Tag Archives: Jeffrey Tambor

David Walton Leaving it All Out On the Field With ‘Bent’ Efforts

If NBC’s “Bent” romantic comedy gets tossed on the dust pile of short-lived series after tonight’s two episodes air — as TV pundits across the land predict — it certainly won’t be for lack of effort on the cast’s part to save the show.

Charming hottie David Walton tells us his schedule this past week included an intensive radio tour, TV and print interviews.  “Whatever is out there, I’ll do.  I’ve been whoring myself out as much as possible” as he puts it.  “I love it.  I love talking about the show.  The NBC publicity team has been helpful.  I don’t really know how publicity works, but I’m sure the more people hear about it, the better the chance people will watch, so I’ve been telling strangers.  I opened a bank account yesterday and I told the teller I would withhold my opening of the account if she didn’t watch.”

The series, with Walton as a surfer dude contractor working for Amanda Peet’s no-nonsense corporate lawyer/single mom character, has its flaws.  But it also has appeal in the actors’ chemistry, fun repartee and Jeffrey Tambor as Walton’s father, a frustrated actor.  It certainly appears to have more going for it than other shows given more of a chance than its stingy run.  Six episodes are being burned off in three weeks — opposite “American Idol” and “Modern Family.”  Really, it looks like the network is committing sericide.

But Walton is being as upbeat as possible, in his actory way, as he stresses the collection of good reviews amassed by “Bent.”   He adds, “The first episode was good, but by the third and fourth we hit our stride and were dying to do more.  We’ll end our run, and then for a month and a half we’ll wait for our fate.”

Jeffrey Tambor Having a Blast in ‘Bent’

Jeffrey Tambor, Amanda Peet, David Walton

 Jeffrey Tambor is having a blast playing an unsuccessful actor on NBC’s March 21-debuting “Bent” comedy.  Since he’s always one of the busiest actors in town, it’s a stretch, though he certainly knows the territory.  “Actually, my character teaches, too, and I teach, in fact, so we could poke fun at that whole thing a little bit — gently,” he tells us.  “And he thinks he’s 52 years old, so here we go.” 

            Tambor, 67, plays the live-in dad to David Walton’s character in the romantic comedy in which the very-charming Walton and Amanda Peet star.  He hadn’t worked with either actor before, but discovered some common ground in that Peet is an avid “Arrested Development” fan.

             This past October — after years of rumors and denials — “Arrested Development” creator Mitchell Hurwitz confirmed that he is going to do a feature film version of the cult hit TV show, and not only that, but it would be preceded by 10 additional episodes.

             And now? Any word on production plans?

             “Honestly, and I’m not being deceptive, you know as much as I do,” insists the man known to “Arrested” viewers as George Bluth, Sr. and his twin brother, Oscar Bluth.  “I know it’s being done.  That’s what I know.  We were back East, together at The New Yorker Festival when we heard the news, and everyone is very excited.  I know that it’s almost completely written, or written.  And that’s what I know.  I’m just waiting to hear, waiting to hear.  If you hear anything else, please give me a call.”

             In fact, Tambor has been way too busy to get lost in pining away for the “Arrested Development” cameras to roll this summer.  The father of four young children, in addition to two grownup daughters, he’s been doing multiple projects.  “I’m leading a very interesting life.  I do animation [voices] for Disney.  I do ‘Yo Gabba Gabba,'” he referring to the Nickelodeon preschool show.  “And coming out this year on HBO, I have ‘The Phil Spector Story’ with Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, who are just jaw-droppingly brilliant.”          

 

Jeanne Tripplehorn Talks Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Alicia Keys ‘Five’ Directing

Jeanne Tripplehorn says she didn’t hesitate when Jennifer Aniston phoned and asked her to be part of her “Five” movie that depicts five different  stories of women dealing with breast cancer.  “There are two breast cancer  survivors on my mother’s side of the family, so this was a no-brainer.  I was in.  It’s  different from what Lifetime normally does, and the network is really excited  about it — a new way of telling stories, with five short films together.”

Premiering Monday (10/10) on Lifetime, the film also boasts five  directors — Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore, Patty Jenkins and Penelope  Spheeris.  Tripplehorn’s oncologist character provides the through line, and she got  to get a taste of all the women’s directing styles.

Demi Moore was “very detail-oriented, very specific about what she  wanted.  Her concentration was just so amazing,” Tripplehorn says.  With Aniston,  “The whole mood on the set was this easy kind of feeling.  Her spirit infused the whole set. 

“Alicia Keys — I am in awe of Alicia.  This is her first time directing,”  she notes of the pop superstar.  “She had her son on the set — a baby under a year  old — and she was literally directing with a baby on her hip.  She did it with so  much grace.  She floated through her film.” 

Keys’ segment has Rosario Dawson’s character dealing with not only cancer but her well-meaning sister (Tracee Ellis Ross) and their aggravating mom  (Jenifer Lewis).  It also features Jeffrey Tambor.  There’s humor in it, for sure, but  the freshest and biggest laughs come in the section Aniston directed, with Patricia  Clarkson as a patient who gives herself a funeral, tells people in her life what she  really thinks of them and blows through her savings.  Tripplehorn’s main story has  the doctor becoming a patient. 

“I think for every director, the main goal was, ‘Let’s tell a great story.’   We were all — I don’t want to say brought our best game, but we were all aware  that what we were doing was bigger than any of us, and we were humbled by that,”  adds the actress.  She stresses that the filmmakers are hoping “Five” not only  inspires, but serves as a tool in fundraising and pushing research entities to come  together to find a breast cancer cure.

The “Five” ensemble also includes Lyndsy Fonseca, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kathy Najimy, Bob Newhart, Annie Potts, Xander Berkeley, Alan Ruck and Tony  Shalhoub.  It came along at a perfect time for Tripplehorn — in her first year without “Big Love” production since 2006.  “Normally we’d be half-way through  shooting the next season at this time of year,” she says.

As for what she would like to do next, the actress, who rose to fame in  features including “Basic Instinct” and “The Firm,” has a one-word answer.   “Comedy.”   Tripplehorn would love to be on a sitcom.  “I want to laugh, just like  all of America, for all sorts of reasons.”

How Will Pacino, Levinson, Etc. Get Along With The New Mamet?

David Mamet

Even as literati across the land process the information that F-bomb spewing, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet is “no longer a “brain-dead liberal” but rather a “newly-minted conservative” — as he spells out in his new book, “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture” — the next question becomes clear.   How is his self-proclaimed conversion going to impact his interactions with all his liberal show business colleagues?

Mamet is already speculating that he won’t get as much work in the future as he skewers idealogy and institutions the leftward-leaning hold dear along his caustic jaw dropper of a book tour. (NPR stands for “National Palestinian Radio,” for instance, and college is “socialist camp.”)

But how about right now? He’s supposed to be making his Phil Spector movie starring Al Pacino, Bette Midler and Jeffrey Tambor for the gang at HBO, a place not known for a preponderance of Glenn Beck fans. The yet-untitled movie about the iconic record producer-turned-second degree murder convict is in preproduction with plans for filming to take place in July and August, with Barry Levinson producing. Mamet is writer-director on the project.

Interestingly, Mamet tipped his hand last year, when he told New York magazine that he considers Spector innocent of the 2003 killing of Lana Clarkson in the case involving sex play and a gun. He told the mag that while watching a documentary about the deadly event, he found himself thinking, “There’s no way he killed that girl. He got convicted of ‘I don’t like you.’ ”

Wanna bet that Pacino, Levinson et. al are wishing they had the old Mamet back?