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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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Bullz-Eye’s TCA 2010 Summer Press Tour Wrap-Up: From the Big Bang to the Jersey Shore

He’s back.

That’s right, the summer 2010 press tour of the Television Critics Association – that’s TCA to you, see? – has come and gone, leaving in its wake a piece that I love to compile but hate to finish. It’s just that kind of experience: there’s always something else to write about.

I know I say this every time, so you’d think my mindset on the tour would’ve changed by now, but I still continue to get excited when I fly to California and spend the better part of two weeks ensconced in a hotel, watching and listening as closely as possible (which, admittedly, isn’t often as closely as I’d like) to various stars, directors, producers, and writers as they do a dog and pony show to promote their program. I know they get sick of it sometimes, but for my part, I still haven’t. I spend the better part of 48 weeks of the year in Chesapeake, VA, a place where I do not regularly cross paths with the people that you see on your TV screen. As such, I remain excited about the opportunity to participate in these ridiculously cool opportunities, and I still feel like I have to share the experience with you, the reader, lest they begin to seem normal to me.

It’s not normal.

It’s the TCA press tour.

And trust me, unless you’re actually in show business, life doesn’t get much less normal than this.

Most entertaining panel by a broadcast network: “Circus,” PBS. Given the subject matter of the series – yes, it really is about the circus, specifically what it’s like to be part of a traveling circus in 2010 – it wasn’t entirely surprising that the panel kicked off with acrobat Christian Stoinev demonstrating some of his gymnastic abilities, but that didn’t make his performance any less impressive.

Plus, he earned bonus points for incorporating a cute little dog named Scooby into the act, who jumped onto Stoinev’s butt, strolled down his back, sat on his feet, and looked as calm as possible as Stoinev balanced semi-precariously on his parallel bars.

Most entertaining panel by a cable network: “Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town,” IFC. When I walked into the ballroom and found that we’d all received autographed DVDs of the Kids’ latest endeavor, I thought, “Can it get any better than this?” (I’m a sucker for anything autographed.) Indeed, it could, as the Kids – minus Mark McKinney, who’d been called back to Canada because of a family emergency – held court and kept us in stitches.

Some of my favorite moments:

QUESTION: How long had it been since you had cross-dressed professionally before (“Death Comes to Town”), and was that sort of a difficult readjustment for any of you?
SCOTT THOMPSON: Define “professionally.”
QUESTION: With a large crew.
SCOTT THOMPSON: Oh.
DAVE FOLEY: Not just any exchange of money.
BRUCE McCULLOCH: So if you shoot porn with a small crew, that wouldn’t count…?
KEVIN McDONALD: That’s not cross-dressing professionally.
DAVE FOLEY: Yeah. If you put on a nice shirt and give a handjob at the bus station, that still is professional.
SCOTT THOMPSON: Yes, it is.
BRUCE McCULLOCH: And by “handjob,” we mean “Bible reading,” as we like The Bible.

* Dave Foley on the audience response to Scott Thompson’s cancer being in remission: “I’m getting a sense that a lot of these people are on the cancer side. Well, I hope you are proud of yourselves. ‘Oh, dammit, not another one beating cancer. Poor cancer. When will people learn to love cancer?’”

* Scott Thompson: “I had a much easier time making (‘Death Comes to Town’), even though I was fighting cancer, than I did with ‘Brain Candy,’ honestly. It was tougher to fight Paramount. Because, at least with cancer, you can win.”

QUESTION: Do you find that people, when they see you, wanted to just squash your head? Because, like, I’m sitting here, like, resisting.
DAVE FOLEY: Yeah, a lot of time it has no reference to that gesture. It’s people actually want to crush our heads.
KEVIN McDONALD: The first apartment I ever moved to in Los Angeles, 1996, I was in bed the first night, and a couple were having a fight in the floor above me. And he was crying, “I’m going to crush your head,” and I thought they were fans, but it turned out they weren’t.
DAVE FOLEY: Yeah, it was a bloody homicide.
KEVIN McDONALD: It was a bloody homicide, yes.
DAVE FOLEY: But still, you felt flattered.
KEVIN McDONALD: But still, I felt flattered.

* When asked about their current relationship with Lorne Michaels, who introduced them to the U.S., McCulloch said, “I watch him get a haircut once a year when I go to ‘Saturday Night Live,’” while Foley claimed, “I chill his Amstel Light.” (“And drink it,” added McDonald.)

* Kevin McDonald made the bold choice of using the word “guff” at one point, receiving no end of ridicule from his fellow Kids. “It’s a tough word,” said McCulloch,”I know it’s tough to hear.” Thompson gasped and shrieked, “You said ‘guff‘!” Foley, however, offered a practical solution to the assembled journalists. “You can put asterisks in that. Just G-asterisk-asterisk-asterisk for your print,” he said, adding, “Of course, you online media people can just change it to ‘fuck.’”

* “Death Comes to Town” was filmed in North Bay, ON, but Foley said that it was a rarity for locals to come up and acknowledge their recognition of the Kids. “Canadians don’t do that,” explained Thompson. “Yeah,” agreed Foley. “They’d just come up and start talking to you like they knew you. You know, you would be in the grocery store, and somebody would just come up behind you and say, ‘Special K is marked down today. I’m getting the Special K as well. What are you doing later, Dave?’ And that was how you knew they recognized you.”

