FRINGE - A New York Conversations Event with Stars Anna Torv & John Noble


Fringe The Screen Actors Guild Foundation invites union members to a New York Conversations Event with  FRINGE stars Anna Torv and John Noble.  The event will be held on Tuesday, May 17th at the Paley Center for Media. 

Critically acclaimed FRINGE continues to explore otherworldly cases with endless impossibilities.

Set in Boston, the FBI’s Fringe Division was introduced when Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) enlisted institutionalized “fringe” scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his globe-trotting, jack-of-all-trades son, Peter (Joshua Jackson), to help in the investigation of an airline disaster that defied human logic. After the defining case was solved and revealed to be one of a series of unusual incidents linked together, the unlikely trio supervised by Special Agent Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick) and assisted by Junior Agent Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) was formed.

Created by J.J. Abrams & Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci, FRINGE is produced by Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Space is limited.  RSVP Required.  This event is open to Union Members - SAG/AFTRA/Equity.  Register here to attend!

Funded by grants and donations, the non-profit Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s free programs assist, educate and inspire actors toward their fullest potential in career, life and community. Celebrate the actor – support the SAG Foundation!


Playwright Doric Wilson Dies; Science Play Attracts Stars

Alda • Doric Wilson, a champion of gay rights and an early figure in New York City's Off-Off-Broadway scene, died May 7 at the age of 72. Read his obituary at Playbill.

• Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Live Schreiver are among other performers taking part in a reading of a new play written by Alan Alda about the Nobel prize winner Mare Curie. The New York Times has the story.

• The New Yorker visits Pixar's headquarters to figure how it keeps making all those hits. (Subscription needed)

• Dana Wynter, who was known for her role in 1956's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," died Thursday. She was 79 years old. Read her obituary at The Hollywood Reporter.

Pictured: Alan Alda (Photo: Getty Images)

'Bridesmaids' Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy in the News

Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in  Bridesmaids movie image_03
Those clever folks at Vulture have written up this hilarious and revealing guide: "How to Write a Profile of Kristen Wiig." As much as I love "Bridesmaids" and Wiig, I have to admit that sometimes I don't pursue certain actors for projects because I know they're going to be covered ad nauseum. But Wiig deserves all the attention for her wonderful work as both writer and star of the funniest movie I've seen all year.

Speaking of "Bridesmaids" (and I will--a lot), has a great piece by Karen Valby that perfectly sums up my feelings: Melissa McCarthy needs to be a giant movie star. In it, McCarthy discusses the pathetic Marie Claire blog "Should Fatties Get a Room?" She also addresses criticisms that, as a woman of size, her character is the butt of jokes in the film. (These critics clearly haven't seen the film--McCarthy plays a confident, sexual, wonderfully well-adjusted woman among a group of basket cases.)

Anyway, if you don't want to get into a whole discussion of this, I also suggest you skip the comments section of the article--it seems there's plenty of "helpful" people who want to suggest the radically new idea that McCarthy should lose weight. You know, because they're so concerned about her health. Of course, the brilliant McCarthy has many defenders, as well. All I can say is I've met McCarthy in person a couple of times and am always taken aback by how stunning she is. I'm not talking in spite of or because of her weight. Beautiful is beautiful, and McCarthy literally glows. As for the guys who want to criticize from their keyboards, don't get so stressed out.  I have no doubt that McCarthy is way out of your league.

--Jenelle Riley

Barbra Streisand On Failed 'The Normal Heart' Film, and Why Larry Kramer Is "Rewriting History"

Barbra streisand and larry kramer

Barbra Streisand and Larry Kramer both spoke to EW recently about their failed attempt to adapt The Normal Heart, Kramer's 1985 play about the beginning if the AIDS epidemic (the Tony-nominated revival of which is currently on Broadway), for the big screen. Of course, they blame each other for the project never being completed, after more than a decade of working together.

Streisand, who had planned to direct the film, calls Kramer "brilliant, courageous, stubborn, and self-destructive" and says that the playwright would not allow for the creative adjustments necessary to adapt the play from stage to screen. "I was using the best of [the play]," she told EW. "But there are certain things you do for film. Larry only wanted to use his screenplay. I couldn’t have my hands tied artistically." Kramer, on the other hand, claims that Streisand wanted to rewrite the play to make her character the star and marginalize the protagonist and other central gay characters.

Today, in a "truth alert" published on her official website, Streisand tries to set the record straight with the following statement:

I’ve endured Larry Kramer’s outbursts in the past, not wishing to dignify them with a response. But at a time when we are all pulling together to achieve such giant steps toward gay equality, it is anguishing to me to have my devotion to this cause so distorted. I think my efforts for the gay community and my immersion in securing its constitutional entitlement and other equitable rights is quite evident and a matter of record.

During the time we were trying to move The Normal Heart forward, my production company, Barwood Films, made the TV films Serving In Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story—which brought home to millions of Americans the painful truth about the disparate treatment of gays in the military, and What Makes A Family?—about gay adoption. Perhaps it’s time for me to disclose why my earnest and passionate efforts to direct The Normal Heart as a film were frustrated.

Continue reading "Barbra Streisand On Failed 'The Normal Heart' Film, and Why Larry Kramer Is "Rewriting History"" »

CUNY to Reconsider Vote Against Kushner

Kushner Due to immense pressure, the City University of New York board moved on Friday to reverse its vote that denied playwright Tony Kushner from receiving an honorary degree. Last week, one trustee, Jeffrey S. Winsenfeld, spoke ardently against Kushner, claiming the Pulitzer-prize winning scribe had highly criticized the State of Israel in the past. The board then voted to remove Kushner's name from a list of 40 honorary degree candidates.  Kushner learned of these events later and refuted Wisenfeld's declarations, clarifying that that he passionately supports Israel's right to exist.

