When Josh and I got to the US Open all the games were being held because of the rain. We were holding out for the big show, the 8 p.m. game between Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters. We waited, but we wondered if we'd get to see any tennis at all.
One of Josh K's friends hooked us up with box seats for the game, so while we waited for the rain to pass we stuffed our faces with catered cookies, hot dogs, chocolates and diet soda. Honestly, it's not the worst way to have to wait out the rain. Secretly I think we would have considered the night a success even if we hadn't seen the game. But . . .
Then the rain finally slowed and a synchronized team of guys with blowers started drying off the court. It looked like we'd see some tennis after all.
We were happy Joshes. (Josh H, left; Josh K, right)
Finally: the game.
Okay, fine, and a little celebrity watching, too. 30 Rock's Alec Baldwin sat nearby. Love him.
But all eyes were on the court as a minor tennis scandal rocked the US Open when Serena Williams lost the game on match point because she ran her mouth at a line judge. . . .
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OUR EXCLUSIVE VIDEO Last night Serena Williams played Kim Clijsters in the semifinals of the US Open. It was an exciting, suspense-filled neck-in-neck game, riddled with sloppy playing by Serena, who threw her racket onto the court and busted it when she lost the first set (and earned a warning from the judges for her behavior).
Clijsters, who is 26 and only recently back playing tennis since she had a child 18 months ago, continued neck-in-neck play into the end of the second set. When it became match point, a line judge called Serena on a foot fault (which actually was a bad call and later determined to be inaccurate). However, instead of calmly asking for a review of the call, Serena lost it.
From our seats we could only see Serena getting up into the face of the line judge, waving the ball at the judge and looking ready for an all-out brawl, but The New York Times reports Serena yelled "you don't f**king know who I am" and threatened to shove the tennis ball down the judge's throat.
What's so interesting about the sport of tennis is that it's still a rather polite, gentlemanly (or in this case, ladylike) sport. The crowd began booing as soon as Serena lost her cool and continued to as her poor sportsmanship kept playing out on the court. If it were a hockey game the crowd would have been loving it; in a tennis match, the crowd won't abide by that kind of behavior.
VIDEO PLAY-BY-PLAY As the video begins Serena has just finished bawling out at the line judge from a few feet away, yelling "you don't f**king know who I am" and threatening to shove the ball down the line judge's throat (according to the NYT).
As the video begins the line judge approaches chair umpire Louise Engzell to explain what's going on. At 0:10 Serena also marches up to the conferring line judge and chair umpire and continues the altercation, her face contorted. The tournament referee, Brian Earley, joins in the discussion at 0:20 and at about 0:55 Serena is officially issued a code violation point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. As it was match point at the end of the second set, that means Serena has lost the US Open Women's Semifinals.
At 1:05 Serena walks over to a confused Kim Clijsters, who hasn't been able to hear what's been going on from her side of the court, and Serena shakes her hand at 1:18. The match is over. The crowd is somewhat stunned by this finish to the exciting, suspenseful 91-minute game. It all didn't have to end like this if Serena hadn't lost her cool. Serena packs up her things at 1:38 and heads off the court at 2:00 as booing is still heard from the crowd.
This spring Josh and I sat down with the cast of Sex and the City in a suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York for exclusive chats about the show’s gay fans, plotlines that never made it to the show, Sex-y fashion, and what it was like to return to their characters’ (high-heeled) shoes for Sex and the City: The Movie.
On The Show’s Gay Fans
Cynthia Nixon: In the first couple years of our show we didn’t have any female writers. Our two writers were gay men. There was a lot said about, “These aren’t really women—these are gay men disguised as women,” and that really bugged all of us. It was like, Why aren’t they really women? Because women aren’t having this much sex? That’s annoying.
It’s a very gay friendly show. Not only do we have gay characters, but one of the central themes is a very gay conceit, which is your family is not the family you came from. Your family [develops] when you come to a place you always wanted to be and you meet people who are like you, and you create your own family. You notice in the series that we almost never meet anybody’s family. Once we met Charlotte’s brother. We heard about Miranda’s father after he was dead. But we never meet anybody’s parents or family. And they really wanted to keep it about the family you create.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Because I’m from New York, and I was raised in the theater, the gay community was always part of culture to me. They were always some of the first audiences, always the first people at the preview of a Broadway show, so it wasn’t so shocking to me that they were some of the first, most committed audiences [of our show].
There was a particular attachment to this show, among even my gay friends. It’s less about the salty dialogue and the candid, forthright chat-chat. Your relationship with your gay friends is like your relationships with your straight women friends. It is that deep and that intense and they care about friendships in the same way; they talk and they share. That has been my relationship with gay men, and, of course, the majority of my friends are gay men. And it’s extremely comforting: They always make you feel good, they always make you feel at even your worst moments like a lady—like a girl—and they are never afraid to be honest. They loved the ridiculousness and the absurd and the dirty and costumes, but if there wasn’t an emotional connection to those friendships and what they meant—you know, the gay community can grow weary, and they can move on quickly. But I think that’s what it meant for [the gay community], that kind of connection.
Kim Cattrall: A lot of people ask me if they feel that I’m playing a gay man in New York, and if I am, I am having the most fabulous time as a gay man in New York. I don’t personally think that, but I think it’s a fun thought. I was very happy to be on the cover of The Advocate. I feel like I have arrived in some ways. But there has been a tremendous amount of support from the gay community, and I’m grateful for it.
Kristin Davis: We have been hugely supported by the gay community, absolutely, and we love that. I feel like we’ve got support from a lot of different groups, which I think was edifying to us. I think people in general identify with well-written characters.
But I think also for gay culture—men and women—we were not locked into anything particularly rigid—there’s Samantha and Charlotte and everything in between. It’s colorful and pretty to look at, and we’ve got crazy clothes, and it was risky in a way, and with sexuality, and I think that people felt free about that, and so of course the gay community would vibe with it. But also, when I go home to South Carolina, old women come up to me, and I say, “Really, you watch it? You don’t have heart palpitations?” So it’s been a really good cross section. But we love our gay fans, obviously.
