Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The rest of the 'Hairspray' cast fields questions - well, 1 each

The rest of the 'Hairspray' cast fields questions - well, 1 each
Rick Bentley
McClatchy Newspapers
Jul. 20, 2007 12:00 AM
BEVERLY HILLS - Nikki Blonsky is not a household name unless you are standing in the "Hairspray" star's Great Neck, N.Y. home. Despite her near anonymity, producers of the new feature film musical have banked on the actress as the star of their feature film.

The producers have hedged their bets. Blonsky is surrounded by top Hollywood veteran actors - John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken - as well as hot newcomers Amanda Bynes and Zac Efron.

That supporting cast has been pressed into extra duty. Blonsky, who is scheduled to meet with the press, has become ill. Because the supporting cast has so much to say, there is only room enough for one question with each actor.

Here's what they had to say.

John Travolta, who plays Edna Turnblad, on seeing himself as a woman:

"I had seen it on a screen test, which I was very excited about, because when I came out I didn't recognize me at all. I said I want a Delta Burke gone-to-flesh, her body's like Elizabeth Taylor gone-to-flesh, meaning I wanted the obvious to be appealing, because film is different than stage. You can dress a guy on stage and you can do that joke where they're like a refrigerator. But I don't think that works as well at this level. I think you had to be watchable."

Michelle Pfeiffer on what motivates her to take a role:

"Sometimes I will read something and halfway through it my heart just starts going (makes a patting motion on her chest) and I am on the phone. I don't care how badly this ends, I know I want to do the first half of the script.' Sometimes it takes a little bit longer. Mostly that's the case. Mostly I do take a little time, I read it a couple of times.

"I did not know what to do with Velma and it scared me on the page. I just thought she was just so awful all the time and that's all she is. But (director) Adam (Shankman), hearing his vision and hearing how he wanted to modulate it and where he wanted to go, yes, she's evil. She's bad. She's bad to the bone. And she has to be. And that's my job. But we want to find the humanity there."

Christopher Walken on his diverse career that has included several musicals:

"I was never very ambitious. And I still am not. It's astonishing to me how well I've done. I became an actor by accident. I suppose I figured since I was in musical comedy from the time I was a teenager, I suppose I figured that I'd always be in that world to some extent. There were dancers that I knew who became choreographers and so forth. But in fact, here we are and that's in fact exactly what happened. I'm still in musicals."


Brittany Snow, former star of the NBC drama "American Dreams," explains how "Hairspray" is set in the same time period but is different:

"When I was on American Dreams,' I watched a lot of old American Bandstand' footage to get myself in that mindset. Hairspray' was a little bit of American Bandstand' and the 60s dances, but it was more choreographed and actually stylized dancing. It's kind of the 60s, but amplified. It's larger than life. So, it wasn't the same as American Dreams,' which was more downplayed. It's very realistic. It's just completely different."

Zac Efron ("High School Musical") on starring in so many musicals:

"A lot of people ask me if I'm worried about being pigeonholed in musicals. It started with High School Musical.' Are you worried about being pigeonholed in teen things?' I dunno. I don't like to worry about being pigeonholed, because if I'm worried about that, how can I be giving 110 percent in everything I'm doing? I'm just lucky to be here. So, I'm just going to keep going wherever the road takes me."


Queen Latifah on the inspiration for her performance as Motormouth Maybelle:

"I tried to use some of the rap rhythm that I have in the repertoire. This character usually speaks in rhymes. And although that was changed for the film, we still wanted to keep a little bit of that rhythm. But a lot of her is based on my mom, who was a high school teacher and was one of those teachers that was really cool with the kids."

Amanda Bynes ("She's the Man") talks about how different the role of Penny Pingleton is than anything she has done:

"I talked to (director) Adam (Shankman) about the fact that it was the most pulled-back I've ever been in a movie because I've been a man in one and I've done Nickelodeon where I've been many characters; very goofy. So, for this movie, I had to sort of pull back and be kind of quiet and sort of be the observer, which was actually kind of fun for me and different. This was the type of movie I want to be in, which is, a movie with the heavy hitters and the veterans who I hope to, one day, be like."

Today's highlights

Today's highlights

“Martha” – Abigail Breslin. 9 a.m. on WANE, Channel 15.

“Live With Regis and Kelly” – Guest co-host Mario Lopez; Scott Baio; Lifehouse performs. 9 a.m. on WISE, Channel 33.

“The View” – Amanda Bynes (“Hairspray”). 11 a.m. on ABC.

“Montel Williams” – Guests hold interventions to help their drug-addicted children. (Repeat) Noon on WFFT, Channel 55.

“Rachael Ray” – Keeping children occupied while traveling; puppy-friendly burgers. 3 p.m. on WANE, Channel 15.

“Dr. Phil” – Husbands go to Dr. Phil’s Man Camp in an effort to give them attitude adjustments and new appreciation for their wives. (Repeat) 3 p.m. on WISE, Channel 33.

“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” – Will Ferrell; Elliott Yamin performs. (Repeat) 4 p.m. on WISE, Channel 33.

Prime time

“How I Met Your Mother” – Lily moves in with Barney; Marshall enjoys fun couple-activities with another man. (Repeat) 8 p.m. on CBS.

“Wife Swap” – A religious, conservative mother switches families with a punk-rock mom who believes partying is important in life. (Repeat) 8 p.m. on ABC.

“Age of Love” – Mark takes three of the women surfing; two of them go to his house for a movie night and the other one with him to a biker bar; Mark sends someone home; host Mark Consuelos. (Repeat) 8 p.m. on NBC.

“Antiques Roadshow” – Portland, Ore.; bronze Japanese altar of the Taisho period; German artist’s landscape sketchbook. (Part 1 of 3) 8 p.m. on WFWA, Channel 39.

“Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” – A California attorney answers questions from elementary-school textbooks to win cash; host Jeff Foxworthy. 8 p.m. on Fox.

“Everybody Hates Chris” – Chris notices that he can do no wrong after Julius lends him a pair of lucky socks. (Repeat) 8 p.m. on The CW, Comcast Channel 19.

“The New Adventures of Old Christine” – Christine learns an astonishing secret after sleeping with Richard’s attractive brother (Charles Esten). (Repeat) 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

“Two and a Half Men” – Charlie and Alan go on a double date, leaving Jake home alone for the first time. (Repeat) 9 p.m. on CBS.

“CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” – Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans, Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert are scheduled to appear. 9 p.m. on ABC.

“Age of Love” – Mark and the remaining women go camping in the California wilderness; one woman goes on a private hike with Mark; another woman is eliminated from the competition. 9 p.m. on NBC.

“History Detectives” – Posters announcing the Mexican War; book of autographs. 9 p.m. on WFWA, Channel 39.

“Hell’s Kitchen” – Chef Ramsay combines the remaining five chefs into one team; the chefs must compete head-to-head with individual dishes to impress trendsetters; Ramsay makes a heartfelt offer. 9 p.m. on Fox.

“How I Met Your Mother” – Ted and Barney try to convince Marshall his new girlfriend is crazy. (Repeat) 9:30 p.m. on CBS.

“CSI: Miami” – A member of the team dies after being shot in the head; the CSIs find evidence that could lead them to the man behind the shooting. (Repeat) 10 p.m. on CBS.

“Dateline NBC” – A fairy-tale romance in Nantucket, Mass., ends with a death and a trial. 10 p.m. on NBC.

“Simon Schama’s Power of Art” – J.M.W. Turner’s life and work, “Slavers Throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On.” 10 p.m. on WFWA, Channel 39.

Talk shows tonight

“David Letterman” – Drew Carey. 11:35 p.m. on CBS.

“Jay Leno” – Aaron Eckhart. 11:35 p.m. on NBC.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live” – Debra Messing; Kelly Rowland performs. 12:05 a.m. on ABC.

“Craig Ferguson” – Glenn Close. 12:35 a.m. on CBS.

“Conan O’Brien” – David Hyde Pierce; Kate Mara. (Repeat) 12:35 a.m. on NBC.

Amanda Bynes is all growed up

Amanda Bynes is all growed up
Amanda Bynes is all growed up
Jun 5, 2007, 11:17 AM | by Whitney Pastorek

Categories: Film, Television

One last Q&A from the MTV Movie Awards, PopWatchers, and then I won't say "fuchsia carpet" ever, ever again (DON'T THINK YOU'RE GETTING OFF THE HOOK, JON VOIGHT): After the jump is my quick chat with the lovely and talented Amanda Bynes, who is starring in this summer's Hairspray re-re-adaptation, and who appears to have suddenly become 21 years old.

I am flabbergasted at how this could have happened, as to the best of my knowledge the spunky little Nickelodeon farmhand (pictured, left, on her old Nick series The Amanda Show and at right arriving at Sunday's awards ceremony) has never been incarcerated, been publicly intoxicated, flashed her lady parts, dated Wilmer Valderrama, battled an eating disorder, or emancipated herself from an overbearing parent. In fact, it seems as though for the last 14 years, Amanda Bynes has done nothing but work hard, act well, have shiny hair, find the funny, and generally be the man. And now that she's a legal adult, she can go forth and prosper both in her career and in her life, unbesmirched by police records, dumbass catchphrases, unfortunate vomiting incidents, poor financial choices, or herpes. Huh. That's crazy.

