Tag Archives: Adam Carolla

Celeb Grand Prix Driver Brian Austin Green — Who’s the Fastest Star Around?

Brian Austin Green, Fox photo

It’s pressure time for the celebrity drivers who’ll be racing in this weekend’s Long Beach Grand Prix Pro/Celeb matchup, including Brian Austin Green, who tells us the competition has gotten a lot tougher than when he first competed in the event 13 years ago.

“Then, Sean Patrick Flanery was the only guy who was really fast.  Everyone else was kind of bumbling around trying to figure out what they were doing.  Now we’ve got a lot of guys who are fast.  Keanu Reeves won it last year and he’s back this year, but he comes back as a pro.  For last year’s winner, that happens automatically,” explains Green.  “So he has to start 30 seconds behind the celebrities.  He could still win it, but it would take the fastest guys in the front making that many mistakes, and him making none.

“Adrien Brody is really fast.  Jesse McCartney is fast.  Adam Carolla’s fast.”

And Brian Austin Green?  “I’m happy with the way I’m progressing.  I think it’s going to be completely up to the position I end up in after the qualifying runs.  If I get in the top four, I think I’ll be in the fight.”  The field of 18 celebs also includes Patrick Dempsey, Christian Slater, and Patrick Warburton.

Brian’s girlfriend, the fantastic Megan Fox, will be there to cheer him on.  He’s assured her, “It’s surprisingly safe.  When I did the race 13 years ago, I totaled a car in practice, but because of all the safety features, I got out of the car and felt fine.”

Last year, Green was talking about doing the race again, but it turned out that with his “Sarah Connor Chronicles” production schedule, he couldn’t commit to the required amount of training time.  “So we said, ‘Next year,’ and here I am,” he relates.

He’s gone from sci fi to a 1932 period piece with his April 24 telefilm, “The Wild Girl,” based on the 2005 novel, “The Wild Girl: The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932,” written by Jim Fergus.  It tells of a mission undertaken by an unlikely collection of wealthy Americans and the Mexican army, to rescue the kidnapped son of a rich Mexican landowner from a rogue Apache group – and the complications that ensue when they come across a wild Apache girl.

“I really enjoyed my character.  Coming off ‘Sarah Connor,’ where I played a bold, commanding type person, I was excited by the possibility of playing an understated guy who lacked confidence, which is sort of what he finds throughout the story.  It’s not a  typical Hallmark Channel movie,” Brian adds.

THE CONTROVERSY LINGERS:  Allen Iverson has been a controversial figure throughout his professional basketball career, but never more than after a racially charged incident in high school where he and his friends got into a huge fight with some white teenagers.  “Allen and his friends, who were also black, were charged.  No whites were charged,” recounts filmmaker Steve James, who is from the same hometown, Hampton, VA.  “It blew up into this big trial and became this town’s OJ trial before the OJ thing happened.  It was this polarizing moment where you either supported Allen or you did not.”  James explores the incident on a more personal level in his newest film “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson,” premiering tonight (4/13) on ESPN as part of their “30 for 30” film series.  “I interviewed more than 30 people, but there were people who didn’t want to participate, including Allen Iverson.  I didn’t expect him to participate, though, because of what it’s about.  We did talk to a lot of people who were close to him growing up,” he explains.

When asked if the people in Hampton are still affected by the incident, James responds, “The city has moved on but they haven’t forgotten.  I found feelings to still be very strong about what happened.  Allen has gone on to be a very polarizing figure in the world of sports.  He’s one of those athletes that people love or hate.  His persona has made it harder for people to forget because they’re constantly reminded of what happened when he’s had these brushes with the law throughout his career.  He’s gotten in enough trouble over the years that it continues to fuel that debate about Allen Iverson.” James says his only goal is to make people more aware so these kinds of things so they don’t happen again.  “I hope it challenges people to think about race issues.  Even though it happened years ago, it’s still something that is important today.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  Some of the most intriguing prospects coming up this pilot season include Debra Messing, playing a conservative pundit (!) who’s written a book called “Democrap” (don’t know you know Ann Coulter will be sorry she didn’t think of that title first?) in ABC’s prospective comedy “Right Vs. Wrong” – with a cast that also includes…Carrie Fisher.

Then there’s pop singer/actress Katharine McPhee, showing up in an NBC pilot called “The Pink House” about a couple of show business wannabes who migrate to West Coast and rent a place right on the beach, intent on making their dreams come true.