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Last week Josh K.’s first-and-only girlfriend, Brooke, flew to New York from Minneapolis for a whirlwind four-day visit.
On Thursday night the three of us had dinner in Hell’s Kitchen and then took a night tour of Times Square. On Friday Brooke went on a shopping extravaganza while the Joshes worked. That night we met up in Union Square for dinner at Coffee Shop (yum!) before walking to Viniero’s in the East Village for inappropriately good dessert and warm liquor-infused winter drink concoctions. Afterward we went to the theater in Union Square to catch one of the sold-out showings of Juno.
Juno is the story of a high schooler (the brilliant Ellen Page) who gets pregnant by her best friend (Michael Cera, Superbad) and plans to give her baby to a yuppy suburban couple (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman), and is what Josh and I call an instant classic. It’s funny, quirky, and moving in a subtle way. Ellen Page’s performance is a can’t-miss event. Get thee to a theater this weekend to check it out.
On Saturday we headed down to the West Village for brunch on Bleecker Street and, by popular demand, did the obligatory pilgrimage to 66 Perry Street, Carrie Bradshaw’s stoop. We did a little shopping and gobbled the required Magnolia cupcake in the oft celebrity-laden park across from the dessert hotspot.
Later that night we went to see the new Broadway play August: Osage County. The show, set in one big, elaborate house set, follows the twists and turns of a very dysfunctional family (don’t they all?), and delivers quite a few surprises and great performances, especially in the second and third acts, one of which involves a dinner scene that outdoes anything you’ve seen on Springer (with words flying like daggers instead of the chicken wings and potatoes that usually soar through the air on Springer).
The New York Times called the play "flat-out, no asterisks and without qualifications, the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years."
Most people who visit New York want a good celebrity sighting, and that night we had three. First, while in line for the show, CSI’s Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows) stood in front of us and chatted with us. She looked great and was very low-key. Second, Jeff Perry, who plays Meredith’s dad, Thatcher Grey, on Grey’s Anatomy, was in the cast of August: Osage County (and was very good). Then, when the show let out, we were right next door to Cyrano de Bergerac, where Jennifer Garner was standing a few feet away from us signing Playbills and looking as dimply and fresh-faced as ever.
On Sunday we had brunch in Hell’s Kitchen and then braved the massive crowds on Fifth Avenue and did Bergdorf Goodman, Bendel’s, and the Rockefeller Christmas display, before settling in across the street at Dean & Deluca (right next to The Today Show) for hot chocolate and more dessert (because you can never have too much dessert, right?).
Josh and I love playing tour guide. After being here for a couple years it really is fun to see New York through the eyes of somebody who is newly in love with this city.
While at a birthday party in Hell’s Kitchen, at Xth Avenue Lounge, Josh and I spotted season four Project Runway contestant Jack Mackenroth. Apparently you can’t throw a stone in this city these days without hitting a PR contestant.
Also, Project Runway spoiler (close your eyes, close your eyes!): Jack leaves the show in tonight’s PR episode. See the dramatic health story unfold tonight on Bravo.
Last night I saw the Off-Broadway show Things We Want at the Acorn Theater. A friend recommended it, and I saw a good(ish) review in New York, so I bought tickets. Directed by Ethan Hawke (I should have known at that point), the play follows three brothers with a sad past trying to get through life in New York, and features a mysterious and troubled girl who lives in their building who changes the course of their lives.
Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, L.I.E.) was pretty good, as was Josh Hamilton (Alive, Broken English), but the show made the mistake countless plays make: They think that lots of scenes with people getting really loud and angry makes for good theater. When they’re well crafted and deftly handled (see: August: Osage County) it can be fodder for good theatrical times, but when it’s just yelling for yelling’s sake it’s a disappointment.
I’m not upset I saw it, but I would say that Things We Want is something that, in the end, we don’t really want that much.
Something we do want, though, is Ingrid Michaelson and her fantastic album "Boys and Girls." A J&J reader tipped us off that we should give Ingrid a listen, and once we did we picked up the album and haven’t stopped listening to her since. Her music has been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, and I’d say the girl is on her way up. Also check out her songs "Overboard," "Breakable," and "Die Alone."
Below is a performance of her song “The Way I Am.”
P.S. Is anyone else loving the hilarious user comments on Amazon.com’s listing for milk? Priceless. (Thanks Eric!)
Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) runs after Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) on her way to confront Big (Chris Noth, far right near Town Car), armed with a bouquet of flowers. Photos by Josh K. taken just after 2 p.m. today.
Whoa! So, Josh K. and I just got back from the Sex and the City: The Movie set. They're filming outside The Bryant Park Hotel (40 W. 40th Street).
At one point we stood a few feet from Sarah Jessica Parker in full (crazy) wedding regalia, as well as Miranda and Charlotte in their (gorgeous, non-matching) bridesmaid dresses. (We also stood close to Mr. Big and Steve, who chatted amiably between takes.)
It seems that we may have been there for the climactic scene of the movie. Here's what happened.
A limousine starts cruising down West 40th, goes about fifteen feet, and then abruptly stops in the middle of the street. Carrie gets out of the right rear door, a huge bouquet of flowers in her hands, and starts running at a tux-clad Mr. Big, who has just stepped out of Town Car. Carrie starts beating Big with the bouquet, screaming, “I knew you would do it!” looking both angry and heartbroken.
Miranda and Charlotte bust out of the limo and come after Carrie, ushering her back to the limo. Miranda and Carrie make it into the vehicle before Charlotte turns around, her face contorting, and yells something at Big before getting into the limo, which speeds off another fifteen feet or so before “cut” is called.
We watched the whole thing three times.
Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) rushes to Carrie (SJP) as she beats Big with her bouquet. Photo by Josh K.
