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The Hollywood Reporter — January 31, 2018

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January 31, 2018
N BC’S CH ILLY
O LY M P I CS
Inside the strategy to
heat up the Winter Games
M&A MANIA
Is Lionsgate next to sell?
LENNY K RAV ITZ,
D E S I G N STA R
K AT H Y G R I F F I N
IN
EXILE
Eight months after an anti-Trump
stunt torched her career, the star
is holed up in her Bel Air mansion
plotting a potential comeback:
‘When you’re a woman, you get
one f—up and it’s over’
Issue No. 5, January 31, 2018
FEATURES
48 A Comic in Exile
Eight months after torching
her career with a photo of
a decapitated Donald Trump,
Kathy Griffin is still holed up
in her Bel Air mansion trying
to figure out what happened.
56 Can NBC Heat Up the
Winter Olympics?
From a lack of star power
to a 14-hour time difference,
the Pyeongchang Games
present a host of challenges.
60 ‘When the East Coast
Invades Hollywood, It
Doesn’t Work’
Former Time Warner CEO
Dick Parsons on the belief
that Trump is good for
corporate America: “He’s
not good for any America.”
48
“I was hearing, ‘Go away for
five years,’ ” says Griffin
after her Trump debacle,
photographed Jan. 24
at her Los Angeles home.
64 Hans Zimmer Can’t Let
Dunkirk Go
“I’d go home, fall asleep and
dream about it,” he says of
scoring the World War II epic.
Here and on the cover:
Vince sweater, Fendi skirt,
Barneys New York sandals.
Photographed here and for the cover by Adam Amengual
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
2
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
AC A D E M Y AWA R D N O M I NAT I O N S
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - MARY J. BLIGE
®
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
RACHEL
MORRISON
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
VIRGIL WILLIAMS
AND DEE REES
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"MIGHTY RIVER"
MUSIC AND LYRIC BY
MARY J. BLIGE, RAPHAEL SAADIQ
AND TAURA STINSON
“IN A MILESTONE FOR WOMEN
IN FILM, MUDBOUND ’S
RACHEL
MORRISON
BECAME
THE FIRST WOMAN
TO RECEIVE A
NOMINATION
FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY.”
“WRITER-DIRECTOR
DEE
REES’
TELLING
IS LITERARY
AND CINEMATIC,
STRIKING
WITH BOTH WORDS
AND IMAGES.”
“YOU
WILL BE
FLOORED BY
MARY J. BLIGE.
HER PASSION AND EARNESTNESS
BLEED FROM THE SCREEN.”
“THE
KIND OF MOVIE ‘THEY’ DON’T MAKE ANYMORE,
UNTIL SHE DOES.”
41
Issue No. 5, January 31, 2018
THIS WEEK ON THR VIDEO
Behind-the-scenes interviews from
Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy bash.
26
From left: Gladys Knight, Clive Davis, Camila
Cabello and Barry Manilow were photographed
Jan. 27 by Miller Mobley at The Sheraton
New York Times Square Hotel.
THE REPORT
9 Streamers Go It Alone
Amazon and Netflix stayed
quiet at Sundance this
year. Are they abandoning
acquisitions in favor
of homegrown content?
ABOUT TOWN
19 A Triple Play for Cuisine’s
Korean Fusion Master
David Chang has a hot
L.A. eatery, a Netflix series
and an Olympic gig.
THE BUSINESS
44 Lenny Kravitz
Designed This
Rock ’n’ Roll Lair
On a private promontory
over the Sunset Strip, a
$38 million residence
sings with the modern and
1970s funk influences of
the musician-designer,
who says creating interiors
is “just like music.”
REVIEWS
68 Here and Now
Holly Hunter and Tim
Robbins star in Alan
Ball’s wildly uneven new
family drama for HBO.
34 Is Lionsgate Ready to Sell?
The Jon Feltheimer-led
company has been a buyer —
most recently of Starz — but
it could end up being gobbled
up by a giant like Verizon as
Disney and AT&T grow larger.
BACKLOT
71 Writer, Director,
Producer, Host
Judd Apatow steps
into the spotlight for
the DGA Awards.
STYLE
41 All That Glitters Is Green
Oscar nominees, from Greta
Gerwig to Margot Robbie to
Saoirse Ronan, are dazzling in
emeralds and other enviable
gems this awards season.
44
The owner of Kravitz
Design was photographed
Jan. 22 at The Stanley
House in Los Angeles.
Kravitz photographed by Joe Schmelzer
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
4
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
NECKLACE: JOSEPH SHIN
Tiffany & Co. tsavorite
and diamond necklace set
in platinum from the
2017 Extraordinary Colors
of Tiffany Collection.
“LEAVE IT TO A FILMMAKING VIRTUOSO AT THE PEAK OF HIS POWERS TO
BREAK NEW GROUND AND ALL THE RULES.”
–PETER TRAVERS
“LIKE THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY MOVIES,
IT HAS MERELY CREATED
A NEW STORYTELLING VOCABULARY.”
–CHRIS NASHAWATY
“‘DUNKIRK’ IS FAR AND AWAY
THE BEST FILM OF THE YEAR.”
–LINDSEY BAHR
F
O
R
Y
O
U
R
C
O
N
S
I
D
W W W . WA R N E R B R O S 2 0 1 7 . C O M
E
R
A
T
I
O
N
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HUMAN RESOURCES
CONGRATS
to Fox Searchlight, Twentieth Century Fox
and Fox Animation/Blue Sky Studios
on an incredible 27 Oscar nominations
Introducing
The Mix
Stage at
Abbey Road
At Abbey Road we’ve built a
reputation for inspiring award
winning film scores, and now we
can offer movie makers even more.
Our new Mix Stage is Dolby
Atmos® Premier accredited and
IMAX audio compatible, enabling
state-of-the-art post production
in the world famous surroundings
that have inspired so many.
“Probably the finest
mix theatre I’ve ever
had the pleasure
of working in, with
some of the loveliest
people.”
Just 10 minutes from Soho, the
deluxe suite includes three cutting
rooms and a dedicated client team
delivering all the five star services
and features that make working at
Abbey Road a unique experience.
Roland Heap
Re-recording Mixer,
Supervising Sound Editor
on City of Lies
Come and see us:
Fiona Gillott, Studios Manager
fiona@abbeyroad.com
+44 (0)20 7266 7000
4K Projection
abbeyroad.com/themixstage
8 Pro-tools
systems
6m screen
10m throw
4.5m max height
3 cutting /
editing rooms
Restaurant,
bar & garden
The Re ort
↑ Film
Broadway Bound
Greatest Showman plots a
surprise next act p. 12
Digital
Behind the Headlines
Podcast TV
The new rush to turn
listeners into viewers p. 12
Heat Index
WONDER: DALE ROBINETTE/LIONSGATE. BRIGHT: MATT KENNEDY/NETFLIX. HOPE: EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGES. SHOWMAN: NIKO TAVERNISE/20TH CENTURY FOX. MARS, PORTNOW: SLAVEN VLASIC/FILMMAGIC. AFFLECK: ALLEN BEREZOVSKY/WIREIMAGE. AKHAVAN: C FLANIGAN/FILMMAGIC.
Bruno Mars
The pop star sweeps the
album, song and record of the
year Grammys (and wins six
total), besting favorites Jay Z
(no wins) and Kendrick Lamar
(four) in the major categories.
Neil Portnow
The Recording Academy
CEO’s Grammy show sees a
demo low and just 19.8 million
viewers, then he’s forced to
walk back comments telling
underrepresented female
artists to “step up.”
Streamers Look Past Sundance
for Their Own Blockbusters
‘Frankly, I was confused,’ says one agent as Netflix and Amazon give festival fare the cold shoulder in
favor of homegrown originals and Woody Allen’s deal is more problematic than previously thought
BY TATIANA SIEGEL
Desiree Akhaven
The filmmaker lands
Sundance’s top grand jury
prize for her gay conversion
drama The Miseducation
of Cameron Post, which is
seeking a distributor.
Casey Affleck
The Oscar winner, bowing to
renewed scrutiny of sexual
harassment claims in a settled
2010 lawsuit, breaks tradition and won’t present the best
actress honor this year.
F
ollowing the Jan. 20
premiere of the Sundance
sex abuse drama The
Tale, Amazon motion picture
head Ted Hope expressed serious
interest, dubbing it his favorite
film of the festival. The Jennifer
Fox-helmed film, seen as an
awards-season vehicle for star
Laura Dern, also dovetailed with
the zeitgeist #MeToo movement,
with its narrative centered on
how a rape survivor copes. But
24 hours after the film’s debut,
Amazon backed off, leaving HBO
with one less competitor as it
1 Amazon’s
Wonder Wheel made a $7 million offer and an
2 Netflix’s
Emmy campaign pitch for Dern.
Bright
Likewise, Netflix was one of
the finalists for the festival’s biggest catch, Sam Levinson’s
Assassination Nation, making an
eight-figure offer and hanging
in until the final hours of dealmaking. Still, the streaming giant
was beaten by upstart Neon and
Joe and Anthony Russo’s newly
launched AGBO’s $10 million bid,
which guaranteed a wide theatrical release.
By the festival’s end Jan. 28,
neither Amazon nor Netflix had
bought a single title, a headscratching twist given that the
two deep-pocketed distributors
had dominated the Sundance
Showbiz Stocks
$44.34 (+6%)
THE LIBERTY
SIRIUSXM GROUP (LSXMA)
Citigroup upgraded
the company given it holds
69 percent of outstanding
Sirius XM Radio shares
but trades at just 54 percent
of Sirius XM’s market cap.
1
$12.85 (-3%)
AMC ENT. (AMC)
The exhibitor criticized
MoviePass, which then
eliminated 10 AMC theaters.
2
market for the past two years,
with Amazon snapping up five
films in 2017 and Netflix 10. Netflix
CEO Reed Hastings even made
the trek to Park City, where he was
spotted at screenings including
the Paul Rudd starrer The Catcher
Was a Spy. What that restraint
signals about the leading streamers’ film ambitions
now is in question
as both Amazon and
Netflix seem to be
focusing on in-house
Hope
productions.
“Frankly, I was confused,” says
Jessica Lacy, ICM Partners agent
and head of its film finance
division. “Given the mandate to
release 40 films a year on Netflix,
and given [Amazon Studios
vp] Jason Ropell ’s statement that
Amazon is definitely still in the
independent film space, I found it
surprising that they didn’t go after
any films in a meaningful way.”
For Amazon, the contradiction comes as CEO Jeff Bezos has
pushed for more populist offerings
Illustration by John Ueland
Jan. 22-29
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
9
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
The Report
after the studio transitioned into
full-fledged distributor with the
release of Woody Allen’s Wonder
Wheel on Dec. 1. The Allen relationship — negotiated in 2016 by
since-ousted studio head Roy Price
— might pose an even bigger question mark for the studio. Amazon
already financed and is set to
distribute Allen’s next film, the
$25 million Timothee ChalametElle Fanning starrer A Rainy Day in
New York, a move that insiders say
is looking increasingly shaky as
Chalamet and the film’s Rebecca
Hall distance themselves from
the writer-director, who has been
accused by his daughter Dylan
Farrow of molesting her at age 7.
Price inked a five-film deal with
Allen that leaves Amazon on the
hook for three more movies after
Rainy Day. Internally, the consensus is that Amazon will have
no choice but to sever ties with
the director, even if that means a
hefty payout.
Furthermore, questions
about Amazon’s film directions
likely won’t be answered until
Price’s replacement is named.
Nancy Dubuc and Jennifer Salke
are among those being courted
for a high-ranking role within the
company, though not necessarily
to replace Price. Until his exit
in October, Amazon was known
to move fast, putting it in sharp
contrast to the major studios. For
instance, director Gus Van Sant,
who debuted his Amazon-financed
Joaquin Phoenix-led drama Don’t
Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot at
Sundance to rave reviews, developed the film at Sony for nearly
two decades before Amazon
rescued it.
Amid uncertainty, Amazon
appears to be moving more cautiously, failing to make an offer
on a single film at Sundance.
But one sales agent notes that
the studio preemptively bought
Dan Fogelman’s
Life Itself for $10 million. The film had
been accepted
into Sundance, but
Stuber
the filmmakers
quickly pulled it from the lineup.
“That’s the kind of deal that
would have normally happened in
the first few days of the festival,”
says the agent. Others say that
Amazon and Netflix’s retreat from
Sundance spending indicates
confidence in their prebuy and
homegrown fare, which was on
display at the festival with Don’t
Worry as well as Lynne Ramsay’s
You Were Never Really Here, Spike
Lee’s Pass Over and Lauren
Greenfield’s Generation Wealth (all
for Amazon). Among the films
that Netflix financed and brought
to Park City this year were the
well-received Come Sunday and the
National Lampoon origin story A
Futile and Stupid Gesture.
Moving forward, Amazon is in
postproduction on the ChalametSteve Carell addiction drama
Beautiful Boy and has biggerbudget gambles in the works like
Mike Leigh’s Peterloo; an adaptation of The Goldfinch with Warner
Bros.; and Tom Hooper’s Eddie
Redmayne-Felicity Jones epic The
Aeronauts (described as Titanic
in a hot air balloon). And Amazon
is teaming with StudioCanal on
Radioactive, with Rosamund Pike
as Marie Curie.
Similarly, Netflix vp original
film Scott Stuber is focusing on
homegrown titles and is moving
forward with at least one Bright
sequel (the first one cost $90 million and was viewed by 11 million
people in its first three days). It
is said to be courting Alejandro G.
Inarritu for a drama based on the
Panama Papers scandal. Netflix
also has rescued a number of
stalled studio projects of its own,
including the Motley Crue biopic
Sundance Acquisitions
Both Netflix and Amazon nabbed multiple
titles the past two years in Park City, but
neither bought a single project in 2018
Netflix
Amazon
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
2016
2017
The Dirt, and is in talks to acquire
the Cloverfield sequel, both
from Paramount. “The streamers are continuing to push for
more commercial fare and taking
more control of their destinies
by looking inward to develop
content,” explains Verve partner
Bryan Besser.
Ultimately, Sundance 2018’s
for-sale slate simply may have
been lacking in commercial
and high-quality fare. After all,
A24, Focus Features and Fox
Searchlight all sat on the sidelines. Notes Besser, “Because
the climate this year was more
hunter/gatherer than driven by
big titles, the major players were
just quieter.”
Grammys by the Numbers: Steep Drops and a Slow Start
The telecast tumbled 25 percent from 2017, hitting a nine-year low with viewers and an all-time low in adults 18-to-49.
What’s behind the fatigue? A hour-by-hour audience analysis shows Hillary Clinton and Patti LuPone didn’t help BY MICHAEL O’CONNELL
9:30
Kesha The most watched
hour of the CBS telecast
wraps with the night’s most
newsworthy performance.
It’s all downhill from here.
7:30
Kendrick Lamar
The rapper opens the
show on a low note,
proving awareness (or
interest) is not high.
21.6M
16.7M
10:00
Hillary Clinton
A divisive joke
about Michael
Wolff’s Fire and
Fury kicks off the
start of a steady
ratings dip.
8:55
Cardi B and Bruno Mars
The night peaks with a
performance by the
2017 breakout and this
year’s biggest winner.
20M
10:15
Patti LuPone Broadway
bits and an eleventh-hour
Tom Petty tribute greet a
tuned-out audience.
21.7M
20.3M
19.8M
7:30PM
8:00PM
8:30PM
9:00PM
9:30PM
10:00PM
10:30PM
Source: Nielsen Media
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
10
19.1M
26M
26.6M
39.9M
28.4M
28.5M
25.3M
24.9M
26.1M
19.8M
Grammy Wins
— BY LABEL —
Atlantic
9:15
Rihanna!
15
— BY YEAR —
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Source: Nielsen Media
17.8M
21.2M
Grammy
Viewership
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
13 wins
Interscope
7 wins
Columbia
5 wins
Source: Recording Academy; total wins
STUBER: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES. LAMAR, LUPONE: JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC. MARS, KESHA: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS. RIHANNA: CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS.
Behind the Headlines
AC ADEMY AWARD® NOMINEE
B E S T
D O C U M E N T A R Y
DIRECTORS GUILD NOMINEE
BRYA N F O G E L - D O C U M E N TA RY
F E A T U R E
B A F TA AWA R D N O M I N E E
D O C U M E N TA R Y
THE DOCUMENTARY THAT
TOOK DOWN AN EMPIRE
WINNER
WINNER
CINEM A E YE HONORS
CRITICS’ CHOICE
DOCUMENTARY AWARDS
HELL YEAH
PRIZE
BEST SPORTS
DOCUMENTARY
++++
“
”
WINNER
WINNER
HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL
FILM FESTIVAL
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
SUMMERDOCS
AUDIENCE AWARD
+++++
“
THE ORWELL
AWARD
”
WINNER
AUDIENCE AWARD
U.S. DOCUMENTARY
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL:
LONDON
++++
“
”
“PERHAPS
THE MOST IMPACTFUL
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR.”
“A RIVETING STUDY OF SPORTS DOPING THAT TUMBLES
DIZZYINGLY INTO A LIFE-AND-DEATH INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL.”
CONSIDER TRUTH
← Older
female
moviegoers
have fueled
Greatest
Showman’s
staying power.
Showman Going
to Broadway?
Thanks to powerful word-of-mouth
and a hit soundtrack, the musical boasts
the strongest hold since Titanic
o use her own words, 20th Century Fox
film chairman-CEO Stacey Snider felt “gut
punched” when The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman as circus impresario P.T.
Barnum, limped to an opening $8.8 million during
the Dec. 22 to 24 weekend after getting ravaged
by many top critics. Despite that, the movie and
its soundtrack have become so successful, there
are now talks to adapt The Greatest Showman
for Broadway, says Snider. No other details were
forthcoming about a possible stage version,
including whether Jackman would be involved.
(He’s no stranger to Broadway, having won a Tony
in 2004 for The Boy From Oz.)
Showman is headed for a $150 million domestic
total, on par with La La Land and a multiple of
17. (Titanic’s multiple was 21; a typical multiple for
a year-end holiday release is five to six times its
opening.) Says Showman producer Peter Chernin:
“The lesson is that certain audiences are underserved, particularly in a world where Disney
is delivering all these monster tentpoles. The
other lesson: There are certain things the critics,
and by extension Rotten Tomatoes, are constitutionally out of touch with.” — PAMELA MCCLINTOCK
Podcasts Hot for
Content-Hungry TV
T
The $220 million industry is poised to significantly expand
as Hollywood offers lucrative new revenue opportunities
BY NATALIE JARVEY
L
istened to a podcast in the
past year? There’s a good
chance it’ll be a TV show
soon as ABC, Amazon, FX, HBO
and more are readying audioinspired projects. On Jan. 28, Bravo
joined the club with a two-season,
straight-to-series order for the Los
Angeles Times’ true-crime breakout, Dirty John.
The interest has proved a boon
to the fledgling companies that
are fueling the explosion. Podcast
network Gimlet Media, led by CEO
Alex Blumberg and president Matt
Lieber, is creating a film and television arm called Gimlet Pictures
to capitalize on the momentum.
“It’s a signal to the market that
Giliberti
Lieber
we’re here,” says Gimlet Pictures
head Chris Giliberti, who will
split his time between New York
and Los Angeles.
The company already has sold
three projects: business podcast
StartUp is the basis for ABC’s Zach
Braff comedy Alex, Inc. (March 28);
scripted series Homecoming will
head to Amazon as a Sam Esmaildirected drama starring Julia
Roberts; and Richard Linklater will
direct Robert Downey Jr. in an
Annapurna film based on an episode of tech-centric Reply All.
While still small, the podcasting industry is growing quickly.
The Interactive Advertising
Bureau estimated last spring that
There’s an 82.3 Percent Chance ESPN Will Dump Nate Silver’s Site
The stats guru is an in-demand personality, but the sports giant is looking for a buyer after
failing to leverage the 40-plus-person FiveThirtyEight staff BY MARISA GUTHRIE
ow long will Nate Silver stay
H
at ESPN? When news broke
Jan. 25 that the Disney-owned
network was exploring options to
sell off the political stats guru’s
FiveThirtyEight vertical, the first
reaction from many analysts was:
Why was it bought in the first place?
Within Disney, the acquisition has
long been viewed as a “misstep,” an
insider tells THR. At a time when
analytics are driving much of the
conversation around sports, little has
been done to incorporate Silver or the site’s
40-plus-person staff
into the company’s vast
sports assets. “There
Silver
was zero integration,”
says another ESPN insider. “They
stayed on their island and slowly
became less and less relevant.”
After a three-year contract at The
New York Times expired, ESPN
bought Silver’s site in 2013 with the
goal of applying its statistical model
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
to sectors beyond sports and politics.
But after hitting 21 million monthly
uniques in November 2016, it averaged slightly more than 5 million in
December, and now the company is
exploring “a variety of options for the
future” of the site.
ESPN also has been moving away
from verticals that former president
John Skipper cultivated — including Bill Simmons’ pop culture site
Grantland (since shuttered) and
race and culture site The Undefeated
12
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
(going strong) — as a way to
attract and grow talent. The Big
Lead, which first reported a possible sale of FiveThirtyEight, noted
that Atlantic Media is among
potential suitors. And, certainly,
the owner of The Atlantic magazine,
like the Times, seems in a much
better position to exploit Silver’s
DNA in politics.
Also weighing on ESPN execs:
Disney’s proposed $52.4 billion
acquisition of most of 21st Century
BROADWAY: ISTOCK. SHOWMAN: NIKO TAVERNISE/TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX. ALEX: ABC/ELIZABETH FISCHER. GILIBERTI, LIEBER: COURTESY OF GIMLET. SILVER: DAVE KOTINSKY/GETTY
IMAGES FOR THE 2015 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL. ESPN: AP GRAPHIC/ESPN. MAZE: COURTESY TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX. HOSTILES: COURTESY OF ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS MOTION
PICTURES. PADMAAVAT: COURTESY OF VIACOM18 MOTION PICTURES. THIS: RON BATZDORFF/NBC. AMERICAN: JEFF DALY/FX. BLUE: COURTESY OF BBC AMERICA. BRADY: JUN SATO/WIREIMAGE.
The Report
revenue would hit $220 million
in 2017, up 219 percent in two
years, with advertisers spending
more in the space and ad rates
increasing (the average CPM is
$25 but can more than double
to $50 and up for the most popular shows). Reports have pegged
Gimlet’s 2017 revenue at about
$15 million and its valuation (after
a $15 million cash infusion last
summer) at $70 million.
The boom is happening as TV
struggles for unique IP to capture an increasingly fragmented
audience amid unprecedented
competition. “Buyers are desperate for something that feels proven
in any format,” says one top rep.
CAA works with Gimlet, while
UTA reps the teams behind This
American Life and Serial. WME,
which counts Pod Save America
producer Crooked Media as a
client, also will have a pipeline of
projects through the newly created IMG Original Content group,
which has hired Panoply Media
veteran Moses Soyoola to spearhead its podcasting effort.
Podcasting projects also showcase an up-and-coming generation
of future showrunners. “If I’m
the next Quentin Tarantino, I’m
probably not working at a video
store anymore,” says Brett-Patrick
Jenkins, head of development
at Propagate, which shepherded
production on Amazon’s Lore
adaptation and is developing Sword and Scale and Up and
Vanished. “I’m probably trying to
make my own podcasts.”
Behind the Headlines
Box Office
Broadcast TV
Cable TV
Domestic
International
Gross Cume % Chg Gross Cume
18-49
Live+3
Viewership
Live+3
1.
Total
Maze Runner: The Death Cure FOX
24.2 24.2(1) - 64.6*71 83.9 108.1
Fox kept fans interested in the YA franchise
after The Death Cure was delayed more than
a year. That was especially true overseas,
where it launched to $22.2 million in China alone.
Audience
Live+3
1.
NFC Championship FOX
13.5
42.4M
2.
This Is Us NBC
4.3
14.5M
Entering its post-Super Bowl slot, the
NBC drama hit a nine-month high
in Live+3 lift and maintained a healthy
lead (11 percent in the demo) over
The Big Bang Theory season-to-date.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle SONY
16.1 337.8(6) -17 18.7*82 484 821.8
2.
Hostiles ENTERTAINMENT STUDIOS
10.1 11.9(6) +1,642 N/A N/A
3.
11.9
The Greatest Showman FOX
9.6 126.5(6) -10 10*61 133
5.
The Post FOX
9.1 58.8(6) -22
9.4*19
12 Strong WARNER BROS.
8.7 29.8(2) -45 10*28
6.
7.
24.7
The premiere of Ryan Murphy’s
latest miniseries netted 5.5 million
viewers, all platforms considered,
a little less than half of the great haul
of The People v. O.J. Simpson in 2016.
2.
Vikings HISTORY
3.4M
3.
The Big Bang Theory CBS
4.1
18.5M
Haves and the Have Nots OWN
2.9M
4.
4.
Young Sheldon CBS
3.3
16.5M
Shameless SHOWTIME
2.6M
5.
5.
Grey’s Anatomy ABC
3.3
10.9M
The Librarians TNT
2.2M
6.
6.
The Good Doctor ABC
3.1
14.7M
If Loving You Is Wrong OWN
2.0M
7.
7.
The Resident FOX
3.1
10.8M
Knightfall HISTORY
2.0M
8.
259.5
8.
911 FOX
2.7
The Paynes OWN
1.9M
9.
83.5
9.
Modern Family ABC
2.6
8.3M
The Paynes OWN
1.8M
5.4
35.2
Den of Thieves STX
8.6 28.8(2) -43 846K*17 2.8
31.6
The Shape of Water FOX SEARCHLIGHT
5.9 37.9(9) +171 3.3*10 14
46.1
8.
ACS: Versace FX
3.6M
3.
Filmmaker Scott Cooper’s indie period Western,
starring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike,
came in ahead of expectations despite being
shut out of the Oscar race.
4.
1.
Paddington 2 WARNER BROS./STUDIOCANAL
5.7 32.1(3) -29 N/A 153.8 158.7
10. Padmaavat VIVA ENTERTAINMENT
4.3 4.9(1)
N/A 34.9 39.8
9.
The film — controversial for featuring an
affair between a Hindu princess and a Muslim
— scored the best U.S. opening ever for
a Bollywood title, beating PK ($3.6 million).
10. Ellen’s
2.4
9.2M
10. Nashville CMT
1.4M
Game of Games NBC
9.7M
11.
The Bachelor ABC
2.3
7.8M
12.
Chicago Med NBC
2.2
10.8M
13.
Chicago P.D. NBC
2.2
9.8M
14.
The Goldbergs ABC
2.2
7.7M
15.
Will & Grace NBC
2.2
6.9M
Closer
Look
One to Watch
Blue Planet 2 BBC AMERICA
Nearly 3 million viewers tuned in to the
AMC Nets simulcast — up 45 percent
from Planet Earth 2 — an eightyear high for nature programming.
Super Bowl Ticket Breakdown
The locales most represented among buyers
PENNSYLVANIA
14%
MASSACHUSETTS
Fox’s assets. Some say the thinking inside Disney could be that it is
best to unload anything that could
cause a snag with the Department
of Justice. Analyst Paul Verna says:
“If I were running one of these two
media properties, I would not bring
any additional baggage.”
10.8%
Star Wars: The Last Jedi DISNEY
4.25 610.8(7) -35 4.8*38 700.7 1.311B
11.
12.
13.
14.
OTHER
49%
Three Billboards FOX SEARCHLIGHT
3.8 37.3(12) +100 8.5*29 34.3 71.6
Forever My Girl ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
3.6 9.1(2) -16 N/A N/A
9.1
The Commuter UNIVERSAL
3.4 31.4(3) -48 11.1*37 34.7
9.8%
CALIFORNIA
9.4%
Average cost to see
Tom Brady’s Patriots
vs. Eagles is $6,122.
66.1
Insidious: The Last Key UNIVERSAL
3.19 63.4(4) -46 7.3*67 81.1 144.5
MINNESOTA
ARIZONA
7%
Source: StubHub
15.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
13
Box-office source: comScore; estimates in $ millions; ( )Weekends in release; *Territories.
Broadcast source: Nielsen, live-plus-3, week of Jan. 15. Cable TV source: Nielsen, live-plus-3 scripted series, week of Jan. 15.
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
4
ACADEMY AWARD® NOMINATIONS
BEST PICTURE
BEST ACTOR
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
JAMES IVORY
TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET
BEST ORIGINAL SONG “MYSTERY OF LOVE”
WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY SUFJAN STEVENS
THE COUNTDOWN TO THE BIG
NIGHT IS FINALLY BEGINNING
Suddenly, there’s light at the end of the tunnel as the Directors Guild
hands out its awards Feb. 3 and the Oscar nominees gather for the
Academy’s annual luncheon Feb. 5 By Scott Feinberg
WINNER
BEST PICTURE
ANIMATED FEATURE
BEST ACTOR TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET
WINNER
BEST BREAKTHROUGH ACTOR TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET
GOTHAM AWARDS
NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEW
SAN DIEGO FILM CRITICS
NEW YORK FILM CRITICS ONLINE
ONLINE FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
AUSTIN FILM CRITICS ASSOC.
FLORIDA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Three Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri
Coco
Martin McDonagh’s quirky pic had
seven noms entering the Jan. 29 London
Critics’ Circle Film Awards and wound
up winning a pace-setting three trophies:
picture, actress (Frances McDormand)
and screenplay (McDonagh).
The Pixar hit continued its awardsseason sweep with wins at the American
Cinema Editors’ Eddie Awards and,
in the first year in which it recognized
animation, the Art Directors Guild
Awards. It also received two noms from
the Motion Picture Sound Editors.
FILM EDITING
SOUND EDITING
++++
(HIGHEST RATING)
“A NEW CLASSIC – THIS MASTERPIECE GOES
ITS OWN TRANSCENDENT WAY. THE YEAR’S
BEST AND MOST BEWITCHING MOVIE SONG,
‘MYSTERY OF LOVE,’ BY SUFJAN STEVENS,
POIGNANTLY CAPTURES THE THEME
OF LOST ECSTASY REMEMBERED.
TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET IS NOTHING LESS
THAN THE ACTING DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR.”
Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE
I, Tonya
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Tatiana Riegel bagged the American
Cinema Editors’ best edited comedy
prize over fellow Oscar nominees Baby
Driver and Three Billboards, suggesting her darkly funny film has a shot as
it goes up against ACE Eddie drama
winner Dunkirk.
The blockbuster mustered only one
Golden Reel nom from the MPSE:
effects/foley. Its fellow Oscar nominees
— Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049,
Dunkirk and The Shape of Water — each
landed three: music score, dialogue/ADR
and effects/foley.
SCORE
SONG
TO LISTEN TO “MYSTERY OF LOVE,” VISIT
CMBYN-MYSTERY.COM
Dunkirk
“Stand Up for Something,”
Marshall
Hans Zimmer’s epic composition was
nominated for but lost the Grammy for
best score soundtrack for visual media
at the Jan. 28 awards ceremony. One of
this year’s nominated scores, it was
aced out by last year’s Oscar winner in
the category — La La Land.
Common and Diane Warren’s Oscarnominated tune lost the Grammy for
best song written for visual media to one
of the tunes that Lin-Manuel Miranda
wrote for Moana, released — and Oscarnominated — last awards season.
14
BILLBOARDS: COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT. COCO: DISNEY/PIXAR. TONYA: NEON/30WEST. STAR: DAVID JAMES/LUCASFILM LTD./DISNEY. DUNKIRK: MELINDA SUE GORDON/WARNER BROS. MARSHALL: BARRY WETCHER/OPEN ROAD FILMS.
LOS ANGELES FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NEW YORK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
CHICAGO FILM CRITICS ASSOC.
BOSTON ONLINE FILM CRITICS ASSOC.
FLORIDA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
ATLANTA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
AUSTIN FILM CRITICS ASSOC.
INDIANA FILM CRITICS ASSOC.
NETFLIX
PROUDLY CONGRATULATES OUR
DIRECTORS GUILD OF
AMERICA AWARDS NOMINEES
STRANGER THINGS
CHAPTER NINE: THE GATE
DAVE CHAPPELLE:
THE AGE OF SPIN
THE DUFFER BROTHERS
STAN LATHAN
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL
ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS
MASTER OF NONE
AMY SCHUMER:
THE THIEF
AZIZ ANSARI
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL
ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES
THE LEATHER SPECIAL
AMY SCHUMER
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN
VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS
THANKSGIVING
ICARUS
MELINA MATSOUKAS
BRYAN FOGEL
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL
ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY SERIES
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL
ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY
GODLESS
WORMWOOD
SCOTT FRANK
ERROL MORRIS
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL
ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES
FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL
ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY
ANNE WITH AN E
YOUR WILL SHALL DECIDE YOUR DESTINY
NIKI CARO
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS
The Report
7 Days of DEALS
Who’s inking on the dotted line this week
TV PILOT SEASON’S NEW THROW BACKS:
SITCOMS AND FEM ALE-FRONTED R EBOOTS
Less than a year after veteran multicamera comedies Last Man Standing, 2 Broke Girls and The
Carmichael Show saw cancellations, the format is
making a resurgence.
With NBC’s Will & Grace revival connecting with
viewers (and awards voters) and ABC’s Roseanne still
to come, multicam comedy orders already are nearing a seven-year high halfway through the broadcast
pilot season as the Big Four look for the next Big Bang
Theory. Fourteen of the 19 comedies ordered to pilot
or series at press time are multicam, compared with
just seven of last year’s 33 comedy pilots.
Among this year’s big multicam swings are two
straight-to-series pickups: ABC’s Kenya Barris family comedy starring Alec Baldwin and CBS’ recently
announced Murphy Brown reboot with Candice
CBS’ new
Murphy Brown
is a multicam
with a strong
female lead.
Bergen. CBS, home to what could be the final season of TV’s No. 1 comedy in Big Bang, continues to bet
on the format, with multicams representing all six
of its half-hour orders (double from last year). And
NBC could be looking for a companion to Will & Grace,
which scored an early renewal, as four of its five
half-hours are multicams (versus two last season).
“Broadcast networks are struggling to find hits,
and multicams are low-cost,” says one lit agent of
the genre that’s faster to produce than single-cams
and less expensive, a boon in an era of dwindling
viewership and ad dollars. “Multicams are still a cash
cow if they’re a hit.”
Elsewhere this pilot season, the #MeToo and
Time’s Up movements are making an impact as
dramas and comedies with strong female leads are
all the rage. Among them: ABC is remaking 1970s
detective series Get Christie Love, still one of the few
dramas to feature a black female protagonist, as
well as The Greatest American Hero, this time with
an Indian-American woman at its center; The CW
is making a “feminist” version of Charmed; and CBS
is rebooting Cagney & Lacey. Female scribes are
behind all of those and more, having written or
co-written 22 of the 49 pilots ordered thus far this
season. As the lit agent sums up: “There are two
trends this pilot season: female-led shows and more
multicams.” — LESLEY GOLDBERG
Mirren
FILM
Tom Hanks (CAA) will star
as Mr. Rogers in the TriStar
biopic You Are My Friend,
directed by Marielle Heller.
Elisabeth Moss (WME,
the U.K.’s Independent,
Ribisi) will star as a
punk rocker in Alex Ross
Perry’s Her Smell.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises
(ICM) will team with Warner
Animation Group for a
series of films, starting with
The Cat in the Hat.
Tom Brady Lights Up Facebook Watch, Too
“We were just so (bleeped),”
Tom Brady vents to his wife,
Big
Gisele Bundchen, after an
Deal
early-season loss.
This is the New England
Patriots quarterback as few fans have
seen him. And it’s Facebook Watch, not a
network like ESPN, that has the front-row
seat. In the five days after its Jan. 25 premiere, the six-part Tom vs. Time’s first two
15-minute episodes racked up more than
12 million views. That’s 40 percent of the
total views of the first two episodes of basketball dad LaVar Ball’s Ball in the Family,
which hit the platform five months ago.
Filmmaker Gotham Chopra initially was
going to focus on off-season training,
but he now intends to take viewers all the
way through the Super Bowl, though his
access becomes more limited once Brady
is on the field. “The Patriots have been
great in issuing me credentials so that I
could ride to a game or go home with him,”
says Chopra. “But we were very conscious about not distracting the team. The
other 52 guys don’t have film crews following them around, so neither does Tom.”
Sports content has become integral to
Facebook’s video efforts in the past year
as it has inked deals for live events including Major League Soccer and Major
League Baseball games. On Jan. 31, it
added a variety series hosted by Denver
Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
“Fans are hungry for content, access,
different points of view,” says Chopra, who
adds that Facebook’s built-in communities
make it an ideal platform. — NATALIE JARVEY
TriStar has picked
up the Zendaya-starring
package A White Lie
from Reese Witherspoon’s
Hello Sunshine.
Chopra
(left, son of
Deepak)
and Brady
(center)
have known
each other
for years.
Rights Available! Hot new books with Hollywood appeal
Edge of Seventeen’s
Kelly Fremon Craig (UTA,
Kaplan Perrone,
Hansen Jacobson) will
helm Chernin’s adaptation of Adrienne Brodeur’s
memoir Wild Game.
BY ANDY LEWIS AND TATIANA SIEGEL
The Family Next Door (ST. MARTIN’S PRESS, MARCH 6)
She Regrets Nothing (WASHINGTON SQUARE, FEB. 6)
BY Sally Hepworth AGENCY CAA
BY Andrea Dunlop AGENCY Paradigm
Positioned as the next Big Little Lies (right down to its Australian
author), Hepworth’s fifth novel is an alternating point-of-view
suburban drama about three young mothers and the mysterious
childless single woman who moves into the neighborhood.
Touted as Gossip Girl for adults, Dunlop’s third novel, about a newly
orphaned 23-year-old who meets three rich cousins from her
father’s estranged family and is soon caught up in their wild New
York City lives, has shown up on several 2018 must-read lists.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
16
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
MURPHY: CBS/PHOTOFEST. BOOK: COURTESY OF MACMILLAN. MIRREN: THEO WARGO/GETTY IMAGES. HANKS: SAMIR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE. WEINSTEIN: COURTESY OF REALTOR.COM. SCHNAPP: JON KOPALOFF/FILMMAGIC. MARTIN: FREDERICK M. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES. BRADY: DIRTY ROBBER TV HOLDINGS, INC.
Deal
of the
Week
HBO has taken worldwide
rights to Laura Dern starrer
The Tale for $7 million and
all U.S. TV and streaming
rights to The Oslo Diaries.
… Syfy has renewed Happy!
for a second season.
Hanks
Weinstein lost $1.4 million on the home that was bought in 2014.
Gerald’s Game’s
Mike Flanagan (WME,
Novo, Nelson Davis)
will direct Warner Bros.’
The Shining sequel
Doctor Sleep.
picked up Brett Haley’s
family musical feature
Hearts Beat Loud. …
Lionsgate has nabbed
worldwide rights to Daveed
Diggs’ Blindspotting. …
Neon has taken doc Three
Identical Strangers. … The
Orchard and MoviePass
have acquired crime drama
American Animals, with
Barry Keoghan and Evan
Peters. … Saban Films
will partner with Roadside
Attractions to release Lizzie,
starring Chloe Sevigny. …
Sony Pictures Classics has
acquired worldwide rights
to Puzzle, starring Kelly
Macdonald, for $5 million.
Natalie Portman (CAA,
George Sheanshang)
will replace Rooney
Mara in Brady Corbet’s
music drama Vox Lux.
Sam Raimi (CAA, Hansen
Jacobson) is in talks to
direct Lionsgate’s adaptation of fantasy series
The Kingkiller Chronicle.
SUNDANCE
Annapurna has taken
worldwide rights to Boots
Riley’s Sorry to Bother
You. … Bleecker Street
has acquired Ben Foster
starrer Leave No Trace.
… Gunpowder & Sky has
TELEVISION
Tiffany Haddish (APA,
Principato Young,
Del Shaw) has signed
a two-year first-look
deal with HBO.
Meryl Streep (CAA,
Gendler & Kelly) has
joined the second season
of HBO’s Big Little Lies.
Helen Mirren (CAA) will
star in HBO and Sky’s
four-part Catherine the
Great miniseries.
Paramount Television
and Anonymous Content
have acquired rights to
author Margaret Atwood’s
MaddAddam book trilogy.
Courtney B. Vance (Gersh,
Lighthouse) and MaryLouise Parker (UTA,
Untitled) will star in the FX
comedy pilot Compliance.
Michael Shannon (CAA,
Wetzel, Morris Yorn) will
join AMC and the BBC’s
spy miniseries The Little
Drummer Girl.
DIGITAL
Damien Chazelle (WME,
Exile, Hansen Jacobson)
will write and direct an
untitled Apple straight-toseries drama, with La La
Land’s Jordan Horowitz
and Fred Berger producing.
The Big Sick’s Emily
V. Gordon (UTA, Mosaic,
Schreck Rose) will adapt
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s
novel The Nest as an
Amazon Studios feature.
Charlie Kaufman (WME,
Hansen Jacobson) will
write and direct Netflix’s
adaptation of Iain Reid’s I’m
Thinking of Ending Things.
Netflix has renewed Fuller
House for a fourth season.
REAL ESTATE
Harvey Weinstein
and Georgina Chapman
(Sotheby’s) have sold
their Hamptons home for
$10 million. — COMPILED BY
MIA GALUPPO AND REBECCA SUN
677
Minutes of broadcast evening news
coverage on the Russian election
Big
Number meddling probe, the most for any
story in 2017, per Tyndall Report.
Rep
Sheet
Noah Schnapp, who
plays Will on Netflix’s
Stranger Things, has
signed with CAA, as has
Cleopatra Coleman of
The Last Man on Earth
and White Famous.
Mudbound’s Dee
Rees has signed with
Anonymous for commercial representation.
F Is for Family co-creator
and star Bill Burr
has signed with WME
in all areas.
L.A. Latin music venue
The Conga Room
has signed with UTA .
Next
Big
Thing
Marsai Martin
REPS Paradigm,
Untitled, Meyers
& Downs
WHY SHE MATTERS
The Black-ish breakout,
13, is attached to star
in the Universal comedy
Little, from producers
Will Packer and Kenya
Barris. The actress
came up with the idea
for the feature and is
set to executive produce
along with Girls Trip
star Regina Hall. Martin
appears on the fourth
season of the ABC comedy; Little will mark her
first studio feature.
UNITED STATES HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM
25th ANNIVERSARY LOS ANGELES DINNER
THURSDAY, MARCH 1
PLEASE JOIN US TO COMMEMORATE the Museum’s 25th anniversary and
to honor VERA and PAUL GUERIN, their family, and the memory of LILLY and
NATHAN SHAPELL Z”L as they receive the National Leadership Award.
RECEPTION 6 p.m. DINNER 7 p.m.
The Beverly Hilton
Media Sponsor
Tickets are $500 per person and sponsorship and tribute opportunities are
available. For more information, contact the Museum’s Western Regional Office
at 310.556.3222 or western@ushmm.org.
RSVP at ushmm.org/events/2018-la-dinner.
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW Washington, DC 20024-2126 ushmm.org/campaign
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About Town
People, Places, Preoccupations
PERSON OF INTER EST
A Triple Play
for Cuisine’s
Korean Fusion
Master
David Chang has a hot L.A. eatery,
a Netflix series and an Olympic gig
By Michael O’Connell • Photographed by Claudia Lucia
he L.A. food scene is unbelievable,” says David Chang, the man
behind the Momofuku empire
whose Majordomo opened Jan. 23
in Chinatown — the latest in a string of L.A.
debuts from top Manhattan chefs. “There’s
no reason why we can’t add to it and be a good
neighbor and participant — not a carpetbagger.” While readying Majordomo — a
seafood-skewing departure for Chang but still
decidedly Korean-inspired — he’s been living
in Los Feliz with his wife, Grace Seo, and their
rescue dog, Seve. It’s the first time Chang, 40,
has ever had a yard. And while he categorizes
himself as “bicoastal” at present, he’s enjoying the time away from New York. “I’m still
stressed,” he says, “but incredibly less so,
which is good for morale.”
That’s not to say that he’s kicking back. His
Netflix doc series Ugly Delicious bows Feb. 23
(he hosted PBS’ The Mind of a Chef and did a
guest stint as himself on David Simon’s New
Orleans drama Treme) and, thanks to a fruitful
meal with friend and NBC Olympics czar Jim
Bell, Chang soon will head to Pyeongchang to
serve as a special correspondent for the Winter
Games, leaving his fledgling eatery behind.
“It was supposed to open several months
ago,” he concedes. “I thought by the time the
Olympics happened, I’d be free and clear and
not juggling it all.”
Among the first to sup at Majordomo were
Brian Grazer, Nick Kroll and Jon Favreau. But
for Westside devotees of Chang’s Michelinstarred portfolio (14 restaurants in cities
from Las Vegas to Sydney), his L.A. location
— a vast concrete hall tucked into an elusive
industrial courtyard — is a world away. “We
had a friends and family night,” he says. “And
all the rich guys from Brentwood and Santa
Monica were like, ‘Where the hell are we?’ ”
GROOMING BY SU HAN AT DEW BEAUTY AGENCY
T
“It’s important to build our
own relationship with the
city,” says Chang of his
emphasis on local produce
at Majordomo, where he
was photographed Jan. 26.
19
About Town
People, Places,
Preoccupations
Click Here for
A-List Divorce
Advice
1
2
‘Tears of Joy’
for Eagles Fans
Headed to
Super Bowl
4
3
By Rebecca Sun
ith the New England Patriots gunning
for their sixth Super Bowl and the
Philadelphia Eagles looking for their first
(after two losses — one to the Pats in 2005, 24-21),
it’s a banner year for such Birds fans as Bradley
Cooper, Kevin Hart, Savannah Guthrie and Oscar
nominee Kobe Bryant. “I might dye my hair green,”
says SEAL Team’s David Boreanaz, who plans
to share the Feb. 4 game via FaceTime with son
Jaden, who’s away at school. Maria Bello, who’ll
be watching in L.A. with her son, brother and
cousins, is leaving nothing to chance. “The deal
is we all have to wear the same gear as we did
last week [when the Eagles won the NFC title] and
sit in the same exact spots,” she says. “I am having pretzels, Utz potato chips and Tastykakes
shipped out from Philadelphia.”
Also making it a family affair will be WME’s
Richard Weitz, who is heading to Minneapolis with
his son, Aidan, as well as his brother, stylist
Andrew Weitz. Producer Mike Tollin promised his
son, Lucas, that if the Eagles ever returned to
the Super Bowl, they’d be there too: “So what if the
W
1 From left: Henry Salke, Ari Greenburg, Art Stern, Bert Salke,
Eagles legend Ron Jaworski, Richard Weitz and Fox Networks
Group’s Peter Rice celebrated the Eagles’ NFC win Jan. 21.
2 The Eagles fell to the Pats in 2005. 3 Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank
Stadium, which opened in 2016, hosts the Super Bowl. 4 Cooper.
game is in Minnesota in February and we have to
face the Evil Empire of Foxborough?” he asks. Fox
21 TV Studios’ Bert Salke also is taking his son.
“Henry and I are supremely committed,” he says.
“We’re very jokey about it, but it’s also
serious in that stupid way,” he says.
“At a certain point [during the NFC
game], Henry and I looked at each
other and started crying tears of joy.”
Bello
Although producer Jack Rapke
grew up a Miami Dolphins fan, he switched his allegiance when friend Jeffrey Lurie bought the
Eagles in 1994. The two will watch from the owner’s
box. Meanwhile, The Disaster Artist co-writer
Michael H. Weber, grounded in L.A. for Academy
Award nominee-related events, has a plan: “If
the Eagles win — when they win — I’m taking [head
coach] Doug Pederson with me to the Oscars. I
need his luck to rub off on me!”
Where to Pre- and Post-Game
Endeavor will host its first-ever, invite-only
Super Bowl lounge Feb. 1 to 3 (location under
wraps), with food, video games, spa treatments and nonstop barista service. … Before she rocks the
national anthem before the game, Pink takes the stage Feb. 2
at Nomadic Live at the Minneapolis Armory, where Jennifer
Lopez will headline AT&T and DirecTV Now’s Super Saturday
Night (streaming live for the first time) and Cardi B and more
will perform at the postgame Players Ball. … On Feb. 3, Jamie
Foxx hosts Big Game, Big Give, the charity bash that raised
more than $1 million in 2017, at the home of NovuHealth CEO
Tom Wicka, with DJ Diesel (aka Shaq) spinning. — BRIAN PORRECA
Party
Guide
Cardi B
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
20
Top: Pink. Bottom: A rendering of
plans for the Armory, where Imagine
Dragons will perform Feb. 1.
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
“I say to my clients, ‘The more you guys argue,
the more money I make,’ ” says Wasser.
but for a one-time membership
fee (from $750 up to $2,500),
it will provide access to videos of
Wasser explaining the terms and
timeline of the process along with
artificial intelligence help with
complicated forms. The site’s blog
also features her advice on everything from co-parenting during
the holidays (Wasser herself spent
Thanksgiving with her two sons
and their respective dads) to
dating while divorcing. Wasser’s
memo to Hollywood: “I’ve gone
to many of the big entertainment companies and said, ‘If you
have an employee who’s going
through a divorce, they’re not
going to be as productive as they
otherwise would be. Send them to
us.’ ” — ASHLEY CULLINS
WEITZ, NOMADIC: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. PATRIOTS: ANDY LYONS/GETTY IMAGES. STADIUM: ADAM BETTCHER/GETTY IMAGES. COOPER: CHRISTOPHER PETERSON/SPLASH NEWS. WASSER: GUERIN BLASK. BELLO: TIBRINA HOBSON/GETTY IMAGES. CARDI: GP IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES. PINK: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
Stars, reps and execs are pulling
out the stops for Philly’s underdogs
For Hollywood uncouplers like Angelina
Jolie, there are elite
family law attorneys like Laura
Wasser. For everyone else, Wasser
now has an online solution: It’s
Over Easy, launched Jan. 25.
