October 16, 2009By Marc Wilkofsky Posted: Oct 16, 2009
Last week, I attended the Hennessy Artistry event at Manhattan's sprawling Terminal 5 club. The powerhouse night, which wrapped up a multi-city tour celebrating new and emerging musical artists, started out with a few television personalities (and film stars with TV connections) hitting the red carpet, including Lucy Liu (ex-Ling, ALLY MCBEAL; ex-Mia, CASHMERE MAFIA). She has no plans to work on another prime-time show: "Not right now; two is enough," she laughed, likely referring to her other recent, engaging nighttime turn as DIRTY SEXY MONEY's narcissistic Nola. But she has a new animated film on DVD out now, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, which co-stars Jesse McCartney (ex-JR, ALL MY CHILDREN). About her character (Silvermist, one of Tinker Bell's fairy friends, otherwise known as Sil), she said, "She's a water fairy, and she loves everything to do with nature. She's kind of innocent and a little bit naive, and doesn't know she's being funny." Regarding her jump from television into the animated movie world, she beamed, "It's always fun doing animation — especially when you know the audience is going to receive it." Liu kindly asked the reporters if we were cold, and we were, but this was one of my better outdoor red carpet-covering experiences.
Longtime movie actor Larenz Tate (Crash) had one hope for his heat-battling RESCUE ME character, Bart: "That he survives this whole entire season. You never know, because this is probably our last season, so hopefully I'll survive to the bitter end. We'll see what happens." On why his show has survived so long, Tate said, "[There's a] unique voice and writing; the writers and producers really know how to capture the drama and the comedy, and have their own unique voice." For newbies to the series about New York City firefighters, he advised, "You can [become] invested enough in the characters, the storyline and banter that you probably won't see on other TV shows. That's why people can check it out now."
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Notorious) noted, "I'm shooting The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon — it's about a young man trying to find his way past fate. That was a one-liner. I play an angel of fate. That was a two-liner — I'm not giving it away!" he laughed. "It's a sci-fi thriller; there's action, there's love, there's romance. It brings [up] a lot of questions of fate and morality." The 2010 film also stars John Slattery (Roger, MAD MEN), and Daniel Dae Kim (Jin, LOST). With James Franco jumping to GENERAL HOSPITAL and Christian Slater succeeding on ABC's drama series THE FORGOTTEN, I asked Mackie if he would consider joining the prime-time world. "Of course," he said. "Television is always something that, as an actor, you keep in your back pocket. At some point in time, it moves to your front pocket. With the way television is now — with MAD MEN, HUNG and NURSE JACKIE — there are so many great shows, you would be an idiot not to do television. [Movie actors] are doing great work, and being rediscovered."
The festivities themselves, featuring a non-stop concert hosted by hip-hop legend Common, were enjoyable, and the three-story building, packed. After many revelers wondered who the much-publicized, major "iconic artist" would be, Queen Latifah turned out to be the surprise guest, and rocked every inch of the house, just a day after her live DANCING WITH THE STARS performance. As amazing house band The Roots, straight from Jimmy Fallon's show, rocked the audience, the singer/actress joined Common, a explosive performer and also a longtime actor (Wanted), onstage for a scorching rendition of "U.N.I.T.Y." Who knows? Maybe we'll see one of them on a episode of ONE LIFE TO LIVE (the most live music-heavy soap) or another soap; it's always a plus when the musical guest wields some acting chops. Imagine if a daytime soap previewed a performance by an iconic musician, and held back the artist's identity until the show aired? That would be a wonder to pull off. Hennessy's event was pulled off beautifully; I'll be sure to report on any future TV-related happenings in the Big Apple.
Meanwhile, there's a happening in Genoa City that pleased me: The Terroni subplot has wrapped up on YOUNG AND RESTLESS. The story of the stolen painting had a few intriguing twists and engaging moments (such as the delightful debacle of Amber masquerading as Gloria in the bank), and effectively displayed Daniel's heroism and Deacon's deviousness. It simply lasted a trifle long, and unlike the Hennessy event, I did want it to end. Now Daniel and the rest of my favorite foursome, Amber, Kevin and Jana, can move onto their next adventure, while, of course, dealing with this one's ramifications. And Deacon's still around...
In my next blog entry, I'll report on the recent GUIDING LIGHT Fan Club luncheon. For now, please let me know what you're watching instead of GL by posting a comment on this blog or e-mailing me at GLeditor@soapoperaweekly.com, and be sure to look for some replies in a future entry.