Apparently, Die Hard action-star Bruce Willis, will be making his Broadway debut in the stage adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery. The best-selling 1987 novel was already adapted for the screen with Kathy Bates and Jame Caan, so I’m wondering how they will adapt it, yet again, for the stage. Actress, Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards) will step into the role of Annie Wilkes, which was originally portrayed by Bates and earned her an Academy Award. Personally,I think it would be interesting if Kathy Bates were given the chance to play her famed character onstage. I honestly think that even after twenty-five years, Bates could pull it off. Who knows? It’s still early in the process, so there might be a chance for her to win a Tony for the same role in which she won an Oscar. But, I’m interested to see what Marvel does with the role. The characters of Paul Sheldon and Annie Wilkes have become so iconic within the horror/thriller genre that I think an audience may have a tough time seeing anyone else but James Caan and Kathy Bates in those roles. The good news is, that many film-goers may not be aware of, that Willis has Off-Broadway stage experience. It’ll be very interesting to see him “back on the boards” after nearly thirty years. However, I don’t want to be too quick to assume its fate yet. We’ll just have to wait and see until the curtain goes up in the fall.

In the past few days I’ve felt torn. As an actor, I draw from my experiences both emotionally and physically. We all do that as actors. The difference however, comes with the fact that my muscle memory, my emotional memory, and the fibers of my being are inwardly different. By all appearances, I seem like your “normal” actor, but those fibers in my being would beg to differ. Born three months premature at one pound, ten ounces, with a mild form of cerebral palsy, I’ve had to deal with physical limitations that appear minor, and triumphs that would be considered obscure because “everyone can do that, right?” As a kid, even learning to skip was a huge achievement for me. Learning how to walk again at 13 was a mountain. From a sense memory standpoint, there are things I can bring to the role of someone who deals with limited mobility or physical pain that is unique.

The problem is, everyone can bring something to the table.  Part of me understands the critics, the people who say that they should have cast someone who “understands” Hawkings’ plight with ALS, but that would be, frankly, irrational. Eddie Redmayne did research, met with Hawking, and portrayed him to the best of his abilities. With that, he was awarded the Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG Award, and ultimately, the Oscar. Hopefully Hawkings’ story, coupled with Redmayne’s portrayal, plants a seed. Maybe people will become curious and educate themselves about issues like ALS, Maybe they’ll look at Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning performance for Still Alice and become aware of early-onset Alzheimer’s’ disease. It’s an actor’s job to bring truth to a situation to the best of their abilities.

I do believe though, that actors from all walks of life need to be seen, not just portrayed and represented. Their voices need to be heard. We as actors are supposed to bring truth to the screen, so let’s do that.

It’s the best day of the year! Oscar day! Will host Neil Patrick Harris deliver a fantastic show? Probably. As far as predictions go, this year is a tough one. There were amazing movies of all different subjects and genres. As far as acting performances, there are some surprises in those races. Who knows, Bradley Cooper might come up from behind and take the statue away from Eddie Redmayne or Michael Keaton for Best Actor. However, if I was a betting woman, I would think that it’s Keaton’s year. The same goes for the Best Actress. I mean, where did Marion Cotillard’s nomination come from? I don’t think she was on anyone’s prediction list. However, I think it’s safe to say Julianne Moore has waited long enough to take home an Oscar. I hope she has picked a place to put her much-deserved accolade for her awesome performance in Still Alice. The other categories of Best Supporting Actor and Actress are pretty much givens as well. J.K. Simmons, prepare your speech now for Best Supporting Actor. I think this year’s surprises will come with the Best Picture winner (Selma or American Sniper could be surprises), director, and writing, simply because the races are more interesting. The fun will come with Neil Patrick Harris and his impeccable hosting abilities. Watch on ABC tonight @ 7:00!

Selma director, Ava DuVernay, and her lead actor David Oyelowo (who portrayed  Martin Luther King, Jr.) got seriously overlooked this morning as the Oscar nominations were announced. Even though Selma received a Best Picture nomination, it failed to get recognized for its directing and acting efforts. Also on the acting front, Jennifer Aniston, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Amy Adams (who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy) weren’t able to secure nominations. Clearly, Jennifer Aniston and her team have been campaigning for an Oscar nomination for a while. She’s received a SAG Award nomination, and it’s clear that whomever is in charge of her publicity, wants her to win. I think it’s safe to say that both Amy Adams and Jennifer Aniston lost their spots to Marion Cotillard this year, for a film I wasn’t even aware of called Two Days, One Night.

Another point that people have been making in various other blogs about this year is the fact that all of the nominees are in fact, white. Apparently, the average Oscar voter is 63 years old, white, and male. So there’s that…Also, what’s up with no nomination for the Lego movie?

jamesgarner

Ask anyone of my generation or younger, and they’ll probably tell you that James Garner is “the guy from The Notebook.”  My response to that  is, “WHAT?!”  Seriously though, today we lost another great: actor, James Garner passed away at the age of 86. To many, he wasn’t just that guy from The Notebook. He was Bret Maverick, and Jim Rockford. He was the unlikely movie star  with two purple hearts  from the Korean War. He appeared on Broadway, once, in a non-speaking role in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial where he learned and honed his craft.  In the 50s and 60s, westerns were big on television, and James Garner turned the character of Bret Maverick into an icon. He found television success again in the 70s as another icon, Jim Rockford of The Rockford Files. Even with his numerous  television successes, including an Emmy for The Rockford Files, he managed to find fame on the big screen too. He starred in  The Great Escape, and  received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 1986 for Murphy’s Romance. In 1994, he starred in the film version of Maverick, with Mel Gibson stepping into the shoes of the famous gambler, and Garner as Marshall Zane Cooper. In his later years, he starred in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and yes, The Notebook. He was a versatile actor who needs to be recognized for his impressive career. Rest in Peace James Garner, you were my mom’s favorite actor.                                                              You were more than the guy from The Notebook: You were a Maverick.

