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Category: Emily Rome

Warner Bros. TV stars gather to celebrate Paley Center exhibit

Television: Out of the Box

Joshua Jackson, Patricia Heaton, James Lafferty, Frenchie Davis, Ben McKenzie, Michael Richards: What do they all have in common? They’re all stars of hit Warner Bros.-produced TV shows, and they were all at the Paley Center for Media on Thursday night.

Executives and cast members from more than 30 past and present TV shows gathered at the Beverly Hills museum to celebrate  "Television: Out of the Box," a new exhibition featuring props and costumes from Warner Bros. shows.

Walking a multi-colored carpet resembling TV color bars, the stars talked to reporters before passing a gathering of fans at the end of the press line. Teenage girls in the crowd were fanning themselves after meeting "The Vampire Diaries" star Paul Wesley. But many of the biggest TV fans at the event were the guests of honor themselves, including "The Big Bang Theory" actress Melissa Rauch.

"When I started on the carpet, I saw a 'Family Matters' cast member, and I have to say, I shouted out 'Eddie Winslow!' like a junior high fan girl from the 1990s,” Rauch told Ministry of Gossip at the event.

Rauch, who plays Bernadette on "The Big Bang Theory," was eager to see items in the exhibit from "Friends," "Gilmore Girls" and "Wonder Woman." She was also pleased to hear that a memorable prop from her sitcom made it into the show’s display: the giant portrait Amy gave to Penny (depicting the faces of their real-life counterparts, Mayim Bialik and Kaley Cuoco) earlier this season.

"The three of us –- Kaley, myself and Mayim –- they unveiled it to us at the same time. We could not stop laughing," Rauch said of first seeing the painting on set. "We all wanted copies for our home, so I’m happy it ended up here so we don’t have to do a tug of war over it."

"Southland" actor Dorian Missick said visiting the exhibition was "kind of a throwback to my early days as an actor in the '80s," when he frequently visited the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

"I’m excited about [this exhibition] because I'm a fan. I still look at the shows as a fan. I watch our show as a fan," Missick said.

McKenzie, whose shows "The O.C." and "Southland" are represented, looked forward to seeing the display from "The Dukes of Hazzard."

"The Mentalist" actress Amanda Righetti said, "I grew up watching the Looney Tunes. I know it sounds really silly, but I'm really curious to see some of the animation work.” A section devoted to WB cartoons features original animation art.

Items from shows including "Gossip Girl," "ER," "Full House," "Entourage" and "Supernatural" are also on display. As for props that didn't make it up front, fans should rest assured that the Paley Center has plans to routinely rotate in new items from Warner Bros.’ collection.

But of course, there are props that now live in the homes of various actors –- Lafferty told Ministry of Gossip that he has a few Ravens basketball jerseys from "One Tree Hill" mounted on his wall, and Richards said he took home Kramer's shoes from "Seinfeld."

A long timeline now covers one Paley Center wall, tracking the history of Warner Bros.' TV shows. Knowing that "One Tree Hill" has a place there and in WB history, Lafferty said, "there’s a sense of pride that comes with that. … It’s one of those things that you always hope to be a part of."

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— Emily Rome

Photo: "Fringe" star Joshua Jackson, left, Warner Bros. Television President Peter Roth, Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Barry Meyer, "The Mentalist" star Amanda Righetti and Warner Bros. Television Group President Bruce Rosenblum. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


'Cabin in the Woods': Joss Whedon likes his actors bloody

Cabin in the Woods

Chris Hemsworth, a rather recent addition to the ranks of actors who have worn superhero capes, will reprise his role as Thor next month in director Joss Whedon's "The Avengers." But anyone eager to see the Aussie actor face a few dangers before the god of thunder returns will have plenty of opportunity with “The Cabin in the Woods.”

In addition to Hemsworth, the horror flick’s Los Angeles premiere at L.A. Live’s Regal Cinemas on Tuesday had an audience scattered with horror movie masters such as Wes Craven and the filmmakers' past collaborators, including “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof, who worked with "Cabin" director and co-writer Drew Goddard on the hit ABC show.

Whedon, who co-wrote and produced “The Cabin in the Woods,” reveled in getting his actors bloody and horrified,  he told Ministry of Gossip at the movie's premiere party, where its trailer played on the walls of downtown L.A. venue the Edison.

“What I like to do is find great actors that I love and then beat the [crap] out of them and, if possible, kill them," quipped the “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” creator. “That’s a good time for me, and they seem to enjoy it, ’cause they keep coming back.”

