Podcast: June 19

This week: Ron Howard’s vexing problems with the Vatican, Justine Bateman’s SAG sympathies, and Vanessa Williams return to Chappaqua.

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/061708_Suburbarazzi_lohud.mp4″ title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file” class=”noimg”><em>Podcast file</em></a>

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/061708_Suburbarazzi_lohud.flv” title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file”><em>Flash video</em></a>

And the quiz — which, I might add, stumped Stacy-Ann (third week in a row!) — is as follows:

Which actor from the Lower Hudson Valley appears in M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller “The Happening”?

A. Joseph Cross, of Pelham
B. Bill Irwin, of Nyack
C. Alan Ruck, of Piermont
D. Mel Gibson, of Peekskill/Verplanck

The big trick here: ALL of these actors have, at one point or another, appeared in a Shyamalan film.

The answer, as always, is at the end of the video or after the break.

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Greenlights aren’t what they used to be

The writer’s strike has been over for almost a month now, but to look at the list of stalled movies, all of which had previously gotten the green light from studios, it feels like Hollywood is still on hiatus. Here are just a few that have ties to Lower Hudson Valley residents (or natives) and, according to Variety, are going nowhere fast:

aaron-sorkin.jpg• “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” to be directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Scarsdale native Aaron Sorkin (right), was supposed to start shooting in April, but has now been put on hold. It looks like it won’t begin filming now until summer and fall, and Spielberg and Sorkin are planning to use the additional time to tighten their script. With a potentially blockbuster cast (among the names rumored on IMDB: Will Smith, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Kevin Spacey, Colin Hanks, and Jeff Bridges), it’ll be interesting to see if the actors will still be available months and months down the road.

joseph-cross.jpg• “Justice League of America,” was once rumored to have Pelham’s Joseph Cross (right), of “Running with Scissors” fame, as one of its Hall of Justice superheros. And while the entire cast is still up in the air, the Variety account says that, despite delays, Warner Bros. is still trying desperately to begin shooting in mid-July, hoping for a summer ’09 release. Alas, that script needs work, too, and isn’t due to be finished for over a month.

ron-howard.jpg• “Angels and Demons,” Ron Howard’s “Da Vinci Code” prequel, appears to be the only film with a rock-solid plan. Shooting, which was supposed to begin before the strike, is now set to commence in Rome on June 5. Howard, who lives in Greenwich, “will spend three weeks shooting all of the film’s exterior scenes,” says Variety. “The rest of the film will be shot on Sony soundstages, where sets will wait, if necessary, until an actor’s strike is over. That allowed Sony to somewhat contain the costs to halt and re-start the picture.”

“Film greenlights in limbo” [Variety]

Ron Howard and Tom Hanks reunite for ‘Code’ sequel, more mullet madness

ron-howard.jpgIn the mad rush to finish up scripts before the WGA strike began on Oct. 31, one of the few projects to finish just under the wire appears to be “Angels & Demons,” directed by Greenwich resident (and former Armonker) Ron Howard. The prequel to “The Da Vinci Code” is set to begin filming in February 2008, and according to Variety, Howard, producers Brian Grazer and John Calley, and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman were furiously finalizing the shooting script last week.

As with “Code,” the flick is based on a Dan Brown novel and will star Tom Hanks and his shoulder-length mullet as symbologist Robert Langdon. Which of course begs the question: If the script hadn’t been finished on time, would we have been treated to an even more glorious Hanks mane? Could a six-month strike have begotten “Castaway”-esque, waist-long locks?

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Is Bryce Dallas Howard the next Sofia Coppola?

sofia.jpgbryce.jpgWith Bryce Dallas Howard prepping for a Palm Springs screening of her directorial debut, “Orchids,” perhaps it’s unfair to compare her to Sofia Coppola — another director whose father won an Academy Award in that category.

Howard, an alumna of Byram Hills High School in Armonk, screens her first directorial work at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films & Short Film Market, running from Aug. 23 to 29. Most of the films Coppola directed have garnered critical acclaim, including the Oscar-nominated “Lost in Translation,” which she wrote with its star, Sneden’s Landing resident Bill Murray, in mind. Directing advantage: Coppola.

On the other hand, Howard’s a much better actress, perhaps by default. Even in films that critics blasted (“The Village,” “Lady in the Water” and “Spider-Man 3”), her performances often are considered among the sole highlights. Most viewers of “The Godfather: Part III” continue to lament over Coppola’s turn as Mary Corleone, 17 years after the fact. Acting advantage: Howard.

Nonetheless, Howard and Coppola are among the best cases for Hollywood nepotism. Heck, they’ve both worked with Kirsten Dunst — is that good or bad? — so it might be only a matter of time before they work with each other.

(AP photos — Howard: Jennifer Graylock; Coppola: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Ron Howard’s ‘Frost/Nixon’ film a go

Thanks to the raves it’s getting on Broadway, the film version of “Frost/Nixon” already has a green light. The play just debuted on the Great White Way April 22, and the movie will begin shooting in August. It’ll be directed by Greenwich resident Ron Howard, and adapted for the screen by the play’s author, Peter Morgan. According to Variety, both Frank Langella and Michael Sheen will likely reprise their roles as Richard Nixon and David Frost.

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How do you say ‘you’re pregnant’ to Bryce Dallas Howard — in Turkish?

tjndc5-5bsuizcbuu9mpu0f13p_layout.jpgIf you thought starting a blog about Lower Hudson Valley celebrities was a bit of a stretch, what about one devoted entirely to the adulation of celebuspawn? Meet the Celebrity Baby Blog.

It’s an impressively narrow scope for a blog. So, outside of the regular posts on Shiloh and Suri, how do they keep things fresh? For starters, like us, they’re quick to break out Byram Hills grad Bryce Dallas Howard.

This post about the Spider-Man 3 star reveals more than you could have ever wanted to know about her two-month-old son Theo (good name). Among the random trivia (most of which was gleaned from an appearance Howard made on “The Tonight Show”): Howard and her husband Seth Gabel learned she was pregnant a week after their wedding, while on a Turkish cruise ship with the extended Howard clan. During the trip she started to feel ill and decided to take a pregnancy test. Unfortunately, the test her dad, Ron Howard (of Greenwich), and other family members bought wasn’t all that useful: It was written entirely in Turkish.

When nobody else on the boat spoke Turkish, she found a tour guide to translate. “We got to the end of that phrase and I was like, Okay, so what does that mean?” Howard said. “And he said, ‘Put the stick between your legs and urinate.’ Finally we got down to the bottom and he figured out and said, Congratulations, youre pregnant.”

Click the link below for plenty more details on Bryce’s baby — like how Howard ditched her plan for a homebirth, how Ron showed up in the delivery room to direct, and then how Ron turned as green as “The Grinch” when Theo made his debut.

“How Bryce Dallas Howard found out she was pregnant” [Celebrity Baby Blog]

(AP Photo/Phil McCarten)

Howard on board for ‘Da Vinci Code’ prequel

tjndc5-5dl7iljj6w5uu87uf7e_layout.jpgNot that anyone ever seriously doubted whether Greenwich resident Ron Howard and his buddy Tom Hanks would reunite to adapt Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons” for the big screen, but now it’s official.

After all, despite being a snoozefest and getting one of the worst critical drubbings in recent memory, the first one did make $758 million. Sony Pictures has set January as the start date for “A&D” to begin filming, and reportedly Akiva Goldsman is going to do the screenplay (again) — this time about a mysterious murder and age-old mystery involving the Illuminati and the Vatican.
Hanks, Howard near ‘Da Vinci’ prequel – CNN.com

(AP Photo/Glenn Cratty, American Society of Cinematographers)

Paging Paige Howard

There’s an old saying: Every time a celebrity baby is born, a paparazzi gets its wings. There’s also an even older one: Every time an older sister gives birth, she hogs all the friggin media spotlight!

paigehoward.jpgIt’s in the spirit of the latter that I was so happy to read Heather Salerno’s profile of Paige Howard in The Journal News yesterday. To recap: Paige is the daughter of director Ron and the sister of newly christened mother Bryce Dallas Howard. While I did write a bit about Paige’s starring role in the off-Broadway play “Mary Rose,” her theater debut, back in a Feb. 6 post, the arrival of Bryce’s baby boy this week eclipsed all other Howard-related news (except Howard Stern, of course). Thankfully, Heather was still on Paige patrol, and got a back-stage interview with the younger Howard. Below, just a few juicy factoids from her excellent story:

• Like Joseph Cross, Paige is also playing hookey from college, taking a leave of absence from her last semester at NYU to star in “Mary Rose.” Say, it may be two weeks too late for Valentines match-making, but those two would make an awesome couple, wouldn’t they?

• Among Paige’s favorite activities: astrology and palm reading. Don’t know if that means she’s also into psychics, but if so, somebody get that girl a copy of the March issue of InTown Westchester!

• In addition to the red hair, Paige also inherited dad’s “Dad’s big feet. I’m a size 10!” That means some big ass fuschia Uggs.

• Ron forbid his daughters from acting professionally until they turned 18. Salerno also learned that Paige didn’t tell her folks that she was acting in high school plays until junior year — even though she actually started performing in them freshman year.

• Finally settling a heated Suburbarazzi debate once and for all, Salerno reports that the Howards have lived in both Armonk and Connecticut. Case closed.

