Yes, I would hit this in a a blink of a lamb s eye but I m afraid Duncan James is only interested in himself so the best bet is to get a Duncan James fac ... Continue reading
Presented by the Echo Theater Company, the play, by out playwright Gary Lennon (who also has extensive credits in film and TV) looks at a family of three estranged brothers one a felon, one an addict and the other a writer (who happens to be gay) and what happens when they come back together. With much humor to balance out some of the play s heavier moments, the focus is on the idea that family is the thing that brings us together as well as what tears us apart. Hopefully the production will also convince people that great theater can indeed be found in the film/television-driven world of Hollywood.
We talked with Stephens and Lennon recently about the project s subject matter as well as grabbed an update on DTLA from Stephens. AfterElton: Gary, on a scale of 1-10, how autobiographical is A Family Thing (10 being VERY, 1 being NOT AT ALL)? Gary Lennon: I would say that the play is about a 7 in retelling my own family story.
There are bits and pieces that are exaggerated and some that are toned down and some that are made up of fantasy. AE: How was it reliving a lot of your own experiences with your family for the sake of writing this play? GL: Being gay in my family was not easy.
It was a very blue collar/macho world and my brothers were not happy about it. It was cathartic to write this play because I got to have a few conversations that I never had a chance to have with my brothers. It was healing in a lot of ways and has me thinking that maybe, just maybe, my eldest brother and I can possibly make a go of it and rekindle our relationship.
Right now, we have not spoken in about 6 years. Sean's brother ( Johnny Messner, center ) isn't thrilled with Sean being gay...or his new BF AE: Darryl, talk about your character in A Family Thing . Darryl Stephens: I play Joe Wheeler.
He's a 'tells it like it is' life coach who was born in Rwanda but has lived in New York for most of his life. In the script it says, Joe appreciates damaged goods and clearance sales, hence, his relationship with Sean. Joe and Sean - played with gritty vulnerability by Sean Wing - meet at an emotionally pivotal moment in Sean's life and they have an immediate connection.
Sparks fly, pants drop, and they fall for each other. The play is really about Sean and his two brothers, Frank ( Saverio Guerra ) and Jimmy ( Johnny Messner ). They were all raised in such a volatile home, they never learned how to express their love for each other.
Growing up in Hell's Kitchen (before the gentrification), all they know is violence and crime. The only emotions they understand are fear and anger. Joe lost his entire family in the genocide in Rwanda and he helps Sean gain some perspective on the importance of family.
It ultimately boils down to loving the people in your life for who they are, rather than resenting them for who they're not. It's about not wasting time being angry about the past. AE: Casting is always key to any play.
How was it casting the main roles, including the role based on you? GL: Casting the play was hard because we were looking for guys who are knock-around guys/neighborhood guys, and out here in LA, everyone is so shiny and pretty and so well put together and that was not what we were looking for. We lucked out with our cast.
They are talented and lived in. These guys have been around the block, once or twice. Casting an actor to play my younger self was hard but Sean Wing does a great job.
He is clearly the better looking me at a younger age, but the thing I like about Sean the most is that he brings himself to the role and he didn't try to do an imitation of me. AE: You guys have worked together before, with last year's production of The Interlopers . Darryl, what is it about his writing that makes you want to be a part of the show?
DS: I just dig Gary's storytelling. He has such an original view of the world. He has a real talent for exposing the ugliness of a character in a way that is so human and honest that you can't help but fall in love with them.
There are no good guys and no bad guys in his work. These are all just people dealing with the cards they were dealt the only way they know how. These characters are beautiful and flawed and driven by love and fear, the way we all are.
I love that. I also love that--at least in the two plays of his that I've done--he weaves issues surrounding sexuality into larger stories without being preachy or pedantic. Sexuality is sloppy and people are complicated.
Gary gets that and I love the way he illuminates the dirtiness of humanity without compromising the humor or the sweetness of the story. He tugs at your heart without condescending. Yeah, I'm a Gary Lennon fan, if you can't tell.
