Let’s talk about Slap Shot, Vegas and Jaromir Jagr
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Hoda and guest cohost Meredith Vieira get a lesson in fake slapping from the ladies who star in “Hotwives of Las Vegas,” Angela Kinsey, Andrea Savage and Tymberlee Hill, and they share what it’s like working on the hilarious parody show. ?Kinsey says, “We enjoy cracking each other up and being really horrible people.”
In no way am I connected to the movie business. Nor do I regularly hang out or party with actors and actresses. Moreover, I’ve never written a single screenplay or TV show. Indeed, the only scripts I’ve ever had produced were a stage plays, performed at obscure Southern California theaters, the kind of material — unlike movie and TV scripts — that earns you little money or recognition.
That said, over the years I have gotten to know several very talented actors and actresses (with impressive bodies of work to their credit), a couple of whom I might even modestly describe as “friends.”
One thing I’ve noticed about actors is the emphasis they place on a career’s trajectory. Which is why they don’t like hearing fans gush over performances that were done years earlier, when they were just starting out.
Because actors like to think they’ve gotten better over time, they seek praise for performances that were done more recently — performances that were done when they were far more accomplished in their craft — rather than stuff they did as “kids.”
For instance, even though I’ve never met him, we can assume Michael Douglas is not going to appreciate having adoring fans tell him that, in their opinion, his best work was The Streets of San Francisco. Just as you don’t tell Paul McCartney that your favorite Beatles’ song was “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” you don’t tell Michael Douglas that his best work was an ancient TV cop series.
Similarly, we’ve all heard stories about Mark Wahlberg. We’ve all heard accounts of how furious he gets when someone dares mention his early days as boy band performer, “Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.” You want to get your ass kicked by a celebrity? Go up to Mark Wahlberg, point out how much shorter he seems in real life, remind him of how embarrassing those underpants commercials were, and then demand he sign your autograph book as “Marky Mark.”
Another example: Now that Dwayne Johnson wants to be known as “Dwayne Johnson,” you don’t go up to him and insist he sign your book as “The Rock.” Dwayne wants to be cast in serious dramatic roles in the future, and knows you don’t get those parts — you don’t get to play Willy Loman or King Lear — when you’re called “The Rock.”
The same goes for Rick Schroder, formerly known as “Ricky” Schroder. If he continues to mature and grow as an actor, expect his next stop to be “Richard” Schroder (or if cast in a biopic as Pancho Villa, “Ricardo” Schroder)
Which makes us appreciate those entertainers who stubbornly cling to their boyish names: Johnny Carson, Johnny Depp, Johnny Mathis. Just as not every John should be a “Johnny” (Johnny Wayne? Johnny Lennon? Johnny Wilkes Booth?), not every Johnny should be reduced to a “John.” Can we imagine Ed McMahon introducing the host of the Tonight Show as John Carson. “Heeeeerrrrrrres, John!”
So if you ever run into Sally Field, don’t make the mistake of saying you liked her more as “The Flying Nun” than as “Norma Rae,” because all that’s going to do is hurt her feelings. The same for Sean Connery. Instead of mentioning Goldfinger, tell him you loved him in Finding Forrester. And if you’ve seen both films, you won’t be lying.
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How do you solve a problem like Cookie?
Taraji P. Henson is here to tell you as she promotes her sure-to-be-epic appearance on this week’s Saturday Night Live.
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