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Some people assume that if you are in the acting profession, you are also automatically super paid and can buy whatever you want and be generally decadent and carefree around town. Not so! This is especially apparent when it comes to getting furniture upholstered – that stuff is expensive.
So, if you’re a lady/gentleman on a budget and you want to make your house/apartment dope and extravagant without spending all of your precious, precious coconut water dollars, try this ridiculously simple DIY project:
“No Sew” Upholstery
I know what you’re thinking. You’re like, “Dennings, upholstery is a job best left to professionals.” And I’m like, “Shhhhh. Open your heart.”
With a billowing mane, full lips and a curvy physique, the actress – known for her witty characters in The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist could pass for Scarlett Johansson’s younger sister. Yet, as the Philadelphia native, who appears in Thor this May, tells it, “People … wanted me to get a tan, fix my teeth, and get a breast reduction. No joke!”
“The Renee Project,” the Renee Yohe ‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ film we told you about several weeks ago in this space has begun production in and around Orlando.
The movie is about a troubled young woman whose issues with self-esteem, substance abuse and self-injury (“cutting”) will star the formidable Kat Dennings, with Chad Michael Murray and Rupert Friend (“The Young Victoria”) also in the cast.
Dennings, who has a prominent role in the summer blockbuster “Thor,” is best known for such films as “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” “Charlie Bartlett” and “The House Bunny.” She’ll play Renee Yohe, the central Florida girl who inspired “To Write Love on Her Arms.” (TWLOHA)
Murray is best known for the TV series “One Tree Hill.” He’ll play Jamie Tworkowski, who helped found TWLOHA.
Friend has largely made his mark in period pieces in the UK (“Cherie,” “Pride & Prejudice,” “The Last Legion”).
Corbin Bleu from “High School Musical” also has a role.
Nathan Frankowski, who just directed “No Saints for Sinners” but who is best known for the Creationism documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” will direct and co-wrote the script with Kate King Lynch.
“The story follows 19-year-old Renee (played by Kat Dennings) who has always loved fairy tales: the idea of a princess, a hero and a happily ever after. But Renee’s life is that of a darker tale: she’s a young woman battling addiction, depression and self-injury. In a creative blend of artistic fantasy balanced with harsh reality, the movie follows Renee on her courageous journey towards recovery.”
Music and musicians have been a big part of TWLOHA (the T-shirts are a youth music phenomenon) and Travie McCoy and singer/songwriter Rachael Yamagata, among others, will perform on camera in this film, which producers describe as a blend of gritty reality and fantasy.
“Renee” is produced by Cameron “Kim” Dawson, David Blair McKenna, and David Nixon with Executive Producers Tom Swanson and Jayson Stringfellow rounding out the producing team. Paul Sirmons is the Line Producer.
The combination of subject matter and on camera talent, a popular charity/cause that is a big deal in youth culture and the music community make “The Renee Project” (better title needed) the most promising Major Motion Picture to be shot here since the Oscar winning “Monster.”
“The Renee Project,” the working title of a film being produced locally, is attracting big name talent to its cast.
Kat Dennings, the absolutely adorable Norah of “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” will star in it. Go to Renee’s Facebook fanpage and you’ll see how right the pale Dennings seems for the part, no matter what the hair color.
We knew something was up when Kat started following @Reneeyohe on twitter.
And there’s a part in the film for Rupert Friend, the prince who romanced and married “The Young Victoria.”
And Chad Michael Murray, of TV’s “One Tree Hill” is in it.
That’s a serious cast.
The director is the fellow who did Ben Stein’s Creationism documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” Nathan Frankowski.
N.E.R.D. is the band of choice for the soundtrack.
Producer Kim Dawson (“Bobby Jones: A Stroke of Genius”) describes the film as “Trainspotting’ meets ‘Across the Universe,’” which suggests dark subject matter treated with fantasy elements. It is based on the life of Renee Yohe, the young Florida woman whose life inspired “To Write Love on Her Arms,” an awareness group/charity aimed at young people going through depression, substance abuse and self-injury, aka “cutting.”
Shooting is slated to begin on this ambitious project sometime around Feb. 14, says Dawson. They got a bit of Florida Film Incentive money for the film. Producer, sometime director and second unit director and ex-state film commissioner Paul Sirmons is on board. And they’re working with Valencia College’s film program, which will provide some gear and student on-the-job trainings/sweat equity in the production, which keeps helps keep production costs down.
Co-executive produced by Michael Patrick King, “Two Broke Girls” centers on two under-employed New Yorkers trying to make it in the big city.
Kat Dennings has closed a deal to co-star in comedian Whitney Cummings’ CBS pilot Two Broke Girls.
