Tag Archives: Ashton Kutcher

When Stars Play the Famed, Risks — and Rewards — Are Greater

News that Jane Fonda is probably stepping into the pumps of none other than former First Lady Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” feature caused a flap last week — quite predictably, given Nancy’s association with Republican red, and Jane’s with red, as in commies.  This comes fresh on the heels of Julianne Moore’s performance as Sarah Palin in “Game Change” this election year, and Meryl Streep’s Oscar win for playing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  It’s a vintage season for actresses portraying political stars — and in each case, there has been a degree of controversy.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a politically-charged personality for casting to elicit widespread critiques.  When stars play stars of any sort, it’s a hazardous business.  Let’s face it, Ashton Kutcher’s casting as Steve Jobs has just been announced, and already, you know there are moviegoers poised to shoot him down.  Playing someone famous, the risks, the complaints, and the rewards are bigger.  For every triumph — ala Michelle Williams in her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn,” or Jamie Foxx’s Academy Award-winning performance as Ray Charles in “Ray” — there are missteps galore.

You may recall the critical shark bit when the usually-great Kevin Spacey played Bobby Darin in his auteur film, “Beyond the Sea.”  Val Kilmer’s portrait of The Doors’ rocker Jim Morrison was too weird for some — perhaps appropriately — and it reportedly took Kilmer months to shake the character. Dennis Quaid got mixed reviews as Jerry Lee Lewis in “Great Balls of Fire!”  James Brolin was critically crucified for his performance as Clark Gable in the film “Gable and Lombard.”

However, when actors nail such a performance, the rewards are big.  The Academy loves a great star playing a great star.  Think Robert Downey, Jr. — nominated for his Charlie Chaplin performance.  Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who scored an Oscar nomination for him and a win for her, for playing Johnny and June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line.”

With Charlotte Chandler’s Marlene Dietrich, A Personal Biography having focused fresh attention on the film icon (the book is just now being released in paperback), you can be sure actresses are musing about playing her.  Who could pull it off?  Cate Blanchett, perhaps?  She already has an Oscar for playing Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator.”  What a bookend a Dietrich Oscar would be!  Or how about Diane Kruger of “Inglourious Basterds”?  Chandler says she imagines a European actress in the role.

Coming up this year are “The Drummer” biopic of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, starring Aaron Eckhart; Steven Soderbergh’s “Behind the Candelabra” HBO Liberace project with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon; Damon again in the planned Robert F. Kennedy biopic “His Life”; and  the competing Linda Lovelace biopics — Amanda Seyfried in “Lovelace,” and Malin Akerman in “Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story.”  Time will tell who’ll get acclaim, and who’ll go down in flames.

Top 10 Hot Movie Hunks of Summer 2010

Robert Pattinson

Last week, we brought you the Top 10 Hot Babes of the upcoming summer movie season, so now it’s only right that we turn our attention to Hot Hunks.

There are some names you may be surprised to find missing from this list.  You might think, for example, that “Robin Hood” would be a no-brainer, considering the men in tights who’ve graced the silver screen through the years – from Errol Flynn to Kevin Costner with a side of Sean Connery.  But Russell Crowe as the latest Robin Hood is a brute and the movie’s more gouging and impaling than dashing and romancing.  What’s merry about that, men?  You want realism?  Well, fine.

Alex Pettyfer

Leonardo DiCaprio is sexy, sure, but watching his “Inception,” we’ll be too worried about our minds being sucked into a vortex of terror and insanity to think of romance.

Justin Long bares all in “Going the Distance” with Christina Applegate and Drew Barrymore, his on and off-again girlfriend.  Applegate has characterized the movie as “very dirty.”   Jeepers creepers, really?  Alvin the chipmunk?  The Apple guy?  That’s going to take some getting used to for fans used to his puppy dog cute image.  We’ll wait and see on that.

Now, on to those who did make the list, in chronological order.

1. Common in “Just Wright.”

If you’ve seen the 38-year-old rapper-actor’s Gap ads, photos with girlfriend Serena Williams, or the poster for “Just Wright,” his new movie with Queen Latifah, you’ve seen those biceps.  A good woman who doesn’t happen to be supermodel slim winds up with a super attractive NBA star.  Let the fantasy season begin!

2. Christopher Egan in “Letters to Juliet”

Speaking of fantasies, suppose you’re hooked up with Gael Garcia Bernal and he not only looks like he looks, he’s a chef who cooks pasta for you, too.  But yet, you’re not satisfied, Amanda Seyfried.  You have to go out on this crazy Italian adventure that involves an old lady (Vanessa Redgrave), her lost love and her hunky grandson – Egan, the 25-year-old Aussie who’s getting all kinds of attention.