Charlotte (Kirsten Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) comfort Carrie as she makes her way back to her limo.
Steve (David Eigenberg) and Big (Chris Noth) chat together between takes.
Charlotte (Kristin Davis) on the set between takes.
All photos by Josh K. for Josh & Josh Are Rich and Famous. If you wish to use them credit Josh & Josh and link to the permalink for this post.
Also, The Sex and the City Movie Blog has picked up our story and pictures.
I just wanted you all to know that I am not going to hang on my wall the autographed picture of Ryan Seacrest that cute 'n clever Matthew over at Life Serial hooked me up with. I know you thought I would. But I'm not. Really. I would never do that.
Naw, naw; he's going on my bookshelf instead. Right next to my fuzzy velour Lisa Frank unicorn diary that locks with a pink plastic padlock. Jealous?
A few weeks ago Josh and I accepted an invitation for an event for the upcoming A&E documentary Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother, a film premiering at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.
Apparently Josh and I somehow didn't read the invitation well enough, because we thought we were simply attending a screening of the movie. But on Monday night, when we arrived at an address in the Meatpacking District, the taxi pulled up in front of a chic, high-end restaurant, and we realized we may have gotten in a little over our heads.
If you're attending a movie screening you'd probably just arrive in whatever you happened to be wearing that day, right? So Josh and I showed up wearing jeans and sneakers, sporting a messenger bag and a backpack, expecting a somewhat casual movie-watching evening.
Crushes of well-dressed celebrity-looking people stepped up to the restaurant where no fewer than ten PR people and attractive women with clipboards checked in guests. Josh and I stood twenty feet away, our jaws on the sidewalk.
"Oh my God, what do we do?" Josh asked.
"I don't know. Jesus! We are not dressed for this."
"I thought you said this was a screening!"
"I swear I thought it was," I said, now biting my lower lip.
This, of course, was when a black Town Car pulled up a few feet away from us, the back doors opening simultaneously. Marc Jacobs and his (in)famous boyfriend, Jason Preston, stepped out and began walking toward us. Josh K. stared at Marc Jacobs and his newly shorn locks and post-rehab sveltness, and Marc stared back.
"Hey, how are you?" Marc asked.
"I'm good, I'm good, how are you?" Josh asked back.
"I'm good," Marc said. Jason didn't take his eyes off the restaurant. They breezed by us and into the waiting crowd of press girls at the front door.
That was the moment we almost left. How do you go into a Tribeca Film Festival premiere party that Marc Jacobs is attending while you're wearing three-year-old beat-up New Balance Sneakers, jeans that need washing, and sporting glasses and a five o'clock shadow? But alas, after much debate, we decided to go in. Hey, why not, we decided. We'd been properly invited, so why not give it a shot?
We warily approached the door and gave them our name. A tall, attractive blonde stepped forward.
"Are you Josh & Josh? It's so great to meet you guys! I'm Emily. Let me take you in and show you around."
Josh and I looked at each other. They knew us? And now we were getting guided in by one of the statuesque PR girls?
Minutes later we were among the throngs of partygoers, sipping champagne cocktails and ogling the four shirtless models standing at the front door, a la Abercrombie & Fitch, welcoming guests with their tanned, bare, and muscled chests, low-slung jeans, and blisteringly white teeth. (Photographic evidence here.)
A red carpet set had been assembled along one wall of the restaurant and soon Alexis Arquette appeared. Flashbulbs popped and several camera crews, including Access Hollywood, turned on flood lights and began doing interviews.
"I can't believe we got away with coming in here dressed like this," Josh whispered to me.
"Maybe they just think we're 'creative types'," I said. We both laughed. Then we went to get another drink.
This week Josh and I got tickets to see this Sunday's performance of the Broadway musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. We've been meaning to see the show for a long time, and we almost bought tickets when Broadway hottie Barrett Foa (the Avenue Q alum) was in the cast, but it didn't work out that time.
Thus, when we heard about this Sunday's special performance, where the cast and characters take the spelling be and bring it to a whole new level of inappropriate "adult" humor, Josh and I were convinced that it was finally time to see the show. Friends have told us that the "adult" performances in the past have been hysterical, so we're definitely looking forward to it. If you're going, be sure to say "hi."
Random Celebrity Sighting #487: Sigourney Weaver
On Sunday morning Dylan and I ventured out of the apartment to have brunch in Hell's Kitchen. We stuffed ourselves with naughty/fun weekend brunch food, and on our way back to the apartment we passed Sigourney Weaver and a male companion (her husband?) walking into Lenny's, a sandwich shop, at West 44th St. and Ninth Avenue.
Sigourney is starring in the new movie The TV Set, which is actually getting pretty good reviews. I thought it was funny seeing Sigourney walk into Lenny's because her character's name in her new movie is also named Lenny.
I know, I'm a dork.
But regardless, I saw her, and she looked pretty good. And tall. Very tall.
On Saturday, after Josh K. and I went on a full-fledged shopping spree to get me some new clothes for the magazine job I'm starting this Friday, we showed up at a gallery in Chelsea, with a million bags in tow, to see Anthony Goicolea's new show. Dylan came, too, and we ended up running into J&J amigo Matty and a few of his friends while perusing Anthony's new work. We were really excited to be at the show and get a chance to meet Anthony. Not surprisingly, he was both remarkably good-looking and unfailingly polite.
Anthony is wildly talented. Josh and I have been into Anthony's work since we first saw his book Anthony Goicolea a few years ago, back when Josh K. worked at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. I remember sitting in the quiet of the Walker bookstore with JK, near closing time, flipping through the book and marveling at the photos.
Check out more of Anthony's work on his website.
Britney Spears, continuing her campaign to permanently destroy her career, showed up at a California tattoo parlor yesterday with a shaved head and got two more tattoos--a pair of red lips and a pair of pink lips, one on her wrist and one on her neck. (There are so many things wrong with this sentence that it's almost worth stopping here, right?)