The single-camera comedy from Warner Bros. revolves around two under-employed New Yorkers trying to make it in the big city. Cummings wrote the pilot and will executive produce with Sex and the City alum Michael Patrick King.
It’s not the first time Dennings has worked with King; the actress broke out when she landed a part on a 2000 episode of Sex and the City playing a precocious 13-year-old who hires Samantha to do publicity for her bat mitzvah. She went on to land supporting roles in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Big Momma’s House 2 and Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Thor.
Stalwart comedy director James Burrows will direct the Two Broke Girls pilot, which should give Girls a fighting chance if past experience is any guide. Burrows — a co-creator of Cheers – has directed myriad pilots including Will & Grace, The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men. Last year, he directed the pilots for CBS’ Mike & Molly, $#*! My Dad Says and Better with You.
Not everyone in Los Angeles had Golden Globes fever this past weekend. Hundreds of film industry types were schmoozing and seeing movies at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Big names turned up again this year – everyone from Michael Douglas to Natalie Portman – and attention was given to films that might otherwise have trouble finding traction in this awards-saturated season, like Peter Weir’s The Way Back. Another of those films is Daydream Nation, an angst-y tale about a brainy and manipulative girl (Kat Dennings) who shakes up a small town when she begins a love affair with her teacher (Josh Lucas). The film won over many of the festival’s younger fans, who were, lets be honest, in short supply at the open-to-the-public festival in one of America’s retirement hotbeds.
“I was listening to Daydream Nation a lot when I was writing the movie. I wanted to make a film that had the feeling of that record,” writer/director Mike Goldbach said of his decision to use Sonic Youth’s seminal 1988 record as the title of his film. He evened named one of the characters Thurston, an homage to Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore. “It’s beautiful and ethereal, but then all of a sudden the movie will swerve, just like the record, and become violent and atonal,” he continued.
On Saturday, a sold-out third screening of the film enthralled movie fans, who swooned over the film’s music-nerd soundtrack. Two Sonic Youth songs, “5 or 6” songs from Devendra Banhart, a Sebadoh track, a Beach House song, a Stars song, several songs by Metric’s Emily Haines (including a cover of Neil Young’s “Expecting to Fly”), and a Lou Reed number are all featured in the film and on the forthcoming soundtrack, from Last Gang Records.
The film was scored by Broken Social Scene’s Ohad Benchetrit, but despite the presence of a stellar songwriting throughout the film, the story mostly unfolds sans sound, musing on sex, death, and relationships in a rain-soaked small town. “It’s a dreamy, hazy, occasionally violent and scary bipolar movie,” Goldbach said. “When you name a film after an album by Sonic Youth, it sets the bar really high,” the director continued. “You want to live up to the promise.”
This past weekend in Palm Springs, Goldbach’s film did just that.
Actors set for ‘Saints’ Lithgow, Ryan among those set for ensemble film
By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK
Meg Ryan, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, John Lithgow, Joe Anderson and Kat Dennings will topline writer/director Chris Rossi’s ensemble drama “Lives of the Saints” for BCDF Pictures.
Pic is set to begin lensing Nov. 13 in Los Angeles.
Film tells the intertwining stories of a group of Angelenos seeking redemption for past mistakes, only to find that forgiveness comes from unlikely places.
Kevin Zegars, Anthony Anderson and Esai Morales also star in the pic, packaged by the Gersh Agency.
Ellen Wander’s Film Bridge Intl. will launch “Saints” at the American Film Market.
Matt Tauber is producing with Claude Dal Farra and Daniel Swee. Exec producers are Brice Dal Farra, Lauren Munsch and Paul Prokop of BCDF Pictures, along with Danny Leiner and Jennifer Levine of Untitled Entertainment. Terry Leonard is co-producer.
Thor has a few lovely ladies in his life. There’s Siff, the fellow Asgardian warrior. There’s Jane Foster on earth. The movie even adds a third, Darcy. Kat Dennings plays Foster’s student assistant.
Kat Dennings Talks Thor
“I think the Darcy role was expanded as we went through the rehearsal process,” Dennings said. “So she started out as something and ended up as something else. It was pretty great. There is a pretty great female presence in the film with Jane Foster and Darcy and Siff also and Friga, Thor’s mother.”
Dennings’ focus was on scenes with Natalie Portman. “Darcy makes food for Jane and mixes her Kaschi in the morning and basically she’s a new invention. She’s not in the comics. She just sort of hopes to be like Jane one day. She’s a hesitant student. Not to be biased, but I really like our relationship in the movie. I mean, we haven’t seen any of it but I know. I feel like our love in real life came out.”