3. Max Ryan in ‘Sex and the City 2”

With all due respect to Big and Aidan (Chris Noth and John Corbett), it’s Kim Cattrall’s latest on-screen lust interest who has captured our attention.  Debonair-looking 42-year-old British actor Ryan, with the close-cropped salt-and-pepper hair and beard, is familiar to fans of Jason Statham’s “Death Race” and Jet Li’s “Kiss of the Dragon” – like any of those people will be coming to see “Sex and the City 2.”

4. Jake Gyllenhaal in “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”

We just can’t quit you, Jake Gyllenhaal, with those amazing blue-green eyes. Clearly, Gyllenhaal has worked out for his new sword ‘n’ sandals video game adaptation, since the 29-year-old matinee idol now has a super buff bod the filmmakers and studio have been flagrantly showing off in trailers and ads.

5.  Ashton Kutcher in “Killers”

If you’re one of the many who fantasize about being a great-looking blond with a really handsome guy who turns out to be – surprise! — a super spy who gets you all caught up in his high octane, dangerous adventures and gives pwetty widdle you a gun to protect yourself from the bad guys, this is your summer!  There are certain beats that are bound to feel like déjà vu between the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz “Knight & Day” and the Katherine Heigl-Ashton Kutcher “Killers,” in which the man of Hiegl’s dreams (and 32-year-old Ashton is looking pretty dreamy in this movie) turns out to work for blah-blah-blah and have a license to blah, as he puts it.  This one is the romantic comedy with action.

6.  Tom Cruise in “Knight & Day”

This is the action thriller with comedy and romance.  Cruise may be the best super spy ever, or the most insane super spy, as he takes over and turns upside down Cameron Diaz’ life.  He’s still got the dazzling smile.  Time will tell if, at 47, Cruise is still a top gun among movie stars in this picture that cost just under $100 million to make.

Taylor Lautner

7.  and 8.  Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”

You knew they’d be here.  Of course.  Will Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) choose her sparkly immortal love, vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, 23), or her muscular manimal friend, werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner, 18)?  We’ll have to wait to find out, because they’re kind of busy right now with this army of vampires coming — not to mention merchandise from hoodies and jewelry to mints (cool if you want Edward, hot if you’re into Jacob).

9.  Alex Pettyfer in “Beastly”

In this modern day take on the classic “Beauty and the Beast” tale, 20-year-old Alex Pettyfer is the rich, spoiled, cruel and incredibly handsome Manhattanite who gets turned into an unsightly being by witch Mary-Kate Olsen.  Can Vanessa Hudgens unlock the spell?

10.  Rick Malambri in “Step Up 3D”

The 6’2” 27-year-old Abercrombie model from Ft. Walton Beach, FL, seen in Bruce Willis’ “Surrogates,” turns into the leader of a tight-knit group of street dancers in “Step Up 3D.”  Looking good.

— Stacy Jenel Smith

Kutcher Leads Walter to Twitter

Lisa Ann Walter

Lisa Ann Walter

Lisa Ann Walter has been busy doing double duty – acting in the big-screen “Five Killers” comedy with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in Atlanta, while godmothering her June 29-debuting Oxygen show, “Dance Your A—Off.”

The funny lady dreamed up the concept for the reality dance competition/ weight loss program and serves as one of its judges and executive producers. “It’s been crazy. Ashton was talking to his guy from his television division one day when I was on the phone about ‘Dance Your A—Off” setside between “Five Killers” camera calls. “He got me doing the Twittering thing,” she adds. “Ashton Kutcher getting you into Twitter — it’s kind of like being baptized by Christ.”


For Walter, the “Dance Your A– Off” premiere marks the culmination of four years of determined effort, from the time she started pitching her idea to its arrival on Oxygen. There were lots of turn downs along the way. Walter was told by other network executives that with “Dancing With the Stars” on the air, there was no room for another dance-reality show. “Then ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ came along and proved them wrong,” she recalls. “But I kept pitching it, kept bugging my people. Everybody said no. I don’t care. I got two sitcoms on the air. I don’t know the meaning of ‘No,’” declares Walter, who gained weight for her co-starring role, with Jennifer Lopez and Richard Gere, in the big-screen “Shall We Dance” – and dropped those pounds with the help of salsa dance lessons.


“I’m really fortunate, obviously, in that people sparked to it and the network and 495 Productions and Sally (producer Sally Ann Salsano) executed it in the spirit that kept my concept. To see these wonderful, beautiful contestants looking at me across the floor having lost 10 pounds in a week – it’s a great feeling,” she says.