie, Sports
I cast a major network sitcom.
No — not cast in. I helped cast one of the guest stars in last night’s episode of Up All Night.
Let me explain.
Earlier this year, Christina Applegate took to Twitter and asked her followers to suggest comedic actors for a project. Knowing most people would go with the obvious choices, I put forth a recent find:
I happened upon the actor a month or two before in the USA mini-series Marry Me, co-starring Lucy Liu. The movie wasn’t anything to write home about, but Pasquale was.
He took your typical made-for-TV romantic lead and turned it into something uniquely appealing. His timing was unique. I stuck with the mini-series — we’re talking four hours, people — because he made the expected and predictable extremely entertaining.
Christina later tweeted a thank you for our suggestions, saying she had received a couple of names that she didn’t recognize and planned to research.
And look who pops up on Up All Night??
It’s pretty gratifying, I admit. (Would be even more so with a finder’s fee.)
Posted in Celebrities, Comedy, Commentary, Entertainment, Humor, Internet, Television, TV
Tagged casting, celebrities, Christina Applegate, comedic actor, comedic timing, comedy, commentary, commission, entertainment, finder's fee, guest star, Humor, life, Lucy Liu, made-for-tv movies, Marry Me mini-series, NBC, network sitcom, romantic comedy, series casting, situation comedy, Steven Pasquale, Television, TV, tweet, Twitter, Up All Night, USA Network
Back in March of last year, I spanked Ron Howard’s new family drama Parenthood.
It had suffered the double misfortune of being forced to miscast its lead actress (Maura Tierney, who had become seriously ill) and enter the television year at mid-season, following the hugely popular breakout comedy Modern Family.
Thanks for playing, guys, but the family show and hit of the year had already been crowned.
I was also disappointed in what I found to be stereotypical characters and storylines. But I had already set the DVR — the cast, including Lauren Graham, Peter Krause and T. Craig Nelson, was really good, after all — so I hung around to see what developed.
Two years later, I’m still here.
And last night, when Alex broke up with Haddie — and told Kristina that she was the mother he had never had and that he loved their family — it was gut-wrenching. I literally blubbered. As I struggled to see the TV screen through my tears, the memory of that blog entry floated in my memory’s eye.
Posted in Blogging, Blogs, Celebrities, Comedy, Commentary, Entertainment, Family, Humor, Life, Love, Relationships, Television, TV, Writing
Tagged blogging, blogs, Braverman family, breakout hit, casting, celebrities, comedy, commentary, DVR, entertainment, family, family drama, family show, gut-wrenching good-bye, hit of the year, Humor, Lauren Graham, lead actress, life, Maura Tierney, mea culpa, mid-season replacement, Modern Family tv show, NBC, Parenthood tv show, Peter Krause, Relationships, Ron Howard, stereotypes, T. Craig Nelson, Television, tired storylines, TV
With coverage of the upcoming Oscars seemingly everywhere, it may appear that winning awards is the most difficult job in show biz.
But for anyone who has tried to work on stage, TV or movies, you know that auditioning is the real work. It is the only thing the actor can control, and they must be performance-level, regardless of the room, audience or questions still rolling around in their head. Of course, it is at the same time totally outside of their control because of all the unknown factors that go into the final casting decision.
I was reminded of this yesterday while watching the documentary “Every Little Step” on Starz OnDemand. It tells the story of the casting of the 2006 revival of “A Chorus Line” on Broadway, while giving insights into the original cast, workshop and production some 30 years earlier.
You sweat right along side the dancers as they go through the initial cattle call and months of callbacks after callbacks. Most nervewrecking is the final callback — where the roles are down to two people — and seeing that final cut made.
Maybe they should give an award for Best Audition. Goodness knows a lot of good actors — and performances — never get past that claustrophic little room.
Posted in Broadway, Humor, Movies, Television
Tagged A Chorus Line, Academy Awards, audition process, auditions, Broadway, callbacks, casting, cattle call, Every Little Step documentary, Humor, Movies, Oscar Awards, Oscars, stage, Starz, Starz on Demand, Television, theater
A big shout out to the team behind Halls cough drops on this chilly winter day.
I spied your new ad campaign lining the subway cars here in New York City as I rode back and forth to Penn Station yesterday — inspired!
If you’re in Manhattan, you can’t miss it. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. In fact, you could say they’ve taken a real hard nose approach. Might get a few noses out of joint, too. Hey — no skin off my nose…I’m just saying.
Guessed the focal point of the campaign yet???
(I’m so subtle.)
Halls has taken photos of people whose noses are — shall we say — fairly prominent, and through a combination of clever angles, shading and an entertaining smirk or two from the models, have somehow elevated the red, miserable, snotty nose to a thing of glory!
These photos, which have been colorized to the point of graphic art, treat these sufferers as proud soldiers in the fight against the winter cold. It really is a fun, eye-catching display. And since Hall bought an entire wall of each subway car, you are treated to literally five or six different winter soldiers, male and female, red noses at the ready.
I couldn’t help but be excited…not only by the clever idea behind the campaign, but for the actors in the photos. Up to this point, their bulbous noses must have been a negative in their careers. But this time?
Their big bulbs got them the gig.
Posted in Home, Humor, Travel
Tagged advertising, advertising photography, casting, Halls cough drops, Health, New York City, New York City subway, New York Penn Station, noses, photography, subway, transportation, winter colds