Entertainment Weekly: When you get this dressed up for... [sweeping gesture with hand] this, how do you take it to the next level for an Emmys, or Oscars?
Amanda Bynes: That's a good point. Well, I haven't been asked to those yet, so I figure I'm not gonna worry about it. But I guess for that I'd wear a longer gown. This is, you know, a mid-thigh cut, so I figure at least it's a little bit younger. But you know, I've always wanted to wear a gown. I've never really worn one.

EW: Never?
AB: No! I've never been to the Oscars or the Emmys. So I just gotta keep doing a good job in movies, and hoping I will one day be nominated, and then I'll get to go. But I'm a big fan of not going somewhere unless you're involved in a movie that's being nominated or something. Otherwise I feel like you're just going to go, and I think that's kind of cheesy and annoying. So, [tonight] I'm just like, I was invited, I'm part of a movie that's presenting [Hairspray], so I'll go. But otherwise I like to sit home with my popcorn and my parents, and pick out things I like and don't like about other people's attire.

EW: Not to be creepy, but you're freaking me out by how grown up you are right now.
AB: Really? I'm sorry. [pauses] People have said that.

EW: Could you stop?
AB: I don't know what to do! I've tried to press my head down... but you know what? I'm 21 now, and I don't want to be so sexy that it's uncomfortable, so I'm definitely not doing any movies that are uncomfortable to watch. But there's cute boys around. You know. You wanna look a little sexy.

EW: Who are you macking on?
AB: Um, nobody that I can say in Entertainment Weekly!

EW: I wouldn't have printed it.
AB: It's a respectable magazine!

Article not available

Article not available
You requested an article that does not currently exist in our database. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Please try using the site's search to see if the article was simply moved to another section of the site or if another article can provide the information you seek.

You may also return to the previous page or go to the Home Page. To send us feedback, click here.

If you arrived at this page from an external site, please ask the owners of that site to update their link to us, as we have no control over external links.

Moviegoers like 'Evil'

Moviegoers like 'Evil'
Action sequel banks $9.2 million Friday

By VARIETY STAFF“Resident Evil: Extinction,” the third installment of Screen Gems zombie actioner franchise, loaded up $9.2 million for the top spot at Friday’s box office.
Pic’s first Friday B.O. is on par with the opening day take of its 2004 sequel, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” and 36% higher than the first “Evil” which bowed in March 2002. “Apocalypse” went on to grab the top spot of its early September 2004 frame with $23 million and a final domestic tally of $50.7 million.

Playing in 2,828 locations, “Extinction” is pacing well ahead of the weekend’s competish for the top spot at the box office.

The Dane Cook-Jessica Alba romantic comedy “Good Luck Chuck” placed second yesterday, swooning $4.9 million from 2,612 theaters. Pic’s Friday is 17% higher than the first day of Cook’s previous fall outing, last year’s “Employee of the Month” which co-starred Jessica Simpson. That film opened at $11.4 million during the first weekend of October and “Chuck” is expected to outpace it.

The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow drama “The Brave One” grabbed $2.2 million from 2,755 hardtops in its second Friday, 52% off from its opening day. Pic’s current cume stands at $19.9 million.

Focus Features’ wide expansion of David Cronenberg’s Russian mafia drama “Eastern Promises” took the fourth spot at the Friday box office with $1.8 million off 1,404 theaters, bringing its eight day cume to $2.6 million.

Lionsgate’s western “3:10 to Yuma” grossed $1.74 million yesterday on 2,902 for fifth, down 37% from last Friday. Since its Sept. 7 opening, the Russell Crowe-Christian Bale headliner has roped $33.3 million.

Ranking just behind “Yuma,” was U’s Amanda Bynes entry “Sydney White” with $1.73 million off 2,104.

Among other arthouse expansions in their sophomore frame, Tri-Star-Revolution’s “Across the Universe” posted $643,000 from 276 locales and a current cume of $1.6 million while Warner Independent’s “In the Valley of Elah” grossed $336,000 from 317, moving its total take to $518,000. Par Vantage’s opener “Into the Wild,” directed by Sean Penn, touted Friday’s highest screen average with $14,752 or $59,000 from four theaters.

The Brad Pitt oater “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” corralled $44,000 from 15 locations for a per screen average of $2,958

'Resident Evil' tops box office

amanda bynes pictureSony's 'Resident Evil: Extinction,' the third installment of the horror franchise, outgrossed the openings of either of the first two films.

'Resident Evil' tops box office
Film hails $24 million, niche takes 'Wild' ride

Sony's horror pic "Resident Evil: Extinction" proved to be another charmed three-quel in easily taking the weekend crown with an estimated gross of $24 million from 2,828 runs, while Paramount Vantage's "Into the Wild" led the crowded specialty race with a boffo per-screen average of $51,649.
For prestige titles, the playing field has never been so crowded this early in the season, sending distributors rushing to reevaluate their release plans.

Overall, box office biz was up 25% from last weekend -- an especially sluggish frame -- although moviegoing traffic still failed to overwhelm. Frame was essentially flat with the same weekend last year, when "Jackass Number Two" led with a $29 million opening.

Lionsgate laffer "Good Luck Chuck," starring Dane Cook and Jessica Alba," opened at No. 2, grossing an estimated $14 million from 2,612 locations, according to Rentrak. Perf was on the lower end of expectations.

Frame's other new wide entry was Morgan Creek-Universal's Amanda Bynes starrer "Sydney White," which came in No. 6, grossing an estimated $5.3 million from 2,104 theaters. U distributed the teen comedy per its output deal with Morgan Creek.

After a soft opening, Jodie Foster starrer "The Brave One" held respectably in its second frame, declining 45% to an estimated $7.4 million from 2,755 locations for a cume of $25.1 million. That put the Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures title at No. 3 for the weekend.

James Mangold's Western remake "3:10 to Yuma" had an even better hold, declining just 29% in its third frame to an estimated $6.3 million from 2,902 runs for a cume of $37.9 million. Film came in No. 4.

"That gives us two movies in the top five," Lionsgate distribution topper Steve Rothenberg said.

He added that "Good Luck Chuck" came in exactly where the studio wanted. Pic opened well ahead of last year's Dane Cook starrer "Employee of the Month," which grossed $11.4 million in its first weekend. Lionsgate also released that movie.

Sony also was celebratory. "Resident Evil: Extinction," based on the horror survival vidgame and returning Milla Jovovich to the bigscreen in the role of Alice, grossed more than either of the first two films.

"Resident Evil" opened to $17 million in 2002 on its way to a domestic cume of $40.1 million, while 2004 sequel "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" grossed $23 million on its way to a cume of $50.7 million.

Franchise is produced by Constantin Film, Davis Films and Impact Pictures.

On the specialty side, the industry paid close attention to the perf of David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises" as it went wide over the weekend in only its second frame.

In going wide so quickly, Focus Features was looking to mimic the success New Line enjoyed when taking Cronenberg's "A History of Violence" wide in its second weekend, grossing $8.1 million from 1,340 runs.

"Promises" grossed an estimated $5.7 million from 1,404 playdates for a per-screen average of $4,093 and a cume of $6.5 million, putting it at No. 5.

Pointing to the crowded marketplace, Focus prexy of distribution Jack Foley said the film was off to a "solid, sturdy" start.

The competish, however, questioned taking a specialty title wide too quickly instead of taking the more traditional platform route and slowly building an aud, considering a marketplace where there are plenty of choices for more serious moviegoers,.

Far and away, the weekend's winner among prestige titles was "Into the Wild," directed by Sean Penn and based on the book by Jon Krakauer. Well-reviewed drama, starring Emile Hirsch, grossed an estimated $206,596 from four runs in Gotham and Los Angeles for a per-screen average of $51,649.

That's among the top per-screen averages of all time for a limited release with a similar number of runs. Film's performance is a needed boost for Vantage, which has suffered several box office disappointments this year.

"We couldn't be happier with the results, both critically and at the box office," a Vantage spokesperson said. "I think it bodes well for the ongoing strength of the picture."

Vantage will expand this coming weekend into the top 10 or 12 markets, but no more.

The weekend's other high-profile limited release was Warner Bros.' "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. Film, directed by Andrew Dominik, grossed an estimated $144,000 from five runs in Gotham, Los Angeles and Toronto, for a per-screen average of $28,717.

Among its various plans for broadening the pic, Warners has decided to take the slower route. Over the weekend, Warners also held exclusive runs of the film in Austin, Texas, a common testing ground for Westerns.

"We are going to continue to roll it out on a platform basis. We will slowly expand. We don't want to get caught speeding," Warners prexy of distribution Dan Fellman said. "We have a movie that is very upscale, and that is also long, which restricts its runs. Sometimes, slower is better."

"Jesse James" will keep the same five locations this weekend, before moving into an additional nine markets Oct. 9.

Sony Pictures Classics' "The Jane Austen Book Club" debuted at an estimated $160,520 from 25 locations for a per-screen average of $6,421.

Among specialty pics expanding over the weekend, Sony/Revolution's "Across the Universe" grossed an estimated $2 million from 276 runs for a per-screen average of $7,345 and a cume of $3 million. That put the Julie Taymor pic, constructed around the music of the Beatles, at No. 13.

Whimsical romancer is benefiting from the same sort of female interest that made New Line's "Hairspray" a surprise performer. And like "Hairspray," Taymor's film is getting lots of repeat business.

"There's no doubt that there are multiple viewings," Sony prexy of distribution Rory Bruer said. "Basically, there are two different contingencies in the aud. There are older Beatle fans, but the majority has been a younger aud."

Like Warners and Vantage, Bruer will stick to a traditional platform release.

Also expanding over the weekend was Warner Independent Pictures' "In the Valley of Elah," which placed No. 17, grossing an estimated $1.3 million from 317 runs for a per-screen average of $4,022 and a cume of $1.4 million.

"Elah," directed by Paul Haggis and starring Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron, is among the first of a handful of movies dealing with the consequences of the Iraq war and the Middle East. On Sept. 28, Universal bows "The Kingdom."

Warner Independent distribution topper Steven Friedlander said "Elah" enjoyed a "very solid expansion," and that the drama played well across all markets, helping to minimize worries that it wouldn't play well in more conservative states because it would be perceived as a liberal title.

ThinkFilm docu "In the Shadow of the Moon," about the Apollo astronauts, grossed an estimated $178,150 as it expanded to 67 locations in its third frame for a per-screen average of 2,659 and a cume of $341,661.

The Weinstein Co.-MGM's "The Hunting Party," starring Richard Gere and Terrence Howard, grossed an estimated $351,000 as it expanded to 329 locations in its third frame for a per-screen average of $1,067 and a cume of $543,814.

More than one option(Person) Sydney White
(Film) Sydney White and the Seven Dorks
More than one option(Film) The Brave One
(Film) Brave One
More than one option(Film) Employee of the Month
(Tv) Employee of the Month
More than one option(Film) A History of Violence
(Film) A History of Violence
2005 - Viggo Mortensen, David CronenbergMore than one option(Film) Promises
(Film) Det Stora Loftet
More than one option(Person) Jack Foley
(Person) Jack Foley
Director of PhotographyMore than one option(Person) Jon Krakauer
Book as Source Material, Source Material
(Person) Jon Krakauer
ActorMore than one option(Film) American Outlaws
(Person) Jesse James
Song, Actor
(Person) Jesse James
Art Director, Assistant Director, Production
(Person) Jesse James
(Person) Jesse James
ActorMore than one option(Film) Hairspray
1988 - Sonny Bono, John Waters
(Film) Hairspray
More than one option(Film) The Kingdom
1995 - Ernst-Hugo Jaregard, Lars von Trier
(Film) Happy Feet
(Film) The Kingdom
2007 - Jamie Foxx, Peter Berg
(Tv) Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital
More than one option(Person) Thomas R Lee
(Person) Tommy Lee
Actor, Music, Producer
(Person) Tommy Lee
Actor, Driver, ProductionMore than one option(Film) The Hunting Party
Oliver Reed, Don Medford
(Film) The Hunting Party

Weekly Vpage roundup

amanda bynes
Sylvester Stallone pals around with Milla Jovovich at the Las vegas preem of 'Resident Evil: Extinction.'

amanda bynes
Sylvester Stallone pals around with Milla Jovovich at the Las vegas preem of 'Resident Evil: Extinction.'

Bernie Brillstein chats with Paul Bennett at the Talent Managers Assn. Seymour Heller wards.

amanda bynes photo'Sydney White' star Amanda Bynes waves to fans at Thursday's premiere in Westwood.

Weekly Vpage roundup
Stallone checks out 'Evil,' 'Sydney White' bows

More than one option(Person) Paul Bennett
Actor, Stand-In
(Person) Paul Bennett
Assistant Director, Office Runner, Production
(Person) Paul Bennett
Assistant Director
"Resident Evil: Extinction" premieres
Sylvester Stallone was one of the many stars rubbing elbows with pic's star Milla Jovovich at the film's Las Vegas preem of "Resident Evil: Extinction" at Planet Hollywood.

Talent Managers award their own

The Talent Managers Assn.'s annual Seymour Heller Awards were held Wednesday in L.A. Among those in atten-dance were Bernie Brillstein and Paul Bennett.

"Sydney White" premieresMore than one option(Person) Sydney White
(Film) Sydney White and the Seven Dorks

"Sydney White" star Amanda Bynes was on hand for the film's Westwood premiere on Thursday.

Conan, VH1 save the music

Conan O'Brien struck a chord for a good cause at the VH1 Save the Music 10th anniversary gala on Thursday at Gotham's Lincoln Center.

Tribeca screens shorts

Josh Lucas was in attendance at the annual Tropfest@Tribeca short film fest held Sunday in Gotham.

"Game Plan"

"The Game Plan" star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson mingled with co-star Madison Pettis and Spike the Bulldog at the film's Hollywood premiere on Sunday.

Pic's Kyra Sedgwick with Ali Larter were also on hand.

Nickelodeon ups Paula Kaplan

Nickelodeon ups Paula Kaplan
Casting guru promoted to exec VP of talent
By JOSEF ADALIANNickelodeon is carving out a major new role for Paula Kaplan, the longtime casting exec who helped launch the careers of tween talent such as Amanda Bynes, Lil' Romeo and Nick Cannon.
Kaplan has been upped to exec VP of talent/talent development and West Coast g.m., a gig that makes her Nick's top exec in Los Angeles. She'll continue heading up casting for the cabler and its offshoots while adding music and talent development to her slate.

"Paula planted the Nickelodeon flag in the creative community many years ago, when most people outside of New York didn't even know what Nickelodeon was," said Nick/MTV Nets Kids and Family Group prexy Cyma Zarghami, to whom Kaplan reports. "She has built one of the most successful rosters of kid and tween talent in the industry ... She will be our primary point person in Los Angeles for all talent and music initiatives as well as our senior executive representing all aspects of Nickelodeon within the creative community."

Kaplan's new music responsibilities come in the wake of the cabler's recently announced four-year pact with Sony Music to co-develop, co-produce and jointly finance TV and music projects. One of the first projects under the initiatives is a CD tied to Nick's hit "The Naked Brothers Band."

Exec, who'd been senior VP of talent since 2002, has been with the cabler for 13 years. In addition to Bynes and Cannon, Kaplan helped cast Nick stars such as Jamie Lynn Spears, Josh Peck and Drake Bell ("Josh & Drake"), Emma Roberts and Lil' JJ. She also serves as co-exec producer of the Kids' Choice Awards, booking host/presenter talent such as Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

Kaplan's Nick career began in New York, where she served as director of PR for the cabler from 1993 until 1994. She launched Nick's West Coast talent department in 1996.

Paula Kaplan Nickelodeon casting vet is 'All That'

amanda bynes wallpapers

Paula Kaplan
Nickelodeon casting vet is 'All That'

Britney Spears' kid sister Jamie Lynn made an appearance on "Oprah" in 2002 that changed her life. Paula Kaplan spotted her on the show and flew the 10-year-old from Louisiana to L.A. for a sit-down.
"We asked Jamie Lynn if she had any characters," recalls Kaplan, recently promoted to executive VP of talent and West Coast general manager for Nickelodeon. "She did an incredible old-lady security guard, and we were like, 'That voice came out of this little body?'"

Kaplan cast Spears on "All That," an established sketch comedy series featuring Amanda Bynes, and auds quickly confirmed her hunch about Spears' star potential.

"Somebody sent me an email saying Jamie Lynn got the second-most fan mail after Amanda Bynes," Kaplan says. "I thought, 'We've got something here.'"

A 13-year Nickelodeon vet, Kaplan has overseen the casting of the network's top stars, including Bynes, Emma Roberts, Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Lil' JJ, Lil' Romeo and Nick Cannon. Once she's signed a performer, she monitors the child's progress and his or her fan base. Kaplan often makes swift recommendations to the network: Give this kid a show.

Spears graduated to "Zoey 101," a popular Nick sitcom which producer Dan Schneider created with the actress in mind.

Kaplan's success with kids' casting results from a combination of easy people skills (she started as PR director of Nick), business savvy and natural maternal instincts. After a certain amount of camera testing, Kaplan, a mother of two, sits down with each potential Nick hire.

"I want to be in a room with the kid so I can really engage with them and hear how they answer questions -- without the manager or the mother," says Kaplan, who also co-exec produces the Nickelodeon-sponsored Kids' Choice Awards, an event frequented by such hugely popular teen stars-turned-megacelebrities as Justin Timberlake and Tom Cruise.

Kaplan is credited with raising the net's corporate profile, forging and maintaining relationships with studios and making the awards show a high-profile Hollywood event.

Recent breakthrough: Found stars for "Drake and Josh," "Zoey 101," "Ned's Declassified," "iCarly" and "Just Jordan," to name a few.

Role model: "Nick Cannon. He's a really good kid. He's driven, but he's socially conscious. You don't see Nick in the tabloids."

What's next: "We've entered into a record deal with Sony. On Oct. 9, our first CD, the soundtrack from the first season of 'The Naked Brothers' Band' comes out. It's 'Monkees' meets 'Hard Day's Night.'"

Samm Levine

amanda bynes pic
Samm Levine


APA has signed thesp Samm Levine. Levine was most recently seen in "Sydney White" opposite Amanda Bynes. Additional credits include "Freaks and Geeks" and "Not Another Teen Movie."

Katherine Heigl set for 'Truth'

amanda bynes
Katherine Heigl set for 'Truth'
Film reunites 'Legally Blonde' director, writers

Katherine Heigl will topline the battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy "The Ugly Truth" for Lakeshore Entertainment.
Film reunites the "Legally Blonde" team of helmer Robert Luketic and writers Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith.

Columbia Pictures will distribute "Ugly Truth" worldwide.

Story centers on a romantically challenged morning show producer (Heigl) who is reluctantly embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by her chauvinistic correspondent to prove his theories on relationships and help her find love. His clever ploys, however, lead to an unexpected result.

Shooting is scheduled to begin April 15.

Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing alongside Steve Reuther.

Film was greenlit based on Lutz & Smith's rewrite of Nicole Eastman's original screenplay. Lutz & Smith last teamed with Lakeshore on the Amanda Bynes starrer "She's the Man."

Heigl, who starred in the summer hit "Knocked Up," will next be seen in "27 Dresses" for Fox 2000.

Luketic's next film, the casino thriller "21," will be distributed by Sony. His credits include "Monster-in-Law" and "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!"

Disney, Nickelodeon mint child stars

Disney, Nickelodeon mint child stars
Cablers use mixed methods to make kid careers

The reels kept coming in every few months to the Disney Channel offices in Burbank. A gawky pre-teen girl with a charming Tennessee drawl was determined to land the role of her dreams in a show that the kidvid cabler was developing about an everyday tween kid who happens to lead a double life as a rock star.
The great "Hannah Montana" hunt became the Disney Channel's version of the search for Scarlett O'Hara, dragging on for more than a year. The first time Disney Channel entertainment prexy Gary Marsh and "Hannah" co-creator/executive producer Michael Poryes saw 11-year-old Miley Cyrus on tape, they thought she was adorable and well-spoken, but a little too young and unpolished to fit the "Hannah" bill.

But Miley's persistence paid off. Just as producers were prepared to go to pilot with a more experienced moppet, another Miley reel arrived, this time, with another year of acting lessons under her rhinestone belt. They had their Hannah.

"We made a bet on Miley that she had that star quality, the charisma and the 'it' factor to create this role," Marsh says. "For us, every casting session, every development project starts with the notion that we have to create our own stars. We don't have the same established pool of talent" to select from as adult shows do.

Cyrus' story of how she got the gig that turned her into a kidvid star is a good example of the unconventional talent scouting techniques used in the exploding world of tween- and teen-centric entertainment. Youth-oriented film, TV, music and DVD fare is a vibrant and fast-growing marketplace but one that remains dominated by the two powerhouse cablers that invented the contempo incarnation of the genre, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel.

For execs at both outfits, the search for fresh faces and potential breakout personalities is a 24/7, year-round pursuit that is a crucial element in their quest to remain hip and cool in the eyes of the most fickle of demographics.

"We meet with kids all the time, and we're always looking for relatabilty," says Paula Kaplan, executive VP of talent and West Coast general manager of Nickelodeon.

"What we're always trying to (showcase) on Nick is people who are regular kids -- not the beauty-pageant-winner kind of talent. And we like diversity. You'll never see all blond girls on Nick, or all skinny girls. We live to mix it up so that the shows on air reflect the real world of a kid."

But it takes more than schoolyard charm to make it in the high-stakes world of kidvid these days, especially if a moppet has designs on transitioning to grown-up roles later on. Talent reps who specialize in youth thesps say there's never been more demand for triple-threat kids -- witness the Disney Channel's phenomenal worldwide success with its "High School Musical" tuner franchise. Given that kids now have ample platforms to become superstars in the tween universe, it's more important than ever that youthful performers are wise to the ways of the industry and have a strong support network behind them.

The Nick teen fix

Nickelodeon is famous for its farm-team system of developing new shows around actors who are introduced to the Nick aud by supporting or guest-starring roles in other shows. It started more than a decade ago with the sketch comedy "All That," when execs and producers couldn't help but notice the chemistry between two of the troupers, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, who were given their own show, "Kenan and Kel." Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon and Jamie Lynn Spears also served stints on "All That" on their way to starring in their own Nick series. Bynes' "The Amanda Show" featured Drake Bell and Josh Peck in supporting roles before they graduated to "Drake and Josh." Miranda Cosgrove, star of Nick's latest buzz-bin series "iCarly," was a regular on "Drake and Josh."

"I haven't been out of production since 1994," says writer-producer Dan Schneider, himself a one-time child actor who is now Nickelodeon's most prolific supplier of programs, including "Amanda," Spears' "Zoey 101," "Drake and Josh" and "iCarly."

"All of my shows have been farmed from a previous show. We take casting even minor roles on all of our shows incredibly seriously because that's how you keep it going," Schneider says. "You remember people who impress you (in auditions). Even if they're not right for the role we're casting, I file them in the back of my head and when I'm casting something else they are right for I can just say 'Aha! Go get that girl.'"

And once the show is ready to break, the kid star becomes the centerpiece of a multimedia marketing blitz that is usually focused more on launching its tyro entertainer as a new brand affiliated with a favorite channel than on strictly pumping the program. That's one reason so many of the latest hot properties -- including Disney Channel's "Hannah" and "High School Musical" franchise or Nickelodeon's "The Naked Brothers Band" -- emphasize music, which makes for a natural ancillary marketing hook through recordings and live performances.

"The audience wants to have different access points for their (favorite) stars, and they want as much access as they can get," Kaplan says.

Having a rich Web presence is vital, of course, but it all still comes down to the TV property to drive everything else. There won't be much in the way of soundtrack sales, albums, books, merchandising or feature-film adaptations without a successful TV program to stoke demand and lend legitimacy to a newcomer.

"We have a lot of people come to us who now want the whole Disney package," says Marsh, citing the company's strength at cross-pollinating properties among its feature, publishing, Internet, music and theatrical productions. "We have to tell people, 'One step at a time. Let us help develop your talents.' Because it has to start out (on Disney Channel) to drive appeal. Once you've got that baseline level of awareness, then we can talk about what the extensions are, and with the right talent, the sky's the limit."

Instant messaging

The fast expansion of the tween/ teen market during the past dozen years has also had the effect of rewriting the rules of what it takes to become a kidvid star.

Forget the Shirley Temple model. For programs aimed at kids in the 6-15 range, execs and producers say, an actor must come off as extremely relatable to the aud in a kid-next-door way, yet their on-air personality has to be compelling enough to get a firm grip on a demo with short attention spans. Actors on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel live-action shows can't be too over-the-top, but they can't be too low-key either.

"A lot of kids are groomed through commercials, where the acting is bigger for the salesmanship factor. It can be a challenge to take them down a notch," Marsh says. "But it's easier to take someone down a notch than to raise them up a notch in terms of energy. If they're too low-key, you don't know if that's a choice or a limitation."

"A lot of it falls down to that first 10 seconds in the room and how they behave," says Bonnie Liedtke, an agent with WMA who has specialized in repping kid actors for more than 20 years. Among her finds over the years have been Leonardo DiCaprio, Hilary Swank and "High School Musical's" Zac Efron and Corbin Bleu.

In her first 10 years or so in the kidvid sector, the onus was on Liedtke to proactively scout for new faces. Now she doesn't have enough hours in the day to see all the genuinely talented interested in booking an audition. The fact that there are so many more employment options for younger actors these days has made many more kids focused on breaking into showbiz, Liedtke says.

Popularity contest

Like most talent scouting processes, hopefuls generally come in the door at Disney Channel and Nick through agents, managers, casting directors and recommendations from others in the industry, particularly young actors themselves. Disney Channel execs periodically try to hold discreet open calls in various cities. They work through local talent reps and acting schools, and occasionally place a local ad that doesn't identify it as a Disney Channel-hosted audition.

Two years ago they made the rounds, and out of 5,000 kids who cycled through their stops in a handful of cities, a girl from Texas stood out in Marsh's mind. The young actress, Selena Gomez, was cast in the pilot for the spinoff of "Lizzie McGuire," which didn't go, and last year they gave her two more pilots, one of which became the recently launched series "The Wizards of Waverly Place."

"That's a question of betting on talent," Marsh says. "Once you find the person, you've got to make a commitment to give them work to get their shot."

Big casts make for major challenges

UNKNOWN FORECAST: Finding the young thesps to fill out the acting ensemble of 'Atonement' led the film's casting director on long, exhaustive talent searches.

