Last night, ESPN premiered The Real Rocky, a 60-minute documentary about Chuck Wepner, a boxer known as “The Bayonne Bleeder” whose 1975 fight with Muhammad Ali, in which Wepner knocked down the champ, inspired Sylvester Stallone to write his epic tale of Rocky Balboa. Wepner went on to battle drinking, drugs, and eventually Stallone in a legal battle over Wepner’s claim to the story behind the film, which was settled out of court. This morning, I reached Wepner at his home in New Jersey.
So what did you think of The Real Rocky?
I thought it was very well done. We watched it at the Campus Inn in Union, New Jersey. I guess I was the guest of honor, considering that the documentary was about me. We had an overflow crowd … I had three vodka and cranberries, two of which I put down right away. So I’m a little tired today. We got home late. The party went until 1.
You wouldn’t have changed anything about the film?
Well, there were a couple of things I would have changed a little bit. But the film was true to life. I kept telling people, “It’s a documentary, not a complimentary.” It’s not like the movies where you change things and make somebody look like a hero. I cringed at all the fight footage, the sight of the blood.
I hear that the same director is making a feature film about you.
Yeah, it’s going to be great. Called The Bleeder. I am going to be played by Liev Schreiber from Wolverine and Wolverine 2. And Naomi Watts will be playing my first wife. She’s a very pretty girl, so she shouldn’t have a problem.
Was Schreiber the first choice?
No, we went through John C. Reilly and Vince Vaughn. But finally we went with Liev. He’s a perfect fit for the role. Did you see Wolverine? I couldn’t ask for anybody better.
How many times have you been punched?
Oh, wow. Thousands of times. I was very aggressive. I was a brawler, a fighter. I wasn’t a boxer. Because of that I’ve had 328 stitches over my eyes, my nose was broken 10 or 11 times, my cheekbone. But that’s why fans paid to see me fight. I twas a fighter. Not a boxer. These guys today, they don’t want to get hit anymore. They become boxers. They’re slick. It’s all about counter-punches. They don’t want to get hit.
For a guy who is 72 years old and been hit that many times, you seem to have it together pretty well. I’m in good shape. I go to the gym three days a week, lift weights, and I walk a lot. I fought Ali for the title at 228, and I am 243 now. I put on 15 pounds in the 36 years since I fought Ali.
What are your feelings toward Stallone today?
Listen, I think he’s a great artist, a great movie maker, and a terrific actor. I have no hard feelings. The lawsuit was just business with us. He’s always been very respectful to me. He actually wrote in a bit part for me in Rocky 2. I read for it in front of his co-producers. The character was “Ching Weber,” a sparring partner. But I didn’t do good. I didn’t get the part.
Which is your favorite Rocky?
It would have to be number one. It had a lot of great details about me. Nobody expected that movie. I went to see it in the theater. I was amazed. It was great. But I like all of them.
Seriously? Even the one with that stupid robot?
Robot? I don’t think I saw that one.
Have you spent much time here in Philadelphia?
We were actually just there this past weekend. It’s a great town. We loved it. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Plaza. We had cheesesteaks four times.
Oh, at the hotel. The hotel made them for us. They were just great. But they told me there’s a place down there that makes them even better. Pat and Joan’s, I think.
A very recent trip to New York City had me glancing at the quickened steps of dapper men negotiating the streets with purpose to their stride.
I imagine this is how you must walk about your town, hunted as you and your loved ones so often are. Alas, no tales of even the most fleeting glimpses of Liev and Co. to revel those I left behind with upon my return.
But the taste of the place you call home will be forever on my tongue.
Light up the town tonight and celebrate your BIG DAY. ♥
.. and I'll go where you be. (translation: I'll be right over).
I just noticed that Ross the Boss Rhea's jersey is from the St. John's Shamrocks! For those of you who enjoy Liev's vast talent with accents, this one's sure to be a doozy. I canna wet ta see Liev pullin's dis ones aff der ba-ee!
This is what he should be trying to sound like if his character's really from The Rock. I wish Liev all kinds of Shamrock luck on this one.
While here in the States, the sport has never gotten the traction that one might expect, given its velocity and violence, Canada is a national that loves some hockey. It's fitting, then, that the hockey comedy Goon, which is currently playing the Toronto International Film Festival up the Great White North, has a whole lot of Canadian DNA. A new international trailer showcases all the Canadian actors on board, though the lead is played by an American, Sean William Scott (he's from Minnesota, though, where I understand hockey's big). His character, Doug, is a bouncer recruited to play for a minor league hockey team simply to provide some solid violence. Check out the trailer for Goon and enjoy some vulgarity, violence, and Canadian delights.
The film is written by Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg, both of whom hail from North of the border. The screenplay was adapted from the non-fiction book Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey by Doug Smith and Adam Frattasio. Baruchel appears in the film alongside fellow Canucks Alison Pill (his real-life fiancee), Eugene Levy, and the inimitable Kim Coates. Liev Schreiber, who plays the most formidable goon in the game, is thoroughly American, as he was born in San Francisco, California. It's okay, though, because there's even more Canada behind the camera: Take Me Home Tonight helmer Michael Dowse directs, and he's from Ontario.
Looks like a damn good time, with Schreiber and Pill in particular seeming to have a blast. Interestingly, after Seann William Scott appeared in a small role in the director's Cop Out, Kevin Smith publicly declared that the actor would play the lead in Hit Somebody, his feature adaptation of the Warren Zevon song which tells the similarly-themed tale of a hockey bruiser whose dream is simply to score a goal. With Scott taking the role in Goon, however, Smith had to find a new lead for his not-yet filming comedy. Nicholas Braun, who plays a part in the director's thriller Red State, has been selected as the man for the job.
