Thursday, May 29, 2008

David James Elliott cast in mini-series disaster flick | Hollywood Celebrities

Are you ready for some major disaster film effects? Were you disappointed that there wasn’t more destruction when the Golden Gate Bridge broke in half on Eli Stone (I was.) Then you, like me, will be pleased to hear that David James Elliott is starring in a four-hour mini-series called Impact. Producers are promising lots of action and Charlton Heston-like epic disaster. Okay, maybe I added the Charlton Heston adjective, but at $13 million, the guys at Muse Entertainment, Jaffe/Braunstein Entertainment and Tandem Communications aren’t skimping.

Casting David is a plus for starters. The former JAG star has a nice balance of serious and tongue-in-cheek, so hopefully he’ll keep Impact from getting too cheesey. The story, however, does have Velveeta potential.

The plot erupts when a meteor shower results in a piece of a dwarf star (no, I was going to make a joke about Michael Dunn, but I’ll refrain) breaks off and collides into the moon. The impact (get the title now?) causes the moon to shift out of orbit which leads to all kinds of problems here on earth.

Big problems, too. Cell phone interruptions. Cable and satellite interference. No, no, those are the minor inconveniences. The really big ones are the tides not rolling in on schedule and — I love this one — sporadic weightlessness! I want to try that one.

In Michael Vickerman’s screenplay, David’s character is Alex Kinter, an astrophysicist. He teams with a female astrophysicist (uncast so far), and together they find out that the moon is so out of whack that it’s going to collide with the earth. How do they solve the problem? Well, we’ll just have to tune in to find out.

Alert from I am so looking forward to this movie.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Actor-athlete goes the distance

JAG veteran making Impact on set of TV mini-series
Michael D. Reid, Times ColonistPublished: Monday, May 26, 2008

There's something to that axiom about how everyone loves a man in uniform.

Just ask David James Elliott. The Canadian actor developed a whole new fan base in 1995 when he was cast as the star of JAG, the hit CBS military adventure series that ran for 10 years.

"Women were never interested in me before that," deadpans Elliott, 48. "It's flattering."

It's easy to see why readers have been calling this desk with dinner invitations, photo requests and queries as to the whereabouts of the actor best known as Cmdr. Harmon Rabb Jr. in the show conceived as "Top Gun meets A Few Good Men."

Smartly dressed in a navy blazer, slacks and gleaming black dress shoes, the Milton, Ont.-born actor is the epitome of the head-turning hunk, oozing smooth charm and quick wit as he puffs on a cigar outside his trailer near the set of Impact.

No stranger to wearing uniforms -- from playing head-injured Canadian football star Terry Evanshen in The Man Who Lost Himself to David Renwald, a coast guard officer with multiple sclerosis on Global's The Guard -- he's doing it again.

Elliott is stepping into a spacesuit for one of his many scenes as Dr. Alex Kinter, an Ottawa-based astrophysicist and single father who with a German scientist (Benjamin Sadler) has to rocket to the moon in a bid to avert a global catastrophe.

The $14-million TV mini-series being filmed here charts the worldwide mayhem that ensues when an asteroid hits the moon, sending it on a collision course with Earth. It co-stars Natasha Henstridge and James Cromwell.

Although Impact is loaded with visual effects and action in multiple locations, Elliott's challenges lie elsewhere.

"I have to call on my memory a lot. There's a lot of scientific dialogue to cram in," he says. "But we've got a great cast and crew and we're having fun. I think it'll translate well to the screen."

Elliott can relate to Kinter's paternal aspects, being a devoted family man himself. The Los Angeles-based actor is married to actress Nanci Chambers, who played Lt. Loren Singer in JAG. They have two children -- Stephanie, 14, and Wyatt, 5.

He just wishes he could be at home as much as he was while shooting episodic television in L.A.

"They understand. It's what I do. I've been doing a lot more movies and other things and travelling more, which makes it a little difficult. It's never ideal but what am I going to do? This is the business we've chosen."

Elliott chose it after briefly dropping out of high school to pursue his dream of becoming a rock star. Inspired by a teacher who praised his reading of King Lear, he went to Ryerson and became a member of Stratford's Young Company.

Since then, the six-foot-four actor has appeared in films and dozens of TV shows including Street Legal, Knot's Landing, The Untouchables, Melrose Place (as a sex-addicted football player), Seinfeld, Medium and JAG, as well as playing egocentric district attorney James Conlon in the CBS legal series Close to Home.

Doing JAG for 10 years gave Elliott the freedom to pick projects more for artistic merit than megabucks, he says.

When his interviewer confesses he wasn't one of JAG's millions of fans, he feigns anger.

"We didn't need you, man," he deadpans. "It's still on the air."

He says he had "a blast" recently playing the father of a lonely lad with a beloved stuffed toy in Gooby, Canadian writer-director Wilson Coneybeare's family-friendly blend of live-action and computer-generated effects. Described as "Harvey meets Harry and the Hendersons," the upcoming film also features Robbie Coltrane and Eugene Levy.

Elliott is also pumped about The Rainbow Tribe, an indie charmer in which he plays a middle-aged man with a brain tumour who finds fulfilment "and a reason to go on" as a counsellor for a ragtag group of kids at a beloved summer camp of his childhood.

"There was no money in it but the script was one of the best I've ever read."

Like Robert Downey, Jr., Elliott has also strutted his stuff as Iron Man -- albeit a different variety.
An endurance athlete who also loves to fish and golf -- often in charity tournaments -- Elliott has done the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, several half-Ironmans and Olympic-distance triathlons, and 15 marathons from Boston to Lake Tahoe.

Laughing, he says he can't help himself.

"I'm an obsessive-compulsive guy," he says. "It lends itself well because you can hyper-focus. I started doing it because it behooves me to stay in shape. I can go the distance. I may not be the fastest guy on the track but I'll probably be the last guy to stop."
Had this in a Google news alert... quite an interesting article. Can't wait until we see him back on television!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In honor of our soldiers...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Re-airing of 'Love Sick'

According to, 'Love Sick: Secrets of a Sex Addict' will be airing again on LifetimeTV May 26 and June 3, 2008. Here is a link to the whole article for anyone interested:

Monday, May 5, 2008

Babe star Cromwell filming in Victoria

James Cromwell's character comforts his granddaughter, played by Natasha Calis,
shot Thursday in Shawnigen Lake for the movie 'Impact'.
Photo by Handout Photo.

Michael D. Reid, Victoria Times Colonist
Published: Monday, May 05, 2008

James Cromwell had acted on stage and television for years — remember Archie Bunker’s co-worker Stretch Cunningham on All in the Family? — but he says it wasn’t until he became a pig farmer he thought his career as one of Hollywood’s most recognizable actors really began.

“That’s probably the one I loved the most. He was such a sweet fella,” says the six-foot-seven actor, smiling as he recalls his Oscar-nominated role as kindly Farmer Hoggett in Babe, the 1995 charmer about an endearing piglet raised by sheepdogs.

Cromwell, 68, is described as “lovely” by crew members on the set of Impact, the $13-million sci-fi miniseries about the effects of a meteor’s collision with the moon.

“I try to do titles that are only one or two words. I did The Babe and Babe, and Deep Impact and Impact,” the Los Angeles-born actor jokes when reminded he was in a similarly titled movie about a comet on a collision course with earth 10 years ago.

Cromwell, last seen playing Prince Philip to acerbic perfection in The Queen, is bundled up in a winter coat inside Shawnigan Lake’s Royal Canadian Legion.

It’s doubling as Rumney’s Roadhouse, a ramshackle “sportsman’s bar” in Vermont. The parking lot is strewn with smoking, overturned vans and pickup trucks, some in flames from the effects of a gravitational crisis.

The fake scar on his forehead is because his character, a loving grandfather, has been in a crash while trying to get his grandchildren to Washington to be with their father, a scientist played by David James Elliott.

The outspoken actor, environmentalist, anti-war activist and defender of aboriginal rights says Babe was more than a movie to him. It was a life-changing “gift” from spiritual leader Baba Ram Dass, a.k.a. Dr. Richard Alpert, author of the inspirational book Be Here Now.

“I had lost my way and through a serendipitous series of events I wound up at an ashram with this teacher,” explains Cromwell, who was disillusioned by what was happening to his country during the Vietnam era.

He received the script for Babe after travelling around the world. He spent eight months in Africa, and spent time with monks in a temple in Japan before returning to New York to “reconnect with what initially gave me the impetus to be an actor.”
Cromwell understands why the Oscar-nominated movie captured the hearts and minds of millions.

“It’s a beautiful story, brilliantly done,” he says. “The trick [mating animatronics and live animals] was not apparent because very few people do it. It’s because of the genius of [director] Chris Noonan and [co-writer] George Miller. To create the illusion of intelligence and volition you had to train animals to relate to each other the way humans do.”

That Babe even got released was a miracle, he says.

“Universal almost threw the film away. They thought it would be a disaster.”

Its fortunes improved after the studio half-heartedly invited movie writers to see it after the premiere of Apollo 13 in Texas.

“The reporters went, ‘Oh, geez, oh no,’ but then they saw it and wrote great reviews.”

After making Babe, Cromwell became an ethical vegan and animal rights crusader, working with organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He had been a vegetarian since taking a disturbing motorcycle trip through the stockyards of Texas in 1975.

“As far as you could see there was suffering, and the stench and sounds were haunting,” Cromwell recalls somberly.

Having played princes to presidents, he’s one of Hollywood’s most ubiquitous actors. Memorable roles include Cromwell’s lethally corrupt police chief in L.A. Confidential, the prison warden in The Green Mile, a monk who befriends Babe Ruth in The Babe, Jack Bauer’s evil father in 24, geologist George Sibley in Six Feet Under, a dying bishop in E.R., Mr. Skolnick in Revenge of the Nerds and Dr. Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact.

Just don’t call him a character actor.

“There are two distinctions. One is you never get the girl, which is the part I don’t like,” he says, grinning. “The second is the assumption that you can’t carry the picture. I don’t do ‘characters.’ I always do me — where I’ve got lines written and I have to get from one line to the next in a circumstance which alters who I am.”

He’ll do that again when he starts rehearsals Thursday in Louisiana for his role as former U.S. president George Bush in W, Oliver Stone’s biopic on current President George W. Bush. Although Cromwell is no stranger to the Oval Office — he played fictional presidents in The Sum of All Fears and The West Wing and Lyndon B. Johnson in RFK — this is different.

“I played Johnson when he was dead so he couldn’t write me a letter,” he quips. He says the challenge is to convey the essence of the elder Bush without descending into caricature. “You have to create the sense you really are the person, but under private circumstances. You’ve never seen him say to his son he’s disappointed in his behaviour or that he can’t talk to him, or that he’s embarrassed.”

Why does Cromwell get cast as authority figures so often?

“A lack of imagination,” jokes the actor, who has played bankers, senators and judges. “If you start out as a pig farmer and then do L.A. Confidential, instead of saying, ‘Wow! What range!’ they say, ‘What are we going to do with him?’ Then you do Sum of All Fears and if you’re a believable president they say, ‘Oh, we’ve got him now.’ ”

Cromwell is fuelled by the influence of his parents — actress Kay Johnson and John Cromwell, the blacklisted actor-director.

“He said, ‘It’s a tough business. You don’t work and people are critical and you lose hope. But it works out if you keep at it.’ ”

©Victoria Times Colonist 2008

Had this in a Google alert and included the whole post. James Cromwell is quite the actor. Can't wait to see him and DJE in 'Impact'.

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