Glory Daze Makes the Grade
Tim Meadows takes on a new role in TBS's new hilarious college comedy
November 14, 2010
While most people, given the option, probably wouldn’t choose to relive their freshman year of college, watching others go through the hilarious campus awkwardness seems enticingly voyeuristic—or at least that’s what TBS is banking on with its new show Glory Daze, which premieres tonight.
“What’s been fun is the chemistry between the cast members,” says Tim Meadows (RIGHT), who plays a divorced professor who is something of an adviser to the show’s four main characters. “The writers have done a good job of developing the characters and basing them on some of the characteristics of the actors involved. We all like each other.”
Meadows, a New Yorker and comedy veteran famous for his nine-year stint on Saturday Night Live—as well as roles in Mean Girls, Grown Ups and a regular spot on The Colbert Report—says the show harkens back to the ensemble feel of his SNL days, with brilliant comedic guest appearances by the likes of Cheri Oteri, Brad Garrett, Andy Richter and D.L. Hughley.
He is, of course, older than the quartet of bright-eyed freshman he helps guide in the show. (The fraternity brothers (PICTURED BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT) are played by Hartley Sawyer, Kelly Blatz, Matt Bush and Drew Seeley.) But it doesn’t mean that his own recollections of college days past didn’t come rushing back.
“We have this one set that’s my classroom where I give lectures,” he says. “It sort of reminds me of when I was in college in Detroit and I used to sneak into the classroom late. And there was this other time that I let this young lady cheat off my test—I was really good in this class and I would lift my arm up so she could see my answers. So those are the first college memories for me—being a cheater and being late.”
Walt Becker, the creator and writer of the show, also directed 2002’s college-life paragon Van Wilder. Meadows says that while the script Becker wrote is great, he also allows room for ample improvisation.
“We improvise some of the dialogue and we’ve come up with some cool stuff,” he says. “In the pilot, I improvised a line about going through a divorce. Walt kept that in the pilot, and then he added that to my character. So as I’m dealing with divorce and I become an adviser to this fraternity, they sort of help me deal with being newly single. It turned out to be a really cool dynamic between me and the cast.”
Glory Daze airs on Tuesdays at 10 PM on TBS.
An inside look at Bradley Cooper's turn on Inside the Actors Studio
November 11, 2010
I had the opportunity to attend a recent taping of Inside the Actors Studio at Pace University with guest Bradley Cooper. Sitting in the front row, I had a great view of him, as well as Renée Zellweger and Cooper’s Hangover co-star, Justin Bartha. Most people know that Cooper is easy on the eyes. But I don’t think most know how humble, sensitive and family oriented he is—characteristics that definitely showed during his interview with Lipton.
Cooper, who graduated from the masters program at Pace University’s Actors Studio Drama School, and Lipton, who was his dean while he was in school, had a natural rapport. And with his parents sitting in the front row, Cooper talked about growing up in Philly with a love for acting and a passion for movies, which he learned from and shared with his father from an early age. As we walked through his filmography, Cooper talked of his respect for many actors—particularly Robert De Niro.
We then watched video of Cooper as an unknown, somewhat awkward student actor at a taping of Inside the Actors Studio, where he asked De Niro about his work in a scene from 1990's Awakenings. Appropriately enough, he stars with De Niro in the upcoming film The Dark Fields (out March 2011). Now that’s coming full circle.
Kim Kardashian's NYC Trail
Hot on the heels of her 30th birthday, Kim Kardashian is taking Manhattan by storm.
October 21, 2010
The blogs have been abuzz about Kim Kardashian’s every wardrobe change since she touched down in Tribeca three weeks ago. Kim and sisters Khloe and Kourtney have temporarily relocated to New York to film the third season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which premiers in January. We can't wait to see what the girls get into while they’re here in Gotham, but here’s a rundown of what Kim’s been up to so far.
October 5: Adventures in Street Carts
Kim and Kourtney check into a penthouse at Tribeca’s Smyth Hotel for a three-month stay. Afterward the pair immediately head to Soho, where they buy candy from a hot dog cart.
