Tag Archives: Justified

Jere Burns Escapes Death Again and Again, on ‘Justified’

Jeffrey Donovan and Jere Burns USA photo

You think your job is insecure?  Consider protean actor Jere Burns, who is currently in the midst of shooting his third season as Wynn Duffy on FX’s Peabody Award-winning Timothy Olyphant series, “Justified,” that’s based on Elmore Leonard works.

 “I seem to escape death every season on that show.  They like to kill people.  If you’re bad, you die.  I’ve contined to stay healthy.  This coming season, I get a fist pounding.  I won’t say from who.  But so far, we’re shooting episode six and I’m still alive, so I’m counting my blessings.  I’ve shown up for work expecting to die twice — I’ve had two death scenes — but when I got to the set, someone had decided to alter the script.  

“The first year, it was a huge gun battle, sort of a Mexican standoff, where all the guns go off and everyone dies.  I was going to be the last person to die, but they decided, midway through the scene, ‘Maybe just shoot him in the shoulder.’  The following year I came in expecting to die, but then, rather than shooting at each other, we agreed to disagree.”

Burns says it would have bothered him more when he was a beginning actor and fearful that each job would be his last.  But now, well, he doesn’t come right out and say it, but he can afford to be a bit jocular about impending death by computer keyboard stroke.  The actor who rose to fame in the sitcom world (“Dear John,” “Something So Right”) has become a favorite in edgy cable fare. 

Right now, he’s being seen as the villainous Anson — a.k.a. he who was responsible for the burning of ex-CIA man Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) in “Burn Notice.”  He’s been collecting dream reviews, as in TV Guide, which noted that he “brings wit, charm and malice to what could’ve been a standard bad-guy role.”

“This character is just so rich, really delicious,” Burns says.  “There are dumb bad guys — they’re a dime a dozen.  The really smart ones who express themsleves in a really articulate way are fun to play.  It’s interesting that Anson  knows more about Michael, our hero, than even his coworkers, girlfriends or mother know about him.  He’s got this sort of complicated, multilayered background that parallels the world of intelligence.” 

The Puppini Sisters

FROM LONDON WITH STYLE:  Michael Buble unveils his “A Michael Buble Christmas” special tonight (12/6) on NBC, with the crooner joined by a truly eclectic group of guests, from Justin Bieber to Oscar the Grouch to — The Puppini Sisters?  “It was quite strange,” reports Marcella Puppini from London.  “He just rang us one day out of the blue and asked if we’d like to be on his Christmas album.  He said he’d been listening to us a lot when he went out jogging,” she says.  “He just rang and asked, and we said, ‘Hell, yes!’  Then he flew us over to L.A. and treated us like princesses, the biggest gentleman we ever met, unbelievable.” 

The blonde, brunette and red-haired U.K. trio (who are sisters in stage name only) specialize in doing a modern spin on Andrews Sisters-style harmonies.  They not only joined Buble to record his new Christmas album, they reunited with him for a television special in London, and then the NBC show. 

Now the Puppinis are about to do a full court press to grow their U.S. audience.  With their latest album, “Hollywood,” out, Marcella says, “We’re booking a U.S. tour to start mid-February, then we’ll be at the Carlyle in New York in April.” 

New York is bound to appreciate their eye-catching retro style, masterminded by Marcella.  “I was trained in fashion before training in music.  I trained at St. Martins in England, the best fashion design school in the country, and then I went to work for Vivienne Westwood for awhile before I finally realized I had to devote myself to music,” she explains.  Even so, the Puppinis elicited help from “Madmen” designer Janie Bryan to style their “Hollywood” video shoot and album cover.  “There are certain things we always do: we always have cinch waists and very red lips.  Just a few ground rules,” Marcella says.  “Janie’s got such an inspiring aesthetic. it just seemed like the perfect combination.  She didn’t know who we were when we asked her, but when she checked out our music she wanted to do it.  She said she wouldn’t have done it if she hadn’t loved what we do.”

 THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  Don’t expect that cable TV biopic of Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady Gaga, to show up anytime soon.  Despite recent casting notices for “The Fame Monster,” which was announced earlier this year — they were looking for an actress who could play the pop star as a shoolgirl — we hear that the project has been put on a back burner.

Emmys 2011 Backstage Chat From A Year of Satisfying, Tolerance-Celebrating Wins

Melissa McCarthy

The Emmys celebrated tolerance at their 63rd annual awards fest last night — a feeling that carried on through the Winners Walk press rooms backstage.  Yes, Melissa McCarthy and Margo Martindale, two women whose appearances would automatically put them out of the running for becoming Fox News babes, were awarded television’s highest accolade for their brilliant work on “Mike & Molly” and “Justified,” respectively.   Thirteen years years after Camryn Manheim’s notorious “This is for all the fat girls!” proclamation when she won an Emmy for “The Practice,” maybe this is a sign of progress.

Oh, yes, and there was a lot of talk about gay people, too.

 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy winner McCarthy told press that “Mike & Molly” was never about the main characters’ weight problems for her — or for producers Chuck Lorre or Don Foster.  She said Foster “looked at me and said, ‘I’m writing a romantic comedy.'”  If viewers were still talking about the couple’s girth 10 episodes in, she said, she knew they’d have a problem.

McCarthy’s category certainly marked the most fun presentation of the evening, with nominees Amy Poehler, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Martha Plimpton, Tina Fey and McCarthy hurrying excitedly to the stage as their names were called — and McCarthy being crowned and handed a bouquet, beauty pageant-style when she won.  She told the press that she first heard about the idea  from fellow nominee Martha Plimpton, “She said, ‘Amy’s got an idea.’  I said, ‘I’m in.’  If Amy Poehler thinks something’s funny, I’ll do it.'”

Asked how she felt about being identified with her infamous vomiting scene in “Bridesmaids,” McCarthy said she was just glad people went to see the movie, that she thought Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumalo did a brilliant job writing it, and that to her, the scene “was less about being gross and more about the sheer horror of that happening publicly.”

McCarthy codesigned her long purple dress, drawing sketches and providing input.  It has already wound up on Worst Dress lists, but at least it had some things going for it.  As she said, “It’s wildly comfortable, and it has pockets, which I enjoy in a gown.” 

The Plainfield, Illinois-born McCarthy was asked what she would say to young people who have dreams of becoming actors.  “If anybody tells you that the odds arer slim, just keep walking …If you love something and work really really hard at it, I think the odds are pretty good.”

Margo Martindale, who won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting  Actress in a drama at age 60, told press she appreciates the honor more now than she ever could have at 30.  She was initially hired to play moonshiner Mags Bennett for just four episodes of FX’s “Justified,” she said, but one or two episodes in, she was informed they were writing her into 10.  Then she dmitted with a smile that, considering how happy producers were with the character, “I thought they’d let me live!”  She added that she thought Mags’ demise was poetic and appropriate.  Next, we’ll see the esteemed, long-time character actress playing assistant to Patrick Wilson’s top tier surgeon on CBS’s new “A Gifted Man.”

 Martindale was among the winners that brought fans special satisfaction — inside as well as outside the auditorium, as the applause level showed.  Certainly Lead Actor in a Drama winner Kyle Chandler was foremost among those, as he closed out his “Friday Night Lights” history with an Emmy — finally.

Such was not the case for Steve Carell, who lost out in the Lead Actor in a Comedy category to Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” — even though it was his last year on “The Office.”

Parsons admitted backstage that his own mother told him he shouldn’t expect to win, that Carell would:  “That’s what my mother had said along with other prognosticators.  He’s just done such a wonderful job on that show for such a long time.” 

Parsons was asked whether he’d seen Charlie Sheen backstage, and what the wayward former “Two and a Half Men” star might have said to him.  “He just congratualted me.  He said, ‘That’s awesome.’  It was that sweet and that banal. I’m sorry.  I wish there was something lurid for me to say.”

And, asked an odd question, he gave a whimsical answer.  Jim, do you find people expecting you to do pratfalls in the real world?  “I pray to God they’re not because I could be a big disappointment.  I can be a little klutz-prone at times, but overall I have an odd grace, like a giraffe, and manage not to fall down.”

Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce traded accolades backstage after their respective “Mildred Pierce” wins — and after Pearce talked, during his acceptance speech, about the joy of doing lovemaking scenes with the Oscar-winning actress. 

Her response to that?  “I’m thrilled.  I had a crush on Guy Pearce since I was 11 years old.  So to even stand in the same room with him was thrilling to me.  And to hear him say that onstage tonight was even more of a thrill.”

Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, who won for directing “Boardwalk Empire,” said that he approached that HBO drama as if it was a long movie.  He talked about the freedom of long-form TV storytelling, comparing it to Victorian novels by Dickens and others that were actually written in serial form.   He also compared “Boardwalk Empire” to old Hollywood gangster movies, saying that eople are fascinated with watching these kinds of criminals rise to power, “but you want to see them fall.”  

It was a big night of celebration, of course, for repeat winners “Mad Men” and “Modern Family,” and the show teams came backstage feeling festive. 

“Modern Family” producer Steve Levitan — who talked in his acceptance speech about a real-life gay couple thanking him for the show making people more tolerant — said he’d been thinking about what he’d like to say for a couple of days before the show.

Individual winners Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen were asked about conservative America’s reaction to the show’s gay couple, played by Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.   Burrell said, “I don’t know about it in opposition to conservative America, but it feels very good to be on a show that seems to be slowly changing a lot of minds.”  And Bowen said, “It’s absurd that it’s even an issue, but since it is, I’m glad the show is changing people’s minds.”


‘Justified’ Actor Joseph Lyle Taylor Gets into ‘Utopia’ Thanks to ‘Swinging’ Ways

Joseph Lyle Taylor FX photo

Joseph Lyle Taylor, known to fans of the F/X drama “Justified” as small town bad guy Doyle Bennett, shows quite a different set of capabilities in the upcoming “Seven Days in Utopia” with Robert Duvall, Lucas Black and Melissa Leo.  As Black’s father, he’s seen coaching the character in golf from age 11 into adulthood — a role that required him to age over 15 years.  Being a golfer not only made the role easier to get into for Taylor — it made it possible.  “In fact, it came down to my swing weather I got the job or not,” he admits.  “I had to be okayed by this PGA group that put in money.”  Being paid to golf, he can now legitimately say he’s a professional golfer.  “Except my handicap is still a little high for professional golf,” he says with a laugh.

The actor reports the “Justified” troupe, led by Tim Olyphant, is just about to wrap production for its second season.  Taylor couldn’t be happier to be a part of the gritty, acclaimed series — not only because he’s tremendously proud of it, but because it’s generating heat on his career.  Last week, in fact, he got the call that no less than Christopher Nolan wants him, for a role in his new “Batman” feature.  Nice.