Tag Archives: Cheri Oteri

Sean Astin’s Nightmares and Laughs — ‘Abu Ghraib,’ ‘And They’re Off’

Cheri Oteri, Sean Astin "And They're Off"

Sean Astin tells us he had “nightmares for a week” after finishing Luke Moran’s upcoming big screen drama, “The Boys of Abu Ghraib.”  The nice guy who played “Rudy” and “Lord of the Rings'” Hobbit Samwise Gamgee as an Abu Ghraib prison guard? 

“I’m someone who’s really fixated on politics,” comments Sean, who has actively campaigned for candidates including Hilary Clinton.  “I’ve also done military-themed movies.  I did some work for the U.S. Army.  The fact I was offered the chance to do this, it had to happen.  I think it’s a patriotic gesture to play the part.”

It’s been a hectic — and extremely eclectic — time for Astin of late.  He just wrapped work on his first Christian film, “Amazing Love,” with Erin Bethea (“Fireproof”) and says he the experience meant so much to him, “I’m mourning the loss” of having to move on after having finished production.  He’s playing a youth pastor in the movie he says is about “fidelity and unconditional love” that’s divided between scenes of today and scenes of the Bible story of Hosea and Gomer.  He has one scene with a very familiar cast mate:  his mother, Patty Duke. 

In another change-up, October 28 marks the beginning of the roll-out release of Astin’s “And They’re Off” horse racing movie spoof.  He reports that the toughest part about playing the sad sack horse trainer in the comedy was keeping a straight face.  “We laughed the whole time,” he says of the film that also stars Cheri Oteri, Mo Collins, Gigi Rice, Martin Mull, Alex Rocco and other funny people.  “Sitting across from Kevin Nealon talking about taxidermy, I had to put my face in my hands to keep from laughing out loud,” Sean claims. 

“This kind of film is something I’ve always wanted to do.  I love ‘Waiting for Guffman’ and all those movies.  That it’s set in the world of horse racing is awesome.” 

Astin says that “And They’re Off” writer-producer Alan Grossbard is a track aficionado who infused the movie with accurate bits of color.  “You know who’s going to love it is horse racing geeks.  There’s enough stuff in there, they’re going find it very familiar.”

Sean Astin (L), cast of "Love's Christmas Journey" four-hour telefilm Hallmark Channel photo

Come Nov. 5, Sean will be seen starring with JoBeth Williams, Charles Shaughnessy and Ernest Borgnine in “Love’s Christmas Journey,” the latest installment of the Hallmark Channel’s hugely popular “Love Comes Softly” series of telefilms based on Janette Oke’s book series of a 19th Century frontier family.

            Actors love diverse roles, but Sean admits, “I don’t know that I intentionally set out to do that.  I just want to work.”  And as far as playing bad, he adds, “I played an ax murdering voodoo cult cannibal in a movie once.  I got it because my attorney was friends with the producer.  There was nothing socially redeeming about it at all.”

Best of Both Worlds for Mexico’s Ana de la Reguera

Ana de la Reguera

Drop-dead gorgeous Ana de la Reguera, who made a splash as the pretty nun in Jack Black’s “Nacho Libre” and as Gabriela in the recent Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan “Cop Out,” has just left for Puerto Rico to begin working on USA Network’s popular “Royal Pains.”  Although she’s new to many moviegoers, she’s anything but an overnight success, bur rather a testimony to the power of grit and endurance.

The Veracruz-born de la Reguera is a star back home in Mexico, where she’s been seen in numerous features and TV shows, from telenovelas to hosting the MTV Video Music Awards Latin America.  She says, “I’ve had my career in Mexico.  I’m pretty well known there.  But when I came here four years ago I had to start over.  Out of 50 to 100 meetings I go to, I get one job.  They say, ‘You’re too Mexican,’ or ‘You’re too white,’ or whatever — you’re just not right for the part and you can’t take it personally.  You have to know it’s not about you.  Once I was very frustrated and my mom said, ‘This is like playing cards.  If you go out enough times, eventually you’ll get the perfect match, you’ll do the perfect job and you’ll get it.’”

The new season’s “Royal Pains” will have Mark Feuerstein’s character traveling to Cuba, where he’ll meet Ana’s character and begin a relationship.  She’ll be in Puerto Rico for a month to shoot, she reports.  The new season starts airing in June.

A Cover Girl spokesmodel, Ana has a full plate of other projects as well – HBO Latin America’s “Capadocia” series, a Diego Luna movie she’ll be making in Spain, and the September release “Hidalgo.” She wrapped the latter project, a period epic, in Mexico in January.   She intends to continue going back and forth between Spanish and English, Mexico and Hollywood.   “They have great opportunities all the time, roles for me to do,” she notes.

THE BIG SCREEN SCENE:   Ben Affleck, who filmed his writer-director-star vehicle, “The Town” in Boston last fall, is back to the cameras in downtown L.A. next week for some additional shooting.  The Warner Bros. feature adaptation of Chuck Hogan’s novel, “The Prince of Thieves” – about a career thief who falls for a beautiful manager of a bank – also stars Blake Lively, and we hear the two share some very steamy scenes.

HELLO, AGAIN:  “Saturday Night Live” alumna Cheri Oteri, who recently re-emerged on AMC’s “Life Coach” will be horsing around on the big screen soon as well, in “And They’re Off,” a mockumentary set in the world of thoroughbred racing.   Sean Astin and Martin Mull are also aboard the Rob Schiller comedy.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster