Snakes on a Plane! As if we didn't have enough fear of flying. We are a fan of action-horror type features; but it is difficult to categorize this film which may provide some comic relief from the real terror that we live with daily. There certainly was a lot of mixed audience reaction the other night at a screening for Australians in Film at the Harmony Gold Theatre in West Hollywood.
|Snakes Star Nathan Phillips|
This organization was formed out of the overwhelming interest in Hollywood regarding Australian talent, and new Australian films, and they provide a forum for the industry to come together to celebrate their work. Handsome Australian actor, Nathan Phillips, who portrays "Sean Jones" in the flick, was there for Q & A from the packed audience of Aussies. Phillips has much experience in this genre, and is best known for his role in the chiller Wolf Creek. But he said the experience working with 450 live snakes was the thrill of a lifetime. Not to worry folks, no real snakes were killed during this production. See it if you dare!
|Ellen Adler (Stella's Daughter), Irene Gilbert (LA Theatre Director) flank Benicio Del Toro at unveiling|
We have never attended a"Walk of Fame"Dedication in Hollywood, but when we were invited to attend the Star posthumously given to Stella Adler, it was an offer we couldn't refuse. Her name is synonymous with the profession of acting, and the Stella Adler Theater Studio developed talents such as Marlon Brando, Robert De Nero and our friend, John Saxon, who has starred in 80 films. Saxon has quite a background in the horror genre. Nightmare on Elm Street and My Mom's a Werewolf are among his films, and his latest flick, Trapped Ashes, will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival Sept 12th & 14th. Seems scary movies are always in vogue.
|John Saxton with Gloria Martel|
Missing from the event was Melanie Griffith, who was a student of Stella's, shown here with her Mom, Tippi Hedren, who was celebrating her 75th Birthday. As the star of the classic thriller The Birds she certainly knows what it's like to work with predatory animals. But I'd take Birds over Snakes any day - wouldn't you?
Speaking of stars of the past, who still are going strong today, rock and roll veteran Johnny Rivers has been a consistent contributor and influence in rock music since the early 1960's. He had 17 gold records and two Grammy Awards, and this singer, songwriter and producer has sold more than 30 million records. In September, he will release "Secret Agent Man" - The Ultimate Johnny Rivers Anthology (1964-2006) which should attract old and new fans throughout the past five decades.
|Melanie Griffith with her Mom, Tippi Hedren|
We learned about Johnny's new project from Robyn Knapton Ridgley, former Director of Special projects for Norman Lear, who just moved back to the Westside after many years on Capital Hill in Washington D.C. Robyn was Communications Director for one of the House Leaders. The past Emmy nominated producer now resides in Santa Monica, with her husband, Brad, who is finishing the prototype of a technology that could revolutionize computers. Welcome back Ridgleys to the Hollywood Beat.
|Rock Star Johnny Rivers|