Independent distributor Magnolia Pictures just purchased Goon in Toronto for its Magnet division. According to THR's Heat Vision, the sale constituted a roughly $2 million deal. So Goon will be busting heads in a theater near you at some point in 2012, Mayan apocalypse notwithstanding.
SPECIAL EDITION OF THE ULTIMATE SPORTS REALITY SERIES WHEN
HARD KNOCKS: A DECADE OF NFL TRAINING CAMPS
DEBUTS WEDNESDAY, AUG. 31, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO
Ten years after the debut of the groundbreaking HBO Sports and NFL Films collaboration on the first-ever sports reality program, one of sports television’s most enduring partnerships teams up for an all-new special when HARD KNOCKS: A DECADE OF NFL TRAINING CAMPS debuts WEDNESDAY, AUG. 31 (10:00-11:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
One of the fastest-turnaround reality programs on television, the cinema-verité series debuted Aug. 1, 2001 when NFL Films and HBO Sports began chronicling rookies and free agents trying to make an NFL roster as determined veterans fought to keep their jobs at the camp of the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. An instant sensation, the show captured the heat, the hurt, the camaraderie and the humor of an NFL training camp.
In addition to revisiting memorable moments of the teams – Baltimore, Dallas (twice), Kansas City, Cincinnati and New York Jets – that have been featured on the seven-time Emmy®-winning series, the special includes new interviews with HARD KNOCKS veterans like Brian Billick, Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco and Rex Ryan, never-before-seen outtakes and a “Where Are They Now?” segment with updates on players from past episodes. Liev Schreiber narrates.
“We know football fans are hungry for compelling NFL programming and we think they’ll love this HARD KNOCKS special, which will have a host of new wrinkles,” says Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports.
Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, says, “The first ten years of HARD KNOCKS have been the ultimate fly-on-the-wall NFL training camp experience. We look forward to taking a look back at those shows and reintroducing the fans to those characters who made the decade of HARD KNOCKS so memorable.”
Embedded in an NFL training camp, the 24-person NFL Films crew would typically shoot more than 1,000 hours of video over the course of each series. Each year, camera and sound crews were given unencumbered access to the players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, dormitories and practice fields.
HARD KNOCKS launched with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, followed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2002. The series resumed in 2007 with the Kansas City Chiefs, winning a Sports Emmy®. In 2008, the series revisited the Dallas Cowboys, receiving a second Sports Emmy®. In 2009 HARD KNOCKS spotlighted the Cincinnati Bengals and captured two more Sports Emmy® Awards, for Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology and Outstanding Post Produced Audio/Sound. In 2010 the show featured the New York Jets and attracted an average of 4.6 million viewers per episode, receiving three Sports Emmys®, including Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology.
Sports Illustrated.com said HARD KNOCKS is the “most entertaining reality show on TV,” while the St. Petersburg Times observed, “HARD KNOCKS is fascinating television,” and the Wall St. Journal noted that the show “looks great and it sounds great, too.”
Habitat for Humanity and Valspar Paint are proud to bring you Valspar Hands for Habitat, an auction of one-of-a-kind, autographed handprints from your favorite celebrities. Each celebrity handprint, created using Valspar Paint, will support Habitat for Humanity’s relief efforts in Haiti.
Notable personalities from film, television, sports, music and design have teamed up to “lend a hand” in support of Habitat for Humanity by donating their own handprints for auction. This unique auction features a 14” x 14” canvas containing handprints and autographs from the celebrity supporter.
Proceeds from the auction will support Habitat’s goal to serve 50,000 families that were impacted by Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake, helping them move them toward safe, secure and permanent housing.
"With actor Liev Schreiber narrating, who couldn't shed a tear?"
The last time we saw Floyd Mayweather Jr. on HBO's acclaimed reality series 24/7, we were treated to the heartwarming story of the Las Vegas-based fighter bringing his estranged, ailing father Floyd Sr. back into his and his children's lives. With actor Liev Schreiber narrating, who couldn't shed a tear?
But that's ancient history.
This is 2011, where earthquakes plague the East Coast. Floyd and his dad are again on the outs, and their family rage will be shown in living color by HBO's cameras, with Mayweather's myriad legal woes serving as another distraction. Saturday night's debut of 24/7: Mayweather vs. Ortiz (10 p.m. ET) promises to lift dysfunction to a new level.
This is Mayweather's fifth appearance on the series — it began in 2007 to preview the Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya fight, which drew a record 2.4million pay-per-view buys.
"Floyd continues to be must-see TV," says Mark Taffet, HBO's senior vice president of operations and pay-per-view.
"He's got that larger-than-life personality, but it's amazing how generous he is to our camera people with the access and time he's willing to give us in the weeks leading up to the fight. That's what enables us to make the show so special. He brings the viewer into his life, his house and his training camp, and he is incredibly open and allows the viewer to get up-close and personal. As a result, a strong connection is created."
It's not only Mayweather's first fight in 16 months that makes this four-episode lead-up to his Sept. 17 fight in Las Vegas so attractive, it's also the rich back story of his young opponent, Victor Ortiz.
