Support your neighbors … at the movies

Suburbarazzi’s (semi-) weekly look at which current films have connections to the Lower Hudson Valley:

• “The Ex” — Zach Braff is a 30-something slacker forced to take a job at a new age advertising agency when his pregnant wife (Amanda Peet) quits hers. There he encounters wheelchair-bound ad man Chip (Rye native Jason Bateman), who just happens to be infatuated with his wife and is making attempts to sabotage him. Much as I’ve been looking forward to this movie, which was originally titled “Fast Track” and supposed to come out in 2006 (see my previous post, “Fast Track takes the excruciatingly slow track”), the 32 score on Metacritic doesn’t bode well. But ah, forget that. It was filmed in Nyack and features Bateman: Reason enough to go see it.

• “Spider-Man 3” — In case you didn’t notice this post, or this one, or this one, the latest Spidey installment stars Bryce Dallas Howard, who once lived in Armonk and graduated from Byram Hills HS. Yes, she’s only on screen for about eight lines of dialog, but oh, that bleached blond hair is totally worth the price of admission. Metacritic score: 60

• “The Hoax” — Pound Ridge resident Richard Gere stars as Clifford Irving, the guy who somehow managed to sell a phony biography of Howard Hughes to publishers in the ’70s. Make sure to go see this one while its still in the theaters (and Gere is still safe from India’s hyper-prudish court system). Metacritic score: 70

• “The Namesake” — This film, about an Indian family’s assimilation into the United States, was shot in Eastchester (the main home used for the Gangulii family), Yonkers (the parents’ initial apartment in the U.S.), and Nyack (the library). And oddly, it’s the perfect complement to “The Hoax.” This film delves into many Indian cultural taboos, such as public displays of affection. Once you’ve seen Kal Penn’s character cringing as Jacinda Barrett kisses his on-screen parents, you’ll have some sense of why some people in India freaked out over Gere passionately smooching actress Shilpa Shetty. Metacritic score: 82

Richard Gere kisses the wrong Pretty Woman


Protesters in India burned effigies of the Pound Ridge actor after he kissed a popular Bollywood actress, Shilpa Shetty, at an Aids awareness rally in New Delhi. Public displays of affection and sex remain major taboo subjects in the country and many Indians were apparently offended by Gere’s theatrics. Some protesters have even chanted for Shetty’s death.

The protesters say Gere insulted Indian culture, according to the BBC, by kissing Shetty on her hand and face multiple times. Shetty has defended Gere’s off-the-cuff action, which was acted out to entertain the audience.

“I understand people’s sentiments, but I don’t want a foreigner to take bad memories from here. I understand this is his culture, not ours,” she told Indian news outlets. She added that Gere has apologized profusely to her for the incident and the reaction it caused.

(AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)

Hoax Trivia: Will the real Pentagon please stand up?

With Washington security as tight as it is these days, trying to film a scene at the Pentagon is—well, just not going to happen.

So, when Bedford director Lasse Hallstrom needed to shoot Richard Gere exiting the infamous octagon for his latest movie, The Hoax (coming out in theaters today), he stayed close to home. Turns out, the Westchester County Michaelian Office Building in downtown White Plains was a suitable stand-in.

During filming in August of ’05, Haddad’s trailers lined Martine and Lexington Avenues and fans gathered en masse, hoping to see Gere or the film’s other stars (Marcia Gay Harden, Julie Delpy, Alfred Molina). Though our 1930 landmark’s Art Deco entrance wasn’t a perfect Pentagon match, it’s pretty hard to tell the two apart now. Can you guess which is which?

The answer is after the break.


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Get a sneak peek at Richard Gere’s new movie, The Hoax, this weekend

tjndc5-5e1h5we3qev12sob242d_layout.jpgTechnically, it won’t be released until next week, but Gere’s new movie (directed by Bedford’s Lasse Hallstrom and set partially in Westchester County) will get a one-night sneak peek this Saturday. The film tells the true story of Clifford Irving, the author who tricked the publishing industry into believing he had convinced the reclusive director Howard Hughes to cooperate on a biography. The scheme was eventually exposed and Irving went to jail. In honor of the movie, here is a TOTALLY FAKE interview with Pound Ridge’s Richard Gere.

