In honor of Halloween, we have some spooky Southern Celebrity Gossip for you today! So, rumor has it that the “True Blood”
cast aren’t the only vampires running around New Orleans. That’s right, according to ABC News
, Nick Cage may just be a real-life vampire. It isn’t just his creepy roles in movies that have the public suspicious of his mortality- but more a photo that recently emerged. A photo from 1870! This Civil War Era photo depicts an all-too real likeness to the famous actor, and has people guessing… is he a vampire?
Now vampires aren’t really new territory for Louisiana. New Orleans in particular has a habit for attracting the unusual- and any trip to the French Quarter will reveal that! The otherworldly quality of this town is why Anne Rice chose it for the setting in her book “Interview with the Vampire”
which was later made into a movie starring Brad Pitt. In this millennium, “True Blood
” is being filmed locally and is set in a fictitious town between NOLA and Baton Rouge which furthers this reputation of New Orleans as a rendezvous hotspot for the undead.
Nick hasn’t really been helping his case by occupying the Lalaurie House in the French Quarter when he is in town. Cage purchased the mansion several years ago, despite the infamy of it being the “most haunted house in the city”. Reportedly, when in town, him and his family usually don’t venture out and spend most of their time inside this haunted house. This has neighbors wondering if it is the stardom or the sunshine that keeps them indoors. Perhaps this home was what influenced Cage’s son to assume the position of lead-singer in a black metal band called, “Eyes of Noctum”.
Huh? Black metal bands? Haunted House? Creepy roles? Not to mention his public outburst last year? With all the creepy details of this actor’s personal life, it seems like this 1870’s photo might just be the final nail in the coffin. Pardon the pun. Regardless of the truth in this rumor, this Hollywood star is certainly a long way from a “City of Angels”
Warner Brothers has begun filming a great new comedy here in New Orleans! “Dog Fight”
, written by Chris Henchy
and Shawn Harwell
, is a hilarious depiction of Southern politics. The movie tells the story of two candidates as they race for power in South Carolina. But as you can imagine with a slapstick cast, hilarity ensues. And who better to act in this film than comedy-god Will Ferrell
? Ferrell has previously worked with Henchy in the movie “Land of the Lost”
. But it is perhaps his roles in “Anchorman
” and “Talladega Nights
” that have gained him the fame that will prepare him for this new part… and also being a graduate of South Carolina doesn’t hurt!
Ferrell isn’t the only big name making his way to Louisiana. Jay Roach
, of “Austin Powers
” and “Meet the Parents
”, will also be directing this film. Ferrell is also recruiting some of his SNL buddies to co-star in this flick. Jason Sudeikis
and Zach Galifianakis
have been cast in the 2012 film playing opposite Will Ferrell. Galifianakis is best known for his hilarious performance in “The Hangover”
in 2009 which landed him the MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance. Sudeikis on the other hand, has been dedicating his talents to Saturday Night Live, where he notably has portrayed vice-president Joe Biden. A role that is sure to help him with the humorous theme of “Dog Fight”
So what happens when you combine one stellar director, with two hilarious writers, three SNL Alum, and one great city of New Orleans? Pure comedy! The movie is scheduled to film through February, and is set to hit theatres in August of 2012. Casting directors are currently recruiting locals for movie extras in New Orleans and on the West Bank. Those interested in becoming extras should fill-out this form
through the casting website.
The Century Council is an organizational initiative designed to keep college kids from binge drinking. This is definitely a cause that hits close to home here in a city that centers socially on festivals and sporting events. We see the stereotypical scenes of wild college parties on television and movies, and often hear about the tragedies that result from these activities on the news. But one notable LSU Alum is doing his part to make sure that students are using their heads when it comes to alcohol! Louisiana State Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal has recently become the spokesman for the Century Council, using his celebrity to keep college students safe.
Substance abuse is nothing new to the NBA superstar, whose own biological father battled with addictions and was imprisoned for possession charges. As a result the athlete was raised by his mother and step-father, who supported him through school and his professional career in the NBA. In addition to his Most Valuable Playing on the L.A. Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal
has gone through the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Reserve Academy and also became an officer in the city of Miami. In Florida, he worked for only $1 a year- his idea!
