Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Can't say I was surprised to see pictures of Jonathan Rhys Meyers drinking vodka straight from the bottle on a London street.
 It is well known that The Tudors star has been battling alcohol issues for over a decade, ever since he first found fame as the love interest of Parminder Nagra's character in Bend It Like Beckham. 
  I have interviewed him twice and on both occasions he appeared to be either drunk or stoned, often rambling incoherently. During the second interview he abruptly stood up and left the room midway through, returning some five minutes later without giving a reason for his absence. 
  He was pictured in London looking disheveled and swigging from a vodka bottle while his new movie, Damascus Cover, was being previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.  
  In a statement he says he was heading home after a night out with friends when the picture was taken: " I am on the mend and thank well wishers and sorry for my disheveled appearance. I was on my way home from a friends and had not changed." He continues: ""I apologizes [sic] for having a minor relapse and hope that people don't think too badly of me."
  He is believed to have had six stints in rehab over the past few years, including programmes at the Promises facility in Malibu in 2005 and 2007.
In November 2011, the star was ordered by a French court to pay a restitution of €1,000 and was given a suspended sentence for public intoxication.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Haley today
 When he was 11-years-old Haley Joel Osment earned an Oscar nomination for his role in The Sixth Sense in which he memorably announced that he "sees dead people."
 He made a couple more movies and then dropped out of sight.
 Now aged 27, he is back making movies again and I chatted with him at the Montage Hotel where he had just been reunited with his co-stars in the forthcoming movie Entourage.
 An avid golfer, Haley has chubby cheeks, reddish-hair, a beard and a cheery grin. There is only a very faint resemblance to the blonde-haired young star of The Sixth Sense.  
   He has, he says, been living in New York and between 2006 and 2011 he was studying  at NYU.   "I did a play on Broadway in 2008 and two independent films while I was in college but it was hard to do school and acting at the same time, so for about five years I was just in college," he tells me.
In the new movie Yoga Hosers
   He went back to work in 2012 and the movies he has made since then, including the Mark Wahlberg-produced Entourage, in which he plays a Southern rich kid with a sense of entitlement,   are starting to be released.
  Those who remember him from The Sixth Sense will see a very different Haley Joel Osment nowadays. 
Haley aged 11.
   Even Haley finds it odd seeing himself in The Sixth Sense. "The memory is still strong but it seems like a different person," he says. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015


    Had a chance to chat with George Clooney the other day and it turns out that since buying a historic English mansion overlooking the River Thames he has enthusiastically embraced the British pub culture and is a regular at his local pub, the Bull Inn at Sonning Eye.  

  "It’s something like 200 years old and it's the greatest pub in the world," he tells me. "To get there Amal and I walk from our house over a bridge, through a graveyard and into the pub, which is fine. But coming back is a little spooky.

  "And we also have The French Horn nearby which is an unbelievable restaurant." 
 The 17th century house has ten bedrooms and is on a 5.5 acre island in the Thames. 

 "We are doing some work on the house because it had been updated a few years ago and probably needed to done a little more like it originally was as opposed to the way it had been updated," he says. "So we are trying to bring it back to the Georgian style."


Friday, April 17, 2015


  With a General Election looming in the UK on May 7, self-styled revolutionary and actor/comedian Russell Brand has been talking politics.
 For anyone who is confused about where he stands politically and which party he will vote for, he explains:" I'm exploring new territories of consciousness, detonating old ideas through profanity, puerility, scatology and shock.

"We are trapped in a risible, non-functioning, flimsy paddock of secular democracy.

  "Pernickity specificity can only lead to it sounding ill-conceived."
   Thanks for clearing it up for us, Russell. 

Monday, April 13, 2015


Had a chance to talk with the newest Bond girl, lovely Stephanie Sigman on the set of SPECTRE after she had finished her opening scenes---a sexy assignation with Daniel Craig in a Mexico City hotel room. 
For 28-year-old Stephanie,  the role means a big career breakthrough although she is no stranger to sex and violence on the screen. A keen boxer who trains regularly with professional boxers in a Los Angeles gym, she previously portrayed the title role in the movie Miss Bala, playing a kidnapped Mexican beauty queen caught up in Mexican gang violence. She also played the ex-girlfriend of a contract killer in the TV series The Bridge.
   Stephanie, 27, was born in Ciudad Obregon, the second largest city in the crime-ravaged state of Sonora. Residents of the town claim the problems with organised crime became serious around 1998 when the now-famous starlet would have been just eleven. 
She left the city when she was sixteen and began a modelling career.The first Mexican Bond girl, she landed the role of the mysterious Estrella in Spectre after answering a casting call, auditioning and then meeting Sam Mendes. 
   "Am I sexy? I don't know," she laughs. "For some people I'm not going to be sexy and for others I'll be too sexy, so it's all very relative. I just try to embrace what I am, so if I'm sexy....all well and good."

