Tag Archives: Sigourney Weaver

‘You Again’ Filmmaker Laying Plans for Billy Crystal Multi-Generational Comedy

You Again Stars Betty White, Jamie Lee Curtis, Sigourney Weaver, Odette Yustman, Kristen Bell photo by Mark Fellman

“You Again” director Andy Fickman might just be going from one multigenerational romp to another.  With his Kristen Bell-Jamie Lee Curtis-Sigourney Weaver-Betty White comedy due for release this Friday (9/24), the prolific moviemaker tells us he has a Billy Crystal picture in the works.

“Billy is one of my favorite comedic actors.  I know he’s been so busy – directing, doing his book, his Broadway show – but speaking purely as a fan, I really want to see him back on the big screen again,” says Fickman.

He’s awaiting a rewrite now from Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel on the ye- untitled Crystal film he describes as “tonally very much like ‘Parenthood.’  It has to do with how we treat our parents, and how our parents treat us as well.  It’s going to be fun.”

Fun, too, was the process of making “You Again,” he wants us to know.  The movie has Bell and Curtis having to confront their nightmare high school adversaries — Odette Yustman and Sigourney Weaver – as new members of their family.

Craig T. Nelson Guesses NBC Won’t Like His Return to Glenn Beck

Craig T. Nelson Fox News photo

Craig T. Nelson Fox News photo

Craig T. Nelson reveals he’ll be making a return visit this month on controversial Fox News personality Glenn Beck’s show, and says that once again he’ll vow to protest our government’s behavior by vowing to stop paying his income tax.

The actor, perhaps best known for his long run on the series “Coach” and “The District,” wants us to know that the areas that bother him the most in Washington “involve lobbyists and special interest groups and the education of our children.  It’s my grandchildren I’m worried about.” 

Nelson, the father of three, the grandfather of five and the great grandfather of a four-month-old grandson, says that, “With so many things rearing their ugly heads in Washington, it’s more important than ever for people to speak out.”

He has a hunch that NBC — the network that will be bring us Craig’s upcoming “Parenthood” series, won’t be overjoyed by his political tirades.

“I think,” he quips, “It could be a cause celeb.  Let’s face it, there could be some ramifications because NBC is a little more liberal than the other networks.”

“Parenthood” was planned for debut this month, but delayed because of the illness of leading lady Maura Tierney.  At first the network refrained from issuing details about her medical problems, then Maura herself revealed she is fighting breast cancer.  It is hoped she will be feeling well enough to join the cast when it’s now due to start shooting in November.  That cast includes Peter Krause, Erika Christensen, Dax Shepard, Bonnie Bedelia and Craig T. Nelson.

Jacob Zacher ABC Family photo

Jacob Zacher ABC Family photo

IT’S ‘GREEK’ TO HIM:  “Greek” star Jacob Zachar tells us now that the series is in its third season, he’s relieved to be finally getting the chance to have more flexibility with his character.  “Because we feel very comfortable with our characters and the crew, they let us play around more and they let us have our own opinions now.  That thin line of trying to create something without stepping on other people’s toes has widened a little bit,” says Zachar, who plays Rusty in the ABC Family show. 

 “For me personally, as an actor you want to keep creating, but often times you get shut down for certain reasons.”  He imagines the feeling is similar to what an artist would feel if told “what colors to use.  It would obviously be killing the original artistic sensibility.  So I’m glad they are letting the actors make some choices.  It gives us a lot more confidence.”

 While the show takes place on a college campus, Zachar hopes they’ll have many more seasons to continue to grow in these roles.  “What we’ve shot so far this season, I’m the most proud of.  Having had a couple of months off definitely made coming back even more enjoyable,” he notes.  “We had a realization that we’ve shot 50 hours already and we can make a slower progression to our destination, and as characters slowly become different.  We don’t know where they’re taking the show yet, but I’d say the characters are slowly changing as they would in real life – nothing too drastic.  Even if you’re new to this show, it’s one of those shows where you can pick up immediately.”  

 FASHION CONSCIOUS:  Things are heating up for Tinsel Town designers and stylists as Emmy time nears, but one star who has it all figured out already is “Prayers for Bobby” Outstanding Lead Actress nominee Sigourney Weaver.  “I tried on this really pretty dress for the Greg Mottola film, but we didn’t end up using it,” she says, speaking of Mottola’s upcoming sci fi comedy, “Paul,” about a pair of comic book lovers who encounter a for-real extraterrestrial. “So when the nomination happened, I got in touch with the designer and asked if I could use it.  So that’s done.”  That’s using your head.

Melissa Peterman

Melissa Peterman

 JUST DO IT:  Funny lady Melissa Peterman reveals that when good pal and former costar Reba McEntire and her husband Narvel Blackstock phoned her up last year to talk about Peterman serving as Reba’s in-concert lead-in, she was anything but well prepared.  “They said, ‘We think it would be a good fit, and an interesting way to open a concert,’ and I said, ‘Yes.’  And then I got off the phone and said, ‘What did I just do?’  I’m more of an improv gal.  This, for me, was the first real stand-up I’d done.  Most people start off at Ha-Has in Van Nuys with five people watching.  I walked out in front of 13,000 people my first show.  It was baptism by fire.”  Peterman wound up opening 25 shows for Reba and Kelly Clarkson, and another 20 or so for Reba alone.  “It worked out,” she says.  “Sometimes you just have to say yes and then it just forces you to work on something you wanted anyway.”

 With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Sigourney Weaver’s Emotional ‘Prayers’ Journey Continues

Sigourney Weaver in "Prayers for Bobby" (Photo from Lifetime)

Sigourney Weaver in "Prayers for Bobby" (Photo from Lifetime)

Sigourney Weaver’s Emmy nomination for Lifetime’s “Prayers for Bobby” underscores the huge and lasting emotional impact the movie has had upon the esteemed actress.

Sigourney plays real-life gay rights activist Mary Griffith, a deeply religious woman who tried to turn her son away from homosexuality — but in the face of rejection and despair, he committed suicide.  Thus began her turn-around.  Sigourney reports that since the movie aired earlier this year, “I’ve had a number of parents come up to me on the street — or sisters, brothers, or others — and say ‘Thank-you for this story.  My daughter is gay, or my sister is gay…’

“That’s meant so much to me.  They acknowledged what we were doing in the hope it would open some eyes.  And then I read in the paper last week that the poll numbers haven’t changed about Proposition 8,” she adds, referring to California’s anti-gay marriage initiative.   Not that she would have expected the film to cause a complete shift in public opinion, Weaver says disappointedly, but she did think that collectively, all the productions, profiles and protests since the vote would have had an impact.

“I’m still amazed it got on the ballot,” she admits.  “It seems so unconstitutional, to have a referendum on whether your neighbor should have the same rights as you.”

Meanwhile, producer Stan Brooks is looking into foreign release for the movie.  “After all, we’re not the only country that has these issues.  I’ve been asked ‘When is it going to be shown in Ireland?’ ‘When is it going to be shown in India?’  I hope Lifetime keeps showing it and at some point distributes it around the world,” she says.

As for whether she’s had any flak for playing the role: “I don’t think so.  Of course I don’t go looking for trouble.  I don’t go hunting around websites looking for comments.”

She wouldn’t have time for that, even if she wanted to.  Weaver has five features on the way.  She recently wedged in an appearance at Comic-Con, where the “Aliens” star was accorded royal treatment including a standing ovation, led a discussion about women in action films, and was part of the panel discussing James Cameron’s highly anticipated “Avatar.” And she’s in the midst of making Disney’s “You Again” comedy with Jamie Lee Curtis, Kristen Bell, Betty White and Kristin Chenoweth.

Jada Pinkett Smith in Hawthorne (photo from TNT)

Jada Pinkett Smith in Hawthorne (photo from TNT)

HARMONIOUS CONVERGENCEJada Pinkett Smith is a loyal colleague, Joanna Cassidy wants us to know.  “When she works with actors, she works with them again. She’s really good that way.”  Cassidy’s currently being seen on Jada’s “HawthoRNe” series as the hospital administrator who was Jada’s late husband’s mother.

“I actually did a movie with Jada about a year and a half ago – ‘The Human Contract,’” notes Cassidy.  In that one, she played Jada’s character’s own mom.  “It was very believable.  I wore a wing that’s very curly and long, Jheri curled,” says the actress of her mixed race character.

Now, Cassidy’s thrilled with the numbers “HawthoRNe” has been pulling, declaring that “It’s a win for TNT” – and that in all probability, she’ll get to keep working with Jada.  “I love it.  I love it.  It’s very easy with her.  We have a very nice rapport and I’m able to find my place with her.  I don’t have to struggle.  It’s good that our characters are in conflict,” she adds.  “We already talked about some of the story ideas for next year – more in the vein of being competitive, possibly for some male attention.  You know how women are,” laughs the actress, who rose to fame in “Blade Runner.”  “Let’s light that fire.”

CASTING CORNER:  Casting continues on the HBO Films’ Al Pacino biggie, “You Don’t Know Jack,” with the Oscar winner playing controversial assisted suicide-supporting Dr. Jack Kevorkian, and fellow Oscar winner Susan Sarandon as Hemlock Society activist Janet GoodJohn Goodman and Danny Huston are also in the cast.  Among the secondary roles now being filled by director Barry Levinson are those of a Hispanic California woman suffering from an inoperable spinal tumor, who’ll be seen consulting with Dr. Kevorkian as police burst into her home.  She’ll dare the cops to arrest her or leave.  The woman’s husband is being cast also, as is a handsome forty-something anchor man who’ll be seen interviewing Kevorkian, a.k.a. “Dr. Death.”

AND:  You know the hunger’s got to be intense amongst actors trying to get in on “Dinner for Schmucks.”  That’s the film, due to roll in October, that stars Paul Rudd as an executive at a private equity fund, where the bigwigs delight in having dinner parties wherein they bring guests so stupid or boring that they can have fun mocking them.  Rudd’s character thinks he’s got it made when he finds the ultimate loser: an amateur taxidermist named Barry who creates religious and historical tableaus using dead mice – Steve Carell.  Of course, things turn out very differently than planned.  Now casting forces are filling in both the roles of the other “masters of the universe”-style execs, their significant others, and of course, the other hapless dinner guests.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster