Tag Archives: Matt Damon

Matt Damon Put Teen Costar Colin Ford At Ease Right Away

Colin Ford

Colin Ford, 14, reports that Matt Damon put him at ease right away after the juvenile actor was cast as Damon’s son in Cameron Crowe’s forthcoming “We Bought a Zoo.”

“He was really down to earth, one of the nicest, greatest actors I’ve ever met.  We got to do some general scenes together and got to know each other, before we did any scenes where we were arguing or really close or anything like that,” notes Ford, who also worked with Elle Fanning and Thomas Hayden Church in “We Bought a Zoo.”  The story of a father who moves his young family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo also stars Scarlett Johansson.

Ford’s voice is already quite recognizable to the Disney Channel’s preschool set.  He plays the title character in the daily animated adventure show, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” — which is the highest-rated preschool show on the channel, ever.

However, the affable teen actor says, “I go to a normal school, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Sometimes I’ll get out of school 20, 30 minutes early to record.  There are friends of mine who don’t really even know I do the show.”  He has been caught, “when a little brother or sister kind of recognize my voice — ‘Hey, are you kind of like the main guy?’ They laugh.  I didn’t really keep it quiet, but some people know and some don’t.”

Stars’ Punishing Get Thin Quick Schemes — Let the Body Beware

Sofia Vergara ABC photo

With the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards coming up Sunday (Aug. 29), you’d better believe the dieting and working out in Tinsel Town has reached a fever pitch as stars get red carpet ready, and everyone else strives to pass muster on one of the glamour nights of the year.

“Modern Family’s” sexy Sofia Vergara admitted she’s been trying to be good about what she eats, so she can look her shapely best.  Her approach – carrying lollipops in her handbag so “instead of a tiramisu, I can have a boring lollipop” – could launch a trend.  Sadly, lollipops that can make one look like Sofia Vergara exist only in our dreams.

That’s good for a smile, but other “diet like celebrities” ideas out there are taken quite seriously – sometimes for the worse.  As a number of Hollywood stars can attest, rash super diets can have long-lasting negative effects on one’s health

The “Master Cleanse” diet — also called the “Lemonade” or “Maple Sugar” diet — highly-touted awhile back for helping Beyonce shed 20 pounds, is actually more than 60 years old.  Howard Stern sidekick Robin Quivers, who went vegan a couple of years back, lost some 70 pounds on the cleanse regime, in which followers chug a concoction of fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water for a minimum of 10 days.  But doctors warn of the method, noting that fasting for a few days is fine, but extended fasting can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.  Electrolyte imbalance can affect the heart and other major organ functions.

The same goes for extreme low carb/low calorie dieting.  According to the American Heart Association, such quick-fix regimes leave out vital vitamins and minerals, may be high in fat and can increase the risk of heart disease.

And they don’t lead to sustained weight loss.

Tales of stars and models using laxatives for fast weight loss are also common — but medical experts say that such practices are actually ineffective, and can cause abdominal pain, dangerously low potassium levels in the blood, and lasting damage to the large intestine.  Low potassium levels can cause cardiac arrhythmia — irregular heat beat, which can be life-threatening.

Matt Damon famously shed 45 pounds from his five-foot 11-inch frame to play a heroin-addicted soldier in the 1996 “Courage Under Fire”  — by running 10 miles a day and adhering to a strict diet of egg whites, chicken, vegetables and dry baked potatoes.  He looked perfect for the role, but, as he has admitted, the diet induced an adrenal gland disorder that made him deathly ill and affected him in following years

Martin Lawrence was jogging in near triple digit temperatures in an effort to lose weight for a movie role in 1999 when he collapsed with a temperature of 107 and was in a coma for three days.

All of which adds up to a cautionary note for those who may be tempted to lose weight in unhealthy ways.

Celebrity Rant Comedy Booming Thanks to Gibson, Baldwin, etc.

