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Category: HBO

Judd Apatow toasts his HBO 'Girls' in New York

Judd Apatow and the stars of the show at the premiere of "Girls"
Judd Apatow may be the king of bro comedy, but the filmmaker took out some time on Wednesday to hear it for "Girls."

As executive producer of the Lena Dunham-led HBO comedy "Girls," Apatow and wife Leslie Mann hit the premiere and after soiree in Manhattan to toast the series and its stars: Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet and Jemima Kirke.

Allison and Brian WilliamsFollowing a screening at The Cinema Society, The Standard Hotel's rooftop hosted cast, crew and luminaries like Claire Danes, Calvin Klein, Katie Couric, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick and Gabourey Sidibe. 

Charting the less-than-glamorous lives of twentysomething gals in New York, the show has been noted for it's lack of fantasy in the professional and sexual realms of the age group. Critics have also noted the frank and unapologetic nudity and intimacy the series offers. 

"It doesn’t faze me. I don’t know why -- there are so many things that bother me so much," Dunham told Vanity Fair of her nude scenes, adding that she doesn't fear the eyes of her parents as "my dad paints penises for a job ... so he can look at this.”

Lena's painter father Caroll Dunham is joined by another notable dad associated with the cast. Co-star Allison Williams' papa is NBC news anchor Brian Williams, who attended the party and looked rather sweet with his daughter on his arm.

"Girls" premieres April 15 on HBO.

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photos: Above, from left, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke, Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham and Allison Williams attend the premiere screening of HBO's "Girls" on April 4 in New York. Right, Allison Williams with her dad, NBC News anchor Brian Williams. Credit:  Kristina Bumphrey  / Dave Allocca / Associated Press Photos



Meet Stephen Amell: The ambitious 'Hung' upstart

Stephen Amell

Ministry readers, please meet Stephen Amell: Currently starring as the enterprising young gigolo Jason opposite Thomas Jane on HBO's "Hung," Amell caught our attention for several reasons.

You can probably guess the first.

What you don't know is that this All-American boy is a former spinning instructor and vacuum cleaner salesman from Canada, who parlayed his charm and talent into many TV guest spots, his HBO gig and an upcoming story arc on ABC's "Private Practice." And what else should you know?

Being "Hung" is an art: "I had to get coached on how you make it look like you're having intercourse without having it. There's also the idea that these characters are incredibly well-endowed, so the motion is a little bit different," Amell told us.

"It's comical, and it's not straight back and forth. It's more up and down. If you do it like you normally do it, you'd look like you're doing some stupid dance move."

Humble beginnings: "I sold vacuums, worked at an insurance company. ... I started to teach spinning as a way to get back in shape," Amell said of his time before hitting Hollywood. "My first audition was for 'Mean Girls.' I didn't even have headshots. I [freaked out] in that audition. All I had done at that point was plays in high school."

Same old heavies: So Amell didn't land a part opposite Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan in "Mean Girls," but his spinning day job landed him the part of, well, a spin instructor on the Showtime series "Queer as Folk." From there, he booked plenty of work, but all rather villainous characters, like the role of Jordan Van Der Sloot in Lifetime's "Justice for Natalee Holloway." (And here we were cheering for Josh Duhamel.)

Perhaps his mom would like something a bit warmer for on-screen work?

"I know! I had just played a murderer and a rapist, and a sadistic werewolf [on "The Vampire Diaries"]. My character on 'CSI: Miami' had gotten hit by a bus. The worry was not just to get a job, but get a character that’s a pretty decent guy. I've played a lot of the heavies," he confessed.

"Jason is definitely deep in the ho game, but I think he's a sweet guy." 

We'd say the same -- well, the sweet guy part -- of Stephen, who is single and lives in Los Angeles with his chin-up bar and his 5-year-old black Lab, Louie. Check him out on Twitter at @Amellywood.

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Thomas Jane of 'Hung' on experimenting with men (and sandwiches)

-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Stephen Amell as the young "Hung" gigolo Jason. Credit: HBO



Thomas Jane of 'Hung' on experimenting with men (and sandwiches)

Thomas Jane of "Hung"

Given a choice with Thomas Jane, we'd play touch football. But it seems the "Hung" star knows one of our other favorite games: actors discussing fluid sexuality!

Jane, who plays a boudoir hired gun on the HBO comedy, recently sat down with the Los Angeles Times to discuss the road ahead for his character -- and the road he's personally traveled, sprinkled with some same-sex action.