(She’s not the first star-approved
attorney to leverage her expertise in the online space: Robert
Shapiro is a co-founder of referral
service RightCounsel, launched
in November, and of LegalZoom.)
It’s Over Easy won’t help you negotiate shared custody of the private
plane, for which top Hollywood
pros charge at least $750 an hour,
Legal
Brief
NETFLIX
PROUDLY CONGRATULATES
GRAMMY
AWARD
®
WINNER
DAVE
CHAPPELLE
BEST COMEDY ALBUM
THE AGE OF SPIN &
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
About Town
The Red Carpet
E
E
SIV
U
L
XC
Clive Davis’
Pre-Grammy Gala
New York, Jan. 27
Photographed by Miller Mobley
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
22
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
SET DESIGN BY SHAWN PATRICK ANDERSON AT ACME STUDIO.
Jay Z might have received
the Grammy Salute
to Industry Icons Award
at Clive Davis (6) and
the Recording Academy’s
annual Pre-Grammy
Gala, but the night really
belonged to the ladies.
Katie Couric (4) kicked
off the proceedings at the
Sheraton Times Square,
introducing the 85-year-old
Davis as “the original
American idol,” and Gladys
Knight (7), Alicia Keys
and Jennifer Hudson (5)
gave epic performances
before a room packed with
such luminaries as Quincy
Jones (10), Jamie Foxx,
Tina Fey, Martha Stewart,
Jerry Seinfeld, Ivana
Trump, Katie Holmes,
Andrew Lloyd Webber and
Sting. Knight joined Dear
Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt (1)
and Hamilton’s Leslie
Odom Jr. (3) in a Broadway
medley, then went solo with
“Stand by Me,” bringing
the crowd to its feet. Keys
performed piano renditions
of Jay Z chart-toppers,
and Barry Manilow (8),
Luis Fonsi (9), Migos,
Khalid and Logic (12) also
took the stage. Davis
announced that Hudson
had been handpicked
by Aretha Franklin to play
the icon in an upcoming biopic and, fittingly,
Hudson closed the
evening with an incendiary
performance of Franklin
hits, including “Respect.”
— MELINDA NEWMAN
Photographed Jan. 27
at the Sheraton New York
Times Square Hotel.
1 Ben Platt
2 John Legend
3 Leslie Odom Jr.
4 Katie Couric
5 Jennifer Hudson
6 Clive Davis
7 Gladys Knight
8 Barry Manilow
9 Luis Fonsi
10 Quincy Jones
11 Camila Cabello
12 Logic
3
5
7
9
8
10
4
1
2
6
11
Hear music superstars sound off on how their industry can respond to Time’s Up at THR.COM/VIDEO
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
23
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
12
About Town
The Red Carpet
Grammy Awards
New York, Jan. 28
2
From left: Grammy Awards producer
Ken Ehrlich, Philip Lawrence,
Bruno Mars and Neil Portnow
1
From left: Jay Z,
Blue Ivy Carter
and Beyonce
6
From left: Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper,
Kesha, Camila Cabello and Andra Day
8
5
Camila
Cabello
4
Dave Chappelle
Pink (right) and daughter
Willow Hart flanked Rihanna.
Party
Crawler
Grammys Get Woke
The 60th annual Grammy
Awards moved back to the
East Coast, where the
big winners included Bruno
Mars (2) and Kendrick
Lamar (9). The show took
on a strong political
tone with Lamar’s opener,
Logic’s performance of
his suicide-prevention hit,
Camila Cabello’s (5)
speech about rights for
Dreamers and Hillary
Clinton’s surprise reading
(via video) from Michael
Wolff’s Donald Trump
tell-all Fire and Fury. But
it was Kesha (6) who made
the biggest impact, leading an all-female rendition
of “Praying” that had the
Madison Square Garden
audience, including host
James Corden, in tears.
10
Atlantic Records’ Craig Kallman
and Julie Greenwald flanked Warner
Music Group’s Max Lousada.
11
Jody Gerson
and Big Sean
3
Swizz Beatz
and Alicia Keys
7
Lady
Gaga
— RAMONA SAVISS
9
Kendrick Lamar
CARTER: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS. CHAPPELLE: CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS. MARS: MICHAEL KOVAC/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS. CABELLO, KEYS, GAGA: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
REXHA,LAMAR: JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC. RIHANNA: NICHOLAS HUNT/GETTY IMAGES FOR NARAS. GREENWALS, GERSON, LEWIS, BORCHETTA: TODD WILLIAMSON/JANUARY IMAGES. DIPLO: JOHN LAMPARSKI/WIREIMAGE.
The Power of Music
Billboard’s Power 100
New York, Jan. 25
12
From left: Cara Lewis Group’s
Cara Lewis, MAC Present’s Marcie
Allen and UTA’s Natalia Nastaskin
13
14
Big Machine Records’
Scott Borchetta (left)
and Universal Music
Group’s Lucian Grainge
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Diplo
25
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Billboard celebrated
its seventh annual Power
100 list and kicked off
Grammy weekend with
industry luminaries at
Nobu Fifty Seven. “To be
more accurate, the Billboard
Power 163,” said
The Hollywood ReporterBillboard Media Group
president John Amato,
citing the total number of
music leaders honored.
Clive Davis presented the
Clive Davis Visionary
Award to Universal Music
Publishing Group CEO
Jody Gerson (11), whom he
referred to as “someone
who never loses sight of
what’s at the core of it all:
a great song.” Recording
Academy president Neil
Portnow (2) said he was
“a little bit emotional” as
the Grammys returned to
his hometown of New York,
while listmakers mingled
with top execs including
Irving Azoff, Def Jam
Records’ Paul Rosenberg,
Columbia Records’ Ron
Perry and CAA’s Rob Light.
Nabbing the exec of the
year award, Live Nation
president Michael Rapino
noted, “It’s a great time to
be in the music business.”
Other honorees included
Atlantic Records’ Julie
Greenwald (10) and Craig
Kallman (10), who took
home the label of the year
award. — FARNOUSH AMIRI
About Town
Black Panther
The Red Carpet
Hollywood, Jan. 29
Panther on Parade
2
Bob Iger (left) and
Chadwick Boseman
1
Ryan Coogler and
Lupita Nyong’o
4
Angela
Bassett
Black Panther got the royal
treatment with a purple
carpet fit for a king and the
Panther’s all-female bodyguards (the Dora Milaje)
standing watch. Futuristic
lighting and decor transformed Hollywood
Boulevard into the technologically advanced fictional
African nation of Wakanda.
Director Ryan Coogler (1)
and stars of Marvel Studios’
most diverse feature ever
— Chadwick Boseman (2),
Lupita Nyong’o (1), Angela
Bassett (4), Michael
B. Jordan (5) and Daniel
Kaluuya (3) — greeted
hordes of fans at the Dolby
Theatre and spoke about
the importance of the landmark film, the studio’s
first headlined by a black
superhero. “I hope people
will watch this movie and
see the hero in themselves,”
Boseman told THR. “Even
if it’s a white person who
sees it, if they could see a
black character and identify with them, it changes
society.” — AARON COUCH
3
From left: Alan Horn,
Alan Bergman
and Daniel Kaluuya
5
Michael B.
Jordan
ACE Eddie Awards
Beverly Hills, Jan. 26
8
6
Vince Gilligan
(left) and Breaking
Bad editor
Skip Macdonald
7
Mark
Goldblatt
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
26
Christopher
Nolan and
Emma Thomas
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
“I honestly believe I would
have a better chance
at landing a space shuttle
than operating an Avid,”
joked Vince Gilligan (6),
saluting his collaborators
in the editing room as he
accepted the Golden Eddie
at the 68th annual American
Cinema Editors Eddie
Awards at The Beverly
Hilton. Career achievement
honors were presented
to Oscar-nominated
editor Mark Goldblatt (7)
(The Terminator) and Leon
Ortiz-Gil (Law & Order).
Goldblatt stole the show
as he rallied the community to “be bold in your
editing. Be aggressive.
Be fierce and powerful.”
The evening’s big winners
were Dunkirk editor Lee
Smith and I, Tonya editor
Tatiana Riegel. Presenters
included Denis Villeneuve
and Edgar Wright.
Following the awards, the
celebration continued at
poolside afterparties that
went well past midnight.
— CAROLYN GIARDINA
NOLAN: MICHAEL TRAN/GETTY IMAGES. GILLIAN, GOLDBLATT: PETER ZAKHARY/TILT PHOTO. COOGLER, IGER, BASSETT, HORN: EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY IMAGES. JORDAN: NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES.
Editors Honored
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About Town
Heard Around Hollywood
How to (Nicely) Stalk a
Hamilton Star at Sundance
And the award for most gracious director goes to … Spielberg.
Rambling Reporter
By Chris Gardner
Spielberg’s Gracious Gift to the Director Nominees
Steven Spielberg’s The Post scored two Oscar nominations Jan. 23,
including noms for best picture and best actress for Meryl Streep.
Spielberg, however, was not among those named for best director, even
though he’d been pegged as a favorite to receive what would have been
his seventh nom in the category. (He has won twice: in 1999 for Saving
Private Ryan and in 1994 for Schindler’s List.) Still, the veteran filmmaker did not spend any time sulking, instead ensuring that the five
who did make the cut — Guillermo del Toro, Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig,
Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson — had the accoutrements
for a proper celebration: Multiple sources confirm that Spielberg
sent champagne and caviar to each nominee. Reps for Spielberg didn’t
respond to a request for comment.
The Marvelous Ms. Streisand
It’s not often that Barbra Streisand
allows her music to be used on
TV shows. But not all shows are
Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs.
Maisel, about a Jewish housewife
who becomes a stand-up comic
during the ’60s. Maisel received
the vocal legend’s blessing to use
two of her tracks in its first season. Her recording of “Come to
the Supermarket (in Old Peking),”
a little-known Cole Porter song,
was featured in the pilot. “It was
fun hearing an obscure song
from my first album,” Streisand
tells THR. But the performer says
she was surprised when creator
Amy Sherman-Palladino chose her
original rendition of “Happy
Days Are Here Again,” which was
recorded in 1963 not long after
Streisand
Two-time Oscar-nominated
documentarian Marshall Curry
was in Sundance for his short, A
Night at the Garden, and perhaps
the most memorable moments
of the festival were his multiple
encounters with Daveed Diggs.
Running into the Hamilton star
in a hotel lobby, Curry shyly asked
whether he could videotape a
greeting for his kids, who are fans
of the Broadway show. But Curry
accidentally “hit record twice,”
he says. “All I had was one second
of recording.” Later that day, the
filmmaker again ran into Diggs
— this time on the street — who
graciously shot another video,
except “I [didn’t] hit record at all
this time.” Five hours later at a
party with a friend, Curry spotted
Diggs in the room but couldn’t
bring himself to go up to him a
third time. Happily, the friend,
producer Davy Rothbart, did, and
Diggs finally self-recorded the
video. — BORYS KIT
When #OscarsSoWhite and
#MeToo Finally Meet
April Reign — creator of the
#OscarsSoWhite movement that
led to a more diverse Academy
— was at Sundance attending
The Black List’s Power Women
Cocktail on Jan. 20 at Hotel Park
City when she turned around to
see none other than Tarana Burke,
who launched the Me Too movement in 2006 and, with #MeToo
activists, carried the torch into
the social media era. Burke, who
Got tips? Email rambling@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
28
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Reign (left) and Burke at Sundance’s
Black List Power Woman Cocktail party.
was Michelle Williams’ plus-one
at the Golden Globes, says, “Our
work is connected in some ways,
and I supported #OscarsSoWhite
and watched the fallout that came
when it happened.” Adds Reign: “It
was a little surreal, you know, and
yet it felt really comfortable. We
gave each other the warmest hug.”
What It’s Like to Produce Your
12th Super Bowl Halftime Show
What’s the toughest part
of producing a Super Bowl halftime show? “Figuring how to
build a stage in eight minutes
and put on a show in front of
hundreds of millions of people,”
says executive producer Ricky
Kirshner. For this year’s Feb. 4
event in Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank
Stadium, Kirshner — who has
spearheaded every halftime show
since 2007 (with Prince) — has
Justin Timberlake, whose 2004
performance with Janet Jackson
met with controversy when he tore
the front of her costume, exposing her breast. “I think Justin said
this already when he agreed to
do the show — we are all moving
forward,” says the producer. As
to whether Timberlake’s former
*NSYNC bandmates will join him
onstage — speculation peaked
after the boy-banders dined
at L.A.’s Le Petit Paris on Jan. 27
— Kirshner sidesteps by saying:
“I don’t know if they bought tickets or not, so I can’t really answer
that question.” The veteran producer is known for not staying till
the end of the game. A Jersey
guy, he even missed the Giants’
2008 victory over the Patriots:
“I want to beat the traffic and get
out of there.”
BOTTLES, CAVIAR, CURTIAN, SHRUG, HAND: ISTOCK. BURKE: @FRANKLINLEONARD/TWITTER. SPIELBERG: SAMIR HUSSEIN/WIREIMAGE. BRAUN: AMANDA EDWARDS/WIREIMAGE. STREISAND: KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES.
RESTAURANT: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. CAREY: AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC. SIMMONS: COURTESY OF ZAC SIMMONS. FREEMAN: COURTESY OF JOSH FREEMAN. DOYLE: COURTESY OF DISNEY.
the nuclear threat of the Cuban
Missile Crisis. “My concept for
the ending [of the song] was
almost like saying, ‘My God, we
nearly came to the end of the
world!’ ” says Streisand. “But when
I heard the playback, it was too
traumatic. … Unfortunately, we
ran out of time and money to redo
it. I changed it immediately for
my live performances.” She adds,
“They must have thought that
wild, out-of-control finish captured Miriam Maisel’s conflicted
emotions. So be it.” — MARC MALKIN
Hitched, Hatched, Hired
Power Dining
Inside the industry’s celebrations and news
Carey
Braun
Bob Iger and Scooter
Braun grabbed coffee at
Brentwood Country
Mart’s Caffe Luxxe. Nearby,
Billy Bob Thornton
checked out Farmshop. …
Mary J. Blige celebrated
her Oscar noms with
dinner at TAO L.A. hosted
by Sean “Diddy” Combs
alongside friends Jay Z
and Beyonce, among others. … Jennifer Aniston
was with Amanda Anka at
Casa Vega. Mariah Carey
sat nearby. … Larry David
checked out Toscana. …
Bert Salke was with Lena
Waithe at Mr Chow. …
Scarlett Johansson and
George Takei stopped by
Kali, separately. … Michael
Fassbender and Alicia
Vikander were at Madeo.
2
1
Births
Zac Simmons,
NEW
HO T A N T
REST
AU R
Freedman’s
The Quick Pitch
A new-school Jewish deli
with a Kinfolk subscription, this tucked-away spot
in an otherwise grotty
Silver Lake strip mall is a
particular lure for Eastsideleaning members of
the tribe who believe the
epitome of the Chosen
People are the ladies of
Haim and the Pfeffermans
on Transparent.
The Inside Dish
There are newfangled
offerings (whitefish “cigars,”
trout roe popovers), but
the whole multigenerational
mishpachah will agree
on the arch-traditionalist
matzoh ball soup — served
in a Pyrex bowl, for full
homey-nostalgic effect —
and the guava cheesecake.
2619 Sunset Blvd.
— GARY BAUM
a TV literary
agent at Paradigm,
and Melissa
Aouate, Fabrik
Entertainment president, welcomed son
Sawyer Benjamin
Simmons on Jan. 15
at Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center in
Los Angeles.
1 Sawyer
Benjamin
Simmons
2 Freeman
(right) with
Isaac Hayes.
3 Silva
Kary McHoul Gatens
was named senior
vp unscripted
and current series
programming at
Freeform on Jan. 26.
Sarah Harden was
named CEO of Hello
Sunshine on Jan. 26.
3
Apple tapped comedy exec Dana Tuinier
for its worldwide
video unit Jan. 26.
Mia Ammer joined
Paramount Pictures
as vp corporate communications Jan. 26.
Patrick Menton
Warren Miller, the
filmmaker who paid
frequent homage to
downhill skiing,
died Jan. 24 on Orcas
Island in Washington
state. He was 93.
vp talent and production Jan. 25.
Connie Sawyer, an
Dick Clark
Productions named
Congrats
Mark Gordon was
named president and COO of
Entertainment
One on Jan. 29.
Laura Fuest Silva
Doyle
David George was
upped to CEO of ITV
America on Jan. 25.
Sundance director
of programming
Trevor Groth joined
30WEST on Jan. 29.
Ada Brown was
elevated to senior vp
U.S. business affairs
at Sony Pictures
Television on Jan. 22.
Veteran Hollywood
litigator Larry
Stein and his team
joined Russ August
& Kabat on Jan. 29.
to senior vp brand
development and
integrated planning
at Disney Channels
Worldwide on Jan. 25.
Olivia Cole, the
Emmy-winning
actress known for
Backstairs at the
29
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
actress who appeared
alongside everyone
from Sophie Tucker
to James Franco, died
Jan. 21 in Woodland
Hills. She was 105.
Deaths
Jennifer Rogers
Doyle was promoted
To submit, send email to hhh@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
joined CBS as vp
alternative programming Jan. 24.
Robert Arthur, the
music coordinator on
The Ed Sullivan Show
who tweaked the lyrics to “Let’s Spend
the Night Together”
so The Rolling Stones
could perform on the
program, died Jan. 21
in L.A. He was 89.
Showtime Networks
promoted Stephen
Espinoza to president
of sports and
event programming
Jan. 24.
White House and
Roots, died Jan. 19 of
a heart attack in San
Miguel de Allende,
Mexico. She was 75.
Joel Freeman, a producer on Shaft and
The Heart Is a Lonely
Hunter, died Jan. 21
in Sherman Oaks. He
was 95.
Composer John
Morris, who earned
Oscar noms for
Blazing Saddles and
The Elephant Man,
died Jan. 25 in Red
Hook, New York. He
was 91.
About Town
Yes, I Did Say That!
Quotes
A look at who’s saying what in entertainment
Compiled by Seth Abramovitch
“Women in music
don’t need to ‘step
up’ – women have been
stepping since the
beginning of time.”
PINK
The singer, tweeting a handwritten response to
Recording Academy president Neil Portnow’s remarks
about the lack of female Grammy nominees
and how women must “step up” in the industry.
REESE WITHERSPOON
The actress, tweeting
about the Vanity Fair Hollywood
Issue photo-editing snafu
that gave her a third leg on the
magazine’s cover.
“If my defense of
Woody Allen
offends you, it’s real
simple. Unfollow.
Condemn. Move on.”
“I see good in
everybody.
I saw something
good in Hitler.”
ALEC BALDWIN
The actor, questioning on
Twitter allegations of
child molestation against the
director by his daughter,
Dylan Farrow, whom Baldwin
compared to Mayella,
the rape accuser in To Kill
a Mockingbird.
ERYKAH BADU
The singer, telling Vulture that
even the Nazi leader had
some redeeming qualities, like
being “a wonderful painter.”
“On an almost
weekly basis, she
was required
to take dictation
of emails
from him while
he was naked.”
“Would someone
please tell Sarah
Huckabee Sanders
to stop dressing
like a sister wife.”
CHER
SANDEEP REHAL
VS. HARVEY WEINSTEIN
The singer, in a tweet criticizing
the fashion choices of the
White House press secretary.
HILL’S
GRAMMY
NIGHT
TRUMP
THUMP
The complaint, filed in New York
federal court by the disgraced
film mogul’s former assistant,
details a pattern of “pervasive
and severe” sexual hostility.
Hillary Clinton’s Fire and Fury reading at the
Grammys set Twitter aflame. Bill O’Reilly called it
a “major mistake,” while U.N. ambassador Nikki
Haley sniped, “Don’t ruin great music with trash.”
But Despicable Me producer John Cohen thought
Clinton “won all the Grammys” with the cameo.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
SUZANNE SOMERS
The Three’s Company star,
after praising President
Trump to TMZ’s cameras.
Said Somers, “I’m
happy the economy’s doing
so much better.”
30
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
“Another satisfied
customer.”
MARK HAMILL
The Last Jedi actor, tweeting
his reaction to porn star
Stormy Daniels after she posted
“Fuck you Rian Johnson”
in a rant against the director of
the latest Star Wars installment.
(She hated the movie.)
PINK: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. BALDWIN: ROY ROCHLIN/FILMMAGIC. CHER: KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/GETTY IMAGES. HAMILL: CHRISTOPHER JUE/GETTY IMAGES FOR DISNEY. CLINTON: VIVIEN KILLILEA/GETTY IMAGES FOR TEEN VOGUE.
“Well … I guess
everybody knows
now … I have
3 legs. I hope you
can still accept me
for who I am.”
“And now my
career is over!”
OUT OF FOUR STARS
The Business
Moguls
Is Lionsgate’s Chief Finally Ready to Sell?
Jon Feltheimer has for years been a buyer, most recently of Starz, but as Disney and AT&T bulk up and potential suitors swirl,
his mini-studio could prove irresistible for a giant like Verizon or even the Murdochs By Etan Vlessing and Georg Szalai
W
ill the M&A brushfire raging
through Hollywood soon engulf
Lionsgate? Deal chatter grew louder
Jan. 24 when the mini-studio’s vice chairman Michael Burns said on CNBC that he’s
“very interested” in consolidation. So is the
company predator or prey in 2018?
So far, Wall Street observers haven’t quite
made up their minds. “His point is Lionsgate
has preserved its agility — they can be a
buyer and seller,” says Macquarie analyst Amy
Yong. Still, a large pool of potential suitors
circle, led by Verizon, Amazon and Comcast,
plus a likely combined version of CBS and
Viacom and even the Murdochs’ pared-down
21st Century Fox, looking to rebuild after
selling most of itself to The Walt Disney Co.
Certainly, Disney’s potential $52.4 billion
deal for the Fox assets and AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner are weighing
on Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer as scale
becomes a priority for traditional media players to compete with such giants as Amazon,
Netflix and Apple. “It almost makes you realize that urgency has dawned on them,” notes
CFRA Research analyst Tuna Amobi.
But this isn’t the first time Lionsgate has
been touted as a takeover target, only to
be left at the altar. In 2017, toy giant Hasbro
looked at buying Lionsgate, but the companies couldn’t agree on a price. That
left Feltheimer, 66, looking longingly at the landscape, say sources.
Since taking over the Vancouverand Santa Monica-based company
Feltheimer
in 2000, he has cobbled together
a diversified film and TV studio, spending
more than $5 billion on acquisitions — $4.4 billion for Starz, $413 million for Summit
Entertainment, $220 million for Artisan,
Illustration by Matt Collins
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
34
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
$50 million for Trimark and $27 million
for Debmar-Mercury. The studio even made
a recent play for The Weinstein Co. assets
(though it’s not said to be in the final mix).
But now Feltheimer and media mogul
John Malone, whose companies own a stake
in Lionsgate, appear more receptive to pulling the trigger on an outright sale. Malone
already sold shares of the studio’s surging
stock in late December. “I have always thought
that Lionsgate is a fund sweeping up loose,
smaller film and TV assets that would eventually find it impossible to find enough targets
to grow significantly larger via this strategy
— at which time it would itself be willingly
acquired,” says Hal Vogel, former entertainment industry analyst and now CEO of Vogel
Capital Management. “They might have now
reached that point.”
And a recent hot streak in film and TV
Lionsgate’s Rising Fortunes
The mini-major saw its shares gain 26 percent in 2017
$35
On Jan. 26,
Lionsgate hit
a 52-week
high of $35.52
30
25
Jan. 1, Feb. Mar. Mar. May June June Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. 2,
2017 1
1
29
1
1 30 1
1
2
1
1 2018
FELTHEIMER: EARL GIBSON III/GETTY IMAGES. BURNS: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES.
Source: Yahoo Finance
could grease the wheels. As major studios
have focused on big-budget franchise tentpoles, Lionsgate, which concluded its Hunger
Games series in 2015, has rebounded with
several midbudget hits, including La La Land
($446 million worldwide on a $30 million budget), the Julia Roberts drama Wonder
($265 million on a $20 million budget) and the
John Wick movies. Lionsgate’s TV arm, led by
chairman Kevin Beggs, has seen
scripted programming revenue
skyrocket in recent years on the
strength of the shows it produces,
including Orange Is the New Black,
Burns
Nashville, Greenleaf and Dear
White People. Such a prolific output could be
appealing to Shari Redstone, whose Viacom
networks have struggled to create hits, or to
the Murdochs, who are selling their 20th
TV studio to Disney. In addition, Starz, which
Lionsgate picked up in December 2016, gave
the company a premium cable channel with
25 million paid subscribers and a 1 millionsub streaming service. With Netflix and Hulu
only getting bigger in the streaming space,
and Apple and Facebook muscling into TV and
film, the market now sees Lionsgate as a hot
takeout candidate. “Also, do not forget that
John Malone is a key player here,” notes Vogel,
“and he may have some financial engineering
ideas in mind.”