“The Cabin in the Woods,” which opens in theaters Friday, also brought together several actors who have starred in past Whedon projects, including Fran Kranz (“Dollhouse”), Amy Acker (“Dollhouse,” “Angel”) and Tom Lenk (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel”). All three will also star in Whedon’s adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing,” which he shot at his Santa Monica home in 12 days during what was supposed to be his vacation after filming “Avengers.”

“There’s a lot more sex in mine than is normal in that particular text,” Whedon said of the new take on the Shakespeare play.

He also emphasized that it’s “a real ensemble piece,” not the two-man show it’s often taken to be.

“I’d just come off ‘Avengers,’ and people said, ‘This is the exact opposite,’ and I said, ‘No, this is another superhero team,’” Whedon said.

The superhero team of “Avengers” will assemble Wednesday night at El Capitan Theatre for the Marvel movie’s world premiere, rounding out a full schedule this week for Whedon as he prepares for the release of “Cabin” in the tight spot between spoiling the film and not revealing enough.

“You have to tell them something,” Whedon said of the film’s marketing, which is pushing the tagline “Discover the Secret” and gives audiences a peek at what's really going on with this creepy cabin. Just what that secret is will have to be found by purchasing a ticket to the movie, but Whedon hopes fans know ahead of time that “this is more than just a horror movie.”

“Cabin in the Woods,” Goddard’s directorial debut, also stars Jesse Williams, Kristen Connolly, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. The film opens, fittingly, this Friday the 13th.

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–- Emily Rome

Photo: Jesse Williams, left, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson and Fran Kranz in "The Cabin in the Woods." Credit: Lionsgate


‘The Hunger Games’ premiere: Everyone loves Jennifer Lawrence

Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth

“The World Will Be Watching,” pronounces the tagline for “The Hunger Games,” in reference to the reality-show approach to the killing arena in the story's post-apocalyptic future.  But those words were definitely true in the present for the stars of the popular young adult novel’s upcoming adaptation, as talent like Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth walked the black carpet at a world premiere built for a blockbuster.

The event was held outside L.A. Live’s Nokia Theatre, the same place where fans had been screaming for their favorite vampires and werewolves four months earlier at the premiere of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn –- Part 1.” Monday night, in true "Twilight" fashion, the carpet was lined with fans holding aloft homemade posters bearing the names of their favorite stars.

"Jennifer, can I please have a hug?" read one. "Josh, you make my heart go Peeta-Patter," read another.

But though the movie’s stars are quick to call themselves fellow fans of the books, they’re not so eager to side with Team Peeta or Team Gale –- the two men fighting for the heart of lead character Katniss Everdeen, played by Lawrence.

PHOTOS: "The Hunger Games" black carpet arrivals

"It’s so hard to choose. I can't choose because I know them both so well," said Dakota Hood, who plays a District 10 tribute. "I want to say Peeta, and I want to say Gale, so I'm just gonna leave you at that."

While some were indecisive like Hood, many claimed alliance with another character entirely.

"I'm definitely Team Katniss," said Jacqueline Emerson, who plays Foxface, a District 5 tribute, “because it's not a love story. It's not a love triangle. It's really just Katniss and her battle and her struggle and what she’ll do for the ones she loves."

As for their opinion of Katniss' real-life counterpart, the film’s large cast of new and experienced talent had continual praise for Lawrence's talent and her humor.

"She is 50% Academy Award [nominated] actress and 50% stand-up comedian," said Dayo Okeniyi, who plays District 11 tribute Thresh. "She had the ability to make anyone feel comfortable around her."

Another young actor in the film, Jack Quaid, son of Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid, shared with reporters a story of Lawrence asking a co-star to "remind me to tell you this great fart joke" a mere second before the cameras started rolling and she went into stoic Katniss mode.

For Paula Malcolmson, who plays Katniss’ mother, developing a mother-daughter relationship with Lawrence was nothing new, as she had done just that briefly for a "Cold Case" episode in 2007. But she continued to be impressed by Lawrence, who received an Oscar nomination last year for "Winter’s Bone." Malcolmson described the 21-year-old actress as “savvy” and “just certain of [her] work.”

The premiere was a massive celebration after many months of build-up via various marketing strategies. It was a fan-flanked event (and full of fan-provided sound effects –- yes, there was a lot of screaming) that went beyond the stars' expectations of scope and size, many of the film's fresh faces said. But even young pros now accustomed to fan mania had to stop and take in the moment, like Miley Cyrus' beau Liam Hemsworth, who plays Gale.

"The fans around this thing are so passionate," the Australian actor said. "I’ve just been trying to keep my head on, realize what’s happening right now .… It's a little crazy. It’s extremely crazy actually."