“Presenting Paige” [TJN]

(Photo: Elizabeth Orozco/The Journal News)

It’s a boy for Bryce!

tjndc5-5bsuizcbuu9mpu0f13p_layout.jpgAccording to People Magazine, Armonk native Bryce Dallas Howard and Seth Gabel officially gave birth to a BABY BOY! Hooray!

Wait, wait, hold on a sec. We already knew that, didn’t we?

Ahh, oh well. Many thanks still to Suburbarazzi tipster Amy Vernon for the confirmation that Howard’s obstetrician didn’t botch the male prognosis.

Now begins the waiting game to see whether, as per our own prediction, the newest Howard will carry on the redhead legacy of his mama — or the cursed baldness gene of his granddad.

“Bryce Dallas Howard Has a Boy” [People]

(AP Photo/Phil McCarten)

The new Howard on the block

tjndc5-5czsn0oj7hs1fea011mp_layout.jpgMeet Paige Howard, the latest offspring of Greenwich director Ron Howard to follow in Opie’s acting footsteps.

A 21-year-old NYU theater student, Paige has been cast as the lead in a revival of “Mary Rose,” by “Peter Pan” playwright J.M. Barrie, which just opened on Feb. 1 at the Vineyard Theater in NYC. The play is about a young woman’s disappearance and mysterious return to her family, and it also stars veteran Keir Duella (pictured here with Howard).

OK, now I’m gonna make a few bold predictions: Paige will star in two or three more Broadway productions, star in a couple films by the next up-and-coming Hollywood director (say, Christopher Nolan), and then become the love interest in “Spiderman 4.” Anyway, that’s the exact path sister Bryce Dallas Howard took — NYU to off-Broadway to Shymalan’s “Village” and “Lady in the Water” to Spidey 3’s hot mamma.

Unlike Bryce, however, Paige didn’t attend Byram Hills HS in Armonk. According to this Women’s Wear Daily interview, she went to an all-girls boarding school in Maryland. Also interesting: Ron wouldn’t let any of his daughters work profesionally until age 18; the Howard clan stays in touch via videoconferencing; and Paige has a twin sister, Jocelyn.

No word yet on whether Jocelyn’s been bit by the acting bug, too, but if the Howard clan manages to dilute the redheaded acting pool any further, we may just have to lock up David Caruso (again) to restore some sense of equilibrium.

“Paige Howard to star in ‘Mary Rose’ at Vineyard” [TheaterMania]

(AP Photo/Sam Rudy Media Relations/Carol Rosegg)

Bryce Dallas Howard to pass on baldness gene to another generation

Bryce Dallas HowardIn one of our all-too-infrequent visits to the Celebrity Baby Blog (yet another site, like us, proving that the net’s niche celeb market knows no limits), we found out that Bryce Dallas Howard just found out the sex of her baby in waiting: It’s a boy!

Howard, a graduate of Byram Hills High School in Armonk, is the daughter of director Ron Howard and the star of such M.Night Shamalamadingdong films as “Lady in the Water” and “The Village.” She’s also got a budding directorial career of her own, with the short film “Orchids,” which Oprah pimped for earlier this year.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, she’s also the proud owner of one of the most radioactively red heads of hair in Hollywood. While we’re pulling for her unborn baby to get similarly pretty locks, which act like a reflective biking strips at night, there’s the matter of male pattern baldness being a trait inherited from your mother’s father. Ah, androgenic alopecia, ain’t it a bitch.

What Willis et al. have been talkin’ about

References to former Bronxville residents Ed McMahon and President John F. Kennedy, as well as a hand-gestur-ific quote from Bedford resident Donald Trump, are among TV Land’s 100 top television catchphrases, whose ranking will be revealed in five parts on the network starting Dec. 11.

McMahon’s “Heeeere’s Johnnyâ€? introduction to “The Tonight Showâ€? joins quotes both by and about Kennedy, including the prez’s own “Ask not what your country can do for you” speech and Lloyd Bentsen’s “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” quip to master speller Dan Quayle.

The owner of the Trump National Golf Course in Briarcliff Manor and the greatest hyperboles in the tri-county area once uttered his Top-100 phrase “You’re fired� to Eastchester High School alumna Ereka Vetrini.

TV Land offers a pretty comprehensive list, but I’m disappointed that more lines uttered by regional residents missed the cut, including:

  • “From the home-office in Sioux City, Iowa….”– North Salem resident David Letterman.
  • “I’m Chevy Chase, and you’re not.â€? – Bedford resident Chevy Chase.
  • “It’s a good thing.â€? – Bedford resident Martha Stewart.
  • “Homer, we’re out of vodka.” – Greenwich, Conn., resident Ron Howard to Homer Simpson on “The Simpsons.â€?