"You know, when I was a kid out here in L.A., I was homeless, I didn't have any money and I was living in my car. I was 18. I wasn't averse to going down to Santa Monica Boulevard and letting a guy buy me a sandwich. Know what I mean?" he said.

We can guess! We'd also imagine Jane is being so candid about his past because of certain missteps in the past, specifically when it comes to the gay community. 

Jane got some heat in the gay community for pooh-poohing the suggestion that his male prostitute character would make his services available to men. "I've always said, the year that Ray ends up with a penis in his mouth is the last year of the show."

But nevermind that: "I got a chance to explain myself a little further," he says, "and I think people respected the explanation that I gave." Back to those Santa Monica Boulevard gents and Subway shops.

"For me, being a young artist and broke in Los Angeles, I was exploring my sexual identity. And probably because of my middle-class, white, blue-collar upbringing, I would have never had the opportunity to confront some of my own fears and prejudices had I not been hungry enough to be forced to challenge myself in that way," he said.

Though he says he chooses now to be heterosexual because that's what his DNA and his nurture tell him (read the full interview for the nuance on that choice thing), he adds: "Until you've tasted the food, you don't know whether you'll like it or not, as my mom always said."

So, now we're back to the sandwiches? Jane, you're such a whiz at this, you're in James Franco territory

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Thomas Jane at home in Los Angeles on Sept. 27. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times



Mark Wahlberg, Alan Cumming's pants hit HBO's Emmy party

Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer cuddle at HBO

HBO's competitors may have been smiling Monday morning, given ABC's dent in the cable network's usual awards domination, but for the Ministry's purposes? No one parties like HBO.

Lighting up a rather predictable party circuit for the Emmys, HBO took over the Pacific Design Center's outdoor courtyard, transforming it into a floral and fiery tableau for famous folks. And that's without considering Alan Cumming's pants.

Pictures: 2011 Emmy Awards winners

A newly single Joe Manganiello ducked in to greet his "True Blood" employers before heading home for an early call time (presumably on the just-started "Magic Mike"). He passed by HBO talent, including the boys of "Entourage," Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon and Rex Lee, toasting their final season.

Mark Wahlberg made a show-stopping entrance, halting conversation for the likes of Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, John Stamos and Amanda Peet.

Olivia Munn made nice with rapper Kid Cudi as anchor Maria Menounos circulated in a gorgeous Ungaro gown, smiling at Lisa Bonet with her "Conan the Barbarian" man Jason Moma, who earned the HBO invite flexing his mojo as Khal Drogo in "Game of Thrones."

In the "Huh?" category, the notoriously rowdy Paz de la Huerta had the right measurements in a pink strapless gown but accented that with confounding, cadaver-colored lips and a mess of black hair. Likewise, Cumming hosted his own party -- on a floral, embroidered pair of harem pants.

Luckily the lovely Claire Danes was a palate cleanser. And for dessert? Scott Caan and a tall brunet were spotted driving off into the night just after the stroke of midnight.

Alan Cumming's pants, and Paz de la Huerta's makeup.

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— Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photos: Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer work the red carpet, top, at HBO's 2011 Emmy after-party. Paz de la Heurta, bottom left, gets, um, avant-garde with hair and makeup, while Alan Cumming's pants simply win. Credits: Kristian Dowling / Associated Press, top; Michael Buckner / Getty Images, left; Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times, right.

 


Sean Bean goes 'Missing' after bar brawl and 'Game of Thrones'

Sean Bean of "Game of Thrones"

Sean Bean is having a bad week. First, his "Game of Thrones" character completely lost his head Sunday night, and then the actor was stabbed in a bar brawl — before going "Missing."

The 52-year-old Brit was hanging out at a pub called the Hill in Camden, London, and stepped out to have a cigarette with a lady friend named April Summers, who happens to be a Playboy model. When a passerby shouted lewd comments at Summers, Bean rushed to defend her honor (such a Ned Stark thing to do) and challenged him, but the man walked away.

However, when Bean went outside again later for another smoke, he got punched in the face by the dude and was stabbed in the arm with broken glass. Tough-guy image intact, Bean simply walked back inside and later ordered another drink.

"He came in with a cut on his arm and a bruise on his eyebrow," a Hill staff member told the Daily Mail. "We saw to his injuries with the first aid kit. He seemed OK and wanted to have another drink."

So far no arrests have been made, according to the Telegraph, and Bean is "doing fine," his daughter Molly told the paper. "We don't know if there will be any lasting injury."


But there are more than bar brawls in Bean's future.