October 7: Chelsea Bar Brouhaha
Kim gets doused with the cocktail of a male fan’s jealous girlfriend while out at Chelsea’s Juliet Supper Club. Khloe threw herself into the mix and her engagement ring flew off. Sources say she “dove” onto the floor to retrieve the $850,000 ring.
October 15: Birthday #1
Kim heads to Vegas for her 30th birthday bash at Tao, where she wears medieval spiked Louboutins. Ex-boyfriend Reggie Bush did not make the guest list, but Emannuel Lewis did.
October 16: Birthday #2
Kim has an NYC birthday party at Tao (the club was also celebrating its 10th anniversary), and stays glued to her Blackberry as her giant 30th birthday cake is brought out. Kim also made an appearance at Andre Harrell’s 50th birthday party that night.
Dancer Roberto Bolle spends his summer in NYC with American Ballet Theatre.
August 24, 2010
With a repertoire that includes leading roles in classical ballets such as Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, Italian ballet dancer Roberto Bolle has transfixed us with his fluid motions. He recently become the American Ballet’s first Italian principal dancer, and will perform several productions this May through June at the Metropolitan. Gotham got the chance to sit down and talk with the talented yet humble Bolle about his passion for dance, New York City and what he looks forward to in his career.
GOTHAM: Where did your passion for dance originate?
ROBERTO BOLLE: Actually, it’s very difficult to say because it’s a passion that I had inside of me. I wanted to be a dancer; I had this idea in my mind.
You once said that Romeo is “the role of your life.” How so?
It is the first role I have ever done and it really was the only role that came with me since I was so young.
You have performed in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II. How did those moments feel for you?
It’s hard to believe they are happening while you are there. I have been very lucky because even the greatest dancers—greatest artists—sometimes don’t have the chance to do this kind of thing. So I’m very grateful.
How is dancing with American Ballet Theatre in New York City different from the other dance theaters you’ve danced for?
The audience here is great, and I didn’t expect that. Even the first time I was performing here in New York, I was surprised [by] the warmness, the affection.
Who would you love to dance for in the future?
Obama and his two little girls.
See more of Roberto Bolle in Gotham’s fall-fashion story.
The Boys (and Girl) Are Back in Town
Jordana Spiro plays with the guys.
July 23, 2010
Few television comedies live to see a fourth season. But then again, few television comedies are lucky enough to have a talent like Jordana Spiro. Taking a break from getting her MFA in filmmaking at Columbia University, the Brooklynite returns to the small screen playing PJ in TBS’ My Boys with back-to-back episodes debuting July 25. We chatted with the funny girl about summer plans and ping-pong passions.
GOTHAM: What do you think makes the show such a hit?
JORDANA SPIRO: I think the show is so popular because it’s relatable. Everyone can find something they identify with in the guy characters or in PJ.
What’s the dynamic like on-set with so many guys around?
Everyone is friendly until the ping-pong table is unfolded. It gets pretty aggressive; the guys will play for hours and get all sweaty. The costume designer gets pissed off because she needs doubles for all the outfits.
Who’s the best player?
[Pauses] I’m trying to think who will pay me the most before I say... Jamie Kaler. He is the most physical; he dives for the ball and does jumps for no reason.
What are your summer plans?
I’ve been obsessed with the World Cup. I have a group of Mexican friends and we all went to watch the first game: Mexico vs. South Africa. We needed to find somewhere in Fort Greene close to all of our work meetings, so we went to Madiba, which is a South African place. It wasn’t the best idea we ever had.
Living in Brooklyn, where are some of your favorite places to go?
I love going to Radegast, especially when Little Big Horns are playing. I also love Juliette in Williamsburg and Frankie’s 457. When I’m in the city, I like Soccarat for paella.
What’s the last thing you Googled?
After myself? I mean, anyone who says they don’t do that is a bald-faced liar. No, no... I got it. My sister called me and told me to Google this one soccer player, to tell me to meet my new brother-in-law.
Interview with a Vampire
Up close and personal with Twilight’s Elizabeth Reaser
July 19, 2010
The phrase “interview with a vampire” might be a little overused, but I actually got to do it recently. Elizabeth Reaser plays Esme Cullen on the über-popular Twilight series. On a break between promoting the latest film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and beginning the next installment, Reaser showed up to our coffee date fresh-faced and clearly excited to be home in her favorite city. Originally from Detroit, she came to New York to attend Juilliard and made her mark on the acting scene with spots on Grey’s Anatomy (for which she received an Emmy nomination) and the film Sweet Land. These days she’s fully engrossed in one of the biggest film franchises of all time and (eek!) gets to work with the Robert Pattinson (although she thanked me for not asking her a single question about the teen heartthrob).
GOTHAM: When you first read the script, what was it about Esme’s character that appealed to you?
ELIZABETH REASER: It was just this whole other world. Most scripts I read are fairly realistic, but with this one I was suddenly in this world of domesticated vampires. Esme is the idea of the perfect mother, a character that really captured my imagination. It was such a strange combination of her family being killers, domesticated, otherworldly and they’re all super-attractive…The attractive part gets stressful, but that you just have to leave in the hands of editing [laughs].
What’s it like playing a character described as one of the most beautiful people in the world? A bit of pressure, no?
I definitely felt self-conscious. I would feel much more comfortable playing a fat, ugly person. It’s a silly thing to try to wrap your brain around.
How large was the crew? It sounds like a major production.
It was insane. I’ve been on big movies before, but this was what you think about when you think Big Hollywood Movie. Trucks everywhere and hundreds of people walking around. It’s pretty amazing, and the amount of money they get to spend on these things is incredible.
What sorts of projects are interesting to you right now?
I think television is the best thing out there. The writing is incredible, the art direction is amazing, there’s so much great stuff out there for women. Then again, I’d love to do a $5 movie where I’m laying in bed having a conversation for two hours. That would be my dream job. A partly improvised type of thing where I don’t have to be in a hair-and-makeup chair for three hours.
How do you plan to spend the rest of the summer?
I’ll be in New York, I just love it here. It’s where I lived up until three-and-a-half years ago, so any chance I get I stay. I’d love to try to squeeze in a job between now and then but I don’t know if it’s going to time out. I should probably just go and take a real vacation but I just have been laying in my bed reading a book and eating Gummi Bears lately.
Not a bad life!
I do go out more now and get in more trouble than I did when I was in my twenties. Especially when I come to New York. I realize that’s true of all my friends. In LA or anywhere else, really, there’s the whole drinking-and-driving situation that takes away from the spontaneity of any situation. But in New York, it’s like this free-for-all attitude because you never know. I could leave my apartment and be uptown and end the day in Brooklyn dancing on a rooftop. That idea is just so intoxicating.
Where are some of your favorite places in the city?
I lived uptown when I was in school, but after that I always lived downtown. For a while I was on Ninth Street between Fifth and Sixth, and there are two great places there now: Hotel Griffou and the Lion. Abe and Arthur’s is really great, too. I love the energy of the room. I feel like I’m naming all these hip places because that’s where people have taken me lately! When I lived here, I never ever, ever went to places like that. I went to Angelica Kitchen and weird little joints in the East Village. I don’t think I could have gotten into those nice places when I lived here, much less have afforded them [laughs]. But I still really do love places like Sant Ambroeus in the West Village and Viand, this great diner where I get egg and cheese on a roll. I’m obsessed with that.
I kind of hate shopping so much. My mom’s apartment is right by Bergdorf’s and Barneys so I’ll go there, but I really don’t enjoy it. It’s always sort of made me feel fat and depressed [laughs]. No, but I’m really just not interested. If I have to choose between doing that and doing yoga or reading a book, I’m always going to choose to do something else.
What was the last thing you Googled?
The menu at Serafina last night for delivery.
Cast of Characters
Cyrus takes the art of improv to the next level.
June 16, 2010
You know those parents. The ones that are so insanely obsessed with their children you’re only friends with them so you can watch the relationship get progressively creepier as the children enter puberty. What happens when these situations enter worst- case-scenario zone is illustrated in Cyrus, opening nationwide June 18. When divorced, depressed John (John C. Reilly) meets charming, adorable Molly (Marisa Tomei), the chemistry is off the charts and John feels like his luck couldn’t get better… until he meets the other man in her life: her son and roommate, Cyrus (Jonah Hill). A 21-year-old new age musician and Molly’s best friend, Cyrus will do anything to cut John out of the picture and keep Molly for himself.
Mark and Jay Duplass, who first gained notoriety with their 2005 feature debut, The Puffy Chair (made for a mere $15,000), wrote the film. And although the brothers had considerably more money to make Cyrus happen, they still stuck to what they know and do best: improv. “It’s actually kinda scary most of the days,” Reilly says of working with the duo. “You have to prepare to be unprepared, which is really hard to do… but improv makes for a really emotionally sound film.”
One of the biggest factors impacting the success or utter failure of an improvised film is, of course, casting. And from the beginning, the Duplass brothers knew they wanted Reilly to play John. “Jay and I are willing to change our idea of a character based on what an actor brings us,” says Mark. “But for John, there was no one else we wanted. The studio was like, Um, maybe you should have more options. And we just refused.” Luckily for them (and us), Reilly agreed to take the part.
One of the funniest scenes in the movie is when Cyrus plays a track for John (“Sounds like Steve Miller!” Reilly shouts over the noise). “I could not keep a straight face,” he recalls. “And Jonah, he couldn’t do it either. I think there’s still a part in the film where you can see him turn away from the camera and he starts to smile.” Hill’s performance is a departure from the comedic roles for which he’s typically known [Superbad, Funny People]. The directors describe his character as a dark, sweet, sensitive kid and Hill just nails it. “Jonah was so fucking gung-ho and kept the spirit on set,” says Mark. “We needed someone to be able to stand up to John C. Reilly and he completely did.”
Two now-famous lines from the movie—“I’m like… Shrek” and “Seriously, don’t fuck my mom.”—were improvised by Reilly and Hill, respectively. Reilly estimates that nearly 80 percent of the film’s lines were improvised, a number that shouldn’t take away from what started as a very solid script. “These guys go for the answer,” says Tomei. “The movie doesn’t end with it all being a dream or he-kisses-the-girl-and-they-live-happily-ever-after-type ending. They push the characters to figure things out themselves.”
Cyrus is a rarity in the fact that it was filmed in order, which allows the story to build on itself in an organic way. For example, Reilly had never met Tomei prior to filming, so when his character meets hers in the beginning of the film, the two characters and the two actors are really doing just that: meeting for the first time. “In that scene, Marisa and I had really only known each other for two days,” says Reilly.
Tomei isn’t the type of actress to watch herself in her own films, not even greats like My Cousin Vinny and The Wrestler. But she broke her own rule when it came to Cyrus, perhaps because, after recently making her directorial debut [Half The Sky], she was watching with different eyes. “I actually did watch in this case because I was so interested in the Duplass brothers,” she says. “I watched Cyrus at Sundance and then again at a screening last night!” And if it’s good enough for Marisa, it’s good enough for us—and we always do what our mother tells us.
A Propr Gentleman
Inspired by the art of 1970s New York, David Arquette launches the fourth season of his fashion line, Propr, with Ben Harper.
June 15, 2010
When David Arquette enters the lobby of The Mercer hotel on a beautiful April day, he’s running 10 minutes late—and he looks it. A few shopping bags swing from his arm, and he looks hurried, breathing heavily. “I’m so sorry I’m late,” he says, removing his Ray-Bans and flashing a friendly grin. It’s not hard to forgive him. As an artist of all types—actor, director, producer, wrestler (no, really) and, now, fashion designer—he’s known to be a more-than-personable guy.
Arquette and his best friend, musician Ben Harper, started collaborating on their men’s fashion line, Propr, two years ago. (The name of the line came from David Bedwell, the duo’s third business partner, when the three were discussing what it means to be a proper gentleman.) They just shipped the Spring/Summer 2010 collection. Arquette says he’s always been interested in fashion, and spent some of his trip to New York (he and wife Courteney Cox Arquette reside in Los Angeles with their five-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Coco) in the garment district.
“This season’s line was really New York—you know, late-’60s, early-’70s and –’80s,” he says of his inspiration for the designs. “Andy Warhol and even Jackson Pollock. It was just a real American sort of movement. It was very creative. It was, you know, real dangerous too. Our clothes aren’t conservative, but the idea is that they’re for guys who know they’re not kids anymore. They’re grownups but they want to dress nice. It’s simple but classic.”
Arquette, dressed in a Propr blazer, T-shirt and jeans, lights up when he talks about what inspired his initial interest in fashion: Coco’s love for it. “She’s very into the way she looks and she’s very clothes-specific,” he explains. “‘I’ve been walking around trying to find a tank top with no ties for the dress, Daddy, in red.’ It’s so cute. So I think I probably was like her. I always had favorite clothes.”
Arquette says he’s pretty hands-on with the design of the clothing, and he’s even started taking sewing classes. “I sewed a pair of drawstring pants, took the pattern of medical scrubs, and re-created the pants,” he says. “It’s so fun, just therapeutic. You can get down and start sewing for hours. Then you have clothes to put on. Working with really incredible designers is amazing. They teach me so much.”
The look book for the new line reflects Warhol’s inspiration directly, with models donning Propr wear and covering their faces with portraits of Warhol or works he created. Arquette himself shot the campaign, while friend and photographer Jeff Vespa took photos of him shooting. And all of the clothes are made in America—another Warholian push.
“I want to build a company that helps employ people,” Arquette says. “That’s been my goal. It’s such a hard time right now. It’s been rough—starting a clothing line is not easy and we’ve had our troubles, but we’re at a place where we see the light now.”
Arquette, who is also about to start production on Wes Craven’s Scream 4 (nine years after the third installment of the famed series, during the filming of which he met Cox Arquette), is also active in charity work as the chairman of the entertainment council of Feeding America. He also encouraged people to get involved in Stamp Out Hunger, which happened earlier this month.
As a multifaceted artist, Arquette says it’s most important for young artists to be inspired by what they’re working on. “It’s just really important to remain true to yourself and be honest,” he says. “Do things that matter rather than wasting your time on things that are meaningless.”
And what things do matter? He answers honestly: “I’m still trying to figure that out.”
Noah Mills takes on Sex and the City 2.
June 15, 2010
Interested in playing the boy toy of one of the sexiest women in TV history? It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it. In comes Noah Mills, whose character has none other than Samantha Jones swooning in Sex and the City 2.
The model-turned-actor is no stranger to high-profile jobs: He has been photographed for some of the best fashion houses in the world, including Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Versace and Tom Ford. But landing this gig had even him sweating bullets. “I’m a bit of a worry bug, so I didn’t really tell too many people about the part,” he says. “I just wanted to get to the set, be super-prepared and do my work.”
It turns out he had little to worry about. “The women were awesome to work with,” says Mills, “they were all really friendly and helpful. Sarah Jessica Parker, who is a producer, was particularly hands-on and always there to give feedback.”
It was quite a turn of events (though not surprising once you’ve been charmed by his laugh and boyish good looks) that led Mills to the big screen. He grew up in Baltimore, and shipped out to a boarding school in the Australian outback for high school. From there he moved to Vancouver, where he was plucked off the street to model. Before he knew it, they were whisking him off in business class to Milan for shows. It was only after he started modeling and moved to New York that he took up acting. “I was searching for a skill that I could perfect,” Mills said. “I began studying the craft and really fell in love with it.”
After appearing in SATC2, Mills filmed its polar opposite, playing a soldier dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder in the indie film New Year’s Eve. But for now, he’s focused on all things Sex, and is just as excited as the rest of us are to see the movie. “I didn’t even get to read a whole copy of the script,” Mills says with a laugh.
Patricia Field talks SATC2 wardrobe inspiration and dressing “the girls” for (maybe) the last time.
June 10, 2010
Patricia Field’s New York Faves:
“It’s so hot in here,” says Patricia Field as she peels off what looks to be a hand-sewn white jacket. An investigative glance gives no clue as to the designer, but does reveal a fiery halo around the collar. (We have to wonder whether Field and Vogue’s resident red head, Grace Coddington, have ever sat down to talk tresses and swap colorists’ names.) Feeling a bit cooler in her one-shoulder top—blinged at the waist with a chain-link belt—she gives a weary half-smile and says, “I’ll stretch and talk. It’s been quite a few days.” An admitted workaholic, she keeps her iPhone close to her heart (tucked in her bra, to be precise) and makes it clear that she is, first and foremost, a businesswoman.
The night before she sat down with Gotham, Field fêted her new line of beachwear in an Arabian-themed fashion show, and the night before that she walked the red carpet at Radio City Music Hall for the Sex and the City 2 premiere, all the while doing dozens of press interviews and being the very involved commander-in-chief of her eponymous boutique. Following a good stretch, Field warmed up and gave us a glimpse into the making of Sex and the City 2, her take on what went wrong with the disaster that was the movie’s poster, and more.
GOTHAM: What was your first impression when you read the SATC 2 script?
PATRICIA FIELD: It just gave me a jump-start to push things a little further. The movie is a romp. It’s an escape. It’s an homage to The Road to Mandalay with Bob Hope. It’s an homage to Broadway. It hits your heartstrings with a laugh. I’m so happy with it.
Where did you find inspiration for the Abu Dhabi wardrobe?
It came to me organically. Right away and right from my brain. And when we got on that desert and in those gorgeous places it just—boom! It was perfect for me. It was almost like Michael Patrick wrote that script for me.
What drew you to Halston for much of Carrie’s New York wardrobe?
I was really getting tired of all these oddball shapes that have been prevalent the past few years. And Halston came into my mind immediately. I was like, “I just want to be simple and chic. Where is Halston? I want Halston. I want Halston!” So when we started the movie I said to Sarah Jessica, “let’s do Halston because it’s so chic.” She’s a bit sensitive, as she’s a woman and not a teenager, and she has a little sensitivity not to overstep it. And of course Halston is perfect for that sensibility. It was perfect for her, you know, chic, smart, grown-up.
Women were clamoring to find those black gladiators and the studded belt Carrie wore in the first film. What will they be coveting in SATC2?
That belt was a vintage belt and those shoes were my shoes! Those were the gladiators that she wore and wore and wore. Every time we had a fitting, she’d keep going to that shoe and that belt and I’m like, “Carrie doesn’t wear the same shoe twice. Carrie doesn’t wear the same belt twice.” She just loved those two pieces. She even named the belt—Roger. [In SATC2] There was a beautiful four-leaf clover that she wore several times in the movie that a friend of mine sent to me from Paris—a diamond four-leaf clover.
You didn’t work on the movie poster. What would it have looked like if you’d had a hand?
I’m glad you asked that because people are probably like, “What, did she go crazy? Did she have a lapse? Did she take a pill?” They would have looked editorial. When I put the four of them together it’s a foursome. It looked like to me like they pieced that thing together. I spoke with the photographer in the beginning and then I sort of didn’t get together with them because it didn’t sound promising. Bottom line is they didn’t want to pay me for it.
I read that SJP’s contract allows her to keep all the clothes she wears. Where is she keeping it all?
You’d have to ask her. I think she’s building some kind of a museum or something.
Does SATC2 feel like a goodbye to Carrie and the girls, or more like a “see you later”?
It’s too soon to say. It’s like when you’re little and your dog dies. It’s too soon to get a new dog. But after a few months you’re like, I miss my doggie. So it’s all “ifs.” Will there be another one? There’s a lot of buzz, but the buzz is coming from the fans. There’s nothing official that I have heard. I’m hoping for all the best.
And how was it saying goodbye to the cast of Ugly Betty?
There was a side of me that was glad. I’ll tell you very honestly why. The cast was great—love them. My team was great. The production designer was fantastic. The people on top weren’t as good as the rest. They would—especially with the wardrobe—take the edge off it. Sometimes it got bad because I had to change whole outfits because they would start taking things off and I’m like, “this is not the same outfit anymore. I can’t let this outfit go. You’ve changed it from an outfit that has a meaning to an outfit that has no meaning.” And they used to hate it.
Any talk of an Ugly Betty movie that you’ve been privy to?
You know, now that you mention it, somewhere something flew by but I can’t remember where exactly….
Gotham Magazine hosted its latest issue featuring the current cast of Saturday Night Live at the Four Seasons Hotel on Monday, February 23.