Between his incredible celebrity, admirable law enforcement background, and intimidating stature… what college student could dare to disagree with this NBA All Star? The University of Alabama chapter of the Century Council is currently campaigning to get the athlete to make an appearance at their campus to gain awareness for their mission. If you are interested in joining the petition tweet your thoughts to @SHAQ
or read this article
for more information about involvement.
Everywhere else in the country, people are preparing Halloween costumes and making their Thanksgiving plans. But here in New Orleans, fall is the time to finalize the celebrity appearances for the upcoming Mardi Gras! Southern Celebrity Gossip is happy to report that the 2012 Endymion Parade will feature the hot musical sensation, Maroon 5.
This Grammy Award-winning band is known for pop-rock tunes such as “She Will Be Loved”, “Sunday Morning” and “If I Never See Your Face Again”.
The band is thrilled to be part of such a memorable celebration unique to New Orleans. Endymion is the largest parade of Carnival and was dubbed a “Super Krewe” in 1974 because of its size. The krewe begins its route uptown and ends at the Superdome for the “Endymion Extravaganza!”. The Extravaganza features food, fun and live entertainment. The parade officials are remaining pretty hush-hush about the live performances for 2012. But this Southern Celebrity Gossiper is keeping fingers-crossed for Maroon 5!
The less-than-perfect 2011 parade included CNN and CBS anchorman, Anderson Cooper. Cooper will be participating in this year’s Endymion as well, despite last year’s bad weather! Everyone is hopeful that the parade will run more smoothly than it did in 2011. Because of the weather, the Krewe had to change time and route, and was forced to move the “Extravaganza” to the Convention Center. The 2012 officials are staying optimistic, and like our Saints, this Krewe is happy to return to the dome!
You can learn more about this parade, and all the other Krewes through the official Mardi Gras website.
Edgar Allen Poe’s horrifying tale of a murderous man driven mad with guilt is being shot in, none other than New Orleans! The film, The Tell-Tale Heart, has brought in such actors as Rose McGowen, Patrick John Flueger and Peter Bogdanovich as part of this creepy cast of characters. But darker themes are not new territory for horror flick-chick Rose McGowen! Previously she was cast in movies such as Scream and The Black Dahlia- not to mention her television appearances on the series Charmed. Don’t let his roles in Footloose and The Princess Diaries fool you! Male lead Patrick Flueger is no stranger to the scarier special effects himself, having previously been featured in Law and Order: SVU and CSI: Miami. This haunting tale is set to hit the theatres in early 2012. But the filming is already underway in Louisiana… and right in time for Halloween.
Last August, we wrote about Hugh Laurie’s music recording here in New Orleans. Now we’re back with the details about his trip!
The public knows Laurie as the curt and cynical medical expert on Fox’s television drama, House
. But underneath that rough exterior, the actor holds a passion for jazz and blues. A pianist since an early age, Laurie was invited to film a PBS special here with none other Louisiana local, Allen Toussaint. Toussaint is an acclaimed musician, who has been featured on albums with superstars such as Eric Clapton & Elvis Costello. Allen Toussaint grew up in a small shotgun home just outside New Orleans and has been enormously influential to the evolution of the NOLA sound. PBS paired together Toussaint’s skill, and Laurie’s passion to create a feature called “Let Them Talk
” for their series “Great Performances”
. Their collaborations were also recorded by Warner Bros. Records to further document this singular event.
Prior to this performance, Laurie has been playing with a Hollywood band that almost exclusively performs at charity functions. But, despite his lack of experience, the House
star was able to hold his own in a city full of the country’s best blues’ artists.
It does seem odd that a British actor, who affects an American accent for his show, would develop a love for such a uniquely American sound. In an interview
last May, Laurie remarked, “its rhythms got into my gawky English frame and, at times, made me so happy and sad, I just didn't know what to do with myself. I love this music as authentically as I know how.”
The program “Let Them Talk”
aired on September 30th and has sparked a lot of industry buzz. The attention this recording brought to New Orleans has certainly got Hollywood directors, actors and agencies talking! If the music is so distinct in New Orleans that it can attract the focus of Warner Brothers, PBS and FOX, then the momentum for Hollywood South is definitely gaining strength. Big names like Hugh Laurie are flying here to work with local talent because the culture is so geared towards creative development. And the local talent is finally receiving the credit they deserve!