AE: And Gary, what doe s Darryl bring to the role of Joe? GL: Darryl is a really gifted actor. He has played two very different roles for me.
In A Family Thing what Darryl brings to the character are qualities that are inimitable. When Darryl walks on stage as Joe you immediately feel like you are in the presence of a smart, humorous, strong man, who has great compassion for his fellow man, because he has lived a full and colorful life. Darryl is a bit mysterious, which is a quality I love in an actor and which is perfect for this part.
Darryl knows when to be in control and when to let go. When to speak up and when to listen. Darryl asks smart questions and is game to try anything in rehearsal.
Gary Lennon has written for television shows like Justified and The Shield as well as his film .45. AE: Darryl, is there a difference in how you approach a character on stage as opposed to TV/film?? DS: Well, the beautiful thing about working on stage is that we usually have about a month to prepare.
We get to really explore and just dig into the guts of these characters and break down who they are and what each scene we're working on is truly about. Often times in television, we do a table read, we rehearse for a couple days, and then we shoot it. It all moves so quickly that we don't have much time to make sense of the material.
With this play, we rehearse five days a week and talk about the characters and the scenes all day long. It's a blessing to have the time to share our ideas of the story we're telling and bounce ideas off each other and experiment with how we approach each scene. I think this process actually gives me tools to approach TV and film work more thoroughly.
For a long time, TV was my primary focus. TV is where the money is and TV is how you build an audience and eventually a long career. But I love doing plays because I get so close with all the actors.
It's almost like boot camp. We're in the trenches with these characters every day. I love each of these actors already and the run hasn't even started yet.
AE: What do you hope people take from the play, Gary? GL: I hope that at the end of the play, when the lights come up that a person in the audience will turn to the person that they came to the theater with and say, I have to call my brother, or sister, or cousin or friend and start a conversation that will inch towards a reconciliation with a loved one, who they've had a hard time with in their life. Life is short.
Love the one your with. AE: You're in such great shape, Darryl, but what's your junk food weakness? DS: Thank you!
I have had to get a little more serious about my workout regimen for this play. Joe was originally this big muscular man from Africa. I'm a pretty small guy in person, so I've been trying to bulk up, just so when someone on stage mentions that, 'Joe is so muscular,' I don't have to hear audience members snorting and scoffing.
My biggest dietary issue is probably that I don't eat often enough. I have breakfast and then I write or rehearse all day and then by three, I remember I should have had something for lunch. That's probably why I've never gotten too big...
in the fatty sense or the muscle-head sense. But to answer your question, my biggest junk food weakness is ice cream (usually something vanilla with chocolate or caramel or candy bar chunks) with Chips Ahoy! cookies crumbled on top.
If people only knew what I looked like in between shirtless projects...it's not cute. Will Logo grant us a second season of DTLA ? Stephens sure hopes so!
AE: What else are you working on, Gary? GL: I just finished the Studio 54 miniseries for Sony and producers Neil Meron and Craig Zaden as well as supervising producer on Jenji Kohan s upcoming Netflix series, Orange Is The New Black. AE: What else are you up to, Darryl?
Any update on Season 2 of DTLA ? DS: We're almost done shooting Doug Spearman's film Hot Guys With Guns . That's going to be a really fun movie.
And DTLA Season 2 is being discussed as we speak. Logo hasn't green lit anything yet, but Larry Kennar and I are on the phone every other day talking about stories and twists and new characters and stuff. I'm also working on two new series with my friends Logan Alexander and Maile Fernandez.
We're writing some female-driven dramas, which is fun because so much of my work has been gay and male-centric. I love that DTLA allowed me to stretch myself as a writer and gave me the opportunity to have real input on the direction of my character. Lenny was such a departure at the time and the experience of executive producing that show felt very necessary for my development as an artist.
I love that people finally got to see that I'm an actor and the role they're probably most familiar with is not me, but a character. Some of them had a hard time adjusting at first, but as time when on and the season unfolded, I think they really started to get it. This feels like this is just the beginning of a whole new path and that is incredibly exciting.
