close

Вход

Забыли?

вход по аккаунту

?

The Hollywood Reporter August 2 2017

код для вставкиСкачать
HBO HACK ATTACK
Seven times worse than Sony?
MEGAN ELLISON, STUDIO CHIEF
Detroit and a risky bid for independence
August 2, 2017
SPORTS
MEDIA
A-Rod
The Redemption
Will Be Televised
Baseball’s ex-pariah reveals a plan for
second-act stardom: ‘Own your shit’
IDOL PRODUCER TALKS
Katy, Ryan and an ‘unfinished story’
SEVEN EMMY
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR
A VARIETY SPECIAL
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR
A VARIETY SPECIAL
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION
DESIGN FOR A VARIETY, NONFICTION,
EVENT OR AWARD SPECIAL
TM & © 2017 Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
®
NOMINATIONS
OUTSTANDING
VARIETY TALK SERIES
OUTSTANDING WRITING
FOR A VARIETY SERIES
OUTSTANDING
INTERACTIVE PROGRAM
40
Issue No. 23, August 2, 2017
“The mistakes I’ve made
are loud and clear,” says
Rodriguez, who was
photographed with a young
fan June 28 in New York
City. Want to know the
former ballplayer’s favorite
Jennifer Lopez song?
Find out at THR.com /video.
Limited-production rides like
this Ford GT (from $450,000)
require a test of brand loyalty
before a panel of judges.
40 A-Rod: The TV Reboot
Alex Rodriguez, in the midst
of a reinvention as an on-air
talent (and an insanely
public relationship with J.Lo),
ponders his meteoric rise
and fall and rise: “You have
to own your shit.”
50 How Sharknado Casts
Its C-Listers
Everyone from Ann Coulter
to Charo to (almost)
Trump has jumped on for
a cameo. The pitch:
“Ride the hell out of that
crazy publicity train.”
54 The Mystery of Angelyne
Is Solved
She’s an L.A. original, the
enigmatic blond bombshell,
famous for being famous
way before Paris and Kim K.
But her true identity has
remained secret all these
years … until now.
This year’s nominations
include an unusually
large set of sibling rivalries.
Jacob & Co. octopus
ring ($39,800) with
Australian South Sea
pearl and cognac and
white diamonds set
in 18-karat rose gold.
STYLE
16 When Marvel Heroes Collide
35 Life Aquatic
Universes united
at Comic-Con as stars,
helmers and studio
president Kevin Feige
gathered for a first-ever
family photo.
58 Emmys: The Co-star
Competitors
35
ABOUT TOWN
THE BUSINESS
26 Executive Suite:
Cecile Frot-Coutaz
THE REPORT
7 Another Major Hack
Has HBO Reeling
The FremantleMedia CEO
and American Idol producer
on the economics of a
revival, the tough Seacrest
deal and why Katy Perry is
worth $25 million.
The amount of data stolen
could be as much as seven
times more than what was
swiped from Sony.
Rodriguez photographed here and for the cover by Martin Schoeller
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
2
AU G U S T 2, 2017
This summer, add the
ultimate marine layer
with a splash of diamonds,
turquoise and enamel.
BACKLOT
62 Carrie Coon: ‘I Had
Journalists Weeping’
The Leftovers
(and Fargo) TCA Awards
nominee talks with
Damon Lindelof about their
HBO drama’s impact.
CORRECTION Roger Ailes and lawyer Peter
Johnson Jr. were photographed leaving
Rupert Murdoch’s apartment building (THR
7/19), not 21st Century Fox offices.
RING: COURTESY OF JACOB & CO. GT: WES DUENKEL/COURTESY OF FORD.
FEATURES
36
F O R YO U R E M M Y C O N S I D E R AT I O N
®
4 NOMINATIONS
OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE ROBERT DE NIRO
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MICHELLE PFEIFFER
OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL
- THE BOSTON GLOBE
©2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO ® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.
Matthew Belloni
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Alison Brower
Shanti Marlar
Tom Seeley
DEPUTY EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
DEPUTY EDITORIAL DIRECTOR,
DIGITAL MEDIA
Sudie Redmond
Stephen Galloway
Jennifer Laski
Jeanie Pyun
Peter Flax
EXECUTIVE MANAGING EDITOR
EXECUTIVE EDITOR, FEATURES
PHOTO & VIDEO DIRECTOR
DEPUTY EDITOR
FEATURES EDITOR
EDITOR-AT-LARGE Kim Masters
FILM
FILM EDITOR Gregg Kilday • SENIOR FILM WRITERS Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock, Tatiana Siegel • FILM REPORTER Rebecca Ford • TECH EDITOR Carolyn Giardina
STAFF WRITER, FILM Mia Galuppo • CHIEF FILM CRITIC Todd McCarthy • CHIEF THEATER CRITIC David Rooney • INTERNATIONAL FILM EDITOR Deborah Young
TELEVISION
TELEVISION EDITOR Lacey Rose • CHIEF TELEVISION CRITIC Tim Goodman • TELEVISION CRITIC Daniel J. Fienberg • TELEVISION EDITOR, EAST COAST Marisa Guthrie • TELEVISION NEWS EDITOR Lesley Goldberg
SENIOR WRITER, TELEVISION Michael O’Connell • TELEVISION WRITERS Bryn Elise Sandberg, Kate Stanhope • MEDIA & POLITICS WRITER Jeremy Barr • STAFF REPORTER Brian Porreca
SENIOR EDITOR Benjamin Svetkey • SENIOR EDITOR, AWARDS Anna Lisa Raya • SENIOR EDITOR, COPY Mike Barnes • REVIEWS EDITOR Jon Frosch • FASHION & BEAUTY DIRECTOR Carol McColgin
REAL ESTATE & CITY EDITOR Peter Kiefer • SENIOR WRITERS Seth Abramovitch, Gary Baum, Scott Johnson • SENIOR AWARDS ANALYST Scott Feinberg
SENIOR EDITOR, EVENTS Ramona Saviss • SENIOR REPORTER Rebecca Sun • INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS EDITOR Georg Szalai • WEST COAST BUSINESS EDITOR Paul Bond
SENIOR EDITOR, NEW YORK Eriq Gardner • BOOKS EDITOR Andy Lewis • STAFF WRITER Chris Gardner • STAFF WRITER, DIGITAL MEDIA Natalie Jarvey • STAFF REPORTER Ashley Cullins
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lindsay Flans • ASSISTANT STYLE EDITOR Jane Carlson • EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Kendal McAlpin • ASSISTANT TO THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Beno Akram
COPY
ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITOR Jennifer H. Levin • DEPUTY COPY CHIEF Darah Head • SENIOR COPY EDITORS Cheryl Cheng, Lisa de los Reyes
ART
DESIGN DIRECTOR Peter B. Cury • ART DIRECTOR Kelsey Stefanson • ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTORS
Christopher Hawkins, Fah Sakharet • ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Nicholas Brawley • SENIOR DESIGNER Jen Cienfuegos
SENIOR ART PRODUCTION MANAGER Michelle Mondragon • ART PRODUCTION ASSOCIATE Amanda Tannen • PRODUCTION ARTIST BJ Samuels • JUNIOR PRODUCTION ARTIST Ashley Bradley
PHOTO & VIDEO
DEPUTY PHOTO DIRECTOR Carrie Smith • PHOTO EDITORS Chelsea Archer, Lisa Dragani, Michelle Stark • SENIOR PHOTO PRODUCER Kate Pappa
ASSOCIATE PHOTO EDITORS Tristan Cassel, Jared Rosenthal • PHOTO RESEARCHER Megan Downie • PHOTO & VIDEO ASSISTANT Kayla Landrum • PHOTO EDITOR-AT-LARGE Jenny Sargent
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION, VIDEO Stephanie Fischette • SENIOR VIDEO PRODUCERS Marya Gullo, Victoria McKillop, Laela Zadeh
VIDEO PRODUCER Natalie Heltzel • YOUTUBE CHANNEL MANAGER Jason Al-Samarrie • WEB VIDEO CONTENT MANAGER April Salud • RIGHTS & CLEARANCES MANAGER Travis Gollaher
LEAD VIDEO EDITOR Victor Klaus • VIDEO EDITOR/MOTION GRAPHICS ARTIST Darin Eaton • JUNIOR VIDEO EDITOR Nebiyu Dingetu • VIDEO PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Dustin Hattier
THR.COM
DEPUTY EDITOR Kimberly Nordyke • ASSIGNMENT EDITOR Erik Hayden • STYLE & FASHION NEWS DIRECTOR Booth Moore • SENIOR EDITOR Hilary Lewis • EAST COAST DIGITAL LEAD EDITOR Jackie Strause • SENIOR REPORTER Ryan Parker
EDITOR, HEAT VISION Aaron Couch • INTERNATIONAL EDITOR Abid Rahman • DEPUTY STYLE EDITOR Stephanie Chan • ASSOCIATE EDITORS Lauren Huff, Meena Jang, Jennifer Konerman, Ashley Lee
ASSISTANT STYLE EDITOR Samantha Reed • COPY CHIEF Pete Keeley • SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR, DIGITAL Christina Pompa-Kwok • PHOTO EDITORS Mike Jianu, Ben Park • DIGITAL CONTENT EDITOR, VIDEO Annie Howard
SENIOR MANAGER, SOCIAL MEDIA Jennifer Liles • SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Sarah Gidick • MANAGER, SOCIAL MEDIA Christina Schoellkopf • ASSISTANT EDITORS Patrick Shanley, Arlene Washington
INTERNATIONAL
INTERNATIONAL NEWS EDITOR Kevin Cassidy • EUROPE BUREAU CHIEF Scott Roxborough • ASIA BUREAU CHIEF Patrick Brzeski • CANADA BUREAU CHIEF Etan Vlessing
CORRESPONDENTS Agustin Mango ARGENTINA • Pip Bulbeck AUSTRALIA • Rhonda Richford FRANCE • Karen Chu HONG KONG • Ariston Anderson ITALY • Nyay Bhushan INDIA
Gavin J. Blair JAPAN • Lee Hyo-won KOREA • John Hecht MEXICO • Nick Holdsworth, Vladimir Koslov RUSSIA • Pamela Rolfe SPAIN • Alex Ritman U.K.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar • Jonathan Handel • Austin Hargrave • Bill Higgins • Wesley Mann • Miller Mobley • Gavin Polone • Joe Pugliese • Ramona Rosales • Michael Wolff
Lynne Segall
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT/GROUP PUBLISHER
Elisabeth Deutschman
Victoria Gold
Randi Windt
Alison Smith-Pleiser
Alexandra von Bargen
VICE PRESIDENT, TELEVISION & MEDIA
VICE PRESIDENT, ENTERTAINMENT
VICE PRESIDENT, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL SALES
MANAGING DIRECTOR, LUXURY
ADVERTISING
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INDEPENDENT FILM & TALENT Debra Fink • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TELEVISION Scott Perry • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LUXURY REAL ESTATE & REGIONAL SHELTER Sue Chrispell
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS Hillary Gilmore • DIRECTOR, SPONSORSHIP & WEST COAST CONSUMER SALES Karbis Dokuzyan • DIRECTOR, LUXURY PARTNERSHIPS Pauline L’Herbette
DIRECTORS, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS Jackie Horn, Gabrielle Koenig, Amy Jo Lagermeier, Justine Matthews, Brittany Strametz • MANAGING DIRECTOR, MUSIC Aki Kaneko
DIRECTOR, EAST COAST SALES Joe Maimone • MANAGER, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS Jamie Davidson • SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Lori Copeland • DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Cathy Field
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR Sabrina Yaghoubzadeh • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Ashley Lyle • SALES COORDINATORS Mitchell Brown, Katie Pope, Andrea Rico, Kendall Stempel
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, ASIA Ivy Lam • INTERNATIONAL ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Tommaso Campione • ACCOUNT DIRECTOR, NEW ZEALAND & AUSTRALIA Lisa Cruse
DIGITAL MEDIA
GENERAL MANAGER, VIDEO Michael Palmer • SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, ANALYTICS & AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Jim Thompson • VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCT Nathan McGowan
VICE PRESIDENT, DIGITAL REVENUE OPERATIONS Gina Perino • DIRECTOR, PRODUCT Reed Hallstrom • INTERACTIVE ART DIRECTOR Rett Alcott • SENIOR DESIGNER Andrew Elder
DESIGNER Ady Chng • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MUSIC STRATEGY & BRANDED CONTENT Alyssa Convertini • DIRECTOR, ADVERTISING OPERATIONS & AUDIENCE REVENUE Daniel Eberle
DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS Shira Brown • MANAGER, BRANDED CONTENT Ryan Katon • AD OPERATIONS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR Cheryl Kampanis • SENIOR AD OPERATIONS MANAGERS Ninash Delgado,
Maureen Vanterpool • AD OPERATIONS MANAGER Samantha Turpen • DIRECTOR, ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT Shameka Frank • SENIOR MANAGER, ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT Renee Giardina
SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER, FILM & ENTERTAINMENT Greg Johnson • STRATEGY EXECUTION MANAGER Kwasi Boadi • DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGERS Sarah Seo, Casey Shulman
ASSOCIATE ACCOUNT MANAGERS Allie Hedlund, Chelsea Sageer, Mallory Somerset, Tal Zaiet • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, ANALYTICS Katherine Shaoul • SALES ANALYTICS SPECIALIST Lauren Kim
VIDEO ANALYTICS SPECIALIST Stephanie Kurse • SEO SPECIALIST Matt Albrecht • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, SOCIAL MEDIA Stephanie Apessos • SOCIAL MARKETING MANAGER Dervla O’Brien • QA ENGINEER Robert MacCracken
MARKETING
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTEGRATED MARKETING Kellie Pean • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, STRATEGY Anjali Raja • DIRECTOR, INTEGRATED MARKETING Laura Lorenz
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, BRAND MARKETING Erika Cespedes • DIRECTOR, STRATEGY EXECUTION Jessica Bernstein • DIRECTOR, TELEVISION DEVELOPMENT Joanna Zwickel
MANAGER, STRATEGY Jonathan Holguin • INTEGRATED MARKETING MANAGER Marian Barrett • ART DIRECTOR Taryn Espinosa • MARKETING DESIGN MANAGER Kim Grasing
MARKETING COORDINATORS Steven Huizar, Sarah Lombard, Claire McMahon • BRAND MARKETING COORDINATOR Erica Daul • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT/MARKETING COORDINATOR Matthew Baum
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONFERENCES & EVENTS Curtis Thompson • ASSOCIATE MANAGER, EVENT MARKETING Anush Yemenidjian
LICENSING
VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & LICENSING Andrew Min • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS & LICENSING Anuja Maheshka • DIRECTOR, LICENSING & MARKETING Amy Steinfeldt Ulmann
MAGAZINE REPRINTS Wright’s Media (877) 652-5295, email PGM@wrightsmedia.com
OPERATIONS
GROUP FINANCE DIRECTOR David Aimone • FINANCE DIRECTOR Jerry Ruiz • HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR Alexandra Aguilar • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GROUP PRODUCTION Kelly Jones
DEPUTY PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Mary Bradley • PRODUCTION MANAGER Maya Eslami • SENIOR DESIGNER Suzanne Rush • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT & CIRCULATION Katie Fillingame
SENIOR MANAGER, EMAIL MARKETING & CIRCULATION Meredith Kahn • PROCUREMENT MANAGER Linda Lum • IMAGING MANAGER Brian Gaughen • IMAGING SPECIALIST Michael Sullivan
HEADQUARTERS
5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500 • Los Angeles, CA 90036 • PHONE (323) 525-2000 • EDITORIAL EMAIL THRnews@thr.com • ADVERTISING (323) 525-2013
New York 340 Madison Ave., 6th floor, New York, N.Y. 10173 • PHONE (212) 493-4200 • FAX (646) 654-5637 • NEW YORK SALES OFFICE (212) 493-4193
SUBSCRIPTIONS
U.S. (866) 525-2150 • OUTSIDE U.S. (845) 267-4192 • hollywoodreporter.com/subscribe
John Amato
PRESIDENT
Severin Andrieu-Delille
Gary Bannett
Stephen Blackwell
Allan Johnston
Dana Miller
CHIEF TECHNOLOGY
OFFICER
CHIEF FINANCIAL
OFFICER
CHIEF STRATEGY
OFFICER
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT,
OPERATIONS/CHIEF OF STAFF
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT,
MARKETING & BRAND DEVELOPMENT
Barbara Grieninger
Julian Holguin
Michele Singer
Angela Vitacco
VICE PRESIDENT,
FINANCE
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT,
BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
GENERAL COUNSEL
VICE PRESIDENT,
HUMAN RESOURCES
F YC
Guild and Academy Members
Visit the set and join the cast to celebrate the start of Season 4 production
Sunday, August 13
Contact ABC.Events@abc.com for details
NEW SEASON
NEW NIGHT
OCT 3
The Re ort
↑ Film
Sour Grapes
How studios are fighting
Rotten Tomatoes p. 10
Deals
Fixer Upper
‘Tough times’ ahead for
Discovery-Scripps p. 14
Heat Index
GAME: COURTESY OF HBO. EMOJI: SONY PICUTRES ANIMATION. WASSERMAN: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. LJUNG: VENTURELLI/WIREIMAGE. JONES: GABRIEL OLSEN/FILMMAGIC. PLEPLER: BARRY KING/GETTY IMAGES. WEISS: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
Casey Wasserman
The L.A. sports exec lands
the 2028 Olympics for
the city, though his original
goal, the 2024 Games, goes
to Paris.
‘What Do They
Have, and What Was
the Motive?’
Alexander Ljung
The SoundCloud CEO seeks
a cash infusion as the
beleaguered Berlin-based
music streaming service
struggles to monetize its
175 million users.
HBO reels from a sophisticated cyberattack that’s potentially
seven times the Sony hack as the FBI probes potential culprits
and employee emails could be at risk of a reveal BY TATIANA SIEGEL
O
n July 27, Richard Plepler ’s
worst corporate nightmare unfolded. The HBO
CEO learned that his company’s
network had been breached by an
apparently coordinated cyberattack that experts explained could
expose a staggering 1.5 terabytes
of data. That would be roughly
seven times the size of the epic
2014 hack of Sony Pictures.
The attack was sophisticated,
insiders tell THR, targeting
specific content and data housed
in different locations, suggesting multiple points of entry. Even
more chilling, there was no ransom demand, say sources, leaving
the motive in question and raising the specter that video footage,
internal documents or even email
correspondence could be leaked.
Two days later, HBO sent an
alarming email on a Saturday
to its 2,500-plus employees,
Quincy Jones
The music legend wins $9.4M
in a jury trial over royalties
for his contributions to many
of Michael Jackson’s hit songs.
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
The Game of Thrones
showrunners put HBO on the
defensive with a plan for
Confederate, a modern slavery
drama, as Amazon steals
thunder with the reparationsthemed Black America.
Showbiz Stocks
$391.91 (+12.6%)
CHARTER (CHTR)
SoftBank may want to acquire
the cable TV provider and
merge it with Sprint, the phone
company controlled by the
Japanese finance, tech and
media conglomerate.
$14.05 (-1.1%)
TIME INC. (TIME)
The publisher says its
restructuring plan may include
the sale of Golf, Sunset and
Coastal Living.
July 24-31
A Game
of Thrones
script was
leaked,
and more
could be
on the way.
notifying them that the company
had been hit, and a day after that,
hackers going by the name of
little.finger66 boasted to the
media about pulling off “the greatest leak of cyber space era.” As
a teaser, they provided a link to
a script for an Aug. 6 episode
of Game of Thrones and promised
much more. At the same time,
unaired episodes of Ballers and
Room 104 began surfacing online.
To put in context the 1.5 terabytes — or 1,500 gigabytes
— claim, in the Sony case, about
200 gigabytes of data was
released online, a damaging deluge that brought the studio to its
knees and led to the ouster of then
co-chair Amy Pascal. “A traditional
business-grade DSL link would
take about two weeks at full blast
to exfiltrate that much data,”
says Farsight Security CEO Paul
Vixie, noting that a finished Bluray is about 30 gigabytes. “If not
for video and sound, a corporation
the size of HBO might fit [entirely]
in a terabyte, including all the
email and spreadsheets ever written or stored.”
Ajay Arora, CEO of security firm
Vera, further explains the scale of
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
7
1.5 terabytes of data. “The entire
Library of Congress is estimated to
contain 10 terabytes of print content,” he says. “As such, it’s hard
to believe that video and/or audio
are not part of what was stolen. It
will be interesting — and terrifying to HBO and their parent, Time
Warner — to see what comes out.”
Sources say HBO is working
with the FBI and cybersecurity
firm Mandiant, which led the
forensic investigation on the
Sony hack (ironically, Mandiant
also was targeted by hackers
around the same time as the HBO
breach). The FBI and Mandiant
declined comment, and HBO
wouldn’t elaborate beyond a statement acknowledging the hack.
At press time, it was unclear
what exactly the HBO attackers
have, even to those investigating.
In a July 31 email to staff, Plepler
characterized the stolen items as
“proprietary information, including some of our programming.”
Insiders say hackers pilfered a
combination of media-rich data
and text. Though full or partial
episodes of Game of Thrones — the
crown jewel of the HBO lineup
— would be problematic, it’s the
prospect of stolen text that is
far more alarming.
“At 1.5 terabytes,
it could be a whole
block of TV, or worse,
it could be emails,
Plepler
financial documents,
employee or customer information,” says Erik Rasmussen,
a former deputy prosecuting attorney and special agent with the
Secret Service who now works at
the cybersecurity firm Kroll. “The
fact that you have law enforcement
and a [cybersecurity] firm involved
most likely means this will be a
very large incident for HBO.”
Hollywood has been under siege
from cyber criminals. In the
past year, at least six studios and
talent agencies have been hit
with extortion attempts, including Netflix, UTA and WME-IMG.
Netflix balked at ransom
AU G U S T 2, 2017
The Report
Behind the Headlines
An episode of Ballers was leaked online,
and hackers may have other HBO shows.
HBO is taking a proactive
approach. Plepler called for
employees to be notified even
before news of the hack broke. “It
was one of the best examples of
how to react to a crisis and communicate to your employees,” says
Nigam. “I’ve never seen it happen this fast.” (With Sony, it took
then-chairman Michael Lynton
12 days to email employees about
the status.) Still, the scope of the
breach has many in Hollywood
once again holding their collective breath. Says Rasmussen,
“The question now is what do they
have, who did this, and what was
the motive?”
From left: Perry, Peele, DuVernay, Packer and Lee
Studios Betting on Black Hitmakers
Universal pacts with Girls Trip and Get Out directors as OWN plots its post-Tyler Perry
future amid dispiriting new diversity stats BY KATE STANHOPE AND MIA GALUPPO
hen Will Packer set a meeting the weekend
W
of July 23 with OWN staff to kick off his
new producing deal at the network, Oprah Winfrey
followed a May pact with Jordan Peele, who
signed with Universal shortly after his directorial
debut, Get Out, passed $190 million at the global
was sure to be there in person. The CEO’s presbox office and he became the object of multiple
ence emphasized the importance of the channel’s studios’ affections. “It was about working with the
relationship with the red-hot Girls Trip producer
most talented people who are going to give us
as it navigates an ultracompetitive market for A-list the most diverse stories,” says Universal president
black talent.
of production Peter Cramer of the recent deals
Earlier in July, writer-director-producer Tyler
with black talent. “We want to be their home, it’s
Perry, whose partnership with OWN since
that simple.”
2012 had helped the network find stability durUniversal already has dated new projects
ing its rocky infancy, announced a massive
— an action comedy from Lee starring Kevin
overall deal at rival Viacom under which he will
Hart called Night School out in February and an
produce 90 episodes of TV annually for BET and
untitled thriller from Peele out in March 2019.
other Viacom cable networks and work with the
The moves by Universal, Viacom and OWN come
Paramount movie studio.
against a backdrop of dispiriting statistics about
Since then, OWN has unveiled several new colHollywood’s lack of racial and gender diversity
laborations, among them the Packer deal, which
behind the camera. A new USC Annenberg study
will see him develop scripted and unscripted
reveals that of the top-grossing films that hit
projects for OWN as part of parent Discovery’s
screens in 2016, only seven black filmmakers held
investment in the newly launched Will Packer
the director position.
Media. Winfrey’s Harpo Studios also has signed
The hyper-prolific Perry is considered the big
Ava DuVernay to a rich first-look TV and digital
fish in this pond. He has “been a big part of the
media deal in addition to giving her
network’s growth,” acknowledges
OWN drama Queen Sugar an early
OWN’s Logan. But while Perry’s
season-three renewal. “This is the
dramas The Haves and the Have
signaling of this new era of prestige
Nots and If Loving You Is Wrong are
scripted content that we’re movaveraging a combined 5.5 million
ing into,” says OWN president Erik
viewers a week, the 2016 launches
Logan. “That evolution of the netof acclaimed dramas Queen Sugar
Queen Sugar
work is what Oprah has been tasking
and Greenleaf (which are averagus to do and create and drive toward — to elevate ing 4.5 million viewers between them) proved the
the storytelling and to find new ways to connect
network doesn’t necessarily need Perry’s name
with our viewers.”
above the title to draw viewers. And Logan says
Also invested in Packer’s eponymous media
it will be “business as usual” with the filmmaker
company is Universal Pictures, which backed
as he prepares to move to Viacom. Case in point:
Packer-produced films like the Ride Along movies OWN is getting ready to launch another new comand Straight Outta Compton and the Malcolm D. edy from Perry, The Paynes, in early 2018 with a
Lee-directed Girls Trip, which has become the
38-episode first season, and Perry will remain at
breakout comedy of the summer. The Thursday
OWN until the Viacom deal kicks in in 2019. Adds
before Girls Trip hit theaters July 21, Universal
Logan: “The good news is that Tyler’s not going
locked in a first-look deal with Lee. The move
anywhere for a while.”
Illustration by Matt Herring
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
8
AU G U S T 2, 2017
BALLERS: COURTESY OF HBO. QUEEN: MICHELE K. SHORT/WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. DUVERNAY: GREGG DEGUIRE/WIREIMAGE. PEELE: JASON LAVERIS/FILMMAGIC. PERRY: PAUL MORIGI/WIREIMAGE. LEE: DAVID LIVINGSTON/GETTY IMAGES. PACKER: PARAS GRIFFIN/GETTY IMAGES.
demands, and the collective
known as TheDarkOverlord
released 10 episodes of Orange
Is the New Black ahead of its
June debut.
Privately, security experts say
the HBO hack appears to be far
more vicious. One insider calls it
“nefarious” because it was targeted to specific content and data
(as with Sony) and not caught up
in a trawling sweep (the Orange Is
the New Black heist). And the
HBO hack comes at a delicate time
for Time Warner. In October,
AT&T agreed to buy the company
for $85 billion. It’s no secret that
HBO is the star performer of the
portfolio, so a sprawling hack
could impact the ultimate sale
price. “It’s fair to draw parallels to
the Yahoo hack in this case,” says
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor of online crime
and onetime chief security officer
of News Corp. In that case, at least
500 million customer accounts
were compromised, leading
Verizon to extract a $350 million discount in its $4.5 billion
purchase of the online giant.
