Pop Culture

Celebrity interviews and pop culture news from entertainment journalist Darrah de jour.

The Conversation: Darrah’s Essay is Live!

the-conversation-with-amanda-de-cadenet

I’m really honored to have an essay “Daddy Dearest: When Father Equals Fear” appearing on The Conversation website. Brit blonde host and wife of Nick from The Strokes, Amanda de Cadenet, handpicked the piece from a slew of others. It details growing up inside a less-than-perfect household, and how I finally made (some) peace with the patriarch of my nuclear family.

Will you help me? Please share/like and comment beneath the story. I’d love to hear your thoughts and appreciate the support! Who knows? Maybe – with your help – I’ll start writing for them more often! ;)

XOX

Eleven years old

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SuicideGirls: Interview – Mia Tyler

My brassy new SuicideGirls column “Red, White and Femme” has an added dimension.  Fearless Femme Spotlight will feature hot chicks who are so badass, they deserve their own time to shine.  Mia Tyler (daughter of Aerosmith rocker and American Idol judge Steven Tyler) debuts this shiny new angle.  The bold brunette exposes not only those family genes (check out those lips!), but her own recipe for role-modeling by mentoring girls, living out loud with a plus-size fashion line, and a curvy bod full of wicked mods.

Read the revealing interview & add your comments, here: MAMA MIA

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Adult Film Star Sasha Grey Joins Piven and Grenier on ‘Entourage’

Not just a girl – from Soderbergh to Katzenberg porn chick Grey becomes one of the boys

By Darrah Le Montre

HOLLYWOOD, CA (HollywoodToday) 7/31/10 – One of adult film’s most enigmatic and lauded stars has made a significant transition into legitimate acting.  The star of Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 escort-themed film “The Girlfriend Experience,” Grey will play an escalated version of herself, as Vincent Chase’s hard-partying, arty girlfriend on HBO’s hit dramedy “Entourage.”

Grey, 22, describes guest-starring in a multiple episode arc starting August 1st as “exciting.”

Being the new kid on the long-running TV show, she tells Hollywood Today in an exclusive interview, “There’s definitely shorthand between some of the cast members because they’ve been working together for so long.  There’s little idiosyncratic behaviors that you don’t really catch onto right away.  But, overall they really made me feel like part of the family.”

An advocate for sexuality, regardless of “shape, size or color or what you’re into” Grey admits when she was young, she navigated through an environment where sex was considered dirty and something to hide.  “I’ve always been proud of my sexuality,” she says.

The recently married, self-proclaimed artist has been documenting her years in porn since day one – at 18 years-old – and can now add archivist and storyteller to her résumé.  “Neu Sex,” a photography book created in collaboration with her husband Ian is mixed with behind-the-scenes images from her daily life sprinkled with fine art.  “Neu Sex” released by VICE Books in November is designed to aptly expose Sasha in an artful way that she controls.  She explains, “There are so many photos of me, taken by other people that aesthetically I have no control over.”

Palin's got nothing on Sasha

The pioneer in a one-woman anal sex revolution, the waify brunette has been recognized as an unusual force in adult film.  Insisting she moved to L.A. specifically for the adult industry and without typical Hollywood aspirations, life changed when Soderbergh found her on MySpace.  “When you get the opportunity to work with somebody like Steven Soderbergh there’s a lot of other opportunities that stem from that,” she says.

A stand-out from the standard blonde hair/fake boobs utopia that over-populates Porn Hub, Grey’s indulgences include foreign cinema (with a special passion for Godard).  She is an art buff who frequents The Pacific Design Center and a foodie, traversing L.A.’s best tapas-style restaurants.  Not the typical fare for your average hardcore hacktress.

The American Apparel model and lead vocalist for aTelecine, her experimental post-punk band (releasing two full-length albums later this year) considers herself a role model though she abhors the word ‘feminist.’  “It really doesn’t have a lot of life left and it’s really unfortunate.  People say the word feminist and they have this very narrow minded idea of what that actually is.  I do think of myself as a strong, independent, female individual.”

Only four month’s into her professional life as a triple X’er she was profiled by Los Angeles Magazine in a piece entitled, “The teenager & the porn star: will 18-year-old Sasha Grey become the adult film industry’s next Jenna Jameson?”  This instant fame attracted the attention of TV’s “The Insider” and then Tyra Banks.  The stunner appeared on “The Tyra Banks Show” receiving something of an anti-porn tirade from the model herself.

Un-phased, the Sacramento-native Grey, who says she became more comfortable in her skin and with her sexuality at 16 years-old after multiple visits to San Francisco, continued acting out.  She’s appeared in nearly 200 adult films.

Though today, Grey is hesitant to discuss her adult film future, stating only that if she finds a porn flick “worth doing,” she’ll do it.  Admitting it’s an “uphill battle,” right now, she’s focusing on her acting career.

Sasha Grey will appear on “Entourage” August 1st on HBO

“Neu Sex” will be released in November and available online and at select book retailers.

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First appeared in Hollywood Today.

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Voice-Over Royalty Kenny & Talley Celebrate SpongeBob’s 10th Anniversary

The hottest voices in animation enjoy life out of the spotlight

By Darrah Le Montre

LOS ANGELES, CA (Hollywood Today) 3/7/10 – Now in its 10th year, the multiple-Emmy nominated hit animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants” is a phenomenon.  This quirky underwater tale stars sensation Tom Kenny and features his wife, sought-after Jill Talley.  The duo dish to Hollywood Today on what it’s like as voice-over actors on dry land.