“The Hunger Games” hits theaters March 23 and also stars Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland and Toby Jones.

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–- Emily Rome

twitter.com/EmilyNRome

Photo: Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth at the world premiere of "The Hunger Games" on Monday in L.A. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


'The Lorax': Taylor Swift finally taught Zac Efron to play guitar

Taylor Swift's costar Zac Efron with the Lorax

Taylor Swift fans of the world, let it be known that you guys just might have a chance with the pop-country star, even post-Joe Jonas and post-Taylor Lautner. In “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax,” Zac Efron’s character goes on an adventure to impress Swift's character, but she has yet to be so wildly wooed in real life outside of "the fan/YouTube section of my life," she said.

“Guys in my life — I don’t think I have a memory of [being impressed like] that. But that’s good! The bar’s really low,” Swift said Sunday at the world premiere of “The Lorax,” her first voice-acting gig.

The film, based on the 1971 children’s book by Dr. Seuss, also sparked a friendship between its lead vocal stars that led to Swift teaching “High School Musical” star Efron to play guitar.

PHOTOS: "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" premiere arrivals

“She’s a great teacher,” Efron said at the Universal CityWalk premiere. “In the past, everyone who’s tried to teach me guitar starts with music theory and stuff like that. I tend to just doze off after a little while. She went straight into songs. She taught me, like, four chords, and I’m already playing all the good campfire songs.”

Co-writer Ken Daurio was just “happier and happier” upon learning of each actor who had signed onto the film, especially Danny DeVito, who voices the title character, a small but formidable mystical creature who speaks for the trees.

The script even went through some changes once DeVito was aboard.

“Once you find out Danny DeVito was going to be the Lorax, it so informs everything you do,” co-writer Cinco Paul said on the premiere's orange carpet, which was lined with replicas of the book's Truffula Trees.

Daurio added, “Once we heard Danny and knew it was going to be him, a lot of the dialogue did change. It just helps you think of what his attitude was going to be — he’s going to have that bite.”

The Lorax's lexicon of insulting nicknames like "beanpole" was written in after DeVito took the part. The actor himself said he embodies "the spirited tenacity of the Lorax. I don't really like to take no for an answer."

"Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" also features the voices of Ed Helms, Betty White and Rob Riggle. The film opens March 2.

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— Emily Rome

Photo: Zac Efron with the Lorax at the world premiere of "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" at Universal CityWalk on Sunday. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


‘Wanderlust’: Jennifer Aniston 'Rachel-y,' Paul Rudd 'a goofball'

'Wanderlust' premiere

A mini “Friends” reunion came together with the upcoming comedy “Wanderlust,” which stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd — the celebrity alter-egos of Rachel Green and Mike Hannigan, love interest of character Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan.

Their "Wanderlust" costars revealed they have traits akin to the characters they played on the hit sitcom.

"She’s kind of Rachel-y," Jordan Peele said of Aniston at the film's world premiere Thursday.

PHOTOS: 'Wanderlust' premiere

"She's awesome, she's open, she's warm and she's loving. She just pulls you right in — magnetic."

Actress Kerri Kenney-Silver shares a bedroom scene with Rudd in the film about a couple that leaves New York City and stumbles upon a free-love commune called Elysium, where they start a new life. Kenney-Silver said that they filmed about 20 takes of the scene before she was able to get out her lines without Rudd making her laugh.

"He's such a goofball. He's the first one to try to make you to crack up," she said on the red carpet outside the Mann Village Westwood.

Malin Akerman, who plays a member of the commune, said that while acting with Rudd, "It was really hard to keep a straight face. He is such a good improv actor.

"Things would come out of his mouth, and I was like, 'Did you just say that? That’s crazy!'"

The movie was also a reunion for some of the talent behind “Wet Hot American Summer,” a box office flop that launched the careers of several now-successful actors, including Bradley Cooper and Elizabeth Banks. (A real reunion may be coming soon with a sequel in the works.) Kenney-Silver was among the “American Summer” alums in “Wanderlust,” along with Rudd, writer-director David Wain, writer-actor Ken Marino and actor Joe Lo Truglio.

“Any time I get to work with David or Ken or Joe or any of the guys, it’s home,” Kenney-Silver said. “This was the first time really that we were able to incorporate huge movie stars and a huge company and have it feel like it was still home, but we just bumped it up like 10 notches.”

The comedy’s cast members differed a bit in their ideas of what would be the best part of the Elysium lifestyle to bring back to the real world. Akerman said she likes the idea of growing a vegetable garden, but “not the nudist part and sharing of my husband.”

Peele, though, could see the advantages of the nudist lifestyle. "I think nudity is very underrated.... Do you understand how long it took my girlfriend to get ready for today? I would be sitting down in my seat right now if it weren’t for clothing.”

As for what Aniston hopes audiences get out of the movie, she told reporters, “Don’t take yourself so seriously. Live a little bit. Relax!”

“Wanderlust,” which also stars Aniston's new beau, Justin Theroux, and was produced by Judd Apatow, opens in theaters Feb. 24.

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— Emily Rome

Photo: Producer Judd Apatow, left, Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd and Apatow's wife, actress Leslie Mann, at the world premiere of "Wanderlust." Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.


‘Mysterious Island’: Kristin Davis wants to pet Josh Hutcherson

Kristin Davis and Josh Hutcherson

The characters in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" encounter all manner of unusual animals on the film's Jules Verne-inspired island, but the only creature actress Kristin Davis wanted to pet Thursday was costar Josh Hutcherson.

The "Sex and the City" star revealed that she was a big fan of Hutcherson’s performance in "The Kids Are All Right" and said she prepared for playing the 19-year-old's mother by getting tips from Mama Hutcherson herself.

"I talked to Josh's mom. I said, 'I always want to pet him,'" Davis told Ministry of Gossip at the film’s L.A. premiere Thursday at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. "She said, 'You can’t really touch them when they get to this age, 'cause they feel like you're making them like a kid.' ... In the movie I had to scold him. But I felt bad because Josh is such a mature young man."

The family adventure movie, a sequel to 2008’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” takes 17-year-old Sean (Hutcherson) and his stepfather (Dwayne Johnson) to a mystical island in search of Sean’s grandfather (played by Michael Caine).

In preparation for filming underwater scenes, Hutcherson and Johnson got scuba-diving certification.

"I've always wanted to get scuba certified, and this was a great excuse, and I didn't have to pay for it!": said Hutcherson, who will next be seen in the much-anticipated "The Hunger Games" in March.

Johnson, a.k.a. "The Rock," may be most recognized for his wrestling career and tough-guy roles in movies like last year’s "Fast Five," but Hutcherson busted that stereotype.

"He's fun, he's charismatic, he's outgoing. He has a sensitive side," the actor told reporters. "But he’s also very physical and has the whole action hero side as well."

Luis Guzmán, who plays the helicopter pilot who takes Sean and his stepfather to the Mysterious Island, said of Johnson, "He is the man. I'd work with Dwayne any day of the week. He certainly made an action hero out of me. I'm just waiting for my action figure to come out."

"Journey 2" brought Johnson home to Hawaii, where he grew up, a location that costar Vanessa Hudgens took plenty of time to enjoy.

"The adventures I got to have in my downtime –- I would take my car and drive around, go to the North Shore, hang out, check out the waves, go on a bunch of dives cause I'm certified," Hudgens said of filming on Oahu. "I'm such an adventurer, and I love being on the island."

"Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” hits theaters Feb. 10.

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–- Emily Rome

Photo: Kristin Davis and Josh Hutcherson at the L.A. premiere of "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images


‘Man on a Ledge’: Sam Worthington a ‘pussycat’ in real life

Sam Worthington

"Man on a Ledge" star Sam Worthington should be pretty accustomed to working with green screen by now, after "Avatar" and "Terminator: Salvation," but the comforts of a visual-effects-ready backlot stage were not an option for the Aussie star this last time around.

Going out on a ledge isn't a figure of speech here: The actor literally spent several days filming on the ledge of a New York building, about 200 feet above ground. The actor and filmmakers chalked the decision up to savvy audiences who can tell when CGI has created an artificial background.

"I think sometimes an audience demands a certain authenticity. People actually knowing that I'm up there 200-odd feet in the air adds to the thrilling aspect of it," Worthington told the Ministry of Gossip at the film's L.A. premiere Monday at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

PHOTOS: 'Man on a Ledge' black carpet arrivals

It's Worthington's character who does most of the high-up dancing with death, but others involved with the movie got to give it a try, too, including Anthony Mackie and Ed Burns. Actor Titus Welliver, who plays an NYPD officer in the movie, wasn't feeling quite as adventurous.

"I was offered the opportunity, and I flatly refused because even when I would watch Sam when I was on the ground, when he was on the ledge, it would make my hands perspire. It made me so nervous," Welliver said.

Worthington started the film with a fear of heights but eventually found that "you get comfortable out there when your confidence builds."

