Tag Archives: Matt Damon

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.”

George Lopez celebrates four years of health by giving back

Ann and George Lopez

Ann and George Lopez


George Lopez reports that next month will mark the fourth anniversary of his kidney transplant, and “You know what? I feel fantastic. I’ve been healthy four of my 47 years, and it’s great. I sleep great. And it doesn’t pass me by a single day that there are people out there who are sick like I was and don’t even know it.”

Lopez and wife Ann — who donated one of her kidneys to George in an amazing medical match — have been deeply involved in trying to spread the word about kidney health and transplantation since he got well. Thursday (3/12), they will be hosting their annual “Keep It Hollywood” event to raise awareness for World Kidney Day at Guy’s North in Studio City, Calif.

The fact that Lopez managed to keep up with the demands of his career through the grinding exhaustion of his deteriorating health, pre-transplant, is a testimony to his force of will. Looking back, he says, “You know, the odds are against anyone succeeding in this business, and I worked a long time for it — and you know when you have something on the hook, you don’t give it up, no matter what. Also, I grew up in a family where you went to work when you were sick.

“On the other hand, with my family, sometimes if you were well, and it happened to be a really nice day, you wouldn’t go in,” he deadpans.

George has had countless letters from and encounters with people who’ve been touched by his story. “The greatest thing is when you see somebody who’s been helped,” he says. One example would be a woman in her 50’s who George met after one of his comedy concerts. She needed a kidney transplant, her daughter was a match and willing to donate to her. However, the daughter told George, ” ‘My mother thinks it’s going to destroy my life if I give her a kidney.’ I said, ‘Don’t you want to be around for your grandkids? You can live with one, resume your lives and be a healthy family.’ She had it done, in Phoenix, and things have gone good for them. They send me updates all the time.”

‘Idol’ 13 Reveal Plans, Makeovers, Hopes

We caught up with “American Idol’s” top 13 contestants as they celebrated in style at the swanky Los Angeles nightclub Area after last week’s taping. While being on the show is still sinking in for some, others are already planning their next big move on stage. “Hopefully I can get back on my piano so I can show them that I can arrange music,” said soul singer Matt Giraud. “You know how David Cook did. He just changed up everything. If I can show them that I can do that, too, and pull it off, then it’s a good thing. We’ll see what happens.”

Adam Lambert admitted that talk of the “American Idol” makeover has been discussed, but he doesn’t plan on changing much. “They can make suggestions, and I’m open to that. I like collaborations, but I don’t really want to change how I represent myself visually. It’s part of the artistic expression,” he noted while cloaked in lots of makeup, black hair with blue highlights and a black suit with black sequins. Artistic expression indeed! However, other things will be changing soon for the singer. Gone are the days of anonymity! “People screaming my name at the mall was kind of an unexpected thing,” he added. “I hope to maintain a private life. It is what it is, though. It comes with the territory. I’m comfortable with who I am, so hopefully everyone else will be, too.”

For the other singers, they’re just preparing themselves for what’s to come, which means being away from their comfort zones for a while. “Singing is my passion, but I miss my daughter,” admitted Alexis Grace. “I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I’ve been with her every day of her life. I haven’t been able to see her in a couple of weeks, so that’s been a big change for me. She’s at home in Memphis with my family. She’s probably watching me on TV, though, going crazy.”

INDUSTRY BITS: Forces on the forthcoming Matt Damon “Adjustment Bureau” movie are certainly giving themselves ample time to find the key female dancer for the movie, which isn’t slated to begin production ’til September. They’re already looking now for the young beauty, a principle in a big-city modern dance troupe, for the feature loosely based on Philip K. Dick‘s “Adjustment Team” story. It has to do with a politician (a salesman in the original) who keeps being thwarted from beginning a love affair with a dancer — opening the way for his questioning of the nature of reality and manipulative forces controlling our fates.

Casting is also underway for the part of Adam Carolla‘s annoying slacker stepson in his “Ace in the Hole” CBS pilot. The comic/radio host/actor will be playing a highly opinionated driving school instructor — something Carolla himself used to do.

And casting is underway for subsidiary roles in “Hung” — the Anne Heche-Thomas Jane-Jane Adams half-hour comedy show in the works at HBO.

With reports by Emily Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.