Tag Archives: Clint Eastwood


Happy Thanksgiving to one and all and a big thank you to readers of this column who submitted candidates for Beck/Smith Hollywood’s 35th Annual Tacky Taste Awards! Yes, we received votes for both President Barack Obama and former governor Mitt Romney this election year — but our tackiest Top Ten drew more. There are so many celebrity turkeys this year, we’d better get started before indigestion sets in:

 1. Clint Eastwood. “Clint Eastwood’s endless, embarrassing ad libbed monologue to a chair at the Republican convention should get your tacky prize,” wrote M.C. of San Juan Capistrano, CA. “It was like seeing somebody’s drunken uncle ruin a party,” added LesB1. Or, as Heidi D. of New York put it, “I don’t think ‘Dirty Harry’ made anybody’s day this time.”
2. Joan Rivers. Contributor Grace H. of Burbank, CA proclaimed: “It’s fall and Tackies are crawling out of the woodwork. The silly season is in full swing. Joan Rivers got an early start by making a scene in a Burbank Costco parking lot because Costco refused to carry her nasty book ‘I Hate Everyone Including Me’ which was replete with the F word.”
3. “The Tacky Taste Award should go to: the Petraeus/Broadwell/Kelley/Allen mess or, briefly, ‘Generals Gone Wild'” wrote Robert A. He was part of a late surge in voting that took off earlier this month after David Petraeus stepped down as head of the CIA and admitted his affair with biographer Paula Broadwell — which has led to more revelations involving Florida socialite Jill Kelley and General John Allen. Joked reader Danette S. of New Orleans, “David Petraeus and John Allen: top generals taking orders from their
privates! Soooooo tacky.”
4. Lance Armstrong. Julia C. of Arizona summarized the feelings of many when it comes to the doping-tainted cyclist, who was stripped of his Tour de France titles. “The guy lied and carried on the facade of innocence for years. He was able to control his own team for many of those years to carry on his innocence. He truly is the master of lying publicly and getting us to believe in him — even idolize him. He got sponsors to pay millions to represent their products. Even when the story began crumbling, he had his lies rehearsed so well that he still seemed believable and almost made you feel sorry for him. The guy went to the Arnold Schwarzenegger School of Integrity and needs to hire Tiger’s PR guy.”
5.  Donald Trump.  From John W. of St. Louis:  “The Evil egomaniac with the epoxied comb-over.  Who could be more deserving of a tacky award than Donad Trump.  Ranting that the election was a ‘sham and a travesty’ because he doesn’t like President Obama is typical behavior.”
6. Mary Kate Olson and her 16-years-older love, Olivier Sarkozy, the French banker who is also half brother of the former French president, Nicolas. Declared Grace.tra, “The pictures are revolting. She’s like a smoking Muppet on an outing with him and his (same height) daughter.” Echoed Arlene L. of Cedar Rapids, IA: “Tres tacky.”
7. Lindsay Lohan. “Substance abusing, jewelry grabbing, vehicularly impaired lowlife Lindsay Lohan playing immortal Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor? What are they thinking? Lifetime gets my vote for their tacky casting choice.” — Shawn2002 in San Francisco.
8. Kristen Stewart. Roxieund1 was among those critical of the “Twilight” leading lady: “It isn’t that she cheated on Robert Pattinson that makes her so tacky. It’s her acting, which consists of one expression: constipated.”
9. The Media. Among complaints about biased news people and maniacal gossip hounds this election year were comments regarding the media circus surrounding Whitney Houston’s death. “It was the height of ghoulishness, when even CNN was advertising a ‘stake-out camera’ at the funeral home,” griped Atlanta-based Jbstcher.
10. Ann Coulter. Pam E. of New Haven, CT, was among those who feel, “Ann Coulter is tackiest this year and every year. She will say anything to get attention. Attacking the late Princess Diana (‘just this anorexic bulimic narcissist’) and using the word ‘retard’ for the President and then refusing to apologize for the slur are two examples of her ugly modus operandi.”
And that’s it for this year! Here’s hoping all your turkeys have the best of taste.

Eric Matheny: Leonardo DiCaprio-Clint Eastwood ‘J. Edgar’ is an American King Lear

Eric Matheny

Leonardo DiCaprio

It’s only been about a month [originally published June 2011] since Clint Eastwood wrapped production on “J. Edgar” starring Leonardo DiCaprio as controversial F.B.I. Chief J. Edgar Hoover — and the Oscar buzz is already intensifying.

Eric Matheny, who plays Hoover’s “Dr. Feelgood” medico in the feature, likens it to an American King Lear “in a lot of ways.   Hoover really did have a sense of keeping the kingdom together at all costs — while at the same time being driven mad by his own secrets and lies.”

Says Matheny, “There was one scene with Naomi (Watts) in Hoover’s office that was very much like [Lear].  If this gets any kind of Academy nod, well, I’m sure it is a scene that people will be looking at.  When I saw it, I thought, ‘I’m so glad I’m here for this.’  We’re talking about one of the greatest actors of our generation,'” he says of DiCaprio, whose performance spans decades.  He spent six hours in makeup daily for the scenes of Hoover as an elderly man.  “He has a grip on Hoover — the voice, the stance — he was compeltely immersed in the character.”

Already there has been much talk of “J. Edgar” not holding back when it comes to the notorious secret-keeper’s rumored  homosexual proclivities and cross-dressing.  But Matheny puts it this way:  Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black, he says, “wove in the story of a conflicted man.  He was conflicted because of his upbringing and the societal mores of the time, coupled with his own personal demons and his idea of secrecy, and his fear of being found out — and all these things that were mirrored in his personal life.  It’s a fascinating tale and sort of historical biopic that shows how Hoover formed his ideas, his thoughts on patriotism, his country, right and wrong — conflicted by his own desires.  By the end of the film, the conflicts had festered into a man who was sort of broken and stabbing out in all directions.”

Of his own role, he notes, “Dustin’s research shows there was a doctor and/or a nurse coming to his office.  Well, he doesn’t need someone to come to his office to give him a glass off water and a pill — they’re coming to do something.   It was a pretty common practice among the wealthy and powerful of the time to get influenced by these doctors: ‘You’ve got a problem?  Let’s drug it up.’  They could call it vitamins, but there were probably some kind of amphetamines in there.”

Eastwood lived up to his standards as a great filmmaker in Matheny’s eyes as well.  “He’s light-handed, incredibly succinct, never forced.  He’ll let that first shot go however it goes, then he’l adjust, not from a mechanical perspective but a creative one.  He gets the maximum effect with the minumum effort.  It’s amazing.”

Next, Matheny is set to head to Oregon to make the big-screen “Freedom For Joe,” about a pro quarterback who has to deal with becoming paralyzed.  “There is a spiritual idea in it, of what traps people in their lives, and getting over that.  It’s going to be a special film, I think,” he says.  “Things are going in a good direction.”

AND:  DiCaprio’s G-man lover in “J Edgar” is played by Armie Hammer of “The Social Network” — who is now getting ready to play the title role in the new “The Lone Ranger,” in which Johnny Depp is playing Tonto.  The part-Cherokee Depp intends to reinvent the classic sidekick character in the Disney film that brings together his fellow “Pirates of the Caribbean” fellows, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  This “Lone Ranger” is in preproduction as subsidiary roles are being cast, and is already set to ride into theaters Dec. 21, 2012.

It Actor Hammer is also playing the Prince in “The Brothers Grimm: Snow White” opposite Lilly Collins.  Talk about a nice variety of movies.

OH, THE REALITY:  Casting is underway for a new reality show, “L.A. Dog Walkers” for which the producers want real-life dog walkers of the rich and famous.  Candidates should be 18-40 ears of age, either gender, and be trusted members of the celebrity households for whom they do pooch duty.  The show is going to pay a thousand bucks per episode to the lucky dog walkers who get signed.  Here, Spot!

Also en route to our living room screens is “The Sexperts,” in which title professional psych types will be assisting couples who are finding things blah between the sheets.  Casting forces for the show have been on the lookout for committed couples in their twenties and thirties whose relationships are in a rut, and who don’t mind embarrassing thems– er, talking candidly about their sex lives on national TV.  They’re only getting 500 bucks an episode.