Big casts make for major challenges
Finding right mix of actors can lead to SAG win

A great ensemble cast doesn't necessarily lead to a great film -- but it helps. In five of the 12 years it has been awarded, the SAG Award for ensemble cast of a film has predicted the picture award at the Oscars ("Crash," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "Chicago," "American Beauty" and "Shakespeare in Love"). Even if it doesn't lead to Oscar's top prize, a SAG win in the cast category can create Oscar heat, as it did for last year's winner, "Little Miss Sunshine," which went on to win for original screenplay and for Alan Arkin's supporting turn.
Variety spoke with several casting directors about the major challenges they faced in putting their respective ensembles together.

Atonement. Jina Jay needed to find three different actresses to play the role of Briony, the adolescent who falsely accuses a man of rape. "Vanessa Redgrave happened first," she says, "and then Romola Garai, who plays Briony as an 18-year-old." But the revelation was the 12-year-old Briony, Saoirse Ronan. "Saoirse was recommended by a dialogue coach I'd worked with. Saoirse's father sent a DVD of her reading. Spectacular! We flew her to London with several other girls. We met an enormous number of girls, 350 girls, whom we saw on a one-to-one basis -- 350 is a lot."

There Will Be Blood. According to Cassandra Kulukundis, Paul Thomas Anderson "often wants unknown faces and nonactors. With this film, it was vital. The script was set in turn of the century, and the people were starving on the land. They were 35 but looked 55." So she rented a car and drove around the country looking for unknowns. Among her finds was 9-year-old Dillon Freasier from Fort Davis, Texas. "I had gone on a search for a child who was more interested in the outdoors, not a kid who watched TV and played Game Boy," she says. "I met Dillon at his school and videotaped him, and ran back to California to show my tape to Paul."

Sweeney Todd. Susie Figgis, a Tim Burton veteran, says this pic was one of her toughest. "I'd know how to cast a Tim Burton movie and I know how to cast a musical," she says. "But the two are not an easy marriage. You're trying to find this quirky world of Tim Burton, but you need to find people who can sing." And they all had to be okayed by Stephen Sondheim. Another challenge, Figgis says, is that Burton wanted the teenagers to actually look like teenagers. "He wanted 16 and 17, which is younger than drama school kids. I discovered singing corners of Europe that I didn't know existed. I discovered youth opera societies in North Ireland," which is how she found Jayne Wisener to play the young female lead, Johanna.

Charlie Wilson's War. As Ellen Lewis explains it, "There's a Vegas section of this movie and a Washington section of this movie, they're in Jerusalem at one point, they're in Texas. At the same time, you have to make everyone cohesive. Mike Nichols has a theory -- he says everybody needs to be almost part of the same person." Fortunately, Nichols knows actors and keeps close tabs on the theater world, which is where he got Denis O'Hare, John Slattery, Christopher Denham and Ken Stott. Nichols even cast one of his students from Gotham's New Actors Workshop, Joe Roland, who wrote and starred in a play that Nichols produced Off-Broadway.

Eastern Promises. Casting directors Deirdre Bowen and Nina Gold needed to find actors who could play Russian mobsters in London. "We had a lovely fellow who had a Turkish acting troupe in London, and he made some connections for us," Bowen says. "We were looking at a cross section of London that was not the London you see in 'Masterpiece Theater.' " Eastern European supporting players include the Polish actor Jerzy Skolimowski and the Turkish Josef Altin, plus lots of Russians for the ensemble scenes.

American Gangster. "This was the easiest job, even though it was a huge, huge cast," says Avy Kaufman. "A lot of times you show directors a lot of people and you have to show them 20,000 more," but Ridley Scott was decisive. Because the material was attractive, Kaufman says, "I got great people to do parts they wouldn't normally do," including Roger Bart ("Young Frankenstein"), who plays an angry attorney and Kevin Corrigan ("Grounded for Life"), who in one scene gets to bite Russell Crowe.

Michael Clayton. Ellen Chenoweth had little trouble recruiting actors for juicy supporting roles to surround George Clooney. "There was something King Lear-ish in a way" about Tom Wilkinson's character, says the casting director, whose list consisted of classically-trained Brits and Aussies, plus Warren Beatty. Chenoweth was particularly proud of calling Tony Gilroy's attention to Sean Cullen, who played Clooney's more responsible brother. "He's like the guys you saw running into the World Trade Center," she says. "He has this dignity and goodness about him. That guy could say to George, 'Stop messing around.' "

Hairspray. David Rubin and Richard Kicks covered all bases. "Musicals have recently had a rough time of it at the box office," says Rubin, "so we had one eye on the kinds of actors who could attract a broad audience. We wanted the offbeat character actors like Chris Walken, the latest matinee idol like Zac Efron, the Disney Channel heroine Amanda Bynes, and John Travolta, the reigning kind of movie musicals." At one of open-call audition, they found newcomer Elijah Kelley. "There was no one else in the casting session for that role," says Rubin. "We hoped not to go further." And they didn't.

Into the Wild. Francine Maisler credits Sean Penn with making the casting process an easy one. "He makes the sessions a very safe place for the actors so they feel free to experiment. He knows what he is looking for, but he is also open to being surprised," says the casting director. And how did she find those bizarre skinny-dipping tourists? "The two tourists in the Grand Canyon were originally written as German, but we decided to also look in Copenhagen, which is where we found the actress Signe Olsen. I'm always open to looking anywhere in the world to find the right person for the role." (Robert Hofler contributed to this report.)

The Rep Sheet - December 28, 2004

The Rep Sheet - December 28, 2004

Date: Tuesday, December 28 2004

Benjamin King, whose credits include "Saving Jessica Lynch," "Six Feet Under" and the NBC pilot "Weekends," has signed with Innovative Artists Agency and manager Peter Principato of Principato Young. King also will appear in an upcoming episode of the WB Network's "What I Like About You," starring Amanda Bynes. His credits also include "S.W.A.T." and "Lethal Weapon 4." … Chameleon Entertainment CEO
Damon Harman has joined forces with Jonathan Nixon to relaunch Point of View Films, a commercial/music video production company. POV has signed Ryan Craig, who will write and direct the upcoming feature film "Small Town Saturday Night." POV will produce under the Chameleon Entertainment banner. Chameleon was formed this year by Harman to produce reality programming for network and cable television. Nixon, president of Point of View Films, produced and directed national television commercial campaigns for Disney World, Budweiser, America Online, Motorola and Bacardi. Chameleon Entertainment is represented by ICM. Craig is represented by CAA. … Craig Kirkwood, who starred as Rev in "Remember the Titans," has signed with Diverse Talent Agency for theatrical representation and Will Levine for personal management. … Also signing with Diverse is Dwayne Adway. His recent credits include 20th Century Fox's "First Daughter" and MGM's "Soul Plane." Adway is best known for his role as Dennis Rodman in "Bad as I Wanna Be: The Dennis Rodman Story." He next appears in MGM's "Into the Blue," which follows a group of deep-sea divers who get into trouble with a drug lord when they discover a sunken airplane filled with illicit cargo. Adway is managed by Mark Schumacher of Schumacher Management, and his attorney is James Feldman of Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Goodman. … David Shapira and Associates has expanded its talent department with the arrival of Mark Scroggs and Ryan Karvola. Both agents were at Don Buchwald & Associates. At Buchwald, Scroggs worked closely with talent and comedy clients and will continue to do so at DSA. Before his time at Buchwald, he was an agent at the APA Agency and Paul Kohner Inc. At Buchwald, Karvola worked with Scroggs and West Coast president Tim Angle. He also worked with talent and comedy clients as well as reality and hosting clients. … Osbrink, the decade-old child and young adult talent agency, has appointed former WMA talent agent Robert Haas to spearhead the agency's newly christened adult theatrical talent division. Haas joined Osbrink last year, following four years at WMA and five years at ICM. Accompanying Haas at Osbrink are actress Alexandra Paul, whose recent credits include "Landslide," "Saving Emily" and "A Woman Hunted"; Ned Bellamy, whose credits include "Ice Town," "The Whole Ten Yards" and the upcoming "Lords of Dogtown"; and actor Ben Falcone ("Chicken Party," "Trial and Error"). Paul is represented by manager Daniel Sladek; Bellamy by manager Laina Cohn. In addition, Haas also represents a select few of the agency's premier young adults and elite youth clients. … CAA has signed Andrew Steele, co-head writer of "Saturday Night Live." Steele's other credits include "The Ladies Man" and "The Jon Stewart Show."

Today's 'girl' Is 'debutante' With Plot Curves

Today's 'girl' Is 'debutante' With Plot Curves

Date: Friday, April 4 2003

"Girl" genesis: There may only be a handful of plots in all of literature, but Hollywood's gotten very good at updating and fine tuning them to produce a steady stream of new movies.

A case in point is "What A Girl Wants" from Warner Bros. in association with Gaylord Films, opening April 4 in more than 2,900 theaters. Directed by Dennie Gordon and produced
by Denise Di Novi, Bill Gerber and Hunt Lowry, the romantic comedy was written by Jenny Bicks and Elizabeth Chandler. The film is based on William Douglas Home's screenplay and stage play "The Reluctant Debutante." Executive produced by E. K. Gaylord II, Alison Greenspan and Casey La Scala, "Girl" stars Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Eileen Atkins, Anna Chancellor and Jonathan Pryce.

