Tag Archives: Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg Didn’t Think Twice About Starring in ‘Day Late and a Dollar Short’

whoopi and vingWhoopi Goldberg didn’t have to think twice about signing on for Lifetime’s April 19 “A Day Late and a Dollar Short.”  p>”It was literally, the executive producer called and said, ‘Listen, we have this project and we want you to be in it.  We’re doing it for Lifetime.’  And I said, ‘Oh, okay.’  It was really that succinct,” says Whoopi, who turns in a brilliant performance as the irascible, dying Viola, trying to help her woefully dysfunctional family resolve their many problems — without letting them know her condition — in this adaptation of the Terry McMillan book.  She adds, “We shot it during a break that I had so it didn’t interfere with ‘The View’ or anything, so it was perfect.”

She tells us she liked the fact that “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” has an important underlying theme about living life fully aware that time will not stand still for anyone.  “Death comes to everybody.  It doesn’t care how old you are.  I’m sure that as a kid Viola thought she was going to live forever, and suddenly she finds, ‘You have no time left.’  So she tries to fix everything she can fix, and, you know, you can’t.”

Whoopi also has a role in the new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” feature being unveiled in August.  “People know that I love superhero stuff. I’ve always loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and have wanted to be in it, and have said that over the years, and finally somebody listened,” she says.

Then there’s her dramatic feature coming out later this year with Patrick Wilson and Ashley Judd, “Big Stone Gap,” based on the best-selling series of novels set in the Virginia hamlet.  “My friend Adriana Trigiani wrote ‘Big Stone Gap’ and when I met her, she said, ‘I wrote this for you.’ Isn’t that cool?” she says of the best-selling author.  “And she said, ‘When I get the money, we’re going to make this into a film.’  And it took her 15 years, but she did it.  It’s wonderful.”

Besides “The View” and acting assignments, she has a calendar filled with comedy show dates.  “You have to be 18 to get into my shows, but parents tend to bring their kids anyway,” notes Whoopi with surprise.  She works blue to put it mildly.  “It is interesting, whenever I spot kids, I go, ‘Do you know what I talk about?’ And they go, ‘Yeah.’  And it’s okay. We think it’s okay for her to hear it from you, or him to hear it from you.'”

Of course, then there are the kids in her own life, three grandchildren, offspring of her daughter Amarah Dean, and, since March 15, one granddaughter.

The EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony) winner is 58 now — very young for being a great-grandmother. Does her humor help her deal with getting older?

“Well, the only to answer to that question is, what is the alternative?  And once you come to terms with that,” she says, “everything else is gravy.”

Madonna the Donut Girl? A Labor Day Look at Stars’ Pre-Fame Jobs

Madonna photo by David Shankbone

By Emily-Fortune Feimster

They may be making the big bucks now — but it wasn’t that long ago that these super stars were at the bottom of the barrel.

P.  Diddy, one of the most well-known money makers of his time, started his career working for free. That’s right!  He was an intern for the now-defunct Uptown Records and did everything from washing cars to fetching coffee. This bad boy worked his way up to being a dancer in Father MC’s video “Treat Them Like They Want to be Treated” while attending the prestigious Howard University, majoring in Business.  He now owns his own record label and is worth over $300 million.   Guess working for free really pays off!

The Material Girl Madonna worked at a Dunkin Donuts in New York City’s Times Square before becoming an international pop icon.  Donuts anyone? Having a whopping IQ of 140, Madonna also won a scholarship to the University of Michigan for excellent grades and studied modern dance and drama for 3 semesters.

Singer Elvis Costello was another closet smarty pants and wears his trademark glasses because in a former incarnation he strained his eyes working as a computer programmer.

But no lowly beginner is as surprising as Tom Cruise, who at the age of 14 attended a Franciscan seminary for one year  while thinking of becoming a priest.  Katie Holmes must be glad that didn’t work out.   In high school, he also had a brief stint as a paper boy for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Funny lady Ellen DeGeneres had a variety of jobs as a house painter, an oyster shucker in New Orleans, a vacuum cleaner saleswoman, and a paralegal.

Whoopi Goldberg also worked hard for the money. Before her stardom, she applied makeup to corpses in a funeral parlor, and worked as a bricklayer and a bank teller.

Suave secret agent 007 Sean Connery can relate — having earned a living polishing coffins.  Kind of creepy!

Danny DeVito preferred to work with the living and was a qualified hairdresser (or stylist as they like to say).  He was trained at the Wilfred Academy of Hair and Beauty in NYC before snagging a role in “Taxi.”

Mariah Carey tried her hand at beauty school but didn’t make the cut and dropped out after only one day on the job.  She claims to have held several waitressing jobs and said she got fired from them all. Is anyone surprised? I didn’t think so.

Another actor claiming to have been let go is former “Cheers” star Woody Harrelson who said he had 17 odd jobs in one year and was fired from all of them.  Maybe legalizing pot is not as good of an idea as he thought?

Hottie tottie Brad Pitt has no doubt had his fair share of odd jobs — his most infamous being a limousine driver in which he chauffeured strippers between bachelor parties, but only when he wasn’t delivering refrigerators.  He also dressed up as a chicken on the street corner to advertise for the fast food chain “El Pollo Loco.”

His former wife Jennifer Aniston worked as a waitress in New York but that’s not as exciting.

“Titanic” megastar Kate Winslet used to work in a north London deli.

Ok, that’s not exciting either, but off-the-wall Rob Schneider washed dishes in an ice cream parlor before making it onto “Saturday Night Live.”

And get this — before getting his own TV show, comedian Jerry Seinfeld sold light bulbs over the telephone. Kind of crazy, huh?

That’s not all.   Esteemed actress Helen Mirren worked at an amusement park in Southend as a “blagger” – employed to attract punters to the rides — and Sylvester Stallone earned his rent by tending the lion cages at the Central Park Zoo.

Calista Flockhart and Lucy Liu made some extra dough by getting physical as aerobics instructors while director Steven Spielberg earned some money whitewashing fruit trees.

Hawaii native Bette Midler is all too familiar with fruit as well having once worked at a pineapple processing plant.

So don’t feel bad about your day job.  You never know where life will lead you!

Ben Bratt: Whoopi’s ‘Cleaner’ Role Originally for White Guy

Benjamin Bratt, "The Cleaner"

Benjamin Bratt, "The Cleaner"

With the second season of his “The Cleaner” A&E drama now launched, star Benjamin Bratt tells us he couldn’t be happier to have Whoopi Goldberg aboard in her recurring part of Paulina Kmec, a former drug addict, clean and sober for years, who was once Bratt’s character’s sponsor.

Was the role written especially for her?

“No, the character she plays was originally written for a middle-aged white male,” answers Bratt with a laugh.  However, as he notes, “Whoopi is no stranger to breaking the mold.”

According to him, her participation on the show began when the Academy Award-winning actress and “View’ panelist reached out to “The Cleaner” head writer Jonathan Prince.  “She sent him a congratulatory e-mail, and subsequently accepted an  invitation to do the show.  She got on a bus and came out to California to do it.”

He finds her “instantly warm and accessible…a genuine salt of the earth person.”

The gripping “Cleaner” has been getting its due appreciation in growing amounts.  One of the best shows on television, it’s won ecstatic reviews – particularly for Bratt as recovering addict William Banks, whose business is helping other addicts recover, especially when they don’t want to.  Bratt’s performance as the intervention master won him attention from the Entertainment Industries Council, which bestowed its Prism Award upon him.  The show has increased its viewership.  And it has also been garnering a unique following::  “On the A&E website, hundreds of people have reached out seeking help, looking for ways to maintain or find sobriety in real life,” Bratt tells us.

Warren Boyd, a former “extreme interventionist” himself and now co-executive producer and guiding light of the series, is working on putting together a database of information on the help available out there in the real world to answer those requests, according to Bratt.