Tag Archives: Dule Hill

Ralph Macchio Exposes Heretofore Unknown Comedy Chops

Ralph Macchio USA network photo

The New Year is holding a lot of promise for Ralph Macchio — some of that due to his hilarious “Wax On, @#!$ Off” video.  He figures that between its home on Funny or Die, You Tube and other sites, it’s had more than two million views at this point.  Along with the satisfaction of having a viral video that’s tickled the funny bones of computer users around the globe, “Wax On, @#!$” has “had an impact in the industry,” says the actor who’ll forever be remembered as the original Karate Kid.

He notes, “Funny Or Die is such an industry-savvy website, I knew if everything came into alignment, it would get passed around and give people a sample of my sense of humor.  I have an irreverent sarcasm people don’t know about.”  The video, directed by his friend, Todd Holland of “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Larry Sanders” fame, “generated a decent amount of activity for me.  That was part of the plan.”

“Wax On, @#!$ Off,” in case you missed it, has Ralph’s family, manager, mailman and others holding an intervention for him because his clean-cut family man image is destroying his career — with Ralph subsequently attempting to get into TMZ-worthy shenanigans.  Sitting out on the street, he looks despairingly at a poster for the new “Karate Kid” starring Jaden Smith.

Macchio plays it straight — make that straight-laced — on “Psych” tonight (12/8) as a by-the-book police academy instructor charged with whipping James Roday’s and Dule Hill’s characters into cops worthy of the uniform.  It’s a nod to the “Police Academy” movies.

“Those guys are so much fun to work with, it’s like being in theater camp with a couple of cameras,” he says.  “That show has got its own heartbeat.  It has such a following — they call themselves ‘Psych’-Os.  It’s been picked up for a sixth season.  You know the odds of that in television today,” adds Ralph, who tips that there is more to his character than initially meets the eye.  “But I don’t want to give it away.”

The door is also open for future appearances for the actor, who also has a “The Whole Truth” dramatic turn coming up.  In the wake of those guestings and his run on “Ugly Betty,” he’d like a regular series berth.  In his perfect world, he says, that would be in an ensemble show with dramatic moments and comedic irreverence,” real subject matter and real scenarios.

“We’re nearing the onset of the crazy pilot season.  As much as people talk about pilot season being year-round now, there’s still a real frenzy in February and March,” he observes.

He also has a project in the world as a producer for A&E that has to do with the gypsy subculture in New York City.  Stay tuned.

Expect gloves-off treatment of Sinatra in Scorsese pic

Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy.

Frank Sinatra and daughter Nancy.

Just because Nancy Sinatra is producing Martin Scorsese‘s planned movie biography of her father, Frank, don’t expect the picture to shy away from the controversial, less flattering aspects of the show business legend’s life.

At least, it won’t if the film — for which Leonardo DiCaprio is already being mentioned — follows the tell-all pattern set out by Nancy’s sister, Tina Sinatra, back in 2000. Tina’s “My Father’s Daughter” disclosures about her dad getting the Mafia to help deliver the union vote to elect John F. Kennedy as president and his doing secret work for the CIA got her play on “60 Minutes.” Her exposure of family strife and discord — in particular with Sinatra’s fourth wife, Barbara Marx — got her in hot water with some Sinatra friends who felt those stories should never have been made public. Though the tome clearly showed how much Tina adored her father, she did, as she put it, “cover the good and the bad.”

Which is, of course, by far more interesting than a mere love letter about the entertainment great’s vocal prowess, enormous charm, loyalty and generosity to friends and charities. The dichotomy between the Sinatra loved by pals and fans and the Sinatra loathed by his many enemies were both real. His infidelities, grudges, temper and other negative behavior was depicted in CBS’ five-hour miniseries of the ’90s — which was produced by the family as well.

With more than 10 years having passed since his death and all the perspective that time brings, and with the talent of Martin Scorsese going into it, the Sinatra big-screen biopic just might capture lightning in a bottle.

STEP BY STEP: “Psych” star Dule Hill, who is a longtime tap dancer, tells us he’s trying to find a way to bring the dance back to the forefront. “I would love for the opportunity to bring dance to television in terms of dramatic scripted television. I’d also love to do tap on film and tap back on stage,” says Hill, whom many know from his days on “The West Wing.”

Gregory Hines was the one carrying that banner, so with his passing you lose some of that. Hopefully we can get back to it,” adds Hill. “We’ll see what comes next after ‘Psych,’ but first I’d like to do an episode on the show where we can do some tapping.” The cast and the crew of the USA network series certainly get to see Hill in action in between takes. “I do it on the set all the time. I have a piece of wood that I’m always dancing on in my trailer. I dance in my garage back home. I dance with friends and young students. I love tap dancing. I’m a tap dancer at heart.”

BY ANY OTHER NAME: Nine-year-old cutie Jadagrace Berry of “Terminator Salvation” tells us she loved doing scenes with Christian Bale in the flick, opening tomorrow (5/21). “He was so nice. He was always helping me, but he’d only answer to John,” she notes, referring to Bale’s character, savior of humanity John Connor. So did John — er, Christian — have any words of wisdom for this young co-star? “He told me to just stay in the moment and try to react,” she says. The pint-sized actress was among the young-uns at the premiere of Disney-Pixar’s “Up,” where she told us her burning desire for her next job: “I really want to be on the Disney Channel.”

AND: The audience was charmed by “Up,” another gem of a film from Pixar, a fanciful adventure about an old guy (Ed Asner) who travels to South America via a multitude of balloons from which his house hangs suspended. The poignant and funny modern fable is due on screens May 29. Producer Jonas Rivera told us, “For this one, we went back a little bit; we wanted to make an old-fashioned Disney movie. Computer animation tends to make things look very photo real, like in ‘Wall-E.’ For this, we went back and looked at ‘Peter Pan, “Sleeping Beauty,” ‘Snow White’ — we wanted it to have a little bit more of a painterly feel. That’s harder, technically,” he says. “A character drawing is a distillation. How does a Hirschfeld drawing of Lucille Ball look more like her than a photograph? There’s no computer that does that. This was a case of computer science and art colliding.”

JUDGING THE JUDGES: Season 8 of “American Idol” goes down as The Season of Judges’ Conflicts — in the view of “Access Hollywood’s” self-described “reality chick,” Laura Saltman, and who wouldn’t agree? Saltman spends January-to-May giving “Idol” her full attention, chatting with contestants, hanging out on set, etc. She points out, “Paula (Abdul) and Simon (Cowell) have grown closer this season because of their mutual feelings about Kara (DioGuardi). They mimic her … ” she notes. “They, of course, downplayed it, but things were pretty tense at first. It’s gotten better. They’ve kind of found a groove,” she says.

“I like Kara,” she adds. “I really do. She really says something, where Randy (Jackson) is just pretty much saying, ‘Dog. Dog, you’re great, Dog.’ And Paula you can’t always understand.” Still, “I don’t think the four-judge format works because it takes too long to get through the comments. I think they should go back to three.” So, who would she vote off? “Kara. You know, it’s a last one in, first one out kind of a thing.”

Laura says she’s not losing any enthusiasm for her “Idol” gig, though she’s covered all eight seasons. She’ll not only be at tonight’s (5/20) finale for the naming of either Adam Lambert or Kris Allen as the new American Idol, she’ll be up at 3 a.m. to be back on the job at 4 a.m., “spending the day with the winner and showing what he does. Who wouldn’t want to do that?” she asks.

With reports by Emily Feimster.