This is a clip from Garner’s famed series, Maverick, with Clint Eastwood looking for some trouble:

The Oscars are tomorrow night. If the Independent Spirit Awards from tonight are any indication, this Oscar race is going to be one to watch. Given the fact that the competition for Supporting Actor is pretty much a given (Congratulations to Jared Leto ahead of time. He just won an Independent Spirit Award. If he doesn’t win, I’ll be really surprised.) Also, congrats to Lupita Nyong’o, unless they give Jennifer Lawrence two Oscars in a row. She’s 23. She’s got time. Cate Blanchett will probably take home the Best Actress Oscar, unless Sandra Bullock comes up from behind. But who knows? This year seems to be a little up in the air for Best Actor and Actress. If the results from the Golden Globes sway voters at all, Amy Adams and Leonardo DiCaprio could take home Oscars instead. Matthew McConaughey is pretty much battling it out with Leo. Chiwetel deserves Best Actor in my humble opinion. Frozen will win Best Original Song (duh.) And Gravity director, Alfonso Cuaron has been sweeping the awards for Director. Then again, since Steve McQueen just won for 12 Years tonight at the Independent Spirit Awards, he could win as well. Best Picture is anyone’s game, but my money is on 12 Years a Slave. But who can tell? American Hustle might be a stealthy one and take the top prize. 

untitled (9)The 86th Annual Oscar nominations were announced this morning. The winners will be revealed during the live telecast on Sunday, March 2, 2014, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Here are some initial thoughts about the pending awards ceremony.  The Golden Globes, as well as this Saturday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards have always been good predictors of who will take home acting’s ultimate honor, the Oscar. Given who won at this year’s Globes, as well as those who didn’t, this year’s Oscar race is definitely going to be very interesting. At the Golden Globes, lead acting awards went to Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, Leonardo DiCaprio in the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Amy Adams for American Hustle, which was somehow thought of as a comedy, but that’s the subject of another post all together. In the supporting category for the Golden Globes, Jared Leto won for Dallas Buyers Club and Jennifer Lawrence (last year’s Best Actress Golden Globe & Oscar winner for Silver Linings Playbook)  won for American Hustle. In years past, those who have won in those categories have often gone on to take home an Academy Award. I think the actors from Dallas Buyers Club have strong chances to win in their categories. However, Leonardo DiCaprio and Chiwetel Ejiofor could shake up the Best Actor category. Or, who knows, Bruce Dern might come out of the woodwork and surprise us all. In the Best Actress category, either Meryl Streep or Sandra Bullock could definitely surprise us if Cate Blanchett or Amy Adams don’t take home a statue.  In the supporting actress category, honestly, I want Lupita Nyong’o to take it. I honestly think she was the most impressive out of the supporting actresses and the fact that she didn’t win at this year’s Golden Globes, to be honest, was upsetting. I definitely would love to see Jared Leto win for Best Supporting Actor (I think he’ll win) but I wouldn’t count out Michael Fassbender. He had an equally as impressive role as the plantation owner with a heart of stone in 12 Years a Slave, and it is very difficult to play that type of villain. Honestly, this year is actually a really difficult Oscar race. It’s going to be very interesting to see who takes home acting’s top prize. To see the list of nominees go to: http://oscar.go.com/nominees

And check out this amazing featurette about Jared Leto’s transformation into Rayon:

rooneymarapostersI’ve viewed two movies starring Rooney Mara in the past week. The first was her Oscar-nominated performance as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Adapted from the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, the American version is brought to life by Mara’s Social Network director, David Fincher.  The second comes from an original script by Scott Z. Burns and directed by Steven Soderbergh called Side Effects. She got to work with two fantastic directors and play two vastly different characters. Over these past few days after viewing more of her work, I have grown to become quite a fan of Rooney Mara both as an actor, and as an audience member. I’ve also watched interviews with her, and kinda want to be her new BFF. Anywyays, she’s charming, likable and one fantastic actress. In The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Mara plays the role previously portrayed by actress, Noomi Rapace in the original Swedish adaptation of the book. In the American film version, Mara is paired with British actor, James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. First thoughts first, I actually thought her performance as Lisabeth was much better than Noomi Rapace. Even though I thought both were sufficient, there was something about Rooney Mara and her portrayal, how she saw the character, that made it more fun to watch. I also thought the hair and makeup was MUCH better in the American adaptation as well. She completely transforms herself into Lisbeth Salander  with her physical appearance, wardrobe, and vocal quality (pulling off a flawless Swedish accent.) She can be both frightening and frightened all at the same time. It’s amazing how she gets into the head space of the character.To me, she’s an actor’s actor of my generation. Here’s some behind the scenes:

Side Effects shows Rooney Mara is a COMPLETELY different light. At the other end of the spectrum is a seemingly innocent character both physically and emotionally. The film itself can be confusing at times and really slow moving, but it’s Rooney Mara’s performance that makes you want to watch it.  Even with Jude Law at her side, Mara holds her own. She even makes you look away from Channing Tatum while he’s on screen (for once.) You’d think her character was weak and feeble, but watch the movie, and you’ll be surprised. Rooney Mara is one of my new favorite actresses.