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Richard Gere: Shifting Geres

I don’t know about you, but my eyes kind of glaze over when I think about reading an interview with Richard Gere.  He’s an activist and I assume he’s going to spend 90% of the article talking about his causes.  Plus, Gere has a reputation for being guarded, so I’m not expecting him to say anything really interesting.  As it turns out, when Gere sat down for the cover story of the November 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, he did have a lot to say about Buddhism.  But he also tells some interesting stories about his career up to that point.

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In Defense of Julia Roberts

Everyone likes Julia Roberts, right?  I mean most people.  There’s always going to be someone out there who has a bone to pick with any celebrity.  I’m not an especially big fan of Roberts, but pressed for a verdict I will give her a thumbs up.  However, twenty years ago Roberts’ future as a movie star was uncertain.  Following the massive success of Pretty Woman, she struggled to find the right projects.  Her movies were often overshadowed by her tabloid romances.

Her career stabilized when she returned to romantic comedies with My Best Friend’s Wedding.  That movie represented a comeback after her uncharacteristically glum performance in Mary Reilly.  But prior to Roberts’ return to form, writer David Thomson saw potential in Roberts’ least glamorous role.  Where others saw an actress in over her head, Thomson saw potential.  While Movieline was counting Roberts out, Thompson was mounting a defense.  In the April 1997 article, Thompson argued that Roberts’ future depended on her ability to abandon her mega-watt smile.

Twenty years later, Roberts has rebounded so successfully that many forget that she was ever out of favor.  I would argue that she did so by doing the opposite of what Thompson suggested.

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A Star is Born

It Happened One Night


It doesn’t happen very often.  Less so now than in the past.  But every now and then the right actor finds the right role in the right movie at exactly the right time and magic happens.  A star is born!  In the June 1996 issue of Movieline magazine, Virginia Campbell and Charles Oakley took a look at some star-making roles.

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Totally Awesome Facts You Need to Know About Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman

A Disney movie about prostitution featuring an unknown actress and an actor whose career had seen better days somehow became one of the most iconic romantic comedies of all time.  Gary Marshall’s Pretty Woman celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary this year.  To commemorate the occasion, we’re looking at some totally awesome facts you need to know about Pretty Woman.

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Movieline Flashback: Julia Roberts 1989

julia roberts


The Movieline vault is filled with goodies.  Today, I unearthed a short and sweet bio on a then-unknown Julia Roberts.  Check out the author’s bold prediction that one day, Roberts may outshine her brother, Whathisname.  This article was published just before the release of Steel Magnolias soon after Roberts was cast in some unnamed comedy opposite Richard Gere.


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What Might Have Been: Meg Ryan


Actors careers are shaped by choices.  Their performances are made up of small choices; how a character should move, what they should sound like, how they should react.  Then there are the big choices like what roles to take and who to work with.  When an actor commits to a movie, they are dedicating a chunk of their lives to preparing for the role, filming the movie and then doing the promotion circuit.  For a lead actor, each movie can be a year-long commitment.  For an actor who is in demand, this can lead to some tough choices which will ultimately shape the course of their career.

As the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.”  Sometimes, an actor’s choices look foolish in retrospect.  Other times, it seems like they dodged a bullet.  Either way, movie fans love looking back and wondering what might have been.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Meg Ryan was America’s Sweetheart and the reigning queen of the romantic comedy.  For a time, Ryan had her pick of projects which means she had the opportunity to pass on a lot of movies that went on to become hits.  The means lots of opportunities to wonder about what might have been.

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