Even though she was a new character, Dennings knew her Thor. “I’ve read a lot of the comic books just growing up, and I sort of felt for me anyway that I should sort of view the script as its own thing and not try to compare and contrast the previous stuff and just treat it like its own little universe. And Darcy wasn’t in the comics so I didn’t have to worry about continuity or anything like that.”
It was also Dennings’ first big budget blockbuster superhero film. “Our first AD had his own voice throwing equipment so he was standing in video village and he’d be like, ‘Back to ones.’ His voice would echo through the whole outside. There were hidden things. It was pretty big budget I would say, pretty nuts. And everyone was so good at their job. If you were like, “Oh, man, I could really use a piece of toast made out of rubber,” somebody would be like, FWING! They were so prepared it was amazing. I had come off of something that was done for like two dollars and then I came and did this. I was like oh my god. This is awesome. It felt good. I’m not going to lie. It was pretty great. I don’t know how many more movies I’ll be in like this but it was good to have one.”
Kat appeared on the Comic Con 2010 Thor Panel in San Diego, and as promised, here are pictures :) Kenneth Branagh, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Clark Gregg were also on the panel, and are scattered throughout the photos.
As you all hopefully know by now, Defendor is being released in cinemas across Canada tonight! And then in LA on Monday, where our own Rachel won a pass for two to the premiere. It will be awesome to hear what she has to say about the film over the weekend. :)
Have a pre-film interview with Kat from the Province:
She grew up toddling on the rolling green lawns of Bryn Mawr, Penn. — home to the world’s best women’s’ college and Katharine Hepburn’s alma mater — but Kat Dennings says while she fell in love with the classics, it wasn’t exactly a literary thing.
“I love the old musicals like Top Hat and An American in Paris,” says Dennings, who registered as a bona fide blip on the ingenue radar in the wake of playing Norah opposite Michael Cera’s Nick of Infinite Playlist fame.
“I didn’t want to be an actress from the very start. I went through a ballet stage first. Then I wanted to be a mermaid.”
Now starring in actor-turned director Peter Stebbings’s debut feature Defendor, Dennings says she has no problem taking on a variety of different roles, or even playing the crack-addicted sex trade worker (as she does in Defendor), as long as she maintains her personal and professional integrity along the way.
“I don’t really care if the choices I make are good or bad, but it’s important to me that they’re honest,” she says.
When it came to Defendor, Dennings says she was interested in taking on a low-budget project that seemed, in many ways, to be a labour of love for director Stebbings — as well as an ode to the steely-hearted city of Hamilton.
The story of a mentally challenged man who decides to clean up “the Hammer” by donning black clothing and taping a big “D” to his chest with duct tape, Defendor tells a familiar vigilante story with a human twist.
Stebbings says he was well aware of the archetypal source material he was working with, but wanted to strip it down to the basic mechanics of good and bad, and stick as close to the baseline as possible.
“I think people need to see how a lot of people in our society live. We turn a blind eye to all the invisible people out there, whether they are dealing with drug addiction or a disability,” says Stebbings.
“I spent a lot of time in Vancouver and I used to go to the First United Church at Hastings and Gore. I definitely saw how the other half lived,” he says.
Dennings wasn’t all that familiar with that other half, but in order to play the role of a teenage prostitute in this Canadian take on Taxi Driver, she did spend some time with a spokesperson for sex trade workers.
“I worked with a woman who was very familiar with this world and it was really helpful because this character [ironically named Kat] isn’t anything like me at all. She has nothing to hang on to,” says Dennings.
“I have a great family and supportive friends and I’ve been blessed in so many areas of my life. Kat, the character, has none of what I have. She’s got nothing to latch on to,” she says.
“I have to say, being in Hamilton for four or five weeks was also a huge help. That city certainly gets you in the right mood to smoke crack,” she says, her tone a perfect deadpan.
Starring opposite Oscar nominee Woody Harrelson, who plays Arthur Poppington (a. k.a. Defendor), Dennings says she found all the support she needed on set because Harrelson is the kind of actor who commits completely.
“If Woody hadn’t been there, the movie would have fallen apart. You have to believe in Arthur, and I swear, every time we were in a scene together and I looked into his eyes, I believed. He really transformed into Arthur — without tricks or anything — and that kind of made the experience for me.”
Dennings says she has no overall design on her career. She’s going to take it one part at a time, and right now, that would mean playing Darcy in the forthcoming Thor movie directed by Kenneth Branagh.
“Ah. I don’t know. I want to keep growing. Hopefully, I can do more comedy. I really like it and I think growing up, my favourite two actresses were Bernadette Peters and Madeline Kahn. They were great actors who made funny look easy. And that’s probably the hardest thing there is to do,” says Dennings.
“If they ever remake The Jerk, I’m going to fight to be in it.”