SheKnows Superstar Interviews
Angelina Jolie to Zach Levi, since arriving at SheKnows, the pleasure has been all mine sitting and interviewing celebrities from all corners of the entertainment world.
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Just a few hours before John Cusack hit the airwaves voicing his opposition to presidential candidate John McCain, the star of summer 2008's War, Inc. called SheKnows for a one-on-one chat about his life on film.
Cusack called from the London set of his upcoming Shanghai, and the two of us shared one absolutely astounding conversation. Guess it helps when you equate Cusack's film work to the legenadry Robert Altman.
"Hey, look, if you want to compare our little movie to a Robert Altman film, I'll take it. It's funny you mention that because Altman did inspire us in a way. I was lucky enough to meet him and work with him before he passed away. I asked him about M*A*S*H. He said he wanted it to be as tasteless as the war was obscene. In that sense, he just kept pushing it farther. For the day, it was radical and still is," Cusack says. "In our weird incendiary cartoon, Marx Brothers (laughs), Telemundo soap opera, black comedy, whatever Jeremy and I wrote, we wanted to push that as far as we could go. Whenever we felt we had gone too far, we tried to go further." Read on...
Viola Davis tells me how she feels about the entire experience of working with Meryl Streep and receiving a 2009 Oscar nomination for Doubt.
We better let Davis explain.
"It's like what goes through your mind when people say you're in a major accident and you're whole life flashes before you and it's always the most important moments. This would be one of the moments that would flash," Viola Davis says launching into a hearty laugh flanked by twin golden Oscar giants. Read on...
Holly Hunter was brought to television after an Oscar-winning film career, she tells SheKnows, from across the spectrum of TV's
new Golden Age. Hunter talks about the challenges of television versus film. For one, those millions of lines!
The Fray did something astonishing with their debut album. They had five top 10 singles in a row -- those are Mariah Carey type of numbers. In the midst of their pop music mayhem, one of the boys from Colorado rang and let us in on what it is like to be on the top of the pops.
"You go from playing in a garage and lapse the timeline and you are at platinum. It blows your mind. I don't think it has set in and I don't think we really know what it means exactly," guitarist Dave Welsh says.
"Our whole life is music now. And probably to some people it does look like an overnight success -- you could disagree, but to play to a 1,000 people in Australia the first time we've even been to that continent in our lives that is kind of cool. Overnight or not, it's a great feeling." Read on...
Jada Pinkett Smith & Debra Messing
Jada Pinkett Smith and Debra Messing have a unique yin and yang quality onscreen. Their chemistry in The Women, is inescapable. When SheKnows spent the day with the cast, imagine our thrill when Pinkett-Smith and Messing were paired together.
Among Messing's highlights of making The Women: "We spent hours and hours just talking about what it is to be a woman in 2008. What it is to be a mother and a friend," Messing says. "We're very different women and we've had different experiences and different perspectives. It was fascinating."
As for Pinkett Smith, inspiration to last a lifetime arose from Diane English, the persaverant filmmaker who got The Women made. "That's what it takes when you have a passion for anything. Diane, she was like 'this movie will get done.' Because that was her mission, it happened," Pinkett Smith says. Read on...
CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien took a fascinating journey over the last 18 months. She told me over drinks at the Beverly Hills Hilton that making the multifaceted documentary Black in America was as important an assignment as she's ever pursued.
Geographic location, economic status, the sentiment was the same. "Across the spectrum they would say, 'When my son turned eleven, I had to tell him about if you are stopped by the police, this is how you need to act.' They all wanted to make sure he would survive," O'Brien says.
"It didn't matter if you were the poorest in Detroit or the wealthiest Hollywood celebrity, those types of conversations white people do not have with their sons. People have discussions about respecting authority, but not about what to do with the police. After a while, it became breathtaking. It was a universal story." Read on...
Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara had to be tracked down to talk music, twins who jam and work with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla. Sara Quin, one half of the Canadian twins, sat down with me while at her Canadian home taking a breather before the upcoming world tour.
Sara was the most effortless form of delightfulness I have encountered in years. "I've known great synergy between musicians before, but there is definitely something that Tegan and I can do, not just even musically," she says. "Although, people walk up to us and can't tell the difference between us and to me, she looks as different from me as my guitar player who has a beard. (laughs)" Read on...
The phone rang with a familiar area code - The Hamptons. It was Ed Westwick -- who plays bad boy Chuck on the CW's monster hit Gossip Girl. "This is my first time in the Hamptons. It's a first for me. This place is really something," Westwick says.
Filming the show's season premiere at the time, Westwick seem to be enjoying his success. Actors always admit that playing bad is really good. What has life been like since Gossip Girl and XOXO became part of the pop culture landscape?
"It's been crazy. You know, my mind hasn't really caught up with it," Westwick says. Read on...
Dancing with the Stars veteran Lisa Rinna has been a fitness fanatic for decades.
After appearing on the hit dance show, Rinna noticed a new fervor for exercise spawned by the joy of dance. From Days of Our Lives, Melrose Place to Dancing with the Stars and her current job covering the red carpet for E!, Rinna has always been a busy woman. Raising kids with husband Harry Hamlin and running her BelleGray boutique in Los Angeles only add to her schedule, but Rinna makes time for fitness and she shares her secrets with SheKnows. Read on...
Arielle Kebbel has starred with Emma Roberts in Aquamarine and stole scenes in John Tucker Must Die and as such, Kebbel has generated some serious Hollywood heat. The 23-year-old actress reflects on a filmmaking experience to treasure with The Uninvited that is continuing a career that has Tinsel Town talking.