By now, the 24-year-old welterweight champion's story is well known. His mother abandoned her children — Victor, his older sister Carmen and younger brother Temo — when Victor was 7. His alcoholic father, who got Victor into boxing, often beat his kids, then left a few years later; they went into foster care until Carmen became a legal adult and adopted them in 2002. During that time, Victor was dealing drugs.
"He's not only one of boxing's rising stars and one of the great stories in the ring, his story outside the ring really is one of the most touching and meaningful we've ever encountered," Taffet says. "And you can't portray Victor on 24/7 without understanding and showing viewers the special relationship he has with his brother Temo."
Ortiz has no qualms about his life being laid out for all to see.
"Not at all. It really helps me," he says. "I'm pretty confident in knowing people who are there to be good to you and people who are there to not be good to you. I want people to know. The way I came up was not easy, but I'm not stopping for anyone."
HBO's parent company, Time-Warner, in attempting to get as much exposure as possible for what it sees as a mega-event Sept. 17, also will air 24/7: Mayweather vs. Ortiz on CNN two hours later, through all four episodes.
Recently, Liev Schreiber who's filming "Mental" in Australia with Toni Collette and Anthony Lapaglia came up from down under to enjoy a low key weekend in the Hamptons.
The Mental Star who arrived incognito at the Edmiston Yacht Party on August 5th, sported a rugged new look complete with a beard without his gorgeous wife Naomi Campbell.
On board the yacht a friendly Liev noshed on bites from the Fat Radish and caught up with Oscar winning director Fisher Stevens who's next project dubbed LOL counts Miley Cyrus, Ashley Greene, Demi Moore, Thomas Jane, Gina Gershon, Jay Hernandez, Austin Nichols, and Marlo Thomas among its star studded cast.
Also in attendance was Michael Michele, Gossip Girl's newest diva who plays Blake Lively's studio boss in the upcoming series premiere.
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hollywood and the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation have joined forces to launch a unique public service announcement campaign about standing up against discrimination and the Jewish partisans – thousands of World War II resistance fighters that fought back against the Nazis and saved thousands of lives.
CNN anchor Larry King, actor Liev Schreiber (SALT, X-MEN, DEFIANCE), director Edward Zwick (GLORY,BLOOD DIAMOND, DEFIANCE), Rose Holm, a Jewish partisan and her granddaughter Elisabeth Holm are all part of JPEF's grassroots initiative to bring together the last surviving partisans and their families at a gala event in New York City on November 7 in their honor.
Larry King, a long time JPEF supporter, said, "The Jewish partisans are an important part of our history, and JPEF does tremendous work to keep their story alive and relevant with an innovative curriculum, short films and fabulous online resources. It is important to bring together as many partisans as we can for this special event on November 7."
The three-part campaign will kick off with a Web PSA designed to help locate these courageous individuals so that they may be re-united and honored with their colleagues at the tribute dinner in November. JPEF will give complimentary tickets to any partisan that wish to attend the tribute event. The remainder of the PSA campaign will be launched later this fall and into 2012.
"By honoring these brave men and women JPEF inspires the next generation of leaders to stand up for human rights and social justice," said Mitch Braff, founder and executive director, Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation. "Our tribute event is a historic link to the people who are a living testament that young people can make a difference – as many of the partisans were teens."
The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has announced the films playing in their Canadian Features line-up and the seven films from first-time filmmakers in the “Canada First!” line-up. Notable movies in the Canadian Features program include Edwin Boyd (starring Scott Speedman, Kevin Durand, and Brian Cox), Goon (starring Seann William Scott, Jay Baruchel, and Liev Schreiber), and Guy Maddin’s new film Keyhole (starring Jason Patric and Isabella Rossellini). Previously announced films A Dangerous Method and Take This Waltz will play as part of the Canadian Galas program.
Hit the jump to check out the full line-up for the Canadian Features and Canada First! programs. Click here for the Galas and Special Presentations and click here for the Documentaries, Midnight Madness, and other TIFF programs. The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 – 18th.
Liev took some time to be a good son this week and
visited his Mom at her home in Yogaville, Virginia.
As per their website:
Hollywood star in Yogaville, Naatya Adhyayana Gurukulam- VP Dhananjayan
August 3, 2011
Are you familiar with this famous Hollywood star Liev Schreiber who has acted in films like Salt, X Man, Sum Of All Fears, Kate & Leopold, Omen etc? He is now acting in Meera Nair's movie being shot in Delhi, a story of love hate between Pakistan and India.
Liev has learned Bharatanatyam in his childhood days in Connecticut and even played Hanuman's role in Ramayanam dance drama in one of the local Bharatanatyam teacher's production. He visited our classes with his little son and his old mother. Liev is a very simple man (unlike our actors). He drove his car, and just walked into the class casually in shorts and T-shirt carrying his son.
In a strange coincidence, we were watching Liev Schreiber's film ‘Omen’ the previous night on DVD and his casual unannounced visit was a terrific surprise. The students were quite exited.
Hard to believe, but some of the early viewers of Sesame Street are now probably watching the show with their grandchildren. The classic TV series beloved by preschoolers and their caregivers will launch season 42 on PBS Kids September 26th.
In an effort to encourage school readiness, especially in the disciplines of science and math, areas where U.S. students are falling behind, the producers say the new season focuses on a STEM curriculum, an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. Other season highlights include original songs and street stories; a brand new segment “Murray’s Science Experiments;” new “Super Grover 2.0” stories and new “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” animations.
Also in season 42 are many humorous celebrity moments featuring Elmo, Oscar, Abby and their friends making keen observations and showing their interest in hands-on investigation...all of which reinforce and encourage preschoolers to say: “Let’s find out!”
“Sesame Street’s curriculum fosters children’s natural inclinations to ask questions and encourages investigation and experimentation in order to make new discoveries,” said Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President of Education and Research, Sesame Workshop.
An impressive line-up of celebrities and headline makers are featured in the new season including Academy Award-winning and nominated actors Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Naomi Watts and Mark Ruffalo; Golden Globe nominated actors Liev Schreiber, Mila Kunis, Sofia Vergara and Emma Stone; Emmy Award-winning and nominated actors Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; X-Men’s James Marsden; Gone Baby Gone’s Michelle Monaghan; Bored to Death’s Jason Schwartzman; actor Jerry O’Connell; Grammy Award-winning and nominated musicians Juanes, Elvis Costello and Bruno Mars; LA Philharmonic’s Gustavo Dudamel; rapper Jay Sean; late night hosts Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, George Lopez and Conan O’Brien; New Orleans Saints Quarterback and MVP of Super Bowl XLIV Drew Brees; The Harlem Globetrotters; NBA All-Stars and New York Knicks players Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony; The Daily Show’s Samantha Bee and Jason Jones; The Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki; The Office’s John Krasinski; Community’s Joel McHale and Ken Jeong; CSI Miami’s Adam Rodriguez; Modern Family’s Rico Rodriguez; Broadway star Sutton Foster; Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
on this very Happy Friday! It looks as thought Liev will be
reunited with screen pal Anthony LaPaglia for a new project
that begins shooting Down Under on Monday!
PJ Hogan’s Mental shoot starts
Production begins Monday 25 July on PJ Hogan’s Mental in Tweed Heads.
The shoot reclaims not only its star Toni Collette, but the same suburban landscape that brought Muriel’s Wedding‘s Porpoise Spit to life.
Written and directed by PJ Hogan it is produced by Jerry Zucker, Todd Fellman and Jocelyn Moorhouse. Joining Collette is Liev Schreiber (Salt, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace, Balibo), Rebecca Gibney (Packed to the Rafters), Kerry Fox (Cloudstreet, Bright Star), Caroline Goodall (Dorian Gray), Deborah Mailman (Offspring, Bran Nue Dae) and Sam Clark (Neighbours).
Mental is the story of Shirley Moochmore (Gibney)—a mother who through lack of support by her philandering politician husband, Barry (LaPaglia) is unable to cope with her demanding daughters and suffers a nervous breakdown and is committed to a mental hospital. Desperate and suddenly alone with five teenage girls, Barry impulsively brings a charismatic, crazy, hotheaded hitchhiker Shaz (Collette) home to be the new nanny.
The script is based upon Hogan’s own personal story. Said Zucker, who collaborated with Hogan on My Best Friend’s Wedding, “I’m thrilled to be back in the magical world of PJ Hogan. PJ has once again written a brilliant screenplay filled with all the bizarre and lovable characters from his childhood. I can’t wait to see it all come to life in Queensland where it all began.”
The shoot is due to run until Friday 23 September.
Sunday’s star-studded “Hamptons For Haiti” fundraiser at the Ross School, is far more than just another glittering summer cocktail gala. The benefit which will feature a slate of A-list prime-time celebs, including Maria Bello, Mariska Hargitay, Liev Schreiber, Keifer Sutherland and many more, who will lend their star power to making in a difference in the lives of impoverished children and rape victims in Haiti.
The event, which features a cocktail brunch, live auction – with exciting prizes including walk-on roles on primetime television shows – and a musical performance by The Diva Barbara Guillaume, benefits We Advance and Global Dirt, two not for profit organizations aimed at bettering tomorrows.
Global Disaster Immediate Response Team (DIRT) was founded in January 2010 by Adam Marlatt shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Adam and fellow Marine Robert Sullivan have created a volunteer force dedicated to providing immediate assistance to victims of disasters worldwide, including Haiti.
We Advance founders Alison Thompson, humanitarian and disaster relief veteran, and “ER” star and women’s right activist Maria Bella work together on infusing hope into dire situations.
“We Advance focuses on gender-based violence, with an emphasis on educating and empowering rape victims and the children of Haiti, while Global Dirt’s mission is to buy an ambulance and mobilize a 911 rescue service that is very much needed,” Thompson said.
Montauk resident Melissa Berman, a “dedicated supporter” of the group, said she is lending a hand by helping to coordinate a volunteer crew.
“What makes We Advance special is that they are focused – their vision is clear: To advance the health, safety, and well-being of women in Haiti,” Berman said. “They start with the basics of health care and at the same time, educate and help empower the Haitian women to lead themselves.”
The group, Berman said, has built a “wonderful and well run” clinic “in the worst part of the worst slum in the western hemisphere.”
In addition, efforts include teaching Haitians English and other skills and advocating passionately alongside Haitian women against gender-based violence.
“In short, they get important stuff done, wisely, efficiently, and powerfully,” Berman said. “They are women, after all.”
Liev Schreiber, Jeremy Strong and Liv Tyler join indie
EXCLUSIVE:Liev Schreiber, Jeremy Strong and Liv Tyler have boarded the indie "Robot and Frank," joining Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon.
Jake Schreier is directing the story of a young architect (Strong) working to scan all the books at the library where he works when he's suddenly forced to go up against a man (Langella) who plans to steal from the institution with his robot companion.