"GAME OF THRONES" SPOILER ALERT ... stop here if the newest episode is still waiting on the DVR.

Continue reading »

'Ugly Betty' actress Ana Ortiz is expecting a baby boy

Ana Ortiz pregnant Ana Ortiz is pregnant! The "Ugly Betty" actress is expecting a baby boy with husband Noah Lebenzon.

"We know it's a boy!" Ortiz told Latina magazine. Now, she and Lebenzon "are trying to come up with some names that we can agree on."

Ortiz, 40, is six months pregnant. She and Lebenzon, the lead guitarist for Everything Is Energy, already have a 23-month-old girl named Paloma Louise.

The couple met in 2004 and married two years later.

Now, the big decision is choosing that name for the tiny tot.

"It has to be Spanish, but something non-speakers can pronounce without mauling. Suggestions? I'm open," Ortiz said.

Ortiz recently signed on for five episodes of HBO's "Hung" to play a woman with anger management issues, and the crew has been shooting around her pregnancy.

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-- Nardine Saad
Twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Ana Ortiz in 2008. Credit: Gabriela Maj / Getty Images


Paz de la Huerta of 'Boardwalk Empire' charged with assault

Paz de la Huerta has been charged with assault. Paz de la Huerta of "Boardwalk Empire" was arraigned Tuesday in New York on assault and other charges related to a wee-hours altercation with another actress in March at the Standard hotel bar.

De la Huerta was arrested around 4 a.m. March 20 after throwing a glass at actress-model Samantha Swetra and punching her in the face, leaving her nose bloodied, authorities said in court documents.

The HBO actress, who according to the New York Daily News took a header, accidentally baring a breast, after flirting with a guy at Swetra's table, where Lindsay Lohan was among those along for the ride. Swetra's snarky commentary on De la Huerta's level of intoxication sent the latter lady into a rage, with a punch and a glass flying and connecting, eyewitnesses said.

Prosecutors alleged that De la Huerta later delivered some cutting comments of her own to police: "I'm a real actress -- HBO. She's a publicity-seeker, a fake actress," she said, according to the criminal complaint.

Swetra was in the cast of "The City," an MTV reality show that followed Whitney Port of "The Hills" as she moved to New York to work for designer Diane von Furstenberg. De la Huerta plays the hot-tempered onetime girlfriend of Steve Buscemi's Nucky Thompson character on "Boardwalk Empire."

De la Huerta, who did not speak or suffer any wardrobe malfunctions during her court appearance, was released Tuesday without having to post bail. Charged with five misdemeanors (two counts of third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, attempted assault and harassment, TMZ said), she's due back in court May 19.

This isn't the first time De la Huerta has found herself in a difficult situation in the wee hours of the night: In January, she was turned away from a Golden Globe Awards after-party at Chateau Marmont for being too drunk. Paparazzi caught the rejection -- including her pretty bad fall and pretty embarrassing nipple slip in that very pretty party dress -- on video.

Remember, kids, the Globes are the only awards show with an open bar. Perhaps for a reason?

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-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Paz de la Huerta arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2011. Credit: Carlo Allegri / Associated Press


'Cinema Verite' premiere: Diane Lane, James Gandolfini go back to the '70s for HBO

Cinema Verite

The "Cinema Verite" premiere Monday night served as a trip back in time for Diane Lane, James Gandolfini and others, as HBO screened its new movie detailing what happened behind the scenes during the filming of the groundbreaking 1973 series "An American Family." The PBS documentary is seen as the precursor to today’s spate of reality-TV shows.

Cinema-Verite-gallery The real-life Santa Barbara couple featured in the original, Pat and Bill Loud, as well as children Kevin, Grant, Michelle and Delilah, attended the premiere and walked the carpet at Paramount Pictures alongside Lane, who portrays Pat, and Gandolfini, who plays filmmaker Craig Gilbert. Tim Robbins, who plays Bill Loud, was unable to attend the premiere because of the death of his father, Highwaymen singer Gil Robbins.

Lolita Davidovich, who portrays shopkeeper Val, went casual on the carpet, while Thomas Dekker, who plays eldest son Lance Loud, spiffed up in suit and tie. Also in attendance: Johnny Simmons, Nick Eversman, Caitlin Custer and Kaitlyn Dever, who play the other Loud children, as well as "Almost Famous" star Patrick Fugit and Shanna Collins, who appear as documentarians Alan and Susan Raymond. "Cinema Verite" directors Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman also attended.

Other guests at the premiere included Hope Davis and Marcia Gay Harden, who appeared with Gandolfini on Broadway in “God of Carnage” and are reprising their roles at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Lorraine Bracco, another Gandolfini costar -- this time from "The Sopranos" -- also was on hand.

"Cinema Verite" premieres on HBO on April 23. Click on the pics for more photos.

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Top photo: "Cinema Verite" stars James Gandolfini, left, and Diane Lane, center, join members of the Loud family -- Michelle, Delilah, Pat, Bill, Kevin and Grant at the premiere of "Cinema Verite." Credit: Danny Moloshok / Reuters. Bottom photo: Lane and Gandolfini. Credit: David Livingston / Getty Images


'Your Highness' star Danny McBride and wife are expecting a baby

"Your Highness" star and co-writer Danny McBride has announced that he and his wife Gia Ruiz are expecting a baby.

"I got married last October," McBride said on Conan O'Brien's show Wednesday. "I wasted zero time. Three months later I knocked my wife up. It happened very quickly."

That would make his wife about three months pregnant, according to super-rudimentary Ministry calculations.

"I had never impregnated anyone before," the 34-year-old actor quipped. "So I didn't really realize that what they teach you in health class is actually true. That's all it takes."

When Coco asked the sex of the baby, the "Eastbound and Down" star suggested in his own humorous way that it's a boy.

"We've been told that it's either a three-legged girl or ... we either have a marathon runner or a porn star," he joked.

When this Ministry writer offered McBride congratulations during a Hero Complex live chat Thursday, he joked, "Nardine! Thank you ... we will name the baby after you." (This Ministry writer is now considering alternate careers as a marathon runner or porn star.)

'Your Highness' premiere photos: Danny McBride and James Franco McBride, who plays retired baseball player-turned high school coach Kenny Powers in the HBO comedy "Eastbound and Down," stars in the upcoming stoner comedy with James Franco and Natalie Portman. It is directed by McBride's film school buddy David Gordon Green who with McBride came up with the concept for the film.

"The idea for the movie honestly started out as a joke," he told O'Brien. "We would come up with just titles of movies and we'd quickly figure out what the movie was and if the movie wasn't good you had a drink or something like that. And 'Your Highness' was born that way ... It's about a prince who gets stoned and fights dragons. And 10 years later we have Natalie Portman and James Franco -- Oscar-nominated and winning actors."

Click the pic for more photos from the premiere.

Green said the movie was influenced by various '80s genre films including "Barbarian Queen," "Hawk the Slayer," "Labyrinth," "The Sword and the Sorcerer" "Fire and Ice" and "Barbarians" among others.

But McBride told O'Brien he had a different idea for the film.

"We could make this look like it was 'Lord of the Rings' and make it look beautiful but at the end of the day it's just one giant ... joke."

"Your Highness" hits theaters Friday.

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-- Nardine Saad
Twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Danny McBride and James Franco pose together on the red carpet at the "Your Highness" premiere Friday. Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images


'His Way' premiere: Stars salute producer Jerry Weintraub

Matt Damon and Andy Garcia with Jerry Weintraub at the "His Way" premiere

Matt Damon, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone and other stars from Jerry Weintraub's repertoire came out to honor the Hollywood producer at the premiere of the HBO documentary "His Way."

Billy Crystal and wife Janice at the "His Way" premiere The documentary, which first airs April 4, chronicles Weintraub's five-decade career in the industry using personal video, archival footage and interviews with friends.

Damon, Andy Garcia, Elliott Gould and Carl Reiner, who starred in Weintraub's "Ocean's Eleven" franchise toasted the producer as they walked the red carpet -- er, concrete -- at Paramount Studios in Hollywood on Tuesday.

Actor James Caan took a comedy break from the media line and hooked his son Scott with a cane. Anne Heche and boyfriend James Tupper, Paul Reiser of "Mad About You" fame and funnyman Billy Crystal, attended, wife Janice on his arm. Bruce Willis, his wife Emma Heming and actors Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff also attended. Click the pics for more photos from the event.

Also spotted:  Actors Jeff Garlin, Lee Majors and Ellen Barkin, and model Cindy Crawford.

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-- Nardine Saad
Photos: Andy Garcia, top left, with Jerry Weintraub and Matt Damon at the premiere of HBO's "His Way" documentary about the producer. Billy Crystal, right, and wife Janice attended the event March 22 at Paramount Studios. Credits: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images, top; Mario Anzuoni / Reuters, right.

 


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