FX NETWORKS PROUDLY CONGRATULATES OUR
11 T CA AWA RD NOMINEE S
O U T S TA N D I N G AC H I E V E M E N T I N D R A M A
THE AMERICANS
PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
O U T S TA N D I N G N E W P R O G R A M
O U T S TA N D I N G A C H I E V E M E N T I N C O M E DY
ATLANTA
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
DONALD GLOVER
ATLANTA
O U T S TA N D I N G AC H I E V E M E N T I N M OV I E S , M I N I S E R I E S A N D S P E C I A L S
FEUD : BETTE AND JOAN
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
JESSICA LANGE
FEUD : BETTE AND JOAN
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
SUSAN SARANDON
FEUD : BETTE AND JOAN
O U T S TA N D I N G AC H I E V E M E N T I N M OV I E S , M I N I S E R I E S A N D S P E C I A L S
FARGO
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA
CARRIE COON
FARGO
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
PAMELA ADLON
BETTER THINGS
More Bad News for
Hollywood and China
Former Paramount exec Adam Goodman’s
venture stalls as parent LeEco collapses
under debt and ‘Ponzi scheme’ claims
BY PATRICK BRZESKI
hen former Paramount Pictures presiW
dent Adam Goodman made the splashy
announcement last fall that he was selling his
production company Dichotomy Creative Group
to Chinese film studio Le Vision Entertainment,
he said: “We’re not launching a company that is
funded by a Chinese business, but a Chinese
movie studio right here in Los Angeles.”
The timing of Goodman’s deal wasn’t great,
arriving as it did just before Matt Damon’s
The Great Wall — co-produced by Le Vision,
Legendary East and Universal — flopped
spectacularly, and the Chinese studio’s parent company, LeEco, began to slowly implode.
Founded in 2004 by Chinese entrepreneur
Jia Yueting, LeEco began as a streaming video
service that was once dubbed the
“Netflix of China.” Having burnt
through billions, Jia has since seen
Chinese courts seize shares worth
hundreds of millions of dollars. In
Goodman
late July, one of the co-founders of
Tencent, Asia’s most valuable company, publicly
derided LeEco as “obviously a Ponzi scheme.”
So where does this leave Goodman? While
Goodman declined to comment, sources with
knowledge of the situation tell THR that he was
paid handsomely up front for Dichotomy — a
coup, given that he was known to be shopping the
outfit around Beijing for some time. But whether
Le Vision has capital to finance anything will
depend entirely on the machinations underway
in Beijing. With deputy Liang Jun left as acting
CEO, LeEco is now trying to reorganize its remaining assets by merging Le Vision with its publicly
traded streaming unit, called Leshi, to forestall a
total plummet in share prices.
But will China’s notoriously strict regulators
allow this maneuver? The numbers aren’t encouraging: In July, Leshi, currently valued at $9 billion,
estimated losses of just under $100 million for
the first half of 2017, compared to profits of about
$42 million during the same period a year ago.
It doesn’t look like Goodman will be bankrolling
a slate of global tentpoles anytime soon.
Studios Toss Sour Grapes
at Rotten Tomatoes
As Sony is rewarded for keeping Emoji Movie away from critics, press screenings
inch closer and closer to openings BY PAMELA MCCLINTOCK
T
he Emoji Movie’s $24.5 million domestic opening
during the July 28 to 30
weekend accomplished what no
other movie has been able to do
during a tough summer season
at the box office — survive an
abysmal Rotten Tomatoes score
(7 percent) and open in line with
prerelease tracking.
One weapon? Sony wouldn’t
let reviews post until midday on
July 27, hours before the pic
began playing in previews ahead
of rolling out everywhere. Sony,
like every studio, is looking for
its own basket of rotten eggs to
throw at review aggregator Rotten
Tomatoes in hopes of combating
a bad “Tomatometer” score. That
means screening some titles later
and later for critics. “What other
↑ A Rotten
Tomatoes
score has
the most
influence on
moviegoers
25 and
younger,
research
finds.
wide release with a score under
8 percent has opened north of
$20 million? I don’t think there
is one,” says Josh Greenstein,
Sony Pictures president of worldwide marketing and distribution.
At a tipping point now, Rotten
Tomatoes’ influence began to
grow exponentially after it and
parent company Flixster were
acquired in 2016 by leading movie
ticketing website Fandango, a
unit of Comcast’s NBCUniversal.
(Warner Bros. holds a minority
stake in the entities.)
Studios — all too eager to
advertise a good score (Wonder
Woman and Dunkirk) or ignore
a bad score (The House and
Baywatch) — are scrambling to
understand the phenomenon.
Fandango began featuring the
Is the Golden Age of 3D Officially Over?
emember when 3D was
R
Hollywood’s savior? In 2010,
21 percent of box-office revenue in
North America ($10.6 billion) came
from 3D ticket sales. Fast-forward to
2016, and 3D’s share of revenue was
just 14 percent. So it was not a surprise when Imax announced July 26
that it would be reducing its 3D
slate in the domestic market, citing
a “clear preference” for 2D.
While the format remains popular
overseas — globally, 56 percent of
all digital screens are 3D, compared to
39 percent in the U.S. and Canada
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
10
AU G U S T 2, 2017
$2.5B
The share of 3D revenue in
2016 was 14 percent of overall B.O.;
in 2010 it was 21 percent.
$2.2B
2.0
$1.8B $1.8B $1.8B
$1.7B
$1.6B
$1.4B
1.5
1.0
0.5
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
Source: MPAA
↑ Goodman’s China deal came before The Great Wall flopped.
The Report
Behind the Headlines
Box Office
Broadcast TV
Cable TV
Domestic
International
Gross Cume % Chg Gross Cume
18-49
Live+3
Viewership
Live+3
Total
Dunkirk WARNER BROS.
26.6 101.3(2) -47 55.4*47 55.4 156.7
1.
GOODMAN: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR AFI. WALL: LEGENDARY PICTURES/UNIVERSAL PICTURES. EMOJI: SONY PICTURES ANIMATION. TOMATO, SPLAT: ISTOCK. VALERIAN:
DANIEL SMITH/EUROPACORP. INSECURE, THRONES: COURTESY OF HBO. WONDER: ALEX BAILEY/WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT. BAYWATCH: FRANK MASI/PARAMOUNT PICTURES. DUNKIRK,
HOUSE: WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT (3). BACHELORETTE: ABC/GEORGE BURNS. GIRLS: MICHELE K. SHORT/UNIVERSAL PICTURES. ATOMIC: JONATHAN PRIME/FOCUS FEATURES.
Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic held better
than expected in its second weekend. In the
U.K. ($35.2 million), it already has bested the
total gross of Interstellar ($31.4 million).
Tomatoes score on the ticketing
site of every movie, a practice
likened to a restaurant promoting a Yelp rating, good or bad.
(Rotten Tomatoes vp Jeff Voris
says it is “a disservice to focus
just on the score. There are many
levels of information.”) Studios
also were taken aback when AMC
Theatres, the country’s largest
chain, recently copied the practice
on its ticket site. AMC’s site now
only features a score if it is fresh,
defined as anything 60 percent
and above.
“Rotten Tomatoes is a great
resource, but can be damaging
to the bottom line for films that
people are on the fence about.
And Fandango, at its core, is about
selling as many tickets as possible,” says box-office analyst
Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations.
Sony’s The Dark Tower, the
final event film of the summer,
opening Aug. 4, also is testing
whether it helps to delay reviews.
Critics won’t see the film until
Aug. 2.
— ComScore senior media analyst
Paul Dergarabedian says much
of the blame for 3D’s decline in the
states falls on Hollywood, thanks
to too many shoddy conversions
to 3D. “You had many movies that
were not originally conceived or
shot in 3D, in order to capitalize on
the opportunity, and I think the
audience really noticed,” he says.
Adds Jon Favreau, who made
2016’s Jungle Book with 3D in mind:
“Technology is most effective when
it works in synergy with storytelling.
In the case of The Jungle Book
the use of 3D added to the immersive experience.” — CAROLYN GIARDINA
2.
3.
The Emoji Movie SONY
24.5 24.5(1) N/A
N/A
24.5
Girls Trip UNIVERSAL
19.6 65.1(2) -37 N/A
N/A
65.1
Audience
Live+3
1.
America’s Got Talent NBC
3.1
14.9M
2.
Big Brother (Thurs.) CBS
2.5
7.4M
3.
Big Brother (Wed.) CBS
2.4
7.4M
4.
Big Brother (Sun.) CBS
2.3
7.2M
5.
World of Dance NBC
2.1
8.6M
6.
The Bachelorette ABC
2.1
7.5M
1.
GoT holds steady in its second week,
shedding a mere 4 percent of linear
viewers before the digital lifts that saw
the series’ most recent season average
25.7 million viewers per episode.
Recovering from a 15 percent
year-over-year ratings drop, the dating
show improves in the run-up to its
finale and sees stronger DVR growth
for its latest episode.
It’s the first major live-action comedy hit of
2017, earning more in its sophomore outing
than any other comedy has opened to this year
(Snatched debuted to $19.5 million).
Atomic Blonde UNIVERSAL
18.3 18.3(1)
N/A
4.
N/A
18.3
The Charlize Theron action pic opened to solid
numbers, but it remains to be seen whether it
can launch a new franchise starring Theron as
a James Bond-like MI6 agent.
9.
Queen of the South USA
2.15M
10. Preacher AMC
2.1M
5.5M
11.
Spartan: Team Challenge NBC
1.2
4.3M
12.
Dateline NBC
1.1
13.
Night Shift NBC
1.0
5.5M
Closer
Look
10. Wonder
Woman WARNER BROS.
3.3 395.2(9) -28 1.8*57 390.4 785.6
30.2
Cars 3 DISNEY
956K 146.4(7) -50 11.4*33 105.9 252.3
12.
13.
N/A
Suits USA
2.38M
Celebrity Family Feud ABC
1.2
6.6M
12.9
Transformers: Last Knight PARAMOUNT
558K 128.8(6) -52 24.9*63 420.2 549
One to Watch
5.3M
So You Think You … Dance FOX
1.0
3.6M
Wish Upon BROAD GREEN
951K 12.9(3) -62 N/A
6.
9.
15.
N/A
Power STARZ
2.4M
Animal Kingdom TNT
2.32M
Hollywood Game Night NBC
1.0
4.1M
The Big Sick LIONSGATE
3.2 30.2(6) -37 N/A
5.
8.
14.
11.
Shooter USA
2.5M
MasterChef FOX
1.4
4.5M
War for the Planet of the Apes FOX
10.5 118.8(3) -50 17.3*64 77.1 195.9
Baby Driver SONY
4
92(5) -35 8.3*29 34.4 126.4
4.
8.
6.
9.
Haves and Have Nots OWN
3.0M
Queen Sugar OWN
2.37M
Spider-Man: Homecoming SONY
13.3 278.2(4) -40 33.2*65 320 598.2
Valerian and … Thousand Planets STX
6.4 30.2(2) -63 3.9*8
4
34.2
3.
7.
5.
8.
Ballers HBO
3.2M
American Ninja Warrior NBC
1.7
6.5M
1.2
Despicable Me 3 UNIVERSAL
7.6 230.3(5) -42 47.5*64 514.1 744.4
2.
7.
10. Wall NBC
7.
Game of Thrones HBO
11.6M
Insecure HBO
Not surprisingly, Game of Thrones and
Ballers prove to be strong lead-ins
for the Issa Rae comedy, up more than
250 percent from its 2016 premiere.
Valerian’s Global Investors
EuropaCorp’s $180M flop has many partners
Fundamental
Films CHINA
$50M-$60M
BNP Paribas FRANCE
$11.6M
Orange FRANCE
$9.3M
Novo Pictures DUBAI
$5.9M
TF1 FRANCE
$3.7M
STX U.S.
$2.5M-$3.5M
Free FRANCE
$2.1M
Rihanna plays a cabaret singer.
14.
A Ghost Story A24
368K 928K(4) +168.1 N/A
Source: THR research
15.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
N/A
11
928K
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Box-office source: comScore; estimates in $ millions; ( )Weekends in release; *Territories. Broadcast source:
Nielsen, live-plus-3, week of July 17. Cable TV source: Nielsen, live-plus-3 scripted series, week of July 17.
The Report
Behind the Headlines
Carrie Fisher’s Final TV Shoot:
‘It’s Hard to See Her So Alive Onscreen’
EM M YS:
T H E R ACE
Catastrophe’s star and co-creator remembers her posthumously Emmy-nominated friend,
whose ‘filthy’ humor delighted the show’s crew and horrified network executives By Sharon Horgan
W
e first saw Carrie Fisher in the flesh at the Attitude Awards
in London in October 2014. She was presenting an award
to Graham Norton, and she made a speech that was so rude
and irreverent and funny that she managed to at once charm and
insult everyone present.
Rob Delaney and I were at that point writing our first season of
Catastrophe. We’d written the part of Rob’s dreadful mother and my character’s mother-in-law, Mia, and were mid-brainstorm for who could play
her. We watched Carrie onstage, and I turned to Rob and said, “That’s
Mia. That’s your mother.”
We spent the next few days trying to find an “in” because we assumed
the traditional route of approaching her agent would lead nowhere. So
Rob tweeted her, I tweeted her, we tried the old “friend of a friend” route,
but no joy. Finally, we sent the pilot episode that we’d already filmed and
a few scripts to her agents and expected nothing. Then we got the yes.
We didn’t fully believe she was actually going to do it until we were booking her and her dog Gary’s plane ticket.
For three seasons she would bolt into our
lives for a short period and then fly out of them
again. Full of stories and gossip and mischief. She’d perform what was on the page and
then go off on a mad Carrie/Mia tangent.
Could be a song, could be a rant, could be fullon sexual innuendo.
The first season was just phone call scenes.
Her day on set involved a scene where her
Fisher on Amazon’s
character and mine begin politely and end up
Catastrophe.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
insulting each other. It was fairly tame on the
page, but then Carrie took it a little further, and
we spent half an hour one-upping each other
on the abuse while our channel exec stood by the
monitor, horrified.
We finally got to know each other properly
by the third season, which we filmed during the
fall of 2016. Mia was featured more heavily, so
Carrie was around more. She let her guard down,
and we were grateful to be given the chance to
really enjoy her company. She was an entertainer,
obviously, on- and offscreen. Her wit is well
documented — bottom line is, she was almost
impossible to keep up with, her brain whirred
constantly, every sentence had a punchline, every
story a potted Hollywood cautionary tale — but
I’m not sure her kindness and generosity are as
well known. She was just a really nice lady, warm
and fun. She would distribute presents to cast and
crew with little notes, written in her gorgeous,
elaborate handwriting, that were part poetry, part
filthy prose.
We wanted to use the third season to get to
know Mia, so we went a little deeper to explain
how she became this loving but tough-as-nuts
asshole of a woman. We were nervous because it wasn’t just the usual
goofing around. But Carrie embraced it. And we knew as we were
shooting that she’d given us something special.
We had finished the shoot, and all of the episodes were assembled by
the time we heard the news of her death. It knocked us all. She’d been
there, just a minute ago, talking about plans for her life and career,
talking about her family and the house she’d just bought in London. It
didn’t seem possible that she was gone. She’d definitely been a bit more
delicate this time. She had seemed to have a little less spring in her
step, but nothing that gave a hint that she was struggling. Maybe our
eyes just weren’t open enough.
Although we hadn’t gotten into fine-cutting episode six — her
episode — by the time of her death, the tragic news didn’t have any
impact on the choices we made. It was all there in the rushes; we
knew that she’d given us some great scenes. Her delivery during the
“Nanook of the North” bathroom scene — when Mia barges, unannounced, into our characters’ home — was immediately hilarious,
and the power and control of her performance during the scene
where she tells Rob that his father had abused her revealed new sides
to Mia’s personality. Funny and tragic in equal measures. A great
performance that made you want to know more about this lady. A
privilege that we were unfortunately denied.
It was hard to watch in the edit, hard to see her so alive onscreen and
yet no longer with us. And it’s hard for us to watch now. We miss Mia.
And we really miss Carrie. We all wish we could have shared the final
product with her because, as self-deprecating as she was, I think she
would have been proud. She certainly made us proud.
12
AU G U S T 2, 2017
HORGAN: MIKE PONT/WIREIMAGE. CATASTROPHE: ED MILLER/AMAZON.
← Horgan (left) and Fisher attended a Catastrophe screening at the
Tribeca Film Festival, eight months before the star’s death in December.
“...the most powerful
TV show in America.”
-The New York Times
EVERY MORNING AT 6AM ET
The Report
7 Days of DEALS
Who’s inking on the dotted line this week
DISCOV ERY’S $14.6B SCR IPPS MERGER:
‘SOUND BU T R EFLECTI V E OF TOUGH TIMES’
Deal
of the
Week
Zaslav
Lowe
Scripps
president
and CEO
Kenneth
Lowe is
expected
to join
Discovery’s
board.
After several years of courtship, Discovery
Communications has officially taken Scripps
Networks Interactive into its fold. But it will
require more than their shared demographic appeal
— their channels all attract mature audiences with
buying power — to impress Wall Street.
Discovery, which is paying $14.6 billion (70 percent cash, 30 percent equity) for Scripps, suffered
an 8 percent drop in its stock price when the deal
was announced July 31. RBC Capital Markets analyst
Steve Cahall called the acquisition “industrially
sound but reflective of tough times,” noting that
Scripps has preannounced lower-than-expected
revenue and Discovery lost 4 percent of its U.S. subscribers in the second quarter.
Before Discovery sealed the deal, Viacom also
was a Scripps suitor, seeking to diversify from its
young Nickelodeon and MTV audiences. Discovery
is taking a different approach, doubling down
on its established nonscripted and lifestyle reputation, anchored by its namesake network as well as by
TLC and Animal Planet. They’ll be complemented
by the three primary Scripps networks — HGTV,
Food Network and Travel Channel — which boast
similarly high engagement from a largely educated,
female audience. However, the Scripps networks
command relatively low affiliate fees, from 14 cents
to 23 cents a month per channel.
The merger will provide much-needed leverage
with cable and satellite distributors to drive those
fees higher even as audiences stagnate or fall due
to cord-cutting amid competition from such digital
outlets as Amazon, Netflix and YouTube. “With
network mergers, you can take advantage of backoffice synergies and leverage with distributors,”
says PricewaterhouseCoopers analyst Bart Spiegel.
A combined Scripps-Discovery also could offer a
popular programming skinny bundle. Scripps is
the only company other than CBS that is part of
Hulu’s live-streaming service but is not an owner
in the joint venture.
Other mutual gains include Scripps benefitting
from Discovery’s broad international reach and
Discovery building out its digital efforts with Scripps
Lifestyle Studios, which produces shortform video.
That unit said in late July that it is “breaking video
view records month after month,” exceeding 5.6 billion views in the second quarter, an increase of
435 percent from the same period in 2016. Tubular
Labs, an analytics firm, says that Food Network,
Travel Channel and HGTV consistently rank in the
top five among content creators in their respective
categories in the digital realm, with Food Network
ranking No. 1 over BuzzFeed’s Tasty in every month
during the second quarter.
Discovery, led by president and CEO David Zaslav,
is targeting $350 million in cost savings, although
some analysts have forecasted less, with one estimating savings of just $175 million. Wells Fargo’s
Marci Ryvicker estimates that Scripps’ $1.27 billion
operating costs (out of a total $2.1 billion in annual
costs) are mostly programming-related and will
carry over after the acquisition.
The deal continues a powerful trend of consolidation that has seen hookups between Starz and
Lionsgate, AT&T and Time Warner and Sinclair and
Tribune, the latter pairs of which are still pending
regulatory review.
Overall, the union, says FBR Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett, “vaults Discovery to a 20 percent
share of cable network audiences and leadership
in women, which should help ad sales, affiliate talks,
international prospects and over-the-top opportunities.” — PAUL BOND AND GEORG SZALAI
Resistance Media Ascendant in the Age of Trump
The so-called “resistance
media” is on the rise.
On July 28, The Atlantic
announced that Laurene
Powell Jobs’ Emerson
Collective was taking a majority stake in the
160-year-old magazine, with the expectation of assuming full ownership within five
years. The publication’s online audience
has grown 36 percent since Donald Trump
took office in January.
Meanwhile, at Politicon in Pasadena,
MSNBC and other left-leaning personalities were treated like rock
stars despite a higherthan-usual conservative
turnout.
“The first two years,
it was a progressive
Jobs
conference that some
Big
Deal
From left: Favreau, Lovett and
Vietor’s podcast has regularly topped
iTunes since its Jan. 9 launch.
conservatives showed up to,” says former
MSNBC host Toure, who interviewed longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone on
July 30. “This year, it was much more 50-50.
That made for real tension and friction.”
But it was Trump critics like former
Obama staffers turned Pod Save America
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
hosts Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and
Tommy Vietor who had extremely enthusiastic audiences hanging on every word.
And The Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur’s
debate with conservative commentator
Ben Shapiro had to be moved to a larger
auditorium because several thousand too
many people showed up. Even then, the
crowd was standing room only.
Uygur, who founded TYT in 2002, predicts more new-media companies popping
up and catering to an anti-Trump audience.
“These guys resisting Trump, whether
on TV like [MSNBC’s] Joy Reid or online
like us or [Crooked Media podcast] Lovett
or Leave It, are serving as the champion
for progressives who want to fight back,”
says Uygur. “It makes sense that there’s
great passion and thirst for that at a time
like this.” — JEREMY BARR
14
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Paulson
FILM
John Cena (ICM) will
join Hailee Steinfeld in
Paramount’s Transformers
spinoff Bumblebee.
Team Downey assistant
Shay Hatten (CAA, Lee
Stobby) has sold his femalecentric spec Ballerina
to Lionsgate as a possible
John Wick spinoff.
Albert Hughes (WME,
Bloom Hergott) will
helm Studio 8’s remake
of Spain’s acclaimed
2016 thriller The Fury
of a Patient Man.
The Boss’ Steve Mallory
(MGMT, Lichter Grossman)
is reteaming with Melissa
McCarthy, Ben Falcone and
New Line for his next script,
Super-Intelligence.
Bleecker Street has
acquired U.S. rights to the
1980s political thriller
High Wire Act, starring Jon
Hamm and Rosamund Pike.
2B
Monthly active users on Facebook,
up 17 percent year-over-year,
Big
Number according to the company’s July 26
quarterly earnings call.
Aniston
Hughes
Jenkins
Golding
Norton
purchased
the eccentric
glass and
concrete
split-level
Stevens House,
designed
in 1968 by
architect John
Lautner, from
occasional
film producer
Michael
LaFetra.
Cena
Crazy Rich Asians lead
Henry Golding
(Paradigm) will join Anna
Kendrick and Blake Lively
in the Lionsgate thriller
A Simple Favor, directed
by Paul Feig.
ZASLAV: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS/GETTY IMAGES. LOWE: COURTESY OF SCRIPPS NETWORK. JOBS: NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES. FAVREAU: JOHN SCIULLI/GETTY IMAGES FOR POLITICON.
PAULSON, ORTIZ: JB LACROIX/WIREIMAGE. ANISTON: ALLEN BEREZOVKSY/GETTY IMAGES FOR FASHION MEDIA. HUGHES: JEFFREY MAYER/WIREIMAGE. JENKINS: ALBERT C. ORTEGA/GETTY IMAGES. GOLDING: COURTESY
OF LIONSGATE. CENA: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. HOUSE: CELEBRITYHOMEPHOTOS.COM/PACIFIC COAST NEWS. COURIC: GABRIEL OLSEN/FILMMAGIC. BOOK: COURTESY OF ST. MARTIN’S PRESS.
Nick Offerman (UTA,
Jackoway Tyerman) will
star in Brett Haley’s musical
Hearts Beat Loud, which
also has added Ted Danson,
Sasha Lane, Blythe Danner
and Toni Collette.
Sarah Paulson (CAA)
will join James McAvoy,
Bruce Willis and Samuel
L. Jackson in M. Night
Shyamalan’s Unbreakable
sequel Glass at Universal.
Atlanta’s Brian Tyree
Henry (CAA, JWS,
Jackoway Tyerman)
will join David Oyelowo
and Storm Reid in
Blumhouse’s Only You,
along with Alfred Molina
and Mykelti Williamson.
Danny Huston (WME,
the U.K.’s Julian Belfrage,
Untitled) and Zoey
Deutch (CAA, Gilbertson,
Morris Yorn) are joining
Johnny Depp in the period
comedy drama Richard
Says Goodbye, along with
Rosemarie DeWitt, Devon
Terrell and Odessa Young.
The Shallows’ Jaume
Collet-Serra (CAA,
Management 360, Hansen
Jacobson) will direct
Dwayne Johnson in Disney’s
Jungle Cruise.
Dope’s Rick Famuyiwa
(WME, Oasis, Del Shaw) is
in talks to direct graphic
novel adaptation Son of
Shaolin for Columbia.
Anne Hathaway
(CAA, Management 360,
Sloane Offer) is in talks
to replace Amy Schumer
in Sony’s Barbie.
How to Train Your Dragon’s
John Powell (Kraft-Engel)
will compose the Star Wars
Han Solo standalone film.
TELEVISION
Jennifer Aniston
(CAA, Lighthouse, Hansen
Jacobson) and Reese
Witherspoon (CAA, LBI,
Hansen Jacobson) will
star in former HBO drama
head Michael Ellenberg’s
untitled series about TV
morning shows, which will
be shopped to outlets.
Daniel O’Malley’s supernatural thriller novel The
Rook, which Starz has
ordered straight to series.
Maria Bello (UTA, John
Carrabino, Myman
Greenspan) has joined
CBS’ NCIS as a series regular for season 15, while Nia
Long has joined NCIS: Los
Angeles for season nine.
Patty Jenkins (CAA,
Anonymous, Jackoway
Tyerman) will direct and
executive produce the
TNT drama One Day She’ll
Darken, starring Chris Pine.
Mad Men alum Mark
Moses (Innovative) will
play DA Gil Garcetti in
NBC’s Law & Order True
Crime: The Menendez
Murders.
Jon Stewart (Dixon,
Hansen Jacobson) will
tape a new original
stand-up special on HBO.
The Crown’s Jared
Harris (ICM, the U.K.’s
Independent, Gateway)
will star in HBO’s fivepart miniseries Chernobyl.
Once Upon a Time alum
Elizabeth Lail (ICM,
Authentic) will star opposite Penn Badgley in
Greg Berlanti’s Lifetime
thriller You.
CBS and Imagine
Television have inked a
new four-year co-financing
and first-look deal.
Steve Holland (WME) has
been promoted to showrunner of CBS’ The Big Bang
Theory, replacing Steve
Molaro, who will showrun
spinoff Young Sheldon.
Starz has won a bidding
war for Stephanie Danler’s
best-seller Sweetbitter,
with Plan B producing.
Katy Perry (CAA, Direct)
will host the MTV Video
Music Awards on Aug. 27.
Twilight creator Stephenie
Meyer (UTA, Writers
House) will executive produce an adaptation of
Marlee Matlin (Innovative,
Media Four) has joined
the rebooted third season
of ABC’s Quantico.
Matt Nix (WME, UFUSE,
David Colden) has inked a
new two-year overall deal
with 20th Century Fox TV.
MTV is reviving TRL. …
AMC has ordered Marti
Noxon’s adaptation of Sarai
Walker’s novel Dietland
to series. … Lifetime has
renewed UnREAL and
Mary Kills People and has
greenlighted a Simone
Biles biopic. … OWN has
renewed Queen Sugar for
a third season. … Showtime
has ordered an animated
Donald Trump comedy
from Stephen Colbert. …
TBS has renewed Angie
Tribeca. … TNT has
renewed Animal Kingdom.
DIGITAL
Zoe Saldana (CAA, LBI,
Morris Yorn) will launch
Latino-focused digital
media company BeSe by
year’s end.
Carol Burnett (ICM, Media
4, Lurie & Zepada) will star
in Netflix’s unscripted kids
comedy series A Little Help
With Carol Burnett.
Hulu has renewed Harlots,
ordered a Barbie documentary and nabbed exclusive
rights to classic ABC TGIF
sitcoms including Full House
and Family Matters.
Rep
Sheet
Katie Couric, who is
stepping down as Yahoo
global news anchor,
has left CAA for WME.
Christine Evangelista,
star of E! drama The
Arrangement, has signed
with UTA .
This Is Us executive
producer Ken Olin has
signed with WME.
Cara Delevingne’s older
sister Poppy Delevingne,
who will appear in
Kingsman: The Golden
Circle, has signed with
WME and IMG Models.