I learned all of this, of course, from a front-page CNN story while eating breakfast. TMZ.com and Access Hollywood reported that Britney had also checked into a rehab program the same day, but then checked herself back out. (Maybe she should have stayed in?)
I think the girl's done gone and lost her mind. Anybody else hearing cries for help?
More pictures and details, including photos of the head shaving, from Pink is the New Blog.
Update Feb. 20: Britney checks into rehab (and stays this time).
Update Feb. 21: No such luck. Britney checks herself out of treatment, her second one-day stint in rehab this week.
Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon I headed back to JFK airport after the previous day's travel troubles and managed to land a standby seat on a flight back to Minneapolis. Sure, I almost missed the flight because the security lines were so incredibly long (longer than I've ever seen at JFK, ever), and then we sat in the plane on the tarmac for two hours while the airport fixed a baggage delivery problem, but the important part is that I made it to Minneapolis, and I'm now camped out at the family compound in the suburbs.
I love New York City, but it's also kind of nice to be back for a three-day weekend breather here in the Mini Apple.
I still have that song from Shortbus stuck in my head. I've been listening to a lot of Regina Spektor's "Samson" lately (see below) to see if I can get something new stuck in there, though. In any case, it's nice to be listening to artists who write their own music, sing well, and actually play instruments, isn't it?
Google Maps now include subway stations and truncated 3D renderings of buildings, which means no more double map-on-map action.
So fucking awesome.
And, just like that, Google takes one step further toward total world domination.
Justin Timberlake's new music video for his song "What Goes Around" takes a decidedly darker and bolder turn from normal Justin fare, a move which may allow him to continue to grow and try new things. The man is clearly trying to showcase acting chops in this video, a move that follows his turn in four recent movie roles with Edison, Alpha Dog, Southland Tales, and Black Snake Moan.
Scarlett looks flawless in the video and Justin seems to hold his own. After a video like this, I see why the tabloids were going crazy about a possible Scarlett/Justin romance.
Watch Justin's new video here.
Do you ever have one of those mornings where you're just in love with the snooze button on your alarm clock? This morning I think I hit snooze at least eight or nine times. It got progressively worse because each time I felt a little more guilty and naughty about it, but that made it all the more fun to slide back in under the huge pile of covers as it snowed outside. Finally, almost an hour after my normal wake-up time, I zoomed out of bed and sped through my morning routine at warp speed and managed to get to work without being too late. It was just one of those mornings where it was totally worth it to play the naughty snooze button game.
Since it's Valentine's Day, I'd be remiss if I didn't say Happy Valentines to my guy, Dylan. <3
Also, from Josh & Josh to all of our kick-ass readers, won't you be our Valentines?
This is how it goes.
I spot a celebrity. I nudge/hit/text/call Josh H. to tell him the good news, noting the time and place and the celebrity in question's most recent work. Or, if said celebrity's close proximity hinders my ability to gush freely, I shoot Josh my most urgent-looking googley eyes and mouth the celebrity's name. Without fail, Josh replies: "Uh-huh. Riiiiiiight." I know he's jealous.
But, okay, he at least took the bait. That's nice of him. Now he wants me to prove it. Easy: I just know. I'm good at these things, I tell him, if only because I'm such an avid people watcher that no one gets within 50 feet of me without my knowledge of it. (No, really. I stare quite a bit.) He tells me I'm crazy.
This happens often.
But, this time, I got photographic evidence. How do you like them apples?
Above: American Idol's Paris Bennett, a Minneapolis native, and me (Josh K.) at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport last Thursday. Bennett was on her way home after performing in the American Idol tour in New York City. We were on the same damn flight (!) and even sat next to each other at Gate 23 in terminal 4 at JFK. And, yes – she is indeed just the cutest thing you ever saw.
Click here to watch a clip of Paris perform on American Idol. Her first album comes out in March.
So what's the deal with public figures who've done something wrong coming out with press releases and interviews saying, "I did it because I had a bad childhood"?
Mark Foley, the Republican senator from Florida brought a new twist on the trend when, after instant messages to male pages asking them about the measurements of their penises and showing up at the page dorm late at night, drunk, and asking for some of the boys, went into rehab. Immediately he and his press folks said three things: he's gay, he's an alcoholic, and a priest had touched him inappropriately when he was a child. Foley seemed to be trying to lessen the blow of his inappropriate behavior by saying, "I'm an alcoholic, and everything started because I had a bad childhood and a priest molested me." Alcholism is a tricky beast to battle, and sexual abuse is something no one deserves to experience. But maybe Mark Foley should have taken responsibility for his actions instead of saying, "I'm a drunk, I had a bad childhood."
Same thing goes for Miss Tara Conner, the winner of the Miss USA pageant, who used cocaine and engaged in some publicly promiscuous behavior deemed "unfit" for a pageant title-holder. Donald Trump called a big press conference and announced Tara was entering rehab, but would keep her Miss USA crown because "people deserve second chances," which led Rosie O'Donnell say a few things about all of it on The View, thus beginning the now infamous Trump/O'Donnell public feud.
In any case, Matt Lauer interviewed the freshly-out-of-treatment Tara Conner yesterday, and she brought the same bag of tricks out: somebody had "violated her trust" when she was a child, she said, and it had caused serious problems for her. Matt couldn't get her to say much more, but the implication is some sort of physical or sexual abuse durig her childhood in Kentucky.
So I'm saying this: I understand bad things happen in childhoods, and that they can be very damaging, and they can be horrific and upsetting. But every time a public figure does something they're not proud of, like snort cocaine and get caught, or start coming onto underagers when they're a senator and serve on the taskforce for missing and exploited children, or whatever else, maybe they shouldn't fall back on "I'm sorry, I had a bad childhood." Instead, maybe they could take responsibility for their actions, and then find the number for a great therapist and start addressing their own issues so they can stop using troubled childhoods as a crutch for bad behavior.