Mel Gibson

At least Mel Gibson’s making some people happy.  With every new rant tape release, there’s been a new crop of comedy bits on TV, radio, internet and, well, most  anywhere people are being funny.  Even Arnold Schwarzenegger got into the act, with the AP reporting that the California Governor told a group of utility commissioners in Sacramento that it looks as though BP has capped the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, but “no one has figured out how to contain Mel Gibson.”  The fake Anger Management classes that have been spliced together featuring Gibson, Christian Bale and Alec Baldwin in full tilt fury are a newer twist to the half dozen or so Gibson- Bale-Baldwin phony phone calls out there.

All of which should serve as a cautionary note to celebrities everywhere:  these days, if you’re recorded while screaming, it will never, ever go away.  And you could find yourself in bad company, too.  Just ask Kanye West, Michael Richards, Will Arnett, Glenn Beck, Lily Tomlin, Seth Green and Matt Damon, who are among the regulars in Celebrity Rant mashups on You Tube.

Too bad no one was around with a recorder when Paris Hilton had a temper tantrum in the middle of a restaurant while dining with Pam Anderson – because no one was reading the menu to her highness.

Or when Russell Crowe was so bent out of shape over his Manhattan hotel room phone not working, he ripped it out of the wall, went downstairs and hurled it at the concierge.

Or when Madonna went into a rage on the set of a Britney Spears video in which she co-starred, because her costume didn’t fit.  If only that tape were available.

ON A DIFFERENT NOTE:  Hayley Hasselhoff is looking forward to showing off the musical side of her performing abilities when the 16-year-old and her 20-year-old sister, Taylor, and their father, David, unveil their family reality show on A&E in November.  She notes that she and Taylor “have a band together, Bella Vida, and the show will show us in the process of making our album and stuff.”  That, of course, is in addition to their tabloid-ready personal lives.  The pretty blond actress and model of ABC Family’s “Huge” has grown used to deflecting unwanted attention and jibes from media, she lets us know.  “Why let someone bring you down when it doesn’t have to happen?  My dad always says, ‘Let them do what they need to do and stay focused on what you need to do.’”

Lily Tomlin Feeling Fulfilled in Work and Love

Lily TomlinLily Tomlin is heading to New York to shoot the 11th episode of this season’s “Damages,” and says, “I can’t wait to learn what my character is up to.”
As fans of the hit FX series know, Lily is playing the wife of a man whose exploits bring to mind Bernie Madoff and his billion-dollar ponzi scheme, and she reveals, “I haven’t seen the script for any of the segments we’ll be shooting. I probably won’t until the last minute. None of us in the cast ever knows what the writers will do. They’re following an arc, but watch to see how the actors react to the scripts.

“I always want to leave the impression they can expect anything of my character. I just hope they don’t allow her to be a long-suffering wife. I want her to have a bad streak.”

Lily says she’s lucky. “I never invested with Bernie Madoff, never even knew who he was until the scandal broke. But, I have a couple of friends, a husband and wife who are writers, not people who had a lot of money, who lost everything to Madoff.”

Lily also feels lucky in love. In March, she’ll be celebrating her 39th anniversary of togetherness with her partner in life and career, writer Jane Wagner. Although they’ve reportedly only been open about the relationship for the last few years, Tomlin notes, “I never called a press confernece or anything like that, but in the industry, Jane and I always lived very openly. If people were oppressive of us, I wasn’t conscious of it or don’t remember if I was. Funny thing about me, I’m not too long on hard feelings.”

Lily says that she and Jane have no wish to marry. “We’ve been together too long, And, we’re not religious, not that you have to be, but it’s important to people who want to marry in church. The truth is that rituals don’t mean a lot to us, just the ones we invent. Besides, if we did stage a wedding, I don’t think Jane would get there on time. We call her Maybe Jane, maybe she’ll show up if we’re going someplace. I give her that flexibility.”

Cristian de la Fuente

TWO STARS IN ONE: “In Plain Sight” actor Cristian de la Fuente is shuttling between his USA Network series shooting in Albuquerque, and work on his “Corazon Salvaje” Univision series in Mexico City — “which is exhausting, but also great, you know? When you’re exhausted because you’re working, it’s better than when you’re exhausted from finding work. So, I can’t complain.

“Things have been very good. I have a show in Spanish and a show in English,” notes the hot Chilean actor, who is also remembered for his fancy footwork on “Dancing With the Stars.”

In “Corazon,” de la Fuente is barely recognizable as the same actor who plays Mary McCormack’s ex-baseball player fiance in “In Plain Sight.” He sports long hair and sideburns for his role as a wealthy 1880’s land owner who rides around on horseback looking dashing in the romantic period piece.

What de la Fuente doesn’t have time for right now is a book tour, despite the fact he has a book coming out — “Hot, Passionate and Illegal? Why (Almost) Everything You Thought About Latinos Just May Be True.” He wrote it with Federico Larino, a buddy who’s head writer for a late-night comedy show in Mexico.

“We had this idea to write a book about Latinos in the States, how things have happened to him and to me. Most Americans think we are all from the same place. Everybody thinks we are all from Mexico, or all from the south and it’s like Latinolandia — where Latinos come from,” he observes. “There are even those who don’t know people from Brazil speak Portuguese, and there’s this confusion.”

Yes, embarrassingly enough, that is true. Adds de La Fuente (who is also a member of the Chilean Air Force Reserves’ aerobatic squadron), “The book is facts, like a manual, mixed with humor and life experiences.”

CAN’T DUCK THE REDUX: Not that Hollywood ever stops dusting off its more successful fare and remaking it, but we’re in the thick of a veritable remakathon right now.

On the big-screen side, there’s “True Grit,” as in the remake of John Wayne’s 1969 Western, only this time it’s Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, with a cast also including Matt Damon and Josh Brolin for Joel and Ethan Coen. That flick that rolls next month.

Also being remade is “The Thing,” as in the 1951 and 1982 creature features. You can’t keep a good thing down, after all.

On the small-screen side — good grief — in addition to the new “Rockford Files” that is on the way, CBS is doing a new “Hawaii Five-0” (will McGarrett still be the only guy on the islands wearing a suit and tie wherever he goes?). There’s also a new “Nikita” — as in La Femme Nikita — in the works. And Universal is finally doing their series version of England’s beloved “Prime Suspect.”

Seems like old times, all right.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Bakula Amazed By Damon’s Comedic, Chubby Turn

Scott Bakula, Matt Damon Warner Bros. photo

Scott Bakula, Matt Damon Warner Bros. photo

Get ready to see a very different Matt Damon when “The Informant!” opens Sept. 18.  That’s the word from Scott Bakula, who plays one of the F.B.I. agents to whom Damon’s real-life corporate whistle-blower character tells all.

“Matt’s work is extraordinary,” declares Scott.  “He just became this guy.  He gained 30 pounds.  People get that he’s a tremendous actor, but with this, they’re really going to see his comedic sensibility and great character work.”

Bakula’s fellow agent in the Steven Soderbergh dark comedy thriller is funny man Joel McHale, and “Two and a Half Men” comedic actress Melanie Lynskey plays Damon’s wife.  “I’ll tell you, we laughed so much,” says Scott.  “You get around a bunch of comedians, they’re just trying to outdo the other guy.”

“The Informant!” brings to life the story of brilliant Ph.D. Mark Whitacre of Archer Daniels Midland — the highest-ranking corporate executive ever to turn whistle-blower in the U.S.  His noble deed of exposing price-fixing tactics was offset by his own fraud, and made interesting indeed by his bipolar condition and bizarre antics.

“Instead of doing the traditional whistle-blowing character, his view of life washes the movie with this strange tone,” adds Scott.

He notes that Damon and Soderbergh “had a way they worked this character.  Steven said, ‘You can’t do it too much.  You’ve got to keep going, keep going, keep going.’  They locked into it after a couple of days.  It was really remarkable to be on the same ride.  Our characters go through these stages of disbelief.  We don’t know until well into the movie what’s wrong with this guy.”

Scott Backula

Scott Backula

This month is going to be hectic time for the multi-talented Bakula, who recently starred in “Guys and Dolls” at the Hollywood Bowl.  He’ll be going back and forth from the set of his forthcoming TNT series with Ray Romano and Andre Braugher“Men of a Certain Age” — to Toronto and then New York for promotion of the film as well as for its premieres.  But he wouldn’t think of missing out.  “The TV show worked it out for me to come.  I’m very grateful for that.”