For information on seeing A Family Thing in Los Angeles, The Echo Theater Company. Continue reading
Note - E.J. was shot in November 2007, so technically it wasn't six summers ago ... but you get the idea.
Here's the big moment from yesterday's show.
But I think I prefer it in Will Vision . Continue reading
Specifically designed for both men and women to use before and after sexual activity presumably for those passionate moments when a hot shower isn't an option Playtex's Fresh + Sexy is an intimate wipe "that gets you ready for whatever comes next." Smells a little gimmicky, but the product has definitely piqued our curiosity with a clever ad campaign featuring cheeky fortune cookie slogans like "A clean pecker always taps it" and "A polished knob always gets the most turns." Does your willy need a quick whore's bath?
See the full penis-geared print ads and watch the Fresh + Sexy commercial below. Continue reading
He was never a star, seldom had the leading role in a film and was not a conventional leading man. So why is he important? Harry Carey, Jr.
was the son of a famous silent Western star and created his own career mostly working in the films of legendary director, John Ford. In fact, Harry Carey, Jr.'s connection to John Ford is his principal claim to fame. He not only had roles in most of Ford's great westerns but also wrote a book called Company of Heroes - My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company .
This wonderful book, along with Maureen O'Hara's memoir, are the best of the books on what it was actually like to work with the Oscar winning (A record 4 Best Director Awards) director. Plus growing up I always had a crush on Harry Carey, Jr. - he was cute with killer reddish blond hair and the bashful charm of a true star. Harry Carey, Jr.
was born in 1921. His father was the legendary silent star Harry Carey and his mother - Olive Carey also had roles in many of John Ford's films. (She is the kindly mother who collects Natalie Wood from John Wayne at the end of The Searchers .) When Harry Carey died in 1948, John Ford put his son into 3 Godfathers starring John Wayne. This gorgeous technicolor film is the story of 3 bandits who find an orphan baby and attempt to save it even if it means giving up their freedom.
Harry Carey, Jr. played The Abilene Kid and was sexy as hell as the youngest of the desperadoes. He had a great death scene and the cantankerous Ford has earlier warned him: "You're going to hate me when this picture is over, but you're going to give a great performance." Dobe Carey, as he was called due to his reddish hair, followed with good roles in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande .
He was given his only starring role in Ford's Wagonmaster - a brilliant film (thought to be the director's favorite) and Carey gave a sensational performance. Dobe Carey appeared in a number of John Ford's 50s classics including The Searchers , Mister Roberts , and The Long Grey Line . He also did other films and even television appearing on the popular Spin and Marty Mickey Mouse series as the ranch counselor.
Harry Carey, Jr. worked for the rest of his life. He had a great marriage of 68 years and three children.
But Harry Carey's most valuable contribution to film history may be his wonderfully anecdotal 1974 book in which he talks about all his movies and co-stars like John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara plus his wonderful love/hate relationship with John Ford. Years ago I got to meet Dobe Carey at LACMA where he was signing his book and they were showing 3 Godfathers. I had him autograph my book and the laserdisc of the film.
He was charming then and still handsome in his 50s. Harry Carey, Jr deserves to be remembered for the following reason he points out in his wonderful memoir: "I can see the white billowy clouds that John Ford loved so much, drifting southwest toward Monument Valley. I know everything that's under those clouds.
I watched and heard things that only a handful of other actors have experienced.
I know film history was made under clouds like those, and I was part of it." Continue reading
13 for a second season on HBO. It involves lots of cocaine, but spoiler alert the actors actually snorted B-12 vitamins.
In real life, however, the New Normal star's drug of choice is mimosas at least when it comes to his plans for Mayan Death Day. He and other stars like tie-pusher Jesse Tyler Ferguson were interviewed by People about where they'll be on Dec.
21, when the world's rumored to be ending. Bottoms up!
Check out both clips below. Continue reading
Behind Closed Doors: The Rumored Gay Lives of Hollywood Actors (Illustrated) (Celebrity Issues Series)