Director Asger Leth and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura both walked out onto the ledge.

"The director and I both said, 'If we're going to ask our actors to go there, we're going to out there, too,'" Di Bonaventura said.

The producer said aside from testing out the ledge for Worthington, the most daring thing he's done from far off the ground was climbing on Yosemite's Cathedral Rocks. Leth revealed he had a "scary" experience at about 14,000 feet in Argentina’s mountains shooting a commercial for Guinness.

But Worthington had no tales of daring feats to regale reporters with.

"Trust me -- in real life I’m a pussycat," he said. "I stay at home, make scrambled eggs, watch 'Law and Order,' pretty normal stuff. I only do crazy stuff in the film."

Summit Entertainment's "Man on a Ledge" hits theaters Friday. The thriller also stars Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris and Jamie Bell.

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 Photo: Sam Worthington at the L.A. premiere of "Man on a Ledge" with Crystal Umphrey. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


'Underworld: Awakening': Kate Beckinsale likes it skin-tight

Kate Beckinsale

The "Underworld" franchise hit theaters nearly a decade ago, in 2003, and though its star, Kate Beckinsale, is now 38, she's continued to play an ageless vampire, most recently in "Underworld: Awakening," which premiered Thursday.

As the vampire Selene, she’s still kicking butt in a skin-tight leather costume, which may not seem the easiest task in an action- and stunt-filled movie. "Actually, it’s a costume I really liked," Beckinsale revealed at the film's Grauman's Chinese Theatre premiere.

She also told the Insider recently, "I remember the first movie I did, I was very intimidated by the costume. I trust it now. Actually, it gives you a little bit of help, if anything."

PICTURES: 'Underworld: Awakening' red carpet arrivals

"Underworld: Awakening" features some characters new to the franchise, played by "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" young star India Eisley and Michael Ealy, who with "Awakening" gets to show off his action chops for the first time since the Paul Walker-starring "Takers." Both actors shared positive experiences from working with Beckinsale.

"She's very funny, and she knows how to have fun on set between takes, and I think that's something that's important with something that's obviously dark," Eisley told Ministry of Gossip.

Ealy told reporters, "Working with Kate is as fun as it is to hang out with her. She's so ..." — the actor glanced sideways at his publicist before deciding how to word his answer, which fell just on the other side of publishable — "[very] cool."

“Underworld: Awakening,” the fourth film in the vampires-versus-lycans series, opens in theaters Friday and is expected to sink its teeth deep into this weekend’s box office sales.

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— Emily Rome

Photo: Kate Beckinsale at the world premiere of "Underworld: Awakening." Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.


Golden Globes: Madonna hopes Elton John will one day forgive her

Madonna at the Golden Globes

Madonna, the Golden Globe winner for original song, is currently juggling a lot of creative endeavors — but before talking about any of that backstage at the Golden Globes, she had a few things to say about her derrière.
 
"I'm just dancing," she said, revealing she's not the Pilates nut she used to be. "The best thing for your bum is dancing."
 
She showed off that fit 53-year-old body in a Reem Acra dress: "I feel like I’m wearing chain mail, and I'm ready to go into battle." (Perhaps she can hang onto it for her upcoming Super Bowl halftime show?)

The multi-hyphenate, whose "Masterpiece" from "W.E." beat Elton John's "Hello Hello" from "Gnomeo & Juliet" for original song, said of her fellow nominee, "I hope he speaks to me for the next million years. He'll win another award though, so I don’t feel bad."
 
Madonna said that for her upcoming album, "MDNA," she's enjoying working with producer Martin Solveig again. "I love his sound. It’s really fresh. It doesn't sound like anybody else's."
 
Fans of the queen of pop should expect to work their smile muscles upon its release — the word she used to describe its sound was "happy."

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Photo: Madonna backstage Sunday with her original song Golden Globe. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times


Melissa McCarthy revels 'in the moment' at the Globes

Melissa McCarthy is nominated for "Bridesmaids."

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

"Melissa!" -- as in, Melissa McCarthy -- was one name called out on the Golden Globes' red carpet more than most on Sunday.

As the oft-dubbed "new queen of comedy," the actress was in high demand among red-carpet interviewers and looked appropriately regal in her emerald green gown.

"It's so surreal," the "Bridesmaids" actress told reporters of the frenzy around the film and awards season. "I'm just trying to be in the moment."

[For the record, 10 a.m. Jan. 16: An earlier version of this post said McCarthy was nominated in the television supporting actress category. She was not.]

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— Emily Rome

Photo: Melissa McCarthy on the Globes red carpet. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.


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