You know things have reached a Britney Spears media saturation point when the press starts reporting on how many bathroom breaks Britney takes during a day of recording of her new album. I mean, really?
Meanwhile, is anybody else out there loving ABC's Ugly Betty, especially as of late? Becki Newton as Amanda and Michael Urie as Marc seem to have filled the gap where Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally's Jack and Karen left off after Will & Grace wrapped last year. I love Betty's twelve-year-old gay nephew, Justin. And beyond that, we now have Ms. Rebecca Romijn playing a woman who used to be a man (the former brother, now sister, of the editor-in-chief of the magazine where Betty works! gasp!) mixed into the melee. I'm just sayin': Ugly Betty is a whole lot of fun, and deserved the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series.
I couldn't possibly be any more bored by the Academy Award nominations.
Little Miss Sunshine for best picture? Sure, it was funny and sort of sweet and Abigail and Toni were outstanding. I'll give you that. But it's not so much best picture material. And Babel? This year's Crash: Contrived. Heavy-handed. "Gritty." After a half hour or so, I though to myself "Okay, okay, I get it – Brad Pitt wants an Oscar." In reality, it's nothing you won't forget ten minutes after leaving the theater. Exceptions: solid performances by Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi.
In fact, most of this year's women nominees give far superior performances than their male counterparts. This is the year of the ass-kicking actress, friends. To wit: Judy I-Have-More-Talent-in-my-Left-Toe-Than-all-the-Best-Actors-Combined Dench, Meryl "That's all" Streep, Penelope So-Much-More-Than-a-Pretty-Face Cruz, Helen Stiff-Lipped Mirren, Jennifer "I'm Not Goin'" Hudson, et. al. gave us deliciously and unapologetically strong, confident women to lap up. And let's not forget the small screen: America Ferrera, Sandra Oh, and Ali Larter (Niki Sanders – Heroes).
Hillary, looks like this might be your year. Go get 'em.
And the nominees are . . . (with Josh & Josh favorites in bold)
BEST PICTURE: The Departed, Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen
BEST ACTOR: Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond), Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson), Peter O'Toole (Venus) and Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)
BEST ACTRESS: Helen Mirren (The Queen), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Penelope Cruz (Volver), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) and Kate Winslet (Little Children)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls), Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children), Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) and Mark Wahlberg (The Departed)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls), Adriana Barraza (Babel), Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)
BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese (The Departed), Clint Eastwood (Letters From Iwo Jima), Stephen Frears (The Queen), Paul Greengrass (United 93) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel)
Is American Idol really on again tonight?
I can't believe it. Two goddamn nights in a row. And this is only just the beginning, friends. Our lives will soon become over saturated with the colorful antics of wannabe pop stars. Only the month of May will bring the end of it. By the numbers: that's four and a half glorious months of 16 desperate whales crooning and trilling their way to "victory." (Please. As if winning American Idol guaranteed success.)
I will say this much about last night's season premier covering the auditions held here in my hometown of Minneapolis, MN: never have I wanted more to take a dull meat clever to the hairy testicles of anyone who insists that Midwesterners are ignorant, talentless hicks. I'm talking to you, Randy Fatson. Simon Cowbell: you, too. Just remember this: the ineffable fortitude of Miss Marge Henderson can kick your whiny little asses. Watch your backs.
The other day Dylan and I were walking down Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen, talking with a friend who writes for the New York Times. We were discussing various Manhattan neighborhoods, and the West Village, where our writer friend lives, came into the spotlight.
"You've got a lot of celebrities in your neighborhood," I said.
"Oh really?" I asked. "Did you live there when they were still shooting the show?"
"Ha!" he said as we came to a stop at an intersection. "It was insane. The crew was rude, and they were always there, at all hours of the night."
"So you've had your share of Sarah Jessica sightings, huh?"
"The woman," he said, "is my neighborhood nemesis."
Interesting, I thought. One man's treasure is another's junk, indeed.
"Now those infernal TV-themed tour buses come rumbling by three times a day and stop in front of 66 Perry Street and everybody clamors out to take pictures on the stoop. I feel so bad for the people who live there. And, I mean, I've run into her in stores a few times. She has one of those voices that just carry, and she talks so loud as if everybody wants to know what she's saying, as if everybody cares." He laughed. "I guess they do, maybe. Look at me, here I am, talking about it, and about her."
The light changed and we crossed the street.
The Times says that condo markets in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Las Vegas have collapsed. The condos are being rented as apartments instead due to the dismal showing of buyers.
The Times also reports that fifty-one percent of American women are living without a spouse, the highest number in American history. Forty-nine percent of women were living without a spouse in 2000, compared to only thirty-five percent in 1950. By 2050 could two-thirds of women be living without a spouse?
In the Blogosphere
Dustin knows you're nobody until somebody hates you. Eric fetches the German slut from the kitchen. Tony hangs out with sexy mens. Joe drinks with famous hooker Mike Jones. Kirsten explores the idea of sandpaper on penis. Marina sees giant bunnies good for feeding a whole family. Timothy finishes writing his latest book.
On Friday night Dylan and I went to a press screening of Dreamgirls.
The movie, based on the 1980s hit Broadway musical that helped make Jennifer Holliday a star, follows the career trajectory of the Dreamettes (played by Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, and Anika Noni Rose), a singing trio trying to make it big, facing plentiful bumps and diversions on their ascent to the top.
Written and directed by Bill Condon (who won an Oscar for writing the Chicago screenplay and also directed the critically-acclaimed Kinsey), and starring Beyonce, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson, and Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls is going to be the movie to beat this holiday season, and a movie to beat in February at the Oscars.
Let's just cut to the chase about Dreamgirls: The acting is on point, the songs sizzle, the voices are big, and the lush sets, costumes, and wigs dazzle.
The Dreamettes seem to echo The Supremes and even the story of Destiny's Child, the group that made Beyonce a star. In fact, the subtext and parallels with Beyonce and Destiny's Child and Dreamgirls' Dreamettes is undeniable: the group begins singing with each other as teenagers, they get a big break, group members are oustered to streamline the group and its image, and eventually Deena/Diana/Beyonce steps out on her own to become a superstar. You can't watch the movie without wondering what Beyonce really thinks about her role as Deena Jones.
The real Dreamgirls revelation, however, is Jennifer Hudson, the third-season American Idol finalist, whose acting and performance as Effie White is entirely natural and unaffected, and whose voice steals the film. Jennifer hits it way the hell outta the park in a solo half-way through the movie ("And I Am Telling You"), and after that there's no question who this movie belongs to.
World, say hello to Jennifer. Jennifer, say hello to the world.
"It actually felt like we went to see a big Broadway show," Dylan said to me as we were leaving the theater. The energy and pacing of the movie never flagged. There were times during the screening that I forgot I was watching a movie.
Dreamgirls is, without question, one of the best movies I've seen this year, if not the best movie I've seen this year.
You've got to see it when it opens nationwide on December 25.
The Behind-the-Scenes Scoop from the Dreamgirls Screening
Dylan and I took seats in the center section of the movie theater, a few rows up in the main section of seats. Auditorium 13 at the Loews Cinema on 42nd Street is the largest movie theater I've been to in New York City. I settled into my seat and saved Dylan's while he went to get free popcorn and soda, courtesy of the movie studio, and I started eyeing the crowd.
Suddenly I spotted a well-heeled familiar face as she walked into the theater. It took me half a second to realize the woman walking in was Gayle King, Oprah Winfrey's best friend, and editor-at-large of O Magazine.
Gayle, flanked by two handsome men in suits, began looking for a seat. I watched her climb a few stairs, scan the theater, and then approach my row, which was still mostly empty.
And then Gayle King sat right. Next. To. Me.
Dylan came back with two big bags of popcorn and giant sodas ("Can you believe these are only the mediums?" he asked me) and I pulled him down into his seat and whispered into his ear about who was sitting next to us.
"Well, talk to her!" Dylan said.
Gayle, however, made the first move.
"I am so excited to see this movie!" Gayle said to Dylan and me.
"Oh, I know, I am too," I stammered. I wanted to bury my face in my bag of uber-buttered popcorn. Is that all I could come up with? "Ooooh, me too"?
I experienced a sudden wave of shyness, something that's somewhat rare for me. I wasn't nervous, per se, just entirely unsure of what to say to Oprah Winfrey's best friend. I mean, what did I have to say to her?
I started munching my popcorn and guzzling my Diet Coke while she chatted to her male companion (so much for those lesbian rumors?) and mentioned a woman who needed to be invited to an upcoming party and said, "Well, I told Oprah we have to invite her, and she said, 'Well, okay, remind me, because you know I'll forget otherwise.'" Then she perused the contents of her BlackBerry. I did my best to nonchalantly eye the screen to see if any of the messages were from Opie herself, but alas, I couldn't get a clear look.
When the lights went down Gayle said, "Here we go!" And I thought to myself, Oprah's been rubbin' off on her (or vice versa?).
Gayle talked back to the movie every now and again ("Oh, you go, Beyonce!") but Gayle and I actually started talking after Jennifer Hudson's rendition of "And I Am Telling You" half-way through the movie. The number actually caused adrenaline to begin pumping through my veins, and afterward the crowd burst into applause, including Gayle and me.
"Oh my God, that was incredible," I said to her.
"I know! Wasn't that unbelieveable?" she said.
"I want to rewind that scene and see it again," I said, both of us still clapping.
We kept chattering a bit more until somebody behind us actually hushed us. (Oops, sorry!)
After the movie, and after the considerable applause, Dylan and I chatted with her about the movie sweeping the Oscars in February. We said goodbye to her and Dylan and I filed out of the theater.
In an interview in Entertainment Weekly’s Oct. 30 issue, the 42-year-old actor says he amused himself and his colleagues by yanking up his pants to give himself a wedgie, sticking out his rear and waddling about like a duck.
“Cate [Blanchett] called it the Hungry Bum. When your bum’s so hungry it’s trying to eat your pants.”
--The Associated Press, via MSNBC
Uhm, go ahead and insert any one of a thousand inappropriate jokes here.
Josh H: And you graduated from Holy Angels Academy in Burnsville [Minnesota]?
TD: Yes! Yes, yes! Are you guys familiar?
JK: We graduated from Hopkins and Anoka [both suburbs of Minneapolis].
TD: I’ve met so many great people in LA, and they’re like [in a Minnesota accent] “I’m from Minnesota” and I’m like, “Where you from?” “Oh, you know, Inver Grove.” My roommate and I are getting together this big party of Minnesota gays, and we’re going to watch Drop Dead Gorgeous together.
JH: In the October 2006 Details, an article said you played the minority card—in your case, the gay card—to try and excuse what the article describes as “cruel” behavior toward your other Real World: Key West cast members.
TD: I thought it was using the most faulty logic I’d ever read in the magazine and I thought, “Ouch, somebody does not like me!” It’s one thing to be criticized in the press, but it’s another when somebody mixes up the story completely. I don’t know what he was talking about. I cried when I said goodbye to everyone, but I don’t remember being called out for being vicious to my roommates. All my roommates really like me and we have a really great relationship now, so it’s really hard to read.
JH: When you watch the show back, what do you think about your portrayal in the show? Do you feel like they show only one side of your personality?
TD: It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life literally being ripped apart in postproduction. What’s also hard is that what people are seeing is a year and a half ago, and especially in your early twenties you grow so much. I like to think of it as a very positive experience, and that I’m very fortunate to get to see the negative side of my personality and improve on it.
JK: You’re a public figure now. How do you feel about that? I’m sure you grew up watching Real World, everybody did, watching the Pedros and the Dannys. That’s a lot of pressure.
TD: I’m not a Pedro, I was not a Danny, and I think that kind of plays on my insecurities. Like you guys, I grew up watching [the Real World], thinking Danny Roberts was hot. It does suck being compared to those guys sometimes, because I’m not Danny Roberts, but then you do the show, and I was like, “I’m just going to be me.” I’m not attractive like Danny and I’m not an activist like Pedro, and I’m not even the angry black gay guy like Kuramo. I feel like I’m one of the most relatable of the gay men to be on the show because I do have “Danny issues,” I did grow up in the Midwest, and was kind of very blue collar and gay and grew up in a conservative town. I think the best compliment I’ve had from the show is that everybody thinks I was really funny, regardless if they think I was mean, and that’s what I get excited about, because I don’t care about being sexy, I just hope they think I’m funny.
JK: Funny is sexy, I think.
TD: I’ve kind of found that out in LA, because I’ll always do anything for a laugh and I don’t really care about the sexy thing. In LA guys that I would totally think are out of my league are into me, and it’s not because of the Real World—I’m very perceptive about that—and I was asking my roommate about these guys and he was saying, “You’re a really genuine person and a genuine funny person in LA is nearly impossible.” Maybe just a normal, nice person—that is the new sexy.
JH: How long did you film—three or four months?
JH: And then they have to pack it into a bunch of 22-minute episodes.
JK: Do they film you guys 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
TD: There is no stop. It’s all the time, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It’s insane. That’s why it’s hard when [people] watch and [they’re] like, “You’re such an asshole,” and it’s like, you don’t understand, this is five months of all of our lives, and they don’t even show you one percent of our footage. I think everyone that’s involved with a show like that leaves a little bit exploited. For those of us that are on the show, we really understand, and that’s why a lot of people on the Real World are really close. Unlike Apprentice or Survivor or Project Runway, which is maybe a three-week shoot, or four weeks if you make it all the way, this is five months of your life. We are sequestered for five months.
JH: How do you avoid a breaking point?
TD: That’s why you see people freak out and people love to judge our behavior, but when you’re in that situation you reach a breaking point, and they use that footage. When you’re having your worst day they can use that footage every single episode and have everybody not know the better.
JK: How do you prepare for being on television 24 hours a day? Do you buy a new wardrobe? Do you work out?
TD: I guess I ran a little longer, but you know, I learned from my eating disorder in the past. This is the way god wanted me to be, and I’ll just be healthy and not obsess about it. I approached the show so differently than the rest of the cast. Some cast members said the only reason they did the show because they wanted to be in Playboy or be an MTV veejay, but I just applied as a joke. I’m just such a typical, normal gay guy, and I never thought I’d get on the show.
JH: Do you worry about dating men or having friends who might be more into you because of the show?
TD: Well, it’s funny because I went to college with Jessica Biel, and she and I danced together and we were friends, and I would watch people treat her—and you could tell who was genuine and who wasn’t—and so it’s funny now being in Jessica’s shoes, to a much lesser degree, I might add—but you totally see what people’s motivation are. I have friends who call me so much more friend after the show, but I’ve always known who my real friends are. My best friends are so disapproving of the show, but very territorial about me, which I find endearing.
JH: Do Real World producers stir the pot on the drama, or is it mostly organic?
TD: They actually do stir the pot. In the interviews they plant seeds. They’ll be like, “Svetlana, Tyler has been really mean to you lately hasn’t he?” and they leave the interview and they’re like, “Wait, maybe I do hate Jose” or “Wait, Tyler and Janelle are assholes,” so they do mess with your heads, but they don’t invade your lives. You know what, it’s funny, looking back on it, the producers would never ask me to do a confessional, but they would always ask people to do a confessional after I had a fight with them. That was that point where I realized, okay, so I get to be a villain on this season. We all knew half way through the season who we were cast as.
JH: You had some interesting things happen during the filming of this show, for one, Hurricane Katrina. What was that like experiencing that first hand?
TD: It was terrible. Right before we shot, I got the worst Katrina, because I was on this small deserted island, called Little Pine Key. The first few days were really scary. I was locked in this little cabana for two days. I had no communication, no telephone, no electricity. I’m supposed to be on the Real World, and here I am in a cabana in the middle of the Florida Keys, in the middle of a hurricane. The rest of my cast was in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Key West, and they had TVs and Blockbuster.
JH: I read on blogs that during the filming that there was a lawsuit about the lighting at the Real World: Key West house.
TD: Yeah, our next-door neighbor sued us and production almost got shut down halfway through the season. It was just these rich assholes next door who didn’t want Real World to film next door. Key West is a very small town and he was a big wig in town and so to have the Real World come and get more publicity—he didn’t like that.
JK: So you have an MTV Duel series coming up?
TD: Yeah, it’s one of the proverbial Road Rules/Real World challenges, and people are like, “Oh, they do so many of them,” but it’s like, please, who wouldn’t want to go to Brazil and get paid thousands of dollars to play yard games? I went into this competition and my only goal was not to get kicked off.
JK: And did you succeed? Oh wait, you probably can’t tell us.
TD: I totally didn’t lose in the first round. There was major drama in the first episode, so watch all the episodes at the beginning, because I’m not on the show too long. [laughing] If you watch any of the other challenges, they kick off all the new people as soon as possible.
JK: Now that you’re done with Real World, what are your plans? What do you want to be when you grow up?
TD: My dream has always been to be a producer for the Olympics, producing those segments about the Romanian gymnasts. I’m pursuing very serious TV production but I’m also pursuing comedy as well. I’m performing at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theater. I’m doing two things I love—sketch comedy and TV sports production. So ten years from now, I’d like to combine those two, and I’d probably like to be on the East Coast—Boston or New York.
JK: It seems like a lot of the good Minnesota gays move out East, at least for a while.
TD: All the sketchy ones move out to LA, and all the good ones move to New York.
JH: What are you doing [in L.A.], then, Tyler?
TD: [laughs] Good question! TV production is out here in LA. It’s easier for me to break into comedy out here because I can get an agent. It’s not like getting into some of the comedy clubs in New York. The streets are much harder in New York. And I have a great house here. But don’t worry, every other day I’m asking myself what the hell I’m doing here.
The Joshes: Hey Tyler, thanks for talking with us.
TD: Oh, absolutely. You guys were fun.
"Whether or not it was related to the brawl that erupted between Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey on the set of Grey's Anatomy earlier this week, in which Washington allegedly referred to T.R. Knight with several derogatory slurs, Knight revealed to People magazine today that he is gay:
'I guess there have been a few questions about my sexuality, and I'd like to quiet any unnecessary rumors that may be out there. While I prefer to keep my personal life private, I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me.'"
Maybe Lance Bass has started a new trend?
I just want to know who's going to come out next.
“People think [Taylor Hicks] looks so normal, and he’s so sweet and he’s so earnest, but he can’t carry a tune in a bucket,” Timberlake told Fashion Rocks, a supplement of Vanity Fair. Timberlake also thinks that Hicks’ fame is fragile. “If [Hicks] has any skeletons whatsoever, if God forbid, he’s gay, and if all these people in Mississippi who voted for him are like [then he takes on a thick southern accent], ‘Oh my god, I voted for a queer!’ It’s just too much pressure.”
Also: Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams give the one finger salute; La Lohan gives the kind of quote that makes her sound like a hussy strumpet; Beyonce goes apeshit crazy (and it's captured on film); and is newly-out Lance Bass on the receiving end of some Reichen Lehmkuhl golddigging tactics?
"The main reason I wanted to speak my mind was that [rumors] really were starting to affect my daily life. Now it feels like it's on my terms," Bass says.
Not to be a total biatch here, but is anybody really, really shocked?
I wonder if Kevin Spacey is taking notes.
Amorous architect Peter Cook has a bad habit of bedding aspiring teenage singers, sexy chanteuse Samantha Cole revealed to The Post yesterday, and she should know - she was one of them. The singer said the caddish Cook seduced her a decade ago and even proposed to her -- just before he got engaged to blond supermodel Brinkley.
"I laugh at this, because our story is exactly the same," Cole told The Post, referring to bombshell news that Cook, 47, seduced 19-year-old budding singer Diana Bianchi last year. "It's very odd. Someone said to me yesterday that he was trying to recreate me or something." [NY Post]
How much does it suck to be Christie Brinkley right now? Your husband of ten years has been cheating on you with the 19-year-old girl from the toy store, and now you find out he was doing the same thing right before you got engaged?
* Jessica Simpson has herself a new movie (Employee of the Month) and a new man (Dane Cook). The "we're just friends" duo has been spotted making out in LA clubs. If you want to keep it quiet, kids, making out in the clubs isn't the best strategy.
* Is Carson Daly manorexic?
* Best blog quote of the day: Marina Grace writes: "I once read that all women are crazy and that all men are stupid, and the sooner we can accept this, the easier life is for everyone involved. Yes, it’s cynical, but everyone is cynical now-a-days. It’s totally in fashion."
Okay, Josh and I keep reading all of the news stories, which are beginning to pop up in legitimate news sources, asking the question, "Where is Suri Cruise?" It's been more than 80 days since her birth, after all, and we've yet to catch a glimpse of Tom and Katie's offspring.
But you see, dear friends, people keep forgetting a few important details:
First of all, when Katie finally checked into the Los Angeles hospital where Suri was "born" and took off that pathetically fake-looking pregnancy belly, there probably wasn't a baby to be had at all.
If there was, it was probably carried by a surrogate and handed over after avalanches of paperwork and confidentiality agreements.
If the baby was carried by Katie, and if Tom was the father, it's important to remember that the baby was conceived with the assistance of a Dixie cup and a turkey baster.
And no matter what happens, we all know this much: Katie's in it for the money (maybe the Dawson's Creek residuals weren't that lucrative?), Tom's crazier than batshit ("Matt, Matt, you're glib, Matt! No, I've done the research. You haven't."), and Suri, god bless her if she does exist, is in for one interesting ride.
The initial reviews for The Devil Wears Prada, the movie based on the fashion magazine tell-all novel, are good. As expected, Meryl Streep as the editor from hell is supposed to be the highlight of the movie: "Streep’s performance is the chief reason to see the picture, which otherwise follows a fairly conventional path. For adults looking for a summer comedy with some bite and sophistication, it’s definitely an improvement on the latest works of Jack Black and Adam Sandler. But you’ll guess exactly where it’s going in no time. Only Streep keeps it moving forward, underlining each insult and humiliation with a tasty twist, and she’s missed in every scene that isn’t about her."
*Britney Spears pulls a Demi Moore and poses nude and pregnant on the cover of Harper's Bazaar.
*Star Jones gets the axe from The View, and Barbara Walters ain't mincing words: “We gave her time to look for another job and hoped that she would announce it on this program and leave with dignity,” Walters said. “But Star made another choice.”
Kevin Federline, perhaps better known as Mr. Britney Spears, will be in Times Square tomorrow with billionaire Richard Branson and director Matthew Eggers to support a petition to save the United States penny.
The purpose of their petition? To "reinvigorate the purpose of the penny in face of its possible legislative elimination."
So, K-Fed chose a cause, and it wasn't the Humane Society, PETA, some form of cancer or another, a disease that maims or kills children, domestic or international povery, HIV/AIDS, or anything of the sort. No, no: apparently the cause that Kevin Federline feels the need to stand up for is America's smallest monetary coinage. Screw the dying children and the impoverished. We must save the penny!
Of course, it kind of makes sense that pennies are near and dear to Kevin's heart. Before Britney, pennies were all Kevin had.
Check out the news story at the bottom of this page.