Me: So Richard, thanks for agreeing to this interview. How are you doing?

Gere: Fantastic. Life’s good. I’ve got a movie I’m proud of, a family I love, and a new restaurant opening in Bedford this fall.

Me: Speaking of, I understand you’re auctioning off a private lunch date with yourself at the restaurant.

Gere: You are correct. And may I say your telephone voice is great. Have you ever considered voice-over work?

Me: You flatter me, Mr. Gere. But anyway, about this auction, what’s the bidding up to?

Gere: $13,500 last time I checked…which was 30 seconds ago…I check every minute.

Me: I assume you know that the auction also features other “dates� and other celebrities…and, in fact, you’re not pulling in the most money. You’re losing to Alan Greenspan. Bidding on him is up to $50,000. What’s it feel like to come in behind a 70-something-year-old man?


Me: Uh, Mr. Gere?

Gere: This interview is over.

And that concludes the FAKE portion of this post. Now for the very real interview with Clifford Irving in Time Out New York, keep reading:
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Win a date with Richard Gere!


Quick! You only have 7 days 4 hours and 35 minutes to beat out “bigbidder” for a rendezvous with the ravishing Richard Gere. Charitybuzz, which holds online auctions for nonprofit agencies, lists Gere as Lot# 3601. The bidding began on March 20th at $200 and is already up to $13,500.

The dreamy date will take place at Gere’s new Bedford inn, which is scheduled to open this fall. Gere, wife Carey Lowell, and business partner Russell Hernandez, bought the 14-acre site at 954 Old Post Road—home to the former Hoppfield’s Inn—for $2.7 million January 2006. Gere, a Pound Ridge resident, plans to renovate the beat up building into a 125-seat restaurant and a nine-room inn, complete with a yoga studio, bar, cafe, and horse trails.inn.jpg

It will be the perfect place to discuss the Dalai Lama over a cup of joe before hopping on a stallion and riding him into the sunset. No, not that stallion…the horse. I’m talking about the horse.

(L-R: AP Photo/Rajesh Nirgude; Rory Glaeseman/TJN)

Tim Robbins isn’t about to let Richard Gere show him up on the celebrity screening circuit


Not to be outdone by fellow Pound Ridger Richard Gere, actor-director Tim Robbins has booked his own local screening for later in the month. He’ll be showing “Cradle Will Rock,” a 1999 film he directed about the theater world during the communist scares of the 1930s, at Stamford’s Avon Theatre Film Center on March 19.

After the 7:30 p.m. screening, Robbins will do a Q&A with John Farr, a theater board member who invited Robbins to speak. According to the Stamford Advocate, Farr met Robbins at a Little League game in Bedford, N.Y., last year. Although the movie never got quite as much recognition as his other directorial efforts — “Bob Roberts,” “Dead Man Walking” — it has a stellar cast, including Hank Azaria, Bill Murray, the Cusack siblings, and of course Susan Sarandon. Tickets went on sale to nonmembers yesterday for $25 (or $15 for members). The 350-seat theater will probably sell out, so be sure to get yours by calling 661-0321.

Also exciting: next Tuesday, March 13, the Avon is going to have a screening of “The Namesake,” the adaptation of Jumpa Lahiri’s novel, and Q&A with the film’s director Mira Nair (who did “Monsoon Wedding” and “Vanity Fair”). A huge chunk of the movie was filmed in Eastchester, in a house we profiled in the October issue of InTown Westchester.

“Tim Robbins to ‘rock’ Avon Theatre this month” [The Advocate]

“Almost Famous” [InTown Westchester]

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

It’s no Hoax, Richard Gere’s coming to Pelham

0018_cn-096-24a.jpgAt last month’s star-studded Pelham Picture House fundraiser, it sounded like Peter Travers’ new film series might take a few months to get off the ground. Correction: Make that March 12 — as in, next Monday!

The PPH is going to host a 7 pm screening of “The Hoax,” the highly anticipated movie about bogus Howard Hughes biographer Clifford Irving (check out the trailer HERE). Pound Ridge’s Richard Gere, who plays Irving in the film, won’t be the only local taking part in a post-film Q&A with Travers. You’ll also get to hear from director Lasse Hallstrom (of Bedford), as Hallstrom’s longtime producing partner Leslie Holleran (of Larchmont). Tickets cost $35 and will go on sale tomorrow at the PPH website.

Also, in case my post about the Picture House’s “Cinema Soiree” came off sounding extra snarky, I’d like to point out that everyone at the organization — especially Lea Emery and Rachel Breinin — was extraordinarily nice and friendly at the Feb. 10 event. My description of it being “awkward” says much more about my own sheepishness in that environment than it does about the group behind the Picture House. Unlike Clifford Irving, they’re totally on the up and up.

“Richard Gere to Talk at Preview Screening of ‘The Hoax'” [Larchmont Gazette]

(Photo credit Ken Regan/ Courtesy of Miramax Films)

Richard Gere: Meine Damen und Herren, Save Tibet


Gere was in Germany this week to attend the Cinema For Peace Gala and urged the nation (which currently holds the European Union and G-Eight rotating presidencies) to continue pressing China on its Human Rights record in Tibet.

The Pound Ridge star has been a longtime advocate of the Tibetan cause (if you think you’ve seen the Dalai Lama in Westchester, he was probably staying with his good friend Richard).
“This is a historic moment for Germany to step forward,â€? Gere told the crowd. “This is a moment of great possibility for … not just punishing but encouraging China to become part of the modern world…Tibet should be ever-present in any discussion with China.” (China has ruled Tibet since 1950)
The actor also met with members of the Bundestag (the German Parliament) to discuss Tibet.

(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

Just what you always wanted: Inane movie titles, delivered via Google News Alerts!

Three bizarrely titled films, all starring Westchester actors, to look forward to next year:

• Need proof that those wacky Tibetans really do love Richard Gere? We present you with “Richard Gere Is My Hero,” about young Neema’s adulation of the Pound Ridge pretty boy and his quest to be just like Gere — especially the hair. Oh, how the Tibetans love the gray hair. [DailyIndia]

• Because “The Last Samurai” was such a smash hit, Bedford’s Billy Baldwin is starring in “Sakura: Blue-Eyed Samurai,” a Cary Elwes-directed flick that’s currently in production [Cinema Blend]

• Rye native Jason Bateman has agreed to star alongside Charlize Theron and Will Smith in “Tonight, He Comes,” about a down-and-out alcoholic superhero. Feel free to insert your own inappropriate joke about liquor’s deleterious effects on the sympathetic nervous system during sexual intercourse here. [ComingSoon]

Perfume Poll: Smells like celebrity spirit

While regional real estate seeker Derek Jeter tries to convince you that smelling like a chilled grapefruit is a great holiday gift idea, Suburbarazzi asks the question no one else dares: What if other celebrities with a connection to New York City’s northern suburbs released a line of fragrances?

Would you be inspired (read: nuts) enough to fork over $85 for a tinted bottle of pungent liquid and “your free gift (of toiletries nobody wants), while supplies last”?

Well, we care not only about what you want, but also about what you don’t. Have your say on the worst potential celebrity essence money could buy.

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Slush Pile: This week’s news on Martha, Ralph, Lasse, and others.

Some other local celeb news you might have missed this week:

> Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart agreed to open their Katonah properties to the Bedford Lanes Riding Association. So please, local equestrians, no more taping “Buck Me” signs to the back of Ralph and Martha’s horses. [Daily News]

> According to our TJN colleague and E-Team blogger Pete Kramer, Rockland celebs Jonathan Demme, Bill Irwin (aka Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street), Kevin Clash (another Sesame Streeter: the voice of Elmo), Andrea Martin, Paxton Whitehead, David Straitharn, and Tyne Daly all spoke at Rockland Country Day School’s annual “Evening of Celebrity Storytelling and Auction III.â€? We only wish we could have been there to hear Elmo shout “Show me the money” at auction bidders. [E-Team]

> “The Hoax,” a collaboration of Bedford best buds Richard Gere and Lasse Hallstrom, is getting great early buzz at RomaCinemaFest. Yet according to, the film, about a bogus Howard Hughes biographer, has had its release date pushed off until April 2007. Hmm, April 1, perhaps? We’re catching on to your marketing trickery, Miramax. [Reuters]