Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tweet of the Day

"Merry christmas everyone! Remember to laugh often and loudly."

-Chelsea Handler Tweets

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quote of the Night

"Look, I’m a fan of hip hop. I’m not like a casual fan of hip hop, I’m not a fan of hip hop depending on what’s trendy, I really truly love hip hop. There’s enough talented people in hip hop so that you can always find something new and you can always find something hot, I’m not one of these hip hop heads spends his time complaining about the state of the music business because there’s so much good shit you can find. And guess what, if I can’t find it, I’ll just make the shit."

-Talib Kweli said at his album release party at SNAP Sports Bar Tuesday

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tweet of the Day

"I'm looking in to hiring a talent manager ...current options: Michael Lohan, The Situation's brother, Kris Kardashian, Sam Lufti, Dina Lohan."

-Spencer Pratt Tweets

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spend New Year's Eve Eve with Sharon Jones!

Looking for an epic way to spend your New Year's Eve EVE?!

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see the sublime Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings with special guest Allen Toussaint at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square!

Just follow us on Twitter and fill in this form.

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tweet of the Day

"This is how im a bad I influence on Miley I force her to eat cupcakes so I don't feel so bad about eating one!"

-Kelly Osbourne Tweets

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kevin Spacey 'Terrified' to Play Richard III in Sam Mendes Production

Kevin Spacey's latest role - portraying former lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff in the forthcoming Casino Jack - scored him a Golden Globe nomination last week.

But that doesn't make the two-time Academy Award winning actor/director any less than "fucking terrified" for his next role: reuniting with American Beauty director Sam Mendes for a production of Richard III.

"I'm fucking terrified," Spacey candidly told guests during a Q&A at the Apple Store in Soho Friday.

"It's the second longest role in Shakespeare after Hamlet. And it's my second leading role in which I've ever played Shakespeare in a play. It's very exciting and very daunting and very terrifying. I think I already may have said that. Let me say that again. I'm fucking terrified."

Check out the full Q&A below, including Spacey's hesitation to executive produce The Social Network ("A movie about Facebook? What would that be?" he wondered), the kinds of text messages Casino Jack co-star Jon Lovitz sends him during screenings, and how he found out about the role of Jack Abramoff (Facebook. You can't make this shit up.)

On playing a former lobbyist and convicted felon in Casino Jack:
Being an actor is a little bit like being a detective. You gotta sift through what sometimes are false clues, and sometimes are true. I met with Jack Abramoff for about six hours in prison, I met a lot of lobbyists that [Abramoff] worked with, people that knew him, people that liked him, people that hated him, and then I Googled his name. If you Google the name Jack Abramoff, a whole lotta shit comes up. And so I then had a chance to look at what other people had been saying, and the kind of commentary and news reporting that had gone on. And out of that, you sort of take all that evidence and what's true, what's not, what's myth, and try to sort it out in such a way that you can try to portray a person by putting yourself into their shoes, and without making a judgment about them... Allow an audience to be the ones to make a judgment. That's my job, to try to unearth those other human qualities and try to humanize someone who's been greatly dehumanized. One of the things I've been happy about in the screenings so far and the reactions to the movie so far is even if people have made a judgment about him and particularly a negative judgment about him, they find themselves... even against their better instincts... feel empathy toward a character they thought they might never feel that for. 

On finding out about the Jack Abramoff role via Facebook:
[Director] George Hickenlooper was very active on Facebook. In fact, it's one of the ways I found out George wanted me to play this part. He posted on his Facebook page that he wanted to play this role, and we got a hold of him and before you know it, he was in London and we were talking about making the movie.

On going to prison to meet Jack Abramoff:
We spent about six hours together, with [director] George Hickenlooper. It was a really great chance for me to try to ask questions that gave me a lot of clues into his emotional terrain, what was happening in his relationships and in his business and his reputation, as this house of cards was starting to crumble. I viewed him as a source. George told me that when he first met Abramoff, Abramoff spent the first meeting trying to convince him not to make the movie. And once he realized that George was going to make the movie, I think he decided it was probably in his best interest to be as helpful as he could... I think in large measure because he was probably worried that we were going to do to him what a lot of things have happened in the press, which is make him out to be a horrible, horrible human being. And I thought, 'That would be interesting for about ten seconds.

On being nominated for a "Best Actor in a Comedy" Golden Globe for Casino Jack:
I did a film in 2008 for HBO called Recount about the 2000 election, and if you tell people, 'Hey we're going to make a movie about an election, or we're going to make a movie about a Washington lobbyist,' you can kind of hear the yawning start across the nation. So, if you look at that film as a template, the outrageousness of characters, the over-the-top decisions, the circumstances that you can't quite believe, the shit you couldn't write, it's inherently funny. George and I both wanted very much to be able to embrace that tone because we felt maybe that's a way to a) make it a more entertaining film, but also you can make the political points you want to make, but do it with humor and with a slightly comical tone. We were aware of what we were trying to do, and we had a ball doing it.

On the corruptions he sees in lobbying:
There is an impression that's left that when they take a man like Jack Abramoff and they wag their finger at him and they say, 'What a bad and horrible man you are,' and 'We're putting you in prison,' that they're cleaning up the lobbying industry. And I think we've just had an election where more money was spent than any other time in the history of this country. So I think they're kind of full of shit. Until you remove the money you're never going to remove the corruption.

About Jon Lovitz's role:
I've known Jon for 25 years, I thought he was just perfect for this part. He's a character that Abramoff asked to go down and help him work out a deal with these floating casinos in Florida, which ultimately led to a murder and lots of problems for Abramoff. And Lovitz is just hilarious, he steals virtually every scene he's in, and he just makes me laugh all the time. Whenever I've been going around the country showing the movie at various screenings and Jon hasn't been able to be with us, I just get text messages that say 'Count my laughs and get back to me.'

On the sudden death of director George Hickenlooper:
George was a wonderful friend and a really remarkable director who died suddenly last month while he was promoting the film. George was like a kid, storytelling was his playground, and he had a fascination for American politics... He was driven by it, he was fascinated by it, he was frustrated by it. George's enthusiasm, his giggle, which I'll never forget... He was always laughing off-camera in the middle of scenes if something amused him. So I think in large measure because of George and his presence, it was a very very pleasant setting.

On his most challenging role to date, reuniting with American Beauty director Sam Mendes for Richard III:
My most challenging role? I think I'm about to do it, with Richard III. Sam Mendes and I are coming back to work together for the first time next spring, he's going to direct me in the theater as Richard III, which we will start in The Old Vic and will come here to Brooklyn Academy of Music in January 2012. And I'm fucking terrified. It's the second longest role in Shakespeare after Hamlet. It's my second leading role in which I've ever played Shakespeare in a play... I did Richard II three seasons ago at The Old Vic. And it's very exciting and very daunting and very terrifying. I think I already may have said that. Let me say that again. I'm fucking terrified. And yet I'm also quite excited because I trust Sam so much... Sam is a remarkable director and works incredibly well with actors... So I'm very excited but it is ahead of me and not behind me. Dammit, dammit.

On a role he really wanted and didn't get, or regrets turning down:
Well, Tom Hanks has had a lot of good parts. [Laughs]. The funny thing is, I'm the artistic director at The Old Vic, so I... can't take all the good parts. I gotta spread them around. I've only done seven of our productions as an actor. I don't really covet roles... or have [roles] I wish I hadn't turned down. There's movies I've turned down, but if those movies worked, and the actor who played that role was right, then I'm incredibly happy. By the way, also, I'm very grateful for actors who turned down parts that I then got offered. I have no problem being seventh choice at all. No problem. 

On his future acting endeavors:
For the past seven or eight years Ive been living in London running The Old Vic Theater, so the films I've done in that time period have been limited both in terms of the time I had but also the size of the parts. I've really played a lot of cameo or supporting roles. [Abramoff] is really one of the first central roles that I've played. But [The Old Vic] is up and running now, it's our seventh season, things are going rather well so I'm starting to sneak off and make a few more films.

On his favorite movie to make:
I loved making American Beauty. Sam Mendes knew exactly what he wanted, we had a great cinematographer and a remarkable cast. It was such a great environment on set. I've been very fortunate, I've worked with some incredible people and had some remarkable experiences, but I always like to hope that the best film I've done is ahead of me and not behind me. 

On preparing for his role in The Usual Suspects:
I get this script, completely didn't understand it when I first read it, had to read it again, and then [director] Bryan Singer and I met and we talked and I was so surprised and honored. It had been the first time anyone had ever written anything with me in mind. And really the preparation was complete and total trust. I met with a couple of doctors in order to understand the Cerebral Palsy and how that can affect different patients, and then I just trusted Bryan, really. 

On Executive Producing The Social Network:
[Author] Ben Mezrich came to [Trigger Street Production president] Dana Brunetti and I probably three or four years ago saying he wanted to write a book about how Facebook happened, which he ultimately did, called Accidental Billionaires. At the time, Dana and I's reaction was, 'A movie about Facebook? What would that be?' But we didn't know until a little bit later, that in fact, the story had all the hallmarks of what makes a great drama. It was about friendship and betrayal and invention and power. When you have all of those elements going for you, you can tell a really compelling story. We also really felt it was a story for its time but also that it maybe it could be timeless, because it was about something that changed and revolutionized so many peoples' lives. We took the book proposal to Sony Pictures, who we had done 21 with, and Sony, much to my delight - cause they're not known for making movies that are essentially people talking in rooms... There's no explosions, there's no car chases, there's no real sex - they jumped on board. We were incredibly fortunate to get Aaron Sorkin to come and find a way to structure the screenplay and then get David Fincher to come on board and direct... It's just one of those extraordinary experiences where all of the elements came together. We're very excited about the reaction it's had by the public and it also received six Golden Globe nominations two days ago. We're very excited.

The Maine Explain Their Movie In Darkness and In Light

Phoenix rockers The Maine have included an unlikely addition to their Dec. 29 LP In Darkness and In Light: a 17-minute film featuring "25 child actors whose characters ultimately engage in bloody war."

"We wanted to express our creativity through a medium other than just music," frontman John O'Callaghan explained in a press release.

"This is a risk we wanted to take to see just how far we could take things without jeopardizing our integrity as musicians. This phase in our bands' career represents metamorphosis. We are striving to take every aspect of The Maine to the furthest boundary in hopes to solidify our vision. My hope is that you come along for the ride, and embark on the next chapter with us."

The iTunes-exclusive LP will also include B-sides, acoustic tracks, a video documenting the boys filmmaking journey, and 150 never-before-seen photos by famed photographer Dirk Mai. 

Check out one of those exclusive photos, only on Poison Ivy, above.

Photo of the Day

[The Doggie Gaga Project: XOCHITL, December 2010, by Jesse Freidin, via The Luxury Spot]

Tom Colicchio: "Pizza is Like Sex" at Feast Talks

Tom Colicchio dropped by the new Lacoste store at the Gansevoort Park Hotel Saturday afternoon for a "Feast Talks" Q&A with The Feast editor Ben Leventhal.

"Pizza is like sex," Colicchio told Leventhal and a handful of guests in the audience. "There's good and better, but none of it's bad."

Read more of our favorite excerpts from Colicchio's Q&A, below, including his rave about Amy Sedaris, what makes the top chef angry, and why he'd never wait 45 minutes for a burger.

BL: What do you crave?
TC: Sleep, right now. In the worst way.

BL: Do you know your limits?
TC: Sure, I do. In fact, we had a meeting yesterday with my managing team and decided that with the exception of one project that's in the works, that we're not working on new restaurants for this year. No more new restaurants, we're going to focus on what we have. In fact, we're actually closing our first restaurant in Atlanta.

BL: What won't you share?
TC: My wife. 

BL: What makes you angry?
TC: You know when you're walking down the street, especially in New York on a busy street and someone just decides to stop in front of you. If you're going to stop or slow down, get off to the side. It's like the exit lane... You guys gotta move. That, and the guy in the left-hand lane who has to drive 55 miles an hour and gives you this look that's like, 'That's the speed limit! Sorry!' That's a passing lane! That is not a driving lane. The driving lane is the center lane or the right lane. If you're not passing a car, get out of that lane. If I'm gonna drive 90 miles an hour because I have this radar detector, let me do it. Just get out of the way.

BL: If you were to win an award tomorrow, what would it be for?
TC: Dad of the year. 

BL: What great idea should have been yours?
TC: Facebook. I would have been on the cover of Time as Man of the Year. Cool. [Laughs]. I just wish I created Top Chef. Would have been a lot more lucrative. 

BL: What do you want to get for the holidays?
TC: Well, they passed the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act, I've been lobbying pretty hard for that one. It adds additional money to school lunch programs, also creates after-school programs, summer feeding programs, breakfast programs... The fact that we have 49 million Americans in this country that are food insecure, meaning that in the course of the month they will not be able to put food on the table for themselves and for their children, should not happen in this country. They should not be hungry. It's a step in the right direction.   

BL: I think this is by far the best season of Top Chef, probably because we know all the characters, and they're the craziest and most talented. You do have to wonder though, how do you top this?
TC: I'm going to announce the winner right now... You ready? [Laughs]. Actually we don't have a winner yet. We haven't done a finale. But I don't know. It's a good question... We have to come up with something that's different, shake it up. We have to get great contestants, but it's going to be tough to follow this season. I think because the contestants are familiar with us, they're giving us a lot of shit, which is fine. I actually like it. I like that they're sticking up for themselves, I like that they're telling us we're wrong. 

BL: You were talking with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens after Top Chef the other night, and you said that Anthony Bourdain is perhaps a little harder on the contestants that he should be.
TC: I didn't mean harder. I think [Anthony's] statements are just over the top. I think he does it for effect. I don't think he's any harder, but he is clearly a lot less measured than I would be when it comes to critiquing. But he's great to have around. You never know what's going to come out of his mouth. Half the time I have to be careful I'm not drinking because it's going to come out of my nose. 

BL: Is there a lot of discussion that goes on behind the scenes with the judges?
TC: You know, what's interesting is, we don't discuss the challenge or the food unless we're on camera. Because we're not actors and we can't recreate it and it sort of sounds staged. So we only discuss food when the cameras are rolling. And, contrary to popular belief, the producers have absolutely no say at all on who stays and who goes on the show. In fact, they're not allowed to eat the food... They let us do what we want to do. Personalities never come into play because we don't see the personalities. We're not allowed to interact with the contestants while we're shooting.

BL: Judges table... if you could have anyone, living or dead, who would you have up there?
TC: Jim Harrison. Great writer and also major major foodie. The only major chef that we haven't had on is Mario Batali, and he watches the show! He just won't come on. And he's also good friends with Jim [Harrison], so I think that'd be a lot of fun... After working with Amy Sedaris the other night, I think she is a riot. She could be on any show she wants to be. She is so fast and so quick and witty, and physical, too. I was completely blown away. 

BL: Why won't Mario come on the show?
TC: I don't know. Cause it's not the Mario show I guess. [Laughs]. But I've tried. We'll eventually snag him. 

BL: Your newest three-star restaurant is Colicchio & Sons... and it's popping.
TC: It's popping. It's doing well. We're doing all right. That was the toughest opening I've ever been through, and I think part of it was because prior to that, I did a lot of restaurant openings, but it was all prior to Top Chef. Where I get to sometimes partially judge other chefs. So I had a feeling a lot of people were coming in lokoing for a lot of payback. That was a tough opening. We got slammed, with the exception of two major reviewers.

BL: You have said the way diners use restaurants has changed. What do you mean?
TC: The idea that, with cell phones, you sit down at a table and all the phones come out. You have a very spare attention span. A dish comes out, you gotta check your phone. Buzzer goes off, you gotta check your email. Just the idea of sitting around a table and having a conversation that can sustain itself for more than five minutes before you have to check your next email, it doesn't happen. Restaurants kind of came of age in the late 80s when everyone would be going out to Studio 54, doing whatever they were doing there, and when they finally came down from that buzz and they realized that they couldnt keep doing that, it was like, 'Wow, what can we do now for entertainment? We can't go dancing all night, and we actually now have an appetite.' So restaurants became the fashionable place to go and entertain. And it seems to be going back in the direction where its a party, eating is just a small part of it. 

BL: As some people may know, chef is becoming more and more active on Twitter. is that a reaction to the fact people are staring at screens all day and you feel its important to get information their way?
TC: When Colicchio & Sons opened up I gave an interview to a newspaper and it got totally twisted around. And I said, I gotta control this message thing better. I can't believe this stuff. Having someone interview me and taking out what they like. So, it was about controlling the message. But I have fun with it. I don't do a whole lot of food stuff on Twitter. For me, it's more music and politics and social commentary, and occasionally there's food in there. but its a great way to interact with fans and people who are like-minded. Breaking news comes through faster than anything on Twitter. So it's a great way to control the message and get the message out there.

From audience: Do you think Chicago is overtaking New York as a food city?
It's a great question. I think New York is still number one, but Chicago is without a doubt number two... One thing that Chicago has done better... the diners have embraced the avant-garde movement... I think they're more accepting of that. My favorite chef in the country is probably Paul Kahan... and he's doing some great stuff there with Blackbird, Publican... and now he has Big Star, a great taco place. There's so much going on in Chicago. Although, I'd hate to spend a winter there. 

From audience: What trend do you see going away in 2011 and what do you predict will be big?
I hope this burger/pizza thing dies down, and it just becomes what they are: burgers and pizza. What I mean is, I love a great burger, I love making a great burger, but it's not the end of the world! Pizza too. You know the saying, 'pizza is like sex. There's good and better, but none of it's bad.' Seriously, why would anybody wait 45 minutes in line for a burger? I don't get it... I don't understand it. In the cold? In the heat? You got an hour lunch break but you wait 45 minutes. Okay. I guess it's that good. On positive side, Cambodia, Vietnam... I think we're going to start seeing chefs that are going to travel to other places in Asia and bring that food back. If you look at Asian food, it's one cuisine that most dishes get all four flavor senses. They get that sweet, salty, acid, bitter. And that's why when you eat it, it does something to your mouth. It wakes you up. Whereas European food that we've all grown up on, or maybe in the restaurant business grown up on, it hits maybe two. From judging enough food, I can say, when something is spicy and has acid, you remember it.

From audience: What's your favorite under-the-radar restaurant?

I gotta say, I'm the worst person in the world to ask what's going on out there in restaurants. I don't get out much. I really don't. My favorite stand-by is Barbuto cause it's two blocks from my house. Between work, I have a 15-month old, I have a 17-year-old, I have another one on the way in March, so much of my time gets taken up making sure I get that right.

[Photo by LACOSTE]

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tweet of the Day

"Now if we could all have the right to marry, that'd be something. One step at a time. repealed!"

-Sasha Grey Tweets

Spotted: Johnny Depp at Justin Bieber Concert!


Curveball of the day goes to Johnny Depp, who was spotted hanging out at the Justin Bieber concert Saturday night at Miami's American Airlines Arena (photo above posted by singer Avery to her Facebook page).

"Johnny Depp wants to hear 'Baby'!" Bieber announced from the stage.


Even the great Depp is not immune to Bieber fever!!

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