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Category Archives: Movieline Articles

Jon Bon Jovi: Music to the Eyes

Movie stars want to be rock stars and rock stars want to be actors.  Most singers-turned-thespians don’t get very far in their second career, but Jon Bon Jovi actually got good reviews for his acting debut in Moonlight and Valentino.  That lead to a lot of supporting roles and indie movies.  Most recently, Bon Jovi appeared in the ensemble rom-com New Year’s Eve which may be his swan song as an actor.  But at the time of this profile from the February 1998 issue of Movieline magazine, his acting career looked like it was just heating up.

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Pretty Gone Plain

When an actress wants to win awards, she plays down her looks.  Just like for a while there, actors could count on nominations for playing characters with disabilities, usually glamorous actresses were often rewarded for playing down their physical beauty.  The often controversial Joe Queenan made this observation in a very politically incorrect column from the February 2003 issue of Movieline magazine.  I expect this one will ruffle some feathers, so be warned.  Queenan’s viewpoint was out-of-date 15 years ago and it hasn’t improved with age.

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Advanced Chemistry

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!  It’s the perfect time to snuggle up with your favorite romantic movie.  Preferably with someone with whom you share great chemistry, but even if you are watching Pretty Woman by yourself for the 100th time, at least you know the actors on screen will be vibing off one another.  On-screen chemistry is unpredictable and it can’t be faked.  Actors either have it or they don’t.  Sometimes real life couples fizzle on the big screen whereas seemingly mismatched pairings click.  In this article from the February 1998 issue of Movieline magazine, actors and actresses were asked who they thought they would have great chemistry with.

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Jennifer Lopez: The Wow

Remember when Jennifer Lopez was an actress?  Her success as a pop star has eclipsed her acting career to the point that you probably don’t remember that her first record was met with skepticism.  Another actress trying to sing.  Now she’s viewed as another signer trying to act, but really, Lopez can do both.  Twenty years ago, when she graced the cover of Movieline’s annual “sex” issue wearing nothing but a fur and jewelry, Lopez’s acting career was just taking off.  Following Selena and Anaconda, Lopez was just breaking into the ranks of movie stardom, but she was already a fully formed diva.  At the time, the actress was promoting Oliver Stone’s neo-noir, U-Turn, which no one gave a damn about.  But her next movie, Out of Sight, would establish Lopez as the real deal.  In this interview from before she was Jenny From the Block, J-Lo dishes about her costars, her directors and her husband.

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Those Lovely Liars

There was a time when Hollywood was glamorous.  No there wasn’t.  The reality is that Hollywood was a dirty place filled with unscroupulous people doing very inappropriate things.  Movie stars who appeared to be gods and goddess on the silver screen were often sad, damaged people.  The glamour of old Hollywood was an illusion.  Or if you are feeling less charitable, it was a lie.  This article from the February 2003 issue of Movieline magazine looks at the real lives of some of the best liars in Hollywood’s bygone era.

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Everybody’s Doing It…or Are They?

The final Fifty Shades movie hits theaters this weekend steaming up cineplexes everywhere.  These days, “sexy” movies are a rarity.  But not so long ago, movies were filled with racy scenes that were rumored to be the real deal.  In this article from Movieline’s 1993 “Sex” issue, Martha Frankel and her friends try to figure out how much Method acting went into some famous sex scenes.

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Madeline Stowe: Stowe-ing Away

Regular readers of the “What the Hell Happened” series may recall that Madeline Stowe took a few years off from her career following one of her biggest hits in order to start a family.  That’s a pretty common plot twist in the WTHH articles dealing with actresses.  But this interview from the February 1998 issue of Movieline magazine offers up another possible explanation for why Stowe never lived up to her movie star potential.  She comes across like a bit of an odd duck.  Martha Frankel met with the actress just as she was returning from her extended maternity leave and things got weird.

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Demi Moore: More, More, Moore

 

Post-Ghost, Demi Moore was on track to become the highest-paid actress in Hollywood.  She pursued fame and courted controversy with attention-grabbing magazine covers and a reputation for being a capital-D diva.  Among Moore’s many magazine covers was the January/February 1993 issue of Movieline – the publication’s annual “sex” issue.  Moore was promoting A Few Good Men and filming Indecent Proposal at the time of the interview.  In addition to her career, Moore discussed her public image and her marriage to Bruce Willis.

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Baby Love

In the February 1993 issue of Movieline magazine, Joe Queenan examined movies in which older men become romantically involved with inappropriately young women.  This was around the time of the Woody Allen-Soon Yi Previn scandal.  Twenty-five years later, in light of more serious allegations against the director, “the heart wants what it wants” seems almost quaint.  But back then, Allen’s personal relationships were largely viewed as just that, personal.  If the lauded filmmaker wanted to make a fool of himself with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, Hollywood was willing to let him.  Collectively, they shook their head at his bad judgement and moves on.

With that in mind, Queenan structures his article around the conceit that Allen could have learned some lessons from Hollywood’s depiction of May/December romances in “jailbait” movies like Lolita.  There are some laughs to be had if one can get past the “ick factor” Woody Allen now carries.

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Bridget Fonda: The Best of Bridget

Quentin Tarantino’s follow-up to Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, was saddled with unrealistic expectations.  Pulp Fiction changed cinema for the rest of the decade.  It also revived John Travolta’s flagging career with one of the greatest comebacks in Hollywood history.  Everyone wondered who would Tarantino revive next?  The cast of Jackie Brown included a number of candidates including veteran actors like Pam Grier and Robert Forster.

Bridget Fonda (who played a burnout just like her then-boyfriend Eric Stoltz did in Pulp Fiction) was at a point in her career where she could have used a little jolt.  But lightning doesn’t strike twice.  Jackie Brown was nowhere near as successful as Tarantino’s previous effort.  It didn’t end up doing all that much to change Fonda’s fortunes.  In this interview from the January 1998 issue of Movieline magazine, Fonda discusses her wild days and what it was like growing up in a famous family.

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Steve Zahn: ‘Magic Time’ in New Orleans

Yesterday afternoon, I had just finished my workout.  It’s January, so I’m still doing that. I had some work to do because January also happens to be the busiest time of year for me.  That’s when I got a message from Daffy Stardust.  I have a big red phone under a glass cloche like Batman for just this sort of thing.  When the Duck Phone rings, you drop everything and pick it up.  He wanted to know if there was anything in the Movieline archives that would tie into today’s bracket game.  He said his write-ups were focusing on supporting actors because he does that sort of thing instead of just looking at Box Office Mojo and Rotten Tomatoes like I generally do.  He also let me know that I got the year wrong in yesterday’s weekly recap not once but twice.  Towards the end of January, I am running on fumes.  As it turns out, Movieline hadn’t talked to most of the people Daffy wanted to spotlight.  But they did have this interview with Steve Zahn from April of 2010.

Notice I didn’t say it was from the April issue of 2010.  That’s because by this point, the publisher had pulled the plug on the print magazine.  A new owner attempted to relaunch Movieline as a website, but it didn’t last.  Later, they switched to a YouTube channel which also failed.  This interview with Steve Zahn comes at the beginning of Movieline’s brief second life as a website while the actor was appearing on the HBO series, Treme.

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Sam Neill: Sam I Am

It’s hard to describe Sam Neill’s career.  He has done leading man roles.  He even headlined a massive hit with Jurassic Park.  At one point, he was in the running to play Indiana Jones and James Bond.  When he came to Hollywood, he was viewed by some as a rival for Mel Gibson, but Neill went in a different direction.  His filmography is filled with art house films, supporting roles and the occasional lead in a big budget movie that doesn’t require a big name to sell tickets.  At the time of this interview from the January 98 issue of Movieline magazine, Neill was about to star in the TV mini-series, Merlin.

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Sexual Harris-ment

It may seem like a lifetime ago, but in the mid-nineties Neil Patrick Harris was still Doogie Howser to a lot of people.  If you would have bet against the actor making the successful transition to adult roles, you wouldn’t have been alone.  There was no reason to suspect that Harris would have the career he has today.  In this profile from the January 1998 issue of Movieline magazine, Harris discussed his plans to distance himself from his squeaky clean TV image.

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