For more on Laurie’s visit check out his website
Local New Orleanian, Bryan Batt is better known as Salvatore Romano on AMC’s Mad Men
. Or possibly in one of his countless leading roles on Broadway which range from Beauty in the Beast
to Saturday Night Fever
. But, in addition to his successful performance record, he is also an accomplished author. Most recently,
he has published a book celebrating the decorative flare of New Orleans, titled “Big Easy Style”. This evening he will be available for a book-signing at the Garden District Book Shop
from 5:30- 7:00 p.m. So don't miss your opportunity to miss this talented performer and author!For More information about this book, visit his website.
This work is following the huge success of his first publication, “She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother” which paid tribute to his mother’s heroic triumph over Breast Cancer for 25 years. As we all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and local, national, and international celebrities are banding together to show their support. Batt was recently one of many celebrities who participated in the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s 11 annual Les Girls benefit. This event featured cabaret-style musical performances, speeches, and a prestigious silent auction. The gala successfully raised $450,000 for the cause.
To see a full list of celebrity attendees check out this article
For such a household name, Academy Award Winning Actress, Sandra Bullock certainly keeps the public guessing! From her feelings towards her ex- to her current love interests, she really keeps a tight lid on any personal details. With media attention ranging from her successful romantic comedies and action-packed dramas, to a very public divorce and a recently adopted baby, it is hard to believe that Sandra has time for anything else! But despite all the chaos of her life the in spotlight, Bullock has also invested time (and money) to the redevelopment of New Orleans. Looking at her philanthropic donations to the city of New Orleans will show that her actions off-camera are just as remarkable as her performances on film!
Following Hurricane Katrina, Bullock became a major patron of the educational system here in Louisiana and has been a top-dollar donor to the Warren Easton School. Some of her contributions include hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations, a scholarship program, new band uniforms, and helping develop a healthcare clinic. Her charity has earned her a warm place in the community- and a prestigious spot on the Warren Easton Hall of Fame! During an interview, Bullock sited her involvement in the New Orleans’ school as “the best investments [she has] ever made… [because] it gives the kids a sense of pride”.
It was during her filming of the award-winning drama, “The Blind Side”, that she finally purchased her home in the historic Garden District. Since then, she has been in and out of New Orleans while working on other projects. But with the ever-growing local film industry and small-town charm, New Orleans is the perfect location for celebrity of her caliber.
While Sandra Bullock may have residences in other States, this is the city she loves to call home. And as for her private life? Well, we may never know whether or not she loved Ryan Renyolds- or more importantly, if she really hates Blake Lively. But we do know that she is currently involved in a VERY steamy love affair with the Crescent City! And the feeling is mutual!
Willowy models and hand-crafted couture are hitting the runway all this week during New Orleans' Fall Fashion Week! Carrying the momentum from last Spring's huge success, the NOLA Fashion Council is giving locals another opportunity to indulge in the luxuries of Louisiana style. Over the week, fans, followers, and fashionistas are flocking to runway shows and presentations at the Ogden Museum. But this season's events include more than just clothing exhibitions. Experts and professionals are also hosting special workshops specific to the design industry. Some of these include hat-making, editorial photography, and couture techniques- which covers corset development. All of these workshops are reasonable priced and feature skilled professionals in their fields. NOLA Fashion Weeks has received some criticism for paling in comparison with the New York, London and Paris Shows- but this in no way disheartens the presenters! The fact is, with a booming film industry and internationally renowned talent, the local fashion industry is quickly catching up! N
OLA Designers reflect the spirit of the city- and create unique lines that are just as distinct as the local culture. So show your pride for New Orleans, and stay ahead of the trends this spring with a visit to NOLA Fashion Week! For a complete list of remaining runway shows, presentations and educational workshops visit NOLAfashionweek.com
What do New Orleans, Tupac Shakur, Shakespeare, and Ramen Noodles all have in common? Well, they are all contributing factors to the fantastic life of NOLA local Anthony Mackie. From his initial training here in Louisiana- to his Screen Actors Guild nominated performance in "The Hurt Locker
", Mackie is making his city (not to mention his family!) proud. Most recently, his talents were celebrated at the Black Perspectives Tribute of the Chicago Film Festival where he was awarded the Artistic Achievement Award. As for the most challenging part of his successful career? Staying true to his roots. Read what he has to say HERE.
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