"With anyone's career it's never an overnight success," Kebbel says. "Part of the fun is all the hard work and time and energy that is put in behind the scenes that nobody sees or knows about. That's what makes the rise so special. It would never be without the hard work and time and energy put in behind the scenes. It's not just me (laughs)." Read on...
Clay Aiken: the first visit
In the ever-crowded field of American Idol alums, there are three that have towered over the rest -- first season winner Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and second season runner-up Clay Aiken.
Aiken, among a dozen topics, spoke about how people expect something from a guy who "looks like I do."
"I think that part of the focus on 'Clay Aiken' is always going to be on how weird he looks! Part of the phenomenon is that this skinny, dorky looking white kid could be transformed into something moderately presentable! (Laughs) I hope that people have always been able to look past the exterior and hear me sing. Or, at least, be able to say 'He may look weird, but he can sing well!'" Read on...
Sarah Paulson has had a Hollywood moment. When first witnessing The Spirit poster with her face on it, she was taken aback. "I'm on that bus," Paulson says with shock.
Paulson's most delightful confession concerned the effort involved to be red carpet ready during award season. "I was nominated for a Golden Globe for Studio 60 two years ago. That was probably the most exciting time and the most stressful time," Paulson says. "All of the sudden you have 30 things you've never thought of before. You need a stylist. You need a make-up artist. You need someone to pick your shoes up. You need someone to get you deodorant – all these things that you would just normally just do yourself." Read on...
"It is very much a boss-operative relationship," Ridley Scott says of the camaraderie between Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in his Body of Lies. But the director of almost two-dozen riveting Hollywood pictures could be talking about his method of filmmaking.
Scott tells us about filming the legendary battle scene in Gladiator with his frequent collabor, Russell Crowe. "People always ask us where was that battlefield in Germania? It's actually four miles east of Gatwick (Scotland) airport," Scott says and laughs. "Now that scene was pretty impressive, wasn't it? What I like is Russell had never seen it. I didn't want him to see it until he walks up on it and says, 'holy...,' and goes into the proscenium and becomes part of that world." Read on...
Nikka Costa comes from rock royalty. Her father was legendary producer, conductor and arranger Don Costa. He has a profound influence on her life though he suddenly passed away when Nikka was ten years old. By that point, Costa was already a successful recording artist. With the arrival of a new Nikka Costa record, SheKnows had to chat.
"I have to admit it was completely the least laborious record-making we've ever, ever experienced. I hope, hope, hope, that I get to have that kind of vibe again. It was really a special moment in time. We wrote these songs in a very small amount of time. It was hyper-focused (laughs)," Costa says. What else does she say about life as a rock n' roll maven? Read on...
The men behind Lost: Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse
As Lost embarks on its fifth season, SheKnows talks to Lindelof and Cuse and gets an inside peek at the show starring Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly.
How did having ABC agree to a closing time for Lost aid in the storytelling process? "Our approach to the story telling changed drastically once we were able to negotiate an end date to the show. Before that we didn't know if the mythology had to last two seasons or seven seasons. Once we knew there were only going to be 48 episodes of the show left we were able to start charting out the remaining journey," Cuse says. They both had lots to say. Read on...
Frank Langella earned his first Oscar nomination at the age of 71 for his portray of a disgraced president in Frost/Nixon. Audiences could not forget his face as he has spent his career disappearing into scenes with the world's biggest superstars.
Best Actor nominee Frank Langella tells us he is quite grounded when he comes to a post Oscar spike in his career. "I don't think they'll be much of a change," Langella says. "This is a wonderful highpoint. But it is a highpoint and not the only one."
From Superman Returns to George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck, Frank Langella gets lost in his characters. "I've been at this for over four decades and the privilege of being nominated for an Oscar is really extraordinary. But I don't think suddenly I'm going to turn into one of those actors who gets millions and millions of dollars for holding a gun (laughs)." Read on...
Carrie Ann Inaba
Dancing with the Stars most accomplished dancing judge ran into SheKnows on the red carpet of the American Music Awards. Carrie Ann Inaba was there working actually as the host of ABC's red carpet coverage. The day before she sat down for a few moments to discuss Dancing her way into one of music's biggest nights.
"I've been on a few red carpets walk them, that's nerve walking on its own. Now, to be hosting and interviewing people is a huge honor – especially at the AMAs because it's always been my favorite show," Inaba says. "There's a little bit of pressure. I'm a little nervous. I've got to practice my microphone technique because on Dancing with the Stars I wear a hair microphone. This is a little different with the hand-held mike." Read on...
With her appearence on this season's The Closer and her upcoming turn in Werner (Rescue Dawn) Herzog's latest film, Jennifer Coolidge is miles away from her ditzy persona of the Legally Blonde movies. (And let's not forget her characters in the
Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy farces, including the iconic Best in Show.)
After winning a Golden Globe, Sally Hawkins was considerably Happy-Go-Lucky. Hawkins important her secrets to happiness.
Hawkins has given SheKnows an exclusive look at what she believes is the 10 Steps to a Positive Lifestyle.
10. Stay happy
Over his decade in the entertainment business, from purposeful joker to consummate auteur, David Arquette has weaved a web worthy of Spiderman.
Arquette admits it was a difficult task to get his wife, Courtney Cox-Arquette to join his cast for his first film as director, Trippin.'"(Laughs) Well actually I wanted her to play a bigger role, but she's like 'I'm too old.' (Laughs) No you're not! Then she said 'yes I am. I'm not going to be in a van with bunch of young hippie kids.' You don't understand. Hippies come in all ages and shapes and sizes. And she wouldn't go for it. But she does have a really memorable cameo. Read on...
Up next: Ashlee Simpson, Reese Witherspoon visits again, David Arquette, the casts of The House Bunny and a Kennedy calls.