Continue reading "CUNY to Reconsider Vote Against Kushner" »

Yes! Stanley Tucci in 'Hunger Games'!

Now here's a casting choice I can get behind, and one that makes me think maybe director Gary Ross knows what he's doing with "The Hunger Games" series, after all. The wonderful Stanley Tucci will be playing TV host Caesar Flickerman in the first film of the trilogy. And there's no one better at innunedo than Tucci--I can picture his slick smile and winking knowingness already.

I wasn't wild about the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen (great actress, but not at all what I pictured) and the casting of Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson as her love interests Gale and Peeta warranted just a shrug. But Ross is filling out his supporting players nicely, from Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket (thank you for not going the obvious Kristin Chenoweth route) to Wes Bentley (welcome back!) as Head Gamemaker Seneca Crane.

Now, the burning question remains: who will play Haymitch, the lovable drunkard who trains Katniss and Peeta for the life-or-death Hunger Games? The buzz still says Robert Downey Jr. would be the best choice for the role, and that's hard to argue with. Hugh Laurie has been mentioned, but it seems to obvious. Lately, a horrible rumor has been circulating that John C. Reilly is in talks for the role. Look, Reilly is a fantastic actor and he can do the sad sack part, but I'm not so sure he can convey a man who has killed and witnessed atrocities. Remember "Gangs of New York"? Baby-faced gangsters just don't work.

Still holding out some hope that Ross might cast one of his MVPs, William H. Macy. He might be a bit old for the part but hey, Haymitch has lived a rough life.

--Jenelle Riley

Watch New 'Catch Me If You Can' Commercial and Behind-the-Scenes Video

Travel back to the '60s in this new ad for the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can. The new commercial from SpotCo. is titled "Jet Set" and features the show's flight attendant chorus girls performing on the wings of a plane and showing off their legs for Aaron Tveit, who stars as Frank Abagnale, Jr. in the production.

Continue reading "Watch New 'Catch Me If You Can' Commercial and Behind-the-Scenes Video" »

IT Boy: Chris O'Dowd


Unless you're a big fan of BBC sitcoms (and who isn't??) you might not of heard of Chris O'Dowd. That will change after next week, when O'Dowd will be seen romancing Kristen Wiig in the soon-to-be-blockbuster comedy "Bridesmaids." I loved this movie so much--I expected it to be hilarious, but I wasn't prepared for how sweet and romantic and insightful about female friendships it ended up being. But first and foremost, it's really, really funny.

O'Dowd is best known (or maybe only known) to American audiences for his work as Roy, the surly IT technician on the British comedy "The IT Crowd." If you haven't checked out this show, catch it on IFC or even watch it online, full episodes are on YouTube. It details the adventures of a pair of IT workers and their female boss, who knows nothing about computers. That doesn't sound like the greatest sell, but just trust me when I say the show is hysterically funny and one of the best workplace comedies I've ever seen. The cast is terrific. O'Dowd's co-star is the hilarious Richard Ayoade, who plays the childlike nerd Moss. Ayoade has been so memorable on shows like "Garth Marenghi's Dark Place" and "The Mighty Boosh"; in America, he has directed episodes of "Community." His film, "Submarine," comes out next month.

In one famous episode, the gang goes to see a musical and Roy pretends to be disabled when he's caught using the handicapped bathroom. His lie spins out of control when he says his wheelchair was stolen. Every time someone asks him what's specficially wrong with him, he can only respond: "I'm...disabled!"

I spoke to O'Dowd earlier this week, and when I cited this episode, he told me that it's one of his favorites. He also revealed a funny story that occurred while he was doing a play last year:

"People would come to the stage door afterwards, to talk and to get autographs. This little kid came up and asked for a picture, then said, 'Can you do me one more favor?' I said, 'Yeah?' He said, 'Can you say, "I’m disabled?" ' And I was like of course—but I looked behind him and there was a kid in a wheelchair! And I was trying, without making it obvious, to say to the kid, 'Listen, I’m sorry, I can’t.' And he was like, 'Why not?' I just said, 'I can’t, I'm sorry.' He was so disappointed when we went off. Then the kid in the wheelchair came up and said, 'Can I get your autograph?' I said, 'Of course!' He said, 'And can you say," I’m disabled?" ' "

--Jenelle Riley

Survey Says Arts Grads Find Work; Tierney Flys Again!

Sada • The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project has released the results of its 2010 survey, which insinuate that the employment opportunities for arts graduates are about equal to that of others, reported The New York Times.

• Christopher Tierney, who less than five months ago plummeted 35 feet in a performance of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" and sustained a fractured skull among other injures, executed the same stunt again during rehearsal without incident. Clearly, Tierney has taken method acting to a new level by actually becoming Spider-Man. Check it out at The Hollywood Reporter.

• Tony- and Emmy-winning actress Sada Thompson, known for her portrayals of maternal characters, died Wednesday. She was 83. Read her obituary at The New York Times.

• Independent studio the Film Department is closing shop on May 27. The studio was launched three years ago at the pinnacle of independent movie financing, but it soon ran into financial problems that continually plagued its run. Deadline and Los Angeles Times have got the story.

Pictured: James Broderick and Sada Thompson in television series "'Family" (Photo: Getty Images)

CUNY Denies Tony Kushner Honorary Degree

Tony The City University of New York's John Jay College had planned to give an honorary degree to Tony Kushner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Angels in America", but on May 2, the college's board of trustees voted against awarding Kushner the honor. The recent decision came after Jeffrey S. Wisenfeld, a CUNY trustee, said that Kushner had highly criticized Israel in the past.

Continue reading "CUNY Denies Tony Kushner Honorary Degree" »

© 2012 Back Stage. All rights reserved. Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.