The third annual L.A. amFAR Inspiration Gala included the Piaget Inspiration Award to agent Kevin Huvane for all he’s done for amFAR. Various video tributes were shown, with many of his famous clients praising his efforts, including Tomy Cruise, Julianne Moore and Ellen Barkin. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, the last video had to be the best: Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in dark wigs, on the set of “August: Osage County”, with Dermot Mulroney accompanying them on acoustic guitar and singing a song about Huvane keeping them on hold while he deals with “Sarah Jessica and Nicole.” “Kevin, I want to hear your voice on the phone,” sang Streep. At the end, with the crowd in stitches, Roberts pulled off her wig, while Streep was unable to detach hers. “It’s not fair!” she cried, cracking up the crowd even more. Although this is not likely to show up online, let’s have our fingers crossed for a video clip to surface.
According to BroadwayWorld, Rob Marshall has made Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” his next project at Warner Bros/Disney – and a starry reading just has kicked the project off. BW has confirmed that the cast of the screenplay reading included Nina Arianda, Christine Baranski, James Corden, Allison Janney, Anna Kendrick, Donna Murphy and Patrick Wilson, among others. The cast for the film has not yet been announced, but BroadwayWorld has learned that Meryl Streep is in talks to join the film as the Witch, but was unable to make the reading. What’s interesting about this news is that Meryl has been already in talks to play the witch, when “Into the Woods” had a revival this year at the Public Theater. These news have never been confirmed back then, so let’s see if there’s more to the story this time. Thanks to everybody for the heads-up.
Meryl Streep has narrated a new feature film, “Girl Rising”, for the organization 10×10. The film tells the extraordinary stories of girls from around the globe fighting to overcome impossible odds to realize their dreams. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins and features the voices of Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Selena Gomez. 10×10 was founded by award-winning journalists at the Documentary Group and Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions. 10×10 is built on a foundation of partnerships with NGOs, corporations, policy makers, and grassroots organizations – all working to change minds, lives, and policy. These organizations provide life-changing services to girls every day, and are among the best practitioners of their kind. The trailer for “Girl Rising” will premiere at the organization’s official launch event to take place on October 10, 2012. You can learn more about 10×10 at their official website. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
Many might remember the newsin 2010 of a possible film project for Meryl Streep and Tina Fey, directed by Stanley Tucci. “It seems to have fallen apart for now,” says Fey in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly:
It was this thing at Sony called Mommy & Me and the script went through a lot of permutations and almost got made, and then didn’t… It was [about] a woman who loses her job and has to move home with her mother… The script didn’t really come together.
More quotes on the film as well as on Tina Fey’s cover story can be read here.
According to this article by The Wrap, Meryl Streep is attached to Tommy Lee Jones’ next effort as a director. With the American Film Market just around the corner, a number of pre-sales projects have begun to circulate among buyers, including “The Homesman” with Streep and Swank part of the package, TheWrap has learned. In May it was announced that Jones would write, direct, produce and star in the period piece, which follows a pioneer, played by Jones, and a frontier woman as they escort three insane women across the American prairie. No additional cast was announced at that time. Now an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap that buyers are being presented with a pre-AFM package that includes the two A -list actresses. Swank will play the frontier woman, but it was not clear which role Streep would play. Streep also starred with Jones this year in “Hope Springs.” The complete article can be read here. Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
Additional information by the Daily Herald on Meryl’s appearance at the Charlie Foundation fundraiser this Friday. When Meryl Streep comes to Bloomingdale on Friday, it won’t be for a movie shoot or film promotion. Instead, it will be for something even closer to her heart. The star will come to Hilton Indian Lakes Resort to speak at a charity gala for The Charlie Foundation to Cure Pediatric Epilepsy. The foundation advocates for education about the ketogenic diet, which supporters say can be used to treat epilepsy in children. The high-fat, adequate-protein and low-carbohydrate diet mimics aspects of fasting by forcing the body to burn fats and ketone bodies rather than carbohydrates. The ketones then pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source, and these elevated ketone levels reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures. The complete article can be read here. Many thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.
