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The New Divas

Hollywood loves its divas.  Even when their demands drive everybody crazy, there’s something about a starlet who knows what she wants and how to get it.  The 90’s ushered in a new crop of divas (and divas in training).  In the October 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Stephen Rebello ran through some of Tinseltown’s most fabulous actresses.  Some were on their way out while others were ascendant.  Find out how the biggest divas of the decade lived twenty years ago.

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August 14: Happy Birthday Marcia Gay Harden and Danielle Steele


Oscar and Tony winning actress Marcia Gay Harden is turning 58 today.  While attending the University of Texas, she appeared in a short film directed by Edward Dmytryk, who was teaching a class there.  After she graduated from Texas she earned an MFA at NYU and began making television guest appearances.  Her first big film role was as Verna Bernbaum in Miller’s Crossing in 1990; three years later, she made her Broadway debut in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, and received a Tony nomination.

Harden won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Lee Krasner in the 2000 film Pollock, and was nominated for a second Oscar for the role of Celeste Boyle in Mystic River.  A few of her other notable films include The Spitfire Grill, Casa de los Babys, The Dead Girl, and American Gun.  Recently she has appeared in the Fifty Shades of Grey films as Grace Trevelyan Grey.  She won a Tony for starring in Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, and currently stars as Dr. Leanne Rorish on CBS’s Code Black.

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Before Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry was a better-than-average model-turned actress who spent more than her fair share of time on the covers of tabloids thanks to her failed celebrity marriage.  That changed when she became the first (and to date only) actress of color to win an Academy Award for Best Actress.  In this interview from the December 2001 issue of Movieline magazine, Lawrence Grobel asks Berry about her marriage to David Justice, her hit-and-run car accident and why she chose to go topless for Swordfish.

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Best Actress Bracket Game: Halle Berry Vs. Hilary Swank


We’re wrapping up round one of the Best Actress bracket game with our two most recent winners.  Since I was looking to feature multiple recipients, Hillary Swank was a no-brainer for inclusion in the game.  But there was some question over which actresses to include from the 21st century.  There have been some deserving winners in memorable roles.  One could argue that recent winners like Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore or Brie Larson might resonate more with readers.  Believe me, that conversation took place.  But ultimately, the last spot went to Halle Berry due to the historic nature of her win.

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Movieline Cover Gallery 2007-2011

Movieline Cover Gallery 2001

August 14: Happy Birthday Halle Berry and Mila Kunis


Halle Berry celebrates her 50th birthday today.  One of many fashion models to attempt to make the transition to film, she has been one of the most successful.  She made her film debut in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever in 1991 and had her first lead role that same year in Strictly Business.  In 1999, she won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for playing the lead in the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, about the first black woman ever nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress:

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Halle Berry: Halle Terror

Halle Berry 1995


In the April 1995 issue of Movieline Magazine, Stephen Rebello interviewed Halle Berry about rumors that she threw temper tantrums on the set of her latest movie, that her marriage to baseball player David Justice was in trouble and that she had been abused.  Berry speaks very openly about these subjects and more including racism in Hollywood.

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 2004

Razzies 2004

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The twenty-fifth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2004.   A pair of sequels, Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2, were the highest-grossing movies that year.  Million Dollar Baby was named Best Picture and Clint Eastwood took home his second Best Director trophy.  The top acting awards went to Hilary Swank and Jamie Foxx.  Politics dominated the Razzies and there was a rare Catwoman sighting.

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Movieline Magazine: Excerpts From 1995


Bullock Movieline cover

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been flashing back to 1995.  So I dug out some of the old Movieline magazines from that year and started looking for some hidden gems.  There was some great stuff which is fun to read 20 years later.  I selected some excerpts which help paint a picture of what was going on in Hollywood at the time.  In fact, I found so much good stuff, I’m going to break it up into installments.  This first part covers the Jan-March issues.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Jada Pinkett (pre-Smith) talking about her then-promising movie career
  • Post-Speed Sandra Bullock discusses her sudden fame, her peanut-buttery namesake and why you should never use duct tape to cover your nipples.
  • Halle Berry describes throwing a temper tantrum while filming Losing Isiah and rumors about her marriage to David Justice
  • Top actresses of 1995 name their favorite movie villainess.
  • Denzel Washington reluctantly discusses his personal life and whether or not he was fired by Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Movieline names the 100 stupidest things Hollywood has done lately circa 1995
  • A pre-Boy Wonder Chris O’Donnell dishes on filming love scenes with Drew Barrymore and stuffing the crotch of his Robin suit

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