Monday, November 12, 2018


 Sorry to hear of the death of Marvel comics icon Stan Lee at the age of 95. He had battled a number of illnesses over the past year, including most recently a bout of pneumonia.  

   When I talked with Stan two years ago he was fit, feisty and working on movies featuring Annihilator and Realm of the Tiger, new superheroes he had created.

  But he became enmeshed in health and legal problems following  the death last year of his beloved British-born wife Joanie after 70 years of marriage.

  He had filed a lawsuit against his former manager Jerardo Olivarez alleging fraud, elder abuse and misappropriation of his name and likeness.

  Lee, whose creations include Spider-Man, the Hulk, Daredeveil, X-Men and Black Panther, accused Olivarez of being one of many "unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists" who sought to take advantage of him following the death of his wife.  

   More than two million of Lee's comic books have been published in 75 nations and in 25 languages. His characters have been featured in 24 animated television series and several live-action movies.

   Lee rose to fame from ignoble beginnings to become the most famous comic author and producer in history. The face of Marvel, Lee was one of the few comic book authors recognisable to mainstream audiences largely because of film roles where he played himself and for his small on-screen parts in the major Marvel movies. 

  But he had a rocky relationship with Marvel once the company went full-tilt Hollywood. He sued the company in 2002 for royalties he said he was owed for the first Spider-Man movie. Three years later he settled the case for $10 million.

Instagram: @Beachscribe

Saturday, November 10, 2018


   The millions who watched and loved Claire Foy as the young Queen Elizabeth in The Crown are in for a shock if they see her in Girl in the Spider's Web. 

  It couldn't be more different from the genteel world of Buckingham Palace.  

The gadget on the left is a miniature rocket for the movie First Man
  As the tattooed Lisbeth Salander she has facial piercings, sports a black mohawk, hacks into top secret data systems, dodges enemy vehicles on her motorycycle and beats up rich, powerful men who abuse their women. 

 After the Crown, The Girl in the Spider's Web was particularly gruelling for her. " I knew it was going be a really intense shooting schedule and I had to do a lot of physical work," she tells me when we talk in Barcelona. "I had to do a lot of stunts, a lot of running and generally throw myself around so I had to take care of myself physically.

   "But I loved the action because it was something so different for me. I just loved it.

 "And I loved getting the tattoos. When the water was freezing cold and they were transferring them onto my back I didn't like it quite so much," she laughs. "But I loved them. I was really involved in designing them and in the end they felt like part of my body. And very occasionally at family parties where I've looked down, I’d be, 'Oh look I've still got that one on,' which was a bit unusual. But I loved them, I really did."
After filming three movies in quick succession---the others were Unsane and First Man--Claire wanted nothing more than a long rest. 

  "I did nothing for the whole summer and I plan not to do anything for quite a while longer," she says. "Making the Crown and the three movies was really rewarding and amazing but quite exhausting too. I have nothing lined up. Nothing for a long time-------I'm doing diddly squat." 
Instagram: @beachscribe

Monday, October 1, 2018


  The thing that surprised me most about meeting Lady Gaga is that she's so damned normal. 

  Without her often outrageous outfits, headdresses,  hairpieces  and flamboyant stage personality she is down to earth, friendly and talks frankly about her life and career.
 Lady Gaga--her friends call her Steffi--- feels she is now a big enough star to confess to me one of the secrets that has boosted her career------when anybody advises her to do something, she says she always does the opposite.

   "Before my first single and music video ever came out it was suggested I should get a nose job but I said 'no.' I'm proud to be Italian and I love my Italian nose. I didn't always but I had learned to love who I was," she says.

  "If people wanted me to look like a sexpot I would look like the opposite. If they said 'try dancing and looking this way' I would always flip it on my head and do it my way.

  "That way I maintained my authenticity and maintained who I am. I was not the prettiest girl in the room, I was a little weird and I liked being weird. I didn't like to be sexual in a way that other pop stars were. I was my own thing."

  She is confiding her secrets as we talk in a suite at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto before the premiere of her much anticipated movie  A Star Is Born, which is directed by and co-stars Bradley Cooper.

    She is being tipped for an Oscar nomination for her role as Ally, an aspiring singer discovered by Cooper's Jackson Maine, a country music star struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. As her career takes off his demons threaten to sabotage their happiness.

  For the role 32-year-old Gaga made an exception to her rule and completely  trusted Cooper and what he told her.

     A Star is Born, Cooper's directorial debut, is the fourth remake of the story and for it Gaga had to abandon her real self as that girl from New York's Lower East Side who spent hours doing her makeup before her gigs and instead let the camera zoom in on her wearing little or no makeup.

  "It put me in the right place I needed to be," she says. "When my character talks about how ugly she feels---that was real. I'm so insecure. I like to preach but I don't always practice what I preach."

Instagram: @beachscribe


 Sorry to hear of the death of Marvel comics icon Stan Lee at the age of 95. He had battled a number of illnesses over the past year, inc...