All Articles Tagged "cuba gooding jr"
KeKe Palmer And Blair Underwood Join Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams In “The Trip To Bountiful” Movie
We informed you last week of the fact that the popular Broadway show, A Trip to Bountiful, starring Tony-winner Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams, was going to become a Lifetime movie. A Trip to Bountiful started off as a TV-movie, then made its way to Broadway before becoming an Academy-Award winning film in 1985 starring Geraldine Page. After returning to Broadway in April and having an extremely successful run (including having its run on the Great White Way extended twice), the play will turn into a Lifetime movie with Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams reprising their roles as Carrie Watts and Jessie Mae Watts. But according to Shadow and Act, Blair Underwood and KeKe Palmer will also be joining the cast, most likely to play Ludie Watts (Carrie’s son) and Thelma, the young woman Carrie met and befriended. The film will be shot this month in Atlanta and will be helmed by Michael Wilson, who also directed the play. Here’s a quick synopsis of the whole thing if you haven’t heard about A Trip to Bountiful. SPOILER ALERT!
“Set in the 1940s, the play tells the story of an elderly woman, Carrie Watts, who wants to return home to the small town where she grew up, but is frequently stopped from leaving Houston, Texas by her daughter-in-law, and an overprotective son who won’t let her travel alone. However, old Mrs. Watts is determined to outwit her son and bossy daughter-in-law, and sets out to catch a train, only to find that trains don’t go to Bountiful anymore. She eventually boards a bus to a town near her childhood home. On the journey, she befriends a girl traveling alone and reminisces about her younger years and grieves for her lost relatives. Her son and daughter-in-law eventually track her down, with the help of the local police force. However, Mrs. Watts is determined. The local sheriff, moved by her yearning to visit her girlhood home, offers to drive her out to what remains of Bountiful. The village is deserted, and the few remaining houses are derelict. Mrs. Watts is moved to tears as she surveys her father’s land and the remains of the family home. Her son eventually turns up, and drives her back to Houston.”
As someone who was blessed with the chance to see the play here in New York with Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams, Condola Rashad (as Thelma) and Cuba Gooding, Jr. (as Ludie), I can say that it was an amazing production, well-acted with a great balance of both humor and sadness. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to see the Lifetime movie and see the legendary Ms. Tyson do her thing once again.
Today, I had the pleasure of going to the Waldorf Astoria (fancy!) for a press junket for Lee Daniels’ new film “The Butler.” The entire principle cast was there including the bigger names like Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whittaker, Cuba Gooding Jr, Mariah Carey, Terrence Howard and many more. (Trust me, it was star-studded.) The answers the actors and Daniels gave to each question were very thoughtful and insightful. But easily, the most entertaining moment from the junket when a film critic stood up to express her concerns about the film, just after Daniels spoke about how this project was not just a movie for him, but a movement. Here’s how the exchange went below. And just because it’s always best to hear how people say certain things, I encourage you to listen to the actual audio on the next page, which also includes commentary from Cuba Gooding Jr. as well.
LR: Thank you and congratulations to each of you. My name is Lavar Renee (sp) and I’m a film critic, so my question is going to be a concern that I had in watching the movie.
Lee Daniels grasps Oprah and Forest Whittaker’s hands.
No Lee, that’s not necessary… And a trend that I see in many current movies and that is the inauthenticity in casting. When I saw the young man who was to portray John F. Kennedy. I was concerned because there was a disconnect between the president and what I saw. And that was true for Reagan as well as LBJ. My question is will you explain how you cast when you are producing and directing a biopic which is supposed to reflect truth of reality?
Lee Daniels: Well let me first, let me ask you a question, did you like them as those characters?
LR: I did not.
Daniels: Ok. Well that is…I’m sorry that you felt that way…
LR: I liked the movie…
Daniels: Oh good…
LR: I just was concerned, when I saw these I said ‘why aren’t they real?’ Another point and then I’ll sit down. When Louis was presenting himself at the table as a panther, I interviewed panthers, they did not look the way he was dressed and attired. So that’s what threw me off but I liked the movie and I commend each of you. Thank you.
Daniels: Thank you. Let me first address the panther. I’ve had uncles that were panthers and Louis was based on my uncles that were panthers. So you might have interviewed panthers, ma’am, but I have lived with them and I’m proud of my uncles that were panthers. And in regards to the presidents I think they have done a tour de forcible job and I think that’s what makes me a filmmaker and you an interviewer. Next.
Forest Whittaker: I’ve gotten the opportunity to play historical characters a number of times. And this is not a documentary. These are artists trying to convey the spirit of a person in a time. Liev and James did, I think, beautiful jobs. I don’t look like Charlie Parker. I really don’t look anything like Edi Amin and I feel what we’re trying to find is the spirit or the soul of a character to give that, for you to feel that energy. Things are energetic, things are about energy and their being-ness. And that’s what they’re trying to give to you. It’s unfortunate that you look to more the drawing or the painting and not as much towards the spirit or the soul, which is what I think we’re trying to convey.
