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“GLEE’S” Jane Lynch and “Hairspray” director Adam Shankman

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MATTHEW Fox and Bryan Cranston at the Beverly Hills HFPA installation and grants luncheon. photos by ruben v. nepales



Only in Hollywood
Matthew Fox: From ‘Lost’ to London

By Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:52:00 08/05/2010

Filed Under: Personalities, Entertainment (general), Theatre

LOS ANGELES??Lost? star Matthew Fox told us at a recent luncheon in Beverly Hills that he?ll be in London early next year to debut on West End in a new play by Neil LaBute.

We forgot to ask the title of the play, but since the actor mentioned that it?s about a brother, which he portrays, and a sister, we?re guessing that it?s ?second year senior,? the award-winning playwright?s new work.

LaBute?s works have been criticized as misanthropic in tone, but he has also been hailed for his unflinching look at the dark side of humanity. The siblings in ?second year senior? open old wounds and create new ones as they sort through someone?s belongings in a rental property.

LaBute is also a filmmaker, whose best credit so far is the acclaimed indie film, ?In the Company of Men.?

Theater training
Not many people know that Matthew is a product of New York?s Atlantic Theater Company, which runs an off-Broadway theater that spawned plays which went on to Broadway like ?Spring Awakening.? Other thespians who trained in this acting conservatory are Felicity Huffman, Camryn Manheim, Peter Facinelli and Rose Byrne. Matthew said he was excited about appearing on West End for the first time.

?Glee?s? arch-nemesis
Also seated at our table during the luncheon, where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) presented its annual financial grants to film-related schools, charities and nonprofit organizations were ?Glee?s? Jane Lynch and co-creator Ian Brennan, directors Adam Shankman (?Hairspray?) and Steve Antin (?Burlesque,? a coming musical film starring Christina Aguilera).

Jane hasn?t shot any scenes with ?Glee?s? new student, Charice Pempengco, but she told Inquirer she was looking forward to working with the Filipina singer.

Chris Colfer was originally scheduled to accept the HFPA grant to Outfest, but he was needed on the ?Glee? set that day. Jane, who graciously took his place, woke up that morning with a raspy voice. She told us that she and Ian were set to do a sign language routine, but her voice had gotten better by lunchtime so she was able to give a thank-you speech on behalf of Outfest.

?Wizard? director
Adam, who was in the running to direct a prequel to ?The Wizard of Oz,? revealed that the gig has been offered to ?Spider-Man? director Sam Raimi. Oscar winner Sam Mendes was also reported as a contender. The big-budget prequel, named ?Oz: The Great and Powerful,? will star Robert Downey Jr. in the title role. We are sure the talented Adam will land other worthy projects.

Steve, on the other hand, reported that he?s done with the post-production of ?Burlesque,? which marks Christina?s live-action big screen debut. We?ve seen snippets of the film, which Steve described in interviews as ?a contemporary take on the traditional burlesque that is derived from vaudeville, with singing, dancing, comedy and more tease than striptease.? From what we saw, we can?t wait to see the finished version.

?Burlesque? is only Steve?s second feature directing job. Also in the cast are Cher, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Alan Cumming, Eric Dane, Peter Gallagher and Julianne Hough. Steve, who co-wrote the story, started as an actor in such movies as ?The Goonies,? ?Sweet 16,? ?The Accused? and ?The Last American Virgin.?

In the star-studded room, Annette Bening, simple in a black dress and with virtually no makeup, was the one most of the celebrities went to greet and chat with. Warren Beatty?s wife is once more earning praise, this time for her performance as the lesbian partner of Julianne Moore in ?The Kids Are All Right.? She is already being buzzed as a Best Actress contender next awards season.

Nicole Kidman, lovely in a green dress, also chatted with Annette. Eva Longoria Parker, who co-hosted the event with HFPA president Phil Berk, was seen giggling with Nicole after all the checks were handed out. Other celebs who attended the event and accepted checks on behalf of the recipients include Ryan Phillippe, Bryan Cranston, Carla Gugino, John Slattery, Aaron Sorkin, and two actors from one of the smartest, funniest TV shows today, ?The Big Bang Theory,? Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco.

E-mail the columnist at rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com.

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