MUSIC
Adele (WME, the U.K.’s ITB,
Gang Tyre) has signed with
SESAC for U.S. performing
rights representation.
Next
Big
Thing
Jaina Lee Ortiz
BMI has renewed its partnership with Austin City
Limits and Lollapalooza producer C3 Presents.
BRANDING
Marvel is reviving its Marvel
Value Stamp program after
four decades.
REAL ESTATE
David Geffen (PritchettRapf, Westside) has sold his
final property on Malibu’s
Carbon Beach for $8 million.
Edward Norton purchased
a Malibu Colony oceanfront
home for $11.8 million.
Rights Available! Hot new books with Hollywood appeal
REPS WME, Link
WHY SHE MATTERS
The Rosewood alum,
30, has landed what is
believed to be the
starring role on ABC’s
firefighter-focused
Grey’s Anatomy spinoff.
After short-lived parts
in Amazon’s Chris
Carter drama The After
and USA’s Shooter,
Ortiz now stands to join
Ellen Pompeo, Kerry
Washington and Viola
Davis in the ranks
of Shondaland leading
ladies.
BY REBECCA FORD AND ANDY LEWIS
Extraordinary Adventures (ST. MARTIN’S PRESS, MAY 30)
The Identicals (LITTLE, BROWN, JUNE 13)
BY Daniel Wallace AGENCY ICM Partners
BY Elin Hilderbrand AGENCY Inkwell Management
The Big Fish author brings whimsy and a dash of fantasy to the
tale of a 34-year-old loner who wins an all-expenses-paid Florida
beachside vacation. But the offer is only for couples, so the wallflower must step out of his comfort zone to find a date in 79 days.
Hilderbrand’s 20-plus novels have become go-to beach reads
(literally, thanks to their Nantucket settings). This one, which
hit No. 2 on The New York Times list, is a grown-up Parent Trap tale
about 30-something twins, raised separately, who don’t get along.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
15
AU G U S T 2, 2017
When Marvel
Heroes Collide
1
Universes united at Comic-Con as stars,
helmers and studio president Kevin Feige
gathered for a first-ever family photo
3
Photographed by Christopher Patey
4
2
8
11
9
10
15
16
he kingdoms Asgard and Wakanda may be worlds
apart, but backstage at San Diego Comic-Con, the
teams behind Disney and Marvel’s two upcoming
superhero tentpoles — Thor: Ragnarok (Nov. 3) and Black
Panther (Feb. 16) — seemed more like long-lost friends
than intergalactic strangers. THR gathered the stars and
helmers of both films, along with Marvel Studios president
Kevin Feige, for a class photo just minutes before they took
the biggest geek stage in the world. Panther director Ryan
Coogler, who hadn’t seen his cast for months, filled them in
on the epic fight scene they were about to see for the first
time along with the Hall H audience, who gave it a rapturous
standing ovation. While Panther villain Michael B. Jordan
and Thor director Taika Waititi were spotted joking like old
friends, Comic-Con newbies like Daniel Kaluuya were meeting their Marvel cohorts for the first time. As Danai Gurira
told her Panther co-star Lupita Nyong’o, “This is a real family moment.” — REBECCA FORD AND BORYS KIT
T
7
5
6
14
19
13
18
12
17
1 Jeff Goldblum, Thor: Ragnarok
2 Tom Hiddleston, Thor
3 Letitia Wright, Black Panther
4 Winston Duke, Black Panther
5 Rachel House, Thor
6 Chris Hemsworth, Thor
7 Taika Waititi, Thor director
8 Karl Urban, Thor
9 Cate Blanchett, Thor
10 Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther
11 Ryan Coogler, Black Panther director
12 Danai Gurira, Black Panther
13 Forest Whitaker, Black Panther
14 Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios president
15 Daniel Kaluuya, Black Panther
16 Mark Ruffalo, Thor
17 Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
18 Andy Serkis, Black Panther
19 Lupita Nyong’o, Black Panther
This group was
photographed July 22
at the San Diego
Convention Center.
About Town
People, Places,
Preoccupations
‘Everybody
Likes to
Come to Us
for Meetings’
Writer Ron Bass works out
of a Beverly Hills hotel
bar, part of a movement
away from studios and
private clubs By Rebecca Ford
very morning, Ron Bass,
the Oscar-winning
screenwriter of Rain Man
and My Best Friend’s Wedding,
drags two tables and six chairs
over to the corner of the Montage
Beverly Hills’ Garden Bar patio.
That’s his office. Bass, 75, had a
space on the Fox lot when he
started out in film, but he craved
a less restrictive environment,
especially after 17 years as a
lawyer before becoming a screenwriter. “It was horrible because
you’re indoors and you can hear
everyone’s calls and you can’t concentrate,” he says. So he started
to write in parks, but “that was too
lonely.” Then he worked in Hotel
Bel-Air’s restaurant for 20 years
— until its concierge moved to the
Montage, bringing Bass with
her. He has spent the past eight
years on the patio, five days a
week, from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. “I
like people around and some kind
of background noise without
people right in my face, yelling at
me,” says Bass, who often brings
his development team (Jessica
Amento, 30; Sonia Kifferstein,
31; and Beth Triffon, 31) with him.
As deals for offices on studio
lots dwindle, Bass isn’t the only
talent gravitating to offbeat work
settings that boost
creativity. Justin Lin
had
a space on the
Lin
Universal lot, “which
as a kid was my dream, but after a
couple years, you were part of the
attraction,” says the director, who
five years ago landed his production company, Perfect Storm, at
↑ “It’s the ambience,” says Bass of the appeal
of his uncoventional workplace. He was
photographed June 12 at The Garden Bar at
Montage Beverly Hills with his writing team
of (from left) Amento, Triffon and Kifferstein.
Biscuit Company Lofts in downtown L.A., a residential building
Nicolas Cage once called home.
“We’re independent filmmakers
at heart and we wanted a space
that reflects that.” (Lin writes and
cuts movies in his other office,
a “man cave” close to his home
in Pasadena.) This Means War
scribe Timothy Dowling writes
out of wine bars like Sherman
Oaks’ Augustine and San Juan
Capistrano’s Five Vines in the
evenings. And avoiding the time
suck of commuting has led to
the rise of offices-on-wheels, with
the Mercedes Sprinter Van a
top choice for actor-producers
Kevin Hart and Tyrese Gibson.
Producer Jason Blum was known
for his tricked-out Chevy Astro
van until he upgraded to a 2016
Photographed by Adam Amengual
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
18
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Ford Transit with leather chairs,
internet and Apple TV; producer
Andrew Panay (CHIPS) converted
an SUV five years ago to optimize
his time between offices in Santa
Monica and Burbank.
Such offbeat outlets may present logistical challenges when
it comes to dealmaking, but they
also offer unique benefits. Says
Bass of his patio HQ, “With this
space, everybody likes to come to
us for meetings.”
GROOMING BY SU HAN AT DEW BEAUTY AGENCY. OFFICE: COURTESY OF ROWE PR. LIN: TASIA WELLS/GETTY IMAGES.
STUBHUB: AP PHOTO/KEVIN KUO. COLISEUM: AP PHOTO/RICHARD VOGEL. HELMETS: COURTESY OF NFL
COMMUNICATIONS (2). J. SPANOS: SLAVEN VLASIC/GETTY IMAGES. A. SPANOS: TAYLOR HILLS/FILMMAGIC. HILTON:
PAUL ARCHULETA/FILMMAGIC. BURRELL: PAUL ZIMMERMAN/WIREIMAGE. DONUT, PIZZA: ISTOCK.
E
L.A.
FOOTBALL
FAC E O F F
The “very
intimate”
StubHub
Center will
draw Chargers
fans who
want to “see
things
closer,” says
A.G. Spanos.
HOW THE CHARGERS ARE BATTLING FOR L.A. FANS
The city’s newest NFLers have dreamed up Hollywood-bait promotions —
Runyon Canyon water bottles, Pink’s hot dogs and tattoos from the guy who
inks Angelina and Beckham — to lure Angelenos 20 miles south By Andy Lewis
tarting in 2020, the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers
— now relocated to the city where they were born
after 56 seasons in San Diego — will share the
stadium being built in Inglewood by L.A. Rams owner Stan
Kroenke. Until then, the new arrivals will play 20 miles
south in Carson, at StubHub Center, the smallest NFL
venue in decades — one of a few disadvantages the team
faces relative to the Rams, who saw their own splashy (if
not victorious) return to L.A. a year ago. Still, such stars as
Owen Wilson and Mike Fleiss will make the trek to cheer
on the Chargers at their preseason opener
against the Seahawks on Aug. 13. And while
CAA’s Avi Wasserman, a San Diego native,
says his team’s move was like “a girlfriend
you loved dumping you,” he feels “like we
J. Spanos
can be friends” again and plans on being a
regular at StubHub, along with WME’s Ryan
Feldman, a childhood friend.
Since their move was confirmed in
January,
the Chargers have been making
A. Spanos
creative inroads with Angelenos. Thirteen
team employees ran the L.A. Marathon for charity. A
Chargers hot dog was touted at Pink’s, and on Saturdays
this fall cheerleaders will hand out water bottles at Runyon
Canyon. Plus, the organization has a promotion in mind
that should make an impression on Hollywood — literally.
Later this summer, the Chargers will take over the Sunset
Strip tattoo parlor Shamrock Social Club, where artist
Mark Mahoney boasts such clients as David Beckham
and Angelina Jolie. For one day, fans can score free ink:
a lightning bolt like the one newly elected Hall of Fame
running back and former Charger LaDainian Tomlinson
has on his calf. “We’re not afraid to think differently”
to win fans, says A.G. Spanos, who with brother John coruns the team their family has owned since 1984.
Meanwhile, SoCal sports leaders have welcomed their
new competitors: Lakers owner Jeanie Buss hosted a
dinner for the Spanos brothers at Craig’s, they met Clippers
owner Steve Ballmer at a game and Kobe Bryant stopped
by training camp July 29 in Costa Mesa. “We don’t want
to come into this market and tell everyone what they want
to see,” says John. “We want to hear from them what they
want.” As long as that doesn’t include him going under the
needle at the team’s tattoo party. “I faint when I have my
blood taken,” he says with a laugh. “So probably not me.”
S
Have Westside-based industry types balked at the trek
to Lin’s DTLA digs (above) for meetings? “If that’s the
case, you sort of know where you stand in the relationship.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
19
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Chargers
Rams
VENUE AND VIP PERKS
StubHub
Center
L.A. Memorial
Coliseum
The tiny stadium in
Carson (capacity
30,000) has no bad
seats. But the
3,000 club seats,
46 suites and
16 cabanas also allow
access to the Stadium
Club and Champions
Lounge. Select VIPs
get valet parking and a
separate entrance.
The 96-year-old
Coliseum has 91,000
seats (attendance of
80,000 is considered
a sellout crowd)
but is short on suites.
Instead, official
partner Vivid Seats
offers a VIP tailgate
experience that
includes a chance to
hang with Ram alums.
STAR SUPERFAN
Paris Hilton
Ty Burrell
The reality star’s
grandfather, hotel
magnate Barron
Hilton, founded the
team in L.A. in 1959
before selling in 1966.
Other notable fans
include Mario Lopez,
Jerry O’Connell
and Luke Walton.
The Modern Family
dad represented
the team at the 2014
draft and posts
Instagram videos from
the sidelines during
games. Last season
saw Peter Roth, David
Arquette and Ari
Emanuel at games.
HOTTEST TICKET
$5,000
$5,000
Current price on
StubHub for a sideline
mezzanine seat to
the Dec. 31 season
finale against division
rivals the Oakland
Raiders. This matchup
between veteran
Chargers quarterback
Philip Rivers and
young Raiders star QB
Derek Carr could have
playoff implications.
Current price on
Ticketmaster for
an upper sideline seat
to the Seahawks
matchup Oct. 8, when
beloved former USC
head football coach
Pete Carroll returns
to town with a team
that has won two
NFC championships
and a Super Bowl in
the past five seasons.
SIDELINE SNACKS
Fresh Brothers
pizza, La Taqueria,
Rock & Brews (with
craft beers), vegan/
vegetarian options,
Bulletproof Coffee and
Sweet Spot (ice
cream and candy)
Randy’s Donuts,
Chik-Fil-A,
Cinnabon, Melissa’s
Snack Packs and
such standard
stadium fare as pizza,
popcorn, burgers
and cheesesteaks
About Town
Yes, I Did Say That!
Quotes
A look at who’s saying what in entertainment
Compiled by Brian Porecca
“I still want to work with
Bill Cosby. I don’t care,
I’ll drink the juice.”
TIFFANY HADDISH
The Girls Trip star, joking to the Los Angeles Times. She later
admitted it was “maybe not the best joke” but added, “the whole
point of it was to say I’m not afraid of the big bad wolf.”
BRYAN CRANSTON
The actor, joking on Twitter
about the July 28 firing of Trump’s
chief of staff, Reince Priebus.
“I would be outraged
myself if this
had happened.”
“It’s a risk
worth taking.”
CASEY BLOYS
ANGELINA JOLIE
The HBO programming
president, at the Television Critics
Association meeting, defending
Confederate, the Game of Thrones
creators’ planned drama
about modern American slavery,
against a fierce backlash.
The First They Killed My Father
director, telling HuffPost that
Vanity Fair’s report about a
bizarre audition process for the
movie that supposedly involved
taking real money from children
was “false and upsetting.”
“The safety
of our children
demands it.”
“He doesn’t like
having chairs on
set for actors or
bottles of water.”
GEORGE CLOONEY
The actor, announcing plans
to sue paparazzi from
Voici magazine who “scaled
our fence, climbed our trees
and illegally took pictures
of our infants inside our home.”
THE
MOOCH
ON THE
LOOSE!
MARK RYLANCE
The Dunkirk star, describing
director Christopher Nolan’s
set rules to avoid “distractions”
in London’s Independent.
White House Communications Director Anthony
Scaramucci’s firing led Kate Hudson to Instagram
a parody How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days poster, Billy
Eichner to pitch O.J. Simpson for the job and Josh
Charles to channel Steve Bannon on Twitter: “Who
is sucking his own cock now buddy?”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
CHRIS MCCARTHY
The MTV president, revealing
to The New York Times that he is
renaming the VMA “Moon Man”
award the “Moon Person.” “It could
be a man, it could be a woman,
it could be transgender, it could
be nonconformist.”
20
AU G U S T 2, 2017
“I have a best-selling
book, great boobs,
a family I love, am
literally eating pasta
on a lake in Italy
and I married rich.”
CHRISSY TEIGEN
The Lip Sync Battle host
(and John Legend’s wife),
tweeting to a troll who
said that Trump blocking her
on Twitter is the best thing
that will ever happen to her.
HADDISH: GREG DOHERTY/GETTY IMAGES. BLOYS: TARA ZIEMBA/GETTY IMAGES. CLOONEY: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES FOR CINEMACON. TEIGEN: NOAM GALAI/WIREIMAGE. SCARAMUCCI: CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES.
“Did you hear
President Trump
was injured
today? It’s true.
He blew out his
reince priebus.”
“Why should it
be a man?”
June Foray
1917-2017
Warner Bros. Animation mourns the passing of our dear friend and colleague.
THE LOONEY TUNES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and copyright of Warner Bros Entertainment, Inc.
About Town
The Red Carpet
Ping Pong 4 Purpose
Los Angeles, July 27
2
From left: Jimmy Kimmel,
Casey Affleck, Luke Walton
and Justin Turner
3
1
From left: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Ellen Kershaw and Clayton Kershaw
Jason Bateman (left)
and Brandon McCarthy
4
Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Detroit
10
Detroit, Michigan, July 25
Anthony
Mackie
9
Larry Reed (center)
with the film’s Algee
Smith (left), who plays
him, and Mark Boal
8
John Boyega and
Kathryn Bigelow
22
Party
Crawler
Wind River
Los Angeles, July 26
5
Elizabeth Olsen and
Jeremy Renner
A-list Table Tennis
6
Sports stars from Luke
Walton (2) to Yasiel Puig
went head-to-head with
such Hollywood names
as Jason Bateman (3)
and Jack Black for the
fifth annual benefit hosted
by L.A. Dodger Clayton
Kershaw and wife Ellen (1)
at Dodger Stadium. Jimmy
Kimmel (2) emceed, and
Magic Johnson’s (4)
foundation was honored,
all to help raise mowney
for disadvantaged L.A.
families. — RAMONA SAVISS
ABDUL-JABBAR: GABRIEL OLSEN/FILMMAGIC. KIMMEL, BATEMAN, JOHNSON: RODIN ECKENROTH/GETTY IMAGES. BOYEGA, SMITH, MACKIE, LATIMORE: ERIC CHARBONNEAU/COURTESY
OF ANNAPURNA PICTURES. OLSEN: AMANDA EDWARDS/WIREIMAGE. SHERIDAN, BERNTHAL: JASON LAVERIS/GETTY IMAGES. NEVINS: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES.
Taylor
Sheridan
Sheridan Praised
7
The film’s Jon Bernthal with
his former Walking Dead
co-star Sarah Wayne Callies
From Sundance to
SXSW to Cannes, Taylor
Sheridan’s (6) directorial
debut finally premiered
at L.A.’s Ace Hotel. Stars
Jeremy Renner (5) and
Elizabeth Olsen (5) were
quick to applaud the
writer turned helmer. Said
Renner: “The next job I do,
outside of The Avengers,
will be with him.” Sheridan
took the stage to thank
those involved, including
members of the Eastern
Shoshone and Northern
Arapaho Native American
tribes who were in attendance. — MIA GALUPPO
Bigelow in Detroit
MPTF Fifth Annual
Women’s Conference
Beverly Hills, July 30
How a Doc Doyenne
Deals With It
12
“My advice on being a
woman I’ll save for another
time. I’m here to hawk my
book,” HBO Documentary
Films president Sheila
Nevins (12) joked from the
podium at the Montage,
where she keynoted “Deal
With It: A Women’s
Conference.” The veteran
exec read two uproarious
chapters from her memoir,
You Don’t Look Your Age
… and Other Fairy Tales, and
touched on the challenges
of working womanhood to
the (largely female) crowd
of 300. — REBECCA SUN
Sheila
Nevins
11
The film’s Jacob
Latimore (left) and
Detroit native
Michael Eric Dyson
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Director-producer Kathryn
Bigelow (8), screenwriter
Mark Boal (9), author
Michael Eric Dyson (11)
and star John Boyega (8)
feted the film’s world
premiere Hollywood-style
in its titular city. “This is
a story that needed to see
the light of day,” Bigelow
said on the red carpet at
Fox Theatres. — R.S.
23
AU G U S T 2, 2017
About Town
Heard Around Hollywood
Weddings
referred to as Adolf Hitler’s first
anti-Semitic writing. Says
Hier: “It’s one of the rarest documents in the world on the Second
World War. [Obama] was very
moved.” Former British prime
minister Tony Blair, Israeli prime
minister Benjamin Netanyahu
and former President Bill Clinton
also make appearances.
Rambling Reporter
By Chris Gardner
Drag La La Land Gets Damien’s Thumbs-Up
Remember how in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, audiences didn’t get
to see the career-launching, one-woman show of Emma Stone’s Mia
Dolan (save her reserving a seat for Ryan Gosling’s character, who never
appears)? Groundlings regular Jimmy Fowlie has rectified this with
his solo production So Long, Boulder City (co-written with Bridesmaids
actor Jordan Black, who also directs), currently enjoying an extended
sold-out run at Hollywood’s 47-seat Celebration Theatre. In Fowlie’s
version, Mia’s dad is a drug addict, her actress aunt (yes, the one who
lives in Paris) is schizophrenic and Mia goes through an energetic
party-girl phase. The night THR attended, Helen Hunt was there, and a
rep for the theater says Stone’s mother also checked out a performance.
And though the Oscar-winning Chazelle won’t comment, a source close
to the director says he loves the idea and is fully supportive of it.
Latest Star Bookings for Doc:
Barack and Barbra
The new documentary Never
Stop Dreaming: The Life and Legacy
of Shimon Peres, about the late
president and onetime prime
minister of Israel, recently landed
some heavies: former President
Barack Obama and Barbra
Streisand. Oscar-winning Richard
Trank (father of filmmaker Josh
Trank) was tapped to direct the
film that began production in
January 2016 for Moriah Films, the
HO T
REST
documentary arm of
the Simon Wiesenthal
Center. The team,
personally requested
by Peres and his
Streisand
family, includes
Oscar-winning Rabbi Marvin Hier,
the center’s founder. Trank says 60
hours of “exclusive and intimate”
footage were filmed before Peres
died in September. After Obama’s
mid-July interview, Trank and
Hier presented him with a copy
of the Gemlich letter, sometimes
On July 20, when Nancy Seltzer &
Associates publicist Kim Correro
answered an email requesting submissions for new NBC
series Give, she didn’t realize
she was replying to the original
sender’s entire address book,
which had been grouped under an
alias. A flood of reply-all emails
asking to opt out soon began
hitting the inboxes of Untitled
Entertainment’s Jason Weinberg,
Slate’s Simon Halls and Robin
Baum, Viewpoint’s Jennifer Allen,
Hive Collective’s Bumble Ward,
42West’s Meredith O’Sullivan
Wasson, celebrity chef Cat
Cora, Rogers & Cowan’s senior
vp Shannon Barr, Silver Lining
Entertainment’s Jonathan Knight
and APA partner Lindsay Howard
Parker, among dozens of others.
One recipient told THR she was
receiving upwards of 40 emails
daily, four days later. Clearly fed
up, Parker admonished the group:
“The ONLY way this stops is if
you guys … stop replying at ALL.
… There’s no ‘opt out.’ … I know
the temptation of seeing the communal dick pick was great, but
we all have a lot of emails … so it
would be wonderful if this chain
could not be among them.”
NEW
AU R A
NT
Lunetta
The Quick Pitch Chef Raphael Lunetta, who presided over Santa Monica’s Cal-French
staple JiRaffe for nearly two decades until 2014, has returned to the area with this
eponymous spot that acts as a fitting successor to another fixture, Josie. Westsiders
— date-night parents, empty nesters — gather for refined comfort fare: wood-grilled
BBQ salmon and s’mores with house marshmallow fluff. Lunetta All Day, a more casual
offshoot, serves breakfast items like lemon ricotta pancakes next door.
The Inside Dish Chef Lunetta’s partners Mike Garrett and Daniel Weinstock are the
team behind Maple Block Meat Co., a BBQ joint that has developed a significant
industry following. 2424 Pico Blvd. — GARY BAUM
Got tips? Email rambling@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
24
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Engagements
BOULDER: CASEY KRINGLEN. LAND: COURTESY OF LIONSGATE. STREISAND: KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR BSB. LUNETTA: FORKED LIFE. WEDDING: MORLOTTI STUDIO. BABY, ESOLA: COURTESY OF SUBJECT. SKLAR: AP PHOTO/JAE C. HONG. KAUFMAN: RODRIGO VAZ/FILMMAGIC. STEEL: TRISTAR PICTURES/PHOTOFEST.
Welcome to Email Hell,
Hollywood Style
Fowlie in Dolan drag channels Stone as her character goes from hometown to Hollywood dreams.
Vince Totino, CEO of
Revolution Studios,
married Shannon
Vann on July 12 in
Lake Como, Italy.
CAA agent Amia
Lazarus and UTA
agent Mike Esola
became engaged
July 2 in Belize.
Births
Andrew Weitz,
founder of the style
consultancy firm
The Weitz Effect
and a THR contributor, and wife Stacy,
vp communications Sony Pictures
Entertainment,
welcomed sons
Alexander Davis and
Benjamin Riley on
July 27 at CedarsSinai Medical Center
in Los Angeles.
Congrats
Sony Pictures
Television Studios
promoted Jeff Frost
to president and
Jason Clodfelter and
Chris Parnell to
co-presidents July 24.
Rob Sharenow was
elevated to president
Hitched, Hatched, Hired
Inside the industry’s celebrations and news
1943-2017
Sam Shepard
The Right Stuff filmmaker
Philip Kaufman recalls the playright
and actor, who played Chuck Yeager
2
3
1
of programming
for A+E Networks
and Eli Lehrer was
tapped as executive
vp programming
at History, Paul
Cabana as executive
vp at Biography and
History Digital, and
Thomas Moody as
executive vp program
strategy and
acquisitions July 20.
ABC Entertainment
promoted Rebecca
Daugherty to executive vp marketing,
Erin Weir to senior vp
1 Vann and
Totino
2 Alexander
Davis
(left) and
Benjamin
Riley
3 Lazarus
and Esola
marketing strategy
and Jill Gershman
to senior vp marketing creative July 31.
David Zedeck joined
UTA as global head of
Music on July 20.
TruTV promoted
Deaths
Maureen Taran to vp
Jeanne Moreau, the
talent July 26.
brooding French
beauty who starred
in Jules and Jim,
died July 31 in Paris.
She was 89.
The Television
Academy Foundation
named Jodi Delaney
executive director effective July 24.
Hilary Zaitz Michael
joined WME as an
agent in the literary
packaging department July 25.
The Exchange promoted Ann Lee to
vp business & legal
affairs July 20.
George Lucas and
artist Mark Bradford
will be honored
Nov. 4 at the 2017
Art+Film Gala, which
will be co-chaired
by Leonardo DiCaprio
and LACMA trustee
Eva Chow.
‘The Essence of Walt Flowed Through Him’
← Sklar at
arty and I started in the months before Disneyland opened. I began in 1954,
Disneyland
he started in ’55. Walt Disney put him to work doing some writing and really
in 2005.
trusted Marty, even though he was just 19 or 20. They got very close, and
Marty absorbed Walt’s philosophy about how you tell stories in a theme-park setting. Marty then
became the best mentor you could have for thousands of imagineers, sharing Walt’s wisdom about
the things that keep Americans strong, how you treat people right and how you tell stories to families in a joyful, meaningful manner.
In October 1954, ABC’s Disneyland show went on the air. Walt was the host and knew what he
wanted to say, but he wasn’t an actor. Marty, though, understood how to put Walt’s thoughts into
words that would work on camera. They gradually refined Walt’s TV persona until he could express
himself without a sputter. Marty was a nurturing guide who made sure the essence of Walt flowed
through him, all the way until today. That is what Marty did. — AS TOLD TO SETH ABRAMOVITCH
Gurr, 85, designed most of the ride vehicles at Disneyland, including Autopia and the monorail.
Patti Deutsch, a
comedian who was
a regular on Rowan
& Martin’s Laugh-In
and Match Game, died
July 26. She was 73.
Danny Daniels, an
Fellow Disney imagineer Bob Gurr pays tribute to Marty Sklar, who died July 27 at age 83
M
June Foray, the first
lady of voice actors
whose repertoire of
characters included
Rocky the Flying
Squirrel, died July 26
in L.A. She was 99.
Emmy- and Tonywinning dancer
and choreographer,
died July 7 in Santa
Monica. He was 92.
Barbara Sinatra,
who was married
to Zeppo Marx and
Frank Sinatra, died
July 25 in Rancho
Mirage, California.
She was 90.
To submit, send email to hhh@thr.com
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
25
am was doing a poetry reading
at the Intersection Theater
in San Francisco. My wife, Rose,
and I went to catch it. I had written the
screenplay for The Right Stuff but didn’t
know who was going to play Yeager.
Rose said, “That’s your guy.” I got what
she was talking about, because even
though Sam was this tall, gangly guy
who looked nothing
like Yeager, he had that
quality, a certain truth,
a sort of cowboy feeling.
He didn’t want to do the
role at first, didn’t think
Kaufman
he was right for it.
He and Yeager didn’t hit it off right
away. Yeager was a conservative
general, and Sam was a freewheeling,
progressive-thinking guy, but somehow
I got them sharing things about each
other. They realized that even though
they were different in many ways, there
were certain things that they didn’t
really talk about, and that was the quality — called “the right stuff” — that they
each understood the other had.
They became great friends. Yeager
was like that mysterious figure in
Sam’s plays who hovers around like a
ghost, the father-figure that separates
the various sons who are in conflict.
Sam was born with the gift of a
golden ear. He had perfect pitch in
some ways. Occasionally he would
bend a line, give it some other rhythm
or would just throw in a line. When he’s
picking up Barbara Hershey in the bar
— we don’t know yet she’s his wife —
Sam threw in, “I’m half jackrabbit,” just
perfect for somebody hopping through
the desert. — AS TOLD TO GREGG KILDAY
S
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Shepard, a Pulitzer-winning playwright,
died July 27 of ALS. He was 73.
The Business
Executive Suite
Cecile
Frot-Coutaz
American Idol’s producer on
the economics of a revival, the
tough Seacrest deal and why
Katy Perry is worth $25 million
By Michael O’Connell
F
remantleMedia Group,
based in London, has 3,000
employees working across
31 markets, meaning CEO Cecile
Frot-Coutaz rarely has time to
fixate on one country, let alone a
single show in the Bertelsmannowned company’s global suite of
423 programs. But she made an
exception during the first half of
2017 for American Idol. Once the
company’s gilded show pony, the
talent competition was absent
from U.S. airwaves for the first
time in 15 years. To ensure a revivial, the married mother of two
daughters, ages 13 and 8, became
a regular again at the Burbank
office she had called home for a
↑ Frot-Coutaz, who was photographed July 21 in her office at FremantleMedia North America
in Burbank, left Los Angeles for London in 2012, but she still maintains a California home.
When she’s in town, she spends her free time gravitating toward the Westside — enjoying
Malibu and taking weekend walks on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach.
decade. Ultimately, ABC struck
a deal to bring Idol back in 2018
with original host Ryan Seacrest,
$25 million judge Katy Perry and,
producers hope, some respectable fraction of the show’s peak of
37 million viewers.
Now, Frot-Coutaz, 51, can turn
her attention back to the rest of
FremantleMedia’s global purview: the world’s biggest reality
formats (see megahit America’s
Got Talent), a growing number of
niche scripted plays (HBO’s The
Young Pope and Starz’s American
RÉSUMÉ
CURRENT TITLE
CEO,
FremantleMedia Group
PREVIOUS JOB
Corporate
strategy executive,
Pearson Television
BIG HIT
America’s Got Talent,
averaging 15.3 million
viewers on NBC
26
Negotiations to bring back Ryan
Seacrest lasted nearly two months.
What finally sealed it?
It was always going to happen. It’s
Photographed by Christopher Patey
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Gods) and an estimated $1.6 billion in annual revenue and rising
profits. But, sitting in the spartan glass box she’s using as an
office during a July visit to Los
Angeles, the French-born executive readily acknowledges what
people want to hear about. “I spent
the best part of the last five years
trying to diversify our business,”
says Frot-Coutaz, with a mix of
a smile and a sigh. “But it always
comes back to American Idol, no
matter how hard I try.”
AU G U S T 2, 2017
2
1
of broadcast. My 77-year-old
mother, who’s somewhere in
the middle of France, had seen
it within three or four days
of broadcast. That, to me, is
extraordinary.
3
5
4
1 Relics of American Idol’s heyday.
2 A souvenir from America’s Got Talent’s
Las Vegas episodes. 3 Communal
popcorn. 4 The FremantleMedia North
America original guide to Burbank.
5 A THR portrait of Idol employees.
hard for Ryan. He’s on the East
Coast now and had to figure
out how to make it work, but he’s
the hardest-working man in show
business, so there will be some
flying back and forth. But, as I
said, it was always going to happen. He’s the face of Idol.
Idol creator Simon Fuller has said
that Seacrest is the show’s “single
most important element.” Is there
one essential piece?
It would be very strange
to make American Idol without
Ryan, but the danger is to forget that it’s the contestants that
make the show. The key factor
to a successful season is finding
the right contestants.
Why not wait longer to bring
Idol back?
HAIR AND MAKEUP BY MEZHGAN HUSSAINY
When Idol wrapped, we did extensive research. We found that
we’d recruited new, much younger
viewers. Do you wait five or six
years, with the landscape continuing to evolve, and risk losing those
followers? In thinking about doing
the right thing for the brand and
franchise, it felt to us that it was
an unfinished story. Even though
the show lived on Fox for 15 years,
its audience is actually closer to
that of ABC or CBS.
Each broadcast network was in
some sort of talks for Idol. Fox
TV Group co-chair Dana Walden
said that bringing it back felt
“extremely fraudulent” for Fox, and
Leslie Moonves said the economics
wouldn’t work for CBS. What do you
say to that?
Fox made a decision to move away
from it, and I understand why
they did. It was taking up a lot of
real estate on the network. Dana
and [co-chair] Gary [Newman],
who were new, needed that real
estate to develop shows. Dana’s
absolutely right. For that Fox network and for that Fox audience, it
probably would’ve been too soon.
Katy Perry’s judge’s salary alone is
$25 million, and there are at least
two more slots to fill. How are you
making sure the new Idol makes
financial sense for ABC?
Paula Abdul was Idol’s only
household name when the show
premiered. Can a reality show
launch without marquee talent?
It hasn’t been done recently. I
would like to think that you can
— but because there is a certain bar that has been set, there
is now an expectation from the
audience that you would have
at least one, if not two, stars with
a lot of credibility.
Simon Cowell said he turned down
an offer to return. What was that
conversation like?
The show is not more expensive
than its competitors in the
genre. If other networks can make
it work on similar properties,
then there’s no reason why ABC
couldn’t. This notion that the
show [costs] a lot more than any
other is completely untrue. We
know that because we’ve made
other shows in other genres. ABC
wouldn’t order something that
didn’t work for them financially.
I’m not going to comment on
that. Simon is on NBC on
America’s Got Talent, and I think
therein lies your answer.
Speaking of Talent, it’s in the
middle of its most watched season.
Why is that happening 11 years in?
What convinced you that Katy
Perry would be worth the price tag?
Katy is in a transition in terms of
her own career. It has been shown
now what these platforms can
do for artists. It has been beneficial
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
to other people, whether it’s on
Idol or The Voice. But I think she
genuinely cares. She auditioned
when she was a guest judge on
Idol in 2010 and then on the [U.K.]
X-Factor. She’s brilliant.
Simon coming back is for sure a
factor. But, by the nature of the
show, the clips play incredibly well
online. There’s a virality that feeds
into the success. That video of
[12-year-old singing ventriloquist]
Darci Lynne is the most watched
clip on Facebook. My nanny in
London had seen it within 24 hours
27
AU G U S T 2, 2017
You have reboots of Celebrity
Family Feud, Match Game and
To Tell the Truth on ABC. Is there
an end to the nostalgia mine in
alternative programming?
Our business is very cyclical. Five
years ago, you wouldn’t see any
game [show] in primetime. More
fundamental, in a world this
fragmented, it’s hard to launch
new brands. Pairing existing
brand equity with proven talent,
from a broadcaster’s standpoint,
is a lower-risk proposition than
starting from scratch. But as with
everything in our business,
if something works, everybody
does it, exhausts it, and it goes
away. Then it comes back a few
years later.
What are your scripted priorities?
Our ambition is not to compete
with American studios. We’re
always going to be more of a niche
player, but I’m excited to lean
into our global footprint. In Italy,
our company has some brilliant
shows coming up — including the
adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s My
Brilliant Friend. [The drama series
will] be in Italian, shot in Naples
and air on HBO in America.
Five years ago, people were talking
about adapting those dramas for
English markets.
Which I don’t believe in. The
world has become so global. Most
people will have already seen the
original version — unless you
can do what Homeland did so well
in reconceiving a premise for a
different market.
Steve Harvey, who hosts Family
Feud for you, got a lot of bad press
over a leaked memo that told his
staff to leave him alone. Is that the
sort of thing that gives an executive
heart palpitations?
“Only worry about what you can
control” is my mantra.
The Business
Moguls
Megan Ellison: Can
a Millennial Mogul
Make It on Her Own?
With a $2 billion checkbook, she has backed filmmakers from
Paul Thomas Anderson to David O. Russell, but starting with
Detroit, she’s now risking it all to create a full-fledged studio
By Kim Masters
K
athryn Bigelow’s Detroit
will neither make nor
break Megan Ellison or
her company, Annapurna
Pictures, but the film has special
significance. It is the first that
Annapurna is distributing on its
own — though how that came
to be is a curious tale — as part
of a bold attempt to transform a
company known as a prolific
financier-producer of Oscar-bait
projects into a full-fledged minimajor. Ellison, 31, has become the
first woman with total control of
a Hollywood studio and the first
to put hundreds of millions of her
own money on the line.
Can she make it work? At this
point, the challenges facing the
business generally and the kind
of art house movies that Ellison
favors in particular are such that
even some who have hit rough
patches with her are hoping for
the best. “I haven’t always had the
best experience with her,” says
one top talent rep. “It doesn’t matter. There’s nobody doing what
she does in the business. There is
no one who takes more risk and is
more friendly to talent.”
Hollywood veterans know the
odds are heavily stacked against
any attempt to launch a distribution company. Recent casualties
include Relativity Media and
Alchemy (The Lobster); Open Road
Films (Spotlight) is said to be
teetering. And the odds may be
even more daunting because of
Ellison’s penchant for making
sophisticated movies that haven’t
necessarily been commercial,
such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s
The Master or Bennett Miller’s
Foxcatcher. (She also has backed
a few big grossers, including
American Hustle and, an unlikely
choice, Sausage Party.)
“It’s a tough market,” says one
senior industry figure who has
dealt with Ellison. “Why would
you set up a distribution company
in that sector and have to make
a whole bunch of movies to cover
overhead? It’s not impossible
to win, it’s just harder than ever.
You’ve got to be better, smarter or
luckier than anyone else. I would
tell anybody not to do it.”
One veteran executive who has
worked with Annapurna says he
believes Ellison’s goal is to compete with what Harvey Weinstein
was in his heyday, when he
popped out such indie hits as Pulp
Fiction and The English Patient that
stacked up awards like cordwood.
But Weinstein is a showman,
while Ellison isn’t, and costs have
shot up. Industry sources estimate overhead for Annapurna,
which has about 120 employees,
runs several million dollars a year.
Far more burdensome is the cost
of marketing the company’s films,
which likely will require several
hundred million dollars over the
next, say, three years.
Annapurna is taking steps to
cover costs — for example, it has
made output deals for overseas
territories with distributors
including Entertainment One and
MGM — but that hasn’t changed
the back-of-the-envelope calculations of industry handicappers.
Ellison declined to comment.
Ever since Ellison entered the
business in 2011, backed with
what is believed to be $2 billion
from her father, Oracle founder
Larry Ellison, she has shown
Illustration by Mike McQuade
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
28
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Annapurna’s Oscars
and Box Office
Thirty-two noms, including best picture
mentions for American Hustle, Her and
Zero Dark Thirty, but few mega-hit breakouts
OSCAR
NOMINATION
OSCAR
WIN
$251.2M
American Hustle (Sony)
DEC. 13, 2013
$140.7M
Sausage Party (Sony)
AUG. 12, 2016
$132.8M
Win for
sound editing
Zero Dark Thirty (Sony)
DEC. 19, 2012
$101.1M
Joy (Fox)
DEC. 25, 2015
$64.1M
The Grandmaster (The Weinstein Co.)
AUG. 23, 2013
$53.7M
Lawless (The Weinstein Co.)
AUG. 29, 2012
$47.4M
Win for original
screenplay
Her (Warner Bros.)
DEC. 18, 2013
$37.9M
Killing Them Softly (The Weinstein Co.)
ELLISON: DAVID LIVINGSTON/GETTY IMAGES. TRUE: LOREY SEBASTIAN/PARAMOUNT PICTURES. AMERICAN: FRANCOIS DUHAMEL/ANNAPURNA PRODUCTIONS. ZERO: JONATHAN OLLEY/COLUMBIA PICTURES.
WEINSTOCK: RANDY SHROPSHIRE/GETTY IMAGES. NAEGLE: ALBERT L. ORTEGA/GETTY IMAGES. LOMIS: ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES FOR CINEMACON. DETROIT: FRANCOIS DUHAMEL/ANNAPURNA.
NOV. 30, 2012
$31.7M
Spring Breakers (A24)
MARCH 15, 2013
$28.3M
The Master (The Weinstein Co.)
SEPT. 14, 2012
$12.1M*
Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics)
NOV. 14, 2014
$5.7M*
20th Century Women (A24)
DEC. 28, 2016
$3.4M*
Everybody Wants Some!! (Paramount)
MARCH 30, 2016
$0.5M*
Wiener-Dog (IFC)
JUNE 24, 2016
$0.2M*
The Bad Batch (Neon)
JUNE 23, 2017
Source: Box Office Mojo, THR research.
Worldwide grosses except those with *
↓ With Detroit (below) going wide Aug. 4, Ellison tweeted
to the president: “@realDonaldTrump I invite you to see our
movie DETROIT. It’s time to change the conversation.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
29
AU G U S T 2, 2017
herself to be strong-willed and
sometimes impulsive in ways that
would seem to risk relationships
with the very auteur filmmakers
she has courted assiduously. But
thanks to her passion for supporting those filmmakers and her
instinct for good material, she
has become a high-profile player,
even though she is so press-shy,
she doesn’t gives interviews. She
does allow an occasional article
to be written in which she selects
some friendly associates to speak
about her on the record. (This is
not one of them.) Without her
acquiescence, no one in her orbit
will talk about her publicly, even
to pay a compliment.
But many appreciate what she
can do and has done. “She’s making movies she wants to do based
on what’s in her head,” says an
industry veteran who has worked
with her. “As far as I can tell, she’s
the only one in the whole industry
who can do that.” Says another,
“She’s the closest thing we have
to a Medici at this point.” The
question now is
whether Ellison has
the ability to morph
from a well-funded
patron of the arts to
Weinstock
a well-rounded —
by necessity, more
disciplined and commercially minded
— businesswoman.
Naegle
Perhaps one
measure of Ellison’s
ambition, or her wish
to signal the seriousness of her intentions,
Lomis
is that Annapurna
has put itself into long-shot contention — alongside Sony, Warner
Bros., Fox and Universal — to
distribute the next James Bond
film. She has agreed to finance
The Big Short filmmaker Adam
McKay’s now-shooting Dick
Cheney movie after others passed.
She also has moved to stock her
pipeline by striking a deal with
Plan B, Brad Pitt’s production
company. Given that Plan B has
made such films as Moonlight and
12 Years a Slave, the company’s
sensibility would seem to align
perfectly with hers.
Ellison’s plans are not confined
to film: She has hired former
HBO president of entertainment
Sue Naegle to build a television
Moguls
↑ From left: Russell, Jessica Chastain,
Ellison and Bigelow attended the Oscar
Nominees Luncheon in 2013.
division that plans series from
such talents as the Coen brothers and David O. Russell. She
attached Julia Roberts to star in
a limited series adaptation of
Maria Semple’s best-selling novel
Today Will Be Different for HBO.
And late last year, she established
Annapurna Interactive, which
lured top Sony designers and has
released two well-received games:
What Remains of Edith Finch from
Giant Sparrow and Gorogoa from
Jason Roberts. There are plans to
release 19 more in 2018.
Ellison has moved her company out of large houses in L.A.’s
Bird Streets neighborhood that
she had bought for $32.6 million
in 2011 and later sold for a combined $46.7 million. Annapurna
now occupies another group of
properties in West Hollywood
that Ellison acquired for $40 million, giving her 28,000 square feet
on a 35,000-square-foot lot that
once housed a studio for silent
film actress and producer Norma
Talmadge.
As Ellison has tripled the size
of Annapurna’s staff, one of her
top executives says she works to
foster an esprit de corps. There
is free lunch for everyone every
day. Ellison, who interviews each
prospective hire, hosts an allcompany town hall every other
week, during which she updates
staff on projects and plans. The
company has “Annapurna Friday,”
the last week of the month; the
staff puts in a half-day, followed
by a party or barbecue.
While Ellison is said to be a
constant presence in the office,
outsiders find her far harder
to reach. “She’s notorious for not
returning phone calls, but that
doesn’t make her good or bad,”
says one talent rep. Apparently,
she is at least democratic in
that trait: In 2014, thanks to the
Sony hack, the public could read
producer Scott Rudin’s email
expressing resentment at being
asked to court Ellison to finance
his planned Steve Jobs movie —
in which he called Ellison a “bipolar 28 year old lunatic who hasn’t
returned your call in 3 days.”
(Given Rudin’s infamous phone
habits — well, pot, meet kettle.)
Ellison responded with a tweet:
“Bipolar 28 year old lunatic..?
I always thought of myself more
as eccentric.”
Certainly, Ellison seems to
some in the industry to be
mercurial. Annapurna packaged
Alexander Payne’s Downsizing
with Matt Damon, and in the
summer of 2015, according to a
source, offered to partner with
Paramount on it. Then Ellison
went silent. “It was the craziest
feeling,” says a source involved
with the deal. “They said they’d
put up a third of the money.
Brad Grey [the late chairman of
Paramount] committed to make
the movie, and then Ellison
pulled out without explanation,
refusing to finance her own
package. And she ducked Brad’s
phone calls for weeks. She never
returned his calls to explain
why.” Paramount wound up taking on the full budget of nearly
$70 million; Downsizing is now
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
set to kick off the Venice Film
Festival and has early Oscar buzz.
That was not the only
time that Ellison offered and then
withdrew support. She pulled
$23 million in funding for Steven
Soderbergh’s 2013 drama Side
Effects just 12 weeks before shooting was to begin, reportedly
because she was unhappy with
Blake Lively’s salary demands.
(Lively didn’t appear in the film,
which went forward without
Ellison’s backing.) Ellison did not
deliver the news to Soderbergh
herself, prompting the director
to take a shot at her in Vanity
Fair. “In my experience, when
you’re breaking up with someone,
it’s proper form to call them,”
he said. Another producer says
she had committed millions
to one of his projects but did not
come through. “I couldn’t tell
if she was just making promises
to make herself relevant,” he
says. That film ultimately was
made elsewhere and met with
great success.
Last year, Annapurna sold
a still-untitled Anderson movie
starring Daniel Day-Lewis to
Universal’s Focus Features for
about $35 million. Why Ellison
would sell off a film from
Anderson after she aggressively
outbid Fox Searchlight for The
Master and backed the director’s
every wish is not clear.
It’s hard to say whether Ellison
has withdrawn from what would
seem like signature projects
on impulse or on principle. One
executive who has sat across the
table from her says he believes
that having lost money on such
films as Spike Jonze’s Her
and Russell’s Joy, she was “very
unhappy with how she ended
up financially.” A talent rep who
has done business with Ellison
contends that the story of her
unquestioning largesse has been
exaggerated. “She is not a patron;
she’s an investor,” he says. “Every
one of these [projects], even for
Megan, is numbers-crunching.”
Money seemed to be an issue
with Bigelow’s Detroit. Annapurna
put the film together and offered
it to such buyers as Fox Searchlight
and Focus. Searchlight offered to
partner on the project, but Ellison
at that point declined to invest any
money in it. When neither studio
30
AU G U S T 2, 2017
agreed to buy the $40 millionplus project, she wound up
financing the entire film herself.
In some ways, Detroit is just
what one would expect from
Annapurna: It has a top rating
on Rotten Tomatoes, but it
is a film that is impossible to
imagine any big studio making
— certainly at that price tag.
The subject matter is tough, it
has no major stars and its
overseas prospects are limited.
The plan to release Detroit
on more than 2,800 screens on
Aug. 4 was tweaked late in the
game when tracking looked soft.
Annapurna opened it a week
earlier, hoping to boost word-ofmouth, on 20 screens in various
markets. It pulled in a decent
$17,500 per screen, but it remains
to be seen whether the box office
will ultimately support the budget plus marketing cost.
Like her brother, David, who
also is involved in film
financing through his Skydance
Media, Ellison attended USC
but did not graduate. When the
siblings started to invest in
Hollywood, both were guided by
attorney Skip Brittenham, one
of the industry’s most respected
advisers and a confidant of their
father. But Megan Ellison and
Brittenham parted ways about
three years ago, and sources
say it was because of her unwillingness to heed his advice.
Industry handicappers say
one strong point in Annapurna’s
favor now is that Ellison has
hired a seasoned team, including
former Fox domestic marketing
chief Marc Weinstock to oversee
movie development and production, Sony Pictures veteran David
Kaminow for marketing and
Eric Lomis from The Weinstein
Co. to run distribution. All were
lured with above-market pay
packages, according to sources.
But given her resources, one
producer who knows her says
she doesn’t need to fixate on
profit: “If she spends $600 million and breaks even, she’s doing
fine.” A film investor who also
knows Ellison agrees. “She’s
decided,” he says, “that she wants
to be a studio. I don’t care if
she has five bombs in a row. If
she wants to keep going, she’ll
keep going.”
ALBERTO E. RODRIGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES
The Business
Remembering
SAM SHEPARD
1943–2017
STREAM NOW
i
di pla f fan
a t
c m o in y &
46 uff nd um C
( s a o
$ .73 to ta nd .
tiff 275 ca talin rfis
a n ,0 r at g h
y.c 00 s);
om ,
T
C
h
s a dia a n
pp m te
j
e
th lly hi on cl
e M f i re d , e r
s
N e $ 1 ar h e an d e m C a
i m 0 , 8 i n e a r r tu e r a p r
a n 5 5 l l e i n g rq l d i
M , at c o s f u o i ,
a r s ll e r o s e
cu e l c t m
s s e c ion
to t ;
re
s
St
e
je l d phe
ly f iam n
i
n
go 18 ish ond We
e
a t p l a l d w - ka a r r p a b s t
St tin ith rat ing vé er
e
B e p h g; $ rh o whi s s e
ve en 11, di te t
rly W 5 0 um
Hi e b s 0,
lls te
r,
FISH, SQUID: COURTESY OF MONICA RICH KOSANN. EMERALD JELLYFISH: COURTESY OF CHANTECLER CAPRI. DIAMOND JELLYFISH: COURTESY OF STEPHEN WEBSTER. STAR: COURTESY OF MODA OPERANDI. CUFF: COURTESY OF TIFFANY & CO.
M
o
Te
an blu mp
d e l
18 p diam mo e St
- e
o .
$ 4 k a r a n da o n d n s t C l a
m to ,700 t ye nt s se one ir
o d p , l l et a s
ao reo av ow in ta
r
p e rd a i l g
ra e r ab old
nd a le ;
t
i .c
om
n
P e w h Ko i c a
$1 ne rsev ite c san Ri
ye ,45 ck er er n ch
ne o llow 0, a lace anc ami
m ckl cto go nd (le e f c
on ac p ld 1 f ish
ica e us In 8-k t),
ric (rig ch tu ar
hk ht ar itio at
os ), $ m n
an 7,
n.c 56
om 5,
Style
Fashion
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
Life Aquatic
This summer, add the ultimate marine
layer with a splash of diamonds,
turquoise and enamel By Carol McColgin
35
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Style
Want the Car? Ace the Audition
Limited-production, multimillion-dollar rides now require a test of brand loyalty before
a panel of judges — with luck, that rejection letter won’t come By Jon Alain Guzik
s the competition heats
up among collectors to
own the newest, fastest
and rarest — i.e., limitedproduction, multimillion-dollar
hypercars — luxury brands are
adopting increasingly onerous
vetting processes to select the
lucky few. In the past, if you could
write the check, the car was yours.
But now, panels of judges evaluate
online applications to assess such
factors as past multiple purchases,
social media profile and a track
record of not flipping such investments for profit — nor having
these cars idle as garage queens.
Ford, a brand not otherwise
known as a rarefied player, delivered thousands of rejection letters
after it received more than 6,500
online applications for 750 units
of the new GT (starting price:
$450,000), which won 2016’s 24
Hours of Le Mans race in France.
Boilerplate language — sample:
A
“Unfortunately, we do not have
enough Ford GTs to fulfill your
request at this time” — provoked
outraged threads across the web,
as well as mixed feelings within
the industry. “I tried to get on the
list for the Ford GT as an exercise,
and I did not succeed,”
CAA agent and noted
car collector Hans
Schiff says drily. “I did
not make the cut.”
Feresten
Karl Brauer,
executive publisher
of Autotrader and
Kelley Blue Book,
who did make the
Leno
cut, says, “Most of
the people who didn’t get one had
shown minimal loyalty to Ford
prior to wanting the new GT, simply because it’s rare.” The process
(which the company is unlikely
to set in motion again due to the
kerfuffle) began with application
questions about the customer’s
relationship to the brand, followed by a panel, says Henry Ford
III, Ford performance marketing
manager and great-great-grandson of his namesake. “We sat
down as a global team,” involving
dozens of people in every region,
“and had to make some tough
decisions to rank who we thought
fit the profile for a buyer. Each
candidate’s social profile is part
of that equation.” While there is
no set cut-off number for a buyer’s
social following, someone like
DJ Skee was given the opportunity to slap down $157,000 for
a Mercedes-AMG GT R Green Hell
because of his 450,000 Instagram
and 429,000 Twitter followers.
Other brands are adopting a
pre-vetting process for determining who wins the opportunity
to buy limited editions. All 106 of
the McLaren BP23, a $2.5 million
three-seater that doesn’t even
come to market until 2019, were
sold out before the car was
announced to the public.
Only faithful brand fans were
approached — likely Elon Musk,
Jay Leno and the Sultan of
Brunei, who purchased one of
the 106 McLaren F1 cars produced before 1998 for $815,000,
now worth $14 million. Other
hypercars coming online include
the Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta,
Aston Martin Valkyrie and
Vulcan, Lamborghini Centenario
and Bugatti Chiron. All 918 of
Porsche’s 918 model, a milliondollar-plus hypercar, were sold
soon after launch, as were all
911 of the $185,000 911 R models
before they hit showroom floors.
Porsche collector Spike
Feresten, former Seinfeld
writer and current host of Car
Matchmaker, was told by a Porsche
public relations rep that he was
turned down for a 911 R: “I had
fake outrage but was also relieved
I didn’t have to write such a big
check.” Producer Dana Brunetti,
who collects Ferraris, says
sometimes not trying is the path
of least disappointment: “When
they announced the LaFerrari, I
couldn’t afford it — but if I could
afford it and I couldn’t get one,
I would be upset and maybe even
offended.” At least entertainment people can draw consolation
from their infamous thick skin,
says Feresten: “No one likes rejection, but in this business, we deal
with it constantly. You take a
day to process the emotions, then
you dust yourself off and call the
McLaren dealer!”
How to Buy the Most-Wanted Wheels: ‘Be Very Rich, Very Famous’
FORD GT
With Ford’s billion-dollar-plus investment, the GT (from
$450,000) is a losing proposition. Yet, says Matthew
DeBord, author of Return to Glory: The Story of Ford’s
Revival and Victory at the Toughest Race in the World:
“It’s the halo car of all halo cars; it gets Ford on the map.”
PORSCHE 918
MERCEDES-AMG GT R
This hypercar (currently starting at $1.5 million) came
with a VIP program that grants first right of refusal on all
limited-production vehicles. Porsche “reserves the right
to revoke … privileges if any of the terms … are breached,”
including if the car is sold for markup soon after purchase.
Lacking a major social media profile? Says Ron Robertson
of Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills: “To get a car like the
upcoming and very expensive Mercedes-AMG hypercar
(from $157,000), my advice is to be very rich, very famous
and be a very big consumer of Mercedes-Benz products.”
Illustration by Guy Shield
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
36
AU G U S T 2, 2017
FERESTON: PAUL ZIMMERMAN/WIREIMAGE. LENO: PAUL ARCHULETA/FILMMAGIC. GT: WES DUENKEL/COURTESY OF FORD. SPYDER: COURTESY OF PORSCHE. GT R: COURTESY OF MERCEDES.
Cars
THANK YOU TO ALL THE SPEAKERS AND SPONSORS
WHO CONTRIBUTED TO
MAKING OUR EVENT SO SUCCESSFUL
DEAL AWOMEN’S
WITH IT: CONFERENCE
BENEFITING
TAKING CHARGE & FACING LIFE’S CURVEBALLS
SPEAKERS
Dr. Paul Aisen,
Madelyn Hammond,
Lisa Nichols,
Keck Medicine of USC
Madelyn Hammond & Associates
Motivating the Masses, Inc.
Naida Albright,
Matthew Jensen,
Alyssa Nobriga,
Conshimfee Productions Inc.
HCR Wealth Advisors
Business Coach
Bristol Baughan,
Dr. Scott Kaiser,
Lea Pipes,
Executive Coach/Inner Astronauts
MPTF
MPTF
Dr. Ira Byock,
Dr. Kim Kensington,
Shola Richards,
Providence Health & Services
ADD/ADHD Coach & Licensed Psychologist
Author/Workplace Positivity Expert
Dr. Lynn Connolly,
Ilyanne Morden Kichaven,
Chief Sandra Spagnoli,
UCLA Health
SAG-AFTRA
The Beverly Hills Police Department
Jessica Corbin,
Regina Lark,
Chia Chia Sun,
REVITA5 & Vitness Rx
A Clear Path
Damiva
Dr. Kevin Ehrhart,
Dinh Luu,
Stefanie Taub,
Providence Health & Services
Goldfarb & Luu
SAG-AFTRA
Lisa Garr,
Michelle Meacham,
Dr. Arthur Toga,
The Aware Show
HCR Wealth Advisors
Keck Medicine of USC
Dee Gatewood,
Dr. Marc Milstein,
Kathy Van Ness,
OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner and
Domestic Violence Advocate
Scientist and Health & Wellness Speaker
Golden Door
Dr. Janet Wei,
Sarah Minot Gold,
Dr. Kathleen Mojas,
Clinical Psychologist
Professional Organizer
Rebecca Goldfarb,
Goldfarb & Luu
Linda Grasso,
Dr. Laura Mosqueda,
Keck Medicine of USC
Kate Neligan,
Conscious Rockstar
Ventura Blvd/SheSez podcast
SPONSORS
SAMPLING PARTNERS
MEDIA PARTNERS
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute
Shelley Zalis,
The Female Quotient
Dr. Betza Zlokovic,
Keck Medicine of USC
Style
Real Estate
1 Griffin Club’s pool area now includes a kids’ pool
and several cabanas serviced by an outside bar. 2 The
entryway off Motor Avenue was totally rebuilt “down
to the studs,” with white oak plank flooring, an interior
fire pit and an encased wine room. 3 On July 29, 300
members celebrated the club’s opening on the patio
overlooking the pool and courts.
Just Sold!
2
1
3
$4 . 5M
2706 CLUB DRIVE
A $13 million upgrade brings Hollywood heat to Cheviot Hills’ 91-year-old pool and tennis club, where
Errol Flynn once volleyed, and the suburb-like neighborhood that surrounds it By Peter Kiefer
ounded in 1926 by Merv Griffin’s uncle, Elmer, the
bar is complemented by a poolside bar (take that, Soho
House). Fitness areas were upgraded with state-ofWestside Tennis Club burned bright in the Los
Angeles social scene in Hollywood’s Golden Age. But the-art cardio machines, a newly outfitted weight room
for the past several decades, the Motor Avenue hangout
and a Pilates studio. Locker rooms were given a fresh
finish with retro-tiled showers. Woodland
— more recently known as the Beverly Hills Country Club
Hills-based design firm Creative Resource
despite not being in Beverly Hills— has blended quietly
Associates worked with blues, neutrals and
into sleepy Cheviot Hills near the Fox lot.
That is about to change. On July 29, the 91-year-old tenwarm grays to modernize the interiors.
Over the past two years, more than half
nis and social club, whose heyday saw Humphrey Bogart
Gad
of the club’s old guard opted out of the new
and Errol Flynn among its ranks, unveiled an entirely new
vision, which includes a stricter memberlook following a two-year, $13 million renovation. “We
ship policy and a revamped fee structure. But
stayed within the existing footprint that we inherited,
director of membership John Myers says that
but we took the building down to the studs,” says Graham
defectors
already have been replaced, and
Culp, a partner with Meriwether Companies, which in
McKenna
there are currently about 1,500 family and
2015 bought the property and renamed it Griffin Club.
non-family memberships. One-third of members live
“Our hope is that it will become a place for entertainment
locally in suburb-like Cheviot Hills (once home to Lucille
industry types who could meet here on neutral ground
and hold meetings and events. And for our high-profile
Ball, the neighborhood also has bragging rights to
members, we want to make it a safe environment.” Ty
the Modern Family house), where the median residential
property value is $1.8 million — up
Burrell, Josh Gad and writer Chris
2.9 percent over 2016, according
McKenna (whose credits include
to Zillow. The one-time entry fee
Spider-Man: Homecoming) are some of
for Griffin Club ranges from $4,000
the members who enjoy the familyto $10,000 — well below the six
oriented, paparazzi-free zone.
figures at most L.A. country clubs
The main clubhouse features
(but Griffin doesn’t offer golf). Still,
a new staircase and bay windows;
the club shares the selectivity
works by local artists adorn the
of its pricier peers: For the foreseewalls; Jeff Torin, formerly of Petit
able future, it will be expanding by
Ermitage, has been brought in for
invitation only, with prospective
the dining (casual California fare,
members required to have at least
including standout short rib mole
Flynn, a talented player, on the court (one of six) in 1937
two current member referrals.
tacos). The refashioned upstairs
at what was then known as the Westside Tennis Club.
F
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
38
AU G U S T 2, 2017
On the Market
3220 SHELBY DRIVE
This five-bedroom, sixbathroom traditional
Mediterranean with
gourmet kitchen, large
lawn and pool —
currently owned by a
tech entrepreneur who
invests in medical
startups — was listed
on June 1 by Gibson
International’s
Matthew O’Keefe.
LIST PRICE: $3.5M
GRIFFIN: MICHAEL SCHOLZ (3). FLYNN: BETTMANN ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES. GAD: STEVE
GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE. MCKENNA: TODD WILLIAMSON/GETTY IMAGES. BARKER: JEFFREY MAYER/
WIREIMAGE. CLUB DRIVE: SPLASH NEWS. SHELBY DRIVE: COURTESY OF MATTHEW O’KEEFE.
The Westside’s New (Old) Hangout
In May, blink-182 drummer Travis Barker sold
his four-bedroom after
purchasing it in
2014 for $4 million and listing
it in February
for $4.75 million.
A modern gem, the
home features a
voluminous living/dining area with 13-foot
ceilings, a kitchen that
opens onto the backyard and a solar-heated
saltwater pool.
PROMOTION
THE SUNDANCETV ORIGINAL SERIES RETURNS
C A N D I D R O U N D TA B L E S W I T H T O P T E L E V I S I O N TA L E N T
W AT C H A U G U S T 6 T H W I T H T H E R E A L I T Y S TA R S
REALITY STARS / AUGUST 6
with
SUNDAY 10A ET / 9A CT
SATELLITE: 10A ET, 7A PT
SPORTS + MEDIA
A-ROD:
THE TV REB
“I had two dreams.
I wanted to be a
baseball player and a
businessman,”
says Rodriguez,
photographed June 28
in New York City.
A
He made $500 million in baseball then became a
scandal-plagued Yankees pariah. Now Alex Rodriguez is on
ABC, CNBC and Fox Sports, reinventing himself as more than a
jock turned broadcaster (and J.Lo’s beau), and he may have
the secret to a successful second act: ‘You have to own your shit’
BOOT
BY MARISA GUTHRIE / PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARTIN SCHOELLER
ALEX RODRIGUEZ RAISES AN
arm to keep an errant basketball
from hitting a reporter. We are
seated courtside in plastic chairs
at the gym at Wayside Baptist
Church — a complex of low-slung
white stucco buildings in Kendall,
Florida, a suburb southwest of
Miami, near where Rodriguez
grew up. It is a Thursday in July,
and Rodriguez wears dark-wash
jeans and a navy polo shirt with
a small white A-Rod Corp logo —
an abstraction of the erstwhile
Yankee slugger’s signature arching swing — on his left breast.
Today he is filming a pilot for
CNBC called Back in the Game, a
concept that has Rodriguez mentoring down-and-out former
athletes. The first episode features
Joe Smith Jr., a 1995 NBA No. 1
draft pick whose peripatetic career
included an unfortunate salarycap scam with the Minnesota
Timberwolves. Rodriguez will
enlist Under Armour CEO Kevin
Plank to help Smith realize his
ambition to start a youth basketball academy. We are at Wayside’s
youth camp so producers can film
Smith interacting with the kids.
Most of the roughly 100 youth
present don’t know Smith, but they
of course know Rodriguez, one
of the most famous (and, to
many, infamous) athletes of his
generation, so they’re asking for
autographs and selfies.
It’s nearly exactly a year since
Rodriguez played his last game at
Yankee Stadium after a recordmaking, scandal-plagued major
league career that began in 1994,
when he was 18. “It’s night and
day how content and happy and
proud I am,” he says. “You being
here, that would have never happened before.”
Rodriguez, contemplating his
dramatic rehabilitation — from
pariah to pundit, a credible TV
star with a Hollywood girlfriend
— continues: “It starts with being
accountable. When people can
see that you’re genuine, that’s
when they pay attention. You have
to own your shit.”
I ask whether he ever thinks
about the arc of his career from
superstar to outcast, and he shoots
me a look that says, “Every second
of every day!” Then he grabs my
notebook and pen. Turning it
sideways, he jots down five dates:
1994, 2000, 2004, 2014, 2017.
(Curiously, 2009, when he won his
only World Series, is not included.)
He draws a jagged line under the
numbers; 2000 (he hit 41 homers
and had 132 RBIs, powering Seattle
to the ALCS against the Yankees)
and 2004 (his first season with the
Yankees) are high points. When he
gets to 2014 (when he sat out the
season during the longest suspension in baseball history for using
performance-enhancing drugs),
he drags the pen to the bottom of
the page then brings it back up to
2017. No doubt: 2014 was rock bottom. “There were nights in Miami
when I was close to tapping out,”
he admits.
ONCE THE SPORT’S BIGGEST
outcast, in two years Rodriguez
has managed to recast himself as
a trusty TV presence and MLB
ambassador. (Eight days earlier,
during All-Star Game weekend
in Miami, he opened a refurbished field at the Miami-Dade
Boys & Girls Club with MLB
commissioner Rob Manfred,
who in 2013 led the investigation that resulted in Rodriguez’s
suspension.)
It is a rebirth that few — least
of all Rodriguez, 42 — would
have thought possible a few years
ago. He had made more money
than anyone in baseball (nearly
$500 million), dated famous
women (Madonna), been caught
taking banned substances (twice),
repeatedly lied about it on TV
and the radio, faced an investigation that turned up a cast of seedy
characters and endured a public
fall, a painful exile.
Now, he’s not out of place in the
congenial confines of daytime
and late night (guest hosting
Live With Kelly Ripa; playing Egg
Russian Roulette with Jimmy
Fallon) and soon makes his debut
as an ABC News contributor.
(Rodriguez is viewed as an asset
by ABC execs for his relationships with C-suite luminaries
like Warren Buffet and Starwood
Capital Group chairman Barry
Bernlicht, whom he counts as
mentors. The network hopes he'll
leverage access and conduct a
different type of interview than
a traditional correspondent.) He
has carved out a reputation as a
savvy businessman. He’s in the
throes of a made-for-social media
relationship with Jennifer Lopez,
someone whose star wattage
equals his own. He’s entering
the reality TV circuit, but not
on vacuous unscripted shows.
The CNBC program matches his
mission to help athletes prepare
for life after the huge checks
stop coming. And he’ll get to
display his CEO persona as a
“guest shark” on the upcoming
“I love Alex,” sayys Rose (right) off Rodrigueez, whom
m he callss a “peerfecctionist.”
The twoo worked
d togetheer during
g Fox’s covverag
ge of the 2016 World Series in October.
season of ABC’s Shark Tank. “He
was far more entrepreneurial
than I expected,” notes the show’s
Mark Cuban.
But it’s his role as an analyst
on Fox Sports — which began as
a guest stint during the 2015 postseason and where he has teamed
with Kevin Burkhardt, Frank
Thomas and fellow stigmatized
hit machine Pete Rose — that
arguably has done the most to
repair his image as baseball’s biggest sinner.
“He goes on TV, and he’s really
good,” says Bill Simmons, an
avowed Red Sox loyalist and no fan
of A-Rod as a player, who in 2009
wrote a column for ESPN positing
that Rodriguez united the Yankees
clubhouse because he was the one
guy they all loved to hate. “We’ve
seen this with all kinds of athletes;
they can reinvent the legacy of
their career just by being on TV.
It just doesn’t feel like he has the
baggage of some of the stuff that
he did. You look at [Barry] Bonds,
[Roger] Clemens, Sammy Sosa,
Mark McGwire; these guys are
synonymous with steroids. A-Rod
is the only one who has come out
of the abyss.”
If any baseball fans didn’t
already know that Rodriguez
possesses a savant-like knowledge
of and reverence for the game,
they learn that after watching
him as an analyst. “When he was
playing and I would see him, all
he ever wanted to do is talk about
the great players of the past,” says
Rose. “He loves the history of the
game. He would love to ask me
about Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays
and Hank Aaron. I used to play
against those guys all the time.”
For a journalist, this manifests
in a stream of questions. At our
first meeting, Rodriguez asks me
to describe my workouts, where I
come from, with whom else I have
talked about him (and what they
said), how this interview is going
to go down. “I’m a reporter at
heart,” he laughs.
But what has surprised many
observers (and detractors) is
how he plays well with others.
“Having done studio shows, a
lot of success or failure comes
through how well you can sell
42
PREVIOUS SPREAD: GROOMING BY MEL PALDINO AT ENNIS INC. THIS SPREAD: ROSE: COURTESY OF FOX SPORTS.
SPORTS + MEDIA
← Rodrig
guez, plaaying aroound withh a couplee of kids in New York, went straightt from
high schhool in Miami to a multimiillion-dollar prro coontract with Seeatttle.
everybody else and how well they
sell you,” says Simmons. “And
he’s good at selling the other
people, which I would not have
expected. Because you would
have thought A-Rod would just
be like, ‘Oh, I’m in it for myself.
It’s not my job to make Pete Rose
look better.’ But he’s actually
good at selling them. The man’s
full of surprises.”
Rodriguez brings the same
relentless work ethic he exhibited during his career to his new
job; his prep includes dozens of
phone calls — to players, managers, trainers, other broadcasters,
even the batboy. (“Clubhouse kids
and batboys give you the greatest information in the world,” he
says.) People joke on set that Rose
has zero notes and Rodriguez
shows up with a stack of them.
“A lot of people come in who
think TV is easy, and they want to
show up 20 minutes before the red
light is on and wing it,” says John
Entz, president of production at
Fox Sports. “Alex prepares hours
before, he watches the tape afterward, he wants to be critiqued,
he wants to hear what was good,
what could be worked on.”
Earlier this year, Fox signed
him to a multiyear deal as a
full-time analyst. But he wasn’t
looking for a broadcast job when
the Yankees were eliminated
from the playoffs in 2015, partly
because he didn’t think he’d be
good at it. It’s a running theme in
Rodriguez’s life: his inferiority
complex. It’s his Achilles’ heel —
and what drives him.
“He needed reinforcement that
he was the best,” says Rose. “Some
players just want be told every day
how good they are. I mean, Alex
was so good, I don’t even think he
understood how good he was. He
always needed that little pat on the
back to substantiate that.”
The effort seems to be paying off. Says Entz: “One of the
comments we heard most frequently, either from people who
didn’t like the Yankees or Alex,
was along the lines of, ‘Man, I
turned on the show, I really didn’t
want to like Alex, but he was so
good. I can’t help but like him.’ ”
Further validation came in May
when Fox’s World Series coverage
won an Emmy. Adds Entz, “He’s
changed a lot of people’s minds.”
Adds Rodriguez, referring to
Entz: “He took a lot of shit. The
people who took a chance on me
early on when everybody was
running the other way, those are
the people who I go to war for.”
In February 2015, Rodriguez
knew it was time to wave the
white flag and get to work on a
new incarnation of himself:
owner of his own mess, charitable do-gooder, fan favorite. He
was due at spring training; he
released a letter of apology to
fans. True to quirky form, it was
handwritten. It was a complete
reversal of his grievance-filled
statement from a year earlier
when he vowed to take his fight
with baseball to federal court.
“When the thing that you love
more than anything in the world
is taken away from you, even if
you did it to yourself, you really
have to take a look at who you
are and what you’re doing,” says
Suzyn Waldman, the longtime
Yankees play-by-play announcer.
“When they took baseball away
from him, something changed.”
His year of banishment was
spent “turning the lens inward,”
he says. He saw a psychoanalyst, he kept a journal, and he
spent a lot of time with his
daughters, Natasha, 12, and Ella,
9, who live nearby in Florida with
their mother, Cynthia. (She and
Rodriguez divorced in 2008 after
five years of marriage; their split
was tabloid fodder, courtesy of his
then-liaison with Madonna. But
they remain close, and Rodriguez
mentions more than once how
important it is for them to effectively co-parent.)
Never having gone to college is
a source of great insecurity for
Rodriguez, so during his time off,
he took classes — at Columbia
(value investing) and the
University of Miami (marketing).
He got advice from such friends
as Jim Sharp, a septuagenarian
lawyer who has represented polls
(George W. Bush) and players
(Rodriguez’s friend Andy Pettitte)
and told him to give up the fight
and take his punishment, and
erstwhile CNN anchor Jessica
Yellin (whom he met through a
friend), who advised him that
reporters are human beings not
Schadenfreude-seeking destroyers
of lives. “She told me, ‘Lean in to
the media; they are people just like
you; they have a job, just like you;
connect with them, be yourself.’ ”
He spent a lot of time apologizing — to his family, teammates,
league execs. I ask Manfred if it
seems surreal to be opening ballparks with Rodriguez after being
on the opposite side of the trench.
“When you come up in the side
of the business that I did, where
you have conflict with people,
you learn to move on,” reasons
Manfred. “It doesn’t seem surreal
to me. I’m not a grudge-holder.
It feels perfectly natural to me.”
Key to the reinvention narrative was that A-Rod returned
“ THE PEOPLE WHO TOOK A CHANCE ON ME
EARLY ON WHEN EVERYBODY WAS RUNNING
THE OTHER WAY, THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE
WHOM I GO TO WAR FOR.” RODRIGUEZ
Hear Rodriguez open up about his biggest on-air faux pas at THR.COM/VIDEO
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
43
AU G U S T 2, 2017
SPORTS + MEDIA
RODRIGUEZ’S WORK ETHIC
was instilled by his mother,
Lourdes Rodriguez, who worked
as a secretary, taking a night job
waiting tables after his father left
the family when Alex was 10. As
a child, he delighted in counting
her tip money and was impressed
when, at the end of the week, her
tip pouch could have as much
as $60 in it. “I would feel like the
richest family in the neighborhood. And it left a mark on me.”
He was recruited out of high
school by the University of Miami
but signed a three-year, $1.3 million contract with the Seattle
Mariners with a $1 million signing bonus. “I knew my mother
was tired,” he says. “My responsibility was to sign that contract.”
Among the first things he did
was buy his mom a house and a
car. “We were constantly moving
from apartment to apartment
because they were always raising
the rent,” he says of his childhood.
“It always felt like it was the first
of the month. And I remember
praying to God to slow down time
for my mother.”
Today, A-Rod Corp, the holding company he started 15 years
ago, includes a Miami-based
2
1
real estate and construction
firm, Newport Property; fitness
centers in Mexico; and a real
estate investment and management firm, Monument, that owns
8,500 apartments and manages
13,000 in 12 states, mostly in the
Southeast and Midwest.
Buffett has been a mentor for
years — ever since Rodriguez
placed an unsolicited call in
2001 upon learning that one of
Buffett’s companies insured his
early 2000s contract with the
Texas Rangers. “I called the office
and said, ‘Hey, I just want to say
thank you.’ ”
Buffett called back, and meetings with the Oracle of Omaha
soon became a part of Rodriguez’s
off-season routine. “We would sit
there and go through all my businesses; he would give me all this
advice. Then we would have dinner
at his favorite steakhouse. At
the end, I would have to eat one of
those big ice cream sundaes.”
These days, when Rodriquez
isn’t on the road for Fox Sports, his
time is spent hopscotching among
L.A., Miami and New York, where
he and Lopez had their first official
outing together in May when they
appeared on the red carpet at
Anna Wintour’s Met Gala. “There
was a great deal of paparazzi,”
he says. “They were telling me to
get the hell out of the way so they
could get a good shot of Jennifer.”
3
He’s reluctant to say much about
their relationship; they bingewatch TV together is as far as he’ll
go. When I ask who asked whom
out, he deflects: “You’ll have to ask
her that.”
Their social media feeds are
populated with pictures and
videos of each other and their children. Lopez, 48, has 9-year-old
twins with ex-husband Marc
Anthony. “We both appreciate
where we are in our lives,” he says.
“We appreciate being parents,
and we’re so similar; we’re both
kind of workaholics.” (During
one of our interviews, Lopez
FaceTimes Rodriguez. “Oh look,”
he says, turning his iPhone
toward me, “Say hi.”)
He still watches baseball obsessively and often has the East, West
and Central time zone games on
simultaneously. “My girls are like,
‘Dad, this is too much. Where is
the Disney Channel?’ ”
He’s wistful about his distance
from the game. “I miss my four
at-bats every day. I miss the fans,
the clubhouse, the boys. But I
don’t miss the travel. I don’t miss
waking up in pain every day.”
THE SIX-PANELED TV in the
screening room of Rodriguez’s
Coral Gables home beams a huge
visage of O.J. Simpson. It is July 20,
the day of Simpson’s parole hearing. And the TV is tuned to ESPN,
one of nearly a dozen networks
carrying the hearing live. It’s jarring watching the fallen superstar
in prison-issue clothes while in
Rodriguez’s 11,000-square-foot,
art-filled home. (Warhol and
Basquiat hang on the walls; a
Sarah Lucas sculpture featuring a
white porcelain toilet is mounted
in the entryway.) Rodriguez
emerges wearing a black Tom
Ford jacket and white cotton
shirt. “Turn that O.J. stuff off,” he
says to an assistant. “We’ve had
enough of O.J.”
In the next room, the production crew from Back in the Game
will shoot Rodriguez and Smith
discussing the plan for Smith’s
youth basketball academy. There
is a dry-erase board on an easel;
Rodriguez’s housekeeper spreads
a freshly ironed white tablecloth
on a folding table. “We want to
tell the world who Joe Smith is,”
explains Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has spent 22 years
trying to tell the world who he
is. If he has been misinterpreted,
maligned (unfairly or not), vilified, perhaps it’s because he didn’t
really know himself. “When I
came back [after the suspension],
I wanted to be a different person.”
And his legacy in the pantheon
of America’s pastime? “I think
that is to be determined,” he says.
“But I left it all on the field. My
best two years happened at 19 and
as a broken-down 40-year-old.
I hadn’t played in basically two
years, two hip surgeries, two knee
surgeries, scandal. And if you
think about that arc, that tells you
a hell of a story, right? The mistakes I’ve made are loud and clear.
But one thing I am proud of is, I
did not let those mistakes define
who I am. I kept getting up.”
44
LOPEZ: @AROD/INSTAGRAM. SHARK: ABC/MICHAEL DESMOND. RODRIGUEZ: NICK LAHAM/GETTY IMAGES. WILSON: CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES. RONALDO: CLIVE ROSE/GETTY IMAGES. HARPER: CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES. MOORE: JEFF WHEELER/ZUMA PRESS/NEWSCOM.
to some approximation of his
one-time MVP form when he
rejoined the Yankees, not so easy
for a “broken-down 40-yearold” who had weathered two hip
surgeries and two knee surgeries.
Many predicted (or hoped) that
he would not make the starting
lineup. By September, he had tied
Hank Aaron’s record for the most
30-homer seasons of all time.
“It’s probably too soon for me
to say this, but maybe in 10 years
I’ll be able to say that the ‘ ’14 sabbatical’ was one of the best things
that happened in my life,” he says.
When I ask if he doesn’t believe
that already, he adds, “I’ll say this:
That year off I just had to fucking
change and stop being a jerk.”
S PO RTS
M E D IA
It’s Hollywood’s multibillion-dollar question: If TV rights deals keep going up, as cable subscribers shrink,
something’s gotta give, right? That’s just one issue at play as THR surveys the sports media landscape
E D IT E D BY P E T E R F L A X
I
Are the Top Leagues
Ready to Cut the Cord?
ALL THE MAJOR SPORTS AND BIG STREAMERS ARE DABBLING, BUT A
GAME-CHANGING DEAL HASN’T HAPPENED — YET By Natalie Jarvey
n 2002, after the NBA inked the
first major deal to bring basketball to cable, then-NBC Sports
chair Dick Ebersol famously commemorated the blow to his network
by gifting league commissioner
David Stern with a 100-foot coaxial
cord. But the NBA likely won’t
need that cable for much longer.
Streaming services are poised
to replace cable networks as
the upstarts encroaching on the
live-sports spoils the Big Four
broadcasters once enjoyed. This
year, digital giants from Amazon to
Facebook have tested the waters
of live game broadcasts, viewing the
events as a chance to grow audiences as they turn more attention to
video. The leagues hope these deeppocketed entrants are saviors amid
growing concerns that live sports,
long believed immune to audience
declines and soft ad rates, is vulnerable — a fear that hit home after a
dip in NFL ratings last season.
While deals have been small to
date — Yahoo streamed a Londonbased game exclusively for the
NFL in 2015; Facebook is showing just one MLB matchup a week
this season — observers believe
that it’s only a matter of time until
a streamer lands a big exclusive
package. (The deals in the works for
current or upcoming seasons for
the major leagues are summarized
in the chart below.) “People have
been asking for years, ‘Where is the
billion-dollar Google check?’ ” says
Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser. “It’s the
question of having the will to do it.”
STREAMING SERVICE
LEAGUE
BROADCASTER
DEAL
THE DETAILS
AMAZON
NFL
CBS/NBC/
NFL Network
10 Thursday
Night Football
games
The e-tailer reportedly paid $50 million, five times more
than predecessor Twitter for the same nonexclusive
deal, which will allow it to sell some ads each game.
MLB
Local
rights holders
One game
a week
for 20 weeks
The social network is streaming one game every
Friday via MLB’s page, expanding on a partnership that
began with spring training broadcasts in 2011.
MLS
Univision Deportes
At least 22
English-language
matches
Games that Univision airs in Spanish stream
in English on Facebook, where the broadcasts have
different commentators and interactive graphics.
Champions
League
Soccer
Fox Sports
Nearly three dozen
matches through the
quarterfinals
Fox Sports will live-stream the matches,
some of which will be exclusive, in both English
and Spanish on its Facebook pages.
PGA
Golf
N/A
More than 70 hours
of competition across
31 tournaments
Twitter streams the first part of PGA Tour Live’s
digital coverage, which includes analysis, interviews
and play from the first two holes.
WNBA
N/A
20 games a
season for the next
three years
WNBA became the first female professional
league to pact with Twitter in May, offering the platform
exclusive rights to games that aren’t televised.
Local CBS affiliates
One London
matchup between the
Baltimore Ravens
and Jacksonville Jaguars
The $21 million deal makes Verizon the exclusive
digital partner for the Sept. 24 game, which will stream
globally on platforms including AOL.
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
VERIZON
NFL
Illustration by Wren McDonald
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
45
AU G U S T 2, 2017
SPORTS + MEDIA
Can Digital Deals
Stem the Bleeding?
BROADCASTERS CONTEND WITH SHRINKING AUDIENCES
AND CONTRACTS SET TO EXPIRE By Natalie Jarvey
CABLE SPORTS’ SUBSCRIBER WOES
ESPN and FS1 see losses as NBCSN banks a rare uptick in households
ESPN
FS1*
NBCSN
The Disney-owned network
has steadily lost subscribers
since its 2013 high.
99M
100M
95
90
85
90M
80
83M
75
70
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
GOOD DEALS DON’T LAST FOREVER
The major leagues already have started to turn their attention to digital
dollars years before major broadcasting contracts begin to expire
LEAGUE
MLB
NETWORK
EXPIRATION
ESPN
2021
Fox
2021
FS1
2021
TBS
2021
TAKEAWAY America’s pastime is
popular with broadcasters, which shelled
out more than $12 billion to divvy up
the 2,400-plus games played each season.
NBA
ABC
2025
ESPN
2025
TNT
2025
Don’t Tell
Kaepernick to
‘Stick to Sports’
AN NBA LEGEND WHO FACED CRITICISM AFTER HE CONVERTED TO
ISLAM AND CHANGED HIS NAME ARGUES THE NFL NEEDS TO DEFEND
A MAN FIGHTING FOR JUSTICE AND A JOB By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
T
he swirling turmoil
around whether or
not NFL teams are
reluctant to sign Colin
Kaepernick because
of his outspoken politics reminds
me of a restaurant near my home
called The Quiet Woman that
features a headless woman on
its logo. The name, common
among English pubs, honors a
15th century literary character
who had her head cut off due to
her religious beliefs. This preference, mostly in the NFL, for
“headless” athletes who remain
quiet about politics during one
of the most tumultuous times
in American history is a throwback to an era when athletes
were expected to “shut up and
stick to sports.”
Those days should be gone.
This ’50s-style Father Knows Best
paternalism does a disservice to
players by hindering their First
Amendment rights to join political discourse, but it also does a
disservice to America by preventing the public from hearing all
sides of political and social issues.
NFL
2023
ESPN
2021
Fox
2023
NBC
2023
TAKEAWAY The NFL continues to parcel out
rights to its season, last year splitting its
Thursday package among CBS, NBC and its
own NFL Network in a $450 million deal.
Previous page, “Ready to Cut the Cord?” source: THR research. “Cable Sports” source: ESPN/NBCSN: Company filings; FS1:
THR research, Nielsen data. “Good Deals” source: THR research. *Speed relaunched as FS1 in August 2013.
When Kaepernick and teammates took a knee
in 2016 preseason games, all hell broke loose.
CHINA’S RICHES
AREN’T JUST FOR
MOVIE STUDIOS
TAKEAWAY The league’s landmark deal with
ESPN was extended in 2016 (to the tune
of $2.66 billion per year), with sister network ABC
remaining the exclusive home for the NBA Finals.
CBS
Some think that Colin is being
punished by the NFL for taking a
knee during the national anthem,
or for sporting a magnificently
defiant Afro, or for his recent trip
to Ghana to find his “personal
independence” by learning about
where his ancestors came from, or
for his Fourth of July tweet: “How
can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally
robbed our ancestors of theirs?”
Congressman Cedric Richmond of
Louisiana, who also is chair of
the Congressional Black Caucus,
argues that Colin’s treatment is
unfair: “[T]he fact that he spoke
NBA exile Stephon Marbury found fame
and a green card. Next up: acting stardom
BY PATRICK BRZESKI
T
Marbury has
played four
seasons in Beijing.
he most loved American celebrity in China isn’t
Leonardo DiCaprio or Vin Diesel — it’s former NBA
point guard Stephon Marbury. After 15 years in
the NBA, the player whom fans called Starbury moved
to basketball-crazy China in 2009 to play for the Shanxi
Zhongyu Brave Dragons and later the Beijing Ducks.
(Earlier that year, he had turned down a $1.3 million contract
with the Boston Celtics; in China, Marbury reportedly has
KAEPERNICK: MICHAEL ZAGARIS/SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS/GETTY IMAGES (2). MARBURY: IMAGINE CHINA/
NEWSCOM. JERSEY: VCG VIA GETTY IMAGES. CHAMPIONSHIP: OSPORTS/CAL SPORT MEDIA/ZUMAPRESS.COM.
up means he’s a great person and
he spoke his conscience. I don’t
think we should penalize people
in this country for doing that.”
As I look around the NFL
at backup quarterbacks, it seems
that Colin’s talent is superior to
a lot of people who are on teams
already. And nothing in his
words or actions is groundbreaking, nothing that activist athletes
haven’t said before. Yet the
backlash against him seems more
intense than with other outspoken athletes like Serena Williams
and LeBron James.
Taking a political stance can
be career suicide for some athletes. Millions of dollars and their
entire future could be squandered
by pointing out that there is
institutional racism in America, a
fact already supported by “endless
studies,” according U.S. News &
World Report. Athletes like Colin
think it’s worth the personal
sacrifice because, to them, it’s less
about disrespecting America than
about publicizing information
that many white Americans deny.
A 2016 Pew Research Center poll
showed that 88 percent of blacks
felt the country needed to make
changes to achieve racial equality, with 43 percent skeptical
that these changes will ever occur.
But only 53 percent of whites
agreed about the need for more
been paid roughly $2 million per year.) The surprise move
has paid off in other ways, too.
After he led the Ducks to their first Chinese Basketball
Association championship in 2012, the team installed a
statue of him outside the stadium. Two more titles followed (in 2014 and 2015), and Beijing gave him the key to
the city, opened a museum dedicated to his career (with
another statue) and issued a postal stamp in his honor. In
2015, he became the first Western celebrity to be granted
a green card, making him a permanent Chinese resident.
“It’s beyond high honors,” Marbury tells THR from
Beijing, sounding relaxed and a bit awestruck. “I’m a black
kid from the ghetto of Coney Island, Brooklyn, who only
ever dreamed of playing in the NBA. So to have that dream
come true, but then go on this second journey in China …
it’s so far beyond anything that kid could have imagined.”
Movie stardom might be next. On Aug. 4, My Other
changes, with only 11 percent
skeptical we’d achieve equality.
Ironically, it’s athletes like Colin
who represent the unskeptical percentage — those still filled with
hope, because they believe that
by pointing out social injustice,
we might actually eliminate it.
Otherwise, they would just take
the money and run with the mantra, “At least I got mine.”
According to some experts,
Colin’s career struggles this year
don’t seem to be attributable
to his performance. The Nation
sports editor Dave Zirin admitted
“many people in the news media
and in the football world are
really flummoxed why he has not
been signed, given the fact that a
ton of quarterbacks with résumés
far less impressive than Colin
Kaepernick’s have been signed.”
The desired effect is to deter other
NFL players from speaking out,
which is about as un-American as
you can get. Perhaps a contributing factor is that the NFL owners
tend to contribute more money
to Republican political campaigns
and therefore have more of an
ideological interest in not wanting to hear the players’ messages
about social injustice.
Americans have a favorite quote
to demonstrate their dedication to
free speech: “I disapprove of what
you say, but I will defend to the
death your right to say it.” For this
to be more than lip-service, NFL
superstars must defend athletes
like Colin through boycotts or
other means of persuasion. Some
players already have joined him,
including Eric Reid, Kenny Britt,
Robert Quinn, Brandon Marshall,
Antoine Bethea and Eli Harold.
But they add up to less than two
dozen out of about 1,700 players.
Where is the support from the
other players, especially the white
players who make up most of
the top 10 highest paid players in
the league?
Take courage from the
University of Missouri football
team, who in 2015 showed the
rest of the world how to raise a
voice in support of others. After
a series of racially motivated
events that included racial slurs,
a swastika of feces and other
hate crimes, graduate student
Jonathan Butler went on a hunger
strike in an effort to force the
University of Missouri system
president to resign. Thirty
members of the team refused to
practice until Butler ate. Their
coach, Gary Pinkel, supported
their decision. Within 72 hours,
the president had resigned,
and the team resumed playing.
Now it’s time for the NFL to
step up and follow their lead.
Remember Benjamin Franklin’s
political cartoon of the snake cut
into eight parts to represent the
colonies, with the caption “Join,
or Die.” That’s what we need to
do to prevent the headless Quiet
Athlete from becoming the NFL
players’ logo with the caption: “At
least I got mine.”
← After six seasons in China, Marbury
has three titles, two statues, one biopic
and tens of millions of passionate fans.
Home, a biopic about his Chinese success, starring Marbury
as himself, will open wide across the Middle Kingdom.
An official U.S.-China co-production between Beijing-based
Hairun Pictures and SK Global, the film has inspired considerable industry excitement as the Chinese market’s first
major attempt at the sports genre.
Of his shift to the screen, Marbury says: “Playing basketball is second nature to me; acting I found far more
challenging.” Still, Marbury took home the best new actor
award when My Other Home premiered at the Shanghai
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
47
AU G U S T 2, 2017
International Film Festival in June.
Though Marbury, now 40, recently
signed on to play one final season in
the CBA, he has no intention of leaving Beijing. “China is home now,” he says. And having just
signed on to star in a sequel to My Other Home, he intends
for acting to become more than just a sideline.
“I look at a guy like The Rock — how he started with
his natural ability in sports but gravitated into Hollywood
— as a model for what’s possible,” says Marbury. “Being
the first to do these things in this country as a foreigner, it
puts me in a nice position to be able to be a bridge — for
positivity between our countries, for American businesses
that want to cross over, or even for Hollywood.”
SPORTS + MEDIA
Dana White
Does Not Pull
Any Punches
AS A HUGE FIGHT (AND TV RIGHTS DEAL) LOOMS, THE BOMBASTIC
UFC PRESIDENT UNLOADS ON 'ASSHOLE' BOB ARUM AND ADMITS HE
TALKS TO ARI EMANUEL ‘250 TIMES A DAY’ By Marisa Guthrie
U
FC president Dana
White likes Conor
McGregor’s odds
of defeating boxing champ Floyd
Mayweather Jr. at their Aug. 26
bout. “I love all the naysayers,”
says White, 48. “It sets up the biggest upset in sports history.”
McGregor, an MMA star who
has no pro boxing experience, is
an underdog. But the odds in Las
Vegas are tightening, and analysts also are predicting that the
fight could surpass the recordsetting 4.6 million pay-per-view
buys brought in by Mayweather’s
much-hyped 2015 fight with
Manny Pacquiao. The timing of
the spectacle couldn’t be better
for UFC owners WME-IMG (which
bought the MMA organization
in 2016 from Lorenzo and Frank
Fertitta III for $4 billion), which
is in the midst of negotiating
new TV rights deals for UFC and
banking on a hefty premium over
the $115 million that Fox Sports
annually pays for UFC programming. In a conversation, White,
who helped to build the organization into a multibillion-dollar
brand, says the UFC is “sniffing
around” to expand into boxing
and claims he’s leaving rights
negotiations to WME's co-CEO:
“I feel confident that a highly
motivated Ari Emanuel will get us
a great TV rights deal.”
A lot of people don’t think Conor
can win. What do you think?
That’s madness. When two people
start throwing punches, anything is possible. Floyd will be 41
this year; Conor is 28. If there’s
ever been a kink in [Mayweather’s]
armor, it’s with southpaws. Conor
is a southpaw, and he hits like a
truck. If he hits Mayweather, he
will hurt him. And if he hurts him,
he will finish him.
Obviously that would be really
great for the UFC.
1
2
What’s it like around the office
without Lorenzo?
He and I were together for
20 years, so it was kind of like a
divorce. I had a hard time with
it in the beginning. But I’m happy
for him; it’s what he wanted.
What has been the biggest change
since WME-IMG bought UFC?
I talk to Ari every day instead of
Lorenzo.
They are very quick. I talk to Ari
about 250 times a day for 15 seconds each time. He doesn’t have
much of an attention span.
What do you think of ESPN’s
recent foray back into boxing with
Bob Arum’s Top Rank?
If Mayweather came into the
UFC, he wouldn’t last 30 seconds. Conor will fight anybody,
anywhere, anytime. I stopped
doubting Conor a long time ago.
We’ve never done one boxing
event, but I guarantee you it’ll be
better than Top Rank. Look how
WHY THE NFL FINALLY AGREED
TO PARDON THE INTERRUPTIONS
FEWER (BUT LONGER) COMMERCIAL BREAKS
2016: 1:50 MINUTES PER BREAK
T
he number of commercial breaks during NFL games has often bothered viewers —
and not just those sprinting to the bathroom or kitchen. To wit, NFL commissioner
Roger Goodell this year wrote a letter to fans addressing the barrage of ad breaks
that follow touchdowns and subsequent kickoffs, commiserating, “I hate that, too.”
Good news: Goodell will deliver on his promise to streamline the at-home viewing experience this season. The solution is to decrease the number of breaks to four per quarter,
down from the previous 5-6-5-5 pattern, which often forced networks to squeeze more
than a half-dozen breaks into a 15-minute playing period. That meant eight or nine minutes
away from game action. Sports media expert Marc Ganis, president of the marketing firm
Sportscorp, tells THR: “That’s way too much, especially when the games weren’t compelling. Fans changed the channel or got up and did something else.”
48
MINUTES
This season, pro football fans will be subjected to fewer commercial
breaks, but networks expect ‘zero impact on revenue’ BY REBECCA SUN
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
long it took to make PacquiaoMayweather happen, right? It
took forever. Then I sit down with
[Mayweather adviser] Al Haymon,
we have four meetings, we got
our fight done. These guys aren’t
even in the same sport. This just
goes to show you what an absolute asshole Bob Arum really is.
[In response, Arum says: “I have
never met Dana White. I have a
tremendous amount of respect
What are those conversations like?
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
2017: 2:20 MINUTES PER BREAK
6
5
4
(9:10)
(9:20)
(11:00)
4
5
4
5
4
(9:20)
(9:10)
(9:20)
(9:10)
(9:20)
CLOCK MANAGEMENT
The number of in-quarter breaks in an NFL game will drop (from 21 to 16),
but each break will be 30 seconds longer. Says Moonves: “We’re not
going to reduce ads. They’re just going to reconfigure in a different way.”
1ST QTR
AU G U S T 2, 2017
2ND QTR
3RD QTR
4TH QTR
3
The UFC had image problems
back in the day when we first
bought the thing, but I wouldn’t
say that now. As a new generation
grows up on the UFC, the stigma
lessens. That starts to go away
when you have kids who grew up
watching it with their parents.
Some commentators have
decried the dialogue in the tour as
homophobic and racist: Mayweather
called Conor a “faggot”; Conor
called Floyd “boy.” What do you
think of that criticism?
1 White helped broker the Aug. 26 boxing
match in Las Vegas between 2 Mayweather
(left) and McGregor. Dubbed “The Money
Fight,” it could break all-time PPV records.
3 White with McGregor in July in Toronto.
for the Fertittas and what they
were able to build.”]
Isn’t it a problem for a TV partner
when PPV has the best bouts?
I built this business from the
ground up. We continue to innovate. I don’t ever want to be in a
position where guys who didn’t
believe in this sport 15 years ago
are telling me what to put on PPV.
But if you go into a negotiation,
I’d say everything is on the table.
WHITE: MIKE LAWRIE/GETTY IMAGES. MCGREGOR: VAUGHN RIDLEY/GETTY IMAGES. MAYWEATHER: MATTHEW LEWIS/GETTY
IMAGES. CHEERLEADERS: BEN MARGOT/AP IMAGES. MOONVES: ALLEN BEREZOVSKY/WIREIMAGE FOR FASHION MEDIA.
MMA has had some image
problems. UFC content on
Fox Sports still doesn’t have
an automotive sponsor.
Anything you say these days is racist or whatever. Everybody loves
to jump on that. This is a fight. In
[less than] a month, these guys are
going to try to knock each other
unconscious.
So it’s all part of the spectacle?
It’s called mental warfare. You’re
trying to get into your opponent’s
head. It’s as much a part of the
fight as the fight itself.
So you think we’re just living in a
reactionary time?
Very reactionary, very clickbaitish. Anything to get a headline. I
am not saying that what was said
was appropriate, but I’ve been
around Conor for four years — the
guy is not a racist. I don’t love what
Floyd said either. But it’s a fight.
Everybody starts crying every
time something is said these days.
We live in one of the most ridiculous times ever.
The league and its broadcast partners — CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN — all insist that
the move has nothing to do with the NFL’s 9 percent drop in ratings in 2016. “Everybody
assumes the changes were because of the dip in ratings last season, but [plans] had
been going on for over a year,” says a league spokesperson. “Our best practice is to see
what can be improved in good times and bad.”
The networks say the changes give them more flexibility and breathing room. In the
past, a long 10-minute drive may have forced a break or two to spill into the next quarter, creating a logjam that frustrated fans and advertisers alike. Another
benefit of less frequent breaks is more space between rival brands’
spots, notes Neil Mulcahy, Fox Sports executive vp ad sales: “The clients
are happy with the changes because they’ll provide more separation
between competitors.”
CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves told CNBC in July that the
Moonves
changes weren’t expected to hurt the bottom line. Roughly the same
number of ads will be sold; the new breaks will run 2:20 each (up from 1:50).
Ganis agrees, noting that the number of ads will be the same and that ratings will
be determined by matchups: “At the moment, I expect zero impact on revenue.”
Inside NFL Cheerleaders’
Fight for Better Pay
LAWSUITS TARGET SUB-MINIMUM WAGE SALARIES WHILE
PLAYERS MAKE ON AVERAGE $1.3 MILLION By Mary Pilon
A
s the NFL’s players head back to the field for the 2017
season, so, too, do the cheerleaders — who also are heading to court. In recent years, at least five NFL teams — the
Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals,
Buffalo Bills and New York Jets — have faced lawsuits from their
cheerleaders over pay.
Kelsey K., one of the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against
the NFL and its member teams, trained for two decades as a dancer
before beating out dozens of other women for one of a handful of
spots on the San Francisco 49ers’ Gold Rush Girls. Yet, in spite of her
demonstrated skills and being told by the team that she was an integral part of the game-day experience, K., who was on the squad from
July 2013 to February 2014, received a wage of just $125 per game,
or $1,250 per season. Doing the math, for the 450 hours she worked,
that comes out to $2.75 per hour, well below federal minimum wage.
As part of her terms of employment, K. was not permitted to talk
about pay with other NFL squads.
“They’re told, ‘A million girls want your job.’ Their treatment is
shocking,” says Drexel A. Bradshaw, the lawyer representing the
cheerleaders in the suit. NFL players earn $1.3 million on average,
according to court documents. Team mascots are paid between
$25,000 and $65,000 per
season, and some even receive
retirement benefits.
Bob Lange, a spokesman for
the 49ers, says the team contracts with an outside company,
Gold Rush, for its cheerleaders.
That company did not respond to
a request for comment.
The cheerleader suits are
beginning to get results. In
May, 100 Oakland Raiderettes
received a $1.25 million settleOne of the 49ers’ Gold Rush Girls said
ment after filing suit alleging
she was paid just $1,250 for a season.
the Raiders failed to pay the
squad fairly. And in 2015, members of the Cincinnati Ben-Gals won
a settlement of $255,000 over back pay. A Bengals spokesperson
did not respond to a request for comment.
The Ben-Gals case, along with the others, underscores larger
issues, says Christian A. Jenkins, an attorney for the cheerleaders.
The cases have revealed that NFL cheerleaders can be subject to
fines for things like not having their nails done properly, must engage
in draconian weigh-ins or can be required to not wear underwear at
games. “It’s degrading,” says Jenkins. “It is antiquated how they think
of these women.” She adds: “Oh, and they referred to them as girls.
They’re not. They’re grown women.”
Illustration by Wren McDonald
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
49
AU G U S T 2, 2017
How Sharknado Casts
► Shatner said
‘Sharkna-no’ to the
schlocky Syfy franchise,
but everyone from
Ann Coulter to Charo to
(almost) Donald Trump,
has jumped on for a
cameo (and Ian Ziering
now makes $500,000 per
film). What’s the pitch?
‘Ride the hell out of that
crazy publicity train’
By Seth Abramovitch
In January 2015, two years before
he was sworn in as president,
Donald Trump was set to step into
the same role in a very different
capacity: He had signed on to play
the president in 2015’s Sharknado
3: Oh Hell No!
Producers’ first choice to play
the leader of the free world in the
Washington, D.C.-set disaster film
was Sarah Palin, but negotiations
with the former Alaska governor
and vice presidential nominee had
fallen through. That’s when Ian
Ziering, the gung-ho star of the
schlocky Syfy franchise, had the
inspiration to capitalize on the
special relationship he’d developed
with Trump while taping Celebrity
Apprentice (Ziering made it as far
as the penultimate task). His reality TV boss would make a good
commander in chief, he reasoned.
An offer went out. Almost immediately, it elicited a response.
“The Donald said yes,” recalls
David Latt, the 51-year-old
co-founder of The Asylum, the offbrand assembly line behind the
Sharknado series. “He was thrilled
to be asked.”
Alas, Trump never did get to
fend off a swarm of hammerheads
in the Lincoln Bedroom. (More on
why later.) But his story is far from
unusual — just one of thousands
of familiar faces who have been
approached to star in a Sharknado,
in what has grown over the course
of five films into Hollywood’s
D-list answer to a federal jobsgrowth program.
“It’s the long-lost love child
of The Love Boat and Hollywood
Squares,” offers Scotty Mullen,
the bubbly casting director
responsible for wrangling more
than 80 celebrity appearances
in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming,
which airs on Syfy on Aug. 6,
with a splashy live viewing party
in Las Vegas that night. (In true
low-budget form, Mullen does
double-duty as the newest installment’s screenwriter.)
It sounds like the recipe for a
fatal drinking game, but fret not:
You’re not expected to spot them
all. Some of these faces are famous
only overseas, while others haven’t
been seen in decades. But you
probably will recognize a few,
including Charo as the Queen of
England, Fabio as the Pope, Clay
Fabio
and
Charo
Illustration by Kyle Hilton
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
50
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Aiken doing a spoof on Q from
the James Bond films and Olivia
Newton-John in her first screen
role in 17 years, playing a scientist
who gives star Tara Reid a Greasestyle makeover.
If this terrain is familiar to
anyone, it’s Charo, a fixture on
such stunt-casted 1980s escapist
fare as The Love Boat and Fantasy
Island. The 66-year-old star was
already a Sharknado fan when she
was approached to play Her Royal
Highness. “I think the Sharknado
movies are hysterical,” she says,
pronouncing it “shark-NAH-doe.”
“Nowadays especially, we need
shows that put a smile on your
face. Coochie coochie!”
Coochie coochie ka-ching,
that is: Sharknado has become
FABIO: RICH POLK/GETTY IMAGES FOR IMDB. CHARO: BRUCE GLIKAS/FILMMAGIC. COULTER, RIPA: COURTESY OF
SYFY. MARKIE: WILL HART/SYFY/NBCU PHOTO BANK VIA GETTY IMAGES. DICK: JAIMIE TRUEBLOOD/SYFY/NBCU
PHOTO BANK VIA GETTY IMAGES. MULLEN: JUSTIN BAKER/GETTY IMAGES. FERRANTE: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
Its C-Listers
Asylum, which has cornered
the market in this strain of cinematic dreck, was brought on to
produce. They paid screenwriter
Thunder Levin (his real name —
“It was the ’60s,” he says) $6,000
to turn the word “sharknado” into
an actual story — which he did,
concocting a tale of a freak cyclone
that scoops deadly sharks out
of the Pacific and flings them at
unsuspecting Angelenos.
With Sharknado script in hand,
producers approached more than
100 actors to play male lead Fin
Shepard, including Kevin Dillon,
Dave Foley, Seth Green, John
Stamos and Fred Durst. All of
them passed — even the Limp
Bizkit frontman, after being told
he could also direct. The closest
anyone got to signing on before
Ziering was Back to the Future’s
Crispin Glover.
“I ended up in this 30-minute
conversation with him during a
location scouting in San Pedro,”
recalls madcap director Anthony
C. Ferrante, whose genuine
enthusiasm for the franchise — he
coined the word “sharknado” and
has helmed all of the films — calls
to mind a slightly more self-aware
Ed Wood. “He wanted to play Fin
like he had brain damage or something. And in my head I’m like, ‘OK
— my job here is to make sure he
says yes to the movie.’ ” Glover said
no anyway.
an invaluable, if unlikely, crown
But then something exciting
jewel for Syfy, watched by tens
happened: A legitimately talented
of millions around the world (the
and famous actor — John Heard
globe-hopping new film capi— signed on as the movie’s comictalizes on that international
relief barfly, George. (Heard died
popularity), registering billions
July 21 while undergoing back surof Twitter impressions and
gery; there was barely a mention
popping up in everything from
of Sharknado in tributes.) Reid was
Jeopardy! questions to The New
next to board, playing Fin’s
York Times crossword puzzle.
ex-wife, April. This was
But it began as just
after Teri Hatcher, Rebecca
another title in a string of
Romijn, Tiffani Thiessen
B-movies commissioned
and several others had
by Syfy — no-budget thrillMullen
already passed. Still, Reid
ers with names like Bats:
was considered a big get for the
Human Harvest and Mongolian
Death Worm. Its path to the screen project, whose title was proving to
be a potent actor-repellent. “Tara
was fairly straightforward: An
had a profile,” says Gerald Webb,
executive at Syfy heard the word
an actor and casting director who
“sharknado” and said, “I love it.
worked on the first three films
Let’s make it.”
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
▲ Ripa stilettos an
interloper on her
morning show in 2.
▲ Coulter plays
Cuban’s veep
in Sharknado 3.
▼ In 2, Dick had a
blink-and-you-miss-it
cameo as a cop.
▼ Markie fights
back in Sharknado 2:
The Second One.
(and appeared in the second).
to be involved,” recalls Webb.
“Syfy liked her.”
“Every C-list and D-list actor on
With production commencthe planet.” With the unlikely
ing and still no Fin, a frantic
franchise’s new cachet, Asylum
Asylum went back to Ziering,
decided to take a kitchen-sink
who had already passed several
approach to casting, with Latt
times, and raised the offer to
instructing Webb “to literally ask
$100,000, according to a source
every celebrity we could think
with knowledge of the deal. Also
of. We came up with a list of a
a key conciliation: The title was
thousand people, including many
changed to Dark Skies. (Syfy later
A-listers.” Most passed. James
changed it back to Sharknado,
Franco was a nonstarter. (There
much to the cast’s dismay.) At the
was hope he might be up for a
urging of his wife, who had just
cameo after his arc as a serial
given birth and wanted Ziering to
killer on General Hospital.) William
qualify for SAG medical insurShatner’s agent replied with a
ance, he finally said yes.
single word: “Sharkna-no.”
And then a funny thing hapBut there were a few notable
pened on the way to the DVD bin:
turns in the New York-set sequel,
Something about the movie’s
including Judd Hirsch and
ludicrous title and its cast’s comAirplane’s Robert Hays playing into
mitment to the equally ludicrous
type as a taxi driver and jet pilot,
premise (the film climaxes with
respectively; rapper Biz Markie as
Ziering’s ex-surf champ diving
a pizza chef; and Richard Kind as a
into a great white with a chainMets legend who bats a shark into
saw) made Sharknado an instant
the scoreboard. In many cases,
cultural phenomenon when
their lines were written
it premiered on July 11, 2013.
when they showed up on set.
While ratings were modSharknado crews are
est — 1.37 million tuned in
nonunion (they staged a
— the film lit Twitter on fire,
strike on the third installFerrante
with everyone from Patton
ment and were replaced),
Oswalt to Mia Farrow (“Omg omg
but the films are SAG-AFTRAOMG #sharknado”) singing its socompliant. “Everyone makes the
bad-it’s-good praises.
same amount — a flat rate — and
As a result, Sharknado 2: The
nobody was making close to their
Second One was a very differquote,” says Webb of the cameos.
ent animal. “Everybody wanted
Asked if the pay — for anywhere
51
AU G U S T 2, 2017
▼ Ziering in Sharknado 2.
In fact, a sexting-scandal spoof
was exactly what the producers
wanted; when Weiner refused, he
was enlisted to play a dull NASA
administrator instead. Most of
his performance was edited out.
For Sharknado 5, everything
is bigger, starting with the budget
($3 million, double the cost of
Shark Numbers
the original) and star salaries
— Ziering now makes $500,000
per picture. Asylum manages to
limit costs when it comes to Reid’s
paycheck — she makes about a
quarter of what her male co-star
The series’ live viewership
peak — for 2014’s Sharknado 2.
earns on each installment. (When
The fourth installment in
she protested the disparity during
2016 drew 2.77 million viewers.
the filming of Sharknado 3, Syfy
responded by asking fans whether
or not to kill off her character.
They voted to let her live.) “I think
The tweet-per-minute
Sharknado cares more about their
peak for the original film, which
‘extra of the day’ than they do
occurred during the first big
about their own cast,” Reid says,
action sequence, 23 minutes in.
clearly weary of the franchise.
“You work at something for five
years and you don’t get treated as
well as someone who shows up for
Celebrity cameos featured
in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming,
a single day?”
from Star Trek’s original Uhura,
She may be on to something,
Nichelle Nichols, to Tony Hawk.
as the piled-on cameos haven’t
added up to higher ratings for
If it’s really true that there’s
the franchise, which peaked at
“no such thing as bad public3.87 million viewers for 2014’s
ity,” Sharknado is determined to
Sharknado 2 before dropping to
test those boundaries. Some of
2.77 million viewers for 2016’s
the most reviled figures in pop
Sharknado 4. The newest installculture have popped up as chum.
ment — which introduces the
In Sharknado 2 alone, there was
concept of wormholes to the, uh,
Andy Dick (who “was having a
Sharknado mythology — shot on
tough day that day,” says Webb —
location in London, Tokyo, Rome,
Ziering had to hold up cue cards
Sydney, New York, Los Angeles
with Dick’s lines on them), Perez
and Sofia, Bulgaria. Some
Hilton (swallowed whole
cameo players were flown
on a subway platform) and
to those far-flung places
Jared Fogle (“You should
(Greg Louganis jetted
really be eating fresh, too,”
off to Sofia to play an art
says Subway’s then pitchVan Houdt
thief), while others (Fabio,
man, currently serving 15
Poison’s Bret Michaels — also a
years in a federal prison for child
Celebrity Apprentice alum) shot
porn possession and having sex
a few close-ups at home in L.A.,
with minors). Among the few
with their stunt doubles in rocker
stars Asylum has rejected: porn
wigs doing the heavy lifting
legend Ron Jeremy, who once
overseas.
stopped by the offices to pitch
Lee Mountjoy, a London-based
himself.
casting director, was brought
Sharknado 3 features a cameo
on to fill out the ranks and went
by Anthony Weiner, the disgraced
about enlisting local talent Katie
ex-congressman who in May
Price (the “Kim Kardashian of
pleaded guilty to sexting with a
the U.K.”) and diving champion
15-year-old girl. “I guess I am on
Tom Daley — Mountjoy randomly
that C- to D-level cusp of celeb“bumped into him in a train
rity that they were looking for,”
station in London. I said, ‘Do you
Weiner told THR in 2015. “But I
know Sharknado?’ And he said,
wouldn’t have conceived of doing
‘Oh, my God, definitely!’ ”
it if I were going to play myself.”
►
3.87M
►
5,000
►
82+
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
52
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Similarly, the Asylum guys
ran into George R.R. Martin at a
Comic-Con event in 2014, whereupon the Game of Thrones author
confessed to being a Sharknado
superfan. “I own a theater in New
Mexico, and they wouldn’t let me
play it,” bemoaned Martin. The
producers pulled some strings,
and Martin was able to screen the
original movie at his theater. (He
later showed up in Sharknado 3.)
“We look for cameos from all
areas of pop culture to appeal to
every fan watching the movie,”
says Josh Van Houdt, Syfy’s vp
original co-productions. “Whether
we’re casting a professional athlete, reality star, actor, musician or
politician, our goal is to include a
wide variety of stars for viewers to
either get excited about or, on the
flip side, witness getting eaten by a
shark in a spectacular fashion.”
And so it might have been for
our 45th president. “We got pretty
far,” says Webb of the Trump negotiations. “It was serious talks.” A
contract was drawn up and sent to
Trump attorney Michael D. Cohen
— the same attorney currently
under FBI investigation in connection with the Russia inquiry.
But enthusiasm turned into
weeks of silence from the Trump
camp. Eventually, a reason for
the stalling emerged. “Donald’s
thinking about making a legitimate run for the presidency, so
we’ll get back to you,” Latt recalls
Cohen saying. “This might not be
the best time.” With the production clock ticking, Asylum pulled
the trigger on a backup plan,
offering the role to Mark Cuban —
a modest casting coup that Syfy
trumpeted with a press release.
“Then we immediately heard
from Trump’s lawyer,” recalls
Latt. “He basically said, ‘How dare
you? Donald wanted to do this.
We’re going to sue you! We’re going
to shut the entire show down!’ ”
Contacted by THR, Cohen acknowledges a dinner with Ziering to
discuss casting Trump but says he
has no recollection of the angry
correspondence.
Webb, now at his own production company, is philosophical
about the dustup. “I took it personally, but I get it now,” he says.
“That was my moment of doing
business with Donald Trump. And
that’s Sharknado.”
SHARKNADO: SYFY/NBCU PHOTO BANK VIA GETTY IMAGES. VAN HOUDT: COURTESY OF SYFY.
from two to four hours of set time
— would cover the cost of a Ford
truck, Webb responds, “Absolutely
not. Well, maybe a really beat-up
one that would be at the junkyard
a week later.”
Bigger roles, which require
several days of shooting, pay
more. Chris Kattan, whose career
has seen some hard knocks since
Saturday Night Live, was reluctant
to take a cameo in Sharknado 5
— but was open to playing the
meatier role of the U.K. prime
minister, a part he approached
“dead seriously. They were into
me doing it that way.” He has
gotten good feedback from his
co-stars. “Ian said, ‘You’re going
to be really, really happy with
it,’ ” says Kattan. “So it’s not like
Mariah Carey in Glitter — where
nobody said anything.”
Mullen, 37, was a struggling
screenwriter working as a publicist when his spec script Double-D
Island (“It’s like The Hunger Games
but topless”) got him noticed
by Asylum, which first put him
to work writing jokes for Kelly
Ripa on Sharknado 2. “They said,
‘We forgot to write something
for her,’ ” he recalls of the fateful
phone call. “I said, ‘How soon do
you need something?’ They said,
‘Well, we’re lighting her now.’ ”
But it’s Ann Coulter whom
Mullen credits with his big break.
Asylum wanted the conservative firebrand to play the vice
president in Sharknado 3, but
was having no luck through her
agent. Mullen suggested the
company go through her publicist
— “Sharknado’s more of a publicity opportunity than a thespian
exercise” — and Coulter “jumped
at the chance. So then they asked
me if I was interested in doing
more of this.” Asylum agreed to
pay Mullen a per-cameo bonus.
He sees his role as very different from that of most casting
directors — people whose calls,
typically, are eagerly answered
by agents and managers. Instead,
Mullen says, “you’re always selling them on the publicity value.
An agent won’t care because they
just want the money, and there
is none. But if you pitch it to the
publicist, they see all the value
to be gotten out of it. You’re here
to ride the hell out of that crazy
publicity train.”
CLASS
&
MASS
THE STORIES THAT MATTER, THE ACCESS AND INFLUENCE,
THE BIGGEST AUDIENCE IN THE BUSINESS
M O N T H LY O N L I N E
READERS
A RTS
EN T ERTA I N M EN T
Source: comScore, June 2017 U.S. Unique Visitors, Entertainment/Music Category
1
2
4
3
5
OF
I S S O LV E D
She’s an L.A. original, the enigmatic blond bombshell,
famous for being famous way before Paris and Kim K.,
perpetually driving the streets of Hollywood in that
pink Corvette. But her true identity has remained
secret all these years … until now BY GARY BAU M
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
54
AU G U S T 2, 2017
7
WO U LD YO U be interested in a story on Angelyne’s true
identity?” the man wrote last fall under a
pseudonym, referring to the enigmatic L.A.
billboard diva who has been a pop culture icon
of self-creation and self-marketing since the
early 1980s — and is now regarded as a forerunner to Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and
every personal-brand hustler on social media. “I
have many details on her life — all well documented — from when her parents met to early
adulthood. It’s very different from her public,
concocted story — and more interesting.”
Angelyne is one of the vanishingly few contemporary public figures whose background
has remained shrouded in mystery, along with
the conceptual artist Banksy, Bitcoin founder
Satoshi Nakamoto and aircraft hijacker D.B.
6
Cooper. The man, who claimed to work in an
undefined role for the federal government,
said he was a hobbyist genealogist, occasionally taking on paid assignments in the field as
an amusing side gig. A few years earlier, he’d
decided it’d be fun to set himself the challenge of cracking Angelyne’s case. “And I did,”
he explained.
Later, at the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood,
the genealogist — who looks like Michael
Kelly’s contained political operative Doug
Stamper from House of Cards — unfurled an
elaborate story of Angelyne’s past, based on
material he contended he’d enterprisingly
pulled and synthesized from a global network
of public databases. He laid down a folded
printout of a row of yearbook photos.
“This one,” he said, pointing at a 1967
Monroe Senior High School sophomore from
the San Fernando Valley, third from right, “is
Angelyne.” A schoolgirl with hooded eyes
and long center-parted locks, in a button-down
white shirt and tie, stared out across half a century. “Also known as Renee Goldberg.”
The Hollywood Reporter has since independently confirmed this is Angelyne’s
real identity with public records and family
members. Far from the archetypal transplantwith-a-dream, as she has tacitly long alluded,
she’s the locally raised daughter of Holocaust
survivors, a Jew who has found refuge in shiksa
drag. It’s a fascinating, only-in-L.A. story of
identity, history and a symbiotic yearning both
to be forgotten and to be famous.
1 “She was unique, beautiful, smart,” says Strauss,
recalling the woman who briefly was his wife. 2 One of many
documents THR obtained that trace the dramatic history of
Goldberg’s family in Europe. 3 Goldberg’s marriage certificate,
dated 1968. 4 Strauss and Goldberg posed by a backyard
pool. 5 Strauss took this photo of Goldberg at his parents’
Beverly Hills home. 6 Angelyne in 1986, near the start
of her fame. 7 Documentation of Goldberg’s mother’s arrival
at the concentration camp Buchenwald in August 1944.
8 A portion of a name-change document filed in 2016 in
Ventura County. 9 Angelyne in 2017, as always cruising L.A.,
never far from her signature pink Corvette.
9
8
T H E Y E A R B O O K P H O T O was no smoking
gun. By her own cosmetic surgery confessions, Angelyne has had quite a bit of work
done — and if the genealogist was right, that
high school junior is now 66 years old.
Copies of immigration, marriage and death
records pointed to a cloaked prehistory of
Renee Tami Goldberg (originally Ronia Tamar
Goldberg), which seems to reveal the trauma
Angelyne had both emerged and escaped
from. She was born in Poland on Oct. 2, 1950,
the daughter of Polish Jews who’d met in
the Chmielnik ghetto during World War II
— they were among 500 to survive out of a
population of 13,000, the rest sent to death
at Treblinka. According to the documentation — obtained from the International
Tracing Service, established by the Red Cross
as an archive of Nazi crimes — her parents,
Hendrik (aka Heniek or Henryk) Goldberg
and Bronia (aka Bronis) Zernicka, endured
unimaginable horrors at a series of concentration camps, first together at Skarzysko,
where prisoners’ main job was to make
munitions, and then apart at the 20th century’s most infamous hellscapes, including
Buchenwald and Bergen-Belsen.
Bronia later submitted paperwork to Yad
Vashem indicating she’d lost more than
40 relatives in the Holocaust, including her
father, three brothers and a sister. Shortly
after liberation, she and Hendrik married in
the Foehrenwald displaced persons camp in
Germany. They were eventually repatriated to
Poland, which remained hostile to Jews after
World War II. So after Goldberg’s birth, the
family immigrated to Israel, remaining in an
ultra-orthodox community of Hasidic Jews
called Bnei Brak, east of Tel Aviv, until 1959.
(A younger sister, Annette, was born in 1954.)
They boarded a ship leaving Haifa for
New York and settled in L.A.’s Fairfax
District. Her father worked as a tool-and-die
mechanic. Then, in 1965, her 44-year-old
mother died of cancer. Goldberg was 14. The
next year Hendrik (now Henry) remarried
another Holocaust survivor, a seamstress
divorcee named Deborah, and Goldberg
acquired a younger stepsister, Norma. She
and her father moved from the Westside to
Panorama City, deep in the San Fernando
Valley, where she’d begin high school and
Henry and Deborah would run a liquor store
in Van Nuys. She’d have a brief marriage to
the son of a Beverly Hills executive, living in
Hollywood with him. Her paper trail ends
with their divorce in 1969.
A N G E L Y N E H A D single-handedly created and
inhabited a modern myth of L.A.: the platinum
blond bombshell in the pink Corvette forever
circumnavigating the city, seeking to enchant
by dint of her sheer superficial glamour. It
had the aesthetic power and emotional resonance of genuine performance art, Marina
unconscious departure from the trauma of
their European pasts. They’d arrived and
imagined themselves anew.
Yet Goldberg becoming Angelyne: That
would be a feat far more radical, a leap far more
extreme, out of a grim and drab past into a
realm of complete fantasy. How fitting it would
be for such an act to take place amid the New
World shtetl of Hollywood, defined by metamorphosis and make-believe.
To many Jews, Angelyne reads distinctly
gentile, the quintessential shiksa, whether by
accident or intent. Her taste and status cues
exist in a goyish Bermuda Triangle somewhere between Dolly Parton, Loni Anderson
and Traci Lords.
“ I KN OW YO U WANT IT TO B E TRU E
B E C A U S E Y O U ’ R E J E W I S H — A N D T H AT ’ S
AD OR AB LE ! I S YO U R E D ITO R J E WI S H? ”
A N G E LY N E
‘Well, I’m going to get the love of the world.’ ”
When I pushed for more, she shut me down.
“It’s just a long story,” she said, the cartoonishly girly lilt of her voice gone flat. “I don’t
want to get into it. I made my way here.”
Angelyne was similarly mum or vague
when I inquired about other things that might
have forged her, from religion (“I’ve tried
them all — Jewish, Catholic, Hindu: too many
dogmas”) to her place of origin. Some internet
stories suggest that she is from Idaho, but
she wouldn’t talk about where she grew up. A
distant hometown perfectly fit her narrative of an American small-town girl coming
to L.A. to fulfill a dream. (I searched Idaho
public records and could find no indication
of someone named Angelyne, Angelyne Lyne
or Angelyne Lynne — all names that have
appeared on her business filings.)
I came away with an understanding of how
she’d perpetuated the Angelyne phenomenon — including the business by which she
made a living: lucratively marked-up and
vigorously hawked merchandise sales out
of her trunk, plus licensing and appearance
fees. (The Kardashians and other proteges
have scaled and digitized the model.) But I’d
fallen short in penetrating who she really is,
why she’d dedicated her life to transforming herself into what she described to me as
a “Rorschach test in pink” — a figure who
simultaneously elects to commute among
us and hold herself apart, in her formulation, “on top of a pink cloud on top of a
pink mountain.”
But once I floated the idea of Goldberg as
Angelyne to friends and colleagues who had
been fascinated by her over the years and occasionally had had their own fleeting curbside
run-ins, the surprisingly unsurprised reaction
(particularly from the Jewish ones) was consensus and instantaneous: That makes sense.
The stereotypical old-school shmatte-selling,
the hardnosed negotiations, the pure allpurpose chutzpah — “I’ve known that woman,”
one happily told me, as if welcoming home a
long-lost relative, “all my life.”
As thorough as the genealogist had been
in piecing together Goldberg’s early life, he’d
missed an easily Google-able recent connection between Angelyne and her alleged true
identity. Late last year, I saw that The Fillmore
Gazette, a community newspaper of a small
town 60 miles northwest of L.A. in Ventura
County, had published online a legal notice on
April 28, 2016, that Renee Goldberg had petitioned to change her name to Angelyne Llyne
at Ventura Superior Court. (After short-selling
her Malibu condo in 2010, she now lives in the
Ventura County area of Thousand Oaks.)
If the genealogist’s claim is to be believed,
Goldberg recently had become eligible to collect Social Security benefits. (It is unknown
whether Angelyne has applied for such
benefits under any name.) While the Social
Security Administration had previously not
required applicants to document proof, the
policy changed in 2005 after Congress took
action in response to terror concerns.
An Angelyne billboard in the 1980s.
J E W S H A D A S S I M I L A T E D in the postwar
period. Surnames Anglicized, religious observance ebbed, kosher compliance curtailed
— both to better conform to their American
homeland and, often, as a conscious or
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
56
AU G U S T 2, 2017
I drove to the Ventura County courthouse to
get the document. She claimed to have been
born on Jan. 26, 1962 (a dozen years after the
genealogist’s records indicate), and to be
from Louisville, Kentucky. As for the reason
for the name change, she states on the form,
“This is my stage name that I use and have
used since 1978.”
Goldberg also listed a residential address
that was 2 miles away. When I headed over,
I discovered it was a commercial showroom
for personalized trophies, plaques, gavels,
medallions and clocks called Custom Awards
& Engraving. I decided to refrain from asking owners Jerry and Linda Mendelsohn about
Angelyne for the time being.
As it happens, Goldberg’s sister, now Annette
Block, lives in Oxnard, 10 minutes south of the
showroom. She and her husband run a wholesale business selling stuffed animals and dolls.
(Angelyne, incidentally, had quite a few stuffed
animals strewn about her Corvette when I
drove around with her.) One of the dolls for sale
is named the Angeline, an alternative spelling she used early on — and was credited with
when she played a part in the 1977 sex comedy
Can I Do It … ’Til I Need Glasses? (the film debut
of Robin Williams).
S C O T T H E N N I G , a 60-year-old portrait
illustrator from Idaho, has been Angelyne’s
assistant, close friend and gatekeeper since
the late 1980s. We’d spoken many times but
always over the phone. He’d declined to meet
when I requested an interview while profiling
Angelyne two years ago, stating he preferred
to remain “behind the scenes.” I told him that
a self-described genealogist had come forward with documentation attesting to the fact
that Angelyne was in fact Renee Goldberg.
Hennig scoffed. “This stuff comes up
every few years — it seems to get more and
more ridiculous,” he says. “My favorite one
of all was this 300-pound black woman who
claimed to be her mother. ‘I’m your long-lost
brother,’ ‘your twin sister.’ Chalk it up to
life in Hollywood. I’ve never heard of ‘Renee
Goldberg.’ It’s laughable, it’s outrageous.”
And as for the genealogist? “This guy needs
to get a life. It’s almost like ...” He thought for
a moment. “Like stalker stuff, it really is. It’s
kind of creepy. It’s weird.”
I brought up the name-change document
connecting Renee Goldberg to Angelyne, and
told him I would be happy to send over some of
the genealogist’s material for her review. “I’m
not saying the paperwork isn’t legitimate,”
he responded, growing testy. “I’m saying it
ain’t her. Look, I get emails from another Scott
Hennig, a karate expert in Texas. People think
that’s me. There are a lot of girls out there
named Angelyne. I don’t know what to tell you.
And who knows how legitimate this old stuff
is, going back to World War II?”
Hennig went on, wondering, “And who’s
PREVIOUS SPREAD: 1, 5: COURTESY OF MICHAEL STRAUSS. 6: MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES. 8: SPLASH NEWS. CORVETTE: BROADIMAGE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK. FAN,FRAMES: ISTOCK.
Abramovic by way of John Waters, particularly
as she kept on rambling around the city over
the decades while she aged.
I’d written a profile about Angelyne for THR
in 2015. She attempted to micromanage the
terms of our time together before agreeing to
let me ride in her Stingray 1LT. Once inside,
reality quickly shone through her constructed
shallow facade: a keen intelligence, a striking
vulnerability. Also something else, undefinable but perceptibly troubled, even haunted.
When I asked about her family and her past,
she described herself as an only child and an
orphan. “I lost my parents at a young age,” she
said, “and because of that, I sought the attention of the world through my tricks. I said,
Above: A blond bombshell in the 1990s.
Inset: A redheaded Valley girl in a yearbook from the 1960s.
this guy? He’s poking into Angelyne’s business
— why don’t we get his name?” I put that question to the genealogist soon afterward, who’d
communicated with me under the pseudonym
Ed Thompson.
“There’s a difference between her and me,”
he reasoned by phone. “She’s a celebrity, and
beyond that, she forfeited any claim of privacy
when she ran, as a joke or a stunt or not, for
governor of California” during the recall race
that Arnold Schwarzenegger won in 2003.
“As for me,” he went on, explaining he had a
government job that included a top-secret
clearance, “reputation is fairly important, and
the controversy that might be involved in this
situation is not part of that culture. There’s a
minute possibility that surreptitious activity
— not illegal but surreptitious — could reflect
badly on a top-secret clearance.”
I sent Hennig the name-change document
and the yearbook photos the day after we
spoke. Subsequent efforts by phone and email
to discuss those materials with him — or, better yet, Angelyne — were repeatedly dodged.
THIS SPREAD: ANGELYNE: CATHERINE KARNOW. BILLBOARD: SCOTT MC KIERNAN/ZUMA PRESS/NEWSCOM.
O N A R A I N Y T U E S D A Y evening nearly two
weeks later, I was reporting on another story
at a Sunset Strip tattoo shop when I spotted
Angelyne’s new Pepto Bismol-hued Corvette
Z06 gleaming under a street light across the
street. It was parked in front of 1980s hair
metal haven the Rainbow Bar & Grill.
I soon found the reclusive Hennig, clad in a
denim jacket and jeans, loitering in an empty
upstairs hallway next to a Pantera poster.
He looked just like the lanky fellow whose overexposed vintage photos had appeared beside
his boss’ in the 2005 premiere issue of Hot P!nk,
Angelyne’s short-lived glossy fan magazine.
Before I could say hello, she emerged from an
adjacent restroom, in full regalia.
Her eyes went wide as she shook my hand. I
asked if Hennig had conveyed my queries about
Renee Goldberg and the Holocaust. While he
stood mute a few feet away, she stammered, “I
have a weird stalker who has been following me
and hanging underwear outside my home and
all sorts of things. We’re going to catch him —
big time!” Usually, she explained of her history
with obsessives, “I use reverse psychology on
them and they go away.”
As Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” softly
piped in overhead, I offered my sympathies,
asking if she’d yet taken legal action or
informed the authorities. In the past she’d told
me she’d filed restraining orders against two
stalkers. Angelyne said she and her team hadn’t
— that they were “building a case.”
Angelyne cast herself as a victim of a scheme,
and me as a pawn. (The next day I spoke with
the genealogist, who’d previously told me that
he had “no tie to her other than curiosity,” and
asked him if he was stalking her. “No, not at
all,” he chuckled. “It’s a contorted, convenient
way to try to come up with a semi-plausible
story. Or not even that plausible. It doesn’t even
make any sense. How could this kind of information about her past possibly be part of a plot
to force her to do anything?”)
I asked Angelyne about the name-change
document. Her face scrunched. “It was a complication thing,” she said, tipping from one
foot to the other. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
I pressed, and she said she’d have her lawyer
call me. I asked if it would be her business
attorney, William Remery, or the attorney on
the document, David Lehr. “Someone else.”
She wheeled around to Topic A. “I know you
want it to be true because you’re Jewish — and
that’s adorable!” This last word was enunciated
with her breathy falsetto inflection, a stagey
girlishness that Paris Hilton appropriated. I
told her, without success, why my interest was
justifiable on journalistic terms. She nodded,
unbowed: “Is your editor Jewish?”
She bid me goodbye with a hug — “I know
you love me and don’t want to hurt me” —
and a promise that I’d hear from her lawyer.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
57
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Angelyne also stated that it’s her inalienable
right alone to share her story as she sees fit —
or not. (Earlier, regarding the details of her
past, she’d told me, “I want to save it for my
memoirs; that’s my right for my own financial
interest.”) Later, when I left, I saw her on the
sidewalk beside her Corvette under a translucent pink umbrella, huddled in what appeared
to be an intense conversation with Hennig.
The next day, curious to revisit those
Hennig photos, I unearthed from the bottom
of a pile on my newsroom desk the premiere
issue of Hot P!nk, which Angelyne bulldozed
me into purchasing two years ago for $50 —
along with other merchandise — before even
agreeing to seriously discuss participation
in a profile in THR. What instead caught my
eye were the advertisements, which on closer
inspection all seemed to be personally connected to her: the North Hollywood auto body
shop that I’d elsewhere read custom-paints
her Corvette; the late Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. George Semel, who she’d previously
told me was her “artistic collaborator.”
I kept scanning. There was an ad from
Custom Awards & Engraving, the trophy business Angelyne listed as her residential address
on the name-change document. Co-owner
Linda Mendelsohn also was mentioned in the
text, which congratulated Angelyne on the
launch of the magazine. Bingo.
A F O R T N I G H T P A S S E D without word from
Angelyne. I rang Hennig and told him I was
still looking for clarification. Where, at least,
was the follow-up from the attorney? This
time he was curt. “I’ll tell her you called,” he
said, his tone cold, hanging up. It would be the
last I’d hear from either of them.
The next day I dialed Goldberg’s sister,
Annette Block. Her husband, Stanley, picked
up. I explained I was working on a piece
about Goldberg and her life before becoming Angelyne. “Well, Angelyne …” he began,
knowingly, tentatively, before a voice in the
background interrupted him. He came back
on: “Give me a call tomorrow.” When we talked
again, he acknowledged knowing Angelyne at
“one time in my life, maybe 40 years ago,” but
insisted that “my wife is not related to her.”
His spouse declined to speak to me.
Next I called Goldberg’s stepsister, Norma
St. Michel, who resides in Van Nuys in the San
Fernando Valley. I brought up Angelyne. “Oh,
I have no idea,” she said, an edge to her voice,
cutting me off and hanging up.
Finally, I tracked down Michael Strauss, the
Jewish boy (scion of a Beverly Hills dynasty
forged by the changeable reader board on movie
theater marquees) whom she’d wed in the
late 1960s. He was now a family man living in
Carlsbad after a successful career manufacturing acrylic furniture.
I told him what I was calling about. “Holy
(Continued on page 63)
EM M Y | T H E CON T EN DERS
Co-Star Competitors:
Reese vs. Nicole and 16 of
Peak TV’s Family Feuds
Stars from the same series have been pitted against one another since
the golden days of Golden Girls — but this year’s nominations include an
unusually large set of high-profile sibling rivalries By Anna Lisa Raya
Sarandon
Saturday Night Live N BC
Lange
Feud FX
↑ LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
The battle that Susan Sarandon’s Bette Davis
waged against Jessica Lange’s Joan Crawford in Feud
continues. History isn’t repeating itself, however:
Davis got a 1963 Oscar nom for What Ever Happened
to Baby Jane? while Crawford was snubbed.
Bayer
Jones
SUPPORTING
ACTRESS IN A LIMITED
SERIES OR MOVIE
McKinnon
Judy Davis (top) is nominated for portraying Hedda
Hopper (she has been
Emmy recognized for two
other real-life characters,
Judy Garland and Nancy
Reagan). She’ll battle
Jackie Hoffman, up for her
scene-stealing Mamacita.
↑ SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
First-timers Vanessa Bayer and Leslie Jones landed surprise nominations alongside 2016 winner Kate McKinnon (also
nominated in 2014 and 2015). For Bayer, it’s bittersweet recognition of her final SNL season — the most watched
in more than two decades, which nabbed the late-night stalwart the most noms (22 in all) in its 40-plus-year history.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A
LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Dave Chappelle (left) hosted two nights after Trump’s
presidential win; Tom Hanks (center), in his ninth outing
as host, created the inimitable David S. Pumpkin; and
Lin-Manuel Miranda brought Hamilton magic to his opening monologue with a riff on his musical’s hit “My Shot.”
This is the second time Melissa McCarthy (left)
is up against former SNL castmember Kristen Wiig
in the guest category for their hosting duties (the
first was in 2013 — both lost to Louie’s Melissa Leo).
It’s the eighth nomination overall for both stars.
The Night Of H BO
LEAD ACTOR
IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Alfred Molina (top) is
nominated with a co-star he
has collaborated with once
before: He and Stanley Tucci
starred together in 1998’s
The Impostors. Their portrayals of Robert Aldrich and
Jack Warner, respectively,
have Emmy pundits split on
the favorite in this race.
Grace & Frankie N ETFLIX
SUPPORTING ACTOR
IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
LEAD ACTRESS
IN A COMEDY SERIES
Bill Camp’s (left) beleaguered detective
on the verge of retirement and Michael
Kenneth Williams’ prison kingpin were
understated portrayals that nabbed noms
for both character actors (Camp’s first).
Jane Fonda scored her firstever comedy lead actress
nomination this year, which
pits her against co-star Lily
Tomlin, who has been nominated twice before for her
role in the Netflix comedy.
Tomlin has five total Emmy
wins to her name, most from
her 1970s comedy specials;
Fonda has one, from 1984.
Though they were on the same side of the
courtroom in HBO’s gritty anthology series,
Riz Ahmed (left) and John Turturro will
compete for the trophy in a race that also
includes the likes of Robert De Niro.
Fonda
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
58
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Tomlin
BAYER: ROSALIND O'CONNOR/NBC. JONES, CHAPPELLE, HANKS, MIRANDA: WILL HEATH/NBC. MCKINNON: DANA EDELSON/NBC. FEUD: BYRON COHEN/FX. DAVIS, MOLINA: SUZANNE TENNER/FX. HOFFMAN, TUCCI: KURT ISWARIENKO/FX. GRACE: MELISSA MOSELEY/NETFLIX (2). NIGHT, RHYS: CRAIG
BLANKENHORN/HBO (5). AHMED: MARK SCHAFER/HBO. DOWD: TAKE FIVE/HULU. HALE: JUSTIN M. LUBIN/HBO. WALSH: COLLEEN HAYES/HBO. WILEY: GEORGE KRAYCHYK/HULU. BIG: HILARY BRONWYN GAYLE/HBO (4). THIS: RON BATZDORFF/NBC (5). TRANSPARENT: JENNIFER CLASEN/AMAZON STUDIOS (2).
Big Little Lies H BO
The Handmaid’s Tale H U LU
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
IN A DRAMA SERIES
Dowd
Fans of Hulu’s dystopian drama would love to
see Aunt Lydia (Ann
Dowd, also nominated for
guest actress for HBO’s
The Leftovers) take a
few hits from rebellious
Moira (Samira Wiley) in
an onscreen battle — but
in this awards race,
neither is heavily favored.
Wiley
SUPPORTING ACTOR
IN A COMEDY SERIES
Girls H BO
Ahmed
With Timothy Simons, Reid Scott and
Sam Richardson shut out, Veep’s stellar
supporting male cast didn’t get the
sweep some were hoping for. But nominations for two-time winner Tony Hale
and Matt Walsh mean the duo will
battle it out for a second year in a row.
Witherspoon
Kidman
↑ LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
The hottest intra-series race of all this year: Reese Witherspoon versus Nicole Kidman.
The two Oscar winners play best friends on the Monterey, California-set series and
served as executive producers on the project, which Witherspoon optioned in 2014.
Dern
Woodley
Rhys
Hale
Walsh
GUEST ACTOR
IN A COMEDY SERIES
Who was more memorable in Girls’
final season: Riz Ahmed’s shallow surf
instructor or Matthew Rhys’ sexual
harasser/novelist? Both have two shots
at Emmy glory — they also got lead
noms for their respective series, HBO’s
The Night Of and FX’s The Americans.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Veep H BO
Laura Dern is at the top of many pundits’ lists for this category. More surprising was
Shailene Woodley’s nomination — as the series’ third lead, she was expected to
compete against Witherspoon and Kidman, but was submitted for supporting instead.
Transparent AMAZON
Hahn
This Is Us N BC
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
IN A COMEDY SERIES
LEAD ACTOR IN A
DRAMA SERIES
GUEST ACTOR IN A
DRAMA SERIES
Kathryn Hahn’s rabbi
character, Raquel, opened
season three with a sermon
that spoke to her and
other characters’ journeys
through loss and faith.
It got Hahn her first-ever
nom — putting her up
against Judith Light, who
nabbed her third nom (and
second for Transparent).
Sterling K. Brown
(top) has the
heat of his 2016
win for playing Christopher
Darden in FX’s
American Crime
Story. This is
his TV dad Milo
Ventimiglia’s first
nomination.
This Is Us has the
most acting nominations of any
drama series (with
seven total), thanks
in no small part
to its guest stars,
including (from top)
Brian Tyree Henry,
Gerald McRaney
and Denis O’Hare.
Light
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
59
AU G U S T 2, 2017
Reviews
Atypical
↑ From left: Gilchrist is an autistic
teen, Leigh and Rapaport his parents
and Lundy-Paine his big sister.
Netflix’s new series starring Jennifer Jason Leigh
and Michael Rapaport as the parents of an autistic teen
starts strong but goes south fast By Tim Goodman
If you want to see a good show
with the potential to be very
good shoot itself in the foot and
become something you don’t want
to watch, then Netflix’s dramedy
Atypical, from The Goldbergs writer
and co-executive producer Robia
Rashid, is for you. (I guess that
makes it more of a tragedy than
a dramedy.)
What starts off as a well-written
look at autism and its impact
on a family, full of humor and
heart, suddenly makes some
bone-headed, network-TV-level
decisions that reduce the series to
an easily digestible, “TGIF”-styled
disappointment. I don’t mean to
cast all of broadcast in a dark light,
of course, since ABC’s Speechless is
an infinitely better show cut from
similar cloth.
What’s depressing about
Atypical (the first season of which
consists of eight 30-minute episodes) is that you really want it to
succeed. Jennifer Jason Leigh and
Michael Rapaport play Elsa and
Doug, whose 18-year-old son, Sam
(Keir Gilchrist, in a standout performance), is on the spectrum and
trying to transition from their
care to the adult world. Older sister Casey (Brigette Lundy-Paine)
is both protective of and annoyed
by him. Sam has a therapist, Julia
(Amy Okuda), whose advice about
growing up often clashes with
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
that of Elsa, who acts very believably like an anxious mother.
In fact, early on in Atypical,
everybody behaves pretty believably. Although it might have
been asking too much for the
show to be as good as 2016’s
superb Sundance TV series The
A Word, all the early signs here
were very positive. And while it’s
probably fair to say that Atypical
heightens both the drama and
the comedy in a way that might
make parents of autistic children skeptical, this is television;
pitch-perfect authenticity isn’t
necessarily the goal (though an
adviser with a clinical background in behavioral problems of
autistic children was consulted
during production).
The performances are firstrate. Gilchrist’s no-nonsense
portrayal of Sam, who struggles
60
AU G U S T 2, 2017
to grasp social graces and
emotional nuances, earns both
sympathy and a few honest,
well-timed laughs. As Elsa,
Leigh captures the essence of
a woman who means well but
has blocked out both her
husband and daughter in her
relentless determination to
help Sam. Rapaport is wonderful as Doug, a man who doesn’t
understand his own kid but
slowly learns to connect in a
straightforward way that often
proves more effective than his
wife’s comparatively intellectual approach. And Lundy-Paine
conveys a nice blend of jealousy,
annoyance and big-sis devotion.
The show’s downward spiral
is set off by a handful of illadvised, completely improbable
choices made by the characters,
particularly Elsa. Netflix has
asked critics not to “spoil” the biggest — and worst — of them;
let’s just say her storyline results
in the most damage.
Furthermore, whereas the
humor involving Sam works in
the show’s first episode or two
— he wants a girlfriend but has
no idea how to act around girls;
advice from friend Zahid (Nik
Dodani) is laughably bad and a
YouTube video he watches, called
“How to Talk to Hos,” is worse —
it soon veers into wince-inducing
territory. Missed social cues
can quickly go from amusing to
distinctly uncomfortable.
For a little while, the performances tug the show’s tone
back from the brink. But the
backsliding begins in the second
episode, and before you can say,
“ABC Afterschool Special,” Atypical
morphs into a mess of poor writing, contrivance-heavy plotting
and shaky execution. It’s a dramatic fall from potential Netflix
gem to no-thanks network-esque
hash in just four episodes.
RELEASE DATE Friday, Aug. 11 (Netflix)
CAST Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist,
Michael Rapaport, Brigette Lundy-Paine
CREATOR Robia Rashid
ATYPICAL: COURTESY OF NETFLIX. MERCEDES: KENT SMITH/COURTESY OF AUDIENCE NETWORK. LOPEZ: JASON LAVERIS/FILMMAGIC. TATUM: ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES. HART: BRANDON WILLIAMS/GETTY IMAGES. KIMMEL: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.
Television
THR’S SOCIAL CLIMBERS
A ranking of the week’s top actors, comedians and
personalities based on social media engagement across
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and more
Gleeson is
a detective
haunted
by an
unsolved
mystery.
This
Week
Last
Week
1
←
→ I
1
I
Dwayne Johnson
2
↑ I
7
I
Jennifer Lopez
“When its [sic] 107 in the
shade and you’re wearing
a Kevlar vest …” Lopez
wrote on Instagram with a
photo from the set of NBC’s
Shades of Blue. She also
posted pictures celebrating
her 48th birthday, spurring
a 50 percent gain in weekly
Instagram followers.
Mr. Mercedes
Brendan Gleeson and Harry Treadaway bring
intensity to Audience Network’s creepy, skillfully
adapted Stephen King thriller By Daniel J. Fienberg
AT&T Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes is a relative rarity:
an effective Stephen King TV adaptation boosted by strong
performances and smart writing choices (from a team led
by David E. Kelley and including Dennis Lehane).
The series starts in 2009 as people queue up before dawn
for an Ohio job fair. Out of the chilly mist, a stolen Mercedes
appears with a masked man behind the wheel, and it accelerates into the crowd. Carnage.
Two years later, Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson), the
investigator whose career was ended by his obsession with
the unsolved crime, is stirred out of an alcohol-fueled haze
by online videos from the killer. Brady (Harry Treadaway)
is ready to strike again, and only Bill can stop him, assisted
by neighbor Jerome (Moonlight’s Jharrel Jerome) and Janey
(Mary-Louise Parker), the sister of the guilt-stricken owner
of the Mercedes.
Director Jack Bender handles the spectacle of the
vehicular mass homicide in a way that’s unsparing without
being exploitative. It’s a scene that will send shivers down
the spine of any follower of current events; this isn’t a story
about killer clowns or antique-collecting vampires.
Even more than King’s 2014 novel, Kelley’s show is a
nightmare about dispossession and moral rot, especially
in economically trying times. The characters live in a
town of abandoned storefronts, where the recession hasn’t
ended and frustration is growing. Brady embodies that
frustration, and Treadaway (Penny Dreadful) gives him
interesting shades of creepiness. He’s matched by Gleeson,
who swings between disheveled impotence and glimpses
of the cleverness that once made him a great detective.
The supporting cast is strong: Standouts are Breeda Wool
as Brady’s lesbian co-worker, Kelly Lynch as his uncomfortably affectionate mother and Holland Taylor as Bill’s
neighbor.
AIRDATE 8 p.m.
Through its first four (of 10)
Wednesday, Aug. 9
episodes, Mr. Mercedes is more
(Audience Network)
CAST Brendan Gleeson,
absorbing than urgently riveting.
Harry Treadaway,
But you could do much worse
Jharrel Jerome,
this summer than watch Gleeson
Mary-Louise Parker,
and Treadaway play out their
Justin Lupe
deadly dance.
CREATOR David E. Kelley
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
This
Week
Actors
1
←
→ I
Last
Week
1
Comedians
I
Kevin Hart
After announcing on
Twitter that he was “back
on my comedy grind,”
Hart revealed dates for the
opening leg of his latest
stand-up tour, snagging a
77 percent boost in all
social media engagement
and an 89 percent boost
in conversation.
2
←
→ I
2
I
D.L. Hughley
3
↑ I
11
I
Kevin Hart
3
↑ I
4
I
Bill Maher
4
↑ I
12
I
Cara Delevingne
4
↓ I
3
I
Mike Epps
5
↑ I
8
I
Vin Diesel
5
↑ I
6
I
Ricky Gervais
6
↑ I
15
I
Sabrina Carpenter
6
↓ I
5
I
Joe Rogan
7
↓ I
4
I
Gal Gadot
7
↑ I
-
I
Chris Hardwick
8
↓ I
5
I
Ansel Elgort
8
↑ I
9
I
Gabriel Iglesias
9
↓ I
2
I
Priyanka Chopra
9
↓ I
8
I
Katt Williams
10
↓ I
6
I
Shay Mitchell
10
↑ I
-
I
Amy Schumer
11
↑ I
20
I
Ashley Benson
12
↓ I
3
I
Tom Holland
13
←
→ I
13
I
Lily Collins
14
↑ I
-
I
Channing Tatum
After the Comic-Con debut
of his upcoming Kingsman:
The Golden Circle, Tatum
posted the film’s trailer on
his social media. The
heightened social activity
— including 1.1 million
Instagram favorites — lands
him on the Actors chart for
the first time.
15
↑ I
-
I
Joseph Morgan
16
↑ I
-
I
Mark Ruffalo
17
↑ I
21
I
Robert Downey Jr.
18
↑ I
19
I
Troian Bellisario
19
↑ I
-
I
Rowan Atkinson
20
↓ I
17
I
Nina Dobrev
21
↓ I
9
I
Zendaya
22
↑ I
-
I
Chris Hemsworth
23
↑ I
-
I
Jennette McCurdy
24
↑ I
-
I
Jensen Ackles
25
↑ I
-
I
Sofia Vergara
61
AU G U S T 2, 2017
This
Week
Last
Week
TV Personalities
1
↑ I
3
I
Tyra Banks
2
↑ I
6
I
Joanna Gaines
3
↑ I
4
I
Bill Maher
4
↓ I
1
I
Gordon Ramsay
5
↑ I
-
I
Jimmy Kimmel
On Twitter, Kimmel honored
frequent Live! musical
guest Chester Bennington
of Linkin Park, who
died July 20, calling him
“one of the kindest”
people he’d had on the
show. He leaps 1,129 percent
in Twitter likes and
672 percent in retweets.
6
↑ I
8
I
Jimmy Fallon
7
↓ I
5
I
Stephen Colbert
8
↓ I
2
I
Chris Hayes
9
↑ I
-
I
Jeremy Clarkson
10
↑ I
-
I
Steve Harvey
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 July 25. Rankings are based on a
formula blending weekly additions of fans as well as cumulative weekly
reactions and conversations, as tracked by MVP Index.
Backlot
Innovators, Events, Honors
Carrie Coon: ‘I Had
Journalists Weeping’
The Leftovers (and Fargo)
TCA nominee talks with
Damon Lindelof about their
HBO drama’s deep impact
By Bryn Elise Sandberg
there now that The Leftovers
tory when she landed a
is over?
double nomination in the
COON I am still getting so much
Television Critics Association
Twitter feedback. They are writAwards’ individual achievement
ing me impassioned tweets about
in drama category for her work
their feelings. I rarely get recogin the third seasons of HBO’s
nized, and whenever I do, it has to
The Leftovers and FX’s Fargo (for
do with The Leftovers because it
which she also earned an
came into someone’s life
Emmy nom). Ahead of the
at a particularly imporTCA Awards
Aug. 5 ceremony, Coon
tant time for them
Aug. 5
hopped on the phone with
when they were dealing
Beverly Hilton
Beverly Hills
Leftovers showrunner
with grief or loss, and
they caught it [on TV].
Damon Lindelof for a chat
It might be some little blonde
about the recognition, the links
in Lululemon, a 30-something
between her two characters and,
Korean dad with his kid or
naturally, Justin Theroux ’s looks.
a 50-year-old white guy at a
Cubs game.
LINDELOF How are you, Carrie?
COON I’m great. I just wrapped my
LINDELOF The idea that both of
day on Steven Spielberg’s movie
your characters [in Fargo and The
Leftovers had a strange effect on
The Papers. It’s like everybody’s in
the] technology around them
this movie. I think there are over
103 speaking parts, so if you watch has become a kind of cutesy reference point in interviews. They
this movie, you’ll know who was
made [machines] break. They
working in TV and film in the year
made things fail.
2017. I think I’m number 13 on
the call sheet, which is not much
further down from when I was on
The Leftovers call sheet.
LINDELOF That’s not true!
COON I was number seven on
Leftovers, Damon. It was my first
TV job.
LINDELOF You are number one
in America’s hearts, and that’s
what matters.
COON I was an Emmy nominee
and Emmy snub [for Leftovers].
LINDELOF Oh, my God, I don’t
“It is great when the critics get behind
think I am ready to talk about
something and have the power to influence,”
that yet. What’s it like to be out
Lindelof says of the reviews for The Leftovers.
COON Not only the technology but
the other parallels: an episode that
takes place partially in the airport,
chasing buses, getting a divorce,
having a big hug.
LINDELOF As wonderful as it was
to see you recognized for Fargo, it
did irk me that you and Justin
and [director] Mimi [Leder] were
not recognized [for The Leftovers].
COON You and I know Justin is a
great, theatrically trained actor.
But he’s also impossibly goodlooking, so I think he is judged
and suffers extra scrutiny. People
don’t expect him to be good.
LINDELOF Let’s just stop and think
for a second about how goodlooking he is. (Pauses.) So we are
speaking on the occasion of your
TCA nominations. The critics
were a huge part of the story of
The Leftovers in a way they traditionally aren’t. And the writing
about The Leftovers seemed to get
Photographed by Meredith Jenks
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
62
AU G U S T 2, 2017
super personal. There was the
use of the “I” pronoun in writing about it that I’m not sure
exists for other shows. Did that
feel unique?
COON The reason I’m not surprised
by it is because in the questions I
have received about the show from
either journalists or fans, there’s
never anything trite. I had journalists weeping when they explained
to me about the very specific
loss they’ve suffered and why the
show resonates with them. It’s
brave, and we need personal voices
and criticisms.
LINDELOF If you win, will you
demand two trophies? Because I
just feel like that’s fair.
COON I would never do that — I’m
from the Midwest. I only recently
wrapped my head around having
more than one sports bra.
LINDELOF I have five sports bras, if
you want to borrow them.
LINDELOF: GARY GERSHOFF/WIREIMAGE
C
arrie Coon made his-
ANGELYNE
Continued from page 57
PROMOTION
THR NEWSLETTERS
Today in Entertainment Q Live Feed Q Breaking News
Box Office Q TV News & Ratings Q Awards in Focus
Q Awards News Q Awards Chatter Q Film Festival News
Q International News Q Behind the Screen
Q Watch LisT Q This Week in Reviews Q Feinberg Forecast
Q
Q
SIGN UP AT THR.COM/NEWSLETTERS
smokes,” he said, astonished.
“I haven’t talked to Angelyne in
years. I’ve kind of followed her on
the internet.”
We chatted for an hour. Strauss
had tender memories of Goldberg,
referring alternatively in the past
and present to her as “Angelyne”
and “Renee.” He’d never spoken
publicly about the identity of his
first wife before, and only rarely
in private, he said. (An exception: In 2016 when she applied
for a new driver’s license, a DMV
investigator contacted him to corroborate her true identity.)
They’d met through mutual
friends while she was still living on the Westside. “She was
the most gorgeous redhead,” he
said. “She was unique, beautiful, smart.” Later, during their
short matrimony, they lived
together with Annette and her
first husband at the corner of
Hollywood Boulevard and Vine
Street, “right where Wolfman Jack
used to record.” Strauss emailed
me photos while we were talking: the pair posing barefoot by
the pool at a friend’s backyard
party, a striking black-and-white
portrait he’d taken of Goldberg
at his family’s Trousdale Estates
home. (A budding photographer,
he shot the likes of Donovan and
War.) And, most importantly, he
sent the same yearbook photo the
genealogist had shown me.
Strauss explained that
Goldberg’s childhood had been
difficult. Her father, a man with
a concentration camp number
tattooed on his arm, had been
controlling, cruel and narrowminded, propelling her to flee
home early. Like many survivors
of trauma, Henry didn’t discuss it.
This extended, to Strauss’ memory,
as far as Goldberg’s own history;
her father told her she was born
in Israel, not a German displacedpersons camp. Regardless, “she has
never considered herself Jewish.”
Strauss was surprised to
learn from me that Goldberg’s
mother had died just a few years
before he met her; he’d always
thought it had been much earlier,
a hardened scar. “She’d never talk
about her mother — ever, ever,
ever. It was a subject that couldn’t
be brought up. If I brought it up,
it was shut down.”
After they broke up — it was
amicable — he traveled for
several years, returning to L.A.
in the mid-1970s. “I hooked up
with Renee again, and she was
Angelyne,” he said. “I wasn’t there
when she made the transition. All
of a sudden, big boobs, blond hair,
this voice — the voice used to
make me nuts. It didn’t compute
with who I’d known she was.”
It would be another decade
before she’d achieve notoriety for
her pioneering famous-for-beingfamous billboard campaign. “As
an entrepreneur, I was sad that
she wasn’t ever able to be more
[financially] successful,” Strauss
said of her career, which emerged
out of punk and new wave bands
and occasional bit parts in films.
“Why didn’t she take it farther?
Why not a TV show? She invented
this marvelous, crazy, out-ofthis-world character but couldn’t
fully sell it. I was always a Renee
rooter: ‘Come on, girl, take it to
the next level!’ But she only had
the capacity to take it so far.”
When they broke up, Strauss
held on to some of her effects —
photos, documents — “because
she didn’t want them, and I wasn’t
just going to throw them away.
I mean, what if she eventually
wanted them back? Except she
never did. I saw her in the early
1990s, and I said, ‘I have these
things.’ She didn’t want them.
She wanted nothing to do with it.
She’d created another life.”
Why had she done it? “You’d have
to ask her that,” he said softly.
Renee Goldberg had purely
committed to the fundamental
principle of Hollywood — escapism — by inhabiting the character
she conjured to the point of no
return. Like many dreamers, she
adopted a stage name and altered
her body and behavior to better
position a prospective entertainment career that, like many
dreamers, never panned out quite
as intended. Nevertheless, far
more than most, by any definition
of success, she truly became the
person she was pretending to be.
Strauss eventually, reluctantly,
ventured a guess. “It’s a persona
that must have suited her,” he
said. “It made her way in life. It’s
not an easy world out there.”
63
88 Years of THR
Memorable moments from a storied history
1 9722
1997 3
19974
4
1 9775
19
9766
199777
19
978
1979
1 980
1981
1982
1983
1 9 84
199 85
1986
19887
199 888
1988 9
1 9 90
0
1 999 1
199 922
In 1982, Stephen King Went Green in Creepshow
Though Stephen King has a producing credit on The Dark Tower
— Columbia’s big-screen continuation of the famed author’s
eight-part supernatural Western
series of books — he doesn’t
appear in the film. But King, 69,
has been in more than a dozen
movies and TV shows based on his
writings. Though most have been
cameos, in 1982 he co-starred in
the George Romero-directed, fivepart anthology movie Creepshow.
(Romero, who died July 16 at age
77, pioneered the zombie apocalypse genre with 1968’s Night of
the Living Dead. “There will
never be another like you,” King
tweeted about his fellow horror
icon after learning of his death.)
THR called Creepshow “a comic
book come to life as a horror film”
that offers “a potion that seems
sure to bubble up with box-office
results.” That turned out to be
true: The $8 million Warner Bros.
release ($20 million today) made
$21 million domestically (now
$53 million) and ranked first on
its opening weekend. However,
THR was less enthusiastic about
“The Lonesome Death of Jordy
Verrill” episode that starred
King as a Ripple wine-drinking
dolt. It described King’s role as
“a hayseed farmer who begins to
sprout a lawnlike growth after
touching an oozing meteorite”
and panned his 12-minute segment because it “never jells into
more than an odd interlude.”
According to Haunted Heart: The
Life and Times of Stephen King,
Romero’s acting instructions to
King tended toward telling him
to act like “Wile E. Coyote looks
when he goes off a cliff.” Though
there were strong actors in other
segments — including Ed Harris
and Ted Danson — winning acting Oscars was never Creepshow’s
main purpose. King and producer
Richard P. Rubinstein’s ultimate intention was to adapt King’s
postapocalyptic epic The Stand,
but they knew that project would
require a much larger budget.
The strategy was to succeed with
Creepshow and then “we would
have the credibility we needed to
go on with The Stand,” King noted
in 1983. (The Stand eventually
became an eight-hour ABC miniseries in 1994.) Creepshow was
presold at Cannes with promo ads
promising that “people will crawl
out of the theatre.” Rubinstein
says he thought the film had a
“money title that would be clear
to fans what it was about. This
was no art house movie.” As for
The Dark Tower, out Aug. 4, King
tweeted it “runs a clean 95 minutes. Like the first book in the
series (224 pages), it’s all killer
and no filler.” — BILL HIGGINS
The Hollywood Reporter, Vol. CDXXIII, No. 23 (ISSN 0018-3660; USPS 247-580) is published weekly; 40 issues — three issues in January, March, April, May, July, August, October and November, and four issues in February, June, September and December — with 15 special issues: Jan. (1), Feb. (1), June (4), Aug. (3),
Nov. (3) and Dec. (3) by Prometheus Global Media LLC, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., 5th floor, Los Angeles CA 90036. Subscription rates: Weekly print only, $199; weekly print and online, including daily edition PDF only, $249; online only, $199; digital replica of weekly print, $199. Single copies, $7.99. Periodical Postage paid
at Los Angeles, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. Non-Postal and Military Facilities send address changes to The Hollywood Reporter, P.O. Box 125, Congers, NY 10920-0125. Under Canadian Publication Mail Agreement No. 41450540 return undeliverable Canadian addresses
to MSI, PO BOX 2600, Mississauga, On L4T OA8. Direct all other correspondence to The Hollywood Reporter, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Prometheus Global Media, LLC: Vice President, Human Resources: Angela Vitacco. Advertising/Editorial Reprints: Reprints of editorial or ads can be used
as effective marketing tools. For details, please contact Wright’s Media: (877) 652-5295 or e-mail at pgm@wrightsmedia.com. Permission: Looking for a one-time use of our content, as a full article, excerpt or chart? Please contact Wright’s Media, (877) 652-5295; pgm@wrightsmedia.com. Subscription inquiries: U.S. call
toll-free (866) 525-2150. Outside the U.S., call (845) 267-4192, or e-mail subscriptions@hollywoodreporter.com. Copyright ©2015 Prometheus Global Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means — electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise — without the prior written permission of the publisher. THR.com PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
T H E HOL LY WO OD R EP ORT ER
64
AU G U S T 2, 2017
WARNER BROS./PHOTOFEST
↑ King played a dim-witted farmer who discovered a meteor that turns everything into plant life in Creepshow.
WINNER
SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARD
®
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE
BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES
WINNER
AFI AWARDS
OFFICIAL SELECTION
TV PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
WINNER
PRODUCERS GUILD AWARD
OUTSTANDING PRODUCER
OF EPISODIC TELEVISION (DRAMA)
THE BE ST SHOW
OF
THE
E
M
M
Y
NOMINATIONS
INCLUDING
O U T STA N D I N G
DRAMA SERIES
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING
ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
JOHN LITHGOW
®
YEAR
Документ
Категория
Журналы и газеты
Просмотров
6
Размер файла
18 922 Кб
Теги
The Hollywood Reporter, journal
1/--страниц
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа