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News & Appearances #28: Because we're hoping she gets to be a Cover Girl this year.
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| Billy Baldwin on Gossip Girl and Underage Barbados Trips with Mick Jagger |
Most middle-aged actors would be flattered to find out that one of the hippest series on television had customized a part for them, but for Billy Baldwin, it was a hard pill to swallow. Baldwin begins his Gossip Girl arc tonight as William van der Woodsen, the long-lost father of Blake Lively’s affluent Upper East Sider, but at 46, the second-youngest of the Baldwin brothers had a hard time accepting that he was old enough to play the father of a high-school graduate. In anticipation of his debut, Baldwin talked to Lindsey DiMattina (of our sister site Hollywood Life) about finally embracing his role, his “Jewish geography” conversations with Blake Lively, and his own run-in with privileged Upper East Siders.
How do you feel about playing Blake’s dad?
I have a five-year-old daughter, but all my friends from college have children the same age as Serena. They are all going to scout colleges and getting ready for orientations. I certainly am old enough to be Serena or Blake’s father, [but] it doesn’t make it any easier to take. It wasn’t long ago that I would have been — not the guy with Blake Lively or with Serena, but I was the guy who was with the girl. I wasn’t carted off to pasture as grandpa. If you’re going to be a father, it’s cool to be on a hip show and a show that’s so relevant. You know how Bret Favre’s teammates make fun of him because he’s so old and also his daughter had a child two weeks ago? He’s an NFL quarterback and a grandfather. I haven’t gotten any of the Brett Favre treatment yet, which is nice.
Have you given Blake any fatherly advice about her love life?
No, not at all. We have lovely little chats on the set about the characters and the work and a little bit of what I call Jewish geography — where are you from, where did you grow up, how many brothers and sisters — but I don’t get into any of that. Her television father will not be walking down the aisle with whomever her real-life husband winds up being. Lucky young man, I might say.
What was the cast interaction like between the two age groups?
I didn’t have a lot of stuff with the younger cast. It was mostly with Connor [Paolo] and Blake and Kelly [Rutherford] and Matt [Settle]. There was a couple of bigger scenes where we had a hundred extras and the other cast members were there. I saw them in hair and makeup. I got to overlap a couple times on the set — like I arrived a couple of times when Leighton [Meester] was leaving. It wasn’t any real opportunity to get close or become good friends. Certainly that happened with Matt and Kelly and with Blake.
Are you guys still in touch now that the filming is over?
I have run into Matt on the streets of New York when I was there. I have also texted and spoken with Kelly a few times. Blake is down in New Orleans working on a film [Green Lantern]. She got cast in one of those big monster action films — based on a comic book character, one of those $100 million studio spectacles.
The Hollywood Reporter | Heat Vision | Comics | Movie News: Blake Lively cast as female lead in 'Green Lantern' Blake Lively & Hugh Dancy To Star In 'Cover Girl'; Jim Sturgess Maybe Not So Much?
| Blake Lively has nabbed the female lead opposite Ryan Reynolds in Warner Bros.' "Green Lantern." |
Lively will play Carol Ferris, who runs her father's aerospace company and hires cocky test pilot Hal Jordan (Reynolds), who later becomes the intergalactic policeman Green Lantern. In the comics, the romance became complicated when an alien race bestowed her the power of a crystal called the Star Sapphire.
The search for the Martin Campbell-directed film's leading lady was almost as intense as the one for its title star. Keri Russell and Jennifer Garner were reportedly among those in the mix for the role.
The role called for a slightly older actress but Lively, who stars in the CW's "Gossip Girl," impressed the studio and filmmakers with her audition. Warners was also impressed with her work in "The Town," its adaptation of the gritty Chuck Hogan novel directed by Ben Affleck now in post-production.
The casting process will next turn its eye to the roles of Dr. Hector Hammond, one of the key villains, and the alien known as Sinestro.
Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti are producing the big-budget sci-fi movie, which is scheduled to shoot in Louisiana in March with an eye towards a June 17, 2011 release.
The script was written by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Green, with Michael Goldenberg currently rewriting.
Lively is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.
Latest V i d e o s
I know the opinion of an anonymous script reader doesn't mean much, but this was the rare mainstream romantic-comedy script I actually enjoyed. (I'm only posting this comment to fill you in on the scarce details of the script.) I'm no fan of Donald Petrie's previous work, but I'm sure he won't ruin a good script (he just doesn't enhance the ****ty, ****ty scripts of his other movies). |
The story's set in London. Lively will play an American business student attending Cambridge on a scholarship set up through the bank she worked at in the U.S. When the bank fails (as a result of massive, comical corruption), her scholarship is revoked, so she has to scramble to find a way to make money and stay in school.
Through typically convoluted/far-fetched rom-com circumstances, she stumbles into a great scheme to make money: as a beard for wealthy gay men too terrified to come out of the closet to their old-money families. Things go awry when one of her clients is the brother of someone she's been flirting with all semester (can't remember if he's a fellow student or a TA--I read this a year ago).
The script hits all the familiar beats but approaches the tropes with moderate freshness--nothing revolutionary, but a lot of "Oh, that's an interesting spin on an old favorite" moments.
It also has one quality that most romantic comedy scripts lack: it's actually funny. More than that, it dares to handle romance in a fairly adult way. Most rom-coms these days seem to pay 40-year-olds to act like moronic teenagers instead of human beings (that's right, I said it: teenagers aren't human beings). There are still tons of things that could go wrong and ruin it in production, but at the script stage, it was surprisingly solid and very entertaining.
Blake at the Emmy's- Red Carpet: click (thanks to Chaz) YouTube - Angel Ball Blake Lively
AH piece from Pipa premiere: Rapidshare Sendspace