Carla Gugino isn’t just a pretty face

We already know that Carla Gugino is smoking hot, but she’s also proven on numerous occasions that she’s a pretty good actress as well. (Her recurring guest spot on HBO’s “Entourage” is still one of our personal favorites.) And though Gugino has never been shy in front of the camera, the actress is always eager to show that she can play a variety of roles. She elaborated on the matter in a recent interview with Bullz-Eye’s Will Harris:

For me, it’s always been about that. It’s really about…you know, I’m so thrilled that [“The Mighty Macs”] is a G-rated family movie that everybody can go to, because that story is so appropriate for that. And I love that “Californication” is made for adults. It’s a totally different kind of humor and a different kind of… yeah, it’s a much sexier show and all those things. And then I’m about to go do an Athol Fugard play on Broadway with Rosemary Harris and Jim Dale, which is a decidedly different thing. So to me, aside from the people that I love, acting really is the love of my life. I want to be able to play everything and be able to disappear into roles and have people accept and believe me in those. I’m much more interested in that than my image as an actor. So it is thrilling to be able to mix it up, and I’m appreciative that I get to do that.

Head over to Bullz-Eye to read the full interview, including more about her new film “The Mighty Macs” and past projects like the short-lived TV series “Karen Sisco.”

  

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

Related Posts

SXSW 2011: Girl Walks Into a Bar

Sebastian Gutierrez’s new comedy, “Girl Walks Into a Bar,” may not be the third installment in the director’s much-talked about “Women” trilogy, but it very well could be considering the talent involved. Instead, it’s an entirely separate movie with a twist of its own – the first major motion picture produced exclusively for the web. It’s an interesting experiment that could revolutionize the way that independent cinema is distributed in the future, especially for those not fortunate enough to live in a major city. But while the movie makes good on its promise of delivering big stars and high-level production values, “Girl Walks Into a Bar” is Gutierrez’s weakest film to date – a movie that most people will probably only watch because it’s free.

The film begins, fittingly enough, with a girl walking into a bar. The woman in question is undercover private detective Francine (Carla Gugino), who’s there to meet with a nervous dentist named Nick (Zachary Quinto) under the pretense that she’s an assassin hired to kill his cheating wife, completely unaware that Francine is recording the entire conversation. But when she loses the evidence after a modish pickpocket (Aaron Tveit) makes off with her purse, Francine sets off a chain of events that connects a seemingly unrelated group of people, including an exotic dancer (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a retired criminal (Robert Forster), and a sex-starved student (Rosario Dawson) working part-time at a nudist ping pong club.

girl_walks_into_a_bar

It’s essentially just a series of vignettes that take place in different bars and clubs throughout Los Angeles, with Gutierrez relying on the relationships between his characters to form the connective tissue of the story. He’s used a similar structure before in films like “Women in Trouble” and “Elektra Luxx,” but with “Girl Walks Into a Bar,” the breaks in between each section feel less like a transition than an opportunity for advertisers to plug their product. Granted, the movie wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for these advertisers, but if the viewing experience is marred as a result of forced commercial breaks, then what’s the point of changing the system?

Gutierrez’s obsession with exploring the psyches of his characters via theatrical fantasy sequences also messes with the flow of the film. They look great in comparison to the static two shots that populate most of the movie (especially one featuring Chriqui as a stripper with a unique insight into the minds of men), but they’re a distraction at best. “Girl Walks Into a Bar” is much better off when it just lets its characters talk, because as Gutierrez’s sharp-witted script proves once again, he’s a far superior writer than a director. It’s no wonder he’s able to assemble such talented ensemble casts, because his dialogue is outstanding, and it makes the performances feel really natural. Unfortunately, it takes more than just great dialogue to make a good movie, and though “Girl Walks Into a Bar” isn’t bad for a film being offered for free, filmmakers will need to adopt a much better attitude than that if online distribution is going to succeed.

  

Related Posts

Trailers after dark: “Elektra Luxx” sets the porn industry on fire, or something

As if to give me an excuse to simply mention the name “Charlie Sheen” in the hopes of increasing our web-sters or googleties or whatever they’re called, along comes this trailer for “Elektra Luxx.” It’s a comedy about the porn business with a rather remarkable cast — Carla Gugino, Malin Ackerman, Timothy Olyphant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for starters — and, though it’s just possible this might not be a masterpiece, this trailer gave me one or two of best laughs I’ve had in a week or so.

That Gordon-Levitt guy is such a card.

Anyhow, “Elektra Luxx” is actually a sequel to a Pedro Almodovar-esque looking movie called “Women in Trouble” from writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez, and it played at SXSW almost a year back. If you want to catch up before this comes out in March, and I sort of want to, the first film is available on Netflix streaming, so I just might be checking it out some lazy day.

Semi h/t (their version wasn’t embeddable): JoBlo.

  

Related Posts

Winter 2011 TCA Press Tour: Day 10 – or – The Day Will Hit the Wall

The TCA tour lasts for about two weeks. That’s two weeks away from your family where you’re spending the majority of your time sitting in a hotel ballroom, listening to panel after panel about upcoming TV shows. Don’t get me wrong: I’m enough of a TV geek that I enjoy it from start to finish, but at a certain point, you find that your enjoyment begins to be regularly supplanted by the desire to just grab your shit and go the hell home. As a professional, I do my best to rise above this, which is why I invariably stick it out ’til the very last panel of the tour, but when you start considering the shit-grabbing and home-going more often than you find yourself thinking, “Say, this show sounds pretty good / awful,” this is what is known in TV critic parlance as “hitting the wall.”

And, baby, I have hit it.

When I woke up on the morning of Day 10 of the tour, I had a headache. It was the first time I’d had one since arriving in Pasadena, and, of course, I took it for what it was: a sign that both my body and mind were ready to return to Virginia. Little did I realize that it was really more of a portent of the evil that would cross my path on this day…but we’ll get to that. With a job to do, I popped a couple of Motrin, swigged some coffee, and entered into the day’s panels, which consisted of shows from the CBS family of networks, which includes, of course, CBS (“Chaos,” “Mad Love,” “The Good Wife”), but also Showtime (“The Borgias,” “Shameless,” “Californication,” “Episodes”) and The CW (“Shedding for the Wedding”). There were also executive sessions for the various networks, as well as one for the “Kick Ass Women of The CW,” featuring stars from “Hellcats,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Nikita,” and “Smallville.”

Looking at the talent list for the various panels, there were certainly people I wanted to chat with, but I’ve always had trouble picking up interviews for Showtime series, a fact which all but killed my chances with many of the most interesting actors in attendance, including Jeremy Irons, William H. Macy, David Duchovny, and Matt LeBlanc. Heck, I couldn’t even pull a one-on-one with Colm Feore, although I did end up chatting with him later in the evening while pretending to be Canadian. (Don’t ask.) But I did at least make it into post-panel scrums for Irons, Macy, and the ever-gorgeous Carla Gugino, so there’s that, at least. And amongst the cast of CBS’s “Mad Love” is the always amiable Tyler Labine, who I’ve been interviewing at TCA since my first tour, when “Reaper” debuted, so he and I got in a good one-on-one.

Most of my afternoon, however, was spent in a funk. Maybe it’s because I’d hit the wall, but I found myself getting progressively grumpier about the way various actors’ personal publicists were acting. One assured me that I could do a walk-and-talk with their client, who was in a rush to get to another appointment, only to promise the same thing to another writer moments later and leave me in the dust. Another deigned to let me do a one-on-one with her client, then – outside of her client’s line of vision – starting tapping her watch ferociously before I’d even had two minutes of conversation. (This was particularly infuriating because the writers before and after me had neither a time limit nor been “chaperoned” during their interviews.) It was also a major bummer that the evening event was an hour-long cocktail party where the attendees were limited to the shows on The CW which were represented on the network’s panels.

Despite my relatively grouchy attitude throughout the day, there were still some highlights on the panels that are worth mentioning, so here they are…

1. Q: Given Charlie Sheen’s antics over the weekend, how would you characterize your level of concern about him, and what is the network doing to help him?
Nina Tassler (with all due sarcasm): Well, I really didn’t expect that question this morning. So I’m just…I’m really taken by surprise. Look, obviously, we’ve thought, and I personally have thought, a lot about this, and we have a high level of concern. How could we not? But I have to speak to this personally first. On a very basic, human level, concern, of course. This man is a father. He’s got children. He has a family. So, obviously, there’s concern on a personal level. But you can’t look at it simplistically. Charlie is a professional. He comes to work. He does his job extremely well. We are taping tonight, and it’s…it’s very complicated, but we have a very good relationship with Warner Bros. I have a tremendous trust and respect in the way they are managing the situation. So, on a personal level, obviously concerned. On a professional level, he does his job, he does it well, the show is a hit, and…that’s really all I have to say.

