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Celebrities in Rehab

It is easy to get swept up in the trappings of Hollywood glamour. We see celebrities and think, ‘if only I could be them.’ The reality is that being famous isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and the Hollywood life can be much harder to navigate then people think. As far back as Hollywood has been around so hasn’t celebrities who have addiction problems. Often these addictions are attempts to self-medicate and escape from a complex world mixed with excess and privilege, along with isolation and extreme pressures.

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry recently went to rehab in an attempt to be proactive in his struggle with addiction to alcohol and prescription medication. It was noted that Perry relapsed after having been to rehab twice before. The first time was while he was a regular cast member on the show Friends in 1997.

Gerard Butler

The 300 star, Gerard Butler checked himself in the Betty Ford clinic and told US magazine in an interview that he “has a pretty addictive personality” and was becoming addicted to prescription drugs. He had the medication because of injuries he sustained from 3 of his films. But when he realized it was getting out of control he went to get help and become “a mental warrior”.

Kirsten Dunst

In an interview with British Elle Kirsten Dunst talks about her time in rehab at the Cirque Lodge. She said her time there was to deal with depression issues she had been struggling with. Ironically Dunst was able to use these personal experiences for a role in Melancholia which made her “the center of attention at the Cannes Film Festival”.

How Celebrities Stay Sober

Actor Martin Sheen told AARP Magazine that he works the AA program and credits his faith in Catholicism to staying sober for so many years. At one time Robert Downy Jr. could have been the poster child for celebrity addiction but it seems he has finally kicked the habit and he credits plenty of yoga, Kung Fu, and the support of his wife for keeping him straight. The types of methods that celebrities will encounter in these treatment facilities include the 12 step programs, care from medical professionals, private counseling and behavior modification, and other treatment that targets the brain imbalance of the addict.

Information about Addiction

According to Intercept Interventions although the US is only about 5% of the world’s population, two-thirds of illegal drugs are consumed here. Between 1995-2005 treatment admissions for addictions to pain killers went up more than 300%. Within the US, 1 in 4 children under 18 are exposed addiction in the family. If you or someone you know is struggling at all with addiction, you can go on sites like DrugRehab.org to find the right place to seek treatment.

With the US alone citing more than 100,000 deaths a year due to drug or alcohol dependence, it is clear that addiction is not something to mess with. Fortunately today there isn’t the stigma that used to be associated with rehabilitation. Now you can take the time to get the help you need with more support and understanding.

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A chat with Gale Anne Hurd, producer of “The Walking Dead”

Gale Anne Hurd, producer of There aren’t many producers around these days whose name can help sell a movie or TV show, but Gale Anne Hurd is the rare exception. Probably best known as one of the co-creators of “The Terminator” franchise, Hurd has been an important player in numerous mega- or merely major productions, including both “Hulk” and “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Abyss,” “Armageddon,” “The Punisher,” and the underrated 1999 comedy “Dick,” which starred Dan Hedaya as Richard Milhous Nixon and a young Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams as a couple of teenagers who wind up bringing down a presidency.

Clearly one of the more hands-on producers around, Hurd is pleasant and businesslike when talking to a member of the show-biz press, but clearly has the gumption to deal with the biggest and most difficult of personalities, which is how I segue into the obligatory mention of the fact that she spent the part of the late eighties and early nineties being married to first James Cameron and then Brian De Palma. Moreover, she began her career working for one the most fascinating and effective producers in the history of the medium, Roger Corman, but more of that in the interview.

Still, nothing she’s done is quite like her current project, the zombie horror drama and comic book adaptation, “The Walking Dead.” The AMC television series, adapted from a series of acclaimed comics by Robert Kirkman primarily by writer-director Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile,” “The Mist”) is currently receiving maximum exposure on the web. The publicity train was only just getting started when I spoke to Ms. Hurd at a mammoth new San Diego hotel adjacent to the Comic-Con festivities last summer.

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I had typed my questions on my laptop, which I was afraid might be a little off-putting. So, after a quick greeting, I tried to explain why.

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Raimi & Spidey part company; Hanks to direct again with Roberts in tow; history repeats on “Thor”; an auteur departs; ASC, WGA, and ACE noms; Nikki Finke makes a friend

Spiderman

My highly esteemed colleague Will Harris has been right on top of  the huge small screen stories that seem to be breaking right and left at the TCA conference this week. Still, it’s not like there hasn’t been any news in movieland. It’s almost hard to know where to start.

* The Hollywood Reporter as well as Nikki Finke and new stablemate Mike Fleming (more on that below) are carrying the news that, in the wake of ongoing script problems, the kibosh has been put on Sam Raimi’s “Spiderman IV” with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst and a 2012 reboot, written by James Vanderbilt (“Zodiac“) announced. The new film will feature a once-again teenage Peter Parker, so Taylor Lautner is no doubt already in touch with his agent.

THR says the script problems had something to do with a disagreement over supervillains between Raimi and Sony and/or Marvel Studios. Finke also notes that the fourth installment would probably not have been in 3-D and it seems reasonable that that might have been a factor, given the current mania for the process.

* In another apparent scoop for new Deadline team member Mike Fleming, Tom Hanks is returning as a writer-director for the second time since making his 1996 charmer, “That Thing You Do!” A comedy, “Larry Crowne” will reteam him with his “Charlie Wilson’s War” co-star, Julia Roberts. Like “Up in the Air,” according to Fleming it’s somewhat topical in that’s it’s about a middle-aged guy forced to reinvent his career at a time when past generations where just starting to settle down.

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While he’s at it, Fleming also has the word on Shia LaBeouf not going agentless after all and signing with CAA. Agents around the world can all breathe easier now.

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Does Megan Fox have what it takes to go from starlet to star?

I watched “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” this weekend, and one thing really struck me as I took in the initial (and totally gratuitous) shot of Megan Fox in cutoff jean shorts half-straddling a motorcycle: Wow, she’s hot. Throughout the course of the next 150 minutes – really, did a “Transformers” sequel need to be that long? – I found myself observing Ms. Fox’s work wondering if she had what it takes to transform – pun intended – from starlet to star.

By most standards, she’s already a movie star. She has played a lead in two “Transformers” installments, had a supporting role (as a vacant actress, no less) in the Simon Peg comedy “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People” and she recently starred as the title character in the horror flick “Jennifer’s Body.” Moreover, she seems to have a stranglehold on the current #1 ranking as the Hollywood Girl That Guys Want to Bang. But does this really make her a star?

Not in my book. There was no point in the latest “Transformers” installment where Fox couldn’t have been replaced by Elisha Cuthbert, Jessica Biel or some other former (or future) #1 Hollywood Girl That Guys Want to Bang. When I started to type this up, I actually blanked on her name, and had to look it up on IMDB.com. (Ah, yes, Megan Fox.) If nothing else, that makes her a starlet.

Every year or two, there’s a new crop of young’ns vying for the title of “it” girl, and Fox owns it, for now. But it’s a dicey transition from being a hot young thing to developing a long-lasting, viable career in the movie business.

So, does she have what it takes to become a star?

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Superheroes and megabucks

Just another day in movietown.

* Sony has signed James Vanderbilt, who wrote the first draft of “Spiderman 4″ (now twice rewritten), to pen an additional two Spidey screenplays. Writer Michael Fleming speculates that the studio wants to speed up production as the S-man is their most reliable vehicle and a Julie Taymor’s Broadway musical with music by Bono and the Edge, is in fairly deep financial doo-doo long before opening night. (Of course, there is another way Sony could make money — come up with something new…nah.) Vanderbilt, by the way, is also the writer behind Brian Fincher’s cinephile favorite, “Zodiac.”

I personally wonder if Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Sam Raimi have much interest in doing any more films after the next one, which I suspect is a bit of a Mulligan for the sporadically entertaining and occasionally embarrassing mess that was the last Spiderman film. Also, Maguire is older than he looks (34 as of last June), and time is running out. A forty-something actor might work for Iron Man, but for Spidey, it’s kind of another story.

* Speaking of young superheroes, or in this case super anti-heroes, Variety tells us that Lionsgate has purchased the domestic rights to Matthew Vaughn’s comic-book adaptation “Kick-Ass,” with a cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Anne Thompson is very much on board and notes the strategy of indies using Comic-Con to get distribution. She also has a video from the con which doesn’t want to play properly on my computer. In addition, those who understand finances better than I might be able to draw something kind of line between and this Nikki Finke item having to do with the sale of some stock by Lionsgate Bigwig Joe Drake.

* Ignoring my fervent prayers, “G.I. Joe” is doing very well abroad. At least people who complain about the dumbing down of America will have to realize it’s not just us. Misery loves company.

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