Galt Niederhoffer is on board to produce through his Park Pictures.
Strong has stayed busy of late, recently wrapping production on the indie "See Girl Run" and also a role in Steven Spielberg's biopic "Lincoln" as John Nicolay, the president's aide and private secretary.
Schreiber was most recently seen in Sony's "Salt," and Tyler can be seen in "The Ledge" with Patrick Wilson and Charlie Hunnam.
Strong is repped by ICM and Mosiac and Tyler is repped by UTA and the Schiff Co. Schreiber is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Who is the real star in a film like Big Night? Is it the obvious main character? Is it the food? Is it the era? How about the promise of Louis Primo, the oft mentioned jazz musician who never actually shows his face?
The answer to that question probably differs depending on who you are and what you expect from a film. I screened this little gem on Saturday and wondered why I'd waited so long. Perhaps it was because I knew Liev's role was not-so-big.
As Liev Fan I could say that his stint as a doorman was impactful. Sure he had only background dialogue and no plot points, but he stood out to me. I could point out that he was mentioned on IMDB in the Thank You's which sometimes means that he worked harder than the credits would indicate - worked for free or below scale or whatever it was that they considered to be above and beyond.
What I would rather do is be truthful and say that I enjoyed this film for the very reasons I doubt it would be made today. There was a relaxed pace and confidence in what they were trying to acheive that made you relate to the food and it's chef: they would rush their craft for no one.
There were structural issues that we're learning as iron clad rules in film class today. The meeting with the banker should have been sooner to establish the plot right away. We didn't see the florist, who is the main character in the B Storyline, until the second act. etc. Is this what makes a movie indie? The fact that it's willing to break these rules? Maybe. Or is it Indie because they did not succumb to the formulaic and the studios want and pay for the formula?
I'm not sure, but I did enjoy the pace and inflections of the film, and as always left grateful for another (albeit brief) glimpse of Liev doing what he does best. If you plan on watching it (which I hope) and you're as highly suggestible as I am, make sure you have some Italian food on hand or you will be craving it for days.
David Michalek, a photographer and visual artist, grins before the 60-foot-tall head of a very angry, very slow-moving Alan Rickman, who is projected onto a gigantic screen on the façade of the David H. Koch Theater at New York's Lincoln Center on Tuesday night. It’s part of “Portraits in Dramatic Time,” a series of ultra-slow-motion video portraits of Rickman, William H. Macy, Holly Hunter, Liev Schreiber, and other actors livening up the plaza every night from 8:45 to 11:45 until the end of the month.
The 45 portraits on view feature original scenes that took only ten seconds to make but are stretched to as long as ten minutes in length.To create the appearance of glacially slow movement, Michalek used an ultra-high-speed digital camera, recording at anywhere from 500 to 900 frames per second but playing them back at the usual 30.
“This is weird. This is so weird. And great!” Michalek says, taking in his work. And he’s right: Even better is the next film, with a soaking wet, shirtless Macy violently flinging his body about, like a balletic head-banger. “Even as a young photographer,” Michalek says (he started out assisting Herb Ritts), “I was always trying to develop ways to get people comfortable so I could elicit a certain thing. You can’t tell someone ‘smile!’ or you get a fake smile. You have to create the conditions for laughter.”
Four years ago, Michalek used a prototype of a high-speed camera to realize his first slo-mo experiment: “Slow Dancing,” a similar installation focused on dancers and also shown on the Koch Theater’s façade. Working with actors for “Portraits” presented a different set of challenges. “Dancers kind of … dance themselves?” Michalek says (he knows: His wife is New York City Ballet principal Wendy Whelan).
“I could tell them, 'Please come to the studio with three five-second sequences prepared, each with a beginning, middle, and end, and let’s begin there.' You can’t tell an actor to show up with that; you need to write a story and cast them in a scenario.” Rickman, who came to Michalek’s apartment after his run at BAM in John Gabriel Borkman, was desperate to escape the world of Ibsen. “He said, ‘We could start anywhere, couldn’t we? You just made me tea. Let’s begin with tea. I’m a guy drinking tea. Am I alone? How do I feel about the person across the table?’” (Rickman would go on to vengefully splash the tea, and when seen in thousand-fold relief, it elicits many oohs and aahs from the plaza audience.)
The unintentional result in these scenes, Michalek says, is “an inventory of emotional states. Part of what is amazing about [the camera] is it shows you moments inside of moments. Even though the actors may be directing themselves toward a certain end, every artificial moment has thousands of moments of truth within it. Shards of what the actor wasn’t intending show through.”
And the crowd on the plaza this muggy evening responds, transfixed. Take the next film up, one of two featuring Lili Taylor. It co-stars her young daughter, Maeve. Both are gazing at a newborn baby (the production designer’s): Taylor’s face is one of complete wonderment, but as her daughter shifts her gaze from the baby to mom, well, something else is going on.
A chorus of foreboding “Awwww”s waves across the plaza, and a friend calls out, “David, this is so heartbreaking!” And a stranger on the fountain yells, “That kid wasn’t acting — that girl is jealous!”
Taylor is currently in a play at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and she hasn’t yet seen the portrait. “Was I able to convey any wonderment at all?” she asks anxiously over the phone the next day. “It’s so funny it got that reaction. It was like I was trying to act and be enamored with the little baby, but trying to keep Maeve on my lap and still. I don’t know how the hell I did it!”
What I love about screen tests is that you're seeing raw footage. Without background music and affects, the purity of the acting resonates. While all these enhancements are supposed to enrich a film, I've seen many occasions where I thought the screen test was actually better than the finished product, just unadorned and pure.
I enjoyed the Manchurian Candidate very much. But I do feel (when watching this screen test) that what I'm experiencing is these two powerhouse actors working in their genuine element. It makes me wish that all DVD's would include screen tests in their Special Features.
Allow yourself to absorb this clip and let the creepiness of Streep's portrayal crawl under your skin. Makes me feel oogly every time I see it, which I guess means she's doing a great job. And what can you say about Liev here? How do you admire someone's strength and feel protective of their vulnerability all at the same time? It's a conflict only an artist of Liev's caliber could bring to the audience.
Get ready for your daily shudder/laugh as we watch Liev (staying good natured as always) detain a greasy pap who interfered with his personal freedom. I don't know how he puts up with this kind of bull, I swear.
Check out this cowardly pap as he half-assed shouts "Help..." like a stuck pig. Then he fakes being injured, lying in the gutter moaning. Makes my skin crawl, actually.
Special shout-out to the good samaritan who decided to pop over and help! GREAT job!
According to Examiner.com, Liev Schreiber has a guest run on Season 7 of Weeds - one of my favourite shows EVER! (See article below) And if they're to be believed, this is going to get sexy shmexy!
There's no mention of this on Liev's IMDB profile and I cannot view their synopsis video from Canada. You can view the video HERE and if one of you oh-so-kind Liev enthusiasts can confirm if Liev a.k.a. "The Sarge" makes an appearance that would be FANTASTIC.
AHHHHHHHHHH Liev back on TV. Dare we dream??? (BTW the article says Liev plays the brother of someone Nancy did time with, but I always thought Liev would slide in perfectly as another one of Judah's brothers, myself.)
CHANGE: Thanks to Sofia for letting me know it's actually PABLO and not LIEV who'll be playing The Sarge.
And a big thanks to Examiner.com for their excellent sluething and tips - NOT!!!! A pox on your house, amateurs!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nancy served three years for manslaughter and was released to a halfway house in Washington Heights, New York. Her family uprooted their lives in Denmark to check in on their matriarch. Per Weeds tradition, episode 2 is even more setup, as everyone not named Nancy struggles to come up with something to do this season.
In addition to her big, slowly unraveling drug dealing plan, Nancy has a job interview as a lamp repair technician, so she bum rushes her roommate’s boyfriend off the phone during some kitchen appliance-based phone sex. We go on to learn that the roommate is enough of a foodie to have a hollowed-out cookbook in which to hide her contraband, a character trait that belies what is intended to play as a tough exterior.
The next morning, Nancy is on the clock for her job interview, and during her three-hour window she must also connect with the buyer of her suitcase full of explosives, which she hauled out of a car trunk at the end of last week’s episode. Her deadline may factor into why she, clad in some awful ‘80s garb donated by a church, sneaks out the back door when she sees her family waiting in the lobby. Nancy makes the interview, which she fails for being too nervous. She picks up her suitcase, which she stored on the roof of a building, and hides it in a maintenance closet across from The Sarge’s (Liev Schreiber) apartment. This guy is the brother of Zoya, Nancy’s former cellmate. To relax, she pitches him on her new weapons-for-weed business plan. He is tentative, but agrees to let her at least sample the product.
This is the first time we’ve seen Nancy high for any amount of time. The only other memorable on-screen occurrence was in the grow house with Conrad years back, when they sat and watched the grass grow. In the past, Nancy has maintained that she is too much of a control freak to enjoy her own product. Is this one of the ways prison has changed her? Maybe she accepts that she is less in control of her fate than she’d like to admit. Either way, she’s definitely going to bang Zoya’s brother at some point.
According to our friends at Tribeca Citizen, Liev is scheduled to appear at a screening of everyone's favourite film on Wednesday at the 92Y Tribeca.
(This tragically non-local yocal is guessing that means the 92nd Street YMCA in Tribeca???)
Here's the blurb:
Woody Allen’s Manhattan screens at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. ••• Nicole Holofcener’s 1996 Walking and Talking, with can-do-no-wrong Catherine Keener, is at 92YTribeca; Liev Schreiber is scheduled to appear.
WHAT: Imitation designer TaraSubkoffpresents a self-directed short film for her Resort 2012 collection starring model Nicole Trufino and featuring cameos from Lissy Trullie, Becka Diamond and Ilirjana Alushaj among other ladies-about-town.
Manager: "Yeah but look at him - now he's really pissed off."
As a silly fangirl, I hold on to hope for that role which brings in the big accolades. I'm talking Oscar Big. From Pacino's Taxi Driver to Redford's Sundance Kid, we've seen careers bourgeon from laudable to legendary with the chewiness of one meaty role. Well, in researching The Bayonne Bleeder it's clear that this is a story which merits being told often and well. And also that Liev is just the man to unfold it before us.
So, here are my Top Ten Reasons for looking forward to The Bleeder:
10.The Era -Wepner started boxing in the same era that Liev was born. There's something so intoxicating about being transcended back into the time we were born that I cannot see Liev being anything less than mesmerizing as he takes on the feeling of the times.
9.The Early Years - Wepner was both a Marine and a security guard before jumping into the ring. Lots of testosterone infused scenes with Alpha Males exerting their power - and in uniform no less!
8.The Dance - Isn't there something great about watching a film that focuses on a subject that is foreign to you? I always welcome the chance to gain a new understanding for someone else's passion. I'm not particularily fond of boxing, but if it's done well enough you almost walk out of the theatre with a new appreciation, don't you?
7.The Drive - Many people take on such a public challenge in order to simply make a name for themself and in those cases most have no intention of winning. Eddy the Eagle, anyone? But for Chuck this was nothing but serious. It was the first time Wepner had the chance to train as a pro, and the prize was $100k, well beyond anything he had ever seen before.
5.The Tension - Chuck: "At the end of the 9th round they asked how many fingers they had up? I couldn't see. I was completely blind! My manager tapped me on the back three times and I said 'three'. So the referee said 'O.K. I guess you can see. I'll let you go for the 10th round'. But all I could see was shadows."
4.The Accent: What's better than listening to Liev do a textured, epic, exotic (for me!), accent? Hearing Liev say "Ya gotta go da distance.." in that same heavy accent. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
3. The Greatest: Just as an aside, how many times do we get to see a depiction of someone flying like a butterfly and stinging like a bee?
2.The Marriage - Sounds like these two are a force to be reconed with. An excerpt from Chuck's website: Wepner tells real stories and gives hilarious anecdotes you wouldn't believe! He's got an infectious sense of humor, "The day of the Ali fight I bought my wife a powder-blue negligee and told her ' wear this tonight cause you'll be sleepin' with 'da heavyweight champion of the world.' That night after the bloody fight his wife humorously busted balls, 'Do I go to his room, or will he be commin'' to mine now?!"
1.The Costumes - There's a reason almost no films are set in the Tundra: snow suits are full coverage. Need I say more?
It's been awhile since I've shared any of my banal musings and to those of you feeling my absence I THANK YOU for your kind messages and support. I surely do feel myself getting back into the swing of this place again.
It all started on Saturday when I tucked into what must be the most under-touted Judd Apatow project ever. It's called Funny People and if you're as facile as I apparantly am, you're expecting a bromance and nothing more. The Title, Cast, One-sheet and Director would all lead you to believe you're getting another fart joke infested stream of vomit and titties set to a highly foot tappable soundtrack. And there is all that.
Okay, yes, that was all I was looking for on Saturday. I'm pregnant and absolutely thrilled so the chuckles come easily these days. All I can do is smile and laugh right now.
Joy ~ Joy ~ Joy
There's something so great about being surprised, nay, shocked when someone gently shoves you off the beaten path. I was not expecting the tenderness and humanity this film delivered - or the thought provoking conversations it has subsequently produced in my home.
I won't go into the plot or characters in depth because I want to encourage you see it for yourself. I will say that I thought it allowed both Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen to stretch their dramatic legs and that is always great to see. The film is over 2.5 hours long - which was a surprise. Something less quality using that amount of reel would have come off highly self indulgent on the part of Apatow. Instead, it left you feeling like you invested time and were really a part of what was going on.
The reverb of this experience was that I've since been thinking about Liev's opportunities to show his own comedic talents. And what it made me realize was that Liev's gift so far has been in the earnestness of what he brings to his characters. We love them because in the middle of a crazy situation they're doing their very best. Whether it's Vilma packing heat in a sundress or Stuart making speeches about colourblind dogs, it works. We buy into the ridiculousness of the situation - and that's because because he believed in it first.
You know that Pfffffftttttt noise of dissaproval people make, usually followed by intense eye-rolling? Never done that in a Liev film. Not once. Yes, films like His & Hers or The Ten or even Salt might not have been for everyone but they all kept me more or less in the moment. Does that make me a Liev fan - or just a true Film Buff? Is there a difference? Does it matter?
But back to Funny People, Adam Sandler exceeded expectations. I could not help but think, though, that I would have LOVED to see Liev in the role. A man and a life threatening diagnosis with only his jaded humour to get him through. Raw and real.
I read in an article recently (which I will not post here since some could consider the source Pap and I apologize for that) that Liev and Naomi are "Taking the Summer off." All I can say is I too would find it difficult to leave those beautiful boys and go to work every day. I hope a good rest is followed by lots of wonderful new projects and opportunities. And some really great comedy. This I need to see.
Liev looks so dashing in stripes, don't you think? Here's an image of His Hotness at the screening of Babel in NYC in 2006. I'm actually glad a wasn't there - it was an important and relevant film to see.
I would have missed the entire thing if Liev had shown up wearing this!
To launch his sophomore novel, My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies (Egmont USA, May), author Allen Zadoff is holding a contest that asks readers to submit creative photos of themselves with the book in theatrical locations (the novel focuses on a high school’s, well, drama-filled production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Zadoff will be posting the photos on his Web site and several Broadway luminaries have already gotten in on the act: Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale, currently starring in The Motherf**ker with the Hat, is seen here with the book, and other participating stars include Frances McDormand, Liev Schreiber, and American Idol’s Haley Reinhart. The contest runs through July 25; the winner who submits the “most creative, distinctive, or impressive” photo wins a Skype chat with Zadoff for his or her school, class, or theater group.
"Can we have breakfast menus?" Liev Schreiber asked. It was a Monday morning not long ago in New York City, and Schreiber, the 43-year-old actor, was trying—politely, unsuccessfully—to summon the attention of the wait staff at a stylish, subterranean breakfast spot. He looked toward the kitchen and asked again, and nobody turned.
"See?" Schreiber said dryly. "Very few people recognize my voice."