Thursday, April 9, 2015


  The little town of Bridgend in South Wales (population 39,000) has earned the unwanted nickname of Death Town because an estimated ninety-nine young people have been found hanged there since 2007.
  Many in the town believed a serial killer was at large, others assumed it was a suicide cult. The deaths have struck fear and unrest into the hearts of most. Many of the victims were pretty young girls who typically do not commit suicide by violent methods. 
   I don't usually plug movies, but a documentary film, Bridgend, investigates the events that caused the sleepy little town to become the subject of gruesome speculation across the United Kingdom and is worth seeing.
  Writer and director John Williams spent five years in the town and he says: "When I went to Bridgend to investigate the rumors, I was bullied and threatened. The police and government officials refused to be interviewed or even provide a statement or confirm the number of deaths."
   With the help of private investigators and interviews with family members and friends of the victims, he uncovered the tragic stories behind the deaths and traces the final hours of many of the victims.   One boy laid out his suit to attend his friend’s funeral, and hours later walked to a tree next to the one where the friend had died and hanged himself. Another girl was found hanging in a bathroom just hours after hearing of the suicide of her younger cousin. A young man, having attended several of his friends’ funerals, ended his life in a children’s park after arriving home from a night at the pub.  Within weeks, two of his ex-girlfriends were also dead by the same method.
 The stories leading up to the tragic deaths are varied, but they are starkly alike in their endings. The victims are left hanging from coat jackets or cell phone cords or ropes, from playground slides or banisters or the back of a closet door.

 Debate still rages over the causes behind the hanging deaths and the numbers continue to rise

  “I spoke with and befriended so many families in this town including one individual who swore to me that he would never kill himself but then committed suicide after the first cut of the documentary was done," says Williams. "I was horrified.  I lived in this town and saw the grief and devastation– we need more awareness on this topic.”

Find all the info on how to watch Bridgend at: http://bridgendthemovie.com/

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Daniel Craig on the trail of an assassin
   Have just spent four days in Mexico City where Daniel Craig is filming Spectre, the 24th James Bond adventure. It is a huge production and Craig and the movie's cast, crew and 1500 extras have taken over parts of the city, including the historic Plaza de la Constitucion, for three weeks of explosions, chases, fist fights and virtually non-stop action.

  Gigantic skulls and skeletons have been built in the square in front of the National Palace for a scene in which Craig chases an assassin through more than a thousand extras dressed in macabre costumes revelling in the festivities of Dia de los Muertos and then leaps into a helicopter. Spectators lined the sidewalks to watch as he dashed frantically through a carnival parade of inflatable skulls and skeletons.

   Earlier, wearing a dapper grey suit, he walked coolly away from an explosion which sent rubble and smoke across the cobblestone streets.
Day of the Dead carnival procession
 Although details of the plot are being kept under wraps it is safe to say that Mexico City, which is battling a serious image problem because of drug-related violence, will look like a tourists' dream when the movie is released. The government, which has been hit by corruption scandals and human rights violations, reportedly paid the Bond producers $20 million to film in the city as a promotional ploy to boost tourism.

  So parts of the original script have been changed to make the city look good including the opening scenes during Dia de los Muertos, a popular Mexican national holiday, which were originally reportedly set during a cage fight.

  Also, Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman was cast in a small role as a last minute addition; the character of the Mayor of Mexico City---a target for assassination---was replaced and helicopters buzzed over the city filming aerial shots of its parks and buildings. 

A chat with a couple of Day of the Dead zombies
 Spectre, directed by Sam Mendes, is due to be released on November 6. It features the re-introduction of the global terrorist group SPECTRE----the Special Executive for Counter-Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.

  Producer Michael Wilson told me: "The story concerns a puzzle which Bond has to piece together and solve."

   Monica Bellucci costars with Craig along with with MI6 allies Tanner (Rory Kinnear), quartermaster/gadget man Q (Ben Whishaw), fellow agent Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and the new M (Ralph Fiennes).

  The official synopsis on IMDB reveals 'A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation.
'While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.'