Arguably the coolest and among the most beloved of all former original Star Trek cast members, George Takei can add Tom Hanks to his list of admirers. The 73-year-old actor will appear next in Hanks’ latest directorial effort, Larry Crowne. (Talk about taking your time, it’s only Hanks’ second directing job after 1996’s That Thing You Do.) Reports are that the movie is about a man reaching middle age and realizing that he has to go to college and start over. In other words, it’s about practically everybody these days. Nia Vardalos co-wrote the script with Hanks, and Julia Roberts will co-star. Takei will join a roster of featured players including Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, Bryan Cranston, Pam Grier, Wilmer Valderrama, Cedric The Entertainer and Vardalos. And here’s welcome news – it’s planned as a summer release, a welcome grown-up alternative for the July 4th weekend.
This week in Amber Heard news
What was that you heard about coming out harming an actor’s career? Sure, every performer deals with different circumstances, but take the case of up-and-comer Amber Heard, who recently butt-kicked her way across the screen with Nicolas Cage in the goofy, underappreciated Drive Angry. After coming out with the equivalent of a shrugged, “Oh, hey, yeah, I’m a lesbian and who cares,” the Maxim magazine model-like Zombieland actor has only seen her star rise. She’s just completed The Rum Diary, based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson and starring Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Giovanni Ribisi, Richard Jenkins. And she’s about to star in the certain-to-be-trashy thriller The Applicant, about a prep school senior obsessed with getting into Yale who seduces and ruins the lives of an admissions director and professor. Moral: in fiction and in Hollywood, talent is great (and Heard has it) but hotness doesn’t hurt.
Connie Britton, unlike the Foo Fighters, says yes to Ryan Murphy
So maybe Slash and Kings of Leon and Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters aren’t interested in licensing their hit songs to Ryan Murphy for Kurt or Finn to sing on Glee. (Murphy is notoriously and publicly peeved when he can’t get his way with music for the show, going so far as to insult the artists who won’t play along, prompting Grohl to announce: “F___ that guy.”) But Murphy’s other new project, the FX drama pilot An American Horror Story has tapped Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton to lead its cast.
According to FX boss John Landgraf, the show will be a “complicated, interesting psychological horror show… incredibly ambitious.” Given Murphy’s rep for creative genre-bending and boundary pushing, the final product should be fascinating to look at. And maybe Dave Grohl will like Horror more than the 10 minutes of Glee he reportedly watched and consent to write a really kick-ass theme song? The possibility of a kiss-and-make-up scenario should never be discounted.
Matt Bomer’s White Collar moonlighting
The Internet makes gay actors’ personal lives much more complicated. Old ideas about “the closet” almost make no sense anymore when a gay actor doesn’t necessarily hide his sexual orientation but also doesn’t speak to the press about it. Is he out? Not out? Does it matter? Whatever your opinion on the subject, here’s what maybe-gay-maybe-not-gay-because-he-won’t-say White Collar star Matt Bomer is doing next: a futuristic sci-fi thriller called Now. And the ensemble cast is nothing to sneeze at either – a gang of young ones that includes Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Amanda Seyfried, Justin Timberlake, Cillian Murphy, Johnny Galecki, Vincent Kartheiser and former America’s Next Top Model contestant (and The Kids Are All Right co-star) Yaya DaCosta. Why so youth-obsessed? Well, the plot is a riff on Logan’s Run, set in a future where the aging gene has been shut off by science and only money buys you extra life. Sounds like the daydreams of a lot of gay guys, actually. Still in production, expect this one for Halloween.