Liev: I am authentically sorry that you didn’t like what we did. I really am.
Lee Daniels: I’m not!
What ever happened to some of our favorite stars from back in the day? Well unfortunately, despite how promising things looked, these actors and actresses just couldn’t seem to break into the mainstream. Whether it was just poor luck in role choices, rumors of attitudes on set or something else, these talented folks just couldn’t make the A-list. Even if we can’t change their Hollywood fortune, we can at least honor them here and keep our fingers crossed that somehow they find the success they were looking for.
“When one door closes, another one opens” is probably a philosophy that actress Vanessa Williams is well acquainted with these days. Last month we reported that ABC made the decision to pull the plug on her television drama 666 Park Avenue due to the show’s plummeting ratings, which sort of left the actress unemployed. Luckily for Vanessa, she’s a hot commodity who rarely goes without a gig for too long.
According to The Grio, the 49-year-old actress has just been signed to star in a Broadway play entitled “The Trip to Bountiful” alongside Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Condola Rashad. The play, which will be directed by Michael Wilson is referred to as the “revival” of two-time Oscar winner, Horton Foote’s original play, which explores the topics of acceptance and returning home. The play made its Broadway debut in 1953 and was turned into a film in 1985. What is interesting is that similar to A Streetcar Name Desire, this play is being sort of redone by African American actors that will star in roles that have traditionally been played by White actors.
USA Today is reporting that Cuba and Vanessa will be playing the son and daughter-in-law of Cicely, who’s role is that of an elderly woman who is seeking to revisit her small hometown in Texas.
“The Trip to Bountiful” will only be on Broadway for a limited time, fourteen weeks to be exact. Previews will begin March 31, 2013 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and is scheduled to open April 23, 2013.
This is great news. It’s great to see how Vanessa Williams always bounces back and I am excited to Condola Rashad progressing in her career as an actress. She did such an amazing job in Steel Magnolias.
What do you think of Black actors and actresses starring in remakes of plays and movies that originally had predominately White casts? Willing you be going to see the play once it opens in April?
In the acting world, many actors and actresses are open to taking any movie role that they are offered. However, sometimes celebs simply can’t say yes and end up turning down an acting position that they were offered. Here are 15 movie parts that were originally meant for others.
Angela Bassett could have played the role of Storm in the movie X-Men but she declined. The movie role went to Halle Berry.
When it comes to the movies casting is practically everything. Why do you think people are in such a tizzy trying to figure out which actors are going to play Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the inevitable “50 Shades of Grey” movie. The chemistry, the delivery, even the associations with a particular actor are all very important. Check out the times when things didn’t go so well.
We know some of today’s most famous celebs by who they are now and who they’ve become in the last few years. But, let’s take a trip down memory lane with some pictures of some of the most famous black male celebs. Here are 15 photos that are sure to make you saw “aww.”
So many children to highlight today! If you didn’t know, Monroe and Moroccan (aka, Dem Babies), the cutie pie twins of Mariah and Nick Cannon, celebrated their 1st birthday on April 30. Jet setting around the world with mom and dad, the twins celebrated their birthday in Paris. According to Blackcelebkids.com, at the Plaza Athenee where the family was staying, they had a small party in a room decorated with all kinds of balloons (including some that actually said, “Dem Babies”) and lavish gifts, of course. The twins were dressed to the nines in white and cream ensembles, and mom and dad were looking fabulous as well. Check out their party room and the cute (belated) birthday boy and girl below.
Ever seen Cuba Gooding Jr.’s kids? No? Me neither. But his sons were seen out and about recently with dad getting their family night on after a Coldplay concert in Hollywood. Spencer, 17, and Mason, 15, look just like their pops and look like they’re going to be a couple of heartbreakers. Check them and their cute father out below. Gotta love family nights!
And lastly in cute kid news, this cute little bundle of joy below is the daughter of Anansa Sims, the plus-size modeling daughter of the iconic Beverly Johnson. Sims’s husband is David Patterson, and together they have this adorable 9-month-old by the name of Ava. We can already tell she’s going to be modeling like mom and grandma. She’s too adorable! Check out more of the little cutie-patootie below!
Most images courtesy of Black Celeb Kids.
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Sure we know that “Red Tails” tells a very important story in American history; but as living breathing women, with active hormones, we can’t help but notice all the fineness we’ll witness in the latest George Lucas film, which is set to be released in January of next year.
The film stars cuties like Nate Parker (“The Great Debators” and “The Secret Life of Bees”), Terrence Howard, our young boo Tristan Wilds and Cuba Gooding Jr. among others.
You can get a quick preview of the gorgeousness in the trailer below.