Before starring in Nickelodeon’s wunderkind “SpongeBob SquarePants,” which has spawned a feature film and merchandise sold all over the U.S., Kenny says he was “the weakest man to ever work on a loading dock.”  He also spent time “down in the bowels of a bank in San Francisco taking pictures of cancelled checks everyday for a year,” Kenny deadpans.

Being fascinated with cartoons and animation in his pre-teens, Kenny read up on the voice-over industry becoming aware of the credits on cartoons and veterans like June Foray, Mel Blanc, Daws Butler and Don Messick.  Foray, who has lent her voice to hundreds of shows including “Bugs Bunny,” is like “five Mick Jaggers,” he says.

As a teen, the 47-year-old Annie Award winner remembers talking with long-time friend, comic Bobcat Goldthwait about whose career each would have if given the opportunity.  Bobcat, who Kenny describes as “very John Belushi-esque” staked a claim in Belushi.  “I said Mel Blanc and my reasons were because he’s had this impact on pop culture that’s not immediately apparent.  And he’s old and working in show business.  Even at 16, I was sort of worried about the ageist aspect.  I thought then, as I think now, find something that you love to do and then do it for as long as you can.”

Syracuse-born Kenny, who says he was never the “out-there class clown” admits he played around a little with voices as a child.  However, the humble actor drew comics and was Goldthwait’s sidekick.  As teens, Kenny and Goldthwait formed comedy duo “The Generic Comics” getting paid to write sketch shows.  Every Tuesday at a biker bar in Syracuse, the two would take the reins over the small stage; gaining invaluable training for the future.

Kenny reflects the two were ballsy and calls his career, “smart by mistake.”

The bulk of Kenny’s stand-up experience came in the 80s in San Francisco, when “it was really creative, comedy was king,” he enthuses.  “You could make a good living at it as a single guy with a cheap apartment.”

One of his fondest memories is meeting legendary stand-up comedian George Carlin, who encouraged his unique style and liberal politics.  He offered newbie Kenny his phone number to use when he moved to L.A.

“I never used it,” he confesses, presuming Carlin didn’t sincerely want to hear from “some kid.”

After some fairly rough gigs at fish houses and bowling alleys making anywhere from $150-$275 each set (not bad in 1986) he earned his stripes as a fan favorite, segueing into an incredibly successful career in voice-overs.  Kenny and writing partner Andy Paley have written songs for SpongeBob and Disney.  Tom’s upcoming projects include the animated feature film “Winnie the Pooh” and Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time.”

Another highly recognizable voice in the industry is Jill Talley, Kenny’s wife, who came up in the ranks studying comedy with heavy-hitters Conan O’Brien, Amy Sedaris and Steve Carrell.  Talley has voiced dozens of characters for cartoons like “The Boondocks,” “American Dad,” “WordGirl,” and the award-winning indie film “Little Miss Sunshine.”  She’s appeared on-camera on “The Sarah Silverman Show,” “Frasier” and “Seinfeld.”

Married with two kids, ages 6 and 12, the down-to-earth couple met at CBS Radford Lot doing the sketch show “The Edge” with Jennifer Aniston and Julie Brown.

It was 1992 a year of sketch comedies, including “The Ben Stiller Show” but “The Edge,” starring an unknown Jennifer Aniston lasted only one season.  Kenny says of Aniston, “she was quite good and completely unconfident.”

Jill began her career at Chicago’s infamous improv mainstay Second City.  “I was very scared when I first joined,” Talley admits of teaming up with the award-winning touring company whose alum includes the late Chris Farley, who Talley performed alongside.  But it was at Second City that she broadened her range, hitting the road visiting schools and honing material written by the actors on the Main Stage – where she eventually landed.

47-year old Talley, who almost followed in her father’s footsteps becoming a firefighter, says she likes character roles the most.  And revels in the normalcy of not taking on starring roles.

Highlighting the differences between voice-over work and on-camera toils, Jill says, “The simple pleasures of taking your kids to the park and not having anyone disturb you – I would have trouble giving that up.”

A niche industry, Talley notes that while there is some acrimony in voice-over work among women, mostly there is respect.  “Yeah, I think there’s competition in any performing field, but I think there’s also such mutual respect among the top women.  Grey DeLisle, Pat Musick, Tara Strong – who are so good at what they do, there’s no denying it.  The very top women in the voice-over industry love each other.”

However, she observes, “I never really feel there are enough roles in general for women.”

Neither Kenny nor Talley watches or listens to their performances, choosing instead to donate the DVDs to their children’s school auctions.

“Being uncomfortable in my skin made me infer that voice-over was the best place for me,” says Kenny.  “Not being seen gives me so much more freedom.  Being on camera would limit the shit out of me.”

While many people make the assumption that he must be rattled that SpongeBob hasn’t lent the way to more on-camera work, Tom clarifies that sitcom fame was never his intention.

“I don’t need to speed-date a career,” Kenny muses.  “I’m already doing what I love.”

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First appeared in Hollywood Today.

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Bisexuality Continues To Puzzle Researchers

Republished by Harvard University Press

Researchers continue to stammer over what truly defines attraction

By Darrah Le Montre, staff writer

LOS ANGELES CA (RPRN) 05/14/09 — Megan Foxrecently admitted during an interview with Esquire, “I have no question in my mind about being bisexual … I mean, I could see myself in a relationship with a girl — Olivia Wilde is so sexy she makes me want to strangle a mountain ox with my bare hands.”

Adding her to the celebrity hot list of women that identify as bisexual, including Angelina Jolie, Madonna, and on some days, Drew Barrymore, one can’t help but wonder whether bisexuality is a trend, a choice or something more real altogether, like its own identity.

To read the full story, visit Rush PR News.

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