Maybe Amy Adams Really Can Play Janis Joplin
No sooner did news break that Amy Adams is going to play Janis Joplin in the long-awaited biopic of the drug-bedeviled, bisexual 1960s music icon than the outcry began. Music critics and Internet chatterers alike are bewailing the choice of Adams as Too Pretty, Not Gritty Enough, Not Gutsy Enough, Not Bluesy Enough, Too Sweet, Too Show-Tunesy. Indeed, some of the near-misses for a biopic (Zooey Deschanel, Pink, Melissa Etheridge) do seem more readily adaptable into portraying Joplin than Adams, of "Enchanted," "Julie & Julia," "Junebug" and "Doubt" fame.
However, we can't help but remember, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx had lots'a naysayers before he proved just how great he could be with his tour-de-force performance as Ray Charles in "Ray."
How about the advance criticism over Joaquin Phoenix daring to play Johnny Cash (and doing his own singing?! What, is he CRAZY?!!). An Oscar nomination for "Walk the Line" ensued.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes? There were complaints that Martin Scorsese should have cast someone more grown-up-looking and manly than DiCaprio for his "The Aviator" — until the actor turned in a performance that merited an Oscar nom.
It doesn't always work out when stars play stars, of course. James Brolin was critically crucified for his performance as Clark Gable in the film "Gable and Lombard," for instance. Jennifer Love Hewitt's portrayal of Audrey Hepburn in 2000's made-for-television movie "The Audrey Hepburn Story" won her a host of backhanded compliments. Hewitt was said by many reviewers to do an adequate job with the role, and even those critics admitted they were surprised and had expected worse.
However, when performers can nail such a performance, the rewards are big.
That's exactly what happened to Robert Downey Jr., who had done good work in a string of movies, but had yet to prove the immensity of his gifts, when he immersed himself in all things Charlie Chaplin to play Hollywood's supreme genius in the 1992 "Chaplin." He astonished critics and, yep, won an Academy Award nomination.
So Adams deserves a wait-and-see, at least.
TALK ABOUT STUNNING!: British presenter and fashion journalist Louise Roe of MTV's "The City" admits of her July 28-debuting CW "Plain Jane" reality show, "We're ridiculously up to the mark. We are still filming. We're filming till literally four days before it airs. The editors are going to work late at night for sure."
But despite the last-minute crunch, she's happy with the show that boasts makeovers "from the inside out. It's not just a giant shopping trip to Bloomingdales."
The first episode has Roe even going so far as to employ a hidden dog training electroshock buzzer on a girl, and giving her a jolt each time she falls back into such no-no behavior as slouching and failing to make eye contact. They work up to the big reveal, wherein the girls tell their secret crushes their feelings. Roe hopes viewers get inspired to shape up and speak out themselves.
"We've all, every single one of us, had Plain Jane moments where we've felt rejected by a guy or lost confidence for some reason. Hopefully, they can watch and relate. There's a lot of takeaway information, a lot of tips, for instance, when we go shopping — 'If your body is like this, wear something like this.' I hope it will make everybody want to go out and buy shoes!" she adds with a laugh.
Fans can get Roe's help landing a crush without the electroshock aspect at the CW's www.cwtv.com. The website experience offers such goodies as first-date strategies and the opportunity to make a customized video to reveal one's feelings to that certain someone.
STAR SPANGLING: Caitlyn Taylor Love of Disney XD's "I'm in the Band" gets to show off her vocal prowess before a massive crowd for real today (7/22) — when she sings the national anthem in front of the Dodgers vs. Mets game at Dodger Stadium. "I'm so stoked. I don't think I could be any more excited," says the one-time "America's Got Talent" finalist — who now plays rocker girl Izzy on the series about a teen (Logan Miller) who winds up as part of his favorite old-school big hair rock band.
Love is a lifelong music performer — "I sang my ABCs and 'Jesus Loves Me' at 10 months old" — and says that she and Miller are always jamming together in between shots on the "I'm in the Band" set. As far as the members of the faux Iron Weasel band, Steve Valentine, Stephen Full and Greg Baker, "They're really good actors. They're awesome. Since we've been doing the show, they've gotten better and better" — performing musically, she says. "Steve Valentine actually has a pretty good voice."
THE BLOODLUST GOES ON: You have to know the vying is intense for the roles of vampire sisters Tanya, Kate and Irina of the Denali coven in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" — when speculation over the casting had fans posting prospects for the parts even before Bill Condon was announced as director. Also being cast is vampire Eleazar, and casting notices specify someone who is "able to play a Spaniard." We sure wouldn't want anything unrealistic in a "Twilight" movie, after all. Based on the fourth and final novel in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" saga, "Breaking Dawn" is supposed to hit theaters Nov. 18, 2011.
To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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