Unfortunate news for today. Nora Ephron, the essayist, author and filmmaker who challenged and thrived in the male-dominated worlds of movies and journalism and was loved, respected and feared for her wit, died on Tuesday of leukemia. She was 71. As a screenwriter, Ephron was nominated three times for Academy Awards, for “Silkwood,” “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” and was the rare woman to write, direct and produce Hollywood movies. Meryl Streep, who starred in thee Ephron classics, “Silkwood” and “Heartburn” (as a writer) and “Julie & Julia,” (as a director) noted that her interests and intellect touched on all subject matters. “Nora just looked at every situation and cocked her head and thought, ‘Hmmmm, how can I make this more fun?’ ” Streep said. “You could call on her for anything: doctors, restaurants, recipes, speeches or just a few jokes, and we all did it, constantly. She was an expert in all the departments of living well.”
Thirty-two years after Azaria Chamberlain, 9 weeks old, disappeared from a campsite in Australia, the coroner in the fourth inquest into her death announced on Tuesday that the baby died as a result of being taken by a dingo, an Australian wild dog. The ruling signified the end of three decades of struggle for the Chamberlain family. At first, Azaria’s mother, Lindy Chamberlain, was convicted of murdering her daughter and was sent to prison. That verdict was later overturned and Ms. Chamberlain set free, but subsequent inquests were unable to reach a determination on how Azaria died, despite growing evidence that Ms. Chamberlain was truthful in her statement that a dingo was responsible for the death at the campsite in central Australia. The coroner, Elizabeth Morris, with tears in her eyes, addressed the Chamberlain family in a courtroom in Darwin, Australia. “Please accept my sincere sympathies on the death of your special daughter,” Ms. Morris said. “I am so sorry. Time does not remove the pain and sadness of the death of a child.” She said of Azaria, “The cause of her death was the result of being taken by a dingo.” The death of Azaria and the arrest and conviction of her mother became an international saga with the making of the 1988 movie “A Cry in the Dark,” in which Meryl Streep played Ms. Chamberlain. The full article can be read at the New York Times.
Christopher Walken, Raúl Esparza, Jeffrey Wright, Jesse L. Martin, Jerry Stiller and Sam Waterston will join previously announced stars Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline for the Public Theater’s one-night-only benefit reading of Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, the June 18 gala celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. Jeanine Tesori will compose original music for the performance, which also honors Shakespeare in the Park veteran Al Pacino. The Delacorte Theater in Central Park officially opened on June 18, 1962 with a production of The Merchant of Venice. Directed by Public Theater founder Joe Papp and Gladys Vaughn, the production featured then-unknown actors George C. Scott and James Earl Jones. Over the past 50 years more than five million people have enjoyed more than 100 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte. This year’s Shakespeare in the Park season will include productions of As You Like It and Into the Woods.
These days, lots of panels and parties are held to raise interest in the Broadway shows nominated for a Tony. Among them is Mike Nichols’ “Death of a Salesman”, produced by Scott Rudin and starring Philip Seymour Hofman. A discussion panel on the play, which has held yesterday, was hosted by Meryl Streep. Here’s more informtion courtesy the New York Post: The press wasn’t admitted. The Broadway League has some silly bugaboo about press coverage of the roadies. I suppose the League fears we might find out just how shaky the road is these days, what with so many mediocre shows flying around out there. Ted Chapin, chairman of the American Theatre Wing, was announced as the moderator. But – surprise, surprise! – Meryl Streep came onstage to a five-minute standing ovation. (Rudin’s produced several of her movies, including “Doubt” and “The Hours.”) Streep moderated the panel and asked some pointed and insightful questions. She wondered, for instance, if any of the actors ever “steal” from other actors, adding: “I do all the time, but only from men!” Of Nichols she said: “There have been many times, Mike, in our working relationship when I wished I were Diane Sawyer. But never more so than now.” Hoffman admitted that playing a role such as Willy Loman takes over your life. “You wake up, you’re Willy Loman,” he said. “You go to lunch, you’re Willy Loman. You go to dinner, you’re Willy Loman. You’re Willy Loman all the time.” To prevent the play from taking over their lives completely, Garfield told the crowd, the cast goes out every night after the show to “reconnect.” Nichols said he swings by the theater at least once a week to see the play. “Very often you have to do what I call ‘killing babies,’” he said. “You have to take an actor aside and say, ‘You know that part where you come in and say, “Hello,” and then pirouette around the stage? I think you should go back to just saying “Hello.”’ I don’t have to do that with this cast.” I’m told every single road voter attended the “Salesman” event, which should sew it up nicely for the show on Tony night. Many thanks to Glenn and Holly for the heads-up.