Besides sitting in Feltheimer’s boardroom,
Malone, 76, holds voting control of Liberty
Media and Liberty Global and has big stakes
in Discovery Communications as well as
Lionsgate. He could move to consolidate his TV
holdings in the face of fast-growing competition from the streamers. “You really need scale
and reach today as well as production capacity,” says Piper Jaffray analyst Stan Meyers.
“If they [Lionsgate] don’t get acquired, their
natural move is to grow themselves.”
Lionsgate, with a current market cap of
about $7 billion, would still be a relatively
small content play for companies like Verizon,
Comcast or Amazon. Which could make it
even more attractive. As Burns said on CNBC,
“We’re a pint-sized bite for some of these
giant market cap companies … so we would
talk to anybody at any time and see if a deal
makes sense.”
Apple and Netflix: A Perfect Marriage
The first trillion-dollar company? There’s sound business sense behind the tech giant
swinging for the fences and buying the streaming platform By Ben Weiss
pple is the most dynamic and profitable concompete for sports rights, nonscripted event
sumer products company in the world, and
programming and a wider variety of films and TV
Netflix is the most innovative entertainment
shows. Not only would Apple turbocharge
company. If they got together, the combined entity
the worldwide penetration of Netflix’s global
would be an even bigger juggernaut.
subscriber base and build a library of long-tail intelThe idea of Apple acquiring Netflix has taken
lectual property assets, it would become beloved
on new heat as the former prepares to repatriate
by consumers for delivering an elegant, easy and
up to roughly $245 billion in overseas cash thanks
comprehensive entertainment solution.
to the new U.S. tax policy. Wall Street has made
The second reason for Apple to acquire Netflix
good arguments for Apple’s rationale for the deal:
can be distilled into two words: Reed Hastings.
Apple could get immediate scale in preIn 1997, a $40 late fee from Blockbuster for
mium video, increase its high-multiple
Apollo 13 set Hastings’ dexterous, brilliant
Guest
services revenue, become less dependent
mind spinning: There had to be a better
Column
on the iPhone, reduce its exposure to the
way. Twenty years later, against great odds,
mercurial Chinese market and guarantee
he has transformed the global entertainthat Netflix does not fall into the hands of archrivals
ment industry and built one of the most valuable
Google or Amazon. All of these arguments are
companies on Earth. Executive talent of his caliber
persuasive. Allow me to offer two more reasons that comes along once in a generation.
are rarely discussed:
By acquiring Netflix, Apple would get Hastings,
First, by acquiring Netflix, Apple would hand
the equivalent of signing Muhammad Ali to
consumers around the world a giant win. As the
fight for your team. Turning Hastings loose inside
linear television model breaks down, people are
Apple, potentially as the next CEO, would be a
increasingly forced to pay for and navigate a
lollapalooza for consumers and shareholders alike.
hodgepodge of different digital content services.
Apple already is seeking to create shows for its
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Now,
own service, entering the scripted genre with
CBS All Access — these create complexity and
plans to spend $1 billion in its first year. Hastings
aggravation. People want their entertainment
and his team could help provide the guidance
experiences to be simple and fun, not time-conApple needs.
suming and frustrating.
An Apple-Netflix marriage may be a fantasy
Apple has the resources to dramatically expand
dreamed up by the media, hyped by bankers and
the variety of Netflix’s content offering, thereby
indulged by doe-eyed shareholders like myself.
allowing Netflix to meet the entertainment needs
But great stories never die; maybe the end of this
of more consumers. More people could find more
one has yet to be written.
of what they want to watch on Netflix without having to search through a litany of other apps. With
Ben Weiss is chief investment officer at
Apple’s $268.7 billion in cash on hand, Netflix could
8th & Jackson Capital Management.
A
A Combined Apple-Netflix Versus the World
If Apple were to buy Netflix, it would create a behemoth new-media company unrivaled in history — worth
nearly $1 trillion. So dominant would the entity be (generating north of $240 billion in sales each year)
that the prospect of a merger would attract all kinds of scrutiny from consumer groups, not to mention the
government regulators who’d be charged with approving such a transaction.
Apple-Netflix
Alphabet
(Google)
Amazon
Facebook
Disney
$540B
Market cap
$977B
Market cap
$1T
$123B Netflix
$800B
$600
$854B Apple
$400
$819B
Market cap
$683B
Market cap
$200
Market cap
Revenue
Revenue
Revenue
Revenue
Revenue
$241B
$90B
$136B
$28B
$55B
Source: Company filings, Yahoo Finance, THR research. Revenue figures reflect latest full-year financial disclosures.
Illustration by Stephen Collins
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
$168B
35
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
THOSE NEW ACADEMY MEMBERS
— DID THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Oscar voters may include more international filmmakers, women and people of color than ever, but that might not have
affected the outcome of this year’s nominations that, for all their diversity, held few surprises By Gregg Kilday
O
fficials at the Academy
of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences breathed
a huge sigh of relief
when the nominations for the
90th Oscars were unveiled Jan. 23.
A reprise of #OscarsSoWhite,
the worst-case scenario that they
had feared, was averted when
four black actors were nominated.
Diversity was on display in other
categories as well — especially
among the directors, with noms
for The Shape of Water’s Guillermo
del Toro, Get Out’s Jordan Peele
and Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig.
The cinematographers branch
made history by nominating its
first woman — Mudbound’s
Rachel Morrison. And Dee Rees of
Mudbound became the first black
woman nominated in the adapted
screenplay category.
April Reign, who coined
#OscarsSoWhite in 2015, cautioned that the issues the hashtag
raised still need to be addressed.
“Until we can get to a point
where we are no longer talking
about firsts and we can no longer
count contributions to a specific
category by a traditionally underrepresented community on our
fingers, we still have work to do,”
she said. But she also allowed,
“I do believe some of the things we
are seeing this year are a direct
result of the Academy becoming
more diverse.”
That’s also the view inside the
Academy, which has made a
concerted effort to recruit more
women, people of color and international filmmakers, inviting
more than 1,400 new members
in the past two years to a group
that now totals 7,258 active
voting members.
But did that outreach really
make a difference? Since the
numbers aren’t revealed, no one
knows how many of the members,
old and new, actually participated in the nominating process.
And the noms, rather than
embracing unexpected, out-ofthe-box choices, largely reflected
the awards season consensus.
The directing noms, for example, closely approximated the
choices announced earlier by the
Directors Guild — they included
Dunkirk’s Christopher Nolan
and made just one substitution,
replacing Martin McDonagh
(Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,
Missouri) with Paul Thomas
Anderson (Phantom Thread). Not
surprisingly, the two groups
aren’t that demographically different. The Academy estimates
28 percent of its members are
women (compared with 23.4 percent of the DGA), while 13 percent
are people of color (the DGA’s share
is 10.8 percent).
Turning to the acting categories, the Academy’s picks largely
echoed the SAG Awards noms
announced nearly a month before
Oscar balloting began. SAG and
the Academy agreed on 15 out of
20 slots across the four acting
categories: While Shape’s Octavia
Spencer joined the list, four of
the Oscar nominees who bumped
SAG’s choices — Phantom’s Daniel
Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville,
The Post’s Meryl Streep and All the
Money in the World’s Christopher
Plummer — came from the three
movies that didn’t begin screening for voters until just before
Illustration by James Fosdike
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
36
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
their year-end releases, well after
SAG had kicked off its own balloting. So while they didn’t make
an impression on SAG-AFTRA
voters, they registered on the
Academy radar.
But what about all those new
international folks? “Sounds to
me like there were a lot more Brits
voting,” theorizes one awards consultant, pointing to the eight noms
for Dunkirk and the six each for
Darkest Hour and Phantom. (That
last film may have been directed
by Anderson, an American, but it’s
British to the core.)
The problem with that theory
is that there have always been
plenty of Anglophiles within the
Academy. And while the BAFTA
noms did show a slight hometown preference for Darkest Hour
(giving Kristin Scott Thomas,
who plays Winston Churchill’s
wife, a supporting actress nom
and composer Dario Marianelli a
music nom), they didn’t reward
Phantom with a directing or best
picture nom.
The influence of international
filmmakers may have helped
Agnes Varda earn a documentary
citation for Faces Places, her
idiosyncratic tour of the South of
France, since her film, for all its
acclaim, wasn’t nominated by the
Producers Guild or the DGA. But
if international filmmakers now
represent a growing block within
the Academy, they failed to push
through a nom for In the Fade’s
Diane Kruger even though she was
Cannes’ best actress winner.
As the Academy continues to
push for more diversity, the nominations in future years could
take on a more dramatically different complexion. But that
will depend on changes that the
industry itself, not its awards
body, must make.
In Baby Driver, “all the sounds were pitched and timed to work
with the music,” including engine revs and police sirens, says
Slater. Below: Baby’s maneuvers helped him evade police.
FLOORING IT TO A MUSICAL BEAT
T
he kinetic opening of Edgar Wright’s
Baby Driver, with The Jon Spencer Blues
Explosion’s “Bellbottoms” playing on its
soundtrack, had to accomplish a lot: quickly
introduce the characters; set up the geography
of a bank heist and the car chase that follows;
and tell the audience exactly what to expect —
synchronicity of sound and picture, in service
of a musical action film. That it did so successfully is reflected by its Oscar nominations for
film editing, sound editing and sound mixing.
The sound design starts right at the beginning, at the sight of the Sony logo. “Its ‘ping’
was repitched so it goes into a tinnitus
tone [since getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort)
suffers from tinnitus] that stays constant,”
explains supervising sound editor, designer
and rerecording mixer Julian Slater, “and
we pitched that so the tinnitus
is in the same key as composer
Steven Price’s strings. Out of the
strings you hear the breaks squeal
Slater
on a close-up of the car’s wheel,
which turns into the beginning
of ‘Bellbottoms.’ ”
Meanwhile, editors Paul
Machliss and Jonathan Amos saw
to the character intros. “Baby
Machliss
seems quiet” when the robbers
pull up to the bank, but once they go inside,
“he suddenly comes to life and is overtaken by
the music track,” Machliss says, adding that
just as quickly, he snaps back into “professional mode” as the carefully choreographed
chase begins.
When the crew filmed the segment on an
Atlanta freeway, Wright, Machliss and other
key sound contributors were strapped into an
accompanying vehicle. And since all the music
was cleared before shooting started, Machliss
had every track — alongside previsualization
animations of what each scene should look
like — on his Avid editing system when he sat
down to begin assembling footage.
Coordination was key. When Elgort’s Baby
drives alongside two similar red cars and then
switches position under an overpass to give
the slip to a helicopter in pursuit, the moment
when he’s unseen from above allowed for only
nine to 10 bars of music. “We had to make
sure we were out of the tunnel by the time the
music got to that moment,” Machliss notes.
“The music was fixed, so you couldn’t just
make a shot longer or shorter.”
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BABY: COURTESY OF TRISTAR PICTURES INC. (2). SLATER, MACHLISS: COURTESY OF SUBJECT.
Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver earned Oscar noms for its film editing, sound editing
and mixing, which together give the film its propulsive start By Carolyn Giardina
357 West 17th StreetWest Chelsea,
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$29,500,000 BeG)XOO)ORRU0DVWHU | Bath
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CalBRE 01750717. Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject
WRHUURUVRPLVVLRQVFKDQJHVLQSULFHFRQGLWLRQVDOHRUZLWKGUDZZLWKRXWQRWLFH7RUHDFKWKH&RPSDVVPDLQRƅFHFDOO
Style
Jewelry
All That
Glitters Is
Green
Oscar nominees — from
Greta Gerwig to Margot Robbie
to Saoirse Ronan — are dazzling
in emeralds and other enviable
gems this awards season
By Carol McColgin
Photographed by Joseph Shin
David Webb
Emerald cocktail ring
(15.84 carats) with
brilliant-cut diamonds and
black enamel set in
18-karat gold and platinum.
Get Out’s Allison Williams
has rocked the brand’s
emeralds on the red carpet.
$285,000, at David Webb,
Beverly Hills
Tiffany & Co.
Green tourmaline
and diamond bracelet
set in platinum from
the 2017 Extraordinary
Colors of Tiffany
Collection; price upon
request, tiffany.com
PROP STYLING BY DAPHNA GUTTIN
Jacob & Co.
High Jewelry Collection
Colombian Emerald ring
(8.96 carats) with diamonds
set in 18-karat yellow
and white gold; $600,000, at
Jacob & Co., 212-719-5887
Style
Jewelry
Chopard
High Jewelry Collection
emerald earrings
(totaling 33.32 carats)
set in 18-karat white
gold; $559,130, at
Chopard boutiques,
800-246-7273
Asprey
Emerald and diamond
“Figure Eight” necklace;
$251,000, at Asprey,
Beverly Hills and New York
Cartier
Panthere de Cartier High
Jewelry bracelet with
a cushion-shaped peridot
(79.89 carats), emeralds,
onyx and diamonds;
price upon request, by
appointment only at
select Cartier stores,
800-227-8437
David Webb
Emerald, brilliant-cut diamond and black
enamel necklace set in 18-karat gold
and platinum; Saoirse Ronan wore the
jeweler’s earrings with emeralds in November.
$78,500, at David Webb, Beverly Hills
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
42
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Style
Design
Lenny Kravitz Designed This
$38 Million Rock ’n’ Roll Lair
On a private promontory over the Sunset Strip, a residence sings with
the modern and 1970s funk influences of the musician-designer,
who says creating interiors is ‘just like music — Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix,
Led Zeppelin — so many things have given me energy’ By Peter Kiefer
L
enny Kravitz received a com-
mission to design his first
Los Angeles residence in the
most Hollywood of ways: during
a car chase. The multihyphenate
(Grammy-winning rocker, hit
producer of artists like Madonna,
Hunger Games star and 2015 Super
Bowl halftime performer with
Katy Perry) was on Santa Monica
Boulevard in Beverly Hills when a
BMW M-5 started barrelling after
him. The driver “made all kinds
of maneuvers to get to me and
had his head through the passenger window trying to speak to me
while driving,” recalls Kravitz,
52, shaking his head in disbelief.
In pursuit was top real estate
agent Branden Williams, who — in
the process of launching a real
estate development firm — had
been researching the musician’s
design work the night before. “I
was heading down Crescent Drive
and saw a profile of this really
cool-looking black dude with
dreadlocks in a Mercedes,” says
Williams. “I went, ‘Holy shit, I’ve
got to talk to him!’ ”
Williams finally got Kravitz to
pull over and listen to his proposal — to design the interiors
of a house he was building in
Hollywood — and the end results
of the only-in-L.A. encounter are
dazzling. Above the Sunset
Strip, not far from where Kravitz
performed such hits as “It Ain’t
Over Till It’s Over” and “Fly Away”
at the Viper Room during the
1990s, sits the Stanley House,
a 10,500-square-foot residence.
The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home — which Williams
developed with his business
partners, including wife Rayni,
Matt Lyons of Lyons Development
and Jason Somers of Crest Real
Estate — comes with a price tag
of $38 million and, unsurprisingly, some serious leather-pants
swagger. The Stanley House exterior — designed in midcentury
modern style by L.A.-based architectural firm XTEN Architects
— sits atop a private promontory
above a steep, winding drive and
is surrounded by a Hawaiian
lava-rock waterfall, tropical landscaping, an infinity pool and a
breathtaking 280-degree view.
Once inside, however, it’s
all Lenny. Like his music, which
Rolling Stone has described
as “anachronistic, soul-inflected,
’60s-style rock for the ’90s”
(Kravitz has sold about 40 million
albums worldwide), the interiors
Photographed by Joe Schmelzer
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
44
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
1 “I call it soulful elegance — it’s elegant, sophisticated and at the same time very inviting, comfortable
and warm,” says Kravitz, photographed Jan. 22 at The Stanley House in L.A., of the master suite, which
features a version of the vintage leather bed frame found in John Lautner’s iconic Sheats-Goldstein
residence. 2 The patio and infinity pool. 3 A bar/entertainment room with a floor-to-ceiling flat-screen
television. Says Kravitz, “What’s wonderful about it is it doesn’t feel cavernous.” 4 The Stanley House
has four levels that start with a lower garage (one of two), which is large enough to hold 15 cars. Notes
Kravitz, “I meant this house to be sold to somebody who has a family or to a baller who wants to party.”
2
1
3
are a mashup of sleek modernist, midcentury and 1970s funk
influences. “There are so many
things, pieces and designers
that have given me energy,” says
Kravitz. “It’s just like music
— Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Led
Zeppelin. There’s always something you get from these great
artists. It’s the same thing.”
Oscar-nominated costume
designer and stylist Arianne
Phillips — whose friendship with
Kravitz dates back to the 1980s,
when they were both living in
New York City’s SoHo neighborhood — says Kravitz’s design
passion always has been evident.
“Lenny has a deep appreciation
for 20th century and midcentury
architecture but has also been
influenced by futurism, which
makes his work modern,” she says.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
“He is definitely rooted in the
design of the ’60s and the ’70s but
has a very forward sensibility.”
Kravitz’s Stanley House is reminiscent of iconic architect John
Lautner’s geometric-glam SheatsGoldstein residence — only
with heated floors, a fingerprint
I.D. security system and nearly
$2 million in Vitrocsa’s retractable, seamless glass doors.
“The whole first floor connects
with the kitchen and living room.
The way it opens up, it doesn’t feel
like you’re getting disconnected,”
says Kravitz. His stamp is most
visible in a sultry downstairs bar/
entertainment room that features
a rich suede sectional. As in any
good rock lair, the plush seating
areas are accentuated with strong,
masculine colors — gold, bronze
and tangerine.
Fire and water features as well
as lavish finishes populate the
house, with colosseum travertine floors, white marble kitchen
countertops, dark oak paneling in
the study and leathered travertine in the showers. At the top of
the floating staircase are several
bedrooms, including the master
suite with floor-to-ceiling retractable windows.
45
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Until now, the 14-year-old
Kravitz Design firm, headquartered in New York with eight
employees, has focused on hospitality and condominium buildings
in Miami (the waterfront highrise Paramount Bay Condos), New
York (the minimalist-glam 75
Kenmare building with private car
elevators), Las Vegas (trendy SLS
Las Vegas) and Toronto (the hip
Bisha hotel). But the Stanley
House gives Kravitz’s firm a foray
into L.A.’s white-hot luxury real
estate market.
Though Stanley House may
be his first project in L.A., Kravitz
hardly needs an introduction
to the city. As an 11-year old, he
4
Style
Design
1
2
3
in adulthood buying, designing
and flipping multiple houses.
(He currently owns homes in the
Bahamas, Paris and Brazil and has
previously owned in New Orleans,
Miami and New York.) “I began to
get places, do them up and sell
them, and finally I realized, ‘I can’t
keep doing this — it’s becoming a
sickness,’ ” he says. “So I started
a company and decided to do
it for other people. That’s how
it started.”
After launching his firm in
2003, Kravitz got a boost from
French designer Philippe
Starck, who commissioned a
1 “Either I want to be in Malibu by the beach,
or I’m gonna be here looking at the city,” says
Kravitz of the indoor-outdoor dining space.
2 A stuffed peacock anchors a reading nook.
3 The master bathroom offers an outdoor
patio seating area.
reinterpretation of his popular
Mademoiselle chair, a minibench-like seat with Lucite legs.
Design projects continued
to roll in, from high-end luxury
brands like Leica cameras and
Les Artisans de Geneve (for whom
Kravitz created a one-off Rolex
timepiece), to a home collection
for Crate & Barrel’s lower-priced
chain CB2. Kravitz attributes his
ease with both luxury and more
affordable brands to a DIY spirit
that was inculcated when he was
in his 20s in Manhattan, where he
would rehab furniture found on
the streets. For CB2, Kravitz has
been designing a 1970s-inspired
furniture and decor line that
includes tables, chairs, lamps,
rugs and pillows. CB2 managing
director Ryan Turf says the CB2 x
Kravitz Design collection has been
“extremely successful” since it
launched in 2013.
With perhaps one of the most
versatile CVs around, Kravitz,
who is recording a new album
set to drop this year, has redefined what a multihyphenate can
accomplish. But to him, it’s all
the same. “In music, all of those
elements — a drum, keyboard,
trumpet, a vocal — those are furnishings, those are walls, those
are shapes. And you continue to
build on that palette until you
feel it’s complete,” he says, adding: “How do you know when
there’s enough there? You know
when it’s done because something tells you that it’s done. You
feel the space.”
The Greatest Hits of Kravitz Design
↓ Customized Rolex Daytona
Artisans de Geneve asked Kravitz to
reimagine the watch; he created a version
with a military cuff leather strap ($46,933).
← CB2 x Kravitz
↓ SLS South Beach, Miami
Design Media
Console
The glossy white
lacquered
Changes piece,
with four
stainless steel
cabinet doors
featuring a
diagonal bands
illusion pattern,
contains
two removable
shelves ($999).
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
For the hotel, Kravitz designed two penthouses,
which offer a “luxurious yet approachable
atmosphere that invites you to relax,” says SBE’s
Michele Caniato ($3,500/night).
↑ 75 Kenmare, New York City
Kravitz’s company is creating interiors for
the Nolita luxury building under construction
(condos: $1.7 million to $12 million).
46
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
GROOMING BY SU HAN AT DEW BEAUTY AGENCY. WATCH: COURTESY OF DONOVAN PUBLIC RELATIONS. CB2: DAMIAN RUSSELL. KENMARE: DOUGLAS ELLIMAN DEVELOPMENT MARKETING. SLS: COURTESY OF SLS.
moved from New York to SoCal
after his mother, actress Roxie
Roker, landed a role on the CBS
sitcom The Jeffersons, which ran
from 1975 to 1985. His parents,
including his television producer
father Sy Kravitz, bought a house
in Baldwin Hills, located in south
L.A.’s Crenshaw district. “Once
my mom started making some
bread, we bought our first house, a
midcentury modern, glass-sided,
beautiful ranch house,” recalls
Kravitz. “It was the first time I’d
ever seen anything like that other
than on television. That was my
first big impression of Los Angeles
and where I learned so much
about interiors and architecture.”
Kravitz, who is the father of Zoe
Kravitz — the 29-year-old star of
the much-awarded HBO series
Big Little Lies — with actress Lisa
Bonet, credits his parents with
being his first role models of
style: “They expressed themselves
through their fashion, through
their apartments, through the
way they lived,” he says.
Kravitz attended Beverly Hills
High School, which also exposed
him to architectural gems lived
in by his affluent classmates.
Homes designed by Paul Williams,
Lautner and Brazilian architect
Oscar Niemeyer all made impressions, but he credits Venice
Beach-based designer Lenny
Steinberg, whose look embraces
massive organic pieces and angular lines, with having an oversized
impact. “To this day, her influence
is still in me very deeply,” he says.
Such design adulation led to
an “obsession” that had Kravitz
CO N G R AT U L AT I O N S
A FI
O N
CO N S E RVATO RY
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By Seth Abramovitch
Photographed by
Adam Amengual
A
C O M I C
I N
Eight months after torching her career
(and friendship with Anderson Cooper)
via a not-so-funny photo of a decapitated
Donald Trump, Kathy Griffin is holed up in
her Bel Air mansion, talking to the FBI,
trying to figure out what happened and
pondering a potential comeback: ‘When you’re
a woman, you get one fuckup and it’s over’
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
48
E X I L E
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
“I’m imperfect as fuck.
I admit it,” says Griffin,
photographed Jan. 24
at her home in L.A.
Styling by
Jonny Lichtenstein
Vince sweater.
Griffin’s $10.5 million Bel Air estate —
complete with an elevator, movie theater and
infinity pool — was purchased with cash.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
PREVIOUS SPREAD: HAIR BY CHARLES BAKER STRAHAN AT CROSBY CARTER MANAGEMENT. MAKEUP BY MANDY O’HANLON FOR HOURGLASS COSMETICS. MANICURE BY DEBBIE LEAVITT. THIS SPREAD: AERIAL: FPX/SPLASH NEWS.
To get to Kathy Griffin’s home, you
need to pass through a series of
gates. The first, an imposing barrier at the entrance to a private
community in a secluded Bel
Air canyon, is manned by three
stone-faced guards who check
your ID and glare suspiciously
into your eyes before waving you
in. Then you find yourself wheeling around a maze of manicured,
British-sounding streets —
Stonehenge Lane and Cardigan
Court — until you arrive at a
slightly smaller gate, where you
press a speaker button in order
to gain admittance. Finally, you
spot the redheaded comic —
all 5-foot-3 and 106 pounds of
her — standing at the doorway
of an enormous Mediterraneanstyle mansion that looks like
it would be right at home on a
Tuscan cliff.