* The miniseries features Foley playing “the kindly old town abortionist,” which made it a bit difficult to scout for locations. Foley said that they had to keep making up stuff to tell the people of North Bay, saying things like, “Yeah, this scene, it’s a gynecologist’s office,” or “Oh, it’s an obstetrician’s office.” Or, as Scott Thompson claimed, “It’s a very bad day care.” At this, the crowd of critics erupted with a mixture of boos and laughs. “That was good,” Thompson assured us. “That was bad,” Foley assured him. At this, Thompson nodded, grinned, and admitted, “Very bad.”

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TCA Press Tour, Summer 2010: Day 6

Day 6 of the TCA Press Tour was all about the American Broadcasting Company – that’s ABC to you and me – presenting their slate of programming for Fall 2010, along with a couple of new entries that are technically midseason entries but will likely find themselves slotted into the schedule sooner than that. (You know how it goes: there’s always a show or two that gets the boot within a couple of episodes, thereby giving one of the relief squad a chance to go in early.)

Give Kevin Brockman, ABC’s head of publicity, full credit for getting the first big laugh of the day: he walked onto the stage holding a giant stuffed pink elephant named Binky, allowing him to be flanked by the real elephant in the room while addressing the metaphorical one, which was the somewhat unexpected departure of Steve McPherson, the network’s former President of Entertainment.

“On Tuesday, we issued a statement announcing Steve McPherson’s resignation from ABC Entertainment Group,” said Brockman. “I realize you all may have questions, obviously. That is what you do for a living. But to save us some time and hopefully make this as productive as possible, I just want to say that Tuesday’s statement still holds. It is literally all we are going to say on the subject. So you may ask, but you will get the same answer. So I’m just saying please know that is the statement. We have given it. We will give it again if we need to. But in the spirit of trying to make things as productive today, just realize that that’s where we are. We really have nothing more to add.”

And, indeed, they did not. Someone tried a bit later in the morning to get Paul Lee, McPherson’s hastily arranged replacement, to say something on the matter, but…well, we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s talk about the panel that preceded Mr. Lee’s executive session.

Detroit 1-8-7

Can it really be possible that “Detroit 1-8-7″ is the first police drama to be set within the city of Detroit? That would seem to be the case, and yet it seems like such an incredible oversight that it’s never been done before. More impressive, however, is the fact that the show is actually being filmed in Detroit.

“There are a lot of benefits to shooting in Detroit,” said producer David Zabel. “Included in that is that there is a bit of an infrastructure forming of crew. We are filling out our crew with a lot of locals. A lot of locals are working on the show, and hopefully in the long run what will then happen is that a lot of the locals who are working at mid-level positions are going to get better at these jobs and rise up and be doing more of the key department-head work as well. Overall, they’ve been doing quite a bit of feature work in Detroit, so there’s some aspects there that are well in place, but there are some things that are a little bit of a learning curve, and we’re sort of going through that together. A lot of the key department heads are from Los Angeles for now, but the vast numbers of the crew are largely local hires. In certain key departments we had to bring from L.A. in order to have qualified people so that we could deliver the show. Also, they are shooting seven features right now in Detroit, so even the talent pool that exists locally in Detroit is spread a little thin right now. But as the series goes on, I think we’re going to get more and more people that are local working on the show.”

As happy as I am for Detroit that they’ve got this series filming in their fine city, I must say that I got more than a little bored with the plethora of questions about that particular aspect. I was much more interested in the fact that the original conceit of the series as seen in the pilot which was screened for us in advance of the TCA tour – the detectives were being filmed as part of a documentary – has been thrown out the window due to the fact that, as a result of an unfortunate event in Detroit, the city has banned documentary filmmakers from following police officers around. With that having been put into play, they couldn’t exactly show such a thing going on within “Detroit 1-8-7,” now, could they?

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What Else Ya Got? “17 Again”

It’s been awhile since we’ve done one of these here on Premium Hollywood (recently, they’ve been combined into my sometimes-weekly Blu-ray column), but with the DVD version of “17 Again” disappointing fans with, as Edwin Starr would say, absolutely nothing, it seemed like a good idea to break down just what exactly HD fanatics will be getting for the seven dollar upcharge.

“Zac Goes Back”

Your standard EPK-style production featurette, this 12-minute collection of interviews features the cast and crew talking about what it was like to work with one another on set. Along with explaining how Zac Efron became attached to the project to begin with, the interviews also expose Efron’s attempts at mimicking Matthew Perry’s various acting habits in order to properly portray him as a youngster.

Going Back to 17

Cut from the same set of interviews, this brief collection of footage asks the cast and crew about their own high school memories (complete with childhood photos), as well as whether or not they would accept the chance to experience it all over again. You can probably guess what the unanimous answer is.

Way Cool Tell-All Trivia Track

Certainly not as way cool as its title suggests, this pop-up track features trivia from the making of the film and general facts about the 80s. It’s probably the most interesting extra on the disc, but it’s only something that diehard fans will want to sit through the whole thing. Thankfully, the pop-ups aren’t at all distracting, so you can actually enjoy the movie while learning a few things along the way.

Breakin’ Character Outtakes

No surprise here, as Thomas Lennon steals the show with a series of funny adlibs and cast crack-ups – especially Zac Efron, who can’t seem to keep a straight face when working opposite the improv veteran.

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