And AMC has its “The Walking Dead” zombie series tottering ever so inexorably our way, starring Andrew Lincoln of the big screen “Love, Actually.”  It’s drawn from Robert Kirkman’s comic book series about survivors of an apocalypse that’s turned everyone else into zombies.  Something tells us it’s the right time for this show.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

George Lopez celebrates four years of health by giving back

Ann and George Lopez

Ann and George Lopez

BY MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

George Lopez reports that next month will mark the fourth anniversary of his kidney transplant, and “You know what? I feel fantastic. I’ve been healthy four of my 47 years, and it’s great. I sleep great. And it doesn’t pass me by a single day that there are people out there who are sick like I was and don’t even know it.”

Lopez and wife Ann — who donated one of her kidneys to George in an amazing medical match — have been deeply involved in trying to spread the word about kidney health and transplantation since he got well. Thursday (3/12), they will be hosting their annual “Keep It Hollywood” event to raise awareness for World Kidney Day at Guy’s North in Studio City, Calif.

The fact that Lopez managed to keep up with the demands of his career through the grinding exhaustion of his deteriorating health, pre-transplant, is a testimony to his force of will. Looking back, he says, “You know, the odds are against anyone succeeding in this business, and I worked a long time for it — and you know when you have something on the hook, you don’t give it up, no matter what. Also, I grew up in a family where you went to work when you were sick.

“On the other hand, with my family, sometimes if you were well, and it happened to be a really nice day, you wouldn’t go in,” he deadpans.

George has had countless letters from and encounters with people who’ve been touched by his story. “The greatest thing is when you see somebody who’s been helped,” he says. One example would be a woman in her 50’s who George met after one of his comedy concerts. She needed a kidney transplant, her daughter was a match and willing to donate to her. However, the daughter told George, ” ‘My mother thinks it’s going to destroy my life if I give her a kidney.’ I said, ‘Don’t you want to be around for your grandkids? You can live with one, resume your lives and be a healthy family.’ She had it done, in Phoenix, and things have gone good for them. They send me updates all the time.”

‘Idol’ 13 Reveal Plans, Makeovers, Hopes

We caught up with “American Idol’s” top 13 contestants as they celebrated in style at the swanky Los Angeles nightclub Area after last week’s taping. While being on the show is still sinking in for some, others are already planning their next big move on stage. “Hopefully I can get back on my piano so I can show them that I can arrange music,” said soul singer Matt Giraud. “You know how David Cook did. He just changed up everything. If I can show them that I can do that, too, and pull it off, then it’s a good thing. We’ll see what happens.”

Adam Lambert admitted that talk of the “American Idol” makeover has been discussed, but he doesn’t plan on changing much. “They can make suggestions, and I’m open to that. I like collaborations, but I don’t really want to change how I represent myself visually. It’s part of the artistic expression,” he noted while cloaked in lots of makeup, black hair with blue highlights and a black suit with black sequins. Artistic expression indeed! However, other things will be changing soon for the singer. Gone are the days of anonymity! “People screaming my name at the mall was kind of an unexpected thing,” he added. “I hope to maintain a private life. It is what it is, though. It comes with the territory. I’m comfortable with who I am, so hopefully everyone else will be, too.”

For the other singers, they’re just preparing themselves for what’s to come, which means being away from their comfort zones for a while. “Singing is my passion, but I miss my daughter,” admitted Alexis Grace. “I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I’ve been with her every day of her life. I haven’t been able to see her in a couple of weeks, so that’s been a big change for me. She’s at home in Memphis with my family. She’s probably watching me on TV, though, going crazy.”

INDUSTRY BITS: Forces on the forthcoming Matt Damon “Adjustment Bureau” movie are certainly giving themselves ample time to find the key female dancer for the movie, which isn’t slated to begin production ’til September. They’re already looking now for the young beauty, a principle in a big-city modern dance troupe, for the feature loosely based on Philip K. Dick‘s “Adjustment Team” story. It has to do with a politician (a salesman in the original) who keeps being thwarted from beginning a love affair with a dancer — opening the way for his questioning of the nature of reality and manipulative forces controlling our fates.

Casting is also underway for the part of Adam Carolla‘s annoying slacker stepson in his “Ace in the Hole” CBS pilot. The comic/radio host/actor will be playing a highly opinionated driving school instructor — something Carolla himself used to do.

And casting is underway for subsidiary roles in “Hung” — the Anne Heche-Thomas Jane-Jane Adams half-hour comedy show in the works at HBO.

With reports by Emily Feimster.


To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH
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