“Welcome to my fuck-you
house,” she announces.
Kathy Griffin, 57, shares the
13,000-square-foot residence
with her 39-year-old boyfriend
and tour manager, Randy Bick,
and, during the day, a small
staff of male assistants (“I like
the idea of only having male
employees,” she notes). It has
nine bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. There’s an elevator, a
12-car garage, an infinity pool
with jaw-dropping views, a
movie theater (her “gays” are coming by shortly to watch I, Tonya)
and eclectic decor (including a
portrait of Griffin painted by convicted murderer Erik Menendez,
a fan, who sent it to her from
prison). She is more than happy
to disclose that the house cost
her $10.5 million, which she paid
in cash a year and a half ago,
and that Kim Kardashian and
Kanye West used to live next
door. The splurge was a gesture
of defiance: Look, Hollywood,
at what this perpetual outsider
and self-described D-lister,
a woman who built a thriving
comedy career by mercilessly
mocking celebrities, has accomplished with nothing but her
own mouth and a microphone.
The double-gated 24-hour
security was a nice bonus to the
property, but at the time she
pretty much took it for granted.
Not anymore. Not since The
Photo. Now those gates are the
only things letting Griffin sleep
at night.
To recap: On May 30, 2017, a
hastily and recklessly conceived
photograph of Griffin holding
up an effigy of a decapitated
Donald Trump’s head started circulating online. Almost instantly,
the backlash sent her life into a
tailspin. She was abandoned in
droves by longtime friends, terrorized with death threats from
Trump supporters and targeted
by federal agents investigating
whether she should be charged
with conspiracy to assassinate
the president of the United
States (after two months, they
decided the answer was no).
Griffin watched as overnight her
lucrative comedy career — with
virtually zero overhead, her
grueling concert schedule was
bringing in millions annually
— fell apart as venue after venue
canceled dates on her crosscountry tour and talk shows
refused to book her. Despite frantic attempts at damage control
— posting a desperate-sounding
apology video on YouTube,
then retracting the apology in
a disastrous press conference
with attorney Lisa Bloom during
which Griffin claimed Trump
“broke me” — nothing worked.
She was fired as the celebrity
face of “Squatty Potty” (a toilet
footstool) and, far worse, was
jettisoned by CNN, where she had
hosted a popular New Year’s Eve
50
“Kathy has been a
fiercely loyal friend to
me,” says Kris Jenner.
“She has always
pushed boundaries.”
Alexander Wang dress.
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
“ I a m a 5 7- y e a r - o l d w o m a n w h o s h o u l d c o m m a n d
respect. I have the hardware. I certainly
h a v e m o r e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s t h a n A n d y C o h e n .”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
51
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
1
2
3
4
1 Griffin (center) replaced the late Joan Rivers on E!’s Fashion Police in 2015.
She left after seven episodes. 2 At the post-Trump-photo press conference
with Lisa Bloom (right). 3 Performing at the Best in Drag Show in October at
the Orpheum Theatre in DTLA. 4 With Anderson Cooper on Dec. 31, 2016.
broadcast with Anderson Cooper
for the past 10 years. Cooper, a
longtime friend, tweeted May 30
that Griffin’s stunt was “disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
The two have not spoken since.
Over these past eight months,
Griffin’s fuck-you house has
become her fuck-you fortress.
Or perhaps her fuck-you prison.
She’s remained holed up here,
plotting her Hail Mary comeback,
having escaped for a spell to
Europe, where she says she found
more forgiving audiences. Mostly,
though, she’s been nursing her
wounds. “I didn’t commit a crime,”
she says defiantly. “I didn’t rape
anybody. I didn’t assault anybody.
I didn’t get a DUI. I mean, my
God, there are celebrities that
fucking kill people.”
T H E T RU M P P H O T O C A M E O U T
of a May 23 session with Tyler
Shields, a 35-year-old celebrity
gadfly and photographer who
specializes in shock value. “When
you’re in between gigs and trying
to stay on the map, you have to
think of ways to stay in the spotlight,” says Griffin of the shoot,
which was meant to drum up
interest in a 50-date U.S. tour that
already had gotten underway.
It was a daylong production, during which Griffin had posed for
“many wacky pictures” — another
setup had her arching her back
next to her pool in a latex bathing suit, doing her “best Kim
Kardashian.” She and Shields
started batting around ideas
for a photo that “would fuck with
Trump,” and they landed on
the decapitation concept. Says
Shields: “The crazy thing is, I
had the last roll of film, and there
were three pictures left. There
are only three slides of film of
that picture.”
Afterward, Griffin instructed
Shields to “get it out there in
whatever way the kids are getting things these days.” He put
it on his website and alerted
TMZ, which published the image
on May 30 at 10:53 a.m. That
evening, Griffin was set to host a
dinner party for Melanie Griffith,
Rita Wilson and Kris Jenner. As
the day progressed and the outrage mounted — stoked by tweets
from the Republican Party (“Since
when did this kind of behavior
become OK?”) and Donald Trump
Jr. (“Disgusting but not surprising”) — the severity of what
was unfolding was becoming
clearer and clearer. “I wondered,
‘Should I cancel the dinner?’ And
then I thought, ‘No, these are
three women who could probably
give me good advice.’ ” The dinner
party proceeded as planned. “We
sat at the table and talked about it,”
recalls Griffin. “We hashed out
options, and they were trying to
make me feel good — getting the
laughs going because I was so
freaked out.”
Many of Griffin’s other famous
friends, however, were not as
understanding. Says Bick, who
has dated Griffin since 2011: “It’s
been really hard. It seems like
everybody turned.” On Twitter,
Debra Messing compared it
to “when people lynched Obama
effigies.” Chelsea Clinton called
it “vile and wrong.” Bick’s brother,
a former Marine, unfriended
Tired of Winning
Ye t ? W h o’s U p a n d
Do w n in T r ump’s
Hollywood
Twitter
WINNERS
52
Last fall’s so-called Trump bump (a 6 percent
boost in users) didn’t last long (the numbers are
back down), but Trump’s personal mouthpiece
has become the loudest bully pulpit in politics.
Facebook
LOSERS
THR tracks the winners and losers after
the president’s first year in office
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
him on Facebook. Even Griffin’s
own 97-year-old mother was
appalled. “She said, ‘I am not with
you on this one, Kathy. You’ve
gone too far,’ ” recalls Griffin.
But it was ultimately a pointed
question from Griffin’s longtime friend Rosie O’Donnell that
convinced her the stunt was a
mistake. “What if Daniel Pearl’s
parents saw this?” O’Donnell
asked her, referring to the Wall
Street Journal reporter who’d been
publicly decapitated by Pakistani
terrorists in 2001.
Griffin certainly is not the first
comic to careen past the lines
of acceptability and suffer the
consequences — comedians have
been pushing taste boundaries
since Lenny Bruce got arrested in
1961 for using the word “cocksucker” onstage. Bill Maher didn’t
get fired for saying the N-word on
a 2017 episode of HBO’s Real Time
— he later apologized for it on
the air — but 16 years earlier his
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Trust in social media’s biggest platform has
plummeted since it was revealed that the
Russians were plastering the site with real fake
news. Regulators are circling.
FASHION: BRIAN BOWEN SMITH/E! ENTERTAINMENT. BLOOM: FREDERICK M. BROWN/GETTY IMAGES. COOPER: NOAM GALAI/FILMMAGIC. ORPHEUM: GREG DOHERTY/GETTY IMAGES. LOGO: COURTESY OF TWITTER. ZUCKERBERG: JUSTIN SULLIVAN/
GETTY IMAGES. BALDWIN: WILL HEATH/NBC. BUSH: CRAIG BARRITT/GETTY IMAGES FOR SIRIUSXM. COLBERT: TARA ZIEMBA/GETTY IMAGES. FALLON: NOAM GALAI/WIREIMAGE. HILL: MPU DINANI/GETTY IMAGES.
incendiary comments right after
9/11 (saying the terrorists were
“not cowardly”) led to the cancellation of his ABC show Politically
Incorrect. Joan Rivers, Griffin’s
mentor, pushed her luck right
until her death in 2015. In 2013,
she took some hits for joking
of a Heidi Klum photo, “The last
time a German looked this hot
they were pushing Jews into the
ovens.” Unlike Maher, though,
Rivers made it a point never to
apologize. Comedy, in her view,
never had to say it was sorry.
Eventually, Griffin would
come around to Rivers’ point of
view, but her first instinct was to
record a mea culpa and post it
on YouTube. Visibly shaken, and
without makeup or hairstyling,
she conceded on tape that she
“went way too far.” Meanwhile,
calls started pouring in for
interview requests, from the likes
of Matt Lauer, Megyn Kelly, 60
Minutes and Howard Stern. Griffin
passed on all of them. One call
that did get through, however,
was Lisa Bloom’s; the two had met
in the greenroom at Joy Reid’s
MSNBC show and Bloom later
attended a brunch at Griffin’s
home. According to the attorney,
she sent Griffin a text message —
“Are you OK?” — to which Griffin
replied, “I need you.” The two
got on the phone right away. Says
Bloom, “She told me, ‘Will you
stand with me? I’m getting a lot of
private support, but nobody will
stand with me.’ And I was like, ‘I
will stand with you.’ ”
But the chaotic June 1 press
conference that came out of
that call, during which Griffin
had hoped to turn the situation around by retracting her
apology and instead defending
the photo as a free speech issue,
Joan Rivers-style — turned
out to be a PR disaster. Griffin
appeared flustered and rambling and at times barely coherent,
onstage.’ That was the most
common threat. And that they
were going to ‘cut my head off
and stuff it up my c—.’ ” The FBI
got involved, determining that
Griffin was under “credible threat”
and offered her a tutorial on how
to deal with the hate mail. “There’s
a pile that we think is harmless,”
she explains of the system. “And
a pile that’s questionable. And
then there’s a pile that the FBI says
you put in a Ziploc bag and give to
them. That’s my life now.”
all of which Griffin now blames
on Bloom. “It turned out she
wanted me to do an infomercial
for her,” she says. “When I walked
into that room, I had no idea there
was going to be a banner above
my head that said LisaBloom
.com. I didn’t know she was going
to Velcro herself to my shoulder so she couldn’t be cut out of
any shot. I didn’t know she was
going to hand me a mug that said
LisaBloom.com. I got all of that
in under three seconds.”
for five years,’ ” she says of the
meetings. “I was like, ‘I’ll tell
you what: You go away for five
years.’ ” Instead, she decided
to take her comedy routine overseas, where there’s a longer
history of savage political humor.
Until the photo scandal, touring
had provided Griffin with her
main source of income for much
of the past five years, although
she grows uncharacteristically
coy when asked about her finances
(sources close to Griffin says she’s
“She wanted me to do an infomercial
f o r h e r ,” s a y s G r i f f i n o f t h e p r e s s
conference set up by Lisa Bloom.
“I had no idea there was going to be a
b a n n e r t h a t s a i d L i s a B l o o m . c o m .”
Bloom, of course, has her own
view of the event. She says she
spent hours with Griffin the day
before the conference crafting a
statement. But once in front of
the cameras, Griffin opted to put
aside the prepared remarks and
speak “off the cuff.” And, Bloom
insists, it was no infomercial.
“Our mugs have the firm’s name
on them. And that sign is always
up. It’s pretty standard.”
Whoever was at fault, the press
conference only made matters
worse, with death threats being
sent not just to Griffin but also
to the theaters where she was
scheduled to appear during her
tour. One by one, the cancellations started coming in. “I don’t
blame the theater owners,” says
Griffin. “These are theaters that
are normally playing Mamma
Mia! or Stomp, and all of a sudden
they’re getting calls saying they’re
going to ‘shoot her in the c— live
But just as the FBI was giving
her safety tips, the Secret Service
was investigating whether she
was a threat to the president.
Griffin says she was interviewed
by two investigators, one female
and one male. The man asked her
if she kept any weapons in her
home. “I said, ‘No. Oh, well, I have
a sword. It’s huge,’ ” she recalls.
“And my lawyers looked at me like,
‘What are you doing?’ The agents
got very interested and were like,
‘What is it for?’ And I was like, ‘It’s
not for anything. I got it when I
hosted the Gay Porn Awards.’ And
I have to say, the guy smirked.
He was like, ‘Tell me more about
the sword.’ I was like, ‘Well, it’s big.
You know the gays.’ And then it
was like, ‘No more sword-asking
questions.’ ”
To get her life back on track,
Griffin sought out the advice of
crisis experts, which she promptly
ignored. “I was hearing, ‘Go away
worth $32 million). “She’s deeply
in touch with her money, like
Oprah-level,” says one friend. “She
signs every check, knows where
every cent goes.”
In October, she launched the
Laugh Your Head Off Tour in
Auckland, New Zealand, then
took it to Australia, Singapore
and Europe. The show, which
dips heavily into her legal and
professional woes for material (just as Bruce did with his
obscenity trials) turned out
to be a savvy move; venues sold
out in markets Griffin had never
even dreamed of playing. “In
Iceland, at one point I asked,
‘How do you guys even know me?’
And people just started yelling
out, ‘The picture!’ ”
The act played so well overseas that Griffin began mapping
out a U.S. comeback. She’d
ease her way home with a few
Canadian dates (certainly they
Alec Baldwin
Stephen Colbert
Rachel Maddow
“I guess I should say, at long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy,”
Baldwin cracked while accepting his trophy at September’s awards
show. Saturday Night Live’s 2017 “Trump Season” was its best rated
in 23 years, averaging 11 million viewers a week.
Since the election, Colbert’s
Trump-bashing has helped
boost his viewership 31 percent,
to 3.6 million.
The left-leaning MSNBC’s viewership
is up 50 percent this year (while
right-leaning Fox News’ numbers mostly
have stayed flat).
Billy Bush
Jimmy Fallon
Jemele Hill
Despite attempting a comeback in December — an op-ed in The New
York Times confirming that Trump did indeed say “grab ’em by the
pussy” on the Access Hollywood bus and an appearance on The Late
Show With Stephen Colbert — he’s still out of work.
His apolitical humor is out
of step with the times;
viewership is down 20 percent,
to 2.8 million.
The SportsCenter host called Trump
“a white supremacist” — and ended up
getting suspended for two weeks,
then transitioned off the show for good.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
53
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
The Business of Being
Kathy Gr if f in
What the comic was raking in before her career
was sidelined by controversy
$3M-$5M
annual touring
$1.02M
advance from Bantam
for her 2009 book,
Official Book Club Selection:
A Memoir
grosses of her 2011
one-woman Broadway
show, Kathy Griffin
Wants a Tony
$500K
$1M
$7M
fee for Squatty Potty
digital ad (2017)
salary for Doritos
ad (which never aired)
total career income from
endorsements
Source: THR research
for Griffin. Her firing from the
broadcast had, after all, been the
unkindest cut of all. Her friendship with Cooper stretches back
to 2001, when Cooper, then hosting ABC’s reality competition
The Mole, appeared as a guest on
Griffin’s short-lived MTV
show Kathy’s So-Called Reality.
They instantly hit it off. “My
joke was, ‘I’ve known him since
he was banging chicks,’ ” says
Griffin. “We were close. I loved
him. I really loved him.”
She spent New Year’s Eve at
home “with my handsome boyfriend, making love,” she says.
The plan was to avoid watching
CNN. But Bick had DVR’d the
New Year’s broadcast without
telling her — he’d planned to
“hate watch” it at a future date
— and when texts and tweets
started rolling in saying the show
was “a train wreck” without her,
the evening’s plans changed.
“Kathy said, ‘I want to watch,’ ”
recalls Bick. “I said, ‘Are you
sure? It could be painful.’ But we
turned it on, and she was like,
‘This is a dumpster fire.’ ”
In fact, despite tepid reviews,
the broadcast had its biggest
ratings ever, with 3.3 million
viewers, 8 percent higher than
Griffin’s final appearance.
Disney Employees
The company announced in January
that 125,000 staffers would be getting
$1,000 bonuses, thanks to the Trumpbacked tax cut.
Scandal’s Final Season
Shonda Rhimes’ soap can’t compete with
Trump’s reality show; ratings for Scandal’s
October premiere were down 30 percent
from 2016’s season opener.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
GR I F F I N A R R I V ES FOR LU NCH
at Santa Monica’s Ivy at the Shore
in a glittering black Maserati. She
hasn’t been out on the town much
since the scandal broke, so she’s
obviously put some effort into this
interview date in mid-January.
She’s in full makeup, her hair dyed
a fiery red and neatly shorn. (She
shaved it off as a show of support
for her sister Joyce, who died
in September of cancer, and now
keeps it cropped.) She’s wearing
a tight dress with a plunging neckline, large green sunglasses and
carrying a fur-trimmed Chanel
purse, which she plops down on
the table with purpose. (“I got it
at the outlet, but it was still very
expensive.”) She orders the spicy
corn chowder, of which she will
eat three spoonfuls (“Too spicy,”
she says). Despite the theatrical
entrance, no one in the packed
room seems to notice her; if they
do, they don’t seem to care.
Griffin seems a little surprised
by the low-key reception; nowadays she’s accustomed to “gasps”
when she enters a room (as happened at a recent funeral). She is
all too aware that she’s trapped
in the Hollywood equivalent of
a gulag. But not everyone thinks
it’s game over. “She didn’t hurt
anyone,” says Jimmy Kimmel, who
already has offered Griffin a spot
on his show whenever she’s ready
to talk. He’s predicting a comeback
in her future. “She is one of the
funniest people in the world,” he
says. “She’ll be bigger than ever.”
Griffin tends to agree, and she
is plotting her next steps. She’s
been reaching out to anyone who
might help, including J.J. Abrams
— Griffin’s former improv student at the Groundlings school
back in the mid-1980s — who
met with her recently to discuss
her various TV ideas. She spends
her days writing, making videos,
working on new stand-up material and, lately, feuding with her
60-something-year-old neighbors over their loud music playing
(they’re going to court Feb. 16).
“I mean, I do normal stuff, like
see my mom and play with my
puppies,” she says, “but my mind
is always focused on the best way
to move forward.”
But outside of touring
— she plans to return to North
America sometime soonish —
Griffin’s options are limited and
often insulting (she was sent an
offer to do stand-up at a “Pop-Up
Comedy Club in Beirut, Lebanon”).
Netflix, a natural home with
its heavy stand-up push, wants
nothing to do with her (especially after Griffin accused Lisa
Nishimura, vp original docs and
comedy at Netflix, of sexism in a
Nov. 11 tweet). And NBCUniversal
properties like Bravo, E! and NBC
won’t touch her, either, at least not
at the moment. “It’s still a day-byday process,” says Bick. “We still
don’t know what’s going to happen
the next time she does a show
in the States. We’re still on edge.”
But Griffin is undeterred.
“The minute I do something that
makes money, they will all love
me again,” she says, slowly stirring her spicy soup with a spoon.
“When I’m dead, I’ll be a legend.
But not now.”
The New York Times
Apple
Digital subscriptions have doubled
since the election, up to a record
3.3 million, with total revenue up
6 percent.
It’s bringing back a reported $250 billion in
funds stashed overseas, paying only $38 billion
to the government — or 15.5 percent — thanks
to Trump’s new corporate-friendly tax law.
NFL
The Name ‘Donald’
Ratings are down 9 percent since
Trump suggested boycotting
teams with players who don’t stand
for the national anthem.
The president’s first name is at its lowest
popularity in a century. In 2016, the year he was
elected, just 621 newborns in the U.S. were
named Donald (compared with 30,400 in 1934).
54
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
MICKEY: WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS/PHOTOFEST. SCANDAL: ABC/RICHARD CARTWRIGHT. NEWSPAPER: SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES. FOOTBALL: 2017 NICK CAMMETT/DIAMOND IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES. IPHONE: JACK TAYLOR/GETTY IMAGES. BABY: JO UNRUH/GETTY IMAGES.
hated Trump as much as she did),
then do a show in Mexico City
(in solidarity with the Dreamers)
before making a return to the
U.S. Ultimately, Hollywood would
come around and find a place for
her back on television.
But then, in late October, while
on tour in Europe, Griffin heard
that Andy Cohen had been picked
as her replacement for CNN’s
New Year’s Eve special, and something in her snapped. Cohen
had been Griffin’s boss through
six seasons of her two-time
Emmy-winning reality show
on Bravo, My Life on the D-List, but
when TMZ caught up with him
at LAX on Oct. 27 to ask whether
he’d sought Griffin’s blessing
before taking her old gig, Cohen
responded, “Who?” Griffin didn’t
think it was funny and posted a
17-minute diatribe Oct. 28 on her
YouTube channel in which she
went off not only on Cohen (claiming he offered her cocaine
backstage at his Bravo talk show)
but also on TMZ chief Harvey
Levin (revealing his private cellphone number on the video) and
CNN boss Jeff Zucker (claiming
he once fired her from New Year’s
Eve Live for asking for a pay raise
and then hired her back with a
20 percent pay cut), among others. (Cohen, Levin and Zucker
all declined to comment for this
story, as did Cooper.)
Griffin regrets nothing — not
even the cocaine story, which
Cohen has dismissed on Twitter
as “100% false and totally made
up.” She says she shared it
“to illustrate a double standard.
If it was me [offering drugs
backstage], somebody at Bravo
would have said, ‘You have to
go.’ When you’re a woman, you get
one fuckup, and it’s over. When
you’re a guy, you get chance after
chance after chance.”
New Year’s Eve always was
going to be a challenging night
“ T h ere’s h ate m ail we thin k is h ar m l ess,
a pil e th at ’s qu est ion abl e an d th en
th ere’s a pil e th e FBI says yo u p ut in a
Z i p l o c b a g a n d g i v e t o t h e m .”
Proenza Schouler
top, COS pants
Can NBC Heat
2016
RIO
From a lack of star power to a 14-hour time difference, the
Pyeongchang Games present a host of challenges, but with a new
digital strategy and nationwide live broadcasts (a first), the
network is hoping to rebound from the disappointments of Rio
BY Marisa Guthrie
ILLUSTRATION BY Wesley Bedrosian
56
The Summer Games
in Rio saw a 15 percent
decline in viewers
compared with the
2012 Olympics.
PHELPS: AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES. COURIC: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES. BELL: HEIDI GUTMAN/NBCUNIVERSAL. KIM: JOHN LAMPARSKI/GETTY IMAGES. SHIFFRIN: EZRA SHAW/GETTY IMAGES. CHEN: MATTHEW STOCKMAN/GETTY IMAGES.
T
he XXIII Winter Olympics — which
officially kick off Feb. 9 with the
Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang,
South Korea — have for months
been defined by fears that there would be an
international incident involving North Korea.
And much of the talk among NBC Sports and
NBC News staffers — the company typically
sends more than 2,000 employees to the
Winter Games — has been about how no one
wants to go. “It’s terrifying,” says one veteran
NBC News staffer. But in January, tensions
appeared to ease when North Korea officially
accepted the South’s invitation to send athletes
to the Games. It will be the first time North
Korea has participated in the Winter Olympics
in eight years.
“Imagine the amazing global moment
of having the North and the South together for
the first time in that Olympic stadium,” says
Jenny Storms, NBC Sports Group’s CMO. “That
is the beauty of the Olympics; it brings people
together, it brings the world together.”
While that may be true, the larger issue
facing NBC is: Who will be watching and on
what platform? All told, NBCUniversal shelled
out more than $12 billion for the rights to
the Games through 2032 in deals that, starting with the 2022 Games, encompass whatever
device or platform will emerge. But as the
network gears up to broadcast for roughly two
weeks from Pyeongchang, it is facing a series
of challenges. From declining viewership to
fragmented audience share in the streaming
age to the retirement of longtime host Bob
Costas, observers wonder if these hurdles,
coupled with a distinct lack of early buzz, will
lead to a return on NBC’s massive bet.
While NBC’s long-term investment in the
Games underscores the enduring value of liveevent programming in a world of cord cutting
and on-demand content, the media narrative
on day one of Pyeongchang will still be about
the linear ratings. And if the network’s success
is to be based on that metric, recent trends
suggest it will struggle: In 2014, NBC’s primetime coverage of the Sochi Games averaged
more than 21 million viewers each night, down
17 percent from the previous (heavily live)
Games in Vancouver four years earlier. This
probably explains why Jim Bell, president of
NBC Olympics, says it’s time to move beyond
traditional viewership ratings.
Best in Snow: 3 U.S. Olympians With Star Potential
Winter Olympics Viewership
Total U.S. viewers in millions
184M
Average viewers in primetime
190M
178M
150M
Nathan Chen
Figure Skating
The Salt Lake City native, 18,
is the only athlete in history to
land five quadruple jumps in
a single performance and is a
favorite to win gold.
Chloe Kim
Snowboarding
Kim’s combination of athletic
dominance and fun-loving SoCal
personality — not to mention
colorful hair — makes the
17-year-old a marketer’s dream.
Mikaela Shiffrin
Alpine Skiing
Shiffrin became the youngestever slalom champ when she won
gold in Sochi at 18 and is on
pace to overtake Lindsey Vonn as
the winningest skier of all time.
100
50
20.2M
24.4M
21.4M
Torino
2006
Vancouver
2010
Sochi
2014
Sources: Nielsen, NBC Sports
“The Olympics are the tip of the spear
as technology and media and sports are all
evolving,” says Bell. “Our expectations are
broader than focusing on a single linear number on a single night of the Olympics.”
NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app
will deliver more than 1,800 hours of liveevent and simul-stream coverage, meaning
all of NBC’s content will be live-streamed.
For the first time, the network is packaging
its Olympics advertising with its proprietary
Total Audience Delivery tool, which measures
simultaneous viewing across platforms.
Ad sales for the Games are pacing well ahead
of Sochi (which took in $800 million), and Dan
Lovinger, executive vp ad sales for NBC Sports,
expects Pyeongchang to exceed $900 million.
Olympic Games in Asia have typically been
challenging, owing to the inhospitable time
zone; Pyeongchang is 14 hours ahead of the
U.S. Eastern time zone. But one thing NBC has
going for it is that since many winter sports
require natural light, they will be held in the
morning in South Korea, putting them live in
primetime in the U.S. In fact, NBC’s primetime coverage will be live across all U.S. time
zones, a first for a Winter Games (coverage
on the West Coast will begin at 5 p.m.). In all,
NBC will present more than 2,400 hours of
coverage across NBC (176 hours), NBCSN (396),
CNBC (46), USA (40.5) and NBCOlympics.com.
That is the most ever for a Winter Games,
which are considerably smaller in scale than
the Summer Games, yet still cost roughly
$150 million to $200 million to produce.
But the double-digit ratings dip for the 2016
Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro underscores the challenges of the new world order.
NBC averaged 26 million viewers a night
for Rio, a decline of 15 percent
compared with the 2012 London
Summer Olympics. When digital and streaming are factored in,
the average rises to 27.5 million,
Bell
off 9 percent compared with 2012.
And declines among younger viewers (ages
18 to 49) were even more pronounced, down a
whopping 25 percent compared with London.
“What we really realized in Rio was that
consumption patterns were changing,” says
Lovinger. Indeed, in Rio, 30 percent of all digital minutes consumed were on connected TVs.
The last time there was a Winter Olympics (in
2014), there were no connected TVs.
Another challenge facing NBC is a paucity of marquee U.S. talent entering the
Olympics. The U.S. appears to have no gold
medal contenders in women’s figure skating,
traditionally the most watched event, or in
pairs. “I think NBC is going to be faced with
having to promote and introduce a number of
athletes,” says Neal Pilson, the former president of CBS Sports who runs a New York-based
sports consultancy. Among the athletes the
network is featuring in heavy promotional
rotation are sister-brother ice dancing duo
Alex and Maia Shibutani.
There also will be a passing of the baton
among NBC personnel. Mike Tirico, who
joined the network in 2016, will take over for
longtime primetime host Costas, and the
Today show will be there sans Matt Lauer (so
there will be no luge with Al Roker). Hoda
Kotb, Lauer’s replacement, will co-anchor with
Savannah Guthrie from South Korea beginning Feb. 12.
Pilson adds, however, that NBC may be able
to capitalize on the fact that star power isn’t
necessarily the Olympics’ biggest selling point.
“The most important issue for Olympic viewers is the flag,” he says. “That’s what drives the
Olympic Games — it’s pride of country. They
are carrying the American flag. It’s the appeal
to patriotism.”
‘It’s a Monumental Task to Pull This Off’
Katie Couric on returning to host the Opening Ceremony, security concerns and Trump’s Twitter habits
K
atie Couric’s return to NBC’s Olympic coverage marks her fourth time as coanchor of an opening ceremony after covering a half-dozen as co-host of the
Today show, first with Bryant Gumbel, then with Matt Lauer (she’s called the
misconduct allegations against Lauer “disturbing” and “distressing” but declines to
say more). Couric, 61, hopes the Games will be a temporary antidote to the country’s
polarization: “For me, it’s just fun to be a part of something that’s so positive.”
What is the hardest thing about hosting
the Opening Ceremony?
It’s a spectacle and always so beautiful and such a magnificent display of
national pride, you don’t want to be yammering on incessantly. You want people
to feel as if they’re there, so that they can
enjoy everything that’s unfolding.
And there’s always something that
people don’t like about NBC’s coverage.
Today, anyone with a phone is a critic. I
think they do an incredible job covering
the Olympics. It is a monumental task to
pull this off. It would be fun to see every
critic on Twitter try to pull it off.
If NBC had asked you to do this when
Kim Jong Un was firing missiles over
Japan, would you have said yes?
57
I probably would have given it even
more thought. But it seems that tensions
have cooled for the moment. So as
Colin Powell would say, I do not answer
hypotheticals.
The Olympic venues are 60
miles from the DMZ. Have
you been briefed on security
protocols?
I went to Moscow a year ago
to interview Edward Snowden
and had to get a special
phone. And I showered with
the lights off. I haven’t got a
list of protocols yet, but
I’m sure I will.
Did you ever harbor dreams of
Olympic stardom?
Well (long pause) no. I was a gymnast and
I ran track. I was actually a very fast runner when I was quite young. They used to
pull me out of fourth grade to race against
sixth-grade boys. I used to put Bengay
on my legs and cut my hair so I would weigh
less and run faster. But I don’t think I ever
thought that I had the right stuff to be
an Olympian.
It’s the first Olympics
in the era of Trump.
Do you think his tweeting
and cable news coverage of his tweets will be
a distraction?
Maybe he’ll take a hiatus during the Olympic Games.
— M.G.
The Olympics Are
More Relevant in This
Time of Tyrants
A
s the Winter Olympics in
South Korea approach,
many have started to ask
whether the Olympics are culturally relevant anymore or are just
an archaic expression of nationalistic chest-beating. The Sochi
Winter Olympics in Russia made
$53 million in profits, but profit
isn’t the kind of relevance we’re
talking about. Nor are we talking
about celebrating records broken,
athletes tearfully detailing their
personal sacrifices, or picturing
all the smiling medal-adorned
winners on Wheaties boxes. We’re
talking about the positive impact
the Olympic Games could have
on personal, social and political
struggles in the U.S. and around
the world. By that measure, the
Olympics are more relevant than
ever because, in the face of the rise
of tyrants, the event is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the
core values of the Games beyond
aggressive flag-waving. It’s
also an opportunity for athletes
to express their opposition to
the tyranny that is actively trying to stifle those values.
The gold standard for these
values was set at the 1936 Berlin
Olympics. Adolf Hitler was
obsessed with using the moment
to promote the Nazi philosophy of Aryan superiority. Then
along came a black man named
Jesse Owens, the most successful Olympian that year, winning
four track and field gold medals — “single-handedly crushing
Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy,” according to the biography
Triumph. Hitler was so angered
that he wanted blacks banned
from future games. But the hero
of this story — the man who
embodies the Olympic spirit we so
desperately need today — is not
Owens. He’s not even American.
He’s Luz Long, the German
long-jumper. After Owens fouled
on his first two of three jumps,
Long advised a distraught Owens
to take off from farther behind
the line because his jumps were
enough to qualify. Owens followed the advice and eventually
won gold, with Long winning
silver. After Owens won, Long,
in violation of Nazi protocol
and Hitler’s specific rants, was
the first to congratulate Owens.
They embraced and walked to
the dressing room arm in arm.
Long’s version of taking a knee
— but much more dangerous.
Owens later wrote, “It took a lot
of courage for him to befriend
me in front of Hitler … You can
melt down all the medals and
cups I have, and they wouldn’t be
a plating on the 24-karat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that
moment.” Owens and Long wrote
Winter Olympics Ad Revenue
$750M
2002 Salt Lake City
A Winter
Games
record!
$650M
2006 Turin
$750M
2010 Vancouver
$800M
2014 Sochi
$900M
2018 Pyeongchang
$200M
$400
$600
$800
$1B
to each other after the Olympics.
But Long was killed in 1943. In
his final letter to Owens, he asked
Owens to seek out his son after
the war and tell him “what times
were like when we were not separated by war. Tell him how things
can be between men on this
earth.” And Owens did. He went
to Germany in the 1960s and was
best man at Long’s son’s wedding.
Before anyone gets feeling too
patriotic about Owens’ victories,
remember that upon returning
home, he and the other 17 black
athletes responsible for a quarter
of U.S. medals were not invited to
the White House by FDR. “Hitler
didn’t snub me,” Owens said. “It
was our president who snubbed
me.” And one of Owens’ gold medals was the result of replacing two
American Jewish runners so as
not to further embarrass Hitler
by having Jews win gold. Owens
protested: “Coach, I’ve won my
three gold medals. I’m tired. I’ve
had it. Let Marty and Sam run.”
The coach pointed at Owens and
said, “You’ll do as you’re told.” The
coaches demeaned both Jews and
blacks, ironically during games
meant to display the superiority of
democracy over fascism.
What people most remember
Source: NBC Sports
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
58
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
about the 1968 Olympics is when
Tommie Smith and John Carlos,
having medaled in the 200-meter
race, raised their gloved fists during the national anthem in what
Smith called “a human rights
salute.” They were castigated by
white Americans and kicked off
the team. Even Owens criticized
them. But in his 1972 book, I Have
Changed, he wrote, “I realized
now that militancy in the best
sense of the word was the only
answer where the black man was
concerned, that any black man
who wasn’t a militant in 1970
was either blind or a coward.”
So what’s an Olympic athlete to
do in these days when tyrants
like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un
and Donald Trump trample rights
and threaten world peace? Some
Americans, who prefer to avoid the
distasteful truths, use sports, TV
shows and movies as safe zones
where entertainment can distract
us from harsh realities. But we are
way past safe zones now. When
the president of the United States
tells 1,628 documented lies in
10 months, it is time to speak up
against that tyranny. When thousands of women tell of systemic
abuse by men in power, it is time
to speak up against that tyranny.
CROWD, HITLER: UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES. OWENS: BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES. SMITH: AP PHOTO. JONG-UN: STR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES. PUTIN: MIKHAIL SVETLOV/GETTY IMAGES. TRUMP: JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES. REMOTE: ISTOCK.
The NBA Hall of Famer believes Winter Olympians
should embrace making political statements
in the Trump era BY Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Discovery’s New Games:
A ‘Netflix of Sports’
Throughout Europe?
The U.S. company behind Shark Week
and Deadliest Catch is using
Pyeongchang to launch what it hopes
will become a pan-European player
By Scott Roxborough
W
When 66 of the 964 people police
killed in 2017 were unarmed, it
is time to speak up against that
tyranny. Those who oppose political expression during sports
events also don’t like it when
entertainers and artists break the
fourth wall by using their platform at awards shows. The Golden
Globes became relevant, not as a
celebration that Sterling K. Brown
became the first black man to
win for best actor in a TV drama,
or that Oprah Winfrey was the
first black woman to win the Cecil
B. DeMille Award, but because it
was a platform to question why
it took so damn long. Oprah’s
passionate speech articulated our
national frustration while inspiring our communal hope.
Art and athletics don’t occur
in a vacuum; they are the harsh
reflection of what society is and
the hopeful projection of what
it’s capable of becoming. In the
coming Olympics, each athlete
has the opportunity to fulfill his
or her dreams while expanding
the limitations of human capabilities. For those more interested
in equality than in endorsements,
in humanity more than hubris,
it is also an opportunity to speak
your truth.
hen the Olympic torch is lit in Pyeongchang,
David Zaslav will be paying close attention.
To see if they’re reaching those ski-jump and luge
The CEO of Discovery Communications has put down
fanatics, Discovery will be aggregating viewing figures
a $1.6 billion bet that the Games can transform his
in a completely new way, tracking viewership across
business in Europe, turning a cable company best
all platforms, both live and catch-up. “We’ll be rolling
known for the likes of Shark Week and Deadliest
out this new metric, which we think is more appliCatch into a “Netflix for Sports” on the continent.
cable to the 2018 reality of how people are consuming
Discovery picked up exclusive rights across
content,” said Perrette at a Eurosport event in London
Europe, excluding Russia, for the next four Olympics
in late 2017. While the new metric isn’t yet a currency
for 1.3 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in 2015, making
in the ad sales market, Discovery is hoping it will
it the second-biggest Olympics broadcaster after
be recognized as a more accurate way of capturing
NBC. But while NBC is targeting only American
true viewing figures compared to overnight ratings,
audiences, Discovery’s Olympics audience will be
which Perrette termed a “prehistoric way of looking
spread across 50 countries on its pan-continental
at video consumption.”
Eurosport channel, an ESPN-style network Discovery
What Discovery learns from its Olympics trial run
acquired from French network TF1 for $1.7 billion in
— and the company will be sharing all of its viewership
two stages across 2014-15.
data with the International Olympic Committee — will
Discovery is going all in with its coverage in
inform future Games coverage.
Pyeongchang, promising more than 4,000
Still, Pyeongchang is looking like a loss leader
hours, including some 900 hours of live action.
for Discovery. Jefferies analyst
Pyeongchang 2018 is “the bigHow Much
John Janedis estimated, in a report
gest undertaking of a single event”
Discovery Paid
late in 2017, that the Olympics
in Discovery’s history, according
for Euro
would result “in a $40 million drag
to Jean-Briac Perrette, president of
Rights to the
on 2018 operating income before
Discovery Networks International.
Olympics
depreciation and amortization.” But
But the real innovation, and the true
Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels
testing ground of Discovery’s new
$600M
$580M
points to lucrative sublicensing
sports strategy, will be the Eurosport
deals the company has signed with
Player, an interactive platform that
$200M
$180M
the likes of the BBC and German
will offer, according to the channel’s
public broadcasters, as well as with
hype, “every minute, every ath2018 2020 2022 2024
Amazon in select European terlete and every sport” of the 2018
ritories, to provide them with live
Olympics, “live and on-demand” for
Total: $1.56B
footage of the 2018 Games.
viewers on PCs, tablets and mobile
Source: International Olympic Committee
“Content licensing will help
devices. The Eurosport Player does
recoup much (or possibly most?) of the 1.3 billion euro
away with traditional Olympics programming by
commitment the company made,” wrote Pivotal
letting viewers pick the sports they want to watch,
Research Group analyst Brian Wieser in a Jan. 9
from figure skating warm-ups to the curling semireport on Discovery’s Olympics deal, estimating that
finals. Crucially, given that Eurosport is targeting
Discovery stands to make $123 million to $184 milviewers across dozens of competing countries, the
lion in licensing fees for the 2018 and 2020 Games
player will allow national audiences to customize
in Germany alone.
which teams or local heroes they choose to follow. It’s
Discovery is looking to build on the next two
what Zaslav means with his “Netflix of sport” analogy.
Olympics in Asia — the 2020 Summer Games in
A lot is riding on Discovery’s Olympics streamTokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing —
ing experiment. Last November kicked off with
before a presumed payoff in 2024, when the Summer
news of a slight dip in Discovery Communications’
Olympics will be held in Eurosport’s home city of
third-quarter earnings, which fell from $219 milParis. Discovery helped the French capital secure
lion to $218 million, and Zaslav has made it clear the
the Games over its main rival, Los Angeles, backcompany is shifting its business model toward a
ing the city in the first round of bidding in 2017.
more direct-to-consumer approach. Zaslav outlined
Eurosport now stands to reap the benefits of having
in an industry talk in early January that Eurosport
an Olympics in a European time zone. But first, it
aims to create online subscription services catering
has to make things work in Pyeongchang.
to superfans of particular sports.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
59
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
I
n late 2001, AOL Time Warner was in free fall.
Less than two years after Time Warner had
taken one of the boldest steps in corporate
history, merging with internet giant AOL, the
result was a disaster and an implosion. The
company’s stock had plummeted from a peak
of $104 to a low of $10, wiping out billions of
dollars and raising the question of whether it
could even survive. Faced with massive losses,
the Time Warner executive who’d initiated
the merger, Gerald Levin, resigned as CEO in
2002, leaving the remaining board members
with the daunting task of finding a new leader
who could right their ship, inspire some sort
of confidence and chart a course for the future. The man they chose
was Richard Parsons.
It’s been 16 years since that turning point, when the kid from Queens
— the laid-back basketball player who found his groove as a lawyer, the
African-American who became a White House insider, the accidental
executive who reached the summit of American business — was charged
with stanching the blood. The fact that he managed and survived — as
did Time Warner, which is now on the brink of another mega-merger,
with AT&T — is his most striking legacy.
Sitting in his elegant offices over lunch one recent afternoon, 47 floors
above Manhattan’s Central Park, the 69-year-old looks back on that
time with wry detachment. A decade after he stepped down from
Time Warner, he knows he wasn’t a mold-breaker, knows he never set
an innovative course for the future, knows his job was simply getting
the company back on track. “At that moment,” he says, “they were not
looking for a visionary or necessarily Mr. Charismatic or someone to
replicate the dimension of a mogul.”
Given Parsons’ experience, many within Hollywood and the investment community have been eager to hear his unique perspective on
AT&T’s proposed $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner. His lack of any
evident enthusiasm is perhaps telling. Now, as then, he says a clash of
cultures could doom the union, if it survives an anti-trust lawsuit filed
in November by the Department of Justice; now, as then, he’s wary of yoking together two vastly different companies; now, as then, he says he’s
“cautious,” noting, “It’s going to take longer than people think, and it’s
going to be more difficult.”
Does he approve of the merger? He hesitates. “I certainly get the
theory of the case,” he says. “It is to some extent an AOL Time Warner
redo. [You have] AT&T, a major communication company, but basically a distribution company. What do they need? They need content.
So the theory, I get completely.” And the practice? “It can work, but
it’s not going to be as easy as the articulation of the concept.” Among
the biggest challenges will be the one that faced Time Warner-AOL:
bringing together radically disparate work styles, separated by the
continental divide that has always separated the entertainment and
financial industries.
“When the East Coast tries to invade Hollywood, unless you run the
business the way they have run the business, it’s not going to work,”
says Parsons, now a senior adviser with Providence Equity Partners.
“You can’t apply the same mechanics. [In Hollywood] the talent is
preeminent [in terms of getting paid]. AT&T has a totally different
compensation philosophy, and it’s not easy to run a business where you
have people who get paid enormous sums for what doesn’t seem to
be a whole lot of work [from the point of view of] people who climb
[telephone] poles.”
Parsons was president of Time Warner when Levin first broached
the AOL merger, whose seeds had been planted
Parsons, photographed
Oct. 4, bought Il
in October 1999, after Levin bumped into AOL CEO
Palazzone winery in
Steve Case while in Beijing for the 50th anniversary
Montalcino, Italy, in
the hopes of a bucolic
of the Chinese revolution. The two started talking
retirement that has
and eventually broached the idea of joining forces,
thus far eluded him.
60
‘When the
Hollywoo
East Coast Invades
d, It Doesn’t Work’
By Stephen Galloway Photographed by Lorenzo Pesce
Dick Parsons, who as CEO righted Time Warner after its disastrous 2000 merger with AOL,
speaks out on his former company’s bid to unite with AT&T (‘It’s not going to be easy’) and the belief
among some peers that Trump is good for corporate America: ‘He’s not good for any America’
Parsons: ‘We Go
in the Fields
and Pick Grapes’
I
H
e pours a glass of his beloved Brunello di
Montalcino, grown and bottled in his own Italian
vineyard, a purchase he made almost two decades
ago when he envisioned the sort of bucolic
retirement that’s eluded him ever since. He swirls
the wine, savors it, then sips. With his 6-foot-4inch height, gentle bass voice and old-school
courtesy, he seems born to lead, just as he did when he was called to be
chairman and CEO of the ailing behemoth in May 2002, and then had to
approve a massive write-down.
“If you ask anybody [about] Dick Parsons, they’ll have lots of different views,” he says. “[On] some things he was a jerk, some things he did
62
walls, cypress trees and the rolling
hills below. “I went to France, South
Africa, Australia, Napa, Italy, but
Tuscany was the place that spoke to
me,” he says of the vineyard, adding
jokingly that it cost him “4 billion lira,
or six dollars and forty-eight cents”
(about $2 million in 2000, when he
purchased it). “My kids used to say,
‘Dad, what do you do? It sounds like
all you do all day is have meetings.’
Here, you make a product. It grows
in the ground, you harvest and vinify
the grapes, make the wine.”
Parsons’ 20-acre vineyard — a
few hours from Rome and Florence
and managed by estate manager
Laura Gray, along with consulting
winemaker Maurizio Castelli —
makes a Brunello di Montalcino
Parsons says; Rosso del Palazzone
(“which is like a baby Brunello”); and
“this Super Tuscan, which I named
after my folks,” Lorenzo and Isabelle,
now deceased.
Sangiovese is the only grape
allowed in the Brunello, a dark, rubyred wine with hints of black cherry,
chocolate and balsamic. Montalcino,
a compact agricultural hub (think
Paso Robles, but even smaller) since
the 18th and 19th centuries, is the
grape’s home. Il Palazzone produces
about 18,000 cases of wine a year,
with $50 to $200 bottles making
appearances on the lists of such Los
Angeles power hangouts as Osteria
Mozza and Spago. Fans include
Quincy Jones, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Bono. The
VINEYARD: LORENZO PESCE (3). TRUMP: JIMI CELESTE/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES. LEVIN: TODD PLITT/
GETTY IMAGES. L. PARSONS: SCOTT/PATRICK MCMULLAN VIA GETTY IMAGES. BOTTLE: COURTESY OF IL PALAZZONE.
thereby linking a prime exemplar
of old media with the foremost
exponent of new media, the dominant internet player of the era. Some
time later, Levin informed Parsons,
his deputy, about the plan in a “very
hush-hush” way. “It wasn’t completely Machiavellian,” says Parsons,
with a smile, “although Jerry could
be Machiavellian at times.” The colleagues were a study in contrasts. “In
the Japanese idiom,” adds Parsons,
Left: Parsons (right) at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2005 with Martha Stewart and Trump, whom he has known for decades, and whom he
“there’s dry people and wet people,
calls “clueless.” Right: With Levin (right), who preceded him as Time Warner CEO and hatched the ill-fated 2000 merger with AOL.
and wet people are gushy and warm,
and dry people are taciturn and reserved.” If Levin was dry, Parsons
all right, some things he settled things down. Almost nobody recalls
was distinctly wet, rather to his credit, “if you think being wet is
that I was the CEO who had the largest recorded loss in the history of
good,” he quips.
American corporations. For the year 2002, my first annual report, we
Whatever doubts he harbored, Parsons gave the merger his blessing,
took a write-down of $99 billion. Stunning.”
which remains a singular stain on his record. “History will record that it
There were other things he did that had long-term benefits, including
was really Jerry’s deal,” he notes, “but at the end of the day I voted for it. I
selling off such assets as Warner Music Group and bringing together
thought we could make it work.”
the company’s senior executives for the first time in Time Warner’s
On Jan. 10, 2000, the two companies unveiled the deal. AOL would
storied history — “about 300 people,” he recalls. “I said, ‘You lead 75,000
buy Time Warner for around $160 billion in a pact valued at $300 bilpeople out there.’ So who did we have come talk to us? [Gulf War genlion; a year later the Federal Trade Commission gave it a go-ahead.
eral] Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf. And Norman was asked, ‘What are
But it quickly became apparent that the merger was ill-conceived. Its
your rules of leadership?’ He said, ‘I have two. Rule number one: When
premise — that AOL could charge subscribers for Time Warner’s content
put in a position of command, take charge, make decisions. And rule
— proved misguided, as did the assumption that the internet bubble
number two is: Do what’s right.’ I tend to subscribe to that.”
would never pop. “The value proposition with AOL was, ‘We have a walled
In his own life, he pretty much always has; it’s the source of the
garden and you have to pay to get in — and once in, the world is yours, respect and fondness his former colleagues have for him. But once he
so you’ll be happy to pay us $14.95 a month,’ ” says Parsons. “But the
fell short, in a much-discussed affair with model-philanthropist
walled-garden model was starting to break down. All these new services
MacDella Cooper, who gave birth to his baby girl in 2009. Parsons, who’s
were offering content for free. That model just collapsed.”
been married to psychologist Laura Bush for almost 50 years, acknowlAs it started to collapse, so did aspects of Levin’s private life. He was
edges the pain it caused others and still causes him. He ruminates for
suffering from the effects of personal tragedy: the 1997 murder of his
some time before addressing the matter. “You can slip into a bit of arroson Jonathan, 31, a Bronx high school teacher. “Boy, it was tough,” says gance — that, somehow, you’re cleverer or you’re more adept, maybe
Parsons. “Jerry was trying to deal with all that emotion. Inside the
even more deserving of success,” he reflects. “And something like my
company, as well as outside, it was great tumult and turmoil, and the
slip was a rude awakening that you are far away from the paradigm
fun that he had always derived from this was gone. After his son was
of perfect.”
killed, he just stayed in his apartment for three or four months. [He said]
‘You take care of things till I get back.’ I would go to his house a couple of
times a week just to let him know what was going on.”
In late 2001, Levin summoned Parsons to his Columbus Circle office
and told him he was leaving and would recommend him as his successor. There were rumors that another executive, Robert Pittman, would
get the job; but the board chose the man nicknamed Huggy Bear.
(Levin has since turned his back on corporate life; he’s now involved
RETIREMENT WITH A MONTALCINO
with health and holistic endeavors and recently acknowledged sufferVINEYARD IS AS SWEET AS
THE EX-CEO’S BRUNELLO VINTAGE
ing from Parkinson’s disease.)
“They were looking for somebody who would settle things down
t’s easy to see why former Time
Warner CEO Richard Parsons
1
and who was basically sensible and had reasonable leadership qualifell in love with Il Palazzone estate
ties,” says Parsons.
in Montalcino, Italy, with its stone
DOCG, “the best of the Italian reds,”
They went with stability and empathy. They chose “wet.”
H
At Time Warner, his stature nonetheless gave
e glances out the window,
him huge clout, and he moved quickly to promote
perhaps contemplating the
Jeffrey Bewkes and Don Logan as his deputies,
way the world once was. He
paving the way for Bewkes in turn to replace him
can almost see where he grew
in 2008, when he stepped down. (Bewkes did not
up, or would if he could just
respond to requests for comment.)
crane his head a bit farther
Parsons also dropped AOL from the comeast. He’s come an unimagipany’s name; it would be sold altogether a few
nable distance from his start in Queens, where he
years later, the final recognition that this shotwas raised the son of an electrical technician and a
gun marriage had been ill-conceived from the
homemaker, a boy bright enough to skip two grades
start. “You couldn’t make them work seamlessly,”
and then coast through the University of Hawaii.
he explains. “The disrupters, the new-media
“I was perhaps the least successful student of my
people, just had a whole different way of thinkgeneration,” he admits. “I’m actually a type-B pering about business, and when you really cut to
sonality. I’m not driven. But I am competitive. So if
the core of it, their job was to disintermediate the
you happen to get into a game, you want to win.”
old-media guys.”
His competitive vein must run deeper than one
Analysts largely credited Parsons with sucwould guess from his easygoing charm, but it kicked
cess, noting he managed to fend off calls to
in at Albany Law School, where he graduated top
break up the company, while selling its slowerof his class and was No. 1 among the 4,000 potential
growing divisions. But they also pointed out,
lawyers who sat for the New York State Bar — which
when he left, that Time Warner stock was essensurprised even him. “We didn’t have any lawyers
tially where it had been when he took over. “I
in our neighborhood,” he says. “When you grew up
Parsons and his wife, Bush, at a gala at Lincoln
always thought very highly of him,” says James
in the ’50s and ’60s and you were black and had talCenter’s Alice Tully Hall in April 2007.
Goss, managing director of Barrington Research.
ent, you were supposed to be a doctor or a minister.”
“He was the steady hand they needed after the challenge of AOL.”
In law school, he met then-New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, and
Adds veteran analyst Hal Vogel: “He was persuaded to buy back
when Rockefeller became vice president in 1974, “He asked me to come
$20 billion of shares, a horrible use of capital. But he was the right
to Washington as one of his lawyers, so I went to work [in the White
guy in the right place at the right time. Time Warner was a bunch
House] as general counsel and associate director of what was then the
of fiefdoms and he was effective in moving it toward a cohesive
Domestic Counsel.” He remained three years, more than enough for a
management team.”
young man who already had a wife and three kids. (He and Laura have a
Throughout, the executive was aware that a clock was ticking, know- boy and two girls, one transgender.) “It was the experience of a lifetime,”
ing he planned to resign at age 60; he did so on Jan. 1, 2008. “I knew,
he recalls, but “I was ready to go. It’s a 24/7 kind of job.”
when I signed my contract, the day I would step down,” he says. “When
The rising political star left to join the law firm of Patterson Belknap
the first announcement was made [about his promotion to chairman
Webb & Tyler, where he stayed until he was hired to run the troubled
and CEO], I went home and told my wife, and she looked at me and
Dime Savings Bank, which he turned around so successfully that he was
said: ‘Well, congratulations. But they got the wrong guy. You don’t even recruited by Time Warner, where he became president in 1991.
like the internet. They need somebody more oriented toward the way
It was his connection to the Rockefellers, whose foundation he now
the world is going.’ ”
chairs, that initiated a long association with the Republican Party, which
may be coming to an end. He’s the kind of moderate conservative who
readily acknowledges that the politician who’s most impressed him is
a Democrat, Bill Clinton. “He was the brightest fellow ever to hold the
office,” says Parsons. “You almost can’t measure Clinton’s intelligence.”
Parsons voted for Hillary Clinton in the last election.
At one point, there was some discussion of Parsons joining President
2
Barack Obama’s cabinet as secretary of commerce, but that was nipped
in the bud when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma; he is now in
remission, following a stem cell transplant.
He admits of President Donald Trump, whom he knows well, “I’m
not a huge fan. He is, by almost any measure that you want to identify,
ill-equipped to be the president of the United States. He doesn’t know
what he doesn’t know. He’s clueless in terms of things he is ignorant
about and thinks he knows things he doesn’t.” But is he good for corporate America? Parsons comes as close as he ever will to throwing up his
4
hands in exasperation. “He’s not good for any America.”
1 From growing the sangiovese grosso grape to bottling, the full
If the executive had been younger, perhaps he too would have run
winemaking process occurs at Il Palazzone. 2 2001 Riserva. 3 Pool
for office; if not for the myeloma, there was speculation he might become
and patio. 4 Fermenting in 1,400-gallon Slavonian oak barrels.
mayor of New York. Instead, 10 years after he left Time Warner with a
Parsons has kept the mostly organic,
Rosso di Brunello
view to retire — after getting sucked into stints at Citigroup and the L.A.
traditional way of winemaking.
for Wolfgang Puck
Clippers, both of which he brought back from the brink — he’s at last
Come October, the fruit is picked by
is available at many
hand and table-sorted, and the
of his restaurants
easing into a semi-retirement, even if it involves a host of commitments,
wines are vinified separately before
around the globe;
3
from the Rockefeller Foundation to the Apollo Theater in Harlem to variblending. Wine collectors, take note
the 2015 was just
ous educational charities and investment endeavors.
if you have your hands on a bottle
released and is currently in limited
Only now, about to turn 70, with no compelling calls of duty, is he truly
of the Brunello from 2010 — what
supply at Spago for $60.
free to do what he wants, if he can ever make up his mind. “So far,” he
Gray describes as “the vintage
Parsons, who lives in New York
of the millennium in Montalcino.”
City, visits the estate twice a year,
says, his eyes twinkling, “I haven’t figured what that is.”
“and yeah, we go into the fields
and pick grapes.” Besides commissioning a local architect to build
the state-of-the-art winery in 2012,
Other five-star vintages include
2012, which was released in 2017;
and 2015, which will come out in
2020. — LESLEY BALLA
63
SCORE
HANS ZIMMER CAN’T
LET DUNKIRK GO
‘I’d be in the studio all day writing, I’d go home, fall asleep and dream about it,’
says the 11-time Oscar nominee of scoring Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic
By Byron Burton
F
rom the opening clicks of
Christopher Nolan’s watch, Dunkirk’s
score tells its audience that time is
of the essence. For his sixth collaboration with Nolan, German composer Hans
Zimmer also felt the pressure of time, scrambling to create a score that matched the
intensity of Nolan’s World War II epic.
Zimmer, 60, who won an Oscar for The Lion
King in 1995, spoke with THR about earning
his 11th nomination, Blade Runner 2049’s score
snub and why he can’t quite get Dunkirk out of
his head.
Have you seen Darkest Hour, and do you feel
that the films complement each other?
Not only do they complement each other,
I think it’s an extraordinary bit of zeitgeist.
To Europeans, Dunkirk [the World War II
siege where Allied soldiers were surrounded
on the beach by the German army] was a huge
event, and we all know about it, but the rest
of the world doesn’t seem to know that much
regarding those events. Now we have two films
made about it, which are the flip sides of a coin.
What was your reaction to your other score, for
Blade Runner 2049, not receiving a nomination
in that category?
When you work on a film, you never think
about the awards. Dunkirk was all-consuming;
it was a very particular project that is as much
Chris Nolan’s score as it is mine. There was an
idea that we’ve been working toward ever since
Batman Begins: How will we truly merge the
images and the sound into one experience? We
managed to do that on this film.
On the anniversary of Dunkirk, you visited the
beach where they were filming. You said that
sadness was everywhere.
Yes. I’m looking at it as we speak: I got a jar
of the sand and kept it next to me throughout.
I can’t quite let it go. Does that makes sense?
It’s so rare that you actually cross into reality
on these movies — actually being there on
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
64
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
the day and feeling what it must have felt like.
Actually being able to grab a handful of sand
and say, “OK, this is what I’m going to write
from — this feeling.”
Was this before you’d written anything, or were
you deep into the scoring process?
Oh no, this was long before I’d written anything. I had an idea, but as usual, it changed.
You recorded a symphonic score early on
for Dunkirk, which you called a huge mistake.
Did any cues or ideas survive from those
recording sessions?
It was devastating to go to London to record an
orchestral score and put it up against picture
only to realize that it’s not working. By then,
we were running out of time. The mechanics
of time were excruciating. The lack of sleep
in particular. Dunkirk was one of those movies where I’d be in the studio all day writing,
I’d go home, fall asleep and dream about it. It
never left me. Sometimes it takes me a while to
recognize my mistakes. Once I do, well, there’s
a huge garbage bin here in the studio, and they
just get thrown in, never to appear again.
SCORES TO SPAN THE AGES
Four nominated composers aimed to create water out of sound, romance without
cheesiness and bring a new sonic force to the Star Wars universe By Rebecca Ford
Carter Burwell
Three Billboards Outside
Ebbing, Missouri
Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy about a mother (Frances
McDormand) seeking justice for her murdered daughter features a slew of colorful characters, from a closed-minded cop
(Sam Rockwell) to a troubled police chief (Woody Harrelson). But
Burwell had to focus his score on the themes of the film rather
than the characters. “A lot of times, you might attach a musical
theme to particular characters or particular story elements, but
because of the odd way the characters come and go, and the
way their alliances keep shifting, it didn’t really work to play the
characters,” says Burwell, who earned his second Oscar nom
(he previously was nominated for 2015’s Carol). “The themes are
conceptual ones, like death or vengeance or loss, and once I had
those in mind, then the score was relatively straightforward.”
Alexandre Desplat
The Shape
of Water
How does one give a voice to two characters who can’t speak?
Desplat was faced with using the score for Guillermo del Toro’s
The Shape of Water to allow the film’s silent characters — the
mute cleaning lady played by Sally Hawkins and the sea creature
played by Doug Jones — to express themselves without words.
“I created a love theme based on the individual themes I created
for the characters — an accordion representing him and flutes
representing her,” says Desplat, who earned his ninth nomination for the score (he won for The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2015).
The other challenge was to create a score that “would sound
like it would be played underwater,” he says. “When you’re underwater in a swimming pool or the sea, you can hear music in the
distance, but it’s very blurred.”
Jonny Greenwood
Phantom
Thread
Greenwood, who has scored every Paul Thomas Anderson film
since 2007’s There Will Be Blood, was tasked with finding the
right tone for the 1950s-set dramedy that stars Daniel Day-Lewis
as a dress designer who falls for a complicated muse (Vicky
Krieps). The Radiohead guitarist, who earned his first Oscar nomination for Phantom Thread, had to figure out how to write sincerely
romantic music — and in an English style — but also make sure
it was “not ironic or pastiche,” he says. “This was the toughest part
to figure out — keeping it heartfelt but not bursting the bubble of
the film’s period setting.” For the score, he teamed with the London
Contemporary Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as
well as their respective conductors, Rob Ames and Robert Ziegler,
who he says “made the music come alive.”
John Williams
Star Wars:
The Last Jedi
The veteran composer received his 51st nomination (the most by any
living person) for the score to Rian Johnson’s space epic. Williams,
85, has won the Oscar five times — for Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws,
Star Wars: A New Hope, E.T. and Schindler’s List. He has worked
on every Star Wars movie (two years ago he was nominated for his
score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he is working on the
upcoming Han Solo stand-alone, Solo), which presents him with
the challenge of honoring his past work and the iconic scores that
fans love while also creating something new. For The Last Jedi,
Williams brought in themes for the new characters joining a galaxy
far, far away including Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) and new relationships being explored such as those of Rose and Finn (John Boyega)
and Rey (Ridley) and Kylo (Adam Driver).
ZIMMER: MASTERCLASS. NOALN: JOHN SHEARER/INVISION/AP. DESPLAT: AMANDA EDWARDS/WIREIMAGE. BURWELL: PHILLIP FARAONE/FILMMAGIC. WILLIAMS: RICH POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR DISNEY. GREENWOOD: JEFF SPICER/GETTY
IMAGES. DUNKIRK: COURTESY OF WARNER BROS. WATER: COURTESY OF FOX SEARCHLIGHT. BILLBOARDS: MERRICK MORTON/FOX SEARCHLIGHT. WARS: LUCASFILM LTD./DISNEY. THREAD: LAURIE SPARHAM/FOCUS FEATURES.
The music opens with the sound of Nolan’s watch.
Besides his fascination with time, was there any
other reason for choosing it?
In a peculiar way, we never talked about it
because we’ve been playing with the
concept of time in all the movies that we’ve
done together. It was quite a challenge to
do something very simple and be overt about
it. We don’t try to hide it — we’re telling you
that this movie is about time. We declared it
on the first frame, so now we have to decide
how to make that interesting. That is where
it became complicated.
As you wrote the score, you stated you argued
with Nolan like only brothers could. How so?
This is where Dunkirk was very different
from any film that I’ve worked on and I think
any movie that Chris has ever worked on: The
score was done as a 90-minute piece of music.
So if you shift or change something early on,
it will affect everything downstream. Really,
it wasn’t ever about style or objectivity; it was
strictly that sometimes I ran out of answers.
How do you build tension for 90 minutes?
There were times that I would nearly give up,
and Chris wouldn’t let me. He’d say: “Hans,
you wanted to do this. See it through.”
How has your relationship with Nolan grown
and changed over the years?
Simple: He’s Chris. He’s willing to go and
take huge risks, and he protects me by letting me take huge risks. That little menacing
string sound for Heath Ledger’s Joker in The
Dark Knight, that was a truly painful and not
very pleasant sound. Imagine playing that
to a director and saying: “This is the motif for
your big summer blockbuster.” You have to
work with someone you can trust, someone
who has a sense of adventure and willingness
to experiment. I’m always trying to surprise
him while being true to his sonic world.
“It was my
duty not to
sentimentalize
it or inflict
some fake
emotional
truth onto the
audience,”
says Zimmer
(right, with
Dunkirk
helmer Nolan).
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
65
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
ORIGINAL SONG
SUFJAN STEVENS
FINALLY MIGHT
HAVE TO WEAR
A TUXEDO
The singer-songwriter behind the dreamy music of
Call Me by Your Name (as well as that unauthorized
Tonya Harding ballad) lands his first Oscar nomination
By Michael O’Connell
S
ufjan Stevens doesn’t
really do awards
shows. The 42-yearold singer-songwriter
behind celebrated concept
albums like Illinois and Carrie
& Lowell has thrived on the
periphery of the mainstream for
the better part of the past two
decades. So a conversation about
his first Oscar nomination,
for one of three songs he contributed to Luca Guadagnino’s Call
Me by Your Name, quickly devolves
into a debate about whether the
singer should attend the ceremony. He also offers his take
on Tonya Harding’s apparent distaste for his new single
about her.
Do you know if you’ll be performing
“Miracle of Love” at the show?
They’ve only asked if I’m going to
There’s one guy that did a medley,
with the flute, the harp and an
accordion. It was really sophisticated. If I can’t figure it out, I’m
just going to hire him to perform
it in my place.
attend. If I can find something to
wear, I will probably attend.
Have you given any thought to
what you might like to do if you get
the opportunity to perform?
The only problem is that I’ve
never played the song live. I’d have
to figure that out. The other day
I was YouTube-ing people who’ve
covered it, and I was so impressed
by how many have figured it out.
You surrender some creative
control in handing these songs
over to the film. What did you
think of the way Luca used them?
The final scene left me
heartbroken and devastated. That’s
more of a testament to Timothee
[Chalamet]’s performance. I could
have watched that scene in silence,
and it would have been just as
powerful. You know, I generally
dislike music in film. It can be
manipulative and disruptive, but
somehow Luca gets away with it.
You just released a song about
Tonya Harding. And, in a New York
Times interview, she got pretty
riled about you using her name.
I loved that. I went out and got
a physical copy of the newspaper, put it in Saran Wrap and
archived it away. That’s something I’m going to enjoy showing
‘These Lines Become a Prayer’
Writers who created nominated songs reflect on the words they wove together
to explore themes of love, acceptance and family By Rebecca Ford
Pasek (left) and Paul were back-to-back Golden Globes winners for La La Land in
2017 (for which they also won the Oscar) and The Greatest Showman in 2018.
BENJ PASEK (“This Is Me,”
The Greatest Showman)
I’m not scared to be seen /
I make no apologies, this is me
I can still remember the gnawing
anxiety I used to feel being a
closeted gay teenager, terrified
that the world would never like
me if it knew who I really was.
I became accustomed to hiding
parts of myself, modifying my
speech, movement and behavior
to cover up what I thought of
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
66
as ugly and unwanted. I am
proud of learning that when we
step out of the shadows and
show ourselves to the world,
we have the ability to be loved
exactly as we are.
JUSTIN PAUL (“This Is Me,”
The Greatest Showman)
Another round of bullets hits
my skin / Well, fire away
’cause today, I won’t let the
shame sink in
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Anything I write these days
is recontextualized after
becoming a father. My fierce
and adventurous little girl
is almost 2 years old, and every
day I think about that inevitable moment when for the
first time she’ll face some kind
of adversity, put-down or
intolerance. These lines become
a prayer for her — that she’ll
always remember her worth, her
strength and her identity.
historical people, living or dead,
mythological or not. It’s my job. My
job is to write a song about Tonya
Harding or Abraham Lincoln
or John Wayne Gacy or Moses or
Venus. (Laughs.) It’s my job!
A lot of people assume the song is
on the I, Tonya soundtrack.
The song is in no way affiliated
with the movie, but I certainly
rushed to release it in tandem. I
sent them a copy while they were
still editing: “Hey, y’all, I know
that you’re working on the movie.
I’ve been working on this song
for about 10 years.” That’s true.
I’ve been trying to write a Tonya
Harding song for a long time. The
musical director got back to us
and said, “Um, we’re kind of going
in a different direction.”
my grandchildren. She’s just tough
as nails. It’s all so problematic.
She’s obviously quite possessive
of herself and her brand. I loved
that story, but I felt the writer was
being very generous [to her].
STEVENS: SUZI PRATT/WIREIMAGE. BLIGE: CHRIS PIZZELLO/INVISION/AP. PASEK: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. ANDERSON-LOPEZ: WALTER MCBRIDE/
WIREIMAGE. STINSON: FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES. COMMON: EARL GIBSON III/WIREIMAGE. CALL: COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS.
That was one of the last pieces
before she started telling reporters
they can’t ask about her past.
She had her 15 minutes of fame —
again! She’s complicated. I’m just
glad to know that she’s fine. She’s
a survivor, and she’s going to be
OK. I wish I could write her a letter
to let her know I’m not making
any money off of the song or capitalizing on anyone. I’m a creative
person. I write songs about people,
KRISTEN
ANDERSONLOPEZ
(“Remember
Me,” Coco)
Know that I’m
with you / The only way that
I can be / Until you’re in my
arms again / Remember me
That comes from a very
female/mom place privately
for me. My second-grader is
not a second-grader anymore;
she’s a third-grader. It goes by
so fast, and we have to go sometimes, we have to not be there
at bedtime sometimes, and that
song was informed by that.
Call Me by
Your Name
(pictured,
left) features
three songs
by Stevens
(above), two
of which
he wrote for
the film.
What are you working on right now?
I am trying to figure out what to
wear to the Oscars. I should go,
right? I have to go. How am I 42 and
I’ve never worn a tuxedo? I guess
I’ll give it a try. If I can meet Mary J.
Blige, I will go for that alone.
What are the odds that they
pronounce your name correctly?
I don’t think they even acknowledge the singer’s name. This is
what’s so exciting about this category that no one ever talks about.
It’s the song that’s nominated,
not the singer or songwriter. Isn’t
that awesome? Intellectual property wins an Oscar!
TAURA
STINSON
(“Mighty
River,”
Mudbound )
Love is
the answer, hate is a cancer
Not only do people directmessage me [on Twitter] that
randomly — those words only,
and that’s it — I love that it’s
resonating with people. You’re
either going to spread goodness or the opposite of that, and
that’s what I feel like I’ve been
put here to do as a songwriter:
uplift and spread goodness and
not the cancer, not the hate.
COMMON
(“Stand
Up for
Something,”
Marshall )
Let the ways
of love be the ways of man
When I say “man,” I mean
mankind. If we operate in love,
everything will be good for
everyone. Even when people
are putting negative energy or
hatred out there, still operating in love is, to me, God’s gift
to us — that’s how we can
make the world better. It may
seem like a big concept, but it’s
simple, and it’s real.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
67
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
MARY J. BLIGE HITS
A NEW HIGH NOTE
“It cuts through hatred,” the music icon says of
“Mighty River,” her Mudbound nominated song
By Shannon L. Bowen
T
hings are looking up for Mary J. Blige. The
queen of hip-hop soul has seen her share of
tough times, including the recent dissolution of
her marriage to manager Kendu Isaacs, but she’s
starting 2018 on a very high note by making history
as the first person to receive an acting nomination
and a song nomination — for her work on Netflix’s
Mudbound — in the same year.
Blige, 47, didn’t know she would be contributing
the film’s uplifting end-title track “Mighty River”
(which she co-wrote with Raphael Saadiq and
Taura Stinson) until after the film was completed,
but long before that she knew she wanted the job:
“I couldn’t wait for them to come ask me to sing
the end-title song. It was like I was just laying in
the cut, waiting. When they did, it was right up my
alley. I was like, ‘Yes! This is too good.’ ”
Blige was touring with R&B artist Maxwell at the
end of 2016 when she got the call. Eager to begin,
in the middle of the tour she rushed to the studio
to get to work with Saadiq, with whom she had coproduced and co-written the original song “I See in
Color” for 2009’s Precious.
Replete with soulful harmonies, “Mighty River”
harks back to Blige’s gospel roots. She grew up
singing in church, and the chorus taps into the
gospel tradition of call-and-response, with Blige
driving the song forward and a choir of background
singers answering back.
“When people are in church, it’s a lot of
responding to what the pastor says or responding to what the choir is singing, rejoicing to what
they’re singing,” she says. “So I don’t know if it
was so conscious; it’s just something that we do.
Even in R&B we do it.”
The song’s river theme also speaks to a long history of hymns and spirituals in which water — and
rivers in particular — serve as a force of absolution
and healing, a force as urgently needed in today’s
America as in the Jim Crow South so poignantly
depicted in Mudbound.
“Water is cleansing, and a river is strong, a river
is powerful. So it’s going to take something really
powerful to come through and cleanse everything,”
says Blige. “It cuts through hatred. That’s why
love is representing the mighty river because love
is way more powerful than hate.”
Reviews
Television & Film
Here and Now
Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins star as heads of a troubled multiracial
family in Alan Ball’s wildly uneven new drama for HBO By Tim Goodman
There is going to be an audience
for HBO’s new series Here and
Now: It’s from creator Alan Ball
(True Blood, Six Feet Under), it often
plays like This Is Us with more sex,
and there’s a possibly paranormal secret in the story. Oh, and
the show also takes on, in various ways and to varying degrees,
Trump, post-election grief, race,
gender, LGBTQ issues, Muslim
identity and aging.
It’s a pretty big stew of ideas
that Ball (who wrote the first
two episodes and directed the
pilot) is stirring. A lack of ambition clearly is not the problem
here. But there indeed are
problems in the four hourlong
↑ Hunter plays an idealistic Portland therapist
struggling to adapt to the Trump era.
episodes HBO sent for review as
the series tries to figure out,
without much success, just what
show it wants to be. It first seems
to be aiming for a portrayal of
what it’s like to be a disappointed,
frustrated liberal in America
today. Holly Hunter plays Audrey,
a former therapist married to
philosopher Greg (Tim Robbins).
After meeting at UC Berkeley,
they adopted three children, from
Vietnam, Liberia and Colombia.
The whole family now lives in
Portland, Oregon, with the two
eldest children, Duc (Raymond
Lee) and Ashley (Jerrika Hinton),
all grown and resentful toward
their parents for having paraded
them around as some feel-good
experiment in cultural progressivism. Both are also a little
resentful that third adopted child
AIRDATE 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 (HBO)
CAST Tim Robbins, Holly Hunter,
Robbins
(left) and
Lee are
a father and
son with a
fraying bond.
Jerrika Hinton, Raymond Lee, Daniel
Zovatto, Sosie Bacon, Peter Macdissi
CREATOR Alan Ball
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
68
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Ramon (Daniel Zovatto) had it
easiest, mostly because he doesn’t
necessarily “look” Colombian.
Audrey and Greg later had a biological daughter, Kristen (Sosie
Bacon), who seems annoyed that
she’s a boring slice of white bread
in one big multigrain family.
Almost immediately, the trouble with Here and Now is that all of
these people, with the exception
of Ramon, are distinctly unlikable. Over the course of the first
four hours, that barely changes.
Ramon, who is gay, is not nearly as
annoyingly quirky as the others,
and his burgeoning relationship
with Henry (Andy Bean), whom
he meets at a cafe, is the most
believable and interesting part of
the show.
Ramon also has what appear
to be visions, which hint at a
Lost-like subplot that’s an awkward, though intriguing, fit for
the soapy drama. He begins to
see a psychiatrist, Farid Shokrani
(Peter Macdissi), a deeply conflicted Muslim whose wife, Minou
(Necar Zadegan), is annoyed
that he won’t embrace the faith
more fully and whose son, Navid
(Marwan Salama), is “gender
fluid” and wears both makeup
and a hijab at home. When Here
and Now focuses on Ramon
and Henry or the Shokrani family, it has depth and appeal. These
are characters who feel fresh
and grounded, with stories you
want to follow. It’s debatable
whether the narrative diversion
involving Ramon’s visions will
add value; that part of the story
is maddeningly teased out. But
it still beats the preachy, on-thenose dialogue that dominates
the scenes involving the rest of
Ramon’s family.
It’s hard to tell if Ball wants
viewers to like Robbins’ and
Hunter’s characters or if we’re
meant to see them as narcissistic bobos cracking under the
pressure of the Trump era.
Let’s hope Here and Now figures it out quick.
THR’S SOCIAL CLIMBERS
Davis (left)
and Theron
navigate new
worlds of
friendship
and family.
A ranking of the week’s top actors, comedians
and personalities based on social media engagement
across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more
This
Week
1
↑ I
Last
Week
2
I
Tully
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
HERE: COURTESY OF HBO (2). TULLY: KIMBERLY FRENCH/FOCUS FEATURES. BROWN: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. SEGURA: MAWWTTHEW EISMAN/GETTY IMAGES. GLAZER: JB LACROIX/WIREIMAGE. ROWE: MICHAEL BUCKNER/WIREIMAGE.
Millie Bobby Brown
The Rock’s nine-week run
at No. 1 was snapped by
Brown, who had four of the
five top posts on Instagram
by an actor. The leader — a
photo of Brown, surrounded
by flower prints, with the
caption “not all superheroes
wear capes” — earned
3.7 million favorites.
Charlize Theron dazzles as an exhausted mom
who bonds with the nanny in Jason Reitman’s
razor-sharp comedy By John DeFore
Eleven years after Juno, Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman
team up a third time for another smart, funny and strange
look at pregnancy, motherhood and some less common
challenges surrounding them. The movie was the “surprise
screening” at the recent Sundance Film Festival.
This time, we approach things from the perspective of a
mother of three (Charlize Theron, excellent) whose latest
child might well be the end of her — if not for the arrival
of the eponymous miracle nanny, played by Mackenzie
Davis. Packed with more than a couple of possible feminist
readings regarding the parenting/career/life question,
Tully entertains while unflinchingly affording its characters their share of no-laughing-matter concerns.
In the story’s first act, Theron’s Marlo struggles through
the last days of pregnancy and then dives into the routine of caring for a newborn. She and husband Drew (Ron
Livingston) already had their hands full: Their daughter
is on the cusp of an awkward phase, and their son is a “special needs” kid whose special needs have yet to be labeled.
Marlo’s brother (Mark Duplass), who is living a luxuryproduct life with his wife (Elaine Tan), offers to hire them a
“night nanny,” who will watch the infant while the parents
rest, only waking Mom when it’s time to breastfeed.
Enter Tully, who arrives one night to relieve Marlo’s
exhaustion, her conspicuous midriff also reminding Marlo
what has become of her own body. Oh, the ways this could
go wrong. But Marlo starts staying up late just to hang out
with Tully, drawing energy from her and enjoying her company. Davis, who has excelled playing insecure or damaged
women in Always Shine and Halt and Catch Fire, gets a very
different part here as a seemingly bottomless reservoir of
goodwill and assistance. Her fine work suggests someone
should consider moving the actress center stage.
Marlo starts becoming a happier housewife, smiling
more, preparing home-cooked meals and putting on
makeup. Is Tully this generation’s Mary Poppins? Or will
she and Marlo decide they’re
OPENS Friday, April 20
in love and fly this nest of depen(Focus Features)
dents? The less said, the better.
CAST Charlize Theron,
Mackenzie Davis, Ron
But the climax gives Theron a terLivingston, Mark Duplass,
rific scene in which Marlo vents
Elaine Tan, Lia Frankland,
about her thwarted dreams, addAsher Miles Fallica
ing notes of painful truth to an
DIRECTOR Jason Reitman
already piercing comedy.
Rated R, 94 minutes
2
↓ I
1
I
Dwayne Johnson
3
↑ I
5
I
Dove Cameron
4
↑ I
7
I
Kevin Hart
5
↑ I
10
I
Priyanka Chopra
6
↓ I
4
I
Jennifer Lopez
7
↑ I
8
I
Will Smith
8
↑ I
-
I
Deepika Padukone
9
↑ I
22
I
Noah Schnapp
10
↑ I
-
I
Jack Dylan Grazer
The 14-year-old It star
leaped 620 percent in
Instagram favorites after he
posted an apology video
responding to a leaked video
in which he was caught
smoking marijuana. “I have
learned my lesson, and
I have learned it the hard
way,” he said.
11
↓ I
3
I
Gal Gadot
12
↑ I
17
I
Hugh Jackman
13
↓ I
6
I
Finn Wolfhard
14
↑ I
15
I
Gaten Matarazzo
15
↓ I
14
I
Emma Watson
16
↓ I
11
I
Zendaya
17
↓ I
9
I
Nina Dobrev
18
↓ I
12
I
Cara Delevingne
19
↓ I
16
I
Ansel Elgort
20
↑ I
-
I
David Harbour
21
↑ I
-
I
Vin Diesel
22
↑ I
24
I
Caleb McLaughlin
23
↓ I
21
I
Lily Collins
24
↑ I
-
I
K.J. Apa
25
↑ I
-
I
Zooey Deschanel
69
This
Week
Actors
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Last
Week
Comedians
1
←
→ I
1
I
Kevin Hart
2
←
→ I
2
I
D.L. Hughley
3
↑ I
4
I
Joe Rogan
4
↑ I
6
I
Marlon Wayans
5
↓ I
3
I
Mike Epps
6
↓ I
5
I
Colleen Ballinger
7
↑ I
8
I
Bill Maher
8
↑ I
-
I
Tom Segura
Segura, a veteran comic,
makes his first chart
appearance with a 144 percent jump in Instagram
comments after his Netflix
stand-up special,
Disgraceful, came under
fire when some claimed
Segura mocked people with
Down syndrome.
9
↑ I
-
I
Amy Schumer
10
↑ I
-
I
Trevor Noah
This
Week
Last
Week
TV Personalities
1
↑ I
6
I
Chelsea Handler
2
↑ I
5
I
Joanna Gaines
3
↑ I
8
I
Mike Huckabee
4
↓ I
3
I
Tamera Mowry
5
↑ I
-
I
Mike Rowe
Facebook likes for Rowe,
narrator of the Science
Channel’s How the Universe
Works, rose 279 percent
following his post replying
to a user who said he should
be removed from the show
due to what she called his
“science-doubting,
ultra-right-wing” views.
6
↓ I
1
I
Gordon Ramsay
7
↑ I
-
I
Chris Hayes
8
↑ I
10
I
Steve Harvey
9
↓ I
2
I
Jake Tapper
10
↓ I
4
I
Jimmy Fallon
Data Compiled By
Source: The week’s most active and talked-about entertainers on leading
social networking sites Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Twitter and
YouTube for the week ending Jan. 24. Rankings are based on a formula
blending weekly additions of fans as well as cumulative weekly reactions
and conversations, as tracked by MVP Index.
PROMOTION
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biggest night of the year. The Hollywood
Reporter will capture all of the excitement,
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Oscars® preview. This collectors edition will
include features written by award winning
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Read by Hollywood’s power players, studio
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ISSUE CLOSE 2/21
MATERIALS 2/22
Backlot
Innovators, Events, Honors
Writer, Director,
Producer, Host
Judd Apatow steps
into the spotlight for
the DGA Awards
By Andy Lewis
2
APATOW: MARK SELIGER/NETFLIX. ROMANO: NICOLE RIVELLI/AMAZON STUDIOS. CARELL: UNIVERSAL PICTURES/PHOTOFEST. WILLIAMS, TANKER: ELISA HABER/COURTESY OF DGA. APTED: JASON LAVERIS/FILMMAGIC.
J
1
udd Apatow, who has made a career
writing and directing (The 40-YearOld Virgin) and producing (The Big
Sick), returned to his stand-up roots this year
with the Netflix special The Return, so it’s fitting that he’s combining those loves
by hosting this year’s Directors Guild
DGA Awards
of America Awards (taking the reins
Feb. 3
from Jane Lynch). Ahead of the Feb. 3
what the real dangers are. It’s very
Beverly Hilton
easy to be powerless. I have always
ceremony at The Beverly Hilton, Apatow
encouraged my daughters to attempt
talked about whether he’ll target
to be not just actors but writers and producers
Donald Trump in his monologue, his #MeToo
and directors, if that’s what they decide to do.
advice for his daughters and the movie from
this past year that stuck with him most.
Has the DGA done a good job with diversity?
What made you decide to host the DGA Awards?
I just kept bumping into [DGA president]
Tommy Schlamme everywhere I went — it
seemed destined. I couldn’t escape him.
Will your monologue be topical, hitting on the
#MeToo anti-harassment movement and Trump?
It would be weird to ignore it all. I will do my
best to address it all head on, and hopefully I
will find the right tone — 50/50 I do.
With the #MeToo movement, what advice do
you have for your daughters, Maude and Iris?
It’s very important for young women to be
educated about what’s actually going on and
HIGH HONORS
FOR HELMERS
A trio of veteran
behind-the-camera
men will be feted
It’s a great collection of [nominated] films this
year. Overall, the amount of women directing
movies is criminally low. In the neighborhood
of 5 percent of movies were directed by women
in the past 10 years. It needs to change.
You produced The Big Sick. How do you decide
what to produce versus direct?
I’m the perfect director for certain projects
and the worst possible director for other
projects. I’ve been directing a lot of television
— our shows Love and Crashing. I directed a
couple of docs that are going to be on HBO this
year, like a four-hour, two-part documentary
about Garry Shandling [March 26]. I always like
3
1 Apatow’s The Return debuted Dec. 12 on Netflix. 2 With Ray
Romano (right) on the set of The Big Sick. 3 Apatow (right,
with Steve Carell) helmed 2005’s 40-Year-Old Virgin.
to try to get to the truth of whatever I’m working on — documentaries are the purest way to
get something as honest as it can be.
What’s the truth about Garry?
Garry left behind 30 years of journals, and
this documentary was an opportunity to
get inside his head. You get to meet someone
who had his struggles and woes, and you see
how he tried to heal himself through his interests in Buddhism and spirituality and humor.
Do you have a favorite movie this year?
The film that has stayed with me the most
is The Florida Project. I was really moved by it,
and it was entertaining and trembling and,
in a very positive way, haunts me.
DWIGHT WILLIAMS
JIM TANKER
MICHAEL APTED
The Frank Capra
Achievement Award will go
to the first AD and unit
production manager, whose
credits include Girls Trip.
The Franklin J. Schaffner
Achievement Award
recipient has been associate director for the
Oscars and Grammys.
The Honorary Life
Member Award goes to
the prolific Brit, who helmed
the James Bond film
The World Is Not Enough.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
71
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
Backlot
Awards
Spotlight
The Man Who First
Brought Belle to Life
Animator James Baxter
has seen his creations
people Disney parades
and shows By Carolyn Giardina
1
2
3
assisting on Robert Zemeckis’
When it came time to create
Belle, the provincial beauty who’s
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988),
looking for more in life, Baxter
which combined live action and
recalls, “I based my drawings
a who’s who of cartoon characon what the storyboard artists
ters, before he landed a full-time
were doing, specifigig at Disney’s animaThe 45th
cally Roger Allers and
tion studio. “We were still
Annie Awards
a fairly young crew,” he
Brenda Chapman.” He
Feb. 3
says of the Beauty and the
decided to give Belle
UCLA’s Royce
Beast team. “We had just
“a rounder face, and
Hall
done The Little Mermaid
we tried to make her a
and the whole studio was startlittle more European looking,
ing to feel like there was a bit of
and certainly a brunette, which
a wave coming, that Disney was
is something that Disney had
hitting its stride in a new way,
not done a lot of, at least not since
especially with [lyricist] Howard
Snow White.”
Baxter, schooled in handAshman and [composer] Alan
drawn animation, made the jump
Menken doing the music.”
to computer animation on
DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek 2
and found that the early challenge wasn’t so much technical
SPONGEBOB, TAKE A BOW
as it was aesthetic. “In handStephen Hillenburg, the sea dweller’s creator, will be among
drawn, you have a blank sheet of
those honored for contributions to animation
paper and you can really animate
anything you are capable of
WINSOR MCCAY AWARDS
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT
AWARD
drawing. The choices are all up to
James Baxter
← Stephen Hillenburg
Studio MDHR
you,” says Baxter, who currently
Wendy Tilby and
Entertainmwent, for the
is doing visual development
Amanda Forbis
video game Cuphead
on Sony Pictures Animation’s
Vivo, the tale of a musical monkey
THE UB IWERKS AWARD
THE JUNE FORAY AWARD
for which Lin-Manuel Miranda
TVPaint
Didier Ghez
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
72
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
1 Baxter, sketching a squirrel for a recent
lecture he gave. 2 A sketch for The Lion King’s
Rafiki. 3 Belle in 1991’s Beauty and the Beast.
is contributing songs. “When I
started doing CG, you were sort
of given the computer puppet,
and you didn’t have control over
the way it necessarily looked
and the extent that you could
move it around. The technology
wasn’t quite there that you could
animate whatever you wanted,
so I felt a little bit restricted. But
the technology has now caught
up to what you want to do aesthetically with it.”
Still, he continues, “Because
my first love is hand-drawn
animation, I’m really intrigued
about how new technology can
expand on that technique so
things aren’t necessary hyperreal
— they are more abstract, handdrawn, in terms of their design
— but still use technology to
get new kinds of art direction
and storytelling onscreen.”
The story of Beauty and the Beast
was, of course, retold onscreen
with a combination of live-action
and CG visual effects in 2017, and
a “virtual production” of Lion King
with Jon Favreau directing is currently in production, stretching
the techniques the director used
in 2016’s The Jungle Book.
“I’m really interested to see
what they do and how far they will
take it,” says Baxter of the new
Lion King. “When you make something more realistic, it might
be harder to fly off into musical
numbers. It’s a little bit easier
when you are doing hand-drawn
animation, because it’s inherently abstract.”
SKETCHES: COURTESY OF JAMES BAXTER (2). SPONGEBOB: PARAMOUNT PICTURES/PHOTOFEST. BEAUTY: WALT DISNEY PICTURES/PHOTOFEST.
E
ven if you don’t recognize
British animator James
Baxter by name, you have
certainly seen his work. He was
the character animator for Belle
in the 1991 best picture nominee Beauty and the Beast, for the
wise mandrill Rafiki in The Lion
King and, more recently, for
Hiccup’s mother, Valka, in How to
Train Your Dragon 2. His characters have not only become screen
classics, but also have found
flesh-and-blood life, appearing
in Disneyland parades and on the
Broadway stage in the musicals
that have been spun off from the
hit films — something that he
admits to finding a bit “surreal.”
Says Baxter, “It’s fun to watch
live performers doing things
based on your animation: ‘Hey, I
kind of drew someone doing that
gesture and someone is doing it
for real.’ ”
Baxter, 50, who lives in
Los Angeles with his wife and two
children, will be honored at the
Feb. 3 Annie Awards as a recipient of the Winsor McCay Award
(named after the pioneering
animator). He started his career
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Santa Barbara’s fest,
landing mid-Oscar
voting, draws its
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OUTSTANDING
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Victoria & Abdul
T
he 33rd Santa Barbara
International Film Festival
comes on the heels of the
devastating mudslides that hit neighboring Montecito on Jan. 9. While
Highway 101 didn’t reopen until Jan. 21,
the festival’s executive director, Roger
Durling, chose to push ahead with
the annual event — “It is needed now
more than ever,” he wrote in an open
letter — with each day highlighting a
different charity involved in recovery.
The fest, which features 23 world premieres, opens Jan. 31 with the public,
directed by Emilio Estevez, who also
stars along with Alec Baldwin, Christian
Slater and Jeffrey Wright. The oldest of
Martin and Janet Sheen’s four children,
Estevez got his big break
in 1983’s The Outsiders,
then followed it up with a
string of modern classics,
from cult-favorite Repo
Durling
Man to St. Elmo’s Fire. The
55-year-old father of two adult children, who in recent years has focused
on writing and directing, spoke about
his film, which is centered on a tense
showdown with Cincinnati’s homeless
after they’re forced to leave the library
during a brutal Midwestern cold spell.
You’ve written and directed a movie
that takes place entirely in a library,
which is reminiscent of another movie
of yours [1985’s The Breakfast Club].
Sadly, it’s more relevant now than
when I started on this in 2007. The
homelessness crisis has been with us
for some time, but it does seem that
there are more people falling through
the cracks. It’s an issue that is especially pressing with the new tax cuts
and with Social Security and Medicare
on the chopping block.
I thought after 30 years, it’s time
Do you live in Los Angeles?
to go back into a library. (Laughs.)
I sold my house in November 2016
No, that was not something that was
and loaded everything up — basiintentional. This story came to me
cally distilled my life down to two
in 2007. It was inspired by a story in
suitcases and a very small storage
the L.A. Times. A librarian was retiring
unit for photographs and books. I
because he couldn’t take it anymore.
drove out to Ohio to make the film
The piece was about how libraries have
Sisters. I’ve been living in an old
become de facto homeless shelters
building in Cincinnati. I’m looking
and how librarians were no longer
to relocate my life to Ohio.
doing the work of librarians.
These guys were now first
You have roots there.
Santa Barbara
International
responders, and that’s gone
I do. My mother was born
Film Festival
to a whole other level just in
in Cincinnati in 1939 at the
Jan. 31-Feb. 10
the last 10 years. Librarians
no-longer-standing Home
are now trained to carry
for Unwed Mothers. My dad
Narcan because there are so many
was born in 1940 in Dayton, Ohio,
overdoses in urban libraries.
which is about 45 minutes away from
Cincy. I have Buckeye in my blood. My
It was originally meant to be set in L.A.? parents didn’t meet until the early
’60s in New York. Here they were, literYes, at the downtown Los Angeles
ally born 45 minutes away from each
Public Library. They said, “We
other — and then met years later in
haven’t had a film crew here since
New York, which is where my three
the last one almost set the whole
siblings and I were born.
building on fire and those sprinklers
went off.” I said, “What production
was that?” And they said, “Well, it was
Are you going to continue making films
The West Wing.”
out of the Midwest and Cincinnati?
Todd Haynes has gone to [Cincinnati]
to shoot Carol. Don Cheadle shot
As in the show your father played the
Miles Ahead there. There’s been an
president on?
incredible uptick of productions
Isn’t that cool? So, some irony there.
coming into the city. It’s a gorgeous
city. It offers a ton of locations.
Your film is incredibly timely with the
That’s a long-winded answer, which
homelessness epidemic and the bitter
is yes.
cold snaps hitting the country.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
74
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
MALTIN MODERN
MASTER AWARD
↑ Gary Oldman
Darkest Hour
SANTA BARBARA
AWARD
Saoirse Ronan
Lady Bird
AMERICAN RIVIERA
AWARD
Sam Rockwell
Three Billboards
Outside Ebbing,
Missouri
CINEMA VANGUARD
AWARD
Willem Dafoe
The Florida Project
VIRTUOSOS AWARD
Mary J. Blige
Mudbound
John Boyega
Detroit
Timothee Chalamet
Call Me by Your Name
Hong Chau
Downsizing
↓ Gal Gadot
Wonder Woman
Daniel Kaluuya
Get Out
Kumail Nanjiani
The Big Sick
PUBLIC: ORIAH ENTERTAINMENT. GADOT: CINDY ORD/GETTY IMAGES FOR REVLON. DURLING: MATT WINKELMEYER/GETTY IMAGES. OLDMAN: JEAN BAPTISTE LACROIX/WIREIMAGE.
Emilio Estevez Takes
on Homelessness in
the public Santa Barbara’s
fest kicks off as the county just
begins to recover By Seth Abramovitch
↑ Michael K. Williams (right) stars with Estevez
in the public, which debuts Jan. 31.
1. PGA Nominees: Peter Spears, Emma
Thomas, Sean McKittrick, Margot
Robbie, Mark Gordon, Evelyn O’Neill,
Barry Mendel, Amy Pascal, J. Miles Dale,
Graham Broadbent, Deborah Snyder.
2. PGA winner, J. Miles Dale, discussing
his film, The Shape of Water. 3. PGA
nominee, Amy Pascal (The Post, Molly’s
Game). 4. PGA president Lori McCreary
and nominee Margot Robbie (I, Tonya).
5. PGA president Gary Lucchesi with
nominees Emma Thomas (Dunkirk)
and Deborah Snyder (Wonder Woman).
6. PGA National Executive Director
Vance Van Petten and nominee Sean
McKittrick (Get Out).
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We are proud to be the presenting sponsor of this
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4
5
6
89 Years of THR
Memorable moments from a storied history
1 9 288
199 299
19
930
1 933 1
19
9 322
199 333
19
9 34
1935
1 936
1937
1938
1939
1 9 40
199 41
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Disney’s Fairest of Them All Debuted 80 Years Ago
a ton of money. It followed its
December 1937 premiere with a
Feb. 4, 1938, nationwide release,
and then opened through RKO
in 10 languages in 49 countries,
grossing $8 million ($139 million today). THR reported that at
New York’s Radio City, there was
a line around the block and scalpers were hawking tickets for
$2.75 to $5, which is $48 to $86
currently. (Before each screening,
audiences got to see live stage performances by the Whitey and Ed
Ford dog act, the Carr Brothers
acrobatic routine, and three dozen
dancing Rockettes.) Snow White
became the highest-grossing film
of all time — until Gone With
the Wind came out in 1939. (But
with rereleases and adjustment
for inflation, Snow White now
tops GWTW.) “With Snow White
and his next four features, Walt
Disney set the standard by which
animation is still judged,” says
animation critic and historian
Charles Solomon. To celebrate its
success, Disney hosted a weekendlong party for his 1,400 employees
called Walt’s Field Day. Held at
the Lake Norconian Resort near
Riverside, California, the June 1938
party escalated into debauchery
— and legend — with nude swimming, drunk animators falling out
of windows and horses inside the
hotel. There’s never been a Disney
party like it since. — BILL HIGGINS
↑ Disney at his desk in his Hyperion Avenue studio in August 1937, contemplating figurines of the co-stars from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The Hollywood Reporter, Vol. CDXXIV, No. 5 (ISSN 0018-3660; USPS 247-580) is published weekly; 39 issues — two issues in April, July, October and December; three issues in January and June; four issues in February, March, May, August and September; and five issues in November — with 15 special issues:
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T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
76
J A N UA RY 31, 2018
WALT DISNEY PICTURES/PHOTOFEST
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
was Walt Disney’s masterpiece.
It’s as simple as that. Mickey
Mouse, Donald Duck, the theme
parks, the TV behemoth and,
now, Star Wars and Marvel movies — all of it pales in comparison
to the artistic achievement of
his 1937 animated film. Sergei
Eisenstein, the Soviet director of
Battleship Potemkin (and a friend
of Disney’s), called it “the greatest
film ever made.” Dutch abstract
painter Piet Mondrian marveled
at its production technique. THR
said Disney, then 36, “has carved
for himself a permanent niche in
the motion picture hall of fame.”
Besides being an artistic success, the $1.5 million production
($25 million today) raked in
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