"One of my favorite movies is 'The Reluctant Debutante' (1958) with Sandra Dee, Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall (and directed by Vincente Minnelli). I always loved stories about girls having adventures or going to foreign locales and I got the idea to remake the movie," Di Novi told me. "We developed the screenplay at Warners for a few years. We kept basically the same concept of a girl going to England to find her father, but we added the surprise element where she goes to find a father who never knew she existed."

With plot curves like this, "Girl" has turned into a more contemporary coming of age story than the original film was. The approach is already showing signs of working with the young female audience, which knows Bynes from television programs like Nickelodeon's "The Amanda Show" and her new WB comedy "What I Like About You" and from her role opposite Frankie Muniz in the movie "Big Fat Liar." Last Saturday night Warners held some 1,000 well attended sneak previews of "Girl" with those on hand scoring the picture a very encouraging 85% in the Top Two Boxes (excellent and very good).

Di Novi began developing the project, she said, when she was "at Turner Pictures and then Turner merged with Warner Bros. and my deal moved there. It was about five or six years ago. The first draft was from Jenny Bicks, who went on to 'Sex and the City' fame (as a writer-producer and winning two Golden Globes and an Emmy). She was a new screenwriter at that time. Then we had Jessica Bendinger, who wrote 'Bring It On.' Jessica didn't end up getting credit. And then Elizabeth Chandler (whose credits include 'A Little Princess' and 'Someone Like You') did the final draft. When Billy Gerber left his job as president (of worldwide theatrical production at Warners), I invited him to partner with me on the movie. He's my producing partner. And when the script was ready we had Dennie

Carmack Goes Overboard For 'lovewrecked'

Carmack Goes Overboard For 'lovewrecked'

Date: Tuesday, June 22 2004

You are viewing page 1
Former "The O.C." regular Chris Carmack is in negotiations to team with Amanda Bynes in the romantic comedy "Lovewrecked" for helmer Randal Kleiser. Media 8 Entertainment is producing along with the recently relaunched Bacon & Eggs from a script by Stephen Langford.

"Lovewrecked" finds Bynes as Jenny, an 18-year-old who is ecstatic when she learns that her favorite
rock star — to be played by Carmack — is a guest at the tropical resort where she is working for the summer. When they are both thrown overboard during a cruise, Jenny finds herself stranded alone with him on what they think is a remote beach.

Media 8's Stewart Hall is producing with Bacon & Eggs' Joe Anderson and Wendy Thorlakson.

Carmack is best known for his role as Luke Ward on the freshman year of Fox's hit series "O.C." His other credits include a starring role opposite Dennis Hopper in the USA Network original telefilm "The Last Ride."

He is repped by Writers and Artists Group International, managers Ted Gekis and Daniel Ribera and attorney Matthew Thompson at Stroock, Stroock & Lavan.

Carmack goes overboard for `Lovewrecked'

Carmack goes overboard for `Lovewrecked'

Date: Tuesday, June 22 2004

You are viewing page 1
Former ``The O.C.'' regular Chris Carmack is in negotiations to team with Amanda Bynes in the romantic comedy ``Lovewrecked'' for helmer Randal Kleiser.
``Lovewrecked'' finds Bynes as Jenny, an 18-year-old who is ecstatic when she learns that her favorite rock star _ to be played by Carmack _ is a guest at the tropical resort where she is working for the summer. When they are
both thrown overboard during a cruise, Jenny finds herself stranded alone with him on what they think is a remote beach.

'blonde' Scribes Eye Bard Update

'blonde' Scribes Eye Bard Update

Date: Friday, May 14 2004

You are viewing page 1
"Legally Blonde" scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith are in discussions to rewrite the untitled Shakespeare makeover that is being developed as a starring vehicle for Amanda Bynes.

Set up at DreamWorks, the romantic comedy is being produced by the Donners' Co. and is described as a contemporary take on "Twelfth Night." The story centers on a girl who poses
as her missing twin brother for two weeks.

Bynes, who made her mark on Nickelodeon with "The Amanda Show" and "All That," toplines the WB Network's sophomore comedy "What I Like About You." On the big screen, she starred in "What a Girl Wants" and "Big Fat Liar."

Donners' president Ewan Jack Leslie, who wrote the first draft of the screenplay, will produce with Lauren Shuler Donner. Marc Haimes and Jeanne Allgood are overseeing for DreamWorks.

Leslie is repped by Alex Goldstone and Jeff Graup at Bondesen-Graup and attorney Joel McKuin at Colden, McKuin and Frankel. Bynes is repped by UTA and attorney Dave Feldman. Lutz and Smith are repped by Genesi



Date: Thursday, May 27 2004

You are viewing page 1
Amanda Bynes has inked to topline the romantic comedy ``Lovewrecked'' for helmer Randal Kleiser. The project marks Bynes' first starring role after the Dennie Gordon-helmed ``What a Girl Wants'' for Warner Bros. Pictures. Shooting starts next month in the Caribbean. ``Lovewrecked'' finds Bynes as Jenny, an 18-year-old girl who is ecstatic when she finds that her favorite rock star is a guest at the
tropical resort where she is working for the summer. When they are both thrown overboard during a cruise, Jenny finds herself stranded alone with him on what they think is a remote beach. . . . Walter Hill has signed on to direct the cop thriller ``Little Sister'' for Millennium Films. Hill will direct from a script he co-wrote with his production partner and longtime collaborator David Giler. The story centers on a female cop who teams up with a Mafia-type thug seeking retribution for his little sister's death. Hill's directing credits include ``48 Hrs.,'' ``Southern Comfort,'' ``Red Heat'' and ``Deadwood.'' . . . David Mackenzie, who made waves for helming the controversial NC-17-rated ``Young Adam,'' starring Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton, will next direct ``Nico'' for Vagabond Films, the company said Wednesday. Based on the book ``Nico: The End'' by James Young, the biopic will center on the life of Nico, a model-singer-actress who was part of the Andy Warhol scene in the 1960s. She appeared in Federico Fellini's 1960 film ``La Dolce Vita'' and was chosen by Warhol to sing with the Velvet Underground. Heroin addiction took over her life, however, and she died in 1988 in a bicycle accident in Ibiza, Spain. The project, described as dark and funny, also will revolve around the lives of the other members of the Velvet Underground while Nico was a member.

In Focus

In Focus

Date: Tuesday, February 28 2006

Canadian hearts swell whenever one of their own marches on Hollywood with movie-mogul ambitions.

Toronto's Derek Elliot is the latest. Elliot caught the movie bug in 2004 when Montreal-based independent producer Media 8 Entertainment shot the Amanda Bynes-starring teen pic "Lovewrecked" on location at his tony Sun Village Resort and Spa in the Dominican Republic.

That sand-to-stardust Hollywood shoot led Elliot, backed by his family's real estate fortune, to invest in future Media 8 films, most recently Mike Binder's Ben Affleck starrer "Man About Town."

"We're not dabblers. This is a business opportunity for us," Elliot says, pointing to Gulf & Western Industries, the sprawling conglomerate that bought Paramount in 1966, as the template for his own Hollywood play.

Ever since Louis B. Mayer co-founded MGM, ambitious Canadians have latched on to Hollywood partners, told the business media they were hardly in over their heads, and then sunk, swam or disappeared in shark-infested waters.

Most famously, there was Edgar Bronfman Jr. steering his family's Seagram empire away from liquor and Dupont stock into PolyGram and Universal Pictures before an ill-fated all-stock acquisition by Vivendi six years ago.

Elsewhere, high-flying Toronto investment banker Frank Guistra launched Vancouver-based Lions Gate Entertainment as a mini-studio in 1997, only to sell his depleted stake in 2002 to Los Angeles-based investors Michael Burns and Jon Feltheimer.

Also ending up on Hollywood's cutting-room floor was Montreal-based visual effects software giant Richard Szalwinski, whose Discreet Logic empire in 1996 bought independent producer Malo film. Szalwinski quickly expanded and ran up steep losses before merging with Los Angeles-based Mark Damon's MDP Worldwide. That union eventually morphed into the nominally Canadian Media 8 Entertainment, Elliot's current partner.

There is the occasional success story. Buyout specialist Gerry Schwartz followed up taking a minority stake in independent producer Phoenix Pictures by flipping the Loews Cineplex cinema chain for $1.4 billion. But mostly there's flame-outs, with Fireworks Entertainment Inc., Paragon Entertainment, Telescene Film Group and Blackwatch Entertainment rounding out the list of production also-rans.

Elliot aims to buck that trend by making "studio-quality pictures for indie prices" with Media 8 Entertainment. He was emboldened by the Weinstein brothers' recent acquisition of U.S. release rights for "Lovewrecked."

And Elliot insists he holds patient money and a long-term view of the movie production market.

Etan Vlessing can be reached at

'man' Gives Par Another Double Win

'man' Gives Par Another Double Win

Date: Thursday, July 27 2006

You are viewing page 1
Paramount Home Entertainment topped the national video sales and rental charts for the third week this month, this time with the teen comedy "She's the Man," starring Amanda Bynes.

The film, which grossed $33.7 million in theaters, is the first DreamWorks title Paramount distributed on home video.