Had Schreiber been rhapsodizing about the fighting brilliance of Manny Pacquiao, the hard-scrabble Indiana childhood of Larry Bird, or the foul-mouthed charms of Rex Ryan, someone may have recognized his voice. (Then again, this was blasé downtown Manhattan—they might not have turned around if Karl Lagerfeld began playing "Up on Cripple Creek" on a platinum harp.)
But if you've been anywhere close to an HBO Sports series or documentary over the past decade and a half, you've heard Schreiber talk. He's a Tony-winning Broadway star; he has appeared in movies like "X-Men: Origins"; but as a narrator, he has quietly become the Mariano Rivera of the pay network's sports coverage—the steady, reliable closer. "He's as important as any element of a documentary," said Ross Greenburg, the president of HBO Sports.
Schreiber's voice isn't immediately identifiable or iconic—it's not Al Pacino's "Hoo-ah" or Morgan Freeman's low rumble. The voice sounds older than its owner, but it isn't showy; it's smart, but not tweedy. It's a soother-light caramel, absent of rasp or scratch.
"It's not entirely me," Schreiber said. "There's an effort to enunciate more than usual, to phrase toward clarity. It's not naturalism. It's a character, in a sense."
At first it seems like an incongruous pairing—the urbane thespian's thespian who seldom glances at a box score and a network with a deep sports obsession. (HBO's latest sports documentary, "McEnroe/Borg: Fire & Ice," about the great tennis rivalry, premieres Saturday night.) But the broad-shouldered Schreiber possesses athletic DNA, having played football as a student in Brooklyn ("I loved hitting people") until an ankle injury curtailed his career. As a kid, he snuck into Madison Square Garden to see games, and he recalls being enraptured by the folkloric NFL Films narrated by the stentorian-voiced John Facenda.
"I was really into Greek mythology in junior high school, and [NFL Films] was like Greek mythology—superheroes, slow motion, steam coming off giant men," Schreiber said. "The way John Facenda talked about it, it was like 'The Odyssey.' "
Schreiber was hired to do his first HBO documentary in 1995, about the old American Football League. Greenburg had been impressed by Schreiber's narration on a PBS rock 'n' roll series and wanted the same voice for sports. At the time, Schreiber was in his 20s, and his film career was just starting. "This stud comes walking down the hall," Greenburg said. "I'm like, 'You're Liev Schreiber?' I was sure it was going to be some 65-year-old guy with a cane."
Schreiber's acting career would blossom, but he maintained his link to HBO. In the years since he has managed to record narration from far-flung filming locations including Europe, Morocco and Thailand, where he was staying with his two children and his partner, the actress Naomi Watts. "I was doing hockey voice-overs in the middle of Phuket—totally surreal," he said.
By now, Schreiber is trusted to arrive in the final stages of production and verbally stitch it together. (He used to smoke in the recording booth but has quit cigarettes altogether.) On occasion, he might suggest a small alteration—eliminating a word, a slight change of phrase or pace. "He just reads it right," said HBO writer Aaron Cohen. "And if he doesn't, he does it better than you imagined."
Schreiber seems amused by his side journey into sports. Putting voice to film is not an extrovert's business—hardly anyone finishes watching a documentary and wants to spend a half-hour discussing the narrator. But for an actor who has experienced the velvet side of celebrity (courtside at the Knicks between Anna Wintour and Rex Ryan), it's a happy sliver of (relative) anonymity.
Even if the job sometimes makes a (relatively) young man feel old, like on a recent HBO production about Jerry Tarkanian and the UNLV Runnin' Rebels of the early '90s.
"It's awful," Schreiber said, sighing. "UNLV! That's like recent history to me."
On my daily scan of the Public's website I see that they've finally posted the Cast & Crew for Measure for Measure.
Liev is NOT on it.
POUT. SOB. MOAN.
Measure for Measure
By WILLIAM SHAKESPEAREDirected by DAVID ESBJORNSON Measure sweeps from the corridors of national power to the intimate confines of the bedroom and from the convent's chapel to the executioner's block. It is Shakespeare at his grittiest: a bracing and bawdy glimpse of what happens when those in power allow their basest human impulses to range unchecked.
With Bill Army, Kristen Connolly, John Cullum, Carson Elrod, Joe Forbrich, Danai Gurira, Michael Hayden, Andre Holland, Jordan Lund, David Manis, Dakin Matthews, Charlie Francis Murphy, Caitlin O'Connell, Annie Parisse, Carra Patterson, Tonya Pinkins, Lorenzo Pisoni, James Rees, Reg Rogers, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Benjamin Thys, Brendan Titley, Katie Tuminelly, Zachary Unger, Benjamin Perry Wenzelberg, Roger Yeh
Artistic Staff for MEASURE FOR MEASURE
Scenic Design SCOTT PASK
Costume Design ELIZABETH HOPE CLANCY
Lighting Design PETER KACZOROWSKI
Original Music and Sound Score JOHN GROMADA
Sound Design ACME SOUND PARTNERS
Hair and Wig Design CHARLES LAPOINTE
Vocal Coach SHANE-ANN YOUNTS
Production Stage Manager W. WILLIAM SHINER
Stage Manager BUZZ COHEN
Stage Manager JAMES LATUS
Stage Manager SEAN M. THORNE
... when an artist of this calibre gets to be among like minded people, celebrating what it is they all love. I think this beaming photo of Liev is one of the most darling I've ever seen. You just can't help but smiling.
Liev at the 56th Annual Drama Desk Awards - more in our Gallery.