Tag Archives: Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck and Fellow Nominees Are Winners at Oscar Nominees Luncheon

ben-affleck-argo-trailerBen Affleck is already an Oscar winner.

That’s right – no matter how his “Argo” fares at the 85th Academy Awards on Feb. 24, the canny filmmaking star has made the utmost of this awards season, helping to hoist his historical thriller to ever-greater prominence as it picks up honor after honor (Producers Guild, Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild, Critics’ Choice Awards and Golden Globes) by bringing his self-effacing charisma and charm to every occasion.

His star power was certainly on display at this week’s Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  While some nominees eschewed the press room, Affleck took full advantage.  He entered to enthusiastic applause, then proceeded to turn question after question into a chance to promote his movie – and was so smooth and fun about it, nobody seemed to mind.  Commenting on the many interviews he’s done, he talked about how there’s “a whole spectrum of interesting stuff” in the “Argo” script — about a joint CIA-Canadian secret service operation to get a group of diplomats out of Iran by faking a movie production.  “I’ve worked on movies where I ran out of things to say at the junket in 15 seconds, so it’s incredibly satisfying to have something I enjoy continuing to talk about.”

Asked whether he thought there should be an expansion of the number of nominees in the Best Director category, to coincide with the Best Picture noms, he said, “I’ll leave those sorts of calculations to the folks in the press and the pundits and the Oscarologists or whatever it is.  I just feel incredibly honored to be here as producer of this movie, to be at the big party.  It’s tremendous.  Seven nominations, including Best Picture — I’m elated, truly genuinely thrilled.  So I don’t get into worrying too much about who was nominated for what,” added Affleck, referring to his snub in the directing category.  “I’ve had many, many, many, many, many – many — years watching from home.”

He talked glowingly of the Oscar-nominated directors, of the wave of talented movie makers in Mexico.  When a Univision reporter asked about “Argo’s” Mexican director of photography, Rodrigo Prieto, Affleck proudly told her he’d learned “nuevo palabras” from the cinematographer, including a word meaning “trusted friend” which he said Prieto called him all through the production.  The word caused snickering throughout the pressroom.  Suffice it to say, it does not mean trusted friend.

Always a festive occasion where all the nominees still feel like winners, this year’s luncheon was attended by more than 160 Oscar contenders – including youngest-ever nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), adorable in a sparkly-top purple dress and poised beyond her nine years.

Also in purple hues was beautiful Jessica Chastain, who admitted, “It’s said that most little girls dream about their wedding dresses, but I always dreamed about my Oscar dress.”

The actress, whose portrayal of a driven CIA agent in “Zero Dark Thirty” landed her a Best Actress nomination, commented on women working in traditionally male-dominated arenas.  She offered the advice of “looking at the great examples of women like Kathyrn Bigelow and like Maya, the woman I play in this film.  Instead of complaining about the numbers not matching – and of course it’s a really important issue – but I’ve found, if you do really good work, it will rise to the top.  And Kathyn Bigelow never talks about the glass ceiling for women in Hollywood, for directors. She shows up on set.  She’s an expert at her work.  At the end of the day, that’s what she’s known for. You don’t think, ‘She’s a brilliant filmmaker – and she’s a woman, can you believe it?’  I just think, ‘She’s a brilliant filmmaker.’”

Jennifer Lawrence, stunning in a white strapless dress, talked fashion, too.  “Last time was comfort, this time it’s like, ‘Suck it up. Wear a corset’  I’m going to go for fashion.  It’s a shame the Oscars come at the end, when you’re exhausted from dressing up, and I never care.”

Best Supporting Actress Nominees-photo by Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Best Supporting Actress Nominees-photo by Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Anne Hathaway, looking tres chic with her pixie haircut and teeny tiny-waisted black dress, was asked whether she’d picked out a gown for the Academy Awards.  “I have to get on that don’t I?” she replied.  “It was the Super Bowl.  I couldn’t think about dresses with all that delicious fried food around.”

Naomi Watts also looked gorgeous in black

Speaking of great-looking, Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper was asked whether “Silver Linings Playbook” was a game-changer for him.  “Well, I know that I wasn’t up here for ‘Hangover,’” he answered, to laughter.  “So maybe.”

Far from feeling worn out by the awards season whirl, Cooper said “I’m enjoying every minute of this — but it’s easy for me because I like people.  If I didn’t like people, if I had a hard time being around people, it would be difficult.”  He said that response to the touching film, in which he plays a man struggling with bipolar illness, has “gone so much farther than awards season,” with memorable events such as showing “Silver Linings Playbook” to troops in Washington, D.C.  “I’m very grateful.”

As far as his plans for the 24th, he said, “I’m sure the day of I’ll be calming my mother down.  She still doesn’t know what to wear.  So I think I’ll be a caretaker.”


Best of Both Worlds for Mexico’s Ana de la Reguera

Ana de la Reguera

Drop-dead gorgeous Ana de la Reguera, who made a splash as the pretty nun in Jack Black’s “Nacho Libre” and as Gabriela in the recent Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan “Cop Out,” has just left for Puerto Rico to begin working on USA Network’s popular “Royal Pains.”  Although she’s new to many moviegoers, she’s anything but an overnight success, bur rather a testimony to the power of grit and endurance.

The Veracruz-born de la Reguera is a star back home in Mexico, where she’s been seen in numerous features and TV shows, from telenovelas to hosting the MTV Video Music Awards Latin America.  She says, “I’ve had my career in Mexico.  I’m pretty well known there.  But when I came here four years ago I had to start over.  Out of 50 to 100 meetings I go to, I get one job.  They say, ‘You’re too Mexican,’ or ‘You’re too white,’ or whatever — you’re just not right for the part and you can’t take it personally.  You have to know it’s not about you.  Once I was very frustrated and my mom said, ‘This is like playing cards.  If you go out enough times, eventually you’ll get the perfect match, you’ll do the perfect job and you’ll get it.’”

The new season’s “Royal Pains” will have Mark Feuerstein’s character traveling to Cuba, where he’ll meet Ana’s character and begin a relationship.  She’ll be in Puerto Rico for a month to shoot, she reports.  The new season starts airing in June.

A Cover Girl spokesmodel, Ana has a full plate of other projects as well – HBO Latin America’s “Capadocia” series, a Diego Luna movie she’ll be making in Spain, and the September release “Hidalgo.” She wrapped the latter project, a period epic, in Mexico in January.   She intends to continue going back and forth between Spanish and English, Mexico and Hollywood.   “They have great opportunities all the time, roles for me to do,” she notes.

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE:   Ben Affleck, who filmed his writer-director-star vehicle, “The Town” in Boston last fall, is back to the cameras in downtown L.A. next week for some additional shooting.  The Warner Bros. feature adaptation of Chuck Hogan’s novel, “The Prince of Thieves” – about a career thief who falls for a beautiful manager of a bank – also stars Blake Lively, and we hear the two share some very steamy scenes.

HELLO, AGAIN:  “Saturday Night Live” alumna Cheri Oteri, who recently re-emerged on AMC’s “Life Coach” will be horsing around on the big screen soon as well, in “And They’re Off,” a mockumentary set in the world of thoroughbred racing.   Sean Astin and Martin Mull are also aboard the Rob Schiller comedy.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster