Over the years I have been told that I bear a resemblance to various famous men. In some cases I have literally been mistaken for these famous men. Why this happens to me more than other people, I don't know. In any event, although I was tempted to provide you with side-by-side photos comparing me with each of these guys,… read more!
Lists of Nine with Keyword "celebrities" (most recent at top)
Who says nobody walks in LA? I walk around this city all the time. And this list is proof that I'm not alone. Even multi-millionaires have times when they need to tumble out of their limousines and stretch their legs. And lo, here are nine famous Angelenos who, as I can personally attest, have actually placed their feet upon a… read more!
As we curl up in the warm glow of Oscar season, you may find the occasional list that bemoans some famous filmmakers never winning an Academy Award (e.g., the oft-nominated Alfred Hitchcock). Then there are the oddballs who haven't won an Oscar for directing, but at least were nominated for something, like Terry Gilliam (best screenplay), Tim Burton (best animated… read more!
Election Day is tomorrow! Let's celebrate by looking back at the nine most recent American presidents who have been portrayed on screen by famous actors. I'm not including all the various Saturday Night Live performers and sketch artists who have lampooned our Commanders in Chief. These are just the bona fide film and TV stars. George W. Bush. No Obama… read more!
Happy New Year! I'm not Jewish, but in honor of Rosh Hashanah, which begins today, I'm writing a slightly on-topic list. It's no controversy to say that a lot people of Jewish heritage have made their mark in Hollywood over the years. Yet despite their prominence in this industry, several actors have chosen to gentilize their Jewish names because of… read more!
Where do you draw the line between nepotism and a family business? With the Coppola clan, it's often hard to tell. But here they are: Francis Ford Coppola. The patriarch. The man who started with exploitation flicks and forged an A-list career for himself, only to let it slowly dribble away over the last three decades with misfires, interesting but… read more!
The world of "reality-based" entertainment is filled with spoiled scions, from Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian. For this list, I'll be ignoring them (and in fact we'd all do well to ignore them universally and permanently). I'm also excluding the many famous actor children of Hollywood stars (Kiefer Sutherland, Angelina Jolie, Michael Douglas, et al). Though born into money, they're… read more!
This list is in honor of Pixar's Andrew Stanton, the latest animation director (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) to try his hand at live action (the heavily motion-captured sci fi epic John Carter, which opened this weekend to dismal box office). Now, I myself was trained as an animator. I got into it in high school; when I was accepted into CalArts'… read more!
In Hollywood, "comeback" is a usually just a PR term, since most of the time the celebrity a) never really went away (e.g., Bob Dylan, John Travolta, Betty White), or b) didn't really have much of a comeback (see: Demi Moore in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Actually, don't). For the sort of musicians whose work is easily dated but carries… read more!
A funny thing happens whenever I tell someone I'm a filmmaker. Just about everybody asks me, "What kind of films do you make?" I think it's an odd question, as most directors tackle all kinds of genres. That said, there are filmmakers who strictly focus on one genre - especially in documentaries, horror movies, and porn. And once upon a… read more!
A long-standing Hollywood tradition is the "And Introducing" credit. Such a credit is designed to showcase an actor in a key role who had never appeared in a movie before, as if to say, "Look at our brilliant discovery. When this person's an A-lister, he or she will have us to thank." Producers (and agents) interpret this rule rather liberally,… read more!
Whether you hail from a small town in the Midwest or a small town in central China, the lure of Hollywood is always there for filmmakers who exhibit prowess and ambition. Some of the best directors in American cinema were immigrants: Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Ang Lee and so forth. The following nine were not so lucky. Though note: the… read more!
When you think about it, a feature film director is a very, very rare animal. Out of over 10 billion souls who have lived and died on this planet since the dawn of cinema, it's likely that no more than 100,000 of them have ever helmed a feature - and I'm including all those who made no-budget, unreleased indies that… read more!
Celebrities have appeared "as themselves" in feature films since the silent era, typically in brief, jokey cameos. But whereas real actors have been known to play themselves in leading roles - from autobiographical ego-fests (as Joan Rivers and Shirley Maclaine have done in TV movies) to intentionally fictionalized versions of their lives (John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich, Neil Patrick… read more!
For a while, there was this joke that every hip indie rock group had to have a female bassist, a la Tina Weymouth in Talking Heads. But recently I saw some old British Invasion band playing a song from the era, and I was intrigued by seeing a girl behind the drums. I wanted to know more, and this list… read more!
I'm going to dispense with a lengthy opening paragraph, as the title and entries speak for themselves. George Lucas divorces, 1983. For many entries in this list, the "moment" when things went south was preceded by a number of unfortunate events. Lucas' troubles began in 1980, when he split with his Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz. (As Kurtz… read more!
You can be famous in New York yet be famous nowhere else, and it doesn't matter. New York is an insular, exclusive place. But if you're famous in Los Angeles - the world's epicenter of popular culture - but you're an unknown outside the city, then there must be something wrong with you. Or so the logic goes. Your band… read more!
I recently wrote the script for one of those 48 Hour Film Project competitions. (We won the Audience Award, hooray.) At the beginning of those crazy weekends, each filmmaking team picks a genre out of a hat: comedy, horror, science fiction, etc. The genre we chose this year was "Film de Femme", which isn't a genre as much as it… read more!
This list is just for fun. (Like the others aren't?) Of course many movie stars owe their fame to the opportunities afforded to them from having show biz parents (Kiefer Sutherland, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal, etc.). Others get a break by being cast in a major role by a director seeking an unknown (Jennifer Lopez, Tom… read more!
It's always fun to watch an older movie and spot the then-unknown who would later become a major star. "He's so young! She's so cute! Why, they're babies!" Once in a while, a film comes out where - through some skillful casting and pure luck - several of the fresh faces go on to have long-lasting Hollywood careers. This list… read more!