2. Question: Jason, what about your character (in “Mad Love”)?
Jason Biggs: Without giving too much away, obviously, I have sex with a sheet cake in the second episode.
Sarah Chalke: We weren’t going to reveal that!
Judy Greer: Way to go.
Jason Biggs: I don’t know if that’s a spoiler alert. Sorry, guys.
Judy Greer: That’s the cake we used for what’s her name’s birthday? Just kidding.
Jason Biggs: Yes. Yes, it was.
Judy Greer: I had a piece of that!
Jason Biggs: No. There are some situations. I wouldn’t say they are exactly, you know, akin to some of the I mean, let’s be honest. Those were very R rated, and some pushing NC 17 scenarios.
Matt Tarses: He loses his pants in Staten Island.
Jason Biggs: But I do lose my pants in Staten Island. So you do see me pantsless, which I think is what my fans demand of me in general and but yeah, there are some I mean, Matt has written, for all of us, some kinds of crazy situations. I mean, it’s inherent to this format, I think, is to create situations that are quite comical and kind of crazy. And for someone who can the person that does it right, they are funny, but they are also grounded in reality somehow, and they are with characters that you like and all that good stuff. And I feel like that’s what’s happening here. So, among those situations, which I believe there are some in every episode, one of them I lose my pants in Staten Island. The other one I have sex with a sheet cake.

3. Q: Freddy, describe what happens when you read a script that says, “Next, Rick eats a scorpion.” What was that like? And when you filmed it…I’m sure you didn’t eat a scorpion, but whatever you were holding…
Freddy Rodriquez: How are you so sure?
Q: It looked realistic. You were holding something that was wiggly and scary. Just describe what it was like when you heard you were going to do it and what it was like to do that scene.
Freddy Rodriquez: Well, to be honest, I wasn’t sure what it was going to be when I got there. And when I got there, if you remember, Tom…
Tom Spezialy: Oh, I remember.

Freddy Rodriguez: …it was a real scorpion. I had a slight anxiety attack, to be honest, right? And then I got over it. And then I asked Brett Ratner to hold it. I would do it if he would hold it, and he refused, and we had an exchange. And after a while I got over it, and it was fun. I mean, when I read the script, there were so many great things that my character was doing in the pilot that I had to be involved even if it had to do with holding a scorpion. It was a real scorpion. I think they put Krazy Glue on the stinger, (but), yeah, it was real.
Q: What does it look like to see that thing wiggling in front of your eyes?
Freddy Rodriguez: Scary. It’s scary.
Tom Spezialy: It peed on him.
Freddy Rodriguez: Oh, yeah, it did. At one point in the night, it just…I didn’t enjoy the experience…it started peeing on me. And I didn’t know what it was. I just thought it was, like, spraying me with some sort of poison or…I wasn’t sure what it was, but it was urine.
Eric Close: Are you sure it was urine?
Freddy Rodriguez: Yeah, it was urine. Gave me golden sunshine, I guess.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts

Entourage 7.4 – Tequila Sunrise

It was bad enough with one “Full House” cast member dropping by every season, but now we’ve got to deal with John Stamos too? What’s next, Eric revives Dave Coulier’s voice acting career? All kidding aside, The Stamos positively stole the show on tonight’s episode as a vainglorious parody of himself when he came to visit Drama regarding his sitcom. Stamos absolutely nailed the part – from referring to Drama as Jimmy, to almost completely ignoring him in favor of talking to Vince – but it was nice to see Drama get a few jabs in as well. I nearly fell off my couch from laughing when, after winning the serve at the beginning of their first ping pong match, he declared, “It’s going to be a long day for Uncle Jesse.”

The fun didn’t stop there, either, as Drama was challenged to a second match later in the episode at the ping pong club where Stamos trains three times a week. Stamos even promises Drama that he’ll do the show if he can beat him, but it didn’t matter, because even though Stamos won, he still agreed to read the script. Of course, Drama claims that he threw the match on purpose, but does anyone really buy that? I know Phil told him that he needed to stroke Stamos’ ego by letting him win, but with such big stakes on the line, it seems like too big of a gamble for Drama to take. Plus, he’s just as arrogant as Stamos, so I guess we’ll never know.

entourage_7-4

At least we have one less rivalry to keep track of now that Eric and Scotty Lavin have made amends. Though it certainly took them long enough to man up and apologize to one another for being dicks, Eric had no choice after he discovered that the “Airwalker” script that Scotty was pushing him to read was actually pretty good. Even Vince likes it, describing it as a darker version of “Aquaman,” so it looks like that’s going to be his next project. And perhaps with no copyrights to worry about, we’ll actually see him in costume this time around. While that should make for an interesting subplot for next season’s premiere, the story I’m more curious about how Eric and Scotty’s new partnership develops. We haven’t seen Murray at all this season, so it’ll be interesting to see what he thinks of their plans for the future, or better yet, if Scotty is just playing Eric for his own benefit.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Related Posts