On VideoScan's First Alert DVD sales
chart for the week ending July 23, "Man" handily beat Warner Home Video's "ATL," a $21.1 million theatrical earner. Buena Vista's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" slipped one notch to No. 3, still riding high on the theatrical momentum of its sequel, the year's No. 1 movie.

On Home Media Retailing's video rental chart for the week, "Man" pushed another Paramount title, "Failure to Launch," to the No. 2 spot. This month, "Launch" gave Paramount its first double win with a first-place debut on the sales and rental charts. The comedy remained on top of both charts the next week, then slipped to No. 3 on the sales chart while retaining its grip as the nation's No. 1 video rental.

Its first week in stores, "Man" generated $6.9 million in rental revenue, more than 20% of its theatrical take. "Failure" generated an additional $5.7 million, bringing its rental earnings after four weeks in stores to $34.2 million — nearly 40% of its boxoffice gross.

What I Like About You

What I Like About You

Date: Friday, September 20 2002

Promotional pictures for this comedy about two sisters show Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth beaming at each other. Make no mistake, though, this is Bynes' show. She's the one who had the pilot commitment, she's the one with the tween-age Nickelodeon following, and she's the one whose comedy -- a blend of pratfall shtick and gags that land on the ear like jackhammers -- sets the tone for the show.

The time period occupied by "What I Like About You" had been the time period for "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," so maybe tradition has something to do with the fact that this is yet another show with prepubescent appeal -- long on cuteness and exaggerated facial expressions and short on wit, style or substance. This is precisely the kind of sitcom that makes millions of people believe they, too, could write them, if given half a chance. And they're probably right. And what is one to think about the laughter emanating from the studio audience? It's hard to escape the suspicion that things were happening at the taping that should have been outlawed by the Geneva conventions.

Bynes plays 16-year-old Holly, who learns from her dad (guest star Peter Scolari) that they are about to move to Japan so he can accept yet another promotion. While he gets things settled there, she is to spend a week in New York with her older sister, Valerie (Garth), who operates a small public relations firm. Holly's plan is to persuade Valerie to let her move in with her. Predictably, Holly makes a mess of Valerie's life and her career before, even more predictably, she's allowed to stay.

Garth plays Valerie as though on a helium overdose. Giddy to the point of distraction, Garth never quite figures out how to respond to the awful lines exploding like water balloons all around her. Things will only get harder for Garth. In the pilot, at least she didn't have to worry about concealing a pregnancy with a December due date.

Also in the cast are Simon Rex, who plays Valerie's boyfriend, Jeff, a character utterly bleached of any personality. Finally, there's Wesley Jonathan, who plays Holly's friend, Gary, whose crush on Valerie is as pathetic as it is inexplicable.

The director of the pilot is Gary Halvorson, but, given Bynes' huge influence on the project and its being weighted down with the clunkiest of gags, it's hard to gauge the true extent of his culpability.

The WB Network
Tollin/Robbins Prods.
in association with Warner Bros. Television
Executive producers: Wil Calhoun, Dan Schneider, Brian Robbins, Mike Tollin, Joe Davola
Co-executive producer: Michael Goldman
Producer: Drew Brown
Creators-writers: Wil Calhoun, Dan Schneider
Director: Gary Halvorson
Director of photography: Wayne Kennan
Editor: Marc Lamphear
Music: Jonathon Wolff, Scott Clausen
Set decorator: Greg Grande
Art director: John Shaffner
Casting: Julie Mossberg, Jill Anthony
Holly: Amanda Bynes
Valerie: Jennie Garth
Jeff: Simon Rex
Gary: Wesley Jonathan
Dad: Peter Scolari
Tony Hawk: Himself

Casting Call - March 7, 2007

Casting Call - March 7, 2007
By null

Date: Wednesday, March 7 2007


Danny Strong and Adam Hendershott are off to work in the Morgan Creek's film "Sydney White and the Seven Dorks," starring Amanda Bynes. The movie features Bynes as Sydney White, a college freshman who takes on an evil sorority president with the help of seven endearing nerds. Strong and Hendershott play two of the seven dorks. Strong is best known for his recurring roles on "Buffy the
Vampire Slayer" and "Gilmore Girls." Hendershott has appeared on numerous shows, including "Veronica Mars" and "Gilmore Girls." Both actors are repped by manager David Sweeney. Strong is additionally represented by Rebel Entertainment Partners and Hendershott by the Buchwald Talent Group. … Chris Pratt has landed a lead role opposite Anna Faris and Topher Grace in "Kids in America" for Imagine Entertainment and Universal. The film takes place at a wild Labor Day party in 1988, which is held at the home of Pratt's character, who is the boyfriend of Faris' character. Pratt most recently appeared in a recurring role on the final season of Fox's "The O.C." and in the feature film "Strangers With Candy." He is repped by Abrams Artists. … Daytime Emmy nominee Crystal Hunt has booked two films: "Sydney White" and the indie thriller "Brooklyn to Manhattan." In "White," Hunt portrays an eager and enthusiastic sorority pledge from Texas who helps Bynes' character adjust to sorority life. In "Manhattan," she will play a pill-popping Barbie doll-type Upper East Sider. Hunt is best known as evil teen Lizzie Spaulding on "Guiding Light." She is repped by Don Buchwald and Associates, Evolution and Douglas Stone. … Aaron Yoo ("The Bedford Diaries") has a lead role in Sony's untitled blackjack picture up his sleeve. Yoo joins Kate Bosworth as one of the six MIT students who, under the direction of their professor (Kevin Spacey), took Las Vegas for millions of dollars. Yoo will next be seen in Paramount Pictures' "Disturbia," Warner Bros. Pictures' "American Pastime" and Picturehouse's "Rocket Science," which premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. He is repped by Tony Cloer at Blue Ridge Entertainment. … John Vance has caught a role in Universal's "Leatherheads," director George Clooney's rapid-fire romantic comedy set against the backdrop of pro football in 1925. Vance plays a suicidal man. Vance's other credits include "Two and a Half Men" and "Malcolm in the Middle." He is repped by Bonnie Black Talent and Lit. … Craig Robinson is boarding Sony Pictures' "The Pineapple Express," from director David Gordon Green. The film stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of toking buddies who get mixed up with a drug gang. Robinson is best known for his recurring role as warehouse worker Darryl on "The Office." He also recently appeared in "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls." Robinson is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment and attorney Matt Johnson at Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca.



Date: Wednesday, March 7 2007

You are viewing page 1
Danny Strong and Adam Hendershott are off to work in the Universal film ``Sydney White and the Seven Dorks,'' starring Amanda Bynes. The movie sees Bynes as Sydney White, a college freshman who takes on an evil sorority president with the help of seven endearing nerds. Strong and Hendershott play two of the seven dorks. Strong is best known for his recurring roles on ``Buffy the Vampire Slayer'' and
``Gilmore Girls.'' Hendershott has appeared on numerous shows including ``Veronica Mars'' and ``Gilmore Girls.'' . . . Chris Pratt has landed a lead role opposite Anna Faris and Topher Grace in ``Kids in America'' for Imagine Entertainment and Universal Pictures. The film takes place at a wild Labor Day party in 1988, which is held at the home of Pratt's character, who is the boyfriend of Faris' character. Pratt was most recently seen in a recurring role on the final season of Fox's ``The O.C.'' and in the feature film ``Strangers With Candy.'' . . . Daytime Emmy nominee Crystal Hunt has booked two films: Morgan Creek's lighthearted comedy ``Sydney White and the Seven Dorks'' and indie thriller ``Brooklyn to Manhattan.'' In ``White,'' Hunt portrays an eager and enthusiastic sorority pledge from Texas who helps Amanda Bynes' character adjust to sorority life. In ``Manhattan,'' she will play a pill-popping Barbie doll-type Upper East Sider. Hunt is best known to television audiences as evil teen Lizzie Spaulding on ``Guiding Light.'' . . . Aaron Yoo (``The Bedford Diaries'') has a lead role in Sony's untitled blackjack picture up his sleeve. Yoo joins Kate Bosworth as one of the six MIT students who, under the direction of their professor (Kevin Spacey), took Las Vegas for millions of dollars. Yoo will be seen in Paramount Pictures' ``Disturbia,'' Warner Bros. Pictures' ``American Pastime'' and Picturehouse's ``Rocket Science,'' which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. . . . John Vance has caught a role in Universal Pictures' ``Leatherheads,'' director George Clooney's rapid-fire romantic comedy set against the backdrop of pro football in 1925. Vance plays a suicidal man. Vance's other credits include ``Two and a Half Men'' and ``Malcolm in the Middle.'' . . . Craig Robinson is boarding Sony Pictures' ``The Pineapple Express,'' from director David Gordon Green. The film stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of buddies who get mixed up with a drug gang. Robinson is best known for his recurring role as warehouse worker Darryl on ``The Office.'' He also recently appeared in ``Daddy's Little Girls.''

She's Amanda

HOLLYWOOD _ Though not quite 20, Amanda Bynes is a show business veteran. She started her acting career at the age of 10 on Nickelodeon's "All That," and she has worked steadily ever since.
For the past four seasons the green-eyed brunette, who previously hosted a variety show on Nickelodeon, has starred in the popular WB comedy series "What I Like About You." In it Bynes plays
an independent-minded teenager who shakes up the life of her conservative older sister (played by "Beverly Hills, 90210's" Jennie Garth).
"It gets a little bit tiring and it's a little bit monotonous doing the same character," says the native Angelena, who today is dressed in a white cotton top and black miniskirt. But "I'm happy to be working so I don't mind."
Now the versatile young actress is taking on a dual role in the big-screen comedy "She's the Man," playing both a girl and a boy. Loosely based on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," "She's the Man" is set in high school and involves mistaken identities, romantic triangles and a bit of gender bending.
Bynes plays Viola, a high school soccer star who devises a plan to keep playing soccer after budget cuts scrap the girls' team at her school: She disguises herself and pretends to be her twin brother, Sebastian (who has skipped town to play in a band), at his all-boys private school.
Trouble ensues when Viola develops a crush on Duke, Sebastian's hunky roommate, who is attracted to Viola's beautiful friend, Olivia, who only has eyes for "Sebastian" (who is actually Viola). Got it?
Bynes says she liked the role's Shakespearean connection and thought it would be fun to play a gender-bending character. "One of my favorite movies is `Tootsie,'" she says.
To play a boy, the actress joined director Andy Fickman ("Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical") in "guy watching" at a Los Angeles-area mall and other teen hangouts. "We just started to watch guys walk and how they compared to (the way) girls walk," she recalls.
Fickman also advised the young actress about key psychological differences between men and women. "We talked about the idea that women will talk about emotions and explore their feelings; guys don't necessarily turn to each other and say, `So I'm feeling a little uncomfortable about the whole thing,'" he recalls. "The other guy would be like, `Dude, shut up.'"
Bynes took notes during her research trips, but her impressions only served to remind her that she would be playing a completely different character from any she had done before.
In the film, a hairdresser friend helps transform Viola into a boy by giving

Bynes Overboard For 'lovewrecked'

Amanda Bynes has inked to topline the romantic comedy "Lovewrecked" for helmer Randal Kleiser. Media 8 Entertainment is producing along with the recently relaunched Bacon & Eggs from a script by Stephen Langford.

The project marks Bynes' first starring role after the Dennie Gordon-helmed "What a Girl Wants" for Warner Bros. Pictures. Shooting starts next month
in the Caribbean.

"Lovewrecked" finds Bynes as Jenny, an 18-year-old girl who is ecstatic when she finds that her favorite rock star is a guest at the tropical resort where she is working for the summer. When they are both thrown overboard during a cruise, Jenny finds herself stranded alone with him on what they think is a remote beach.

Casting is under way for the other roles with casting director Nancy Nayor. Media 8's Stewart Hall is producing with Bacon & Eggs' Joe Anderson and Wendy Thorlakson.

"We are thrilled to have Amanda Bynes on board for 'Lovewrecked,' " Hall said. "She's an incredibly gifted and charming comic actress, and this project will be a great showcase for her talents."

Bynes is repped by UTA and Dave Feldman at Bloom, Hergott & Diemer. She is due to head back to her WB Network series "What I Like About You" in the fall.

Media 8 was repped in the deal by Christa Zofcin, the company's director

of business and legal affairs.

Langford is repped by JKA Talent & Literary's Jim Kellem, Howard Lapides and Andrew Lear of Core Entertainment and attorneys Allison Binder and Neil Meyer at Stone, Meyer & Genow.

"Lovewrecked" is the first project to come out of Bacon & Eggs since the company relaunched. Formerly known as A Happy Place since December 2000, partners Lance Bass, Thorlakson and Anderson renamed it with a mandate of developing film and television projects across all demographics. The Venice, Calif.-based Bacon & Eggs also has the horror project "When the Dead Whisper" at Gold Circle Films.

"The new name marks both a recognition of the change in membership of our company and a broadening of our interests in terms of subject matter," Bass said. "Where before we were focused almost exclusively on family movies, under the Bacon & Eggs banner we will develop film projects in a variety of genres and will focus heavily on television as well."

The Book Standard Weekly Deals Report, Starring Tobey Maguire, Amanda Bynes, Robert Redford and Don Cheadle

Arachnid crime-fighter Tobey Maguire is dusting off his super powers for Tokyo Suckerpunch, the adaptation of Isaac Adamson's novel, whose rights were purchased by Maguire through Sony Pictures. The deal was made while the rights were in turnaround from Fox Searchlight. To be scripted by Ed Solomon and produced by Maguire and Red Wagon's Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, the story follows
Billy Chaka?-popular columnist for the biggest Asian teen magazine in . . . Cleveland?-who transforms himself into a macho hero while in Tokyo. The project was first set up in October '01. (Maguire, with Wendy Finerman, also recently secured film rights for Jonathan Tropper's Everything Changes under the Maguire Entertainment banner.)

It'll take a hero to slay the 80-foot shark terrorizing the California coast in New Line's adaptation of Steven Alten's novel Meg. New Line paid mid-six against seven figures for the project, then in turnaround from Disney. Shane Salerno will pen the latest version, a rewrite of the author's scripting attempt. The rights for the novel were acquired by Disney in '97 for around $1 million; the film is now budgeted at a whopping $75 million. Larry Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Guillermo del Toro, Ken Atchity, Chi-Li Wong and Nick Nunziata will produce.

MGM/Lakeshore's Blood and Chocolate features a beast of a furrier, but gentler, kind. Olivier Martinez and Agnes Bruckner will star in the Ehren Kruger?adapted film about a teen werewolf who must choose between her love for a human and her pack family. Katja von Garnier will direct and executive produce. Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi will produce with Daniel Bobker.

It's back underwater with CritterPix Studios' $4.45 million 3-D animated adaptation of the Kelly Alan Williamson children's book Ollie the Otter. CritterPix has a production deal with New Regency Prods.

In other kid-lit news, film rights for Joseph Delaney's The Spook's Apprentice were sold to Warner Bros. Harper will publish the book in the U.S. this fall with the title Revenge of the Witch: The Last Apprentice.

A Hans Christian Andersen biopic is in the works. Director Bille August will focus on the period during which Andersen was about 40 years old, using the author's The Shadow as a central plot device. April 2nd would have been the whimsy-master's 200th birthday.

Andersen's lyrical predecessor William Shakespeare will once again get the film treatment, with DreamWorks' contemporary adaptation of the bard's Twelfth Night. Titled She's the Man, the film will star Nickelodeon alum Amanda Bynes and will be directed by Andy Fickman. Jack Leslie wrote the original screenplay, with rewrites by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith.

DreamWorks will also adapt William Melvin Kelley's satirical 1967 novel, Dem, about a selfish white professional who must reflect on his life when his wife gives birth to a black baby. Neil LaBute is attached to direct, with Brandon Noonan writing for DreamWorks and Pretty Pictures producing.

Spiritual reflection drives the story of David Guterson's Our Lady of the Forest, which was optioned against a six-figure purchase price by the New York arm of Wild Child Films. Aimee Peyronette and Ian McGloin will develop with Film Four in London, and Neil Jordan is attached to direct.

There's no spiritual redemption for the vengeful teenagers in Jim Brown's Black Valley, to be adapted by Stephen Susco for George Gatins at Mosaic Media.

A true college tale of the first all-black lacrosse team will go into production from Warner Bros.', with Chip Silverman and Miles Harrison Jr.'s book, Ten Bears. The script will be penned by Josh Shelov. Michael De Luca and Michael De Luca Productions' Alissa Phillips will produce.

Barbra Streisand's Barwood Films and Gary Smith Co. will adapt Simon Mawer's novel Mendel's Dwarf, which follows a scientist struggling with the secrets of dwarfism. Peter Dinklage (of 2003's The Station Agent) will star in the Sonny Murray?penned project, with Murray and Tony Michelman producing. Streisand, Cis Corman and Gary Smith Co.'s Gary Smith will executive-produce. (Dinklage also stars in the adaptation of Pär Lagerkvist's 1994 novel, The Dwarf, now in post-production.)

Hart Sharp Entertainment brings Armistead Maupin's The Night Listener to the screen, under the direction of Patrick Stettner. Bobby Cannavale (Dinklage's co-star in The Station Agent) will play the estranged lover of Robin Williams. The cast also includes Toni Collette, Rory Culkin and Joe Morton. Maupin adapted the script with Stettner.

In attachment news, Frank Langella has joined the cast of the upcoming Warner Bros. feature Superman Returns, replacing Hugh Laurie as Perry White.

Robert Redford will voice the character of Ike in Gary Winick's Charlotte's Web adaptation, which also features the voices of Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, John Cleese, Steve Buscemi, Cedric the Entertainer, Rebe McEntire, Kathy Bates, Thomas Haden Church and Andre Benjamin (née 3000).

Good news for the geeks out there, male and female. X-hotties Famke Jannsen and Hugh Jackman have signed deals to reprise their characters in X-Men 3.

Kathy Baker joins Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Mark Ruffalo in Sony's remake of the Robert Penn Warren classic All the King's